Later on at the party, when the crowd first spots the Trio in costume,
Brooklyn AND Lexington both look rather sour. But, strangely
enough, a few scenes later they have undergone a complete reversal of mood and now appear pleased, even happy. Brooklyn replies
to Lex's wistful comment, "They should have Halloween more often," with a smile and a soft, contented "Yeah."
So, what happened in between those two scenes? What changed their attitude so completely?
This is my take on events that occurred behind-the-scenes during the Halloween block party.
DISCLAIMER: All the characters appearing in Gargoyles and Gargoyles:
The Goliath Chronicles are copyright Buena Vista Television/
The Walt Disney Company. No infringement of these copyrights is intended, and is not authorized by the copyright holder.
* * * * *
Elisa groaned and dropped the file folder back on her desk. Really,
it might as well be written in Greek for all she could make of it, especially
Today. October thirty-first. Halloween.
The old swivel office chair creaked alarmingly as she leaned back and
rubbed her eyes. Halloween was usually a busy night. It had
doing but McTeague had owed her a favor and, after a lot of grumbling, had agreed to switch shifts so she could have tonight off. It sounded like
a good idea at the time but, after working the double shift, she was exhausted.
Suppressing a yawn, she took another swallow of the sludge her office mates called coffee.
It had been almost three weeks since Morgan had brought the newspaper
article to her attention: a block party in Greenwich Village.
Inspiration had struck like a bolt of lighting.
Of course, she had consulted Goliath before mentioning it to the rest
of the clan. There was no need to get everyone excited and then have
veto the idea. However, without nearly as much convincing as she had expected, he had acquiesced, had even been enthusiastic
They were all going to the party! Tonight! Well, except
for Hudson, who was staying to 'guard the castle.' Elisa smiled as
she leaned forward
to sign the last few reports on her desk. Everyone knew that Hudson's favorite television programs came on this evening. He was just as happy
relaxing in his easy chair with Bronx and watching his shows in peace.
It had taken some creativity, but their costumes were ready and hanging
in the closet at her apartment. For whatever reason, Brooklyn had
his heart set on a pirate costume. She had had to purchase that one; there was no way the rental shop would agree to take it back after the
alterations necessary to accommodate wings and a tail. Broadway... well nothing would do for him but his private investigator getup. After what
he referred to as The Case of the Silver Falcon, however, his trench coat had been in bad shape. A timely sale at the Men's Big and Tall shop
last week had solved that problem. An old leather flight jacket had been scrounged up for Lexington and the costume shop had supplied the
aviator helmet, goggles, and white scarf. Her own outfit had been rented, a gorgeous swirling gown of gold satin.
It was too bad that Goliath hadn't wanted a costume. A little
devil on her shoulder had been poking her for the last week about getting
giant pink bunny suit...
Elisa couldn't contain a grin as she glanced at her watch: ten
minutes to six. Plenty of time to finish this up and get up to the
clock tower before
* * * * *
Lexington slid sideways into a spiraling updraft. The steady pressure
bore his weight easily. Cool night air caressed his skin. Above,
It was a gorgeous night for gliding.
Tonight's patrol was short, more a token than anything. Still,
it was definitely one of the strangest they had done so far. Lexington
fascination as witches and goblins, ghosts and Power Rangers, ran wild through residential neighborhoods while adults chatted on street corners.
It was chaos! The piercing sound of children's voices echoed through the night as they carried plastic pumpkins or pillowcases filled with treats
down the sidewalks.
Elisa had explained this custom to him: trick-or-treating.
Children went from door to door demanding candy. Seemed kind of rude,
to cause mishaps to those who didn't fork over goodies, but supposedly it was all in fun.
"Hey, Lex! Check out that one!" Broadway pointed down towards
a little girl dressed as a fairy, complete with very realistic wings.
accompanied by a witch, walked up the stairs and rang the bell of a large brownstone while a man waited near the street.
Lexington banked to the left and came in low, dropping softly onto the brownstone's roof.
"Trick or treat!"
"Oh, look at YOU! What a beautiful costume! Are you a fairy?" A woman's voice, warm and pleased.
"I'm a fairy PRINCESS!"
"Well, this is for you, your highness. And for you, scary witch."
Lexington peered over the roof's edge as the woman dropped some square
candies into the children's bags. The witch giggled as they turned
"What do you say?" the man on the street called.
"Thank you!" the children chorused, barely pausing in their excited scamper to the next house.
Broadway landed behind him. "What did she give them?"
"I don't know, I couldn't tell. Where's Brooklyn?"
"Still circling up there. Don't know what's eating him, he's been acting weird all night."
Yes, he had, ever since waking this evening. "Humph. He
probably just wants to get this patrol over with so he can get to the party.
hour he'll be fine."
The two gargoyles leaned cautiously over the side of the roof as a veritable
herd of children bounced up the stairs, rang the doorbell, and received
"Hey, Lex? I bet you could pass for one of those kids."
"Is that a crack about my size?" Lexington growled playfully.
"No! Just that some of them were bigger than you. I bet no one would look twice if YOU rang the bell for a treat."
Lex peered over the rooftop once more as the group of children, led
by two monstrous Frankenstein-like creatures complete with bolts in their
heads, continued on their way.
"They sure look like they're having fun..." Broadway was right, some
of those children were easily larger than he was. Excited cries and
faded as a lull in the traffic of trick-or-treaters descended. Lex glanced down the street: only one group of children was visible and they were
What could it hurt? "I'm going for it!"
The stone side of the building was easy climbing and Lex reached the
ground with no trouble. Talons sank into the soft earth of a flowerbed.
Glancing down, he made a mental note to remove those footprints on the way back.
The street was still quiet. Lexington stepped from the shadows
into the brightness of the overhead light, made his way up the stairs,
the doorbell. A muted sound of footsteps and the door swung open.
"Ohhhh... hello there."
The woman was dressed in a black Cleopatra costume. Behind her,
a man in a toga was busily trying to fasten a pair of duck-footed overalls
on a squirming toddler. An older child dressed as a ghost capered around behind them.
"Ummm, trick or treat?"
The woman hesitated a moment, studying him. Slowly she reached
behind the door to grab a handful of candy. "That's quite a costume,
man. Are you a goblin?"
"No. I'm a gargoyle."
"Oh..." Several candies dropped from her hands as she paused in confusion. "Don't you have a sack?"
A sack... Uh oh. "Ummm, no, I... I lost it."
"Linda, can I PLEASE get some help in here? Hold STILL, Seth!" The man in the toga sounded frustrated.
"I'm coming," the woman called. "Here, this'll do." She
retrieved a white plastic grocery bag from behind the door, shook it out,
candies in it, and handed it to Lex.
"Thank you." Lex smiled and turned to leave, only to freeze at the gasp of shock from the woman at the door.
"Teeth, too? Wow! That costume is amazing! Who made it? And how did you your legs like that?"
"Ummm, my Dad made it. I've got to go, he's waiting." Lex practically ran down the stairs.
"Wait! I'd just like-"
Lex ducked behind the next stairwell and waited until he heard the door
to the brownstone close. With a sigh of relief, he returned to the
of the building and, after rubbing out his talon marks, scaled the rough stone to the roof. "Mission accomplished!"
Broadway gave him a hand up. "What'd I tell ya? Smooth as silk. They didn't suspect a thing."
"Yeah." Lexington laughed. The bag contained a handful of
cellophane wrapped caramels and he flipped one over to Broadway before
one for himself. "That was fun!"
* * * * *
There was nothing on earth that could compare to gliding with Goliath.
Each time, just after launching into the air, there was that brief moment
freefall before wings snapped open to catch the air. The leap from the Eyrie building was by far the best.
Elisa had never understood what motivated a skydiver. Each jump
came with the risk of a parachute malfunction, the chance of falling to
death. But circumstances change. Now she understood completely.
For a brief while she had BEEN a gargoyle. She had felt the wind
caress her wings, responded to the subtle nudge and swirl of air currents
against sensitive membrane. Enjoyed the absolute freedom...
Beneath them, the city was a blanket of glowing lights. Breathtaking.
"I hope I made the right decision." Goliath's bass voice rumbled against her and she glanced up. He was frowning.
"You did. You heard him, plans A, B, C... who knows what plans
E and F will be. Anyway, it doesn't matter. Xanatos can clean
up his own
mess for a change."
His sigh was warm on her forehead as he side-slipped through a strong updraft. "You're right. And I will not let allow him to ruin this evening."
Elisa glanced at her watch. Eight-thirty. "Wow, it's getting
late. That little side trip's put us way behind schedule. I
still have to shower and
"We'd better hurry then." Without warning, Goliath brought his wings close to his body and dove.
His hand cupped her head, holding her tight against him as they plummeted
downwards. Wind shrieked past like a living thing, clawing at cloth
and hair. At last, with a soft grunt of effort, Goliath partially extended his wings. Breath-stealing speed was channeled into a sweeping upward
curve as Goliath executed a dizzying loop. The world spun and she couldn't contain a shout of exhilaration. With an audible thrum his great wings
extended fully and using subtle changes in wing pitch, he sent them spiraling into a smooth barrel roll.
Elisa wrenched her eyes open and looked up. "What do you think you're doing?" she gasped, smiling
His eyes sparkled with sheer enjoyment. She couldn't help but laugh, a happy chuckle abruptly ending in a surprised yelp as he inverted their glide.
"Having fun. You did say that was the purpose of this evening, did you not?"
Elisa looked downward at him and the city lights passing beneath; a strange and unnerving angle. "Yeah. So when did you start doing aerobatics?"
Goliath spun again, leveling off into his normal, steady glide. "I've always enjoyed what you call aerobatics. Gargoyles call it 'wind dancing.'"
Wind dancing. How... appropriate.
Goliath circled to lose altitude before landing on her balcony and setting
her down. The world tilted and she braced herself against his chest
equilibrium re-established itself.
In this city, even a cop didn't leave windows and doors unlocked when
not at home and she was no exception. However, in the last few months
she had been leaving a key outside on the balcony for the gargoyles to use in an emergency. Still unsteady, she pushed a small planter aside and
drew out the key hidden beneath it.
The well-oiled window swung open easily and she stepped down into the
apartment. "Would you like to come in? I'm going to be a while,
to shower and get ready." She grinned as he maneuvered himself carefully through the glass panes. "Help yourself to anything in the fridge. The
others should be here soon."
Elisa ran a hand through her hair and grimaced as she headed for the
bathroom. The wind had really done a number on it; time for a painful
with a hairbrush.
