The workshop was chilly when Meino entered his private end of the garage. He hadn’t expected anything else that far into the fall, and especially not at two in the morning. That he was tired and groggy from lack of sleep didn’t help to keep the cold at bay. He lit the gas furnace and rolled it closer to the back of the old sixty-nine Dodge Charger. The car was propped up on the lift for working on the brakes, and Meino once again gave a quick thought to what color he wanted to paint it once he’d restored it.
That end of the garage was his sanctuary. Fixing up that old car was the closest he could come to being with his dad, who had bought the car eleven years earlier and promised Meino they would rebuild her together. Two weeks later, something happened, and his dad never came home. The police came to get Meino from school and to tell him that his dad was dead.
Meino had since then become a mechanic with his own garage, albeit small, and the tools and knowledge to fix the classic car up himself. He’d always wanted to take over his dad’s garage, but that had been impossible. His own was on the outskirts of Hamburg on a solitary lot surrounded by townhouses, lots of kids, and a grocery store within walking distance. He’d bought it with the insurance money.
Sitting on the stool, he picked up the cobber break pipe he’d been fitting last time.
But the dream that had stirred him so early lingered in his mind. How could he have the same dream every month? It was like clockwork. Once a month for the past eleven years, he’d had a dream of a huge Gargoyle crying out his name in pain from being separated from Meino. It wouldn’t always be enough to wake him up, but once a year he’d wake up in tears from the agony he heard, crying out, too. The wailing and begging would transport him through the dream as if he was flying out of control, and he would end up in the crypt under that old church again.
The dream once a year was so much more real than the monthly ones. Each year, the Gargoyle begged him to finish the spell. Everything in the dream was as he remembered it—the church, the statues, even the smell of the dusty crypt with its somewhat stale air. It all seemed so real.
He didn’t believe in magic, but the idea of losing his mind had been discarded long ago. If he had to choose between the two, he’d go with the existence of magic. He tried to remember if he had believed that night—the night he had taken his dad’s book about Gargoyles and brought it to the crypt.
It had been the week after the death of his dad…