When I was little my cousin lived with us for a few years. She helped instill a love of characters and stories in me. This is a carving she did that sits in our garden.
Every house in the village has a gargoyle to protect them. Most are tall and fierce, but when we moved in, we could only afford a tiny one. We left our city to escape war. We shouldn’t really be here, but we couldn’t stay in our home country. No village really wants us.
Our gargoyle sits in the garden most days clutching his knees. Sometimes I offer for him to come inside but he always declines, so I bring out tea for him.
One day I hear reports of thugs heading toward the village. I am sure we will be first to be robbed. Why did we have to get the dud gargoyle? When they find we have nothing to steal they’ll turn us in to the officials for money.
“We’re going to be sent back and it’ll be all your fault,” I say to the gargoyle.
At dusk the thugs come. They try a few houses but their gargoyles roar and fight them stone to fist. Then they spot our house. They come right up to our gargoyle and laugh, trying to push him aside. But he doesn’t budge. In fact he’s rising, controlling the other stones in the garden and forming a huge barrier. The thugs begin to sink into the gravel path. Horrified they drag themselves out and run off weighed down by their stone encrusted feet.
We come out and the other villagers are trying to buy our gargoyle.
“I’m sorry I doubted you,” I say to him. “I’m so glad we got you.”
He looks back at the gaggle of villagers and says, “None of you would buy me before so I will not go with you now.”
The villagers threaten to have us sent back.
“Try and I’ll encase you in stone. I am 2000 years old, the only real gargoyle here. The others are not gargoyles, they are thugs from the first war. They tried to burn this city, but I gave them their lives. In return, they swore an oath to protect our people.”
He turns to me.
“Thank you,” I say, completely stunned.
“We are both leftovers we belong together,” he says.