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Bird in Winter By Josh Dahl

Josh Dahl joshdahl75@gmail.com rapidcitycomic.com

Page 1

The bird

Panel 1.1

Description Tight shot on a peregrine falcon with claws and beak rending a smaller bird apart. It need not be completely clear in this shot, but the birds are on the flat top of a telephone pole. Tight on some blood-spattered white feathers falling away from the violence. Pulled back slightly, seeing those feathers still falling past the pole. Now we see they are joining a few scattered snow flakes. Around it we can start to see a dinghy, gray, urban neighborhood. The flakes and the feathers, still drifting down, are falling past a teenage boy, EDGAR, dressed mostly in black. He is some combination of mixed race. He doesnt look exactly like any specific race. He has a thick winter cap pulled down as low as it can go without covering his eyes. He is carrying an electric guitar in a case. From a very low angle, the blood spattered feathers have landed, and Edgar has continued past them unaware.

Dialog

1.2

Caption: It makes sense that it should happen this way...

1.3

Caption: That the sky should break and the earth should shake.

1.4

Caption: As if to say, sure it all matters...

1.5

Caption: but in such an unimportant way.

Page 2

Its shadow

Panel 2.1

Description Edgar looking down at his shadow cast ahead of him on the sidewