Dad was oogling Madeline, thinking she was the cute twenty-something. Shawn was kind of grossed out. Why was he the only one who could see the gargoyle? He didn’t know. Maybe all women looked like this? He was ready to grow up and find out.

“WAIT!” Shawn yelled.

Everyone looked at him. Clearly he was nuts. Madeline narrowed her eyes at him. The stupid dream was real. Or something. Shawn knew suddenly that this gargoyle woman had moved in just for him to have this dream.

“You’re here for me,” Shawn said, “You’re a gargoyle and you know that tomorrow is the end of the world!”

With this declaration eyes opened and all conversation stopped. Shawn, for a brief moment, was sure he was going to pee his pants. At that moment, he wasn’t even sure that he saw a gargoyle anymore.

Shawn hoped he was dreaming. This hilarious incident would be a great, fantastic, and awesome end to his dream.

“Uh,” Dad said, “Shawn, you know Madeline, right?”

Mom’s face slowly morphed from her casual conversation mode to full annoyance.

“I should have stayed in bed,” Shawn muttered.

“Maybe,” Mom said.

“Well,” Shawn said, “I guess I’ll go watch some TV.”

Mom shook her head at him. If there was one thing in the world Mom hated, it was to be embarrassed, especially in front of strangers. She would be mortified if she knew that she was talking to a gargoyle.

“That’s a great idea,” Dad said.

Shawn turned and started toward the family room. Being a kid with a kid’s attention span, he forgot about the dream. Front and center in his mind was getting away from the gargoyle lady and maybe watching some cartoons. His path was clear, he needed to get out of the kitchen.

Then a voice from behind him said, “Actually, Shawn, you’re right.”

A cold chill went down his spine. Shawn felt different types of terror, things he didn’t even have words for. He turned. Dad was staring at what he thought was a little hottie, mom was confused and suddenly more annoyed.

Madeline rose and stared at Shawn, hands on her hips.

“It’s your fault the moon egg opens, Shawn,” Madeline said, “I’m here to get you back to your jail cube on the planet Blutex in the Arthrex dimension.”

Shawn had no idea what she was talking about. He was glad when Dad jumped up and asked her what the hell she was talking about. Mom was still annoyed but speechless. Now there were two people in the kitchen, one a hidden gargoyle, who were talking crazy.

“Now come on,” Dad said to Madeline, “You don’t have to amuse him, he’s always crazy when he’s tired. It’s best to not encourage him.”

“Oh, I’m dead serious,” Madeline said.

Shawn watched mom and dad jump as she snapped her gnarly gargoyle fingers. Immediately the toaster sprouted legs and arms and grabbed Dad by the head. When she started to run, the refrigerator stepped in Mom’s path and waved a finger at her.

“We’ll take care of this, Madeline,” the sink faucet said. “You get that boy out of here before that god damned egg hatches.”

“I’m on it, colonel,” Madeline said.

Shawn was frozen and not at all convinced he hadn’t peed his pants.


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