I can’t believe it’s Day Seven already! My word today is “GARGOYLE”, once again suggested by Kate.
This one was fun to write. I began wondering what it would be like for the gargoyles if they were alive and what they would do to pass the time. I had to remind myself of the difference between “gargoyles” and “grotesques” before I did so, mind you!
Anyway, here is what I was able to come up with. I hope you enjoy reading it.
By Adam Dixon
It was a wet, miserable Wednesday morning in London, and as usual everyone was scurrying about the vast city with nothing but themelves in mind. It’s not that they didn’t care about the world and other people in it, it was merely that that kind of morning always succeeded in making the most cheerful of people recede into his or herself. With their consciousness sheltering in their skulls like turtles in their shells and their tunnel-vision modes activated, nobody was paying much attention to anything except avoiding the many large puddles dividing the pavement. But they should have been paying attention, and they should have been looking towards the rooftops, for the gargoyles were certainly paying attention to them.
“How about that one?” The Bearded Man said around the rainwater which was trickling out from his open mouth.
“Which one?” Several irritated voices answered at once. There were roughly two dozen other gargoyles within range of sight, clinging to their respective buildings and issuing forth the contents of their gutters. None of them could move, of course, so they needed the Bearded Man to be more specific.
“Oh, yes, my apologies,” the Bearded man mumbled sheepishly. “The woman in the bright red raincoat just passing by the Lloyd’s bank on the corner. Can you see her? She’s on my left.”
“I see her!”
“That’s an affirmative!”
“Wait, I can’t see her!”
“She’s by the entrance to the Tube now, moving towards the Nandos!”
“Oh yes, I see her now!”
“Good,” Bearded Man said, pleased. “Well, what do you think?”
There was a slight pause as the gargoyles thought for a moment. The rain fell more heavily, dancing a merry pattern on their stone features.
“Well I think that she is going to the library!” The Bearded Man announced proudly. “She is wearing glasses and she is carrying a large pile of books in that plastic bag, I’m sure of it!”
“No she isn’t!” scoffed the Rearing Lion from the other side of the road. “It’s got food in it! She’s probably just carrying around her lunch for this afternoon. She’s going to work, probably in one of the offices.”
“I think she’s goin’ to stop at the theatre,” the Grinning Imp asserted. “She looks like the thespian type to me.”
“Balderdash!” The Bearded Man said, incredulous. “Look, she’s going straight past it!”
“I mean the other theatre, you pigeon-fouled buffoon!” laughed the Grinning Imp. “That one’s only for the cheapos of the city, and judgin’ by her shoes she can afford to go to the more up-market one down the street!”
“Wait, I can’t see any fancy shoes!” the Stunned Dragon shouted.
“You can’t bloody see anythin’, you’ve got an eye missin’!” The Grinning Imp cackled. More voices filled the minds of the gargoyles playing the game, all eager to put forward their interpretation of the unsuspecting Londoner. In the end, the Screaming Man guessed correctly: the woman had walked into an infant’s school at the far end of the street. She was probably a member of staff or a mother dropping off a forgotten packed lunch. Screaming Man was very pleased with himself and made it known, whilst Rearing Lion grumbled that he had at least been right about the packed lunch.
“Oi, Crouching!” the Grinning Imp shouted telepathically. “You never made a guess. What’s up with you?”
“I’ve got more interestin’ things to look at!” came the Crouching Imp’s sniggered reply. That particular gargoyle was set facing a particularly grim-looking block of flats, so naturally the others were curious to know what he had been so preoccupied by.
“There’s this couple on the sixth floor,” the Crouching Imp chuckled. “They’ve left their curtains open an’ let’s just say that they’re havin’ a better mornin’ than most of this lot on the street!”
“Oh, you utter cretin!” the Bearded Man said in disgust. “Avert your eyes, for the sake of dignity!”
“Hey, I didn’t tell them to leave their curtains open, did I?” the Crouching Imp protested. “Besides, I can’t avert my bloody eyes, can I?”
“Oh, you lucky sod!” the Grinning Imp was very amused by this. “You’ll ‘ave to give me all the saucy details later on!”
“I should think not!” the Bearded Man shouted, eliciting a burst of laughter from various gargoyles who were listening in.
“Oh, shut it, Beardy!” the Crouching Imp snorted. “You get on with your bleedin’ game, I’m doin’ just fine over ‘ere!”
“Fine, I think I will!” the Bearded Man huffed with an air of contempt.
“Right…” the Rearing Lion began awkwardly. “Erm…what about that one, then? The fellow in the brown suit with the small umbrella? He might be a teacher as well!”
“Who, him? Nah, he looks more like a journalist!”
“Don’t be silly, look at his briefcase! He must work for the Council!”
“The Council? With that tie?!”
So the game continued on into the morning, with the gargoyles happily protecting their buildings from the worst of the rain. It was not a complicated game, but it served to pass the time.