Day 143: The Optimist

The Optimist
by
Matt Zurbo

Where Charlie grew up everybody loved to compete.
(Kid, mop of hair, likeable, watching smaller kid in footy gear with handful of trophies around him.)

Charlie liked sailing his opti.
(Charlie, smiling, on small, single sail, one person Optimist dinghy/yacht.)

He didn’t have to kick goals, be in a team, or even win anything.
(Charlie sailing through the air as his opti capsizes. There are other kids on their own optis sailing behind him.)

He just had to try. He just had to have fun!
(Charlie floating in water, smiling.)

Steer with the rudder. 
Learn to read the wind, use his weight. Try not to ram into other boats!
(Charlie working the opti. Again, other optis in background.)

Pull the sale in, release it…
(Coach on breakwater, shouting. Wave splashing high behind him on breakwater wall. Charlie sailing in front.)

Then, one day…
“Hey…”
(Charlie losing hold of rigging as wind pushes boat away from other kids sailing, who don’t notice.)

And by the time Charlie got control again…
(Charlie in opti, looking back at land, which is very distant.)

(Still, glassy water, Charlie standing in opti watching massive blue whale breach.)

(Watching black clouds of storm approaching, pocket of light in there, too.)

(Rising on big wave on dark, rough sea.)

(Looking dumbfounded at pirate ship passing.)

(Charlie, startled/recoiling looking at red octopus stuck in a floating wooden barrel.)

(Charlie, feet on side of barrel, pulling on a tentacle, hard, trying to free octopus.)

(Octopus popping out of barrel, both of them reeling back. In background, fishing boat is approaching.)

(Charlie hiding octopus behind his back, as grimy fishing boat, with rough crew pass, nets being reeled in.)

(Charlie watching fishing boat leave, startled as, behind him, front of opti is hitting a rock.)

(Boat sinking, Charlie hanging onto mast, watching octopus leaving him.)

(Charlie sitting on mast as shark fins circle.)

(Underwater image of two killer whales swimming fast. Tentacles behind one of them, reaching.)

(Underwater image of two very large crabs being reached for by octopus tentacles.)

(Condors flying, octopus tentacles rising behind them,)

(Double page of Charlie watching while standing on the rock that his opti wrecked on, as octopus is lifting opti out of water, while holding killer whale for balance, and two crabs that are using condor feathers to patch hole in boat. Birds flyjing above. Various fish watching from below.)

(Charlie and Octopus face-to-face, butting heads with affection.)

(Charlie on floating opti, arm out as octopus slithers off and back into water.)

(Charlie, controlling rudder, as mermaids and mermen swim alongside him.

(Charlie sailing past many small, tree-and rock islands.)

(Charlie sailing down face of enormous wave.)

(Charlie sailing on glassy water with full moon, huge, and stars above him. The odd cloud. Everything reflecting in glassy water.)

(Charlie and opti hopelessly small on never-ending, flat horizon.)

(Charlie sailing back behind breakwater, where all the other kids are still sailing. Coach still yelling from breakwater.)

(All optis out of water. Everybody packing up. Charlie in front of them all, walking away, whistling. Coach scratching his head, looking a the hole filed with bird feathers, puzzled.)

(Charlie sleeping in bed, with small grin, nothing else around it, opposite brother’s bed – other kid from start – which is surrounded by sports trophies and some skis and a footy.)

 

The End
(Charlie in opti, seen from back, sailing away on flat waters) 

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