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The Gargoyle

Title: Gargoyle
Author: jaune_chat
Original Fiction
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: 658
Warnings: Some violence
A/N: Written for originalfic_las for the prompt: abandoned
Summary: The gargoyle was created to repel evil spirits from the castle it protected.



He waited within the beautiful stone, the carver’s chisel slowly setting him free, revealing his hideous visage within. Horns and snout, long ears and bat wings, clawed hands and taloned feet, a vicious leer on his ugly face, the gargoyle gave a silent shout of triumph as the sculptor’s lord looked upon him with approval mixed with a touch of fear.

The gargoyle was placed above the gate, to forever frighten away malevolent spirits from the castle. His brothers in stone were placed further along the wall, but no one was more suited than he to mark the entrance into this place.

-----

The massive doors below him boomed shut in the face of barbarian raiders, screaming and hurling themselves at the wall only to be cut down by flights of arrows. Crouching proud, the gargoyle laughed at them all as they fled into the forest.

Much time later, the enemies wore metal and bore shields. They clambered up the walls on ladders, looking at his face and being distracted as the defenders cascaded boiling oil down on their heads. The gargoyle snickered at them, his still claw waving at their ignoble defeat.

Later again, and the gates opened from within. The inhabitants streamed out, armor flashing, swords bright, colorful banners snapping in the breeze as they marched out to do battle that had so often before come to the castle. The gargoyle shrieked at them to come back, for he could not protect them from evil when they were so far away, but the wind would not carry his stone voice so far.

The sun and moon chased themselves many times before they returned, dull, slow, and few, battered and lame with defeat. The gargoyle greeted them with a toothy smile, pleased to see them come back within his protections. They fled soon after, not even stopping to say goodbye to the stone sentinels that had protected them for so long. The choir of saddened pleas and angry shouts from all the gargoyles was only heard as the wind screaming through the stone.

Long and long again, others came, feeding their sheep and tilling their crops under the gargoyle’s unblinking gaze. He tried to invite them in, to say they would be protected from evil behind the walls, but they barely looked up at him. The forest receded as the others ate it up, and the sheep expanded everywhere. Now did the others come into the castle, but not to stay within its walls. They come out again with barrows full of stones, which they made into little castles of their own. But no gargoyles, none at all, and the gargoyle at the gate shouted fruitlessly at them that they were letting the evil in by having no protector.

More suns, more moons, and the sheep left as the tilled land grew. The stones of the wall, yet untouched by the others, began to crumble as his brother gargoyles fell from their perches. He sneered at them all for deserting their posts, even as the walls on either side of him began to diminish alarmingly.

Then the rock beneath him shifted, weakened, and gave way, plunging him into soft earth made into mud by recent rains. The gargoyle roared at the confining blackness, bereft of his purpose, and bided his time with ill grace.

------

Endless time passed, with no sun or moon to mark it. Then earth eroded around him, exposing a single tooth to the air. A shoe caught on his fang and sent someone sprawling untidily on the ground. Gingerly, someone uncovered his face with their hands, shuddering at his carved ugliness.

As the person freed him, he looked towards his home. No walls met his sight, no gate, only a tumble of worn stones and an expanse of grassy field. Silently the gargoyle shrieked at the traitorous castle who’d left him behind, stone fangs bared at the malevolent spirits who’d let him be alone.

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