The summer I was seven, Grandma Taylor took to babysitting me and my sisters, since Mom’s last mat leave was done with and she couldn’t afford otherwise. I was the eldest, and back then I escaped from my snotty, whining siblings whenever I could. The basement, a cluttered monument to years gone by, had its own fireplace, and Grandma liked to put her garage sale finds along its edges. No matter how poorly made or what they portrayed, tiny statues were her favourite. And since this was a Monday, I knew there’d be something new waiting for me.
I crept closer, peering at the addition. Squarish and squat, wings folded back upon itself, the miniature stone statue scowled through the gloom. Just as I reached him, gaze level with the mantelpiece, the drafty room grew colder.
Then his eyes moved.
“Of all the injustices,” he muttered, and I could have sworn he clenched his claws. “To be consigned to a dungeon!”
I blinked, but I wasn’t fazed. Children never doubt the magic, not even the first time. “This isn’t a dungeon,” I told him. “It’s just a basement.”
His tiny gaze met mine. “Don’t you understand, child? This is a travesty! Gargoyles are meant to protect humans. What am I guarding here?”
“Well,” I hedged, “These are kinda like my grandma’s treasures—”
He sniffed. “I see no gold or jewels.”
“And I come here a lot,” I quickly added. “You could guard me.”
Now he studied me, intent. “Do you mean that, truly?”
“And you promise?” His voice now quavered with hope.
“Yes,” I breathed.
I don’t hear him anymore. Somehow I lost the magic when I grew up. But these days, he guards my apartment.
This was my entry for Yearning For Wonderland's The Fairy Ring Contest. Interested in participating? Here are the details: