This is an amateur, non-commercial story, which is not produced, approved of, or in any way sponsored by the holders of the trademarks/copyrights from which this work is derived, nor is it intended to infringe on the rights of these holders. And so it goes.


a Gargoyles tale by Jeff Morris

"Another day, another million." David Xanatos smiled to himself as he uttered the cliché--except for him, it was closer to the truth, give or take a few zeros. Stroking his goatee thoughtfully, he studied the lovely figures at the bottom of his spreadsheet and wondered how much further this latest deal set him apart from his contemporaries. Ah well, the next issue of Fortune would no doubt tell him . . .as well as the rest of the world.

He yawned and stretched his arms out. "All work and no play makes David a dull boy," he declared to the empty room. "And I hate dull." Switching off the computer, he pondered the possibilities for this night and quickly ruled them all out save one. With long, determined strides he left his office and headed outside. A cool wisp of wind danced around him, teasing, calling. His smile broadened as he reached out toward the night sky . . . and leaped out to embrace it.

The thrilling sensation of free fall shot through his soul for several seconds, then with a loud cry Xanatos spread his wings wide and caught an updraft. He soared heavenward with a wide swoop, then turned sharply and dove straight down. His laughter echoed in his wake as he rode the night winds, rolling and looping across the New York skies. Xanatos ascended once more, arms outstretched as if seeking to capture the moon. He thought of Fox, remembered her sleek, shapely form, and wished that she could be here with him, flying as one, their tails entwined in passionate embrace. But this would have to do, and it was more than enough for him.

Finance, economies, budgets, stocks and bonds were forgotten. At this moment, he owned the stars, the wind, and the moon. Xanatos looked down at the others flying along the streets of New York far below him; few dared to fly so high, so far as he. He pitied them. Only by daring the fates could one truly know the sweet rewards of triumph. He was Xanatos, the most powerful gargoyle in the world.

He was one with the night.

* * * * *

"Mr. Xanatos?"

The familiar voice stirred Xanatos from his slumber. He quickly jolted into an upright position and blinked away the heavy fog around his vision. Owen was standing directly in front of his desk; the computer was running the screen saver Fox had given him on his last birthday. It was a series of exotic, highly erotic scenes she'd posed for--number four, his personal favorite, was due up next. He decided to postpone moving the mouse.

"Ah, Owen." Xanatos rubbed his eyes and stifled a yawn. "I must have fallen asleep." He glanced up at his majordomo. "Where have you been?"

"I was . . .called away unexpectedly." Burnett frowned slightly.

"Are you feeling well, sir?"

"I'm fine." Xanatos dismissed the notion with a wave. "Just tired. Maybe I should get some sleep. After all, it's . . ." He glanced over at his clock and blinked. "Later than I thought," he concluded.

"Rest is an excellent idea, sir," Burnett consulted his ever-present appointment book. "I believe I can arrange your schedule to provide you with sufficient time to sleep."

"Fine, fine." Xanatos rose to his feet and walked out of his office; to Burnett's surprise, however, he headed not for his bedroom but the parapets outside. He stood there for some time, not saying a word but watching as the first rays of dawn trickled over the horizon toward the sleeping city.

"I envy them," he finally murmured.


Xanatos smiled. "The gargoyles," he clarified, his gaze still focused on the city. "They truly own the sky. We build our planes, our jets, our devices to try and claim a piece of it, but it's theirs by right. They're a part of it." He sighed softly. "I had a dream tonight, Owen. I dreamed I was a gargoyle. It was wonderful."

"I'm sure it was, sir," Burnett nodded.

Xanatos chuckled to himself and shook his head. "I'm too tired to be waxing philosophical, Owen. I'm off to bed. Take care of things until I'm up."

"As you wish, sir." Xanatos turned to leave, but he paused one final time at the doorway to look out over the lightening sky, lost in thought . . .or perhaps remembrance.