Gargoyles were created to protect people from evil. That is why you so often see old churches and architecture featuring a stone gargoyle looking menacingly out over the street below. Its purpose was clear—prevent evil from harming those inside.
Given this one simple fact, how could I have possibly guessed agreeing to babysit one small child named Kyle would cause such problems? It seemed logical Rassmussen’s inherit nature to protect and serve would make him an excellent sitter. He would see Kyle as an innocent and nervously watch his every move, ensuring he not fall or, indeed, have the slightest reason to even whimper.
In my dreams!
In reality, I can’t blame Rassmussen for the disastrous events ending with Kyle’s mother vowing never to speak to me again.
I blame Kyle, the demon-child, born to make my life hell. Sure, he looked innocent enough—blonde, bowl-cut hair, adorable blue eyes and chubby, doll-like, pink cheeks. When he looked up at me as his mother’s car pulled away, even I felt a maternal tug at my heartstrings. Then his head slowly spun around 360-degrees, and he bellowed a bloodhound’s call to death before running like a hellion through my living room, clearing every counter within reach with a mighty swipe of his stubby paw—I mean hand.
If he had been six inches taller, my great-grandmother’s tea set would now be a mosaic.
If only I had taken that as a sign and used the emergency number his mother had left me, but no. I had to push my luck. I had to turn my back for just one second. Not even a second. A millisecond. Kyle made a break for it through the kitchen and out to the enclosed porch, where Rassmussen was just arising from a long day of rest. Rassmussen is a statute by day, you know.
They saw each other about the same time. Rassmussen wrinkled up his forehead, sniffed the air and growled. I suspect he misinterpreted a wet diaper as danger. Kyle’s eyes widen, as if I had just handed him a sack full of candy, and he rushed forward, arms open wide, a smile plastered across his face. He never reached the grumpy gargoyle. Rassmussen grabbed the child by the back of his overalls and spirited out the back door with him.
I ran after them, screaming for Rassmussen to stop, but Rassmussen hears what he wants to hear. With two bounding leaps, he went from the ground, to the top of the garage, to the peak of the roof, Kyle still dangling from his grasp. He then stopped and looked at the child like a cat might do a rat before he ate it. I prayed children weren’t on his diet. I had never heard of a gargoyle eating a child, but I admit to limited knowledge.
I begged. I pleaded, but Rassmussen seemed content to just watch the wailing boy flay around. The neighbors must have heard the ruckus and called the coppers, for the next thing I knew, sirens screamed through the air.
The rest of the evening is a blur. Fire truck, police station, Rassmussen running off into the darkness, leaving me to fend for myself. Thank goodness Mrs. Meadows didn’t hold a grudge for her missing cats and bailed me out. I heard the cops not only released Kyle but offered his mother money to take him back. But, that could be a nasty rumor.
His mother doesn’t have enough money for me to relive that night. This, I know.