There was a pillar between the door and I; between the end of the brick wall that lined the home and the beginning of the siding. This gave me a final moment of pause to collect myself, remember I’m armed, prepared and a friendly snake in the garden looking for some mice to feed my cat. It is pitch black and the moon is peeking out, lucky for me, it is gray but not completely overcast. Never in my life had I tried to imagine what things would look like in the dark though I had imagined myself deaf and blind crawling around the floor as a child dozens of times. So lucky am I to experience such sensory deprivation in my lifetime and then suddenly I see it; the gargoyle.
It is dead center in the back at the edge of the red fence and the middle of the dead garden which is covered by weeds. I hear nothing from inside the house and don’t move. I wait to see if there are any roving animals that will startle me, a cat that will give me away. I wait to see if anyone opens a door or I hear anything inside. I wait to see if there is something I am missing, haven’t thought about it, haven’t weighed a risk. Then I think of superstitious things.
“Hecate,” I whisper. “Hear me in my head.”
Please allow a safe passage.
When I move, minutes have passed. I have grown colder but I have stealth now. I have run the wrong way in a softball game. I have driven the wrong way down a one way street. All I hear in my head is the New Orleans mystic that said you are a cat, you always land on your feet. As I walk onto the patio, I wait again for a light to turn on. These things are hard to shake. My ally, my dark, my enemy, the dark, my purpose. I tiptoe because I cannot see the branches. My eyes are fixed on the gargoyle. My hand has left my pocket. I do not turn to look in the kitchen window because I can’t see inside anyway. Do not think of the word deserving. My word for the day, the last time I had access to the internet and the leisure to see the headline from dictionary.com, was concinnate. The surprise that I can’t take is that the key is still under the gargoyle and I’m already here.

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