The Memorial

The Memorial

A Story by Bo Po

A flash fiction satirical story based on the arrival of a new statue in Parliament Square, London.


The Memorial

 It was a glorious sunny day in Parliament Square, London. Big Ben chimed the hour, as builders erected a new statue of South African President and statesman, Nelson Mandela. Sir Winston Churchill looked on with interest, as Abraham Lincoln looked over and drew him a quick wave and guffawed. Winston’s sneer back at Abraham showed that he was clearly dismayed by this new statue being mounted on the south-west side of the square, opposite to the Westminster Abbey. Winston was clear in his own mind that it was he who had stopped the rise of Fascism and Nazi Germany conquering all Europe by military force, and he believed that his own memorial quite justified within the square, opposite The House of Commons, situated in Old Palace Yard, under St. Stephens Tower, and he rather liked being photographed and admired by onlookers and tourists alike. It was the paint and eggs that upset him most of all during violent demonstrations; since it was his statue that was always the one to be soiled no matter what the cause behind each protest. Winston simply loathed those people he thought of as Neo-Radicals, New Atheists and Anti-Capitalists, plotting and scheming in their canvas tents scattered around the square like small kneaded clods on a camping site. He believed that one day, they would not only Bogart Parliament, but also ruin all that he had striven for when in High Office himself. He would have had them removed instantly without further ado, and again he blamed those Liberal minded politicians for their insouciance concerning the intolerance of these people that soiled his statue in paint, eggs and grafiti.

 Abraham was once a newbie statue himself and it had taken some time for Winnie to acknowledge him too, as he stood upright in front of his comfy seat over on the west side of the square. Winston thought that Abraham had been offered too great a view looking down over the square, and he often felt aggrieved because Abraham had also been given a chair, since he wasn’t offered one himself. Well at least he had been offered a cane, and knew he gleamed an awesome figure in his black shiny coat. “Who’s this newbie then?” Winston bellowed over to his co-liberator Abraham. Winston had much respect for Honest Abe, since he had read all about America's short history, and felt a strong kinship towards the country where his mother was born. Abe had been responsible for the abolition of slavery, to which Winston supported wholeheartedly and much respected.  “Beats me,” Abe replied firmly in his fine Kentucky accent. Abe was aggrieved by Winston’s hostility towards this new shiny bronze monument, to which he looked down upon from his own position; though like Winnie, he never had a clue as to whom this statue was supposed to be representing. He wondered if Winston was envious of its popularity amongst all the photographers who stood flashing their cameras for their journals and photo-albums.

“But he’s a Negro!” Winston retorted sharply, as he took a long drag on his big fat cigar. 

“So  what of it?” Abe replied to a thick cloud of smoke wafting over towards him at great speed. Abe was clearly chagrined by Winston’s lack of respect for the new statue, to which he happened to like. 

“Who the hell is he? Winston said gruffly, before he bagan to cough uncontrollably.  "Why is he being commended in my square? There isn’t any cotton fields in Lancashire anymore.”

Abe’s disdain became quite evident, as his eyes narrowed and his well trimmed beard suddenly pricked up like a bush of angry needles. The builders turned in unison and stared up at Winston in annoyance, as Nelson just grinned and gave him a little twiddle of the fingers. Winston simply stood mortified and resentful at the possibility of any relationship between himself and a newbie statue in his square. "Hello there, Winston, Nelson politely called over to him in a soft yielding accent.  "How are you today, sir? It is a beautiful day, is it not?" 

Winston groaned an acknowledgement, as he stiffened towards the Commons building once more. “Whatever next?” Winston mumbled under his breath.

“What’s up with Winnie?” Nelson called up to Abraham for guidance. He couldn't understand why Old Winnie was behaving in such a manner, as he too was a liberator and had spent twenty seven years of his life in a prison cell because of it. Winnie was a name he was going to have to get used to again, since the monument to his left was often referred to as Winnie's Memorial.

 “Beats me,” Abraham replied nonchalantly. 

"Apartheid," Nelson reminded him, then stiffened.




© 2014 Bo Po

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Added on May 27, 2014
Last Updated on June 2, 2014
Tags: Bogart, cigar, chair, cane, bronze, photographers, journalists, abbey, commons, square


Bo Po
Bo Po

London, South-East, United Kingdom

I am a London taxi driver who enjoys a bit of creative writing. I write plays , scripts and short stories. Please visit my website for information and projects from me. more..