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Broken Wings
Story published July 21, 2013 · completed · 3 pages · 570 readers · 644 reads
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        Young Alice was running around her new house, letting her adventurous spirit go wild. Her mother had recently bought this much more spacious, albeit older, house in a suburban town in Pennsylvania. Alice had spent the last six years of her life, which happens to be the full extent of her life, in a cramped apartment in New York. She never had a large area to scamper around, nor any large fields to play in. Most children would be scared to move and leave their old life behind, and indeed Alice had been at first, but now that she had gotten the taste of wide open air to run around indoors she had no protests.
        While her mother was busy carrying large boxes stuffed with cloths and dishes into the family of two's new home, Alice started to explore the smaller areas of the house. The many closets in the house were raided in hopes that the prior owner had left something of value. Some treasure lost and begging to be found again. Alice huffed and crossed her small arms as she stepped out of the last tiny storage space empty handed. She thought she'd find some jewels or even just a new toy she could play with. It seems that, alas, the last people to own the house had been thorough about collecting everything.
        Alice, as all children at a loss for what to do, went to her mother. She loudly complained she had gotten bored. Her mother suggested she could help move some of the lighter boxes, but Alice would have none of that. She continued to complain about her boredom for several more minutes.
        "Well," her mother finally said, "do you want to explore outside?"
        "Nuh-uh," Alice responded, "there are icky bugs out there!"
        "What about that basement?"
        Alice cocked her head in confusion. "What's a basement?" she asked in a curious tone.
        "Is the space under a house, sweetie. Come on, I'll show you."
        Alice took her mother's hand and was lead to a door she had not noticed before. The door opened, reveling a dusty, wooden staircase that lead down into the darkness. While most children would be gripped by fear, Alice was more curious. She'd never heard of a basement before as her entire life was spent in an apartment and she was never allowed to play on the lower floors. She wandered down into the darkness, the stairs creaking beneath her feet with each step. She gripped the railing, a simple piece of rough wood that was held up by thin boards. The old planks felt like they would snap under her tiny weight and send her tumbling downward. She inched forward, being careful to not displace too much weight at once for fear of collapsing the supports. By the time she had reached the bottom, her hazel eyes had adjusted to the light, or more the lack there of. It was a large, single room that spread out under the entire house. There was no light switch in sight, but Alice was never scared of the dark.
        Back upstairs, Alice's mother had left the door open to the basement and went back to moving in the boxes. She wondered how they had so much stuff in such a small apartment. Just as she set down a box filled with items she didn't even know she owned, her young daughter came bolting up the stairs. She turned to face Alice, almost knocked over by the screaming girl.
        "Alice, baby, what's wrong?" she asked in her most nurturing tone.
        "I angel in the basement, mommy! A scary angel!"
        "But honey, angels are nice."
        "Not this one," Alice said, shaking her head and making her black hair bounce from side to side, "it was grey and big and it was cold! And its wings were broken so it couldn't fly away and that's why it was in the base....base..."
        "Basement," her mother finished for her.
        "Yeah, that."
        Alice took her mother's hand, leading her down the stairs to show her the angel she had described. Her mother used the light of her cellphone to illuminate the path in the dark depths of the house. When they came to the spot that Alice had said  an angel was, they found only a large statue of an angel that had been overtaken by time.
        It was indeed a deep shade of grey and it's wings had indeed been broken. Other notable features were large chunks missing from the angel's face where the left eye would be as well as a few fingers that were broken away. It stood around six feet and had no stand or platform that it was on like most statues did. It was beautifully sculpted. The features were all perfect, as expected on an angel. The silk of it's robe looked almost like real silk. It was standing with its arms outstretched as if waiting for an embrace. All-in-all, if it wasn't for the decay it would probably be worth a lot of money.
        Alice's mother reassured the girl that it was only a statue and couldn't hurt the girl. Her mother began to leave and Alice followed. But she stole one look back at the angel. Perhaps it wasn't so scary after all. She waved to the once nightmare fuel and smiled.

        The statue returned the wave, with a much more sinister grin upon it's cracked lips.