We have many enemies tonight; the wind is one of them. It grabs at our clothes and rips away thin strands of hair. It uses sand, twigs and tiny pebbles as projectiles to hamper our escape. I think if I can only get us to base camp, maybe we’ll be safe. The mobile lab is there and the Bob truck, I can use its radio to call for help. I have to keep my brothers safe; I think I’m the only one they have left now. I wish I knew if my parents were still alive, but we haven’t seen or heard from them for four days. Not since they entered Caverna de Gargolas.
My family had left our main camp and set up a temporary camp at the mouth of the cavern. Our parents are archaeologists and had heard of a mysterious city deep inside the remote and desolate Copper Canyon. So they packed us up and traveled to Chihuahua Mexico.
That morning they informed us, they would be going down into the deep pit that they had found about 75 feet into the cavern. They told us that we could explore the surroundings but, under no circumstances were we to enter the cave. With climbing gear in hand they left, shouting that they would return by dinner time. They didn’t!
Lupe’ our nanny made us sandwiches that evening when my parents didn’t return,
“Tu madre y tu padre volver’an por la manana, no te preocupes.” She assured us. But I was still worried. I hoped she was right and they would return in the morning.
Later that night I heard a commotion outside our tent, thinking it was my parents I peaked out the door. I couldn’t wrap my brain around what I saw, there were several creatures/monsters idk, moving through the camp, knocking over the tables, ripping up papa’s maps. I heard a whimper and saw one of the things had Lupe’ thrown over it’s shoulder, it was carrying her toward the cavern.
I knew it was only a matter of seconds before they came to our tent so I crept inside and woke my brothers. Tommy woke easily and silently, I put a finger to my lips and motioned to the noise outside. Jimmy however was a different matter, he was the youngest and a heavy sleeper, I shuck him multiple times to wake him, then hurriedly covered his mouth before he cried out. Then I motioned them to put on their shoes and come to the back of the tent. Once they were ready I slit the back of the tent with my cherished Swiss Army knife and we fled into the desert.
I searched for the ladder so we could climb out of this gorge. The ladder went up 20 feet to a hanging bridge from there we could cross to the trail that would take us to the plateau and to our base camp.
We heard crashing behind us; obviously the creatures realized we were missing. I caught a shiny glint out of the corner of my eye, the ladder! I hurriedly pushed my brothers in that direction. At the base I pushed them up one by one, then followed. A loud shrieked boomed in the night, it was like nothing I’d ever heard. Jimmy froze, trembling afraid to keep climbing. I quietly tried to coax him up, he wouldn’t budge, until many of the creatures started running toward the ladder.
“Go!Go! I screamed, no longer trying to be quiet, what was the point they’d found us.
“Gargoyles!" Those are Gargoyles!” Tommy screamed from the bridge.
The creatures reached the bottom of the ladder just as we get to the bridge. I push Jimmy onto it and climb up. The creatures start climbing, I take out my knife and start sawing the ropes that attached the ladder. The creatures are coming fast, I saw furiously, it’s not cutting fast enough. The creatures are half way up, the bridge sways precariously from their weight.
Suddenly the ropes snap, the bridge bounces dangerously and I’m thrown against the side ropes, I grab Tommy to keep him from going over the side, Jimmy is still lying on his belly, holding onto the edges of the bridge for dear life.
We watch the creatures, shriek and jump toward us, they can jump incredibly high, but not the 20 feet to reach us. And the walls of the gorge are too steep for them to climb.
“What did you call them Tommy?” I ask.
“Gargoyles, I saw a picture of them in Dad’s journal, that’s what they were looking for, their city.” He replied fascinated with the ..Gargoyles below.
The Gargoyles have skin that resembles granite, gray and course, they have horns and spiky protrusions along their backs and arms, their teeth are enormous hanging over their chins and they have stunted wings on their back. However they aren’t using them, so I assume they can’t fly.
“Come on, we need to get to the lab.” I tell my brothers as I help Jimmy to stand.
Tommy leads the way as we cautiously cross the bridge; the Gargoyles are still leaping at us and screeching. When we reach the trail, they start shrieking like before; it’s an unearthly sound and sends shivers down our spines.
The trail leading to the plateau of the gorge is steep and perilous. The wind is ferociously whipping at us. The full moon is remarkably bright tonight lighting our way, but the trail is still terrifying, I hold my brother by the arm as he struggles up the trail.
Finally we reach the plateau, but I can hear things being destroyed. The gargoyles beat us here. We hide behind a mesquite tree and watch as several of the creatures tip the small lab unto its side.
“What are we going to do Cathy?” My brother Tommy whispers. I scan the surrounding, not knowing what else to do, then I spy the Bob truck. It’s what my parents used to pull their lab out here. It was sitting about 30 yards from the creatures, but only about 20 feet from us.
“We need to run for the truck.” I tell my brothers.
“But it’s locked.” Tommy told me.
“I know but the key is under the fender, their far enough away if were quiet, hopefully they won’t see us till it’s too late and were safely in the truck.”
“But Cathy, they flipped over the lab.” Jimmy cried softly.
“The lab is a lot lighter than the truck, on the count of three we run, but try not to make a sound, Tommy you run the fastest, get the key, we’ll be behind you.” Tommy nods as I count “1, 2, 3……….
We all took off running……….
I hear the horrible shriek again, all the creatures stop what they are doing and turn toward us, I slow as I see a creature high in the air, it’s larger than the others and has a wingspan that is probably 15 feet across and it’s flying, right at us..
Jimmy squeezes my hand in terror and we run as fast as we can to the truck, Tommy has already got the key and is in the truck holding the door open, I push Jimmy in and slam the door, just as two of the creatures land on the back of the truck. They are both flyers with enormous wings. They slam their clawed fists, onto the gas tank that’s across the bed of the truck. They rip it from its fastenings. Screaming I drag my brothers unto the floorboard as the gargoyles leap unto the top of the cab, they pound and claw at the roof. I watch as they peel the top off piece by piece, salivating as they do. I know we are doomed when they get through. I hug my brothers to my chest as we wait for death to get us.
“Kids its time for lunch.” We pop up from the floor board at the sound of our Grandpa’s voice.
“Ahhhhhhhhhhh” We all scream in fright when the dogs jump on the hood barking ferociously.
“You blasted dogs get off the hood of that truck!” Grandpa yelled as we climbed out of the truck.
“Ma’am, are you alright? You’ve been out here quite a while and the Open House is now closed.” The real estate agent informs me.
“Sorry.” I mumble trying to quiet the memories that flood my mind; I follow her through the house that use to be our playground when it had been owned by my grandparents. I open my car door, giving the old house one last look, I chuckle to myself, those dogs were the best Gargoyles ever!