Grundwig (A Gargoyle Cop Story)


We see a gothic rooftop silhouetted against a setting sun. There are fanciful stone gargoyles around the perimiter, in silhouette. As light fades the profile of an extra gargoyle appears. We move closer until we see his brooding face as he looks out over the ancient city.

My name is Grundgwig. I guess you could call me a cop.

Move in, show from the other side, now silhouetted against the moon, the spires of the ancient city arrayed beneath.

I work the night shift.

Cut to: a manhole cover rattling, a jet of steam escaping.

Grundwig raises his head, listening, smelling – something is wrong. He leaps from the cathedral to a neighboring building. Nimbly he bounds through the night, unnoticed by the shadowy, indistinct figures of the humans below.

The manhole cover slowly rises, revealing a wickedly-taloned hand and a pair of glowing eyes. There are no people in the cobbled street. The demon begins to slink out of the manhole, but Grundwig lands on the cover with his full force. With a crash and a scream from the demon the fiend disappears back into the sewers. Grundwig follows. Battle ensues, breaking pipes and damaging stonework. The demon makes a final desperate lunge at Grundwig’s throat, but he is a spy, not a fighter, and Grundwig eventually gets the best of him. To permanently kill the demon Grundwig eats its heart.

As the rest of the demon corpse turns to goo, Grundwig breathes a heavy sigh.

Things have been busy lately.

The Office – hidden away in vaults beneath the city we find headquarters decked out in a completely gargoyle-like fashion. Everything has a gothic look, and many of the items are unidentifiable. There are gargoyles of every shape and description hanging from cielings, clinging to walls, and their furniture is modified to match.

There is a general bustle in the room, professional if a little on the loud side.

Grundwig is larger than most of the others, and has to push his way through the bustle to his desk. On the way he greets the others by name. He collapses into his chair with a heavy sigh.

“Long Night?” A decidedly hot babe-gargoyle-cop sits on the corner of his desk.

“Hey, Rowena.”


Grundwig sighs. “Man, I’m looking forward to the short nights of summer.”

“Yeah, me too, so I can listen to you complain about how long the days are.”

Grundwig looks at his desk.

“You OK?”

“Yeah, just got a lot of paperwork to do.”

“Busy night?”

“Ate three.”

Her eyes get round. “Damn, G, you gotta slow down.”

“I’d love to.” He turns to his paperwork.

“What’re you doing later? Heading for the Hole?”

“If I ever finish this stuff, yeah, I guess.”

“See you there, then, maybe.”


She hesitates and walks away.

As the sun rises we find Grundwig back on the cathedral, in a contemplative pose.

It will never end.

Grundwig runs his hands over the stony scales on his head.

They come, we kill them, then more come. Sometimes they kill us. I am good at what I do, but it will not end until I make a mistake and my heart is eaten.

A bell tolls behind him, unbearably loud.

“Dammit!” Grundwig leaps up, frazzled, then retreats from the rooftop. “I hate Sundays.”

Chapter 1

A demon furtively walks the ancient streets, keeping to the shadows. Grundwig drops down but the demon dodges, and rolls nimbly away. Grundwig pursues and corners the other.

Rather than attacking mindlessly, the demon cowers, but wields the first weapon we have seen, a nasty-looking knife. “Wait, wait, wait!”

Grundwig hesitates. “You can speak?”

“No, I can’t.”

Grundwig disarms the demon and rears back to tear the its head off.

“Yes! Yes I can speak! What do you expect when you ask such a numb-nuts question? The Maker gives some us more intelligence than others.”

“Huh.” He registers this fact and prepares to tear the heart out of the demon.



“Don’t you wonder why I’ve been given superior intelligence, and what I’m doing here now?”

“Don’t see how it matters. I won’t believe anything you tell me anyway.”

“So you’re not as dumb as you look. That’s good, that’s good. But don’t you think it would be a good idea to take me back and let your superiors decide what to do with me?”


“What? Why not?”

“Because you want me to.”

“I want to live, Einstein. This is why the Maker gives so few of us intelligence. Gives us a chance to reprioritize.”

“How convenient.”

“I’m not pretending to be on your side, Chumley, I’m just buying time. But you could score some big points bringing me in alive. I can tell you things.”

“Like what?”

“Now, if I told you, you’d have no reason to keep me alive, would you?”

“There’s something you don’t understand.”


Grundwig pushes his face directly into the demon’s, and grinnes with all his teeth. “I don’t need to score big points.”


“The only thing keeping you alive is the possibility that I will have one less 1066/HST to fill out in the morning.”


“But I’m getting a little hungry.”

“OK, OK, OK, I’ll give you a free sample. If this don’t make you soil your trousers, I don’t know what will. The Maker is resurrecting dragons.”

Grundwig tears the demon’s heart out and eats it. “Tell me something I don’t know.” he mutters.


8 thoughts on “Grundwig (A Gargoyle Cop Story)

  1. Beautiful. I can picture the graphic novel in my head, and I can even think of a perfect artist to team with you on this, although I don’t know whether I have any chance of finding him.

    He was a student of mine a few years back, and he also illustrated graphic novels on a free-lance basis. For one of his class projects, he rewrote a particularly user-unfriendly portion of the owner’s manual for a GMC pickup truck, including creating new illustrations with stunning atmosphere.

    Alas, I have lost track of him. He showed up briefly for NaNoWriMo 2004, but then he disappeared again.

  2. There was (perhaps still is) an animated TV show about Gargoyle crime fighters. I expect the copyright lawyers would dive bomb your graphic novel even faster than Grundwig. Good luck.

  3. Well, as I’m already far too busy to take on a project like this, have no artist, and no connections in the graphic novel world, the fact that there was a tv series is really the least of the problems. If some big hollywood producer reads those paragraphs and throws cash my direction, well, I can spend an afternoon coming up with a class of supernatural creature different enough.

    A quick Google for “Gargoyle Cartoon” shows that indeed if they were named something else, the similarity would end. Disney doesn’t do dark.

  4. Uh, Jerry, on your recent jaunts around the world, you didn’t happen to fly on Czech Air from Prague to Montreal, did you? I know you wrote the blog about sitting next to the drunk guy, but did you neglect to write about the guy sitting next you who coughed up blood the entire flight? If so, the CDC would like to talk to you.

  5. Hi Jerry
    how’re you doing?
    graphic novels are my favourite form of literature.
    Still read your blog every now and then and have to admire your commitment to the form. Don’t seem to find the time any more. What happened to Pirates?

  6. Hey! Great to hear from you again. As for Pirates, I think I’m going to give up waiting for a better version and start handing out the Official Director’s Bootleg.

  7. Hi Jer,

    When exactly is the “start handing out” going to start?

    FYI, I just donated at the Hut to increase your moral obligation to send me a Pirates DVD. Don’t worry about the novel writer software (I couldn’t novel write my way out of a paper bag), just send the Pirates DVD. Please. Thank you.

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