* * * * *
Lexington landed on Elisa's balcony with characteristic grace. Inside, Goliath was sitting on the sofa, leafing through a book.
"Did you see that kid in the spacesuit?" Broadway asked as he landed behind him. "That was pretty cool!"
"Yeah, real cool." Brooklyn muttered sarcastically as he set down behind Broadway.
Lexington glanced up at his rookery brother. "What's the matter
with you, anyway? You've been in a bad mood all evening. Aren't
about the party tonight?"
Brooklyn caped his wings and turned to look over the railing at the street below. "Why should I be? It's a night just like any other."
"No, it's not," he answered, surprised. "It's Halloween! We can walk around with humans and do stuff we usually can't."
"And WHY is that, precisely?" Brooklyn snarled. "Is the moon blue? Are the stars falling?"
"Lighten up, will you?" Broadway growled. "Tonight's supposed to be fun!"
With a click, the balcony window opened. "Is there a problem?" Goliath asked quietly.
Lexington glanced worriedly at Broadway. "No, not-"
"Yes, I think there is." Brooklyn whipped his tail in frustration
and gestured towards his rookery brothers. "They think tonight is
down, he drawled bitterly. "Yeah, right. The humans will see the same thing tonight that they could have last night, and may see tomorrow! So, if
they can accept us tonight, why can't they every night?"
"Because it's Halloween and EVERYONE looks different," Broadway answered.
"But, that's just it - we DON'T look any different! WE haven't
changed at all." Brooklyn turned to glare at his leader. "You're
not even going to
wear a costume! But people won't run screaming, or try to cage you, or kill you. Why isn't it like that all the time? It shouldn't matter WHAT night
Goliath eyed the young gargoyle. "Be careful, Brooklyn. You're sounding much like someone else we know."
"Yeah? Well, maybe they've got the right idea."
"Demona would agree."
Wings drooping, Brooklyn lowered his head to study the concrete balcony floor. "But... it's just not fair."
Goliath sighed. "You're right. "It ISN'T fair... but it
CAN change. It WILL change. Someday humans will learn to understand.
could be a start in that direction."
The quiet drone of the shower abruptly ceased and Lexington saw Goliath glance back into the apartment.
"Regardless," Goliath rumbled, "Elisa has put a lot of time and effort into this evening. I don't think you want to disappoint her."
Broadway sent a warning look at Brooklyn. "She's been looking forward to this for weeks. After all she's done for us, don't ruin it, OK?"
Brooklyn lifted his head slowly and took a deep breath. "Don't worry, I won't."
With a nod of acknowledgment, Goliath slipped back into the apartment. Broadway followed quietly.
Lexington walked over to the window and glanced back. Brooklyn still stood at the railing. "Are you coming?"
"Yeah." Unmoving, he stared out at the lights of the city. "Hey, Lex?"
"Do you think that woman would have given you candy if she thought you weren't wearing a costume?" Brooklyn asked dispiritedly.
Lex sighed and looked down into the apartment. To be honest, that
woman had looked at him strangely and, near the end, had even seemed
nervous. "No, I guess not."
* * * * *
Elisa set the curling brush down and turned it off. Carefully
she wound a section of hair into an elegant upsweep in the back, securing
with an elastic band and at least a dozen pins. The whole style was given a generous layer of hairspray and a gold ribbon was wrapped around
the soft knot to conceal the elastic. Leaning over the sink, she penciled on a last touch of eyeliner.
Makeup: perfect. Hair: perfect.
It felt strange, getting dressed up for a party. It had been a long time since she had spent so much effort on her appearance. It felt... good.
A tissue-wrapped package rested on the corner of the vanity. She
had needed to buy a new bra for this dress - a strapless one. There
way she could get away with her normal serviceable style. The saleslady at the lingerie boutique had taken one look at her and recommended this
particular piece. Elisa carefully peeled off the silver seal and unfolded delicate tissue paper to reveal shimmering white satin. It was called a 'miracle
bra,' and boy-oh-boy it lived up to the name. She had almost fallen over when she had seen herself in the changing-room mirror! It made her
normal B cup more like a C. Of course, she had bought the matching satin panties.
The lingerie had been a frivolous purchase. After all, it wasn't as if she was trying to impress anyone...
Right. Who was she kidding?
Goliath's comment about not noticing how beautiful she was had struck
a nerve. A cop she may be, but that didn't mean she had no feminine
and that pride had been seriously deflated.
The gold dress hadn't been the only costume available at the shop.
She could have been a clown, a nun, or even an M&M. Once she
this dress, however, all other options had fallen by the wayside.
She had wanted to look beautiful... to him.
Not that this was a date! It couldn't be. Any sort of romantic
relationship between the two of them was impossible. She knew that.
was a night FOR whimsy and make-believe. A night to at least acknowledge the whisper of fantasy that hinted at what-ifs and maybes...
'Give it up, Elisa, it's not going to happen,' she reminded herself.
It couldn't. Thoughts in that direction led nowhere. 'All the
best guys are either
married, or gay, or the wrong species,' she mumbled with a wry smile.
The easy glide of satin on skin was completely decadent. Bra and
panties in place, stockings were next. She had purchased white silk
ones, the thigh-
high kind with a wide band of elastic at the tops holding them up instead of a cumbersome garter belt. On impulse, she slid into the new gold high heels.
