18th April, 2017
The sirens whirl past the windows of Waterstones, bursting through my headphones and interrupting my happy music.
I can imagine the sirens whizzing on towards Trafalgar square. The cold lions slowly become warmer to the touch. A child has climbed on them despite the railings and he is the only one who feels the icy iron warming under his little legs and tiny palms. Ever so slowly and gradually, as he rocks back and forth on the lions back, he feels his hands slowly entwining with the lions mane, fingers twisting in to bristly hair. He gives a little start, his parents laugh thinking he has been frightened by a statue. They keep taking pictures of the boy. No one notices anything is amiss until the lion unfurls his tail, letting it dangle and twitch off the side of his stone plinth. The other three big cats follow suit, one scratching his ear, one stretching his back, clawing forward and carving tracks in the ageless stone, and the third shaking off his mane. The boy screams “Mama!” as the lion tries to stand. Tourists and locals all scream and shout, pointing at the predators. At least a dozen have whipped out their phone and are recording the sights, live streaming on Facebook or Instagram. They zoom in on the little boy terrified on the lions back, and then pan the camera to a lion roaring silently. No sound is made from these hollow creatures except the thud as they leap down from the plinth and on to the cement pavement. The gathered crowd scatters as screams and sirens fill the air. The boy still screams on the lion’s back.
FYI, happy music: https://youtu.be/4KmKkV3ddAo