Johnny walked bravely up to the building, shivering a little as he came near the statues that flanked the stairs to the main entrance. The statues had stood there as long as he could remember, and had always made him a little nervous. Not that he’d ever admit that to any of his older siblings, of course. Or the younger ones either.
Today was a significant day. He had walked here himself, and was expected within. He was even on time, or perhaps a touch early. The walk had been easy enough, since he was more than fit to walk the distance. He had needed to exercise prudence a few times, and avoid situations that a more melodramatic narrator might describe as “near death”. No harm came to anybody, and he hadn’t even been scared.
Each of the forbidding statues was accompanied today by a gentleman in uniform, clearly on duty and alert to some possibility beyond Jonny’s ken. Their presence didn’t concern him nearly as much as the statues themselves of giant lion headed dogs, fangs bared, yet seated confidently and flanking the entrance where they could observer every visitor. Much as the human guard did.
As he made his way through the large doors and off to find his home room, he never noticed one more layer of concern. The blind had dropped back in place just before he turned her way, so he never saw the assistant principal who noticed his arrival, made a note, and set the phone back down undialed.
Today was Johnny’s first day of school, and he’d walked here all by himself.