The full-length mirror on the back of the bathroom door reflected an
entirely different person than usual, a wanton-looking, sexy woman.
supplied more cleavage than she had ever possessed and she couldn't resist leaning forward with a shimmy and a sultry look. "Why don't you come
on up and see me sometime," she drawled in an atrocious Mae West accent.
Chuckling, she removed the protective cellophane wrapper from her dress.
The first part consisted of a tightly fitted bodysuit. It was a struggle,
she finally managed to get the back zipped up. The skirt was a wrap-around, fastened with a tab of Velcro. Gold button earrings, some lipstick, the
pair of matching arm-length gold gloves, and she was ready. Except for...
Her gun. She would feel naked without it.
The serviceable thigh holster didn't exactly fit the mood, but it was
necessary. Especially when with the clan, she had learned to expect
The dress wouldn't permit the usual shoulder holster, and she had hunted through her closet yesterday for her thigh harness. The brown nylon was a
bit stiff from disuse, but still fit well enough. At least the gold skirt covered it effectively.
After a final twirl to ensure everything was secured, she left the bathroom.
* * * * *
Goliath landed hard. The alley was narrow and he hadn't been able
to spread his wings enough for a soft touchdown. Cushioned in his
arms, his soft
grunt of impact was the only difference Elisa noticed. Behind them, Broadway and Brooklyn lighted with audible thuds. She grinned as Lexington
performed a somersault and graceful drop landing right in front of them. It was seldom that his smaller size was an advantage, but when the chance
presented, Lex loved to show off.
Goliath set her gently on her feet and took the large plastic bag of
clothing from her. The rumble of car engines drifted from the street
vainly searched for a parking spot. 'Gargoyle Express sure has its advantages,' she thought with an inner grin.
Delving into the sack Goliath held open, she pulled out Broadway's beige
trench coat, silk scarf, and fedora. The hat was crumpled from the
and she pushed out the dents and straightened the brim while Broadway wrapped his wings around his chest and donned the coat. The silk scarf
needed a deft touch and he leaned down so she could tie a proper ascot. The gray fedora completed the look. "There, you're as handsome as
"Brooklyn, come over here. Those vest ties look like they need adjusting."
Brooklyn shuffled over, obviously still unused to the feeling of tight
pants around his tail. Elisa stifled her laughter and silently re-tied
the laces across
the back. The vest had been split in order to accommodate wings, but Brooklyn had flatly refused to cover them, insisting that at least one of the
three should be wing-free 'in case of emergencies.'
A rock-hard talon scratched around the gold hoop clipped onto his ear. "It itches," he muttered.
"You think it itches now? Wait a couple hours." Elisa
pushed his hand away and tied a black patch over his left eye, securing
the string behind his
horns and finger combing his hair to cover it. A critical once over, an adjustment to the red headband, and he was ready.
Lexington was already wearing his aviator's helmet and goggles.
She draped a white scarf around his neck, tying it in another ascot.
leather jacket. Lex eyed it for a moment before folding his center wing struts across the front of his chest. His particular wing structure made this
more difficult for him than the others and he couldn't get a tight wrap. The jacket was quite large on him, however, and he carefully pulled the sleeves
up his arms, wincing when membrane stretched at the armhole.
"Does that hurt?"
"A bit. I'll leave it mostly undone so it doesn't pull so much."
Elisa knelt down to tuck the edges of the scarf beneath the leather
collar. When the silk was adjusted to her satisfaction, she stood
and backed up,
giving the trio a last once-over.
"You guys look great!" Smiling, she reached into the hidden pocket
on the inside waistband of her skirt, drew out three ten-dollar bills,
each of the trio one. "Here. You might want to get a snack or a drink at the party."
"Thanks, Elisa. You're the best." Broadway grinned and slipped the bill into his coat pocket.
"Remember," Goliath spoke warningly, "we're to meet back here at midnight.
That will give us two hours at the party. Now you three go first.
and I will follow in a few minutes."
The trio moved towards the end of the alley. Broadway peeked around the corner cautiously before leading the other two out into the street.
"I can't believe we're really doing this." Elisa sighed as she
watched them go. "I hope they'll be all right."
* * * * *
Wooden barricades had been erected to keep cars out of the designated party streets and Lexington hesitated just outside the cordoned area.
"Come on, guys!" Broadway called impatiently as he strode between the barriers.
"Hang on a minute," Brooklyn looked down at Lexington, who hesitated
and peered at the distant crowd through the barrier entrance. "Something
wrong, Lex?" he asked quietly.
"It's just... I'm a bit nervous about being surrounded by so many
strange humans. I can't help thinking about The Pack and the way
helped them by throwing cans at Goliath and me."
"They'd better not try it with me around," Brooklyn muttered.
Running footsteps echoed off stone buildings as three young teenage
boys dressed in Star Trek uniforms raced past towards the party.
up Lex's tail as a booted foot landed squarely on the tip. "OW! Hey!"
"Sorry!" one of the boys yelled back as they turned the corner.
Lexington glanced down at his tail and surreptitiously slid it out of the way.
Three humans followed the boys: two adults and an older teenage girl, probably parents and their daughter.
"Are you OK, young man?" the man asked as he walked through the barricade.
"Yeah, I'm fine." Lex answered slowly.
