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Where Gargoyles Come From

14th April, Story #105/366

By L.C. SchäferPublished about a month ago 3 min read
Where Gargoyles Come From
Photo by Donovan Reeves on Unsplash

It's been four years since the outbreak started. There's definitely fewer people about. The city's less crowded. There's less litter, less pollution. No one ever looks up at the architecture, though. Eyes stay nailed to the ground ahead.

You'd think the virus spread through eye contact, because everyone looks away from each other. They stay masked, and gloved. The extra careful ones, the ones who have survived this long, they've all got indoor and outdoor clothes. They leave the house hardly at all, have no guests. Their bodies stay healthy and supple while their mind crumbles. They clean the outdoors off everything before they permit it into the house.

Some people didn't take these sorts of precautions. They didn't survive long. Soon enough, they started itching. Blurred vision, headaches. Loss of taste and smell. Grinding pain in the joints, especially the shoulder blades. Extreme thirst. The itching would intensify, the skin start greying and flaking off. Slowly, surely, the grinding would get worse, features distort, stubby wings sprout.

I'll be honest, I scoffed. I thought it was nothing. A big government scare. A scamdemic. A ploy by Big Pharma to earn even more money. Maybe it was, but us little people were just as fucked either way.

It was maybe half a year after it first hit that my wife, Maya, started itching. For some people it was over quickly, but for her, it dragged out for months. I sometimes wondered if it was better to succumb fast. But then I thought, this way, we still had chance of a cure, didn't we?

She isolated herself from the rest of the family. No chance of goodbye embraces. The children were devastated.

We waited until they were asleep, and then we had The Talk. When is the best time for her to leave, before the kids saw the last stages of the disease? I've never felt so alone in my life, and I'm sure she felt worse.

Today, I'm taking the kids to see her. I'm not sure if she can see them, with those stone eyes, and her gaze fixed on the horizon, rainwater in her ears. But it feels like the right thing to do.


Word count: (excluding note): 366

Submitted on: 14th April at 23:50

*Quick Author's Note*

First, and most importantly: thank you for reading!

A Year of Stories: I'm writing a story every day this year. This one makes an 105 day streak since the 1st January. I can't believe I've come this far. I'm collating them all here.

Prompts: If you'd like to have a go at my unofficial April Challenge (Fucked Up Fairytales) I've linked it at the bottom. If you'd like some more prompts to get your creative juices flowing, I've posted a list of prompts for April, and I've linked that as well.

Thank you

Thank you again! Especially if you are one of the people who has been staunchly reading these daily scribbles since the start of the year. I see you, and appreciate you 😁

I do my best to reciprocate as many reads as possible. If you leave me a comment, that makes it much easier.

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About the Creator

L.C. Schäfer

Book-baby is available on Kindle Unlimited

Flexing the writing muscle

Never so naked as I am on a page. Subscribe for nudes.

Here be micros

Twitter, Insta Facey

Sometimes writes under S.E.Holz

"I've read books. Well. Chewed books."

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (11)

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  • Flamance @ lit.about a month ago

    Great story

  • Mark Gagnonabout a month ago

    I always wondered where those beasts came from! I liked the balance of skepticism and tragic emotion you mixed. Well written, L.C.

  • This is Beautifully Tragic LC!

  • Hannah Mooreabout a month ago

    I've always had a thing for gargoyles...but not this way!

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    Where can I get infected? Turning into a gargoyle seems very delighful to me right now.

  • John Coxabout a month ago

    People on the inside go made and those on the outside wish they had. Great work mining the pandemic for terror, LC!

  • Caroline Cravenabout a month ago

    Really love this one - you capture the jaded response to a (scam) pandemic so well. Oh and there’s a gargoyle of Darth Vader on the cathedral in D.C. Proper random.

  • Gerard DiLeoabout a month ago

    Clever interweaving.

  • Donna Fox (HKB)about a month ago

    Oh!! I liked this one a lot LC, great work! I loved the literary lines you showed with Scamdemic!! Very smart writing here!

  • Stephanie Hoogstadabout a month ago

    I love this take on gargoyles (although I have to admit to a weakness for gargoyles overall). To combine them with a pandemic--to make that the origin of new gargoyles--is so wonderfully creative. Very well written!

  • Babs Iversonabout a month ago

    Creatively written and loved it!!!

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