“We would set our own hearts on fire for a mere moment of warmth”

This is a script/storyboard (plus some other bits) for a cartoon that I pitched unsuccessfully to the BFi for their Animation 2018 project (the winners of which are being shown on BBC Four this Sunday, and which should be brilliant).

If it had actually been made, it would have had sets built by Dan Rawlings and sound design by Chriddof, with slightly inept claymation (with wooden heads) animation by me (which was presumably the reason it wasn’t commissioned).

Also the other reason it probably wasn’t commissioned is because it is absolutely the most depressing thing I’ve ever written.

[Some of the models for this were later re-used in They Locked Me In This Room And Told Me To Confess, which was another unsuccessful submission for a thing (the Observer Short Comic Competition thing they run each year). Maybe these poor plasticine abominations are cursed in some way.]

[If you can’t read the words you can click on the image to enlarge it. If you still can’t read the writing, it is because it is illegible to all but me. I am sorry.]

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Notes:

1. Written in February and March, 2018

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Pumpkin

There was a pumpkin on my doorstep, smiling at me.

I don’t know what it was doing there, or why it was smiling.

Perhaps it had just killed something

or was at least thinking about killing something.

Perhaps it was thinking about killing me.

But I’m 6 foot 2 and presumably beyond its powers

So I wasn’t especially worried about that

I thought about asking it what it was doing there and/or why it was smiling

but in the end I didn’t

just in case it replied.

I leant over it and unlocked the door and sidled past it, trying to prevent it from getting in, but it slipped nimbly between my legs and disappeared inside.

Now there’s a pumpkin in my house and I don’t know where.

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Notes:

1. Written on the 30th of October, 2018

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Flying Directly Into The Sun









































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Notes:

1. Written between November 9th and November 11th, 2006
2. This was written to accompany an instrumental album by Luke Elliott
3. With one chapter for each song
4. From an outline by Luke
5. It was presumably the longest thing I’d ever written at the time
6. Although now it has been surpassed
7. On occasion
8. And was also probably my first accompaniment
9. To a concept album about space
10. But not nearly the last

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Tale #19: The Three Doors and the Fourth

There was a woman who was married away by her family to a man she had never met. Their wedding was brief, and he left as soon as the vows were complete, for he had a great many interests to attend to, few of which, if any, could be delayed or delegated away.

Once he was finally free for a while from his obligations, she travelled the great distance from her home in the city to his in the mountains, alone and unaccompanied by any except for the taciturn driver of her husband’s formal carriage. Even when she arrived at her new home there was no-one around to greet her.

She approached the house and knocked on the door and when there was no answer she knocked again. When her third knock went unanswered she opened the door herself and stepped across the threshold.

She was greeted apologetically inside by her husband, who looked resplendent in the uniform of his office. He told her much about his life and his ambitions, and showed her the many rooms and halls of the house. But there were three doors he forbade her from opening. “Enter them,” he said. “And there would be no turning back.” But of what lay beyond he would not talk.

The next day he left to attend to the important matters of his office of state, as well as to his business affairs. And his pleasures, too, no doubt, although what they might be his wife had no idea, for he had confided in her little beyond the pleasantries of everyday acquaintance. And so she was left alone in the house.

It was too cold outside to venture far, and too remote for visitors to arrive uninvited or unannounced. She wandered the halls and the corridors of the house alone, sitting occasionally in front of a fireplace or beside a window, reading perhaps a book or studying the art that hung forgotten on the walls.

Eventually to overcome her boredom she sought out the first of the forbidden doors and stood before it. She knocked and when there was no answer she knocked again. When that too went unanswered she opened the door herself and stepped across the threshold.

She was greeted brusquely inside by her husband, who looked tired in the drab grey of his business attire. He told her much of his life and achievements, as he walked with her from room to room and through the halls of his house. There were two doors he forbade her from opening. “Enter them and there would be no turning back,” he said. But of what lay beyond he would not talk.

The next day he left to attend to his interests of business. And to his pleasures, too, no doubt. Although what they might be his wife did not dare to know. And so she was left alone again in the desolate house.

There was too much snow outside to venture far, and the roads were unsuitable for all but the most important journeys. So she wandered the halls and the corridors of the house alone, sitting occasionally by a fireplace, reading perhaps a book to pass the time.

Eventually to relieve the boredom she sought out the second of the doors forbidden to her and stood before it. She knocked. There was no answer, and so she opened the door and stepped across the threshold.

She was greeted inside with fury by her husband, who looked haggard and unwell in the faded velvet of his evening wear. He told her much of his life and regrets as he pursued her from room to room. But when she came to one door he stood in front of it and forbade her to enter. “There would be no turning back,” he said, but of what lay beyond he would not talk.

The next day he left to attend to his pleasures, the details of which his wife knew more about than she cared to know. And so she was left alone in the desolate tomb of his house.

The glaciers pressed in against the walls of the house and there was no escape. She sat in her bed and stared at the walls. Before her stood the third of the doors.

She stood before it.

She opened the door.

She stepped across the threshold.

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Notes:

1. From May 2015
2. A variant of Bluebeard, by Charles Perrault (among others)

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