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Close Your Eyes

by  andinadia

Posted: Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Word Count: 787
Summary: Ok this one could divide opinions. It's nothing like I imagined when I started it. More than a little reference to Where the Wild Things Are, but I wanted to push the surreal even further. I'm not very sure of it myself! I see the 'large shapes' as ever-present in the outdoor scenes, but indistinct. The 'small shapes' are the mini-equivalents of the large shapes. (The shapes help make things happen.)

Close your eyes
Spread 1
Alfie’s mum dropped him off and hooted the horn twice. She saw Max’s dad wave from the window. Max opened the door.
Alfie looked back at his mum.
‘See you at six,’ she said.
(a/w: Max is opening the door. We can see the head of Max’s dog Jax peering past Max’s legs. Max’s mum is at the window. There are indistinct ‘shapes’ at the upper windows.  There are ‘large shapes’ in the background/garden.)
Spread 2
‘Hey, Alfie,’ Max said. ‘Follow me.’
Alfie followed Max. He kept his coat on. He never knew with Max.
‘Everything’s ready,’ Max said. ‘Let’s go.’
(a/w: They are standing in a room in the house. There is furniture that will re-form itself in Spread 3. We can see a painting of Max’s mum waving, hanging on the wall. We can also see that the dog is wearing a life jacket. There is a closed door in the background. We can see glimpses of ‘people’ scattering, their legs just visible as they run off into other rooms and corridors.)
Spread 3
‘Go where?’ Alfie asked. ‘My mum’s coming at six.’
‘That’s OK,’ Max said, ‘We’re only going to Five O’Clock Island. Close your eyes and hum. Hum, two, three! Now open them.’
(a/w: The furniture has changed into a boat. Max is holding what could be a mechanical diagram or a map.)
Spread 4
‘Hey, do you like cabbage?’ Max asked.
‘I…,’ Alfie began.
‘Close your eyes and say CABBAGE!’ Max said. He put his hands over Alfie’s eyes. ‘Say CARROT! Say STAR, STAR, STAR, STAR, STAR, STAR, STAR!’
Max took Alfie by the hands and they jumped up and down around the boat as they shouted ‘STAR, STAR, STAR, STAR, STAR, STAR, STAR!’
‘Open your eyes, Alfie.’
(a/w: The two boys jumping up and down around the boat. Jax is also jumping around excitedly.)
Spread 5
Alfie loved the boat. The sail smelled strong.
‘It’s a very strong sail,’ Max said. ‘It’s the strongest.’
‘It can take us to Five O’Clock Island!’ Alfie said.
‘But we can’t sail from here,’ Max said. ‘You pick up the prow.’
(a/w: Now the boat has a sail made of cabbage leaves covered in stars, and a carrot for a mast. Jax has got into the boat.)
Spread 6
They carried the boat up the stairs to a room at the top of the house. The window was open. 
(a/w: Carrying the boat into the room, followed by the excitable dog. Alfie has the front end. There are two rucksacks in the middle of the floor, with a small pile of books, binoculars, flare gun, life vests, as well as a grandfather clock.)
Spread 7
They loaded the boat. Max blew into Alfie’s hands. Alfie felt a ball of air grow between his hands.
‘Now throw it!’ Max shouted.
Alfie threw the air ball into the sail and the boat began to rise up. They jumped in and the boat floated through the open window.
(a/w: They’re floating out of the window, into the hands of the ‘large shapes’. The dog jumps onto the boat.)
Spread 8
The boat sailed and sailed towards the sun.
‘Jax loves Five O’Clock Island,’ said Max. Jax licked Max’s face. Then he licked Alfie.
(a/w: The indistinct large shapes are passing the boat from hand to hand. Back in the house we can see the ‘small shapes’ at the window they have just sailed from.)
Spread 9
Jax stood at the front of the boat and smelled the air. He began to sing. Alfie picked up the binoculars.
The boat landed on the island and they put the clock on the shore so that they could see the time.
Spread 10
There were hundreds of cats on the island. They all stood in a line and sang with Jax.
The sun was going down. The clock struck five.
‘Max …,’ Alfie said.
‘Time to go, Jax,’ Max said.
(a/w: The row of cats, paying their respects to Jax.)
Spread 11
Alfie threw an air ball into the sail. They sailed and sailed, away from the sun. Max closed his eyes. Alfie closed his eyes.
‘Is your friend staying for dinner?’ Max’s dad asked. Alfie opened his eyes. The boat was gone but there was a strong smell of cabbage.
(a/w: Max’s parents come out of the side room – the door that we saw in Spread 2)
Spread 12
A horn hooted twice outside. Alfie looked around for the clock.
‘We must have left it there,’ said Max. ‘We’ll get it next time. No one will notice.’
(a/w: View from inside the house, towards the open front door. Alfie’s mum at the door.)