Digital Ischemia

30/09/2012

Whigmaleerie

Filed under: What You Wish For-S — Teepwriter @ 11:57

EXT. BENACHAR HOUSE – SUMMER, DAY

Over-saturating sunshine.  Polly lolls on a deck chair.  Will leaps up to her.  She glances up, squinting.

POLLY
You again?!

WILL
And good afternoon to you!  Quiet too.  Where is everyone?

Polly flaps her hand at the hill.

WILL (CONT’D)
Do they walk that far?

POLLY
No, one wee face at each shoulder.  You can imagine.

WILL
Jade babbling, Finn sleeping.

Polly grins, nods, settles back.  Will eases into a deck chair beside her, props his foot on a low stone wall.

Polly nods off.  Will scrawls in a notebook on his thigh, squinting at the reflected brightness.  He pauses, glances at her, smirks.  He reaches for her hand, aborts.

FLASHBACK – EXT. BENACHAR HOUSE – 1988, SUMMER, DAY

Idyllic.  Polly and Will, 8, chase each other around and over a low stone wall and the remains of a privet hedge, bobbing down to hide, giggling and gasping.

Polly halts at a mature tree, slides her back down the trunk to a crouch, feigning calm.  She fingers a leaf, stripping the tissue from between the veins.  Above her Will lowers his head, upside down, hanging from a branch.

Polly starts, shrieks.  Will drops beside her, slaps a consoling arm around her.

WILL
When we’re old and married–

POLLY
–I won’t be marrying you, you know!

WILL
(covering)
I mean to whoever, not each other, dimmo!

POLLY
Oh.  Well, I’m going to do something and be famous, not just married.

WILL
I’m going to travel to that time and see.

POLLY
How?

Will is proud, conspiratorial.

FLASHBACK – INT. BENACHAR HOUSE UPPER HALL – 1988, DAY

Polly and Will crouch at an open built-in cupboard, over a lifted floorboard.  He clutches a padlocked metal box.

POLLY
What’s in it?

WILL
A time machine.

POLLY
How does it work?

WILL
I’m not telling you!

Polly slumps back.

POLLY
It’s boring.  I’m going back outside.

WILL
No!  When we’re in bed tonight, we’ll go to two thousand!

Polly is indifferent.

WILL (CONT’D)
Then we’ll see if you turn out any good.

Will leers at Polly.  She smacks his arm.

DAD (O.S.)
What’s going on up there?!

Polly leaps away, guilt-ridden.  Will drops the box under the floor, replaces the floorboard.

EXT. BENACHAR HOUSE – 2017, DAY

Polly gasps awake, jerks upright.

WILL
Welcome back.

POLLY
I wasn’t sleeping!

WILL
No, no: thinking.

POLLY
No, I was…  Remember your secret box in the cupboard?

Will laughs.

WILL
My time machine?

POLLY
Yeh!  What was in that?

WILL
You’ll only be disappointed.

Polly darts into the house.  Will watches after her.

DISSOLVE TO:

Polly presents Will with the dusty metal box on flat palms.  He resigns himself, his eyes locked on hers.  He smacks the box off the wall edge, bursting the lock.  She is taken aback, consumed with anticipation.

Will orients the box to Polly, creaks open the lid, penitently offers the contents.  She peers in.

The box contains a children’s book entitled “The Whigmaleerie”, the fragile remains of a hazel leaf with the tissue stripped away to the skeleton of veins, a worn leather belt loop and a dead spider.

Polly snatches the book in a puff of dust.

POLLY
You stole my book!

Will acknowledges.  Polly flicks the pages, smiles with nostalgia at cartoon illustrations.

POLLY (CONT’D)
Story duty for you tonight.

WILL
Fair enough.  I think they’ll like it.

POLLY
Not for them, for me.  And all the voices.

Will smiles through embarrassment.  Polly pinches the leather belt loop.

WILL
Ah, my belt.

POLLY
It went on for miles!  You were such a skinny.

WILL
I had to wrap it round and round.  You wound that round your finger compulsively.

POLLY
It was my ring.  I don’t remember losing it.

Will fingers the leaf remnant to cover his guilty mortification.  It crumbles to powder.

POLLY (CONT’D)
That was so that summer; I was such a fidget.  What’s the significance of the spider?

WILL
I don’t believe that was there when I hid it.

POLLY
It’s a spider from the future?!

WILL
Ha.

Polly pores over the items.

POLLY
You’re a freak.

WILL
Is that why you left me?

POLLY
You left me first!

WILL
I’ll never leave you again!

POLLY
No!

Polly and Will collapse together in cathartic chuckles.

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