The Mystery of Willowyck Castle part 6

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The giant stone colored, winged and horned dog landed with a thud that shook the wall. She gave a growl at the bats, wondering what these creatures were that were surrounding her puppy. Lemon Bat hid under Lime’s wing with a squeak and everybat flew back. She gave a deafening bark. Chip stood in front of them,his paws planted and his little head up to face his mom. He gave a bark as if to defend them. Momma Gargoyle sat down in response and looked at her offspring with an entertained look. Suddenly she smiled, her tongue lolling out. She brought her head down to Chip’s level and gave him a lick. She must have decided that the FruitBats were no threat. Crouching down, she put one of her wings flat on the ground and nudged the pup to crawl up it to her back. When he was settled between the wings, she began to demonstrate how to flap them slowly up and down. He watched, then mimicked her. Walking to the edge of the wall, she flapped faster, then launched herself off with Chip riding on her, his little paws gripped into the wrinkle behind her head.

The Bushel cheered and flew after them, a rainbow streaking through the evening air. The stars glittered overhead. Soon they were up in the thin clouds with the other puppies and the big Gargoyles, spinning and doing loops! Batnana spotted Chip as flapped his wings like his mom. After another minute, he lifted off! The Bushel shot over to him, just in case he faltered, but he was flying true and strong with his siblings. The wind flapped his ears and he looked absolutely silly, but one day he would grow big like his mom and would be powerful enough to guard any building.

It was the wee hours of the morning when the FruitBats finally returned from their adventure and snuggled into their trees, bushes and vines. Batnana found a banana, ate it right out of the peel while it was still hanging from the tree. She then wiggled inside it and poked her head out to watch the sun rise over Crescent Bay.

 

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The Mystery of Willowyck Castle prt 4

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“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.

The Mystery of Willowyck Castle Part3

gargoylecastle 001“Hey,” Mandarin Bat called from the web, “I’m certainly grateful for the assist, but, uh, ya think you could work on getting ‘Nana and I OUT OF THIS CONFOUNDED STICKY STUFF?”

The Bushel fluttered over and grabbed their friends, pulling while DragonFruit burned the web from the wall. In only a few seconds Batnana and Mandarin were free of the sticky netting and pulling the last treads of it from their fur.

The Bushel and their new found friend flew back into the main room and settled down on the table top.

“So, you live here?” Apple asked DragonFruit in admiration.

“Yes. I was born from a cactus-like tree on the way to the bay. I didn’t know there were others like me! I saw the castle and decided it would be a wonderful house.”

“We are here because we saw a cloud over the castle, do you know what it is?” Watermelon asked.

“A cloud? Why would that be unusual?”

“We looked at it from across the bay. It’s dark. We think it’s some kind of animals, not just a cloud, and they are swarming above the turrets!” explained Grape Bat.

“I haven’t been outside recently,” DragonFruit replied, scratching his chin in thought. “Maybe I could come with you.”

Strawberry bounced, “Yes, but first: can we see more of the castle?”

“Why of course! I shall give you the grand tour!”

“Ooooo,” responded the Bushel.

 

…After showing them three rooms that looked pretty much perfectly alike: stone walls, a window, wood floor broken through in some places, DragonFruit paused.

“Come to think of it,” he said, turning to the rest of them, “Most of the rooms are empty and look about the same.” He scratched his head. “O! But there is ONE room, in the top of one of the towers that’s interesting!”

He led them up one of the winding staircases, passing through the shafts of gold light from the skinny, tall windows. They went up, up,up, all the way to the top floor. He stopped in front of an old wooden door that was open just a tiny crack. All the Bushel hovered around behind him.

“Whats in th-there?” Lemon Bat stammered nervously.

“You’ll see!” DragonFruit said, and wedged himself between the door and the door frame, pushing the door with his feet while clinging to the frame with his wings and pressing his back against it to open it just a little bit wider. “Go in!”

With a little wiggling, the bats popped through. The light in the room was much better than out in the tower’s hallway! The sun, on its way down for the day, shone through a big round window, much like the one from the feasting hall downstairs. There were also several smaller square ones, in order to bring in as much light as possible. After all, when people lived there they only had candles for light and having nice big windows would help tremendously! The room filled an entire half of the top floor of the tower. There were several tables, and they were covered in strange tools. Hammers, chisels of all sizes, tools for measuring, and tools for cutting. Everything was covered with dust and cobwebs.

“It’s a TORTURE CHAMBER!” Mandarin Orange insisted, picking up a chisel and brandishing it as best he could while flying at Strawberry. “I’ll get that secret outta ya, see!”

Strawberry giggled and spun through the air and out of the way. “You’re totally fermented”, she laughed as Mandarin lost his balance and summer-salted onto the table behind her. Dropping the chisel, he sat up and shook his head to regain his senses.

Grape smirked at him as Lemon grabbed hold of Lime. “You don’t think there are ghosts, do you?” he asked.

Lime patted him on the ears. “Of course not, you silly Lemon Drop.”

“It’s not a torture chamber, “Grape corrected. He flew over to the table right in front of the window. On it sat a big stone and more tools. “These are the tools of an artist!”

This got Batnana’s attention, as she always likes the idea of creating things. She landed on the top of the stone and looked down at Grape where he sat on the table.

“These tools are used for carving! Specifically, for carving stone. What we have here, is the room of a sculptor!”

Mandarin sighed. “Ya know, sometimes you’s a total buzz-kill.”
Ignoring this comment, Grape continued; “Some sculptors claim that they don’t create the sculpture, but that the sculpture is already in the stone, or piece of wood, they simply release it.”

“How poetical,” Apple sighed with stars in her eyes.

“So, what was the sculptor ‘releasing’ from the stone Batnana is sitting on?” Watermelon asked.

They all fluttered over to the light side of the stone to see.

Just as they turned to look, a giant shadow swept across the window! As it passed, all the Bushel squeaked in surprise, not only because of it, but because upon the stone was carved the face of a snarling dog with horns!