The Protectors

The Fountain

I was looking out for anything that seemed suspicious, not knowing what else to do. After a week, I found something.

Mike looked up as I threw a newspaper onto the table before him. “Huh?” he asked.

“’Two more mysterious park deaths,’” I read. “This is the third time something like this has happened. All the victims have been ripped apart by some inhuman force and there’s never been any DNA left behind by the murderer. Plus they all happen in the same park by the same fountain.”

“So what you’re saying is…?”

“I think that maybe it’s some magical creature, like probably Neo-gargoyles,” I said. “And I should be the one to stop them from doing this.”

“You’re probably just being paranoid.”

“But I might not be and this could be getting out of hand. I don’t really know what I’m supposed to do, but this could be an important thing for me,” I argued. “Besides, what harm could it do if I just went and checked?”

Mike sighed. “If you really think so, you can just investigate it by yourself, right? You are the Protector. You can handle it.”

I couldn’t deny the fact that Mike had a point. I was the Protector and should be able to handle this by myself. After all, I did have a sword. But then again, I had no clue how to use it. If there was a need for it, I’d be screwed. Only, Mike probably would have offered to come with me if he thought there would be danger.

With that decided, I went to the park, tense and ready to react to whatever, with the sword still in pen-form at around midnight. I stopped in front of the granite fountain of a rearing horse which all the murders had occurred around. I tensed at being so close to it, anxious. I had the feeling I was being watched and turned around. I thought I saw a movement by a tree and stepped towards it. There was a woosh of air behind me and I spun back around in time to see a gargoyle swooping down to attack me. I dodged it, and it barely clipped my shoulder.

Quickly, I drew my feather quill and stabbed my thumb with it. I held it in front of me as it transformed. Two gargoyles came in for another attack while a third sat atop the fountain. It almost looked to be a part of it as it was made of the same material. Another similarity was the fact that the three gargoyles all had hooved hind feet while the front were like gargoyles as you would normally think of them as with the grotesque faces, claws, and bat-like wings.

As the two attacking me clawed at me, I put my other hand on the flat of my blade to block them. One of them flew back to where the other gargoyle crouched while the other dug its claws into my shouders. I gasped in pain. The gargoyle removed its claws from my shoulders, dragging its left one down the length of my arm. I was knocked backwards as it pushed off me and I hit my head on a tree. My sword fell out of my hand, and my vision got blurry. ‘Shit.’

I tried to reach for my sword, but my arm was badly turn up. It seared with pain and was soaked with blood. Giving up on moving my ravaged right arm, I willed my left arm to move. The pain from my shoulder wasn’t unbearable as I stretched my fingers towards the sword’s hilt. If I could just reach it…

“We’re going to take our time to have fun killing you,” one of the gargoyles, the one who had perched on the fountain the entire time said.

‘Thank you,’ I thought as I closed my fingers around the hilt. My shoulder throbbed in response, but I kept my grip. Awkwardly I got myself up, using the tree for support.

“Oh, so you can still stand up?” the one who had attacked me asked. I could tell by its voice it was female.

I unsteadily held my sword out in front of me in my left hand. “Why are you attacking me?” I forced out. “I’m a Protector.”

“Because some vampires told us about you and we decided to have a little fun,” the first one, the one who I was pretty sure was their leader, said.

“Why would you listen to a bunch of vampires?” I asked, stalling.
The leader shrugged. “We are new and seek ways to keep ourselves occupied. It was fun tearing those humans apart. Plus, if we killed you we might get more respect or territory.”

“Territory? So you can have more power?” The sword kept growing heavier in my hand, but I pressed on, hoping to find a way not involving fighting to resolve the problem. The main way neo-gargoyles gained power was by gaining territory. I hoped I could use that to my advantage.

“Yes, you seem to know a little about us. As I said, we’re new and want to find more power.”

Boldly, without knowing whether I was even allowed to do something like this, I said, “What if I gave you some territory if you promise not to attack anymore humans?”

The female gargoyle let out a scornful chuckle while the gargoyle that had remained silent until then replied, “As if we’d be swayed so easily. Darion already told you we were having fun ripping apart those pathetic, weak fleshies.” The two looked ready to return to the fun of killing me.

“Now, now, Myra, Felix,” Darion said. “Of course his offer is arrogant.” He paused. “I feel like joining in on the fun now, too.”

His voice and grin sent shivers down my spine. I could tell he was a sadist. I steadied my shaking blade as much as I could, feeling sick to my stomach.

“You can’t kill us,” Darion said, stretching his stony wings. “You’re a Protector. You’d get in trouble.”

Swallowing, I replied, “That doesn’t mean I’ll just let you kill me, though. After all, I am a Protector and have a job to do. I have no reason to just let you kill me.”

For whatever reason Darion’s eyes narrowed and he paused, wings half folded in. I didn’t relax at all. A few agonizing seconds went by as I struggled to stay standing, my knees shaking. Darion seemed to be look at something behind me suddenly and folded his wings in completely, a disappointed look on his face. “You win on one condition,” he said.

Both Felix and Myra looked at him in disbelief. It took me a second to recover from my own disbelief at his admitting defeat seemingly so easily. But then I started swaying and remembered I had a limited amount of time before I would pass out. “What’s that?”

“We get this entire park as part of our territory,” Darion stated.

“Sure.” My sword fell out of my hand to the ground as I collapsed, falling to the ground with a thud. The pain from my injuries became more apparent now. My eyes closed, but the last thing I heard before slipping into uncounciousness was the sound of someone, probably human, running towards me.