When Sebastian was seven, a traumatic thing happened to him. He had seen the monkeys in a cage from the corner of his eye and had wandered over to feed them. He remembered one of them bit his little finger.
Blood oozed from the wound causing Sebastian to turn to show his parents. They were not there as they had gone on without him.
Sebastian screamed and wept until a woman came to help.
She asked Sebastian who he had come to the Zoo with, and he replied his two brothers and his parents. She then asked what was the last thing they had said to him?
“If anyone gets lost we’ll meet up at the circus, “he told the woman.
So that is what she did, she took Sebastian to the circus and there they found a very worried looking mother and father.
Sebastian never wandered off again.
When Sebastian was nine, a traumatic thing happened to him.
When the siren wailed, the whole family, as they had practiced, went to the fallout shelter at the end of Frankenholme Street.
Sebastian remembers the darkness, then the sudden brightness and then the oozing of blood. When the sun came up again, Sebastian was the only one left.
Dust and shadows filled what was left of the shelter.
Then he remembered what his mother had told him that day – so long ago – and went off to find the nearest circus.
bobby stevenson 2017