So in my build up towards my second feature film I have several projects including short films on the go. This recently has inspired me to delve back into writing in the short form, below is a story I dreamt up the other day. Hope you enjoy.
This story was inspired by something I read about peoples visual perceptions of things. Perfect timing really considering the stupidity surrounded the colour of a dress this week. It's funnt how so many of us constantly consume and are drawn to visually attractive things; like bee's to flowers. We all rush about collecting and consuming but seldom does anyone ever long to be the one who just gives stuff away (the flower). So don't be blindsided by attractive things, seek the broken, damaged and distorted. Seek the grotesque, the ill, the misfortunate. And most importantly it really doesn't matter what colour the dress is, the answer is redundant.
Here is a story I wrote to put things into perspective.
GONVILLE THE GANNET
From the back of the classroom we see each child is sat upright waiting patiently for the class to begin, the room is deathly silent. A single piece of chalk sits on the corner of each wooden desk, all lined up perfectly creating perpendicular rows between each desk. A large block of sunlight from the nearby window does little to brighten the dark mahogany wood that overwhelms this drab dark room. Faded drawings and diagrams of skeletal animals are pinned around the edge of the room hiding the crispy flakes of antique paint that shed like snake skin from the thick walls. The building is hundreds of years old and it looks just as decrepit as the teacher stood at the front room. The smell of boiling vegetables slowly rises through the room as the cooks prepare lunch on the floor below, it's 11:00 am after break and the science class is about to start.
Gonville stands with his back to the children. His tall gangly frame is swamped by a long black overcoat, wispy frayed threads of green cotton dangling from the buttons and crude wobbly stitching seems suggest Gonville either made this coat himself or has repaired it beyond recognition. He shuffles along as he frantically scribbles with chalk along the dusty black board. Faint latin words can just about be seen through biology diagrams and sketches. The chalk crumbles and squeaks as Gonville uses all his might to squeeze the stick of chalk between his fumbly fingers. His elaborate and messy instructions are finalised with a thumping dot of the chalk on the board.
The lesson is about to start.
Gonvilles face is malformed and covered in burnt skin, blemished, shiney and stretched in all the wrong places. His mottled bald head contains a few wispy long hairs and with his thin lips clamped shut he turns around to face the classroom. His eyes shimmer like black marbles, each one set very wide apart giving him a fish like appearance. During the fire it's rumoured he inhaled so much smoke the whites of his eyes turned completely black and never fully recovered, some folk speculate that he no longer see's in colour anymore.
Gonville looks from left to right across the silent room of children, each eager to learn and listen to whatever he has to say. Laid out in front of him on a long wooden bench are several scalpels and sharp metal implements an array of scientific instruments including petri dishes, syringes and jars all surround a purple cloth that covers something which slowly breathes. Gonville taps the desk with his index finger, with each tap his pin pointed nail digs deeper into the wood creating a small splintered crater. In a revealing fashion he elegantly whips the cloth away to reveal an upturned frog spread out on it's back. It's arms and legs are tied to the corner of a block of wood upon which it lays, it's mouth occasionally opens and closes in time with the rising of it's belly. Gonville begins to explain to the class a detailed visual description about the specimen, he describes the texture of the creature, it's form, weight and colour, its bulging eyes, mouth and bulbous fingers, although he could be describing himself. Gonvilles mouth pucks open and his voice croaks on certain vowels. The children each take out a small slate of chalk board and with unified gestures they all begin to draw the outline of the creature in perfect synchronisation.
As the children continue to draw, Gonville drags his sharp finger nail down the belly of the frog slicing it wide open from top to bottom, the frog croaks and all the children mimic it's sound. This clearly pleases Gonville, his eyes widen and his cheeks rise to reveal a grimacing smile. He slices across the belly widthways and pulls back the skin like a small jacket potato, he leans in close to inspect the internal organs of the creature and saliva wells up in the corner of his mouth. In a split second he jabs his sharp finger nail into the frogs tiny beating heart. The frog tries to leap but it's legs just flutter from side to side. Gonville quickly pops the heart into his mouth and slowly begins to chew. None of the children react, no-one screams or cries. No one moves an inch as Gonville continues to devour the innards of the contorting creature.
Ignorance isn't always bliss but Gonville teaches at a school for the blind!