Day 190: The Hiding Place

The Hiding Place
Matt Zurbo


Marta had a secret hiding place.
It was safe there,
from bullies and noise and scary toys.
(Girl sitting, hugging knees, within blue and black velvet curtain over closet doorway.)

In Marta’s hiding place she could dance, and laugh and be free.

But it was only a hiding place. She still had to go on the bus,

and be around people,

and go to school.

Sometimes, Marta went to her hiding place because life was hard,
(Mum and Dad dressed in black, coming home from funeral. Marta, also in black, running for curtain.)

or cruel.
(Bullies taunting as Marta holds bird with broken wing.)

But, often, simply because her world could be boring.

Marta’s hiding place was… wondrous!
(Marta engaging with fabulous creatures. Most dancing, some looking up with telescopes. Colourful tentacles coming out of closet corners.)
In it, her imagination was real.

One day, Marta’s mother told her; “You should get out and about more.”
(Marta being pushed out of hiding place by Mum.)

So that was what Marta did.
(Marta, using a stick to hold up circular shower curtain rail with hiding place cloth dangling down, around her, peering through gap.)

From Marta’s hiding place the world no longer looked boring… at all.
(Double page spread. Same view of street as earlier, but some people are now strange creatures. Some of which so tall we can only see their legs. Beautiful strange shape with round centres and tentacles sprouting here and there. Quirky, strange, flying shapes.)

(Shark fins ‘swimming’ along street past either side of Martha…)

(Another image of Marta walking, poking head out from hiding place in wonder at amazing, magical street.)

(Marta’s palm reaching out from shower curtain hiding place, floating creature of circles and tentacles, warm colours, and dots, reaching down to make gentle contact.)

But, not everyone liked Marta’s hiding place.
“This is too weird,” they said. “You have to be like us.”
“Why?” Marta asked.
“Because!” they raged.
(Marta being pulled, like a tug-of-war, from her hiding place.)

Marta felt really stressed without her hiding place. The world was both frightening and dull.
(Marta walking, apprehensive, everybody looks big, with shadowed, almost fox-like faces.)

She found it hard to be herself. Marta dared not do anything different at all.

(Marta standing in netball uniform with other netballers, all robot-like. Marta nervous look in her eyes.)

People were worried about her.
(Marta walking head down.)

Then, and idea hit Marta. She studied hard, and learned to sew.
(Marta, sewing books piled here and there, is head down, sewing and cutting pieces of hiding place curtain. The rest of the frame and cloth still behind her.)

Some people thought Marta was weird to dress like that.
(Marta is now wearing black and blue velvet dress, with black and blue hat and dark sunglasses. Other people gossiping as she passes.)
She didn’t care.

Marta found other people with their secret, mobile hiding spots.
(Marta walking, dress trailing down to ground, along: boy crouching on his skateboard, girl half hiding behind her electric guitar, boy peering out to the side from the book he is reading, girl peering out to the side from the bunch of flowers she is holding.)

It was good to know she wasn’t alone.
(Marta conversing with skate boy, flower girl behind them, listening.)

Besides, now the world was interesting again!
(Marta walking, centre of frame, in hiding place dress and sunglasses. Beautiful odd shapes/creatures on footpath and in air around her.)



The End.

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