The story from Episode Three of The Presence. Written by Will Flanagan:
This is the story of a boy and a girl who were taken away and had to grow up in a mean old factory with mean old grumpy people and a big old dog that didn’t want to be friends with anyone. Everyday they had to scrub the floors and wash their noses and sometimes they had to eat their own trousers because the food was so mean and old and looked so grumpy. But one thing they did have was their secret – and nobody could have that, or take it, or use it to make them old or grumpy or do all the things they had to do when they didn’t want to do the things they had to do.
Their secret was the only thing that kept them inside out – and nobody knew that except for them. Because they were happy, even though they weren’t supposed to be, and didn’t look it, and did everything that they were told to do, everything that was supposed to make them old and grumpy and mean. That was their outside, looking grumpy and mean and not wanting to be friends with anyone, but inside was a secret, they were happy and that’s cause they had their secret and that was the secret that they had that they shared, together.
So, as always, grumpy mean old people have a way of looking at the rain when there’s a rainbow and thinking that everything’s proper when it’s a faded shade of slate clean grey, and eventually they also managed to make the rainbows cloudy and the sunset drizzly, so the boy and girl made a plan.
They decided to escape, in a boat, in the night time, in a silent shhhh sounding kind of way before everyone would decide to stop snoring and wake up and put cold water on their face and wear their grey cloud faded brown trousers and moody shoes that made them grumpy.
So that’s what they did, they met during the night and shhh’d the whole way down to the stony cold pier and unknotted the unsteady boat, put up the salt grey sail and tried to figure in the dark and the rain and the wind and the moon shine cloudy spot-light sky how to go away…
But their plan was working, even if the water was up and down and uppppp and dowwwn and then the girl wasn’t there. And the boy didn’t know where she was in the up and the down and the cloudy grey spot-light rain, and he couldn’t find her, and the wet water was shivering and the salty grey sail was swinging over and back until it hit him on the head and he woke up achy, and he had gotten to get away, but that wasn’t their plan.
And he couldn’t figure out how to find her and he didn’t get found by her, and so he had to go and be escaped and make things up on his own with no secrets, but the ones he could tell no-one and he had to carry it all around like a big old story about the rain instead of a secret about a rainbow that nobody else had known about but the two of them, together.
Will Flanagan is the artistic director of Alchemy Arts.