By Scott M. Rogoff - Chosen excerpt
Artwork by Kanthara
The gargoyle's loot bag was nearly full, and it was almost time to take
her new-found young friend home. She looked over to Samantha and saw that
her pillow case was as full as hers. "Having a good time?" the
gargoyle asked her protectorate for the night. Samantha's laughter was
more than enough to accompany the spoken answer, the best time of my life!"
The two friends stopped and checked a bank sign, which read 9:30. "We'd
better go back and make sure you get home safely," Kanthara replied
in a sofi, yet serious voice, "wouldn't be much run if you weren't
allowed to do this again next year." The girl nodded and began to
head down a well-lit side road. "Let's take the quick way back,"
she called to the gargoyle, "we don't have to follow the trick-or-treat
route anymore." Without hesitation, Kanthara jogged over to the girl
and took her hand. The two began to walk down the small road when a male
voice yelled out.
. "Move one muscle and you're dead!" From behind a dumpster a man in a dark canvas jacket jumped out, brandishing a very real nine-millimeter pistol. "Do exactly as I say, and you both will live through this. I want your money and your candy, hand it over now." Samantha's hand became clammy in Kanthara's grip as she began to hide behind the gargoyle's wings. Instinctively, the gargoyle took up a fighting stance, and her eyes began to glow. A warning shot from Frank's gun was enough to prove that he wasn't joking, and to make Samantha start crying. "SHUT UP!" the robber yelled, and the girl became dead silent, fearing for her life and for her friend's. Kanthara eased out of her fighting stance, more concerned with Samantha's safety than her own. Frank sneered and trained his gun at Kanthara's head.
"Don't try anything funny, chick," growled Frank, "hand over your bag and money, right now!" Kanthara balled up her fists, she didn't want to blow her cover, and would have to use her human skills and forgo the tail whips, long throws, and wing buffets that she had grown accustomed to. However, she needed to buy herself some time, to make sure that Samantha was protected. She decided to reason with the gunman, it usually worked during her gang days. "Isn't it stupid to take candy from children?" she asked coldly, "what type of heartless fool are you?" Frank shrugged his shoulders and cocked the gun. "A hungry one-" All of a sudden with a rush of wind, something dark slammed into the street thug. The winged form of Abram, completely decked out in his Burgundy Turkish robe. In his hand was a dented notebook.
The half-breed smiled and tossed the book down. "Good evening," he chortled as he buried one of his taloned feet into the side the thug. With one arm, The Modernist picked him up and held him in the air. "Wake up!" Frank's eyes refocused and he spotted the face of his worst nightmare from many months' ago. "YOU AGAIN!?!" Abram's eyes glowed with an unearthly light as he replied, "Yup, nothing like meeting old friends, eh?" He snatched the gun out of Frank's grasp, emptied the round into a dumpster, and tossed the spent firearm to Kanthara. "Crush that up, will you? My hands hurt whenever I try to do that smash the weapon thing." The full-blooded gargoyle caught the gun and in a single motion, crushed the pawn shop reject with ease. Samantha looked on in awe at the half-breed, not even realizing that her protector had blown her cover. "D-don't hurt me!" stammered Frank, recalling his trip head-first into a brick wall the last time he and Abram met.
Looking at him crossly, the creature shook his head and groaned. "Well, I suppose I could introduce you to our good friend, MR. WALL!" The robber screamed in horror and began to quiver in fear. "NO! Anything but that!!!" Abram raised one eyebrow and looked at his catch. "I suppose I could let you go without harm, but only if you apologize nicely to this finely-costumed lady and her kid over there." Frank stared at the child and gargoyle, both glaring at him. The crook also took a glance at the half-breed holding him aloft, and knew full well what the consequences were going to be if he refused. He swallowed hard and in his most civil voice said, "I-I-I'm sorry for ruining your fun night, I was st-stupid and wrong for doing what I d-did." Without warning Abram slung the would-be thief around by his jacket, causing him to faint. Laughing mischievously, he set Frank down lightly saying, "you be a good boy now!" Turning toward the two females, Abram Wintersmith flashed a toothy grin, showing off his small fangs before taking a deep bow.