Day 286: A Little Gothic Tale

A Little Gothic Tale
Matt Zurbo


Emily often felt lonely without knowing why.
(Girl, a bit gothic, with long, while hair and dress, holding a small love-heart shaped balloon.)

She had friends, family.
Sometimes, though, she just felt sad. Alone.
(Sitting in tree, watching friends and family at a picnic.)

So, Emily one day decided to bottle her loneliness in a jar.
This was not an easy thing to do. “How do you catch loneliness?” she wondered.
(Emily, with balloon, trying to get the last of the jam out of a jar with a knife.)

After various attempts, Emily listened to sad music by herself until she cried.
(Night, Emily in bedroom with open window, tree and moon outside, small record player in background, playing as she cried a tear into her jam jar.)

Suddenly, “I don’t feel lonely any more!” Emily smiled with joy.

The next day, Emily had such fun!
(Emily, arms wide, big smile, skipping through playground. Other kids noticing her joy.)

At night, she stared at her loneliness as if it was a strange thing.
(Staring at creature in jar.)

It haunted her dreams.
(Creature, large, looking sad as it stands over her bed/as she sleeps.)

So she sold it at a garage sale to Jasmine, a kid who was sick of being popular.
(Handing over jar to dark skinned girl)

It was weird. After a while, Emily noticed something missing in her life.  
(At a picnic with other kids, all happy, playing, laughing, except for Emily, who is sitting, expressionless.)

So she decided to track her loneliness down. “Just to see if it’s okay,” she lied to herself.(Walking streets with her love heart balloon.)

Jasmine and her loneliness looked like they were having a great time.
(Jasmine now sitting in tree, the loneliness creature is dangling from the branch, casually, as they talk. Emily is watching them.)
Emily felt jealous for some reason.

Jasmine did so many things with her loneliness! Things that Emily used to do! 
(Watching a beautiful sunset with loneliness creature. Emily watching from a distance.)

(Reading a book with it, while lying in long grass, under beautiful cloud-filled sky. Emily watching from behind a tree.)

And more…!
(Sitting on rooftop, singing. Loneliness creature playing double bass. Emily hiding behind a chimney.)
“What a voice!” Emily said.

Emily was getting annoyed, so she put her jealousy in a jar and sold it, too.
(Emily chin jutting with grumpy jealousy, holding another, empty, jar in front of herself, while following Jasmine, who is giving loneliness creature a piggyback.)

Only to see Jasmine buy that, too.
(Emily, horrified face, selling a doll, but turning to see Jasmine holding the jar with jealousy in it.)

Emily was happy, but also numb, which frustrated her so much!
(Emily in a circle of friends, playing, but is the only one of them looking up, at Jasmine, who has her two creatures around her, standing at a distance, watching back.)

So she sold her frustration.
(Hand handing over another, different shaped jar to dark-skinned hand.)

And, every time Jasmine brought another part of Emily, her ability so sing beautiful, sad songs grew.
(Jasmine sitting on log, three creatures in discrete backing band playing as she sings.)

And grew.
(Standing on rock on windy beach, singing to sea storm.)

Emily decided she wanted her loneliness back. “But how…?” she stressed. 
(Emily in daylight, looking down dark lane at Jasmine singing. So are other people.)

Being lonely now looked warming to her… 
(Emily sitting hunched on roof edge.)

So decided to whisper to her loneliness when Jasmine was asleep.
(Climbing through bedroom window at night. Jasmine asleep. Loneliness creature sitting on seat beside bed, expressionless, other creatures on floor, asleep, too.)

“Psst. Come back,” she begged.
“Sing to me, first…” it said.
“But I can’t sing,” Emily pleaded.
“Sing…” it insisted.
Yet, without loneliness Emily had nothing to sing about.
(Emily pleading to the creature, that is behind the seat, clutching/peering over its backrest.)

(Jasmine playing her guitar, eyes closed, surrounded by Emily’s friends, who are sitting on ground, watching. Emily’s standing back from them all, on her own, with balloon, watching.)

Then, one day, while moping about, Emily saw Jasmine selling her popularity.
“They’ll never part now,” she cried.
(Jasmine in dark lane, surrounded now by about 5 creatures, giving a large jar to another kid.)

(Emily, head lowered, walking, very glum. Balloon let go, is rising without her.)

(Emily, in same walking stance, now has a creature in exact same stance, walking behind her.)

Yet, on the way home, Emily realised; “I… I’m lonely without my loneliness…?”
(Emily turning, her and creature cautiously looking at each other.)

And smiled, and laughed.
Oh, she laughed.
(Her and creature laughing with joy.)

Emily was what she was.
(Emily, with balloon, and creature, standing on own in otherwise crowded train. Everyone else either with someone, or talking on a their mobile phones.)

Her occasional loneliness helped her love life.
(Emily and creature on a jetty. She is sitting, looking out to sea sadly. It is lying, looking over edge into water.)

There was something warming about that.
(Emily walking, happily, foot forward for balance, while giving creature a shoulder ride.)


The End
(Emily walking down street with her creature. Every other person looks normal, but has a creature or two of their own, riding their backs, in their pockets, walking alongside, sitting on their shoulders, being pushed in wheelbarrows, etc….)  


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