This huge cemetery housed the body of a wicked man named George McKenzie.
In front of his tombstone, a friend of Willy’s was pranked and suffered an unexplained burn.
“Jimmy, if you want to go there, please remember what I’m about to say.”
“You must never close both your eyes at the same time.”
“Don’t slow down.
Keep your eyes open.”
Jimmy responded, “You can’t be serious, Willy.” He gave a helpless smile.
“Talking like that will bring you nothing but trouble.”
He knew well it was a joke to scare him, but he was forced to admit its authenticity.
It was nicknamed the “Most Haunted Cemetery in Britain”, and was a place where all kinds of strange phenomena occurred.
Jimmy shook his head and put away his fear.
“Let’s get out of here.”
He started walking to the entrance.
Jimmy heard a strange noise.
Something started to flap its wings and rushed in front of him.
“Argh!” Jimmy screamed and closed his eyes.
He flailed his arms around to chase away the bird.
There seemed to be more than one bird.
Jimmy closed his eyes and felt several beaks peck at him.
“Hey! Stop it!” Jimmy tried to swat the birds away.
Things would be easier if he opened his eyes, but he couldn’t open them because he was scared.
The image of a black bird rushing toward him remained in his mind’s eye.
“Please go away! You damn birds!” While trying to pitifully chase away his unknown attackers, Jimmy felt a cold sweat.
When he still flailed his arms around, he felt something hard and cold, nothing like the soft feathers of a bird.
With his hair standing on end, he got goosebumps.
Come to think of it…
The birds had disappeared completely.
The moment Jimmy slowly opened his eyes to the silence around him.
What in front of him was none other than…
A statue with a strange appearance because half of its face was missing.
Jimmy could have sworn it was standing at the front gate of the cemetery.
Looking behind him, there was another statue.
With his heart beating with fear, Jimmy looked to his left and to his right.
Four statues surrounded him.
They didn’t have any real eyes, but Jimmy was certain.
They were staring at him.
“You can’t close your eyes.”
Based on what Willy said, something else came to mind.
If Jimmy closed his eyes… They would move.
He wanted to scream, but nothing came out of his mouth.
Fear flowed through every blood vessel in his body.
With fear enveloping him, his clammy hands and feet couldn’t move.
At the climax of Jimmy’s story, Sally screamed.
Jimmy and I turned to look at her at the same time; she blushed and excused herself.
“I like scary things, but… Ah, I got really scared, hehe.”
Smiling helplessly, Jimmy said, “Anyway, I felt like I was dead and alive at the same time.
I normally have nerves of steel when it comes to most things…”
Even now, he shook his head as if to push the memory to the back of his mind.
“For the first time, I felt like I was going to die because I was so scared.”
I thought about what I was told.
“Did they attack you, Jimmy”
“When you opened your eyes, four statues surrounded you.”
Jimmy nodded with his eyes closed.
“They either ran at you or tried to keep you there… Were you injured in the process”
He shook his head.
“I’m not sure.
They might have been pointing to something.”
“I don’t know.
Regardless…” Jimmy furrowed his brow before saying, “When I woke up, I didn’t have a scratch on my body.”
“What about the sculptures”
“They returned to their original positions.”
Sally gasped at Jimmy’s response.
“If they attacked me then, I wouldn’t be here.
So, did you like the story”
A voice that I had been waiting to hear then spoke.
“My apostle, Emily.
I will give you orders in the name of the king…”
I nodded, barely holding back my joy.
“I love it.”
If you want, I can give you a tour of the cemetery.
I’m very familiar with the place.”
I couldn’t be any happier.
“After I fainted, I heard that the statues were a bit odd-looking.”
“They looked weird”
“Once the night ends, their expressions and pose changes.
That was why he was told not to close his eyes.
I committed Jimmy’s story to memory.
I told Jimmy’s story to Helena who returned from having dinner with an acquaintance.
As soon as she heard me say “living statue,” she said, “That’s a traditional ghost story.”
“Is that so”
Reading a book while leaning against the bed, Helena faced me.
She took off her reading glasses, put them down on the bedside table, and continued to talk.
“It’s a normal statue that we see until no one’s looking at it.
A ghost story about a living statue… It’s a topic that appeared in common folk tales.”
After reflecting on her words, I said, “Do humans fear things that resemble themselves”
“That’s one way to look at it.
I think there’s a historical reason.” Crossing her arms, Helena continued, “The church made a lot of statues modeled after saints to attract a large number of ignorant believers, right”
It was ironic that a church that prohibited idol worship used an “idol” for its own purposes.
Helena added this was the source of many “scary stories about statues” throughout Europe.
“Let me gather some more data on this first.”
“Thank you, Helena.”
I kissed her on the cheek and returned to my room.
When I lay on the bed, I kept thinking about what Jimmy said earlier.
“You can’t close your eyes.”
“Don’t lower your guard and keep your eyes open.”
A sculpture that moves as soon as humans close their eyes.
Was it because the image was so uncanny
I fell asleep immediately because I was tired from the day’s activities.
I dreamed of sculptures coming out to grab my limbs.
They rushed at me regardless of whether I opened or closed my eyes.
Bang! Bang, bang!
Instead of running away, I shot them with my gun.
Staying at Mr.
Graham’s country house in Edinburgh was delightful.
“Emily, should we go out today”
“I don’t mind.”
When I woke up in the morning, I enjoyed breakfast prepared by the servants and went horseback riding with Henry.
For lunch, I played cards with Helena and Sally and looked around the nearby tourist spots.
In the evening, I stopped by the University of Edinburgh to meet with Jimmy.
On the third day, I went to see Jimmy in front of the medical school building as usual.
He looked at me and asked in an awkward manner, “Ma’am, does this mean you’re doing me a favor if you’re here to pick me up like this”
Was he talking about having a relationship that could be seen as us being lovers to others
It wasn’t that difficult.
Jimmy smiled, relieved.
“I was nervous, but I didn’t expect you to agree.”
“I’m a cooler person than I appear.”
Jimmy nodded as he glanced at my face.
“I think I understand.
May I escort you, my lady”
I rested my hand on his arm.
I pretended not to look, but the gaze of the surrounding college students stung.
A couple of people staring was unusual, but for them to pay this much attention…
It meant they were curious about Jimmy.
Jimmy Miranda Barry may have lived in a world where such curiosity was part of his daily routine.
…And excessive curiosity can easily turn into hostility.
“Shall we go, darling”
I stuck myself to Jimmy and gave him a pet name.
I heard a slight gasp coming from those who pretended not to know us.
“What do you think This is enough, right”
Jimmy looked back at me and smiled slightly.
“It’s more than enough.”
He and I got into the carriage.
Looking out the window, I saw the medical school students who couldn’t keep their eyes off our carriage as it left.
“Oh, how funny.”
There was a giggle.
Jimmy had a silly smile.
“Hm I have a great personality”
“No, not quite.”
That was what I said, though.
Jimmy seemed quite content.