“I’ve seen some nice ones in the hallways.” Edmund said, casually. “Are there any really special ones?”
It was subtle–Edmund wasn’t entirely sure he even saw it–but Mrs. Kippling froze in her chopping, just for a moment, and then continued as if nothing had happened; like a record with a bit of grit on the needle.
“Oh quite a few,” Mrs. Kippling said, happily. “I think my favorite was the Gran Gargoyle, old Kahmlichimus.”
“Kahmlichimus?” Edmund stumbled over the bizarre name.
Mrs. Kippling nodded. “Oh yes,” she said, grinning maniacally. “He were an old statue that used to sit right over the grand entrance. Mightily handsome he was, carved by great stone-workers and fit as the keystone to the entryway of Moulde Hall. They said he would eat anyone who tried to enter Moulde Hall who was unwelcome, or had murderous intent in their hearts. A great statue he was…though-it’s-not-my-place.”
“Where is he now?” Edmund asked. There had been no gargoyle over the entrance to Moulde Hall when he had looked.
“The poor thing got torn down years ago and was thrown into one of the storage rooms,” she said, tossing her diced vegetables into a massive pot. “Matron Victrola said it was ugly, ‘course, she never had great taste. Oh! Begging-your-pardon! I think it was more likely she couldn’t help but have murderous intent in her heart all the time, and was getting nervous. I told her it were only a statue, and even if she had murderous intent, that didn’t make her much different than any other Moulde who walked through that door freely, but she put her tiny foot down, and who were we to argue?”
Edmund thought about this. It must have been that huge statue he had found in the east tower. That monstrosity had been perched over the doorway to Moulde Hall? He tried to imagine what it would have been like to walk slowly through the front door, feeling the giant beast’s eyes boring into your heart, judging whether you were worthy of entering its domain.
It was surprisingly easy.
It was odd to think about all the changes that had happened to Moulde Hall. Everywhere he looked it seemed like the building was a fixture in the world–like a mountain or ancient tree–but whenever he talked with someone they made it sound like everything was constantly changing inside the ancient walls. Statues were removed, rooms boarded up, alliances and families constantly shifting back and forth like the tides and crashing into the jagged rock that was Moulde Hall…
Something else was tickling at the back of Edmund’s neck. He felt like he had missed something important, but he wasn’t sure what.