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. I hope you enjoy the story.
As the sun set on the chill autumn day the fog rolled in as it usually did. Mark Smith stood as the fog began to swallow up the world around him, wondering where his friends were. He coughed, just to break the silence that had begun to unnerve him. The wind blew through his shaggy, brown hair. As the cold night air blew in, he zipped up his navy blue wind breaker over his graphic tee. He pulled a cloth from the pocket of his khaki pants and used it to wipe off his round glasses. Mark kicked a nearby stick with his slip on shoes in boredom and frustration before checking his phone again, to check the time. A quarter after seven. They were late. Again. Like always.
Mark sighed to himself, not sure why he was surprised. He’d known the gang since they were kids, so really he should know by now. But things were getting worse lately. Dan and Fred Lawrence, the twins, had always had a habit of waiting until the last minute to get ready, so Mark assumed they had done so tonight as well. Will Erickson was the kind of guy who had always sucked at time management. He once actually showed up to a sleepover at midnight because he’d gotten distracted playing a game online. And lastly, Victor Gutierrez was always late since he got a girlfriend. And not just any girlfriend. Rebeca Shu, the most high maintenance girl in school. Nobody liked her. She was spoiled, vain, and obnoxious. She was also very promiscuous, which is how she always had someone wrapped around her finger. And for the time being, that was Victor.
Mark checked the time again and with a scowl on his face he called it. They either chickened out or were just taking their damn time. Either way, he was out. Mark snatched his backpack up off the cobblestone road, not noticing the snarled branch that had snared it. With a loud rip he tore a hole in its side. The contents of the backpack spilled out onto the road. Mark cursed this turn of events and reached down to gather his items off the ground. Homework, textbooks, and the demon mask he’d brought along. All went back in as he dug around to find the roll of duct tape he always carried with him. He found it and started to tape his backpack shut when an eery shadow suddenly cast itself over him. Mark froze and called out to it.
There was no response. Mark slowly unzipped the backpack and dropped his tape back in. He stood up slowly and turned to face whatever was casting the shadow. But whatever it was was gone. Mark decided to get home when something jumped not his back. Mark screamed out in terror as the thing on his back started howling wth laughter. After a brief bout of confusion, Mark shouted, “Goddammit Dan is that you?”
“Nope,” said Fred, “It’s Freddy boy.”
Mark shook Fred off of him. He turned to Fred who stood behind him laughing with a dumb grin on his freckled face. His reddish brown hair was cut short to his head, the opposite of Dan who had long shoulder length hair. Fred was a lanky boy, and slim. Like usual he was wearing a retro heavy metal tee shirt and dirty blue jeans with his old beat up hi-top sneakers. Mark gave Fred a death stare and angrily took a swing at his friend. Fred chuckled and said, “Whoa, whoa Mark. Take it easy bud. It was just a joke. Simmer down bro.”
“Simmer down?” Mark shot back angrily. “I have been waiting out here on this freaking road, outside a creepy ass gothic cathedral waiting for you assholes for almost an hour now. Where the hell have you guys been?”
Fred rubbed his neck in embarrassment before answering, “Well that’d be my fault. See Danny and I, kind of got into a fight. He wanted to go out to Teddy Logan’s party, but I reminded him we were supposed to meet you. Well he got all pissy, ‘cause Stacy Logan, Teddy’s hot older sister is going to be there and Dan has a crush on her. Now I told him he’s wasting his time. A college grad isn’t going to be interested in a high school junior. But you know Dan, he’s hopeless when he’s horny.”
Mark nodded and apologized for trying to hit Fred. Fred just laughed it off and apologized for being so late. After they hugged it out Fred asked, “So, you been inside yet?”
Mark stared blankly at Fred and said, “No, I was waiting for everyone.”
Fred looked back at him before asking, “Wait, everyone? Does that mean Vic and Will aren’t here either?”
Mark nodded and said, “That’s right.”
