Amongst the leafless trees and shrubs, the haphazardly placed statues stood cold, wrapped in dark shadows, and edged in dull moonlight.
"They're weird, aren't they?"
"The statues. They look like people." Allan inspected the weather-softened features of a slightly plump, stone woman as their dog, Monkey, sniffed around in the dead leaves at the statue's feet.
"Isn't that what statues are supposed to look like?" Patrick called back as he continued ahead through the grounds.
"Well, yes, but these look like actual people. They're not posed, or stylised, or... or... I mean, this one looks like it could be wearing jeans and a t-shirt! Shouldn't they be wearing robes, or armour, or something?"
"And have you noticed" Allan raised his voice as Patrick retreated, "that they're all looking down?"
"And they look a bit... Surprised."
"Oh! Will you stop saying that!"
"I suppose." Patrick laughed and headed through the statues towards the rusted iron gate set in the perimeter wall. "You know" he shouted, barely looking over his shoulder, "legend has it that these were all real people once. They turned to stone when they heard a dog speak."
"Right" said Allan as he rolled his eyes and waited for Monkey to finish weeing over the weathered statue's shins.
As Patrick disappeared from view, Allan turned and looked down at Monkey. "Come on. Let's go home and get some tea." Monkey looked up expectantly at the word "tea" and wagged her tail. Allan smiled at the happy dog. "And you'd better not talk, OK?"
"I won't" said Monkey.