The Days before The Fall
Dark, static-y background, a series of drawings of hand/eye with a voice over
Voice Over: Falling. Falling again. But why? Where have I come from? My body is unfamiliar, strange and unnatural. I don’t know who I am. I don’t know who I was. But I know that I am falling again.
As I fall, I look around me. Darkness. Nothing is here, no one is here. This world is empty. Or, perhaps not, now I see, a light, or glowing, something, is coming towards me. I can finally see myself, I do not recognise my body, but, my hands. These hands are my hands. I remember. I am falling again.
Why do I remember? I have a friend, I can see them, but their face is blurred. I remember the days before the fall. Fall. Falling. Falling again.
Tom is walking along a street/path, credits appear behind him. The voice over continues
Voice Over: Another cold winter morning, Christmas is almost here, but I don’t feel jolly. All the talk of goodwill and cheer just highlights my loneliness. I’ve never liked Christmas; there are too many memories and, so little for me to look forward to. The chill of the winter air doesn’t bother me; I often go out in the morning after the school term ends. There has been little snow this year, no crunching of icy flakes beneath my feet. Somehow, this year it feels like winter never arrived. Still, here I am, Christmas Eve, alone.
Tom stops walking
Enter Ancora, stands next to him without looking at him
Voice Over: Well, almost alone. Most of my friends live away from here or have gone on far flung holidays to tropical islands or something. But one friend never leaves: Ancora.
Tom: Hello again
Tom: Is something wrong?
Tom: Good, but, why are you here then?
Ancora: I wanted to talk
Tom: About what?
Tom: Alright (smiles) so, looking forward to Christmas?
The conversation continues as they walk away, the voice over returns as we see more silent conversation. (Happy).
Voice Over: No one else sees her, but I do, without her, I have little to live for. She is always there, but never truly here.
Ancora stands neutrally, facing the camera
Ancora: I was once like you, we all were. We don’t have a name, but we know what we are. I fell when I was 15. I remember little of my life before then. I remember more every day. I was lonely. I had few friends. My parents had left me when I was 4 years old, I lived in an orphanage. But, that is not important. I am not normal. Most of us accept what has happened and move on. I did not. I have visited your world many times, trying to find a way in. You are the only person I have spoken to since I fell. I wish to make a difference. I want to prepare you.
Tom: For what?
Ancora: Isn’t it obvious?
She turns and walks away, she vanishes
Tom: Wait, what? Come back
Resume as in Scene 2
Voice Over: She wasn't like this when I first met her; she had very little personality and she just tended to scare people away. And I don't know what she's preparing me for, but I know that even though I'm lonelier than ever, I feel...much more alive
The sound of the ongoing conversation returns
Tom: So I said, it’s not like I have any friends
He smiles before an awkward pause, Ancora looks him dead in the eye
Ancora: Don’t think like that, you have friends.
Tom: Have you heard the things they say about me? You haven’t gone unnoticed.
Ancora looks down, ashamed
Ancora: I’m sorry
Tom: It’s not your fault you’re an ethereal entity invisible to all but me
They laugh, but Ancora still looks upset
Ancora: I guess… anyway, I need to go
Tom: Wait! Come tomorrow… for Christmas. I want you to be there
Tom: Good… bye then
Fade to black
Tom is sat, drawing; Ancora is stood in front of him. A photo of his parents is on his desk. Greyscale
Voice over: My parents died a week before my fourteenth birthday. I have lived with my uncle since then, but he doesn’t take any interest in me. Christmas is the worst time, when everyone else is enjoying themselves; I know I will be alone. Or as good as alone. Which is why I invited Ancora to visit me this Christmas; I need company. I always remember my parents at Christmas.
Picks up photo, Ancora looks over at him
Voice over: Their laughing, their joking, their smiling. To know love like that is the one thing I miss the most. I know that I will never know love like that again. Because, they are dead and I am alone.
He drops the photo and cries, Ancora walks over to him, he ignores her and continues crying.
Voice Over: That Christmas was the best Christmas of my life. But Ancora's prolonged visits worried me. Only now I realise that she was preparing me. Preparing me for The Fall.
Tom and Ancora are talking again, by a pond on a cold winter morning
Voice over: Boxing Day. I had had a headache towards the end of Christmas Day, but it had not subsided. I assumed it was just the excitement of the day before. But perhaps not. It was dizzying when it came at its worst. I asked Ancora about it, but she said it was nothing to worry about. But when on the 27th I collapsed. I knew something was wrong.
Tom: What’s going on?
Ancora: You’re probably dehydrated
Ancora: So, how’s the drawing going?
Tom: mm? Oh, alright, I reckon I’ll finish it before the end of the year.
Ancora: I look forward to it
Tom: I wouldn’t get your hopes up
Ancora: Oh come on, you know you’re a good artist
Tom: I still can’t draw people
Ancora: It’ll come with practice I’m sure
They continue talking as the voice over returns.
Voice over: She asked me to draw her about a month ago. She can’t see herself, so she wanted to know what she looks like. Apparently she changes form often. So I began to draw, every spare moment put into that portrait. As a time-filler it worked a treat, hours passed in minutes as I painstakingly added every little detail. I spent far too much time on it, but I was determined to finish it.
By a pond, Tom is on the floor, Ancora kneels next to him
Voice over: On the 28th I collapsed again, this time I did not recover and Ancora finally came clean.
Ancora voice over: I’m sorry, you’re not going to last much longer.
Voice Over: What?
AVO: You will fall, as I once did and you will never see your family again
VO: What? No!
AVO: Shhh. Try to relax, when you fall, I will be there and you will not be alone, ever again.
VO: Why me? Why not some other pathetic teenager?
AVO: Because you have hope, you have something to live for…
Ancora bends down and whispers something in Tom’s ear
Fade to black
Vo: I slipped away. She was right, I was never lonely again. Now I realise that there is so muc h more to this world than what others think of you. So much more. Be ready, be ready for The Fall. Because it is coming, and when it does, hope will prevail.
From the Latin Ančora, meaning Anchor
A symbol of hope, refuge, comfort and strength
Fade to white