Flash Fiction: “What a Grouch”

Image copyright K.S. Brooks.

“Jeez! What a grouch!”

With an effort, the lion brought his attention away from the far horizon and his mind from its pleasant thoughts. It was a beautiful day. The sunshine had warmed the overnight dew from his back, and the rain the day before had washed an annoying bit of moss from the tiny crack in his left haunch.

He focused on the tourist who stood, staring up at him.

The man’s wife gave her husband a questioning glance.

“I mean, looka that face. Lips turned down, brow scrunched up.” The man rasped out a humourless laugh. “I bet his mother told him not to scowl or he’d look like that for the resta his life. Looks like it worked.”

The lion regarded the pair. The man was pleased with himself after this pronouncement. His wife just looked tired.

“I don’t know. He’s sort of noble. Beautiful eyes. They look…sad somehow.”

“Huh! You’d be sad too, if you had to sit out here in the weather for a coupla hundred years.”

“But maybe he’s doing what he was meant to do. Maybe he’s proud of himself.”

“Oh, sure. Proud of layin’ around doin’ nothin’ for a coupla centuries.” He grabbed her arm. “C’mon. There’s nuthin’ to see here. Dead stone.”

The woman allowed herself to be pulled away, running a soft finger down the lion’s paw as she went.

The lion sighed. “They certainly haven’t changed much in three hundred years.” He returned his stare to the line of trees on the horizon.

“Jeez, what a grouch.”

Originally published in Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction