by Matthew Jeffrey


When Brooklyn Holy Trinity put out a call for donations to repair their damaged church roof, nobody expected the Doccione crime family to put up the money. The Doccione’s were known gangsters, though far from proven ones, and with no prior history of beneficence their gesture attracted the attention of their long-standing enemy, district attorney Harvey Kane.

Kane had been a thorn in the Doccione’s side for years, coming down hard on their every venture, shadowing their every move. When the Holy Trinity donation was announced Kane brought in an army of financial investigators to ensure every nickel and dime was accounted for. The Doccione’s were open, transparent and wholly compliant with the authorities, the only discrepancy being that there wasn’t enough granite to fully replace the church’s ancient gargoyle population.

Weeks flew by. Contractors repaired lead roofing, fixed up buttresses, and one by one replaced the withered gargoyles with grinning statues of Doccione family members. District attorney Kane grew increasingly desperate, and began to wield his influence in unprofessional and unethical ways. After a church official registered a complaint of intimidation from NYPD detectives assigned to the case, Kane took a spell of leave. A week later he vanished from the face of the earth.

The news media suspected a breakdown. The people spoke of suicide. A new DA was elected, and the Holy Trinity investigation ended. The Doccione’s were left alone, until the installation of their final gargoyle. Perched in the traditional stance, face contorted to a mask of desperation, the statue was rightly criticised as a cruel joke.

Still, you can’t deny the stonemason got Harvey Kane just right.

About the author

Matthew Jeffrey is a British former writer of the month on Reddit’s r/shortscarystories and is flattered to be here years after passing into myth. These days he enjoys collecting paperback fantasy novels and running Dungeon Crawl Classics character funnels.

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