The young girl paused in front of Brooklyn. "Wow, you look awesome," she complimented with a shy smile.
"Thanks. Ummm, so do you." Brooklyn answered cautiously.
She was dressed in a vampire costume and was sort of attractive... for
a human. The fangs helped. The cape kind of looked like wings.
seemed nice. Lexington tugged at the jacket's underarms where it pinched his wing membrane.
From down the street, Broadway called impatiently, "Are you guys coming, or what?"
The girl glanced toward the adults, who motioned her to hurry up as
well. "I gotta go." She turned to look back at Brooklyn.
"Maybe I'll see you
"Yeah, we'll be around."
"Cool." With a smile that exposed the tip of her fangs, she turned and made her way back to the adults.
"I think she liked you," Lexington smirked.
"Whatever," Brooklyn muttered in embarrassment. Lex snickered as Brooklyn gave him a light shove through the barricade.
The main party area was set up in an intersection. An orchestra
played nearby and Lex held his tail off the ground as they passed the dance
One bruise was enough.
By unspoken consent, they stuck close to the edge of the square.
Lexington felt his lack of size keenly as humans surrounded him.
There was so
much movement, so much noise! It was overwhelming! The trio stopped, mesmerized by the frenetic activity. Music and people, the call of barkers
from the food court hawking their wares, the laughter and shrieking of children. Beside him, Brooklyn hunched down defensively as the rapid-fire
detonation of popping corn came from a vendor's cart.
"Cool, look!" A man in a blue and red superhero costume shouted
and pointed towards them enthusiastically. The large group he was
moving towards the trio.
From the side, another human ran quickly towards them. "Check
it out, a costume over a costume!" Lexington tensed and glanced to
nervously as the human stopped a few feet away. The large group in front halted and stared. Lex leaned towards Brooklyn and checked over his
left shoulder as a crowd formed behind them.
Lex relaxed as the people did nothing but harmlessly look them over.
After appreciative smiles and praise at the creativity of their costumes,
"Eh, nice hat." A woman in blue complimented Broadway offhandedly as she turned to walk away.
The witch accompanying the blue woman paused in front of Broadway as
well. "That's a great, great costume," she quavered before following
Broadway turned and sniffed the air. "I smell hot dogs.
Anyone else hungry?"
* * * * *
Elisa folded the plastic bag and bent down to secure it underneath a
chunk of brick to prevent it blowing away. She'd need later it to
costumes back home.
Why was she so nervous? It wasn't like they'd never been alone before...
She straightened, smoothing her dress self-consciously as she turned
to face Goliath. Wearing heels gave her an extra inch or so, but
wasn't enough to make up for the difference in their heights and she still needed to tilt her head back to see his face. "I think we've given them
Are you ready?"
"Yes." He glanced away towards the alley entrance before meeting
her eyes. "Have I told you... you look lovely, tonight? Like
Strange, he looked nervous as well.
"Yeah, well, I suppose you'd know." She winced inwardly at her flippant response and gave herself a mental slap. "Thank you."
With a rustle of wings, Goliath bowed gracefully to her before offering his arm. "My lady, if it pleases, may I escort you to the celebration?"
Elisa chuckled, tension forgotten. "Ah, such courtly manners,
good sir." Batting her eyelashes, she took his arm. "How could
resist such a charming invitation?"
As always, she hid a start of delight at the touch of his skin. So different than a human's, more like fine suede. A subtle, inviting texture.
After a cautious glance to ensure no one was watching, they slipped
from the alley to the street. The party was well underway and, except
for scattered latecomers, the street leading to the central square was quiet. Still, she felt him hesitate as they moved into the open space.
He looked tense. She smiled and squeezed his arm reassuringly.
"Come on. I've wanted to stroll down a city street with you for a
Beneath her hand his muscles relaxed and together they stepped through the barriers.
The main square was crowded with costumed revelers. A yellow and red mime danced past them, shaking a beribboned, smiling-face rattle.
"Lemme guess, Beauty and the Beast, right?"
Elisa turned to see a man in a green Alligator suit. "Sure," she
agreed. Beside her, Goliath stiffened in affront. The sweet-sour
tang of alcohol
surrounded the man like a cloud and she tugged on Goliath's arm. "Come on, let's go." With a disgusted rumble, Goliath followed. "Gives new
meaning to the term Lounge Lizard, doesn't it?" she muttered as they walked away.
This side of the square had a row of small but interesting shops and
they paused before each artistically decorated window. One of the
bookstores had a display of history books and Goliath stopped to examine the titles, commenting quietly on the volumes.
The angle of light gave the window a phantom mirror quality. Elisa
studied their ghostlike reflections: Goliath, so massive and intent
as he read
the book titles and herself, looking unfamiliarly dainty and refined. A strange and unlikely couple, to be sure, and yet...
They looked good together. Behind them a man in a Godzilla costume
lumbered across the square. A man posing as a monster and here she
stood with a monster posing as a man. Except, to her, he wasn't a monster - not anymore. He was a person, not without flaws but still someone
to be respected. A person whose company she enjoyed and with whom she could relax and just be herself. His features - the square jaw, fangs,
small horns at the brow, and pointed ears - no longer seemed strange to her either. Not at all.
In fact, if she were truthful, she would admit to finding him exotically handsome...
