Day 162: The Underwater Treehouse

The Underwater Tree House
by
Matt Zurbo

 

(Kid looking dreamily at the sky above the treetops.)

“Dad, I’m going to play in the tree house,” William said.
(Dad a hairy fisherman with waterproof pants on. Porch full of craypots, etc… seagulls. Kid putting on deep sea diver’s gear, helmet beside him.)

“Are the conditions right?”
(Dad, standing at porch railing, looking to sky. Kid, all geared up, walking down stairs to gate.)

“I think so.”
(Kid, walking alongside jetty, into the ocean., holding helmet, looking at the sky.)

“You think so?”
(Kid helmet on, water as high as nose, small fish jumping out of water.)

“I’m sure!”
(Kid under the water.)

“Okay, but be safe.”
(Kid, bubbles coming from helmet, fish everywhere.)

(Kid jumping down/free-falling through water.)

(Kid stopping, feet on ocean floor, looking at pillars of kelp in kelp forest, an old tug boat caught in two kelp pillars.)

The ocean is funny.
It breaths. It sighs.
Everything sways.
(Kid, grabbing bottom corner of boat, pillars of kelp are wrapped around it.)

Anything with a fin can fly.
(Kid looking up at stingrays passing, catching the light.)

And the only reflection to be found is in a whale’s eye.
(Huge whale passing tree house.)

In my tree house we become pirates…
(Kid, dressed as pirate, at on top of helmet, shouting over rails as sharks.)

we dance with seahorses,
(Swaying in the kelp pillars.)

play with mythology.
(Ocean floor, looking up at kid trying to pull tug boats barnacle-covered anchor free. Swimming above him are sea dragons, behind them is a beaded sea God, filling the view.)

I imagine things
all
the
time…
(Kid lowering, on one knee, hands either side, onto the back of a GIANT crab.)

Sometimes I just watch the currents and tides,
these almost invisible highways
of water,
temperatures,
that travel the world,
(Kid holding onto one of the buffer tires attached to the side, but pulled sideways by the current.)

affecting its weather,
keeping us all alive,
(View of world.)

brining plankton, krill,
(Giant vacuum shark curling around tree house/tugboat, chasing krill.)

turning a watery desert into… something wild.
Birds piercing the water above the tree house, capturing fish.)

A shark wants our tree house…
Underwater scavengers, too.
They can have it
and can’t.
It belongs to the ocean,
(Kid, sitting on tugboat cabin as shark swims through it, and eels through portholes, etc… Crabs climbing sides.)

just like us.
(Close-up of kid, helmet on, reaching hand out, surrounded by hundreds of beautiful jellyfish.)

Until the currents take the krill again…
(Kid in tugboat/tree house, all alone, sea floor empty. Lots of darkness, save one patch of light. Above, a storm is brewing. Clouds match dark and light underwater.)

(Dolphin jumping through choppy wave, rain is falling. Big, black clouds.)

Time to go…
(Kid climbing buoy chain through streaks of underwater light.)

“I told you to be careful.”
(Kid, helmet still on, walking out of a rough sea. Dark clouds behind him. Father, in full fisherman’s wets, standing on shoreline.)
“Yeah, yeah.”

(An octopus, beautiful, swimming up from bottom corner of page, tentacles uncurling, after a small fish at top right of page.)

(Long shot of tree house/tug boat, caught up on kelp pillars, surrounded by deep green water…)

 

 

The End.

 

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