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10 October 2009 @ 10:59 pm
Fic: Below  
Title: Below
Rating: G
Summary: Life from the eyes of a gargoyle. Written for a creative writing assignment on defamiliarization.


Rain pours down, the water runs through my mouth to fall onto the smooth-stone below. It's always horrible at first, but after a while the water becomes cleaner as it washes everything. All the way down, they walk about, going about their lives; I think how complicated it must be, even the weather doesn't slow them down. Not me. I guard this place, the way I've always done. And they look so small; I didn't even realize how big they were until recently, when they came to bang away and life the Stone and Shine—once a beautiful golden color, now a greenish from rain—above even my head.


They're gone now, haven't been up for a while. I know, somewhere in my mind, that they count how much time it is, I've heard them say so. But what's time to me? I can tell how long until they'll sing again, how long until I hear ringing—bells, I heard them call the sounds while they were banging at the structure around me—the flux of their sound rising and faling, which even after all this time I still find beautiful. The knowledge is from a lifetime of hearing it, though, a matter of intervals.


Next to me, the Lights appear, falling over myself and my companions in a beautiful mix of reds and greens and yellows. I like these, too. After an eternity, instead of taking these things for granted, I love them even more. They haven't changed, not like below. Below it's gotten louder, there are more of them walking around. They have these loud contraptions that, while shining in innumerable colors, roar and spit out black air. It's the black air that makes the water taste truly horrid, coats everything in an invisible layer of grime.


There was a time once when they would all stop from time to time. They would all gather together and sing in the place I guard, and spend the rest of the day not moving so fast. I wondered if maybe they got an idea of what my life is like. I don't come and go, the way they do; I don't even more around the place I guard. I watch, and I listen. And oh, the things I've seen, that I've gone through while not moving.


Once there was a fire, and the heat burned even all the way up here. They brought water, although I've never been able to figure where they get it all from—I thought water came from the sky, and it hadn't rained recently, so where was it all coming from?--and tried to stop the fire. Many of my kind, and others much similar, were badly hurt by this. This was a long time ago. But it was through their recent banging that the world started to feel right again.


Before and after the fire came, there was something else that I found puzzling and remarkable and horrible, all at once. They ran around destroying. Not just the structures around them with fire. But they destroyed each other, first with long shining objects in their hands and on sticks and a thousand other things, then with objects that made loud noises and flashes. I couldn't figure what would make destroy their own kind. I've never felt the urge to do so before. And yet they did.


It still happens from time to time, that one of them destroys another. It's usually with the bam-flashes that I saw used before in such quantities. Every time I see it, I wonder why. I think maybe it must have something to do with their complicated lives, and think about the simplicity of my own. I keep guard, and enjoy the Lights and the sound of the bells and the water, which is so refreshing after it's fallen for a while. For an eternity, I've watched them move below, watched the world around me change and stayed the same. And I think that I am happy to watch and listen, to never move or speak.

Notes: The specific cathedral chosen for this was St. Vitus in Prague. Why? It actually had the coolest gargoyles. I had considered Chatres, because of an interesting story I heard about them taking out all the windows during WWII (I think) to save them from being destroyed by bombs. Anyway, I looked up a very brief history, which involved the wars and the fire, and the eventual reconstruction.


Current Music: Stan Rogers
See you later, instigator: Rorschach - cold worldoudeteron on October 11th, 2009 09:49 pm (UTC)
For some reason, my first impression of the setting for this story was Hogwarts. XD

Anyway, this is a really interesting piece. The detachment of the gargoyle from the people below comes across rather strikingly, but at the same time feels perfectly natural. Nicely done!
MissTeacakes: Tiny Grim Reapermissteacakes on October 11th, 2009 10:16 pm (UTC)
Well, Wednesday I get to find out if anyone in my class liked it >.< I volunteered to let them discuss it, but I'm not sure if I want to anymore.

I guess I never pictured Hogwarts with gargoyles, but it's cool that you saw that.
See you later, instigator: Remus/Sirius2 (the_8th_square & teh_indyoudeteron on October 12th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
Well, volunteering for that is always a risk, but imagine how gratifying it will be to hear someone did enjoy it! These sessions usually seem worse than they turn out to be.

I always did! XD I think they're mentioned in the books sometimes? Or maybe it's that I've also played a couple of the games and they were always in there somewhere.