Isolated and ancient as time itself, a building stands abandoned with its walls covered in thick scaffolding. Just like ignorance is veiled with dazzling gloss.

Nothing could escape the white drape of progress except for a proud statue of a lion resting on a side of a massive porch. Ferocious and lonely. With its mouth wide open, slightly rotated towards the stairs, the stone beast glares at anyone going in or out, as if guarding the entrance.

The other side of the porch is empty. With only splinters of stone left - remainders of what seemed to be a statue.

All skewed and unevenly placed, the stairs of the porch lead to a gigantic wooden door. A freshly printed poster is carefully nailed to the side of it. The title shines:

“Rebuilding to be fair for all!

Join to shape a bright and equal future! 

Become a volunteer now!”

A girl is standing in front of the porch looking anxious. She is holding a leaflet identical to the poster on the door and a flower, that she had probably picked from a flowerbed nearby.

The girl looks at the poster, the door, and the lion. The statue is twice her height and its fierce look clearly frightens her, as she gazes right into the lion’s eyes. The lion starts talking:

“I beg you. Do not climb these two-faced ancient stairs.

Once built to satisfy the savage,

they are now rebuilt to serve the offended.

I guarded them for the longest time.

Carved in stone centuries ago, these stairs were shaped by ideas of supremacy.

Now they are being reshaped by vengeance.

Steps in front of you will never be equal.

They are built on an uneven ground and will always be skewed to one side.

These bricks are made of privilege and spite.

You can arrange them to your liking, but never form an even step.

You are young. These stones are ancient.

Learn from them. Preserve them.

Understand their cause, their strengths and flaws.

And move on.

Build new stairs. On a new foundation. On an even ground.

I beg you, move on.

Leave these ancient steps to perish.

As they shall never be equal and the poster on the door is a trickster in disguise.”

The girl keeps starring at the statue. After a second, she looks at the leaflet, the door and the poster once more. She sings:

“Is this a life I’ve always wanted?

And if it’s not, then why it feels so right?

I’ve always found so many things offensive,

So many views that I don’t like.”

Her leaflet slowly glides to the ground as she starts climbing the stairs:

“And now I’m the power, to rearrange them

Just how I imagine, they should be.

And I’ll make it fair! For every single one of us.

I’m set out to build equality”

On the last step the girl stretches to reach the statue and puts the flower into the lion’s jaws.

Then she disappears behind the door, leaving the stone beast behind.

Suddenly a giant concrete block falls down and smashes the lion in pieces, leaving just splinters of stone - remainders of what used to be a statue.

And right above the porch, where the lions used to stand, two giant statues of panthers are now being built. Twice the size of the lions, with their mouths wide open, the panthers are slightly rotated towards the stairs, glaring at anyone going in or out, as if guarding the entrance.

The stone inscription above the door still says “Aequitas.”

The End

 © Vitalii Starush