Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

there were mosquitos, gargoyles, and there's gokliya

...There were mosquitos. Like miniaturized gargoyles, they sipped our blood with impunity. We killed them if we could. Mostly, we couldn’t. In the summertime, when the mosquitos came, we covered our skin with mud. We burned fires near the edge of the marsh because mosquitos tended to move towards the smell of smoke, and lots of the mosquitos died in the flame. Gargoyles, too, never moved if you were looking at them. They crept slowly around the top of the walls like stray cats the size of panthers, with hideous faces and sharp claws. They were the same color as the stone. They were easy to kill, as long as you could see them in time, because they wouldn’t move away from the brickbat that crushed their bony skull. They always seemed to come from the east, when they came, and even if they surprised someone, the worst they’d do is get a few scrapes in before they were seen and froze where they stood. Gokliya took the heads of smashed gargoyles with their stony eyes still intact and lined the walls of the barricades and the walls around us, so the eyes looked out over the halls and saw everything. We haven’t seen any gargoyles in our village since. We’ve caught all kinds of things in our nets, but none of them are particularly dangerous...

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