She turned from their reflections to gaze down the street. A cluster
of people stood several shops down, pointing and discussing them - or,
be more exact, Goliath.
A muffled growl drew her attention back to him and she looked up to
see he had followed her gaze and was staring in challenge at the group,
jaw clenched. His wings shifted minutely against her shoulder as he instinctively began to flare them open in a threat-warning display.
"Goliath!" she whispered urgently as she moved in front of him and grabbed a wing strut with each hand.
She felt him draw a sharp breath. The ends of her hair slid against
his chest as she turned to look at the people once more. They were
"Hey, man. I don't know how you managed to make that costume,
but it's fantastic. You work for a movie studio or something?"
A young man
in a Robin Hood costume tried to walk behind Goliath, examining his legs closely.
Goliath stepped back closer to the window. "No, I-"
"A special effects shop." Elisa improvised quickly.
"Totally cool. Is it latex? I've a friend who-"
"Look, dear. There's Bobby!" Elisa cried as she waved excitedly
towards the other side of the square. She sent a smile of apology
Robin Hood. "Sorry, but we have to go."
"Perhaps we'll meet again later, but we MUST go now." Goliath insisted as he followed Elisa's lead.
"OK, sure. Hey, do you have a card or something?"
Resolutely ignoring him, they strode across the square.
"Whew, that was close." Elisa sighed.
A contortionist was performing in the center of the square. Elisa
watched in fascination as somehow the man began to fit his entire body
tiny glass box.
Goliath rested his hand on her bare shoulder as he leaned forward. "Magic?" he whispered into her ear.
She turned to answer and gasped lightly. His face was only inches
away, his eyes smiling into hers, his breath warm in the cool night air.
she breathed in response. Resolutely she turned her attention back to the performance.
His hand didn't leave her shoulder.
She didn't want it to.
Applause shattered the hushed silence as the man slid that last few
inches into the transparent cube at last, and Goliath took his hand away
in the accolade. Elisa swallowed, throat dry.
"I'm thirsty. Do you want to get a drink or something?"
"Yes, but if I may ask, not-"
"Not soda. I remember. You don't like the bubbles."
Elisa grinned at his self-deprecating chuckle. They made their way
across the square to
the concession stands, Goliath's size making progress through the crowd much easier than normal. Elisa glanced around looking for Broadway,
but there was no sign of him or the other two. "How about a hot cider?" she questioned, motioning with her head at the booth to their left.
"That would be welcome."
"OK, wait here, I'll be back in a jiffy."
The band across the square began another set and she left Goliath to
listen to the music. The line wasn't too long, only five or six people
"Hey, what happened to the beast?"
It was the lounge lizard again. With a muffled groan, Elisa determinedly ignored the inebriated jerk.
The man giggled wetly as he eyed her cleavage. "Wazzamatter? Don't have time for a friendly conversation?"
He leaned closer, the fumes of too much drink sickeningly sweet. "Hey, I can be a beast, too, ya know."
"Come ON, babe. I-"
"The lady is with me." Goliath loomed over the alligator, topping
him easily by two feet. Fists clenched, eyes narrowed, he bent down
face was mere inches from the green rubber snout. "I suggest you do as she requests," he growled warningly.
Behind the mask, the man's eyes widened perceptibly. "Uhhhh...
yeah. OK. Sorry." The alligator backed off, turned unsteadily,
"I could have handled him myself, you know," Elisa grumbled, then reached forward to touch his arm. "But, thanks,"
Goliath bowed gracefully. "It was my pleasure." She watched him move away so the line could re-form.
"Wow." The breathy comment came from behind her. Elisa turned
to see an angel, with a not-so-angelic expression, watching Goliath walk
away. "What an incredible voice!"
"Yeah, I'm used to it," Elisa replied guardedly.
The angel's halo tilted as she gave Elisa an assessing look. With
a quick glance back towards Goliath, she leaned forward conspiratorially.
tell me. What does he REALLY look like under that costume? Is he as attractive as his voice sounds?"
Elisa paused as she looked across the square. Goliath stood head and shoulders above the crowd as he watched the dancers. Attractive?
* * * * *
Lexington concentrated on not getting bumped or knocked as the Trio made their way across the crowded square.
So many people! Still, it was fun. An adventure.
A child's yelp of shocked surprise caught his attention and he automatically
glanced to the right. Several yards away, visible in a lull in the
a small child had tripped, spilling a paper bag of candies onto the ground. A little boy in a duck suit...
The child sat on the asphalt, big orange feet stuck out in front of him, and started to cry.
Lexington halted. "Hey, guys, wait just a sec!" he called to Broadway's receding back.
Brooklyn stopped abruptly behind him. "What's wrong?"
"That little kid over there. I know him. He was at the house where that woman gave me the caramels."
"So, he's too little to be running around by himself," Lex replied.
"I can't see much from here. Can you? His father is in a Roman
toga and his
mother's in a black dress, kind of a Cleopatra thing."
Brooklyn straightened to his full height and looked over the crowd. "Nope. Nothing like that."
"Hey. Problem solved. Check it out."
Lexington looked back at the little boy, Seth if he recalled the name
correctly. A man in a clown suit had stopped beside the child and
him pick up the candies. Seth had stopped crying and was staring at the man.
"Come on, we're going to lose Broadway."
