It was hard to see in the dim light, but he could just barely make out the shape of the statue. It was lovingly crafted, slim and cold to the touch. Edmund tried to peek at its face, but the statue’s arms were in the way. The fingers were almost as thin as Edmund’s, but longer, and painted a pale yellow that reminded him of the old scrolls that sat on oaken shelves only a few floors above him.
The books were real, Edmund noticed, but he couldn’t quite read the titles, so he grabbed a few at random to read later. He was about to crawl through the hole again when he glanced back at the statue, and noticed something else. The statue’s left hand was resting gently on what looked like another real book.
He stopped crawling and moved back to the statue to look closer at it, just to be sure he was right. At first he thought the statue had somehow been carved on top of the book, though it seemed an overly complicated thing to do when a stone book would have worked just as well, but as he moved closer he realized that the dust he had sneezed away had been covering hair-thin seams in the statue around the joints. The book hadn’t been put into the statue, the statue’s arm had been placed on top of the book after it had been carved
It wasn’t just a statue, it was designed to move.
Edmund caught his breath. He had seen statues throughout all of Moulde Hall, but he had never seen any that looked like they could move. Even the suits of armor that sprinkled the hallways had a stable rust-like finality to their pose, and Edmund didn’t think even Ung would be strong enough to move them without a large amount of oil and perhaps a strong chisel.
Edmund couldn’t stop himself from leaping out from behind the tapestry and dancing around the library in a strange dance of excitement. In the Orphanage, he had not been given to bursts of excitement; the exhilaration of discovery was new and fascinating to him. And such a discovery! His feet skipped off the stone like it was covered in needles. A statue that could move! He wanted to tell everyone he found it, ask everyone questions about it, and at the same time he desperately wanted to keep it a secret.
It was obvious no one had seen it or been near it for ages–the dust and unkempt desk were proof alone of that, never mind the nailed tapestry. Perhaps the statue had been forgotten completely, and even Matron didn’t know of its existence–the brass nails had looked even older than her. Edmund’s thoughts had already began to whirl with the possibilities.
Edmund ran back to the stacks, intent on searching for books on engineering, stone-masonry, statues, and anything that might make them move. He didn’t know why anyone would lock away such a beautiful statue. It must have been broken, and then forgotten. It almost didn’t matter to Edmund, because as soon as he saw the beautiful seams and joints, he knew instinctively what it was he was going to do.
He was going to fix it.