The Unexpected Visitor

(a Magical Midlife Mom humorous short story)

Gary Truman discovered the gargoyle statue in the middle of his back lawn early Tuesday morning. He nearly dropped his coffee onto his tile kitchen floor when he spotted it outside the patio doors.

Gary had only been living in his new rural home for a few short months. The renovated farmhouse with no neighbors for miles in the quiet Oregon countryside had been a retirement gift to himself after three decades of working for the state government. He was only a half hour drive outside of Salem, but his old city felt like a world away. He’d come to expect the various wild birds, deer, and even occasional mountain lion that visited his property.

He never expected a monsterous gargoyle statue twice his size and made out of stone to just appear overnight. The creature was hunched over with its wings wrapped around itself like a cocoon. Its humanoid head poked out from over the wings, mouth twisted as if in pain. Besides a few rough scratches near its clawed hands, there were no marks in Gary’s pristine grass to indicate how anyone could have hauled it in.

Baffled, Gary did what most people would do when presented with a bizarre sight in the modern world. He snapped a picture with his phone and posted it to his social media account.

Does anyone want the new lawn ornament someone left in my yard? he wrote as a joke.

His friends immediately replied with surprised emojis. One of his former co-workers urged him to make the picture public so she could share it, and he did, against his better judgment. That made the picture go viral, and within the hour, he had hundreds of likes and comments.

Gary tried to keep up with the barrage of comments, but when the trolls began to harass him, he put down his phone. This was not how he meant to spend his morning. He’d been meaning to go into town and get himself a pet. He’d been leaning toward a cat, but now that he had weirods dumping massive statues in his back yard, he figured he needed a dog that would bark if this ever happened again.

He was in the middle of searching for the nearest animal shelter when the unmistakable sound of an engine coming down his long driveway caught his attention.

Warily, he peeked outside his front window at the intruder. He worried it might be the lunatic who’d dropped off the statue in the first place.

He was surprised, however, to watch a beat-up beige hatchback park right outside his porch. That little car could not have possibly transported the gargoyle statue. And he doubted the average-sized woman with the frizzy, chestnut-colored hair wearing a track suit had anything to do with his unwanted sculpture.

She didn’t seem threatening. He cracked the front door open and called out to her. “Can I help you?”

She flashed a brilliant smile at him. “Are you Gary Truman?”


“Great! Don’t mind me.” With a friendly little wave as if she was just passing him on the street, she avoided the front door completely and walked over to the side gate.

“E-excuse me?” Gary stammered, but by the time he stepped out onto his front porch, she’d already disappeared into the back yard.

Gary’s face turned red. “Hey!” he yelled, following after her. She might look harmless, but he wasn’t about to let a stranger walk around his home without permission.

He found the woman leaning up against the gargoyle, her hand on its back in an almost soothing gesture.

“Look what you got yourself into,” she scolded the statue. “I told you not to go out alone.”

Wonderful. The woman was a nut job. “Now see here!” he called out to her from the fence, unsure as to whether he should approach her or not. “This is private property, and you’re trespassing.”

She gave him a sheepish grin. “Oh, yes, sorry about all this.” She pointed at the gargoyle statue. “I came right away when I saw your post. I’ll take him away with me when I leave.”

Gary gaped at her. “How?”

She didn’t answer him, glaring instead at the statue. “See? Look what trouble you’ve gotten me into.” She turned back to Gary. “If you’ll just give me a few minutes, I’m sure I can—”

Gary lost his composure. “I’m not giving you anything. You either get out of here right now, or I’m calling the cops.”

The woman tilted her head as if considering this. “Okay,” she finally said, as if this was an acceptable solution. She then went back to whispering to the gargoyle statue.

Fuming, Gary patted his pockets, looking for his phone, but he must have left it inside when he heard the car come down the driveway. He marched back to the front, found his phone, and tried to dial 9-1-1.

Unfortunately, his cell phone service blipped out at that very moment. He tried several times, but none of his calls went through.

Anger gave way to fear. What if the crazy lady attacked him? Should he lock himself inside his house and hope his cell service returned? His friends had warned him of the dangers of living so far away from the city. He’d laughed them off at the time, but now he wished he’d listened to them.

The side gate creaked on its hinges. Gary jumped as he heard a voice…no voices. Two people were having a conversation.

“It should have been a routine capture,” a deep baritone voice said. “I didn’t expect an ambush.”

“That’s why you should have brought backup,” the woman replied with disdain. “I could have come with you.”

“You’re not trained for this.”

“And your training didn’t stop you from getting seriously hurt.”

“I’m fine now. I just needed a bit of healing.”

Two people rounded the corner into Gary’s view: the frizzy-haired woman from before, and an extremely tall, dark-haired man. He looked like he could lift the gargoyle statue out back with ease, but that’s not what freaked Gary out.

The gigantic man was completely naked.

Gary shrieked, the high-pitched sound originating from some primal place inside him. It whistled in the air, cutting through the man and woman’s conversation.

The man pushed the woman behind his back, as if Gary were a threat. “Who are you?” he demanded in that deep baritone voice.

Gary’s mouth bobbed up and down like a goldfish while he desperately tried not to stare at the stranger’s genitals.

The woman skirted around to scold the giant. “He’s the guy whose property you decided to take a stone nap on.” She gave Gary an apologetic shrug. “I am so sorry about all this. We’ll be leaving now.”

Gary’s brain was unable to form coherent thought, which lead to garbled speech. “You…I…what…?”

The woman ignored him and unlocked the passenger door of the hatchback. “Get in,” she told the man.

“Am I ever going to hear the end of this?” the giant asked as he somehow managed to shove all his muscles inside. The car visibly strained lower to the ground.

“No,” the woman said. Then she gave Gary one last smile. “Thank you for your time.”

Gary, still muttering one-word syllables, watched them sputter off back down his driveway toward the main road.

Once he could no longer hear the car’s engine, he strolled in a daze back to the kitchen. He didn’t want to look in his back yard, but he had to know. He glanced out the patio door.

The gargoyle statue was gone. Only a mangled patch of grass denoted where it once stood.

With no logical explanation for what had just happened, the wheels in Gary’s head ground to a screeching halt. He managed to slump into a dining chair right before he fainted.


Read more about gargoyle shenanigans in the Magical Midlife Mom series.