Happy Halloween! Please enjoy the short story below. I just couldn’t resist!
Today is Halloween. I, Lex the Gargoyle, live for tonight when Gargoyles from all around will get together and celebrate at a bonfire hidden deep in the woods. We will sing songs of our glorious past and drink all the hard cider we can. One of us will take off, grab another and drop him screaming into the heart of the fire. Awesome fun! The shrieks are music to my ears. Sometimes we grab nasty people and … I can’t wait.
“Lex, darling, I have your costume for tonight.”
Oh no, it’s she who thinks I must obey her, Mrs. Walters.
“You are going to love this. Look! Mardi Gras beads for around your neck.”
No no beads around the neck.
“Yes Lex, six strands. They will look lovely and here, shades for your eyes. No glowing them red at the children this year and scaring them off!”
Sun glasses! How do you expect me to see in the dark? No one wears these things at night and it’s fun to scare the kids!
“You don’t need to see in the dark. All the cool people wear them. Here I’ve got lights for your ears and tail.”
What do you mean lights? They’re flashing! Whoa whoa wait! Ouch! That hurt! Red and green flashing lights on me? Me? How embarrassing! I can’t go to the bonfire like this. Everyone will be dropping me into the flames! I’ll never get to the cider keg!
“All set for the kiddies! Remember to hold still so you don’t frighten them and make them wet their pants. Like last year.”
Tootsie Too is on his back wriggling in the grass waggling his legs in the air. I think he’s laughing at me. You just wait and see what she has in store for you, wiener dog.
“Tootsie! Come here, sweetie! I have a treat for you.” Mrs. Walters laces her voice with sugar. I bet she’s got a hot dog suit for him or maybe a Tootsie Roll wrapper sweater. Sounds of a dog crying reach me. Sure enough he is slinking toward me looking like a hot dog with legs and ears. What a really cute potato chip hat! I’d roll my eyes but it’s hard to do when you’re made of stone.
The sounds of Mrs. Walters arranging the furniture on the front stoop fill my now “flashing” ears. I think she’s humming “The Monster Mash”. A rumbling groan escapes me. The rattle of candy landing in a large metal bowl bashes my sore ears now drooping down around my jaw. She is settling in for a long night of tricks on the treaters I can tell. I’m going to miss the bonfire. I just know it.
Tootsie’s ears perk up like two little radar dishes and I turn my eyes to look where they point. The goblins are coming. Here they come in super hero costumes. I see Disney princess outfits. The dads are wearing mini skirts and lipstick. That’s it “drag” your kid around the block in heels and hairy legs. I can puff a little flame and take care of that problem for you. A small smoke curl escapes from my right nostril. There better not be a large crowd tonight. Places to go. Cider to drink. A bonfire to light up. Maybe a cigar? That would be nice. A big stinky cigar hanging off my lower lip. Yeah baby.
A paw scrapes down my side and I look down. I’ve drooled a bit of liquid fire on the rock where I’m perching.
“That’s creepy.” A small boy in “spidey” pajamas is pointing at me. I want to sneer so badly.
“Be careful he might eat you.” A pint sized Dracula urges him to move on down the sidewalk.
I want to be clear. We do not eat humans – not without a good reason. Not enough meat to bone ratio to make it worth our while. Now pigs on the other hand are down right tasty. Maybe there will be pigs at the bonfire. Succulent, squirming, fat, pink pigs … Tootsie paws my leg and I stop drooling again.
“Now don’t forget to pat the gargoyle on the head for good luck.” It’s the voice of she who will never be obeyed again. Mrs. Walters is messing with me tonight because she knows she can. She knows about the bonfire and she has an evil streak as wide as mine.
Sticky goop covered palms and fingers smack and slap me with whatever they’ve been sucking on tonight. That’s peppermint with chocolate caramel dripping into my eyes. I squeeze them shut. I just want to swear a blue streak of fiery cussedness. Saliva drips into my fire chamber and I inhale the needed oxygen. Do we have ignition?
