“Oww!”, said Gothlond to himself as he accidentally hit the branch of a sycamore tree. He was still fairly clumsy. He hated this whole business of being demon possessed. How lovely it had been to bask in the sun over his archway. Or, to let the cool rain water flow through his guttermouth, how he longed for rest again.
Somehow, in his haste to possess him, Leviathan had sent an untrained demon who kept running into things. He delicately tried to land on the roof of a Baker’s shop, but botched it again– knocking several bricks out of a chimney with his wings. One of his lieutenants, Zlag, was already on the roof awaiting instructions.
“We really don’t like to fly out at ‘em, sir,” said Zlag, “They stay in close to the buildings then prick us with silver. None of us wants to be a pincushion. And they got Zlog in the plex’. Whisp o’ smoke he was. Then we didn’t see ‘im no more. ‘Eees done for and all the boys know it.”
Gothlond looked across the roof at Zlag. “Keep to your orders! Continue to circle the Cathedral. Take Zlig and investigate the ground at the west side. Maybe the humans are tunneling.”
(Zlag had been part of a threesome on one side of an archway: Zlig, Zlag and Zlog. Their counterparts on the other side of the archway had been Blig, Blag and… Oh, nevermind, I need to get back to narrating).
“That’s all right for you to say,” said Zlag. Ain’t you a pretty sight up ‘ere out of the line o’ fire. Send us littler ones to do your dirty work…”
“Silence!” yelled Gothlond. “Don’t forget: I can report you to the black fellow when he gets here.”
“On my way sir,” said Zlag meekly. He saluted with one wing tip to his hideous deformed forhead and departed.
Gothlond hated his demon possessed job that Leviathan had given him. Taking over the houses that humans lived in– repulsive! He preferred the open-air. Taking their food? Yucky, repulsive stuff that humans enjoyed consuming together from tables! When humans ate, they also had to sit on their pots — aah ahh– what a laugh!
But his assignment, the nerve! Making him fly into that feast Hall with the singing and the food smells– all to try to get the Patternstone from a pretty little girl. Leviathan had better pay him well a job like that!
Gothlond knew that the Patternstone would start the whole thing all over again. All of this singing and feasting and enjoying one another’s company–Yecchhk! He had tried, in a desperate attempt, to grab the stone from the girl in the feast hall. And now he must try again. The failure in the Chapel of his three soldier gargoyles sealed the matter. That confounded little girl was going to put the Adelphia Stone in the floor of the cathedral. If she did this, they all turned back to motionless stone. Just stone. Stone…stone…
As if through a crack, something in Gothlond’s memory awoke. Underneath the demon, he realized that this would be a good outcome. Deep within Gothlond, ready to be awakened, was the memory of his gutter spout. When he had sat on his gutter spout, basking in the sun or being drenched in the rain, silver wouldn’t bother him. Nothing would bother him. If only Leviathan the Black hadn’t begun his program of enslavement. Gothlond had looked beautiful on his gutter spout! His stone mason had given him beautiful wings and a hideous face. Thank you very much.
“Wham!” Pigsnout had crashed into the same sycamore tree because his teeny-weeny wings were far too small for his large girth.
Gothlond shook his head. What was he thinking? The memory was gone.
“Why don’t you watch your floppy flaps you overgrown grapefruit!” Gothlond yelled toward the fat struggling gargoyle. “Get back to your duty!”
As if to demonstrate his superiority, Gothlond expanded his very large wings, and, with a few flaps, he went back up to take stock of the situation again.
With lots of prodding, the other local gargoyles had surrounded the Cathedral. It was excruciatingly difficult to try to get them to cooperate. Only the threat of the abyss motivated them at all. Even his three soldier-gargoyles had needed extra threats to attack the Chapel. And two of them had been pierced by silver. Almost the Abyss for them. Serious pain with no healing in sight. And now, flying around the Cathedral square, exposing themselves to silver tipped arrows and swords. Not safe. And then when the Kings Army began singing! Well, let’s just say it was the opposite end of the spectrum from what demons liked: nails scraping over slateboard or un-tuned violins.
He swooped in lower for a closer look. Hearing another couple of soldiers singing Psalms, he didn’t look where he was going. Wham! “Owwuch! Well, at least the tree got the worst of that exchange! What was it about sycamore trees?”
He flew up to one of the flying buttresses surrounding the Cathedral in order to think. Hmm…he knew, from one of the soldier gargoyles, Morlond, that the girl had got into the tunnel. He sat looking out into Cathedral square. Suddenly, a flaming arrow came Through the broken rose window in the front of the Cathedral and stuck in a sycamore tree down East of the fountain. The tree began to catch fire. What was it about sycamore trees?
Dang! Someone had got through. The jig was up. Someone was inside. And now the King’s Army began to sing those confounded warfare mountain Psalms with loud gusto. His ears were ringing. And no sign of Leviathan the Black.
No, there was nothing left to do but to try to stop the girl from getting to the center with the Adelphia stone. He couldn’t wait any longer. If he couldn’t get these lazy slouches to move, better do it himself. Time for action! In a fury, he flew a straight course for the front door of the Cathedral.