Don’t Move. Let them pass. Do not eat the children. Do not eat the delicious children. Let them pull your fur with their tiny fists. Hold it together.
But look at that man. He has such thin bones. Crackity crack they’d go between your teeth. Taking photos of the whale. Delicious idiot. You could eat his camera too. You’ve never eaten a camera. And her. Full of hot blood. Swipe the head clean off and drink it up. Let it dribble down your chin. Stain your white hair red. The children. Two at a time. At least. Chomp chomp. Gnash their innards into a hot soup. Grab my fur? Slash and tear and chew and-
No. Stop that. You’re on your final warning. Mr Philips has made this very clear. One more is all it takes and you’re out. Gone. Back to the mountain. Do you want to go back to the mountain? Icicles forming in the corners of your eyes? Nothing to eat but goats? You’ve got a good thing going here. Hold your pose.
But look at that one. He’s so fat. There would be no chase. None. Life must be hard for him. Look how he’s breathing. He’d thank you between the screams. Right now. He’s leaning in. He’s reading your card. Look at his grease-flecked lips mouth the words. …Himalayan Mountains… That’s right. Keeping reading. …Abominable Snowm…Just lower your arms and snatch him up. Yes. Claws out. Get ready to-
“Did that fella just move?!”
Freeze! Don’t look. Were you moving? I don’t know. Maybe you were. Did you? Oh god.
“Did what just move?”
“The display creature. It moved!
“Not in public.”
Hold it in. Tighten those chest muscles! Stop breathing. Lock it up!
Security. They’re going to send you back to the mountain. You had one job. Just one. Couldn’t do it. Couldn’t rein it in. Think of everything you’ve thrown away. Shelter. Warmth. Free food. Not delicious human but close enough. Cow is close enough! You disgust me.
“I’m Mr Philips. Museum security. What’s the trouble?”
Don’t look at them. You’ll only make it worse. Pointing. Accusations. Just freeze. Maybe Mr Philips can wave them off. Your stomach muscles are spasming. Shallow breaths! Oh god. You’re sweating. Stop sweating. What is wrong with you?!
“I see. Thank you. Attention! Clear the room please. Urgent business with the displays.”
That’s it. You’re done. They’re filing out now. All those delicious tourists. There goes the fat one. You might as well now. What have you got left to lose? Jump out and – Oh forget it. You’re a joke.
They’re gone. Down come the shutters. He’s walking over. Clack clack clack. Mr Philips is walking over. Time to get what’s coming to-
He walked past! What? Where’s he-
“They saw you, Bertrum. Drop the pose. They saw you.”
“There was a spider in my mouth.,Mr-”
“I don’t care. We had a deal.”
“- In my mouth though. It was a reflex.”
“Do Sabre-toothed tigers move?”
“It won’t happen again.”
“Do. Sabre-toothed tigers. Move?”
“We’ll have to let you go.”
Poor Bertie. First the heart scare and now this. There he goes. Mr Philips. Leading Bertie away. Wait. He’s turning. Look away.
“Will there be any trouble with the rest of you?”
It’s a trick. Don’t move.
Clack clack clack. He’s gone. The shutters are rolling up. Hold it together. Bare your teeth. Raise your arms. Hold the pose. Let the delicious ones pass. Let them all pass. Don’t move.
You need this job.