"Just a minute." Lexington watched as the man finished with the
candy and reached for the child. For a moment the little boy leaned
reaching for the candy the man held temptingly in front of him. "Something's not right here."
Child in his arms, the clown turned and walked away.
"Look, it's probably his uncle or something. Don't worry about it."
"No. I want to make sure." With a deep breath, Lex began to ford through the crowd, wrapping his tail protectively around his waist.
A few seconds later he heard familiar footsteps close in behind him. "All right, but this is a waste of time."
"I sure hope so."
The two shadowed the man as he made his way through the crowd toward the exit.
"Seth! Where are you? SETH?!" A woman's voice, nearing panic, carried across the crowd noise.
Brooklyn looked behind him. "Woman in a black dress, right? That must be the mother."
Ahead of them the clown picked up his pace, passing through the barriers and walking quickly to the street.
"Then that's no uncle!" Lexington growled.
Ahead, the clown turned abruptly right into an alley. Lex broke
into a run and rounded the corner, only to see the clown exit through the
side. Brooklyn dug his claws into the masonry and began to climb the adjacent building while Lexington dropped to all fours for greater speed.
Sensitive nerves screamed as wing membrane stretched unbearably taut through the leather armholes with every stride. Bursting from the alley,
Lex caught sight of the clown unlocking a minivan parked halfway down the side street. Seth was squirming in his arms, trying to reach the ground.
"Hey, let him go!"
The clown glanced backward in panic before hauling the van door open
and flinging the little boy inside. An indignant, frightened wail
from the interior as the man clambered into the driver's seat. The engine turned over with the high-pitched whine of a loose fan belt and, with a
squeal of tires, the vehicle lurched forward.
Dropping from the sky, Brooklyn landed with a crunch onto the short hood of the van. Talons pierced through, digging into the metal for purchase.
Lexington leapt to the top of a parked car and launched himself onto
the van.. Claws screeched across the roof as he skidded over to the
passenger side. Punching through the door glass, he reached inside and fumbled for the locking mechanism. With a shrill roar of triumph, he
located the tab and pulled the door open.
Inside, Seth cowered in the seat. Sinking foot talons into the van's roof, Lex reached in and hauled him from the van.
With a snarling roar, Brooklyn drove his fist through the windshield
and ripped the sheet of splintered safety glass away. From inside
the van, a
panicked scream was cut off abruptly as Brooklyn grabbed the clown by his ruffled collar. The flailing body was hauled through the fragmented
remains of the windshield and thrown to the ground.
Lexington flung himself from the van roof, protecting the little boy
with his body. He hit the pavement with a harsh grunt of pain, sliding
on his side
for a few feet. Beside him, the van careened into the side of a parked sedan with a heavy crunch of metal and pop of breaking headlights.
Brooklyn landed beside him. "You all right?"
In his arms, the little boy wriggled and screamed in terror. "Yeah, we're fine."
"See, that's why I didn't want my wings covered. You never know-"
A woman's scream. Lex glanced up to see the boy's mother standing frozen in the alley entrance, hands over her mouth, eyes wide as saucers.
"Oh, boy. Here it comes." Brooklyn muttered sourly.
Lexington got to his feet slowly and gave the little boy a quick once
over. A small bruise, some minor cuts, but otherwise he was unharmed.
OK. Go to your mother, now." Carefully he set the little boy on his feet. With a sobbing cry, Seth ran across to where his mother stood in the
alley mouth. The woman gathered the child to her breast frantically.
"Come on, Lex. Time to go before she starts screaming about monsters abducting her child or something."
"Yeah, I suppose." Lex looked over once more at the woman who
was examining the scratches on the boy's face, before turning to walk away.
They wouldn't be able to return to the party. The woman would accuse them of trying to abduct her kid for sure.
Lex halted and looked back. The mother, wailing child clinging to her neck, was walking toward them.
"Lex, come ON!" Brooklyn hissed insistently.
"Hold on. She wants to talk to us."
"This isn't a good idea."
"Just wait a minute." Less certain than he sounded, Lex stood unmoving as the woman halted in front of him.
"I know you, don't I? You came to the house this evening. You didn't have a treat bag."
"Yes," Lex answered hesitantly. "That was me."
"I saw what you did." The woman crouched down before him and set
Seth on his feet. "I saw everything." Her hairstyle was disheveled
reached up with a trembling hand to smooth it away from her eyes. "Thank you."
Lexington looked up with a startled gasp.
"Uhhhh, you...you're welcome," Brooklyn stammered in shock.
Seth's sobbing had diminished to fitful hiccups and he leaned over to examine Brooklyn's feet.
The little hand tickled, and Brooklyn clenched his toes reflexively. With an audible pop, his talons sank into the pavement.
The woman's eyes widened and she fell backwards, gasping in shock. Her gaze darted wildly between Brooklyn's feet and the wrecked van
"Th... th...those aren't costumes, are they? It's really you."
She stammered as she stared at Lexington. "You really are a gargoyle,
just like you
said. Both of you are. It's how you were able to stop the van." Voice quavering, she flinched as Brooklyn shifted his wings. "It's how you were
able to drop from the sky. You... you flew."
"You're right. He did." Lex sighed quietly. "This is what we are."
Silence fell. Lex glanced up at Brooklyn, who rolled his eyes and motioned for them to go. Heads down, they turned to leave.
