This is a Choose your Own Adventure type story. I'm writing it chapter by chapter, and I'm doing it all in a couple of days. As such, these are going to be very rough and not super well written, so please keep that in mind. Also I don't know how cathedrals work, so I'm definitely going to get something wrong. I hope you enjoy the story.
This is the third chapter, you can read the first chapter here, and the second chapter here.
Mark and Rebeca stared at the blue notebook in silence. Neither knew how to react to the development before them. Rebeca kept flicking her gaze between Mark and the book. The tension built around them, Rebeca grinding her teeth, beads of seat covering mark’s brow. When the tension built up enough Rebeca opened her mouth to speak but nothing came out as Mark quickly grabbed the notebook and opened it up. His eyes darted back and forth as he read what his brother had left behind.
Rebeca watched for a time, afraid to say anything. She didn’t want to intrude on this moment. But as the time passed on Rebeca got bored and annoyed and finally asked, “So…what does it say?”
Mark continued to read, lifting one finger as if to say, “just a moment.” His gaze narrowed and a confused grimace crossed his face. Without removing his eyes from the college ruled pages before him he said to Rebeca, “Open that book on the desk to page 237.”
Rebeca took a moment to shoot Mark a sassy look, but did as he said. She walked over to the book and turned the pages until she found page 237. She then began to ask him why she did this, but Mark cut her off by saying, “Read the second paragraph.”
Rebeca stared at Mark, an annoyed look on her face. She sarcastically remarked, “As you wish.”
Rebeca started to read the second paragraph. She had only been reading for a few seconds when Mark sighed and said, “Out loud, if you would.”
Rebeca blushed and said, “Oh, okay.”
She then cleared her throat and began, “In the year 1779, the High Priest Gabriel received a message from the Dragon. The message told us of the day of Convergence when the world of Monsters will merge with the world of Man. Gabriel told us of our new duty, to ready this world for their coming. And so we began, operating under the guise of our fellow man’s false religions, readying this world for our superior monster masters.”
Rebeca’s voice trailed off as a knot began to form in her stomach. She turned to mark and asked, “So that story about that weird cult, that was true?”
Mark nodded and replied, “I guess so.”
Rebeca continued to read to herself while Mark studied his brother’s notebook. Todd’s notes described things he and his friends had discovered about the cult before coming to the cathedral. These notes described how people who would soon be discovered to be part of the cult had been accused for years of poaching animals and kidnappings. How children in the area would periodically go missing. How a detective had eventually noticed a correlation and even a pattern as to when the crimes would take place. How the town grew suspicious of the strange church in the woods, the one led by a man that no one ever saw. How one of the church elders had been caught sneaking into a young lady’s room one fateful night and after being tortured by the now obsessed detective admitted to what the church really was. And lastly, how the town led a torch wielding mob against the church, running the cultists out of town.
Mark reached the end of his brother’s notes when Rebeca gasped out loud. He looked at her as she stared at the book, her eyes wide in fear. She turned to him and said in a wavering voice, “Mark, you need to read this.”
Back in the tower, Victor leaned against a wall barely forcing himself to wait for Helena to finish. As his impatience began to become unbearable he finally moaned, “Are you almost done?”
Helena sighed and exasperatedly answered, “I don’t know. This is a pretty old lock and I’ve never picked one like this before.”
Victor continued to wait, but soon his patience was spent. He was about to ram the door when a loud click echoed throughout the tower. “Got it!” Helena exclaimed, as she shot Victor a smug look.
Victor smiled and walked over to the door. After sharing glances, the door pushed the door open. The door opened, but it took a lot of pushing from both Victor and Helena. The door was blocked by some object that they had to push along with the door. Victor thought to himself that he was glad he hadn’t rammed the door. He probably would have broken his shoulder.
The opened enough for them to enter the tower room. They were greeted by the scent of dust and mold that made them both gag. After stifling back his vomit Victor wiped his mouth and turned on his flashlight. Helena followed suit and the two checked out the room inside.
The room was filled with old, rotting boxes covered in mold and mildew. There was some furniture, most of which had fallen apart and fallen over. In fact as they surveyed the room they realized that a decrepit bookcase had been what had been making the door hard to open. They walked around looking at the gross mess when Victor let out a confused murmur. Helena turned to him and asked, “What’s up? Find something?”
Victor was staring at a wall, with a perplexed expression. After a moment of stroking his chin he said, “There should be a window here.”
Helena raised an eyebrow and said with a laugh, “Yeah, a window sure would tie the room together.”
Victor furrowed his brow and explained, “When you were picking the lock I took a peek out that hole in the wall out there. I saw a window into this room, I swear.”
Helena gave Victor a unsure look and told him to hold still. She quickly darted out of the room to the hole Victor mentioned. Helena poked her head out and looked out at the wall. To her surprise she also saw what appeared to be a window leading into the tower room. She pulled back into the tower and returned to Victor. She gave him a concerned look and said, “Shit, you’re right. There should be a window here. What the fuck?”
Victor stared at the wall for a bit more than headed out of the room. Helena followed him back to the hole. Victor carefully crawled out and climbed the wall to the window. He leaned into it a bit and shined his flashlight into it. After a bit his face turned to a genuinely shocked look. He quickly turned off his light and returned to Helena as fast as he could.
Helena asked Victor what he saw. Victor said, “So the window leads to some kind of like, chimney thing. It goes down. Like way down. Like deeper than this place is supposed to go.”
“Wow,” Helena said, creeped out. “That is freaky. No wonder you looked so creeped out. I mean, imagine if you’d tried to climb in that.”
Victor cut her off and told her they needed to go back to Mark and the others. Helena asked why. Victor responded by saying, “Because it’s not the chimney thing that freaked me out.”
