Falling Memories

Written by Donald E. Fleming II

Story Concept by Donald E. Fleming II

Disclaimer: All Gargoyles characters are the property of Disney and Buena Vista Studios and are being used without their consent or permission. Other Gargoyle characters are the property of The Gargoyle Saga (TGS) writing staff and also are being used without their permission. The character of Don Michael Taylor is my creation. I am receiving no reward for this story other than the satisfaction of being able to share it with others as it is intended solely for my own entertainment and the entertainment of Gargoyle fandom everywhere.

I remember…

Falling, tumbling through the air while stones from the shattered tower and wall fall about me. Pain, as several collide with my body, breaking bones, tearing membrane. Nearby, my mate swoops down. I hope that he catches me, despite what has just happened, but my hopes are in vain. He catches her, the human, and leaves me to my fate, as the earth and the waiting jaws of Death rush up to meet me.

And then…

Darkness.

I remember…

Falling. We had fought, my new lover and I, and our battle had taken us to the top of the old roller coaster, and a stray shot from Fang had set the structure ablaze. He had tried to take the life of my daughter, the one truly precious thing in my world, and I couldn't allow him to succeed. He calls me a fool as the structure gives way, and I fall once more into the waiting jaws of Death.

And then…

Darkness.

I remember…

Falling, as the building burned around me. I can no longer see my daughter. She was gone, snatched from the waiting jaws of Death that tried to claim us both this time. I remember the taste of fear in my own throat, mixed in with the taste of smoke and ash as I try to make it to safety. Then the floor beneath me begins to give way. I try to jump clear, but I end up falling anyway, down towards the flames and the waiting jaws of Death.

And then…

A hand reaches out of the darkness and grabs my wrist.

I look up and spy him, the one who had pulled my daughter to safety. Not my mate, not my lover. Someone else. A human. I knew him, but never gave him more than a brief look. And now…

Now he was holding me by the wrist as I dangled over the Abyss. Far below, I can hear Death snap his jaws in anticipation. I am pulled upward and Death roars in outrage.

I almost fall, but his hand closes tighter on my wrist with a strength that belies his size, and I am slowly drawn from the Pit.

We fall on each other, not out of passion, but from exhaustion. He and Death had played tug-of-war against each other, with me as the prize. We lay there, looking at each other, and I couldn't tell if the heat that I felt was from the fire or our own bodies. How long did we remain like that? I wonder. A minute, a day, an eternity…

Death was a sore loser, and he came screaming out of the Pit to claim us. We ran to escape, upwards through the blaze, trying to outdistance him. But Death was not about to be denied. As we were about to escape to safety, Death roared once more and sent us both falling towards the street below...

I remember…

Falling, falling into despair as he lay there dying. Death's little irony. He had lost me again, just as he had countless times through the centuries, but this time, he intended to exact a heavy toll. And he had picked a particular prize. He had been snatched from Death's jaws once before. He had been falling once, a long time ago, but instead of claiming him, a fire of a far different sort had spared him, pulling him through time and space.

I hear her, the human my mate had saved so many years before. I look at her and I can see the despair that I feel reflected in her eyes. Hehad been her lover, her mate, before the fires of the Phoenix Gate had claimed him, and she had despaired at the thought of his passing, just as I do now. I weep. How long has it been, I wonder, since I last wept over the passing of a human? We share each other's grief as we wait for the darkness to claim…

No!

I pull away and run. Run into the darkness. I will not let him fall again!

I remember…

Pain, as the edge of the blade passes through the upper layer of skin and I feel my blood flow down my arm and into the chalice. I give of myself to break his fall and suddenly I find myself falling instead.

Only this time it's not so bad, for I know that Death's open jaws are not there waiting for me.

The End.

Note: This is a companion piece to 'Turning Point' and should not be read until you've read that story first. If you've read this one first, shame on you!