Fred scoffed, “Well that’s no surprise. Will’s probably burning his retinas in front of his computer.”
“And Victor’s probably too busy playing tonsil hockey with Rebeca,” Mark added.
The two shared a laugh that was cut short by a pair of headlights cutting through the dense fog. A minivan came rolling up to them, muffled heavy metal audible through the vehicle’s outer shell. The car rolled to a stop a few feet in front of them. The stopped an the doors opened. Smoke rolled out of the vehicle is waves. Fred and Mark shot each other a knowing look. Together they said, “Vic’s here.”
Victor strode out of the van. He was clad in a light autumn jacket, with a fur lined collar and camouflage jeans with commando boots. A shark tooth necklace dangled from his bronze neck. His short black hair was spiked up with gel. And a shit eating grin adorned his handsome face. His hazel eyes were red and puffy. Mark started to say hi, but Victor cut him off with a finger as he dashed over to the passenger side, sliding over the van’s hood. He quickly opened the passenger side door and gave an over exaggerated bow. Rebeca Shu stepped out of the door.
Rebeca Shu was a pretty Chinese girl, with long black hair flowing down to the middle of her back. She was wearing a violet cardigan sweater, and a plaid mini skirt that could barely be seen from under the cardigan. She was also wearing knee high designer boots with fishnet stockings. Rebeca stood in a way that said she had never been told no and never expected to
Victor took her hand as if she was a princess. She giggled and wrapped her arms around Victor. The two started laughing like idiots while Fred and Mark rolled their eyes.
“What is she doing here?” Mark asked not even trying to hide his venom.
Victor turned to Mark and flippantly responded, “Oh come on Mark! You wanted me to come here right? Well Beca wanted spend tonight with me. So she’s here.”
Mark looked over at Rebeca who had a smug look on her face. Mark sighed and stood up. He slung his backpack over his shoulder and said, “Well, at least you showed up. Dan ditched us for Teddy Logan’s party.”
“What?!” Victor exclaimed, his eyes wide. “Danny stiffed us for that douche’s fucking lame ass party?”
“Typical,” Rebeca remarked snidely while looking at her fingernails. “Dan has always been a deadbeat.”
“Watch it, princess,” Fred snapped back, “That’s my bro you’re talking about.”
Rebeca’s response was too make a snotty face and stick out her tongue. She then walked away toward the truck’s backseat and banged on the door. She yelled, “Are you two coming out?”
The doors opened up and two figures stepped out. The first was Will, who had a sheepish look on his face as he put his phone in his pocket. He muttered something about being on level 8 before he became silent and looked down at his feet in shame. His moppish blonde hair covered his face which was marked with zits. His Hawaiian shirt covered a black long sleeve t-shirt that Mark knew from experience was likely covered in stains. His jeans were old and full of holes and patches. And he wore two different shoes on either foot, something Mark had a habit of doing when he is rushed out the door.
From the other door stepped out a girl that neither Mark nor Fred had ever seen before. She was tall, and lean with an athletic frame. She had short, bright red hair with a small amount of dark roots showing. She wore a tank top and baggy jeans with some old sneakers on her feet. Her left arm had several wrist bands adorning it and she wore a choker necklace with a skull charm dangling from it. But what Mark and Fred noticed most was her face.
The mystery girl had an absolutely gorgeous face, like a movie star. She had a slight scowl on it, but not one born of anger, but apparently of indifference. She looked over Mark and Fred before sarcastically saying, “Oh good, more teenage boys. Just my luck.”
“Oh pipe down Helena, “Rebeca mockingly said to her. “Like you have anything better to do.”
Helena shit back, “Oh yeah, because there is nothing better for me to do then hang out with my slutty cousin and her horndog boyfriends.”
Rebeca turned red and was about to start yelling at Helena when Fred said, “Wait, you two re cousins?”
Helena dryly responded, “Yeah. Why?”
“Well you’re, um…”Fred started.
“White?” Helena answered, a smirk on her face.
