“I donno if it was such a great idea to release THAT from the stone!” Mandarin Orange said after recovering from the fright.
“That shadow!” Lime Bat spouted, turning to the window. “What was it?”
Lemon peeked out from behind him. “It was HUGE, that’s what it was.”
“It must have been one of the things flying around the top of the castle.” Kiwi guessed.
Grape nodded. “Indeed. We better proceed with caution.”
“DragonFruit, can you show us a covered rout to the roof?” asked Watermelon.
“Sure! Follow me!”
They did just that, back out through the cracked door into the narrow hallway then through another door to the room across from the sculptor’s workshop. A section of the roof had collapsed long ago. The hole let in the pink light of the evening sky and the warm summer breeze. The sun was close to setting. The Bushel flapped up to the hole and peered out; a rainbow of little bat faces with twitching ears.
High above, soaring in and out of the clouds were big, dark creatures! Grape glanced down at the walkways on the walls between the towers. There were rocks in clusters here and there all over the walls.
“How incredibly odd,” he said to nobat in particular. Taking another glance up to make sure the dark animals were happily flying high above and not interested in them, he climbed onto the roof, scampered to the ledge, then fluttered over to the wall.
Watermelon noticed a moment later. “Come on everyone, lets stay together!” he said, following suit. They reassembled on the wall of the castle by a pile of the rocks. The rocks were bigger than them, and the same color as the flying creatures.
Grape climbed on of the rocks. “Wow, you know, these kinda look like-”
“Eggs!” Blueberry finished.
Just then, the sun began to fall over the edge of the world and the sky grew darker. The moon, which had barely been noticeable in the full daylight, began to glow yellow as it rose over the opposite horizon. When its light hit the castle, the rocks began to bounce! Grape flew off the rock he was on and eveybat retreated in surprise.
“What’s happening!” Lemon yelled over the noise of fifty bouncing rock-eggs.
“I donno, just don’t get bounced on!” DragonFruit told them. They took to the air just over the eggs to watch. As the eggs bounced, little pieces of them were chipping off! At first they bounced hard, bigger pieces breaking and crumbling away. Then, when the big pieces were gone, they started bouncing softer, almost vibrating against the stone walkway on the top of the wall. This caused smaller chips to come loose. As parts fell away, it became more obvious that they weren’t just breaking off at random. The eggs were becoming something! DragonFruit suddenly looked up at the flying animals above them.
“I think I know what they are!” he called to the rest. “There were stone creatures like the one we saw in the sculptor’s room on the turrets of the wall before! Maybe they became alive! Maybe they were just hibernating or something! I think they are Gargoyles!”
Sure enough, one of the eggs had bounced and chipped until it resembled a grey puppy with horns and bat wings, but also wrinkles and a little pug nose!
“Gargoyle?” Blueberry Bat said, “He looks more like a Pugoyle!” Blueberry noticed one of the eggs was far behind the others. She watched it, and it wasn’t bouncing quite as fast. “What’s wrong with this one? It looks like this one isn’t going to make it!”
The Bushel flew to it, the egg beside it had already become a puppy, and it was jumping and trying to play with it’s sibling. They could see where the little curl of a tail would be, and where its nose was, but it couldn’t bounce hard enough to break off some of the bigger pieces it needed to before working on the details. The Bushel held their breath then cheered it on, but nothing was happening.
“I don’t think it can free itself on its own!” Blueberry said with a frown. “The poor little guy is stuck!” Tears beaded at the corners of her eyes, “What do we do!”
“Released. It needs to be released!” Grape Bat announced. “Batnana!”
Batnana flew up. “Skibbity do dwop!” she said with a little salute, then shot off in the most linear flight any of them had ever seen her achieve (usually he liked to do loops) back through the hole in the roof.
“Where did you send her?” Pear asked.
“She’s an artist. She’ll know what to do.” Was all he would say.