KIMAR WAS INVISIBLE on the gymnasium roof. The night sky shone brightly with stars, but the new moon cast no light. The small town of Colton, Washington, had few street lamps and none near the all-grade public school. Kimar could only be seen by looking directly where he sat and only if someone noticed the lack of stars behind his hulking frame.
Perched for several hours atop the tall, brown-brick structure, all that Kimar had seen was a prairie coyote hunting deer mice across the track infield. Once in a while, the coyote leaped high into the air, like it was going to dive into the nearby community swimming pool. Then it fell back down, front paws first, intending to pounce on its prey. So far, Kimar saw it jump and pounce five times with no success.
With nothing else to distract him, the gargoyle deliberated all that had been recently discovered.
Although he could not explain how, Lohxnahr had convinced Kimar that Danielle would be able to discern whether Zarentil was still Zarentil. Several of Kimar’s closest and most faithful companions, including Ercen, had received during their nightly dreams a very disturbing vision revealing the demise of their ancient Mystic. Yet, Lohxnahr would not risk Danielle’s safety to an actual visit to Zarentil’s chamber. For if it was true that their great spiritual leader had fallen, as the shared vision seemed to indicate, then great indeed would be the foe who had killed him. Worse, these visions hinted at the enemy’s ability to masquerade as Zarentil completely. Only in an enhanced dream-state could Danielle—and only Danielle—discern the truth of Zarentil. At least, so said Lohxnahr. Kimar was obligated to obey Lohxnahr since he was the High Priest. There were times Kimar wished the cherubic gargoyle would simply utter a clear command. Kimar preferred action over discussion. He’d rather have a direct task to accomplish, or perish in the attempt, than to be given hints and riddles.
Of course, the problem was that there were other dreams that involved other gargoyles being absorbed by hybrid creatures. At least one gargoyle had convincingly posed as a human policeman, nearly killing Danielle and her family. What wasn’t certain was whether there were more of these hybrids. And what if these creatures could pose as other gargoyles, not just as humans?
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