Living statue in newspaper: picture prompt

He didn’t know why he bothered. The time and patience it took to get dressed each morning, being careful not to split his trousers or poke a toe through the shoes. Having to choosse which page of today’s newspaper he would read – over and over and over …

And then there was the care with which he had to carry his seat and its backing screen. The commuters on the Tube glared a lot, or else they sniggered.

The dog too was always an issue, getting the head at just the right tilt to cause passersby to stop and coo, say how cute is that, and toss a pound or two in the bowl.

He had sat in the hot sunshine for hours today. His arms ached, his legs were numb. He was hungry and thirsty. He flicked a glance to the bowl, and with a practised eye appraised it at perhaps £20. For a day’s hard work.

He lowered the paper. Time to get the real money in.

‘Come along, Blackie,’ he called loudly, beckoning to the dog. ‘Time to go home.’

He grinned beneath the newspaper, as those nearby started in surprise, laughed, and hurried to throw their fivers and tenners into the bowl.

Blackie shook his ears, lifted his head and stood with paper-covered tail wagging furiously, barking his thanks.

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3 thoughts on “Living statue in newspaper: picture prompt”

  1. He’s not real, thought Sarah. Completely covered in newspaper and sitting stock still hat on head reading a news page on a chair with a little dog by his side – all dressed exactly the same.
    But he must be real. I mean who dresses like that and believes it won’t tear at the first provocation.
    Gotta be a statue, despite the newsprint covering.
    Sarah spied the bowl by his left foot. Was that water for the dog or part of the sculpture?
    Try as she might, her six-year-old brain could not work it out.
    She tiptoed closer, daring to reach out a hand and touch. The newspaper felt real. Not sure about the rest.
    Maybe it was somebody’s idea of a joke. A real statue someone had covered in newspaper to draw attention to a work that otherwise most people would pass by without a second glance.
    Sarah continued to stare, willing the figure, or the dog, to move – if ever so slightly.
    Not even a whisker. Completely motionless, even though a breeze was beginning blow and papers flutter.
    As Sarah watched, the breeze grew stronger and the newspaper covering began to flicker, then pull at the edges and finally shred into several pieces.
    Her eyes grew wider. The figure moved, rising from its chair to retrieve what was left of its costume and stage backing. The little dog, too, looking suddenly at its master, tail wagging, as the paper covering its body simply disappeared with the wind.
    The figure muttered a few words – words that Sarah’s mother always forbade her to use – and, hastily snatching the remains of its costume and chair, marched angrily down the mall towards the nearest shelter.

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