The Legacy

LegacyDaniel opens the door to the hallway and listens carefully.  It seems nobody is around, so he comes out of his room and tiptoes to the studio.  He looks over his shoulder one last time and enters. Even though the room is filled with boxes, old paintings and an old mirror covered with a sheet, Daniel’s eyes stay focused in the oak closet.

Daniel borrowed the wardrobe’s key.  Actually, that’s what he tells himself; he took it without anyone noticing it, but he expects to give it back before anyone discovers it’s missing.  Daniel inserts the key into the old lock and turns it until a clicking sound tells him that he has unlocked the oaken gates.

Holding his breath, he opens them.

A layer of dust, undisturbed for years, flies to the air.  The boy finds his eyes and lungs filled with debris and starts coughing.  When at last he can open his eyes again, Daniel sees inside.

A pair of wings of a translucent white –almost transparent– covers every inch of the closet’s interior. Small feathers glide all around Daniel, as he stands there open mouthed.

Daniel stays there for a long time in front of those wings, watching them.  Finally, he raises his left hand and extends his fingers; the wings feel as if they are made of mist, or something similar.

“Wow” he mutters.

* * *

Gabriel arrives home, tired from work.  He smiles to himself.  Gabriel will never get tired of this sensation, the feeling of coming home at the end of the day.

“Hello, Dear!” he calls, but nobody answers back.

Gabriel leaves his briefcase on the floor, hangs his coat in a hurry, and climbs the stairwell with hasted steps.  His wife is standing outside the studio, holding herself.  Tears fall freely over her cheeks.

His steps make her turn around.

Gabriel starts to speak, but she extends a slender finger in the air that shuts him up, and then she throws her arms around his neck.  He holds her tight, still confused, and comforts her.

“He found them Gabriel,” she says with a muted voice, “he found your wings!”

Gabriel raises his head in shock and walks into the studio.  His eyes jump all over the room, but the evidence is there; he knows it’s true.  The wind blowing through the curtains makes him shiver a little, and he runs towards the window.  He looks outside at the sky.  As his eyes go up he sees a single feather floating towards him.

The feather glides slowly with the wind leaving behind a trace of fog until it comes to rest on top of the grass in the garden below and disappears with a misty puff.

© 2009 Santiago Casares