Fred sheepishly responded, “Well, yeah.”
“She’s adopted,” Rebeca said with a haughty laugh.
“You’re adopted,” Helena shot back with an eye roll.
“Whatever,” Rebeca started, “You’re just jealous because I’m both my parents and you’re parents favorite.”
Helena snorted and called Rebeca a whore and the two started fighting. Victor got into the middle of it, a dumb grin on his face. Will had taken advantage of the situation and had pulled his phone back out. And Fred stood there dumbfounded, not sure what was happening. Mark stared at the events, his temple throbbing with anger. He took a deep breath and then shouted, ‘Oh fuck you all, shit the hell up!”
The fight stopped and everyone turned to Mark. Mark took another breath and said, in a measure tone, “We’ve wasted enough time. Let’s get this over with.”
Mark then turned and headed to the cathedral, placing his demon mask onto his face. Victor, Will, and Fred shared a look and Fred shrugged. He pulled out his own mask, a creepy clown and walked after Mark. Will followed next, putting on his werewolf mask.
Rebeca shot a look to Victor and asked where they were going. Victor answered, “The cathedral,” with a smile and winked his eye at her as he slipped on his mask, a candy skull design. He then rushed off after his friends. Helena came up behind Rebeca and laughed at her as she passed. Helena ran after Victor, yelling at him to wait up. Rebeca stood alone, unsure of what to do next. But when Helena threw her arm around Victor she shot off after them cursing her cousin as she ran.
As they neared the cathedral, the fog continued to roll in. Before long it swallowed Victor’s truck and the road behind them.
As they entered the cathedral the musty smell of mold and dust hit the group’s noses. Rebeca gagged making her cousin laugh. They walked into the dark, long abandoned place of worship. Pews lay about, most having rotten away. One had been smashed by a statue that had fallen from the ceiling. Mark took a flashlight from his backpack and examined the rafters, where the other statues were adorned.
There were several statues, depicting various beasts. Chimeras, dragons, and other such monstrosities. There were stained glass windows showing bloody scenes of men transforming into beasts and other dark rituals. The altar, that the party was approaching resembled something out of the Mayan culture. As they walked up to it Mark shone his flashlight onto it. The altar was stained dark.
The party stood in silence before Rebeca burst out, “What the hell kind of religion did they practice here!”
Mark, Victor, Fred, and Will shot each other some looks. With a sigh Victor began, “Well the story goes that this place was built over a hundred years ago under the guise of being a normal Catholic cathedral, but in reality, it wasn’t.”
“You see,” Will continued, “Back in the day, there was this secret cult. They believed in monsters and demons, and that it was man’s destiny to become one with them.”
“So they built this cathedral, “Fred added, “As a way to hide their rituals and dark arts from the rest of the world. They even supposedly tried to combine creatures together to create monsters for their dark lords. You know the platypus?”
“Yeah…” Rebeca said in a confused tone.
“Well,” Fred said, a smirk on his face, “Some believe the cult created them.”
Rebeca rolled her eyes and said, “Oh please, this story is so lame. You guys are just trying to prank me aren’t you?”
“Believe what you want,” Mark shot back, with a grave tone in his voice. His eyes were fixed to the altar. “You weren’t even supposed to be here. This was supposed to be just me, Dan, Fred, Will and Victor’s thing tonight.”
“And what were you guys planning on doing here,” Helena inquired, eyebrow raised.
A silence filled the air as Mark stared at the altar. He turned to the party, his eyes dark inside his demon mask and he said, with a serious tone, “My brother and his friends came here ten years ago. He never came back. We’re going to find out what happened to him.”
End of Chapter 1
How will the story continue? Vote by commenting how you want to continue the story from the choices below.
1- The team splits up into three groups of two to explore the derelict cathedral.
2 - Rebeca insists the group sticks together. There is safety in numbers.
3- Everyone splits up to explore the cathedral alone. To get things done and over with faster.