“Here we go my cuties!” A wonderful smell drifts pass my nostrils. “Halloween treats just for you.”
I crack my right eye. The one who feeds me is dangling a strip of crispy bacon in front of my eyes. I must not open face or I will reduce it to ash. The force within is building to an explosive point. Can I hold it in? What to do? What to do? I swallow and it exits my rear as a burst of flaming fart that ignites the side of the garage. Mrs. Walters grabs the hose and puts it out. Then she sprays me and marches back to the stoop.
Hey! Where’s the treat? It’s then I notice Tootsie has my bacon nearly consumed. I let steam escape my nostrils in Morse Code for “I hate you”. Will this night ever end? Now I’m in the dog house for the char marks on the garage. I’ll never get out of here in time.
It grows late. The treaters have probably stopped coming. I hope. I need to go. Then I spy a small boy heading in our direction. Tears track down his cheeks and his small shoulders are shaking. His candy bag is missing a handle and torn down the side empty. This looks like a crime. Where’s his guardian? Doesn’t he have a parent or older sibling? Tootsie stops him and licks his face.
“They stole my candy!”
Mrs. Walters wipes his face. “Don’t worry about the candy honey. I have plenty. Where’s your mom and dad?”
“Home.” His voice has that hitch of deep despair.
“What’s your name?”
“Are you out here alone?”
“No.” He starts to cry harder. “They hurt my brother. He won’t wake up. I kept pushing at him but he just stayed there.”
Mrs. Walters folds him into her in a deep protective hug and looks at me. She’s no longer playing around. “Lex! Find his brother.” She loads the child into Sweet Pea, her car.
I shed Mrs. Walters’ idea of a costume and take to the night sky looking for a heat signature. There! I swoop down and sniff the still body. He’s alive but needs help. I fire bursts of flame into the air for Mrs. Walters to see.
She arrives talking to 911 and waggling her fingers in a healing spell. “Find who did this, Lex.”
Maybe they would like to attend the bonfire with me? This would be a great reason to turn them into hors d’oeuvres. Visions of screaming, nasty people being tossed into the bonfire cross my mind. A slow smile spreads across my face. I rise on the hunt to the sound of approaching emergency vehicles. This could be the best bonfire ever.
“Lex don’t you dare hurt them!” It’s her, the greatest “party pooper” ever, in my mind again. I’m not sure I like this new ability of hers.
I fly low over the neighborhood not sure what to look for but I have some scents from the body of the brother. Apparently, the “bad guys” rarely feel like bathing. Sweeping back and forth I sample the air around me. Ah there “dirty underwear” wafts up from the garage of a blue house.
Now I am not happy. It’s bonfire night and I’m missing the fun by having to chase these losers down. I can’t even drop them into the flames they so richly deserve. Stealing candy from a baby. How low can you go! Ok no hurting them physically but I am so going to hurt them mentally.
Landing on the driveway in front of the double door, I spread my wings out full. I get on tippy toes to make myself look huge. Smoke and fire puff from my nose and fire drips from the side of my snarling mouth. Perfect! Eyes glowing red? Check! I raise the door with a bang!
All three of them jump straight up off the floor. Dark stains grow from their crotches down their pant legs. Candy flies in all directions.
Seething with anger and snatching them by their collars, I drag them out to the drive. Tossing them high into the air, I rise on the wing and grab them in mid air with my hind claws careful not to draw blood as per the directions of she who commands. I bring them back to Mrs. Walters, setting them down gently on the hood of her car.
Harry, her police friend, is standing beside her. “I can take it from here for you.” Harry loads the “perps” into the back of his police car.
“Thank you Lex.” Mrs. Walters holds my face in her hands and looks into my eyes. “You’ve done well. Ian and his brother are in the ambulance on it’s way to the hospital. They’ll be OK. Enjoy the bonfire.”
Leaping into the air, a trumpet blast bursts from my lungs complete with fire. Look out guys here I come. Hope there’s some cider left.