“You know, everybody thinks there's lots of exciting things to see up on a building, but really there's not. I mean, people walk by, sure, but after the first week or so, maybe the first year, you've really seen it all. Everything after that is just variations on the same behavior. People really aren't that interesting. But they're better than the pigeons.” He paused to take a swallow of beer.
The bartender nodded sympathetically as he polished a glass. “Tell me about it, brother.”
“Well, I will tell you about it. The pigeons just eat and sleep, and when they're not doing that, they're making droppings on my head. At least people don't do that.” He paused again. The bartender bent down for another glass. “But there was this one time.”
This time, the pause was expectant. The bartender looked up. This was different. The gargoyle came in about once a week, when the bar was empty, always moaning about the boring life up on the corner of the church. Not once had he ever hinted at something odd he had seen. Maybe it was the extra beer he had had tonight. The gargoyle seemed satisfied with the bartender's response, and continued.
“Yeah, one night I was sitting up there, and all of a sudden the manhole cover in the middle of the street started clanking and then it lifted up. I could see hands holding it up, and a man's head appeared underneath. I heard, 'Ah, no, man, this ain't the bank.' The head disappeared, and the cover clanked down, and in the morning the bank was all in an uproar. All the money had been stolen from the vault in the night, and there was no trace of the theives. I've never seen anything like it before or since.” He lifted his mug and drained the beer. He stood up. “I better get back before morning. Thanks, pal.” He turned to the door of the bar.
“Wait!” The bartender had never stopped the gargoyle before, but he had to know.
The gargoyle turned back in the doorway. “Yes?” Somehow it had an ominous sound, and the bartender wondered if this was such a good idea. He asked his question anyway.
“Why didn't you report what you'd seen?”
The gargoyle laughed. “Me? Report it? Who would listen? No one thinks I'm alive besides you. You're the only one in the whole town, and I'm lucky you take payment for beer in dead pigeons. Me? Report it?” He went out the door, chuckling.
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