Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Lewis and the Statue
There was something about that statue that made Lewis uneasy. He couldn’t figure out how it was possible, but he was sure the statue was watching him. The eyes followed him when he stepped to the left and they remained fix on him if he stepped to the right. When he stood tall on his tippy toes the gray stone eyes went up, and when he crouched down low they dropped.
Lewis was memorized. He stepped up to the statue’s foot and pinched the left big toe. It was cold, hard and lifeless. That ruled out a person disguised as a statue. He walked around the pedestal looking for a switch, or a place where one would insert a key to wind it up. Again, he found nothing. He searched for an antenna thinking the statue’s movements were somehow controlled remotely. Once again, he found nothing. He sat on the top step to think. He thought, and he thought some more. He thought so much his brain hurt.
Then a very troubling thought exploded through his mind. He stood up and ran inside the museum. His eyes scanned the central lobby. It was empty of children. There was a women sitting at a desk with a green lamp. Above the desk hung a large wooden sign with the word “Information” written in gold letters. He ran to the woman.
“Excuse me, but I can’t find my class.” Lewis was out of breath. His heart was racing and he felt a panic punching away inside his stomach.
“What school are you with?” The woman asked. She had a long, thin face. Her sharp nose held up a pair of reading glasses. Her hair was tightly rolled in a bun behind her head.
“Confederacy Elementary.” Lewis answered.
“And where is Confederacy Elementary located?”
“You’re with the school from Cloverdale?” The woman stood as she spoke. She pushed a buzzer with one hand and picked up the phone with the other.
“What’s wrong?” Lewis asked, fearing he already knew the answer.
“Your class left thirty minutes ago in their bus.You were left behind.”
For the first time in his life Lewis felt truly alone. The woman pointed to a nearby tall backed wooden chair. He took two steps and fell into it. Panic succeeded in punching its way out of his stomach. He felt gigantic sobs welling up from within. Ten seconds later they escaped, accompanied by a stream of tears. The wailing drew everyone’s attention. Several women within earshot instinctively reacted to the call of an injured child and came rushing to his aid. The men, free of their wives and girlfriends, found the nearest chair, sofa or bench, took out their cell phones and rejoined the real world.
It all worked out in the end. The bus promptly returned. A very upset teacher escorted Lewis out of the museum by the strap on his backpack. Lewis didn’t know what he feared most.....being left behind or the long trip home.