Someone to Watch Over Me
by Jeff Baker
Buddy glanced up and pointed as the two of them walked past the downtown shop.
“Hey, what are those things, anyway? See ‘em all over this part of town.”
He was pointing at what looked like a grey stone face with wings on a panel near the top of a one story brick building that had been a carriage house but was now a liquor store.
“It’s a gargoyle,” Chaz said. “They put ‘em all over old buildings like this downtown in the 1800s. I guess when they refurbed the buildings they kept the gargoyles. They’re supposed to guard the buildings.”
“Yeah, right,” Buddy said. “More likely they have a load of security cameras and a couple of alarms. But maybe not there. Don’t look.”
“Ol’ Man Grimsby’s?” Chaz asked.
“Yup.” Buddy said with a grin. “Been there since this was just abandoned warehouses, not a bunch of trendy sports bars and stuff. Ol’ Man Grimsby has a security system but it’s pretty old-fashioned. We just cut the cables back of the shop, break in and get out of there fast.” He grinned. “We may set off another alarm system, but nothing too modern.”
Grimsby’s building was another low, former carriage house, with another stone gargoyle above the door.
“’We’ break in, you said?” Chaz said.
“I mean me,” Buddy said. “You’re my alibi. You’re always my alibi.”
“Anybody asks we were playing video games at my place all night,” Chaz said with a grin.
Buddy grinned back.
The early morning was dark with no moon. The bars and clubs had closed and the gang members were home asleep.
Buddy quickly cut the wires in back of Grimsby’s. He smashed in a window, reached in and opened the back door. It took less than a minute for him to find the register, riffle through it and pocket the cash. Grimsby never listened to warnings about taking the cash and leaving the register empty with the drawer open. Buddy quickly strode towards the back room and the exit. He’d heard a scraping sound out front, then on the roof.
Buddy stared at what was standing in the dimly lit open doorway. It fluttered it’s wings and grinned.
All the police found the next morning was the evidence of the broken back window and the money strewn on the floor of the back room. Chaz never heard from Buddy who he assumed had taken more cash and ran. When he passed the front of Grimsby’s he barely glanced at the gargoyle, which some people described as “looking self-satisfied.”
And Chaz never looked at the back of Grimsby’s store, so he never noticed the new gargoyle high up on the brick wall, the grey stone face with it’s eyes wide and its mouth frozen open in a terrified scream.