An airplane churned the gray, humid air over the sleeping neighborhood, crickets chirped coded messages, and fireflies blinked above the grass. Not a breath of wind stirred the curtains of Gracie’s room.
Zyla, the gargoyle cat, peered down from the top of the bookshelf, wings folded along her back like Japanese fans and front paws hooked over the edge of the shelf. Her fur had been etched in thin strokes by some unknown artist thousands of gargoyles ago, when the first cat was sculpted in clay and cast for a resin mold. The same artist had pressed his thumb and forefinger together to smooth the tapering triangles of her ears , flattened the bridge of her nose just so, and left the points of her claws extended so she appeared to grab the shelf with them just like a real cat. Her green glass eyes caught the faint glow from the night light.
Gracie’s hair trailed in a dark, seaweed tangle over the pillow as she slept. Her fingers curled against her forehead as if she were deep in thought. Zyla longed to cuddle next to her. If she were a real cat, Gracie would stroke her fur.
Something flickered near the foot of the bed, a darker line among the shadows. Zyla blinked, then leapt from bookshelf to bureau to floor, spreading her wings to break the air as she landed on silent paws.
To find out what Zyla does next, get a copy of the eclectic anthology published by my friends at the South Jersey Writer's Group by clicking on the photo on the sidebar. It features memoirs, poems, flash fiction and short stories in a variety of genres. Mine is the only middle grade selection, by the way. The rest are adult fiction.
This piece was inspired by a statue I saw in a museum shop that looked like it could come to life. What little things spark your imagination?