I love using songs as inspiration. So many songs already have a narrative, that it isn’t too hard to come up with a story. This is one such attempt. It is inspired by the song Don’t Speak by No Doubt, and features the original gargoyle characters Steelheart and Eponine that I created for the Alternate Gargoyle Universe Mailing List.
“Oh Steelheart, it’s beautiful out here,” the light peach gargoyle said as she stared out over the silver lake. They were in a rural area of northern Illinois. Conifers surrounded the lakeside, giving the two gargoyles the seclusion they were looking for.
“I thought you’d like it Eponine. My grandparents used to have a cabin not far from here. We would come up here every summer. Jenny really liked it here too.” His voice took on a wistful tone. Eponine stared at her steel-blue companion.
“Why don’t we go for a swim? she said, tugging at his arm. “There doesn’t seem to be anyone around. And, you never know, you might enjoy yourself.”
Steelheart thought about declining, but he didn’t want to spoil it for her. “All right.” He allowed her to pull him out of the tree and away from thoughts of long blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes.
The two gargoyle friends glided over the lake, circling. Eponine took the plunge first, diving into the water. She bobbed back up almost immediately, and waved for Steelheart to join her.
“Come on, what are you waiting for? It feels great!”
Steelheart dove in and instantly regretted it. He burst to the surface. “It’s freezing in here!” he cried, his teeth chattering dramatically.
“Wimp,” she said, and splashed him. Noot one to be one-upped, he splashed her back.
The back and forth continued for about a half an hour before the gargoyles dragged themselves back to shore. Steelheart collapsed to the ground, thoroughly exhausted and discarded his soaked shirt. Eponine shook the water out of her feathered wings, while he tried to reach a sore spot on his back. She knelt behind him, and started massaging his wing muscles.
A contented “Ahhhhh,” escaped his lips. He closed his eyes, relaxing in her able hands.
After she finished doing his back, she moved up to his neck. She could feel him loosing up with every touch. He leaned against her, his head laying languid against her chest. She stared down. His face, usually very serious and stern, was relaxed, a small smile on his lips. His chiseled features were perfect, as if they had been carved by a master sculptor. His body was small comparatively, but muscular. She started to run one talon lightly over his chest. When she met with no resistance, she added her other hand embracing him. It had been so long since she had a male in her arms. One hand moved down his chest, now taking in his stomach tenderly. When her hands reached the top of his jeans, his eyes snapped open, and he grabbed her hands. He sat up and faced her.
“Eponine, please. You know how –,” Steelheart started. She said nothing and instead placed a talon to his lips, quieting him.
“Don’t speak. I — I know,” she said. Her eyes glistened with emotion, water still dripping from her long, silken black hair. “So please, stop explaining.” She pulled away, spreading her wings before she vanished into the trees behind them.
He slammed his palm against his forehead. He could be such an idiot sometimes. But she knew his boundaries as well. He never meant to hurt her, but lately it seemed that was all he did. He jumped up and followed after her.
Leaping through the trees, Steelheart searched for her. He stopped on a branch to listen for any sounds that might betray her. Through the silence of the woods, he heard the faint sounds of sobbing. With a heavy heart, he followed the sound. Finally he found her. She was sitting under a tree, her head in her hands, crying. He dropped down to the forest floor, landing next to her huddled form.
“Eponine, please, don’t cry. I can’t stand to see you cry.”
“Then why do you keep rejecting me?!” she lashed out. “I don’t understand why you keep clinging on to her! She won’t accept you as you are now. Why can’t you love me?” Her eyes pleaded with her last words.
“Who says I’ll stay like this,” he waved his hand over his body, “forever.” His voice rose to meet hers. “ I will be myself again! I will be human! I can’t just give up yet. We’ve been together for so long! Our memories -”
“I don’t need your reasons!” She cut him off in mid-sentence. “Don’t — don’t tell me, it hurts.” She clutched at her chest as tears glistened again in her forest-green eyes.
Steelheart’s anger melted away before her teary eyes. “I’m sorry.” He pulled her into his arms. “I do love you, as a friend. You’ve given me strength, and helped me in my darkest hour when I thought I couldn’t go on. You’re my best friend.” He touched her under the chin to get her to look up at him. “I wouldn’t be here without you.” Her eyes showed no change. “Please, Eponine. I know what your thinking. I’m a fool for not letting go. I just can’t believe it could be the end. I need more time.”
Eponine remained stoic, but finally relented, the smallest of smiles coming to her lips. “Alright. Whatever you need.” She hugged him, getting as close as her long horns would permit. ‘I can wait.’