Day 61: Insides Out

Insides Out
Matt Zurbo


Ollie was bored. “Bored!” he raged.
(Small kid in onesie shouting – yes, this is a shameless throw it Where the Wild Things Are)

So was sent to his room. And wished, like he always did, he was somewhere else.
(Pouting in bedroom, one of his toys is a Where the Wild Thing Are doll.)

But this night he whispered as he dreamed,
and dreamed,
and his whisper caught the moonbeams, which reflected off his bedroom mirror, back into the night,
(Four owls carrying him, in his pjs, through starry sky as he sleeps)

(Owls dropping him, he is landing, sleeping, in saddle on wombat’s back, guided by goanna on hind legs, with robe, holding a glowing staff)

Ollie somehow got his wish.
(Ollie sitting on ground, rubbing eyes, still in pjs, in front of sign: Hollowtown)
“Where’s that?” he read.

Sure enough, the people of Hollowtown seemed to have no centre.
(Several pages of people walking left and right with ship portal windows on their torsos, or house windows. Boy with numerous goldfish inside him. Girl with butterflies, another boy with gears and clogs. Man with cage window with parrot on perch inside. Policeman is totally transparent, like glass, save for his face. Inside him are bees. Zoo has tiger with its keeper inside, monkey with a banana. Elephant has medieval knights in its windows.)

Ollie caught the local bus.
(Dragon with line of ship portal windows along its side.)

Everything had something inside it!
(Fat tree with office windows, and fire station at the bottom.)

(Monster, four stories tall, casually throwing rock into its mouth to eat. It has windows of a fitness gym running down its side.)

“Where’s your window?” the Mayor declared.
(Mostly transparent Mayor full of clock faces on inside)
“Oh. I don’t have one,” Ollie confessed. “I’m just flesh and blood on the inside, I guess.”
“Lock him up!”
“I’m scared!” people shouted.
(Three people recoiling in horror. Youngest with iPod and speakers inside her, middle with old record player, oldest with ancient gramophone)

“I… but… wait…!” sputtered Ollie.
(Ollie being carted off by two policemen)

Ollie was thrown in prison.
(Hippo with windows, through which we can see Ollie and two girls. One blond and sort of gothic, the other tough and rough.)

“Hi, I’m Luna,” the first girl said.
“What are you in here for?” Ollie asked.
“I keep letting my moon out.”
(Gothic girl has gothic window with grey crater-filled surface in it. We can just make out the bend of the moon’s edge, to suggest even though it is inside her, it is quite large.)

“I’m Sally Tuff!” said Sally Tuff. “I keep spitting my boots at people. It’s fun!”
(Sally has old boots in her. She is spitting boot at Ollie’s feet. Ollie is recoiling.)

“Is it true you only have flesh and blood on the inside?” the Judge asked.
(Viking Giant walking, smaller people shuffling here and there as high as his shins. Viking Giant has a see-through/glass vest, inside it, is a two tory high courtroom, with Judge sitting high, Ollie and Mayor beneath him, jury behind them. Viking has wooden plaque around neck that says: Courthouse. Dragon Bus flying in background.)

“I dunno,” Ollie said. “I have imagination. My dreams and ideas and stuff…”
(Inside Viking. We can make out the Judge has a number of half open draw coming out of him full of books and legal files. Ollie is scratching his head. Jury, behind him, have an angry, barking dog in each of their chest cages. Mayor is lunging, pleadingly, towards Ollie.)
“Imagination!? Ideas!? We NEED you!” pleaded the Mayor. “As you can see, each of us is only good at one thing.”

“Oh,” said Ollie.
(Ollie, baffled, being led as if he is royalty. Police herding people away. Mayor cupping Ollie’s shoulders, steering him onto a blue whale waiting at the docks, with windows down its side. A sign on the dock says: Ocean Cruises.)

(Ollie looking out window of giant whale)

“This is Sav,” the council said.
“Silly Sav!”
‘He has a piece of the sun in him!”
“Wanted to impress the girls!”
“The sun is too hot!”
“Now he might melt us all!” squealed the mayor.
(The council are three gorillas with ship portal windows, but the windows are open, and each one has a man in a suit inside, doing the talking. They are all standing on a light buoy that is on dry sand. In the background is a boy, intense, bright light coming off him, standing on island, water around it has boiled away, dead fish bones etc… on ocean floor, palm tree burnt.)

“None of us can get close enough to remove the sun from Sav,” groaned the Mayor.
“Have you tried asking him to spit it out?” Ollie asked.
“Many times! Listen…” the Mayor said. “HEY, GIVE UP THE SUN!”
“No way! It makes me look cool!” Sav shouted back.
“YOU’RE BEING SELFISH!” the Mayor shouted.
“Nah-ah. You are!” Save pouted.
(Mayor tilting back, shouting through loud speaker/megaphone, small crab or two falling out of it. All three gorillas and councillors inside, wincing as they lean away as one, each of them blocking their ears. Ollie ducking under the loud speaker’s volume.)

“We tried to jump him once,” the Mayor added. “What a disaster!”
“We almost boiled!” said the council.
“It’s true!”
“We almost did!”
(Sav in middle of frame, glowing so hot, all you can make out is his shape. Monster, people of the town, Viking Giant, hippo etc, being driven away, wincing, melting, half white with light.)

“Hm…” said Ollie. “First, I need you to let Luna and Sally Tuff out of jail…”
(Ollie, hand to chin, thinking. Mayor looking shocked.)

A plan was formed…
(Six kids huddling. Luna, Sally, Boy with goldfish, boy with gears, girl with butterflies, and Ollie.)

“It all depends on you, Luna,” Ollie said.
(Ollie talking to Luna as she opens her mouth impossibly wide, and the moon starts to come out, full and impossibly big)

(Luna tensing, sweating, in the shade of her moon, that is blocking out the light from Sav. Other kids running in from left and right.)

(Sav looking up in wonder at butterflies as they come from girl’s mouth.)

Disruption! Invention!
(Sally spitting boot out that is now on fire, but hitting Sav in the bum. He is falling forward, the piece of sun like an orange slice, falling out. Boy with gears has portal on chest open, his gears are flowing out, forming the mechanical arm of a medieval catapult with bucket at end.)

(Close-up of catapult hurtling piece of sun away)

(Boy with goldfish spitting one of them into no-longer-glowing Sav’s open/startled mouth.)

Oh, so good! Ollie had never felt such joy!
(Double page spread. Ollie being held above shoulders, super happy. Whole township throwing/spitting their insides into the air in celebration! Only mayor is running around trying to stop them.)

No, wait…!
(Everyone has open mouths to reclaim their insides as they fall, but some people are getting the wrong insides back, others are getting, say, a butterfly with their cogs, or a book with their fish, etc…)

After that, every cog-and-gear kid had a rose and thorns inside, every story book girl had a butterfly, each butcher a bouncing ball. Kids with planets inside them also carried a sea monkey, or somesuch.
(Close-up of smile and chest of girl with butterflies. We can see the butterflies through her portal, but also one of the Judge’s books. People of Hollowtown walking about, happy in background.)

“Interesting times ahead, I guess,” said the Mayor.
(Mayor scratching his head as he watches dragons bus with gorillas in the widow. Ollie beside Mayor, yawning.)

And Ollie went back home,
(Sleeping on wombat)

the way he came…
(Sleeping, being carried by owls)

(Ollie yawning/stretching as he wakes in his bed, small pile of old boots on floor.)

with new friends in his heart.
(Ollie holding up an old boot, smiling, as a butterfly leaves it and a tiny cog or two fall out.)


The End


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