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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Job Satisfaction

There was a new figurine on the basement mantelpiece.

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?”

I nodded.

“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:


  1. Oh I loved that, I totally thought you were sharing a real childhood memory until his eyes moved. Well done!

  2. Love it, I am going to keep a closer eye on my grandma's figurines now ;)

  3. Love it! Very, very clever and nice to see a different turn on the theme again with the gargoyle! Very cool.

  4. That was great. I love the idea of an apartment goblin. /looks nervously over shoulder

  5. Thank you, everyone! This was really fun to write. I'm looking forward to reading the other entries. From what I'm hearing, there's a nice variety to be found. :)

  6. What an imaginative story...many of us grew up with basements like that and grandmas that weren't quite like others. Enjoyed it!

  7. I really, love this. I especially like "children never doubt the magic." :)

  8. I love gargoyles. This tickles me :)
    Thanks for entering!

  9. I want one! This is adorable - and the voice is very authentic. Felt real.

  10. Charitygirl said it! I want my very own! Awesome!

  11. Love it! I couldn't agree more with the other comments. Very nicely done! :)

  12. Again, thank you everyone. I really enjoyed writing this piece. :)