Day 22: The Object

The Object
Matt Zurbo

Kat was a bit down.
(Kat head down, hair over eyes, standing on grey, shadowy street.)

For her, every day was the same in Greytown. Machines going Choonka-Choonk, gears grinding, other kids playing dumb games, spiders that never slept keeping secrets in the long grass.
(Spider in web, watching Kat, seen through web, walk, dragging her school bag behind her, bully boy thumb to nose, blowing a raspberry at her back. Tight group of school girls happily talking to each other as they walk in front of her.)

In her quiet spot, when the light hit the leaves just right, she would imagine all kinds of stuff.
(Kat lying in the shade of a branch of a tree, her arm dangling, as she looks through the leaves to watch a T-Rex dancing to a phonograph record.)

Home wasn’t much better for Kat.
(Kat walking through front door into dark, moody house. Lots of dull little family photos on the wall. She is dragging her school bag behind her.)

Kat dreamed all the time. Amazing, swirling, colourful, dark dreams. This night, though, she dreamed someone was watching her.
(Kat sleeping, her entire window filled with a big eyeball – with small pupil)

And, somehow, when she woke, Kat was not alone!
(Kat sitting up in bed, blankets off, a one foot love heart, still tucked in, beside her)

Kat called her Mum and Dad. The object was smooth, almost warm to touch. “It sure isn’t mine!” Mum said. “It could be a bomb!” said Dad. “Or a piece of lung cancer or something,” said Mum. Then, they went back into lounge.
“It’s beautiful…” Kat whispered to herself.
(Close-up of Kat and parents’ faces looking at floating heart. It is radiating the slightest glow that illuminates their faces. Dad’s a bit comically baffled/dumb.)

(Kat walking to school, with love heart floating, held by a string, like a balloon. School bus and kids waiting in background.)

“So, what’s it do?” the kids at school smirked, ready to make fun.
(Kat and love heart surrounded by a wall of leering wolf-faced school kids. One of the kids to the back, mostly hidden, still has a normal young girl’s face, with an awed, open-mouthed expression.)

“This is my magic object, I can use it to explore storm drains,” she said.
(Image of Kat standing in the water of a storm drain, lit by her floating love heart. Lots of tributary drains can be seen, the odd abandoned shopping trolley or rat.)

And to visit dragons…
(Huge dragon hunched, head low, to be looking at little girl with floating love heart. Again, the heart is slightly illuminating its face. The only other light is coming from the thin horizon light of a set sun, and the dragon’s eyes)

And light the way for frogs that get lost in rain.
(As described)

“Oh, and there was that time it helped me visit the merpeople…” Kat bluffed.
(Kat arms and legs wrapped around love heart, cheeks puffed/holding breath, hair drifting in dark green and shadow water, facing mermen and mermaids, light from above making its streaky way through.)

“Ohhh…” said the other kids. After that they had a bit more respect.
(Kat in class, sitting by herself, in back corner, love heart above her. Other kids, still with wolves’ heads, but more wide-eyed, twisting in their seats, in looking her way. The large eye from earlier is looking through the window)

“Well, if this object is yours, you should add your own touches,” the art teacher, Miss Capes, said.
(Kat standing, with object floating, on string, in front of teacher in art smock)

Kat built a magnificent frame for the object, (metal spiralled frame that only encases bottom, and loops over two top mounds) and used all her chore money to add jewels (putting in more small, sparkly spirals around its edges)

Kat used the object to hang out with birds…
(Kat in sky, holding on top love heart string, flapping seagull in front of her.)

Roam with gypsies…

Provide a light that stopped lonely ships crashing on rocks…
(Big night time swell crashing on lighthouse, with love heart for a beacon/ Pirate ship being tossed about by waves.)

For the most part, though, Kat simply let people admire and gossip and wonder in turn.
(Kat walking down street, everybody watching her, including eye from a window. Earlier dinosaur on a roof. There are a few wondrous things going on in the periphery -one window vomiting red flowers. A giant shark fin between building tops, traffic cop is a giant rabbit- Other kids in scene still have wolf heads. Except for one little girl, smaller and meeker than Kat, fingers held nervously in front of herself, following Kat)

The object gave her confidence. She found herself hanging out more, even in cafes…
(Kat, eyes poking above café table, love heart in air above her, little girl peeking around light post she is hiding behind.)

And imagined wondrous things!
(Kat walking with love heart along park track, being followed by the moon and a dozen owls, some coming from behind the moon, to give sense of scale that it is not just in the sky)

Then, one night, she dreamed she was being watched again.
“Have you had fun?” the voice asked.
“Oh, yes!” Kat said. “I feel stronger now. Braver!”
“Then you know what you must do…” the voice said.
(Kat, in bed, love heart floating, looking directly at huge eyeball in window.)

Kat spent days wrestling with what the voice said… But knew it was right. She took all her markings off the object.
(Kat removing the frame, the jewels.)

(Kat, sitting in a sunset, on a cliff edge, hugging the love heat, its frame and jewels beside her, tears in her eyes.)

She found someone as shy and awkward as she once was…
(Little girl from earlier, sleeping in bed, love heart tucked in beside her, as Kat climbs out of window)

Before taking all she had learned into the night…
(Kat walking towards reader, moon behind her, as if still following, one owl on her left shoulder, another flying down, behind her on the right is one of the mermaids in a bath, tale hanging over edge.)

The End
(Final small image; Kat as seen from above, sleeping, hair all over pillow, content smile of face, heart frame and jewels on bedside table beside her.)

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