Gil sat on the garden wall and sighed heavily. His mind full of memories of times gone by, so many years had passed since he had first awoken high on the Church roof. So much change his eyes had witnessed, and so lonely his life had been. True he had been free, unlike his fellow Gargoyles, somehow he had been granted the boon of life and was able to experience the wonders of the World from Dusk ‘til dawn, when he changed back into the Marbled Stone Gargoyle human eyes could then see. He had so much to be thankful for, but there was something missing, he could feel a need in himself, a growing awareness that other than his new friends the crows, and most of all Russell, (the Crow King who had given him his tattoo and his lifelong membership of the Crow Clan) he spoke to no-one and he was lonely. He could feel the bond between Russell and his subjects and more so between Russell and his mate. Gil wanted, nay, longed for a friend, someone who could be called soul mate. A heavy sigh erupted again, and this time his breath caught a nearby leaf and it transformed into marble and broke away from the twig it had been attached to and fell heavily to the ground. “Hey, watch it” said a high-pitched and unfamiliar voice “be careful what you’re throwing around, you could have knocked me out with that missile” … and Gil was so startled he nearly fell off his perch on the wall, opened his wings quickly and flew high protectively. How had he not heard anyone nearby? It was dangerous to be seen and he had been so careless night dreaming with such sorrowful thoughts. “Where are you going?” the voice went on “not content with almost braining me, you now leave before checking I’m alright?” … Gil was amazed, at the cheekiness of the words as well as the tone used. Laughter? He hadn’t talked, laughed or been amused by anything for simply ages, so then why was he leaving? He flew back to his favourite perch and queried “Where are you? Show yourself” and suddenly out from the shadow of the tree stepped a female form, he couldn’t quite make out her features but she didn’t look gargoylish, which was such a relief, ‘some look positively grotesque’ he thought quite forgetting his own face wasn’t exactly handsome. ‘Who and what are you?’ he thought to add to his previous question. “So many questions and we’ve not even exchanged names” said the female voice, quite throatily and to his mind, provocatively.
The moon suddenly showed its silvery face, coming out from behind a bank of clouds and there before him stood the most beautiful moonlight draped creature he’d ever set eyes on. “I’m dreaming” he thought sadly “I’ve fallen asleep and my mind has conjoured up this vision for me” His poor Gargoyle eyes watered slightly making his vision blur and he lost sight of the beautiful temptress. He looked this way and that in sheer panic, then hurriedly flew down to the trees root base, hoping against hope that she was still there. “Hold on, whatever your name is” as she backed away slightly “I’ve been watching you for a few nights now and although you look harmless I need to be sure” and she finally stood her ground a few feet away. She was so lovely to his time-tired eyes, she was perfection and she smelled of the flowers of spring. Such a powerful aroma which seemed to hold him in it’s thrall as he shook his head in an effort to clear his thoughts. “Oh damn and blast it” she muttered almost to herself“ I forgot about my fathers protection spell” She made a few movements with her perfectly formed arms, waved her delicate fingers and suddenly his mind cleared as if emerging from a fog. She was ok, was his next thought, but not the beauty which had stood there a few seconds before, a beauty which had made him want to protect her with his life. “My fathers protective spell gives me an aura, you felt the need to protect and serve, therefore not harm a hair on my head” she explained more fully. Which made Gil stare at her Blonde mass of curls, shining in the light-fingered touch of the moons silvery caress. His arm lifted of it’s own accord and she backed a few steps, warily watching his face, but then as if seeing something to calm her in his craggy but honest features, she stood still and let his fingers run through her tresses. “Silken” he thought “pure silken strands of gold” she blushed and dropped her eyes to the ground, making him suddenly realise that he’d spoken aloud. His hand fell suddenly and he apologised “I am so sorry, I don’t know what came over me” and she laughed, a light trill of gaiety which touched at his heart, and then wound itself round and round, then tugged sharply, making him take a deep breath which he held for as long as he could.
For he was smitten all over again, only this time it had nothing to do with magic. She was beautiful, how had he thought otherwise? “Are you feeling ok?” she queried, sounding worried, “You’ve gone paler than I’ve ever seen you” and he shook his head slowly, “No, I’m fine really” he tried to reassure her, “It’s just a shock to find someone nearby and be able to talk to at last” She smiled happily and agreed “I know, my father warned me not to come into this part of the garden, but I’ve been watching you, looking so sad with your thoughts, but when you fly you are transformed into something otherworldly” This comment had his heart beating madly, almost fighting to leave his chest. ‘She had been watching him and wasn’t frightened at all by his appearance?’ This made him feel so happy that he smiled back, totally unaware that it was like a terrible grimace of pain, but she read his lovely eyes and knew it for the smile it was. “My name is Fortuna, and I am a Dryad, my father, Ithamar, is head of my Gold Dryad Circle, and I was named for my Mother, Fortunae. My Circle is ancient and many and nearby is my Tree Glade.” When she had finally finished speaking she stayed utterly silent and waited. He realised he had to make a response “My name is Gil, “ he almost growled in his embarrassment “I am of the Gargoyle clan, Marble cast of Guild Master Fame. I have no father or mother but I was granted night time life somehow. I was tied to my place of origin far away on a church roof, but am now Plinth Bound here in this garden of Solace.” She seemed pleased with his response and stepped forward to kiss his cheek, and he responded ever so gently by caressing her cheek with his rough fingers. “We are now friends “ she said, “my fathers spell is henceforth unnecessary, and you may see me as I am” He smiled at her gently and replied “Fortuna, I have seen you as you are for some time now and you are so beautiful” She laughed and hugged him, actually hugged him and his heart was from that moment bound to her in unbreakable silken chains. “Fly with me?” he asked her, and she jumped into his arms as they flew, soaring high, lovely laugher echoing behind them, making the startled Crows scatter and fly high too. Their friend needed no watching protection tonight, he was busy, as he had found a mate and maybe they would be nest building soon. They cawed loud and long, telling their tale and it was picked up by the Crow Clan, they were happy for their friend. Life was so, so good.
LadyP © 2011