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There’s much to say about the Garden of the Guardians. Firstly, it was named that to recognize the recent men and women who, through private means, founded the United States of America. Then, sculptor Talbot Cardigan realized that he should expand the exhibit to include those people from various centuries who built up an entire country. Cardigan himself would take the time to show the tourists around the various pieces. A group of the curious followed Cardigan through the labyrinth that misty Monday in Wilmington, Delaware.
“This here is Barrister Coulier. He helped to make the first transit lines for various cities around the contiguous United States.”
The group looked up to the statue. They were all like that. Cardigan had purposefully constructed them to be built tall so that everyone would crane their necks to gaze upon the visage of the given work.
A man in a poncho and thick horn-rimmed glasses spoke up.
“Yes, but don’t you have any sculptures depicting the soup kitchen cooks, the bedpan changers, the children playing in the gutter? Didn’t they help create America, too?”
Cardigan stopped. He turned to the man. “What’s your profession, may I ask?”
“I’m a professor at New Sweden. My name is Bortles Couch. I’ve been teaching anthropology and human studies for nearly 20 years now.”
“And do you think that to match up with these men and women of industry, these titans of the financial system, technology, and other values that have changed the world ten times over, do you think that the people that you just named ought to be up here in this garden?”
Cardigan looked at the squat professor. His eyes shifted about him. He continued on with the tour.
“Now, this is Luka Sharpe. She founded a company that implanted telephones underneath the skin so that the human body can absorb calls, texts, surf the Web, all while the user only thinks of what to do.”
Couch stopped Cardigan again. “Didn’t Sharpe get fired from her own company?”
“Why yes, Luka was terminated from Samothrace. But she had enough resilience and power to drive her to return to the company that she founded. She turned a profit her first year back and carried the corporation to new heights until her death. Her might against the odds were enough to drive me to craft this particular statue with her head looking straight out, seeking the next deal.”
“But I mean c’mon,” Couch said. “We should be looking at volunteers. There’s a few philanthropists that stand among these monoliths. Why there’s Trippy Nacht. He gave away all of his fortune before he died. He lived in a hovel until his last breath. Why did you include him?”
Cardigan looked down then up again at Couch. “If you look at the attire that he is wearing, slacks and a hoodie, it will show you that this is the uniform for which he conducted his best business deals. He was stripped naked and letting blood run from his veins in his last hours. I decided to depict him overseeing his multibillion dollar company as a young genius. The fact that he relinquished his funds and chose to live in squalor is not what is important. What is important is that he changed the lives of billions. Now, if we could continue this excursion without any interruptions….”
Then, Couch extracted a hammer and began knocking pieces of stone that showered down like hail.
Cardigan jetted past the other people in the group and tackled Couch.
“Goddamn you,” Couch said.
“You will no longer damage or destroy my work. I will see to it that you are punished completely.”
Cardigan called for the security to usher Couch away from the garden.
“Why, I thought that that would turn uglier than it already was,” Aidy Quigley said.
“Now that the threat of violence against my work has been contained, shall we continue our tour?”
The group banded together and watched as Couch was dragged to the police station.
“We would be delighted to see the rest of your work, Mr. Cardigan,” Aidy said.
The damage was minimal so Cardigan continued.