"Wait." The woman passed a hand over her eyes and took a deep, steadying breath, before rising.
She straightened resolutely, squaring her shoulders. "I owe you
a debt," she stated matter-of-factly. "No matter who, or what, you
are. I owe you.
If there is ever anything I can do to repay you for this, you have only to ask."
Brooklyn's head snapped up in surprise and his jaw dropped. "Really?"
"It's all right, Ma'am. I saw the little guy this evening, and
when that," he gestured to the unconscious clown resting in a crumpled
heap against a
car, "showed up, I got suspicious. I knew he wasn't the father." Lex looked down at the little boy who squirmed against in his mothers hold.
"Protecting people is what gargoyles do."
She held out a trembling hand to Brooklyn.
Wide-eyed, Brooklyn reached forward to take it.
"Thank you again." Dropping Brooklyn's hand, she knelt down once
more and took Lexington's hand as well. For a moment she simply held
it, running a finger over the base of his claws in wonder before lifting her gaze to meet his eyes. "Especially you."
Rising, she reached down to pick up her little boy, and began to walk
back to the party. "Come on, Seth. Let's find Daddy and your
* * * * *
Elisa cupped her hands around the plastic glass of cider and inhaled the steam appreciatively before taking the last swallow.
This corner of the square was a swirling mass of color as the band,
a top-forty style ensemble, belted out a cover tune of a popular dance
Costumed revelers gyrated to the beat. Several children, under the watchful eyes of their parents, gave their own interpretation of the dance
to the amusement of passers-by.
"This is dancing?" Goliath muttered from behind her.
"Some people think so," Elisa answered with a chuckle as she looked for a place to dispose of her cup.
"Allow me?" Goliath requested.
"Sure." Elisa handed him her empty cup and watched him locate
a trash bin near the band stage. The current song came to an end
with a roll
of drums and the dancers applauded the band. Her brow furrowed in puzzlement as, instead of returning, Goliath made his way to the front of
the stage. The tall gargoyle was difficult to miss and the lead singer came to the edge of the stage to speak with him. A few minutes later Goliath
turned away and the singer returned to his microphone.
"Time to slow things down a bit, ladies and gentleman." With a nod and unheard comment to the other members, the band began a popular ballad.
Goliath made his way through the crowd to where she waited on the edge of the dancers. "May I have this dance?"
"You dance?" Elisa gave herself another mental slap. What
a stupid question! "You DO mean on the ground this time, right?"
she asked with a
Goliath nodded, eyes twinkling. "Yes. I've observed dancers
at castle celebrations. And, more recently, several movies Hudson's
featured more modern dances. I believe this particular form, a waltz, I can handle." He tucked her hand into the crook of his elbow and led her
further from the dance floor. "However, some extra space might be a good idea."
Elisa laughed with delight as he guided her into the swirling patterns
of a waltz. He was a good lead, and she relaxed, their bodies moving
As she was led into a spin, she caught glimpses of several people who
had stopped to watch them. People who nodded approvingly, who smiled
That persistent little voice in the back of her mind rose to the surface once more, hinting at beautiful and impossible things.
She wished the dance would never end, and the voice replied in a silken whisper...
'It doesn't have to.'
* * * * *
"Hey, guys!" Broadway called from the square.
Lexington tugged at the jacket once more, wincing as his abused wing
membrane rubbed against the arm seam. For sure it would blister by
end of the night.
"You OK?" Brooklyn asked solicitously.
"Yeah. Just sore, nothing major."
Broadway stomped up. "Where did you guys go? I've been looking all over!"
"Just a bit of trouble. Nothing we couldn't handle," Brooklyn answered offhandedly.
Lex spied several wooden produce crates tucked against the alley mouth. "Can we take a break for a minute?"
"Sure," Broadway answered with a quizzical look. "Hey, look. There's Goliath and Elisa."
Lex settled back onto a crate with a sigh then straightened abruptly, gasping in alarm.
The woman in black and her family were headed their way, passing by
the dancers. Goliath and Elisa swept by the family and the woman stopped,
watching intently the graceful progress of the dancing couple. Lifting her head, she scanned the crowd until she caught sight of Brooklyn's telltale
red wings. Turning back to the dancers, she observed for a minute more before continuing on her way.
She smiled and nodded to Lex as the family passed by.
Beside him, Brooklyn let out a sigh of relief. "I guess she really meant it about not caring what we were."
"Guess so." There were fragments of glass lodged beneath his talons
and Lexington picked out the shards carefully while they filled Broadway
on their recent adventure.
"See, Goliath was right," Broadway said smugly.
"Yeah." Lex glanced up from his hands back at the dancers.
He watched Elisa spin under Goliath's arm, dress twirling around her legs
in a fluid
sweep. "People CAN learn to accept us. They just need time. But, still..."
"What?" Broadway asked curiously.
Lex watched several passers-by stop to observe the waltzing couple.
People that smiled as the two, so obviously caught up in each other, moved
through the patterns of the dance as one. "They should have Halloween more often."
"Yeah." Brooklyn softly agreed.
Broadway sighed wistfully. "Maybe someday we won't need Halloween any more."
The music ended. Observers applauded enthusiastically as Goliath released Elisa's hand and awarded her a courtly bow.
Elisa's laughter carried faintly over the crowd noise and Lex smiled.
* * * * *