“Then what was it?” Helena asked, her skin beginning to develop goosebumps.
Victor gave her a look of genuine fear as he said, “Something moved down there. And…I think it saw me.”
Will’s hand hung over the switch as he looked to his friend. He asked Fred again, “Well, should I flip the switch?”
Fred walked over to his friend and said, with a grave tone, “No. You should not flip the switch.”
Fred walked toward Will in a deliberate way, like a predator approaching its prey. Will’s hand began to shake as his friend approached. He called out weakly to Fred, asking him to stop. Fred continued, his movements becoming more janky and twitchy as he bore down on his frightened chum. Soon they were face to face. Fred stared directly into Will’s eyes. Will was on the verge of tears as a dark, devilish grin stretched across Fred’s face. He reached out on arm toward Will. will closed his eyes in fear. He awaited whatever was coming next with his eyes closed tight.
A clicking sound echoed throughout the basement. Will’s eyes shot open. He looked at Fred’s face, which had turned from a dark, evil smile to a shit eating grin. Will looked behind him to see Fred’s hand on the switch, it now being in the “on” position. He looked back at Fred who was now starting to laugh.
Tears welled up in will’s eyes as he lashed out and pushed Fred away harshly. Fred continued to laugh as Will told him to stop and called him all sorts of horrible names.
After trying to stop laughing, Fred told Will to calm down to which Will replied, “Fuck you, Fred you dick. You’re such a piece of shit, you know that?”
Fred wiped tears from his eyes and said, ‘Oh come on now. Calm the fuck down, Will. It was a joke. Jeez.”
“Everything is a joke to you!” Will yelled at him. “And this is not what this is about. You know this kind of stuff creeps me out. You scared the shit out of me.”
Fred scoffed and told Will to grow a pair. He then began to saunter away from the switch. Will stared after him and muttered, “You’re a shit friend, Fred.”
Fred called from over his shoulder, “Come on, scaredy cat. Let’s head back up. There’s nothing to see here.”
Will sat in defiance for a bit, but followed soon after as his fear of the dark basement returned to him. He hustled after Fred, keeping some distance out of frustration at his so-called friend.
As they headed back up the stairs to the others, the switch sat, still turned on. A pale, gaunt hand reached up from a crack in the wall to touch it.
Victor and Helena finally made it down the stairs and immediately headed back to where the group had originally met in the cathedral, near the entrance. As they approached they saw Mark and Rebeca who were standing and looking over the blueprints to the cathedral. Mark was using a marker to draw on it. As Victor approached he said through heavy breathing, “Mark, we gotta go.”
Mark didn’t answer. He kept his attention on the map. Victor stared at his friend and waited for Mark to respond. After a minute or two Victor got upset and yelled, “Mark! Are you listening to me? We gotta go!”
Rebeca responded, “Victor, keep your voice down. Mark has to concentrate.”
Victor didn’t know how to respond. He just sort of sputtered and made weird faces before sloppily saying, “What do you mean? What’s he even doing?”
Rebeca motioned for Victor and Helena to huddle together. They did so and then she whispered, “We found this book in the chambers. It was filled with creepy stories of this cult’s beliefs. Dragons, monsters, notes of their experiments. Lots of fucked up shit. But at the end of the book there was something weirder.”
“What?” Helena asked, her heart pounding in her chest.
Rebeca looked back to Mark briefly before continuing, “There was a note. Written in blood. It said there was a secret entrance to some kind of dungeon in this cathedral. There was some kind of code that Mark recognized. He said Todd used it when they would play together when Mark was a kid.”
“So, Todd left the note?” Victor asked in shock.
Rebeca shrugged and said, “Maybe. We don’t really know.”
At this time Will and Fred returned, Fred with a dumb grin on his face and Will’s eyes red, signifying he had been crying. Fred started to chuckle as he approached. He started to say, “You won’t believe what we found.” But Rebeca cut him off by screaming and pointing behind them.
They all looked to where Rebeca was pointing, except for Mark who was busy with his map. A tall, lanky figure adorned in ratty robes stood behind them. One pale, gaunt hand could be seen poking out of its robes. Long, greasy hair could be made out from its hood. In the darkness all that could be seen of its face were two eyes, wide open and fearful. The figure took a shambling step toward the group who collectively took a step back in response. They group started to instinctively widen their grouping, so teh figure couldn’t get them all at once. This made an opening that allowed the figure to see Mark.
The figure froze and stared at Mark, who had just noticed the imposing he figure. He froze in place and stared back at this thing. The figure started to shake and made a sound that sounded like crying. And then, in a weak voice it cried, “Mark?”
Mark felt a bolt of electricity run down his spine. He began to shake as he realized he recognized the voice. Mark called out the figure, “Todd? Is that you?”
Todd smiled with his rotting teeth and said, “Little brother? You came to rescue me!”
Todd ran to his brother and embraced him, apologizing for his stench. Mark didn’t care as he hugged his brother. The two held on another for some time before mark broke up the embrace and said, “Okay, let’s get out of here.”
The others, including Todd agreed and they started toward the door. About halfway to the entrance a loud thunk could be heard from the basement. Todd froze, a look of absolute terror on his face. The other asked him what was wrong. Todd’s response was to say, “He knows.”
“What do you mean,” Rebeca asked Todd.
Todd’s eyes widened and he said again, in a near crying voice, “The High Priest. He knows you’re here.”
End of Chapter 3
It’s time to decide how to continue the story. This is the last chapter, so the decisions matter the most now. So choose very carefully.
1 - Todd grabs his brother’s arm and bolts for the door.
2 - Todd tells the others to hide while he deals with the High Priest.
3 - Todd takes the gang to a secret tunnel that leads to the secret dungeon.
Vote for your choice by commenting below. Just say the numbers of the choice you want.