Day 300: If…

If…
by
Matt Zurbo

 

One day, Bobby found the strangest thing at his door.
(Kid peeking through his front door letter slot.)

,(Kid in rain looking at the letters ‘i’, about 3ft tall, and ‘f’, about 4ft.)

He wasn’t sure what to do with this word…
(Walking with the letters held under his arm in the rain.)

If I had a billycart… he thought.
(Kid in billycart wit the letters, racing wombats through paddock.)

 If could fly…
(Old leather pilot helmet and goggles on, and man-made wings, letters on his back.)

 If I let my imagination loose in class…
(Kid in class, letters ‘i’ and ‘f’ on his desk, other kids surrounded by weird creatures small and tall.)

If I rowed out to sea, what amazing things might I see?
(Rowing through rough seas with letters on boat.)

What things might see me?
(On boat with letters, mermaids and mermen and weird sea creature under them in water. Dragons and octopus poking out of water.)

If I stomped and crashed and growled, what would others think?
(Stomping and crashing making letters bounce, other kids pulling back.)

That night Bobby lay in bed, thinking.  
If I ran that marathon. If aliens landed. If I could hear the world’s smallest sound. If I could hear ghosts talk. If someone needed saving. If voodoo was real…
If, if, if…
(Kid sleeping uncomfortably on belly, with letters on his back, witch doctor in background shadows)

The next day Bobby woke up and thought… What if I was an astronaut?
Just like that.
(Kid walking down street wearing a space suit, helmet under arm, letters in a little cart he is dragging.)

Other people had found letters, too!
(Other kids with letters forming words – happy, sad, cool, dog, clever, stormy – all big and bulky and hard to carry around.)

Sally had Bobby’s favourite word.
“If you hung out with m…” Bobby started to ask, but Sally drifted away.
(Boy, with ‘if’ letters beside him, watching girl with letters “Free” she is holding, as she drifts away into the sky.)

Everybody else’s letters only said one thing. They were ‘glad’, or ‘smart’, or ‘happy’ or ‘tall’.
But Bobby’s word…
It could be scary.

If I ruled the world…
If I cried for no reason at all…
If people cheered when I fell…
(Standing on top of letters with military uniform on, shouting.)

It could be amazing, in big ways and small…
If trees rebelled…
If every roof was a vegetable garden…
If giants were real…
If I could walk through the Dreamtime…
If the sun never set…

If I could tell jokes…
(Kid standing on his letters in class, making other kids laugh.)

If I could make Dad less sad…
(Kid wearing clown outfit, poking out from letters, looking up at moping dad.)

If he worked hard, Bobby could do anything with his letters, good or bad!
That was a lot of pressure!
It made him lonely.
(Kid sitting slumped on a fence with letters, alone…)

Then, the next morning, he saw Wanda.
(Girl dragging big letters ‘w’ and ‘e’, that are on their sides.)

Bobby and Wanda decided to team up.
If we became fishermen…
(Both of them on pier, haling crayfish-pods, dressed like fishermen. Their letters have seagulls sitting on them.)

If we made our own drive-in…
(The two of them in deck chairs in night paddock, with a projector plugged into a generator, projecting onto the side of a grazing cow.)

If we discovered monsters were real… and liked to dance!
(Both of them, and monsters, dancing around and on letters.)

If we saw shark fins swimming down the street…
(One running, the other jumping, with fright, as shark fins weave down street, bowling over the ‘if.)

If we fell in love…
(Letters on branches of tree. Girl is leaning against the ‘w’. Boy is dangling from a branch.)

Sometimes they even invited friends over…
(Each of them standing with their letters while kid with the word ‘what’ in arms greets them…)

What if we formed a band?
What if we were magicians… who did magic tricks with people emotions? Cut them in half, make them disappear?
What if we could pull moods from a hat… and wear them like coats?
What if we tried to save the planet?

(Three of them, letters in the dirt, as they, and monsters, plant trees in an undulating field.)

Scientist came to Bobby with their ideas,
as did politicians,
poets, writers,
dreamers…
(All sorts queuing up at Bobby’s door with words like ‘save’, ‘help’, ‘need’, ‘please’ and many simply with a large question mark. Bobby and Wendy unseen, with ‘if’ and ‘we’ letters on roof, looking down at them.)

But, mostly, it was just Bobby and Wendy, inventing stuff, having fun…
(Both of them in a hot air balloon, letters dangling from ropes like weight bags.)
“There’s so much you can add to our letters,” Bobby sighed.
“Anything,” Sally agreed.

Now and then, Bobby still liked to mess with his letters on his own…
If I could find a way…
If I built…
If lightening struck over there…

If I fell for no reason at all…
(Kid and his letters falling through the air.)
If, if, if…

He would just hang out and play around with two letters that formed the simplest, most beautiful word of all…
(Kid, dressed as a one man band, walking off page pulling his two letters, back in little cart.)

 

 

 

 

 

The End

 

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