Day 25: Storm Rising

Storm Rising
Matt Zurbo


Winter fell hard on Maggie’s town.

Most people (rugged up) scurried from A to B.

“It’s as if the weather is punishing us for enjoying such a long summer,” Maggie’s mother said.
But the rain felt like it had always been there. Summer seemed a lifetime ago.
(Maggie, super rugged-up, holding hand of mother who is dragging her along)

That dusk, Maggie watched the brewing storm outside.
(The way the trees bent and pushed.)
(The way people leaned into the wind)
(Black clouds building above roofs.)

When she stood next to the door, she could feel it pushing against her house, trying to get in.
“The storm is alive,” she whispered to herself.

Throughout dinner Maggie felt the air pressure grow and grow.
(Aerial image, framed by black clouds,  of Maggie’s small, working class home with attic, light coming from windows)

 When it was time for bed, she raced upstairs, turned off the nightlight and stared out the window.

And stared,
(Storm growing, starting to take shape)

and stared.
(Black cloud, lightening underneath, taking the shape of a large African man, in tribal clothes.)

As the storm rose over her house, with each lightening flash she could have sworn she saw all sorts of amazing things.
(Five or six pages of lightening amongst black clouds, revealing Viking ships at sea, gladiators, a bull charging through roses, rams butting heads, a God, water jug under arm, with water pouring out, feeding farmers and their land, two owls, baby owls huddled, sleeping around them as they shelter from the rain, full waterfalls flowing from fingers of child with huge smile, raising cupped hands out to catch the rain)

Finally, there was a THOOM!
(African man raising lightening above his head in clouds, making house look small, but we can just make out light from open doorway, with Maggie running outside, rain now very hard, puddles everywhere.)
And, in that moment, it wasn’t enough for Maggie to just watch the storm.

When she closed her eyes, Maggie could feel the midnight storm in her hair, and on her skin,
(Standing in dark front yard. Wind, shaped like a woman, blowing through Maggie, who has eyes closed)

smell the wet soil,

and hear the hiss and howl of wind surrounding her, swirling, pushing…

In that moment she was in love with all weather, glad to be alive!
(Maggie reaching arms out to the storm, smiling, eye close)

And, was sure she could feel the storm loved her back.
(Same image of Maggie, arms out wide, eyes closed, but looks tiny, as the African shape reaches down from the clouds, to touch her cheek)

Soon, Mum came racing outside. “What are you doing!?” she protested.
“Sometimes it’s healthy to get wet, Mum,” Maggie smiled.
(Mum a bit startled as Maggie hugs her in the rain.)

(Wordless image of Maggie’s Mum and Dad drying her off, while giving her a lecture, and pointing to her bed.)

Soon, the bulk of the storm had moved on, as if there were other battles to fight, but Maggie could still hear the cold wind against her window, hear the water in the gutters, the drips on the roof, the distant sound of fading thunder.
(Maggie’s face, distorted by rain on window, as she looks out, past viewer)

And smiled as if there were secrets only she knew!

(View from behind Maggie as she looks out window, we can just make out the African man’s back, raising another bolt of lightening amongst the distant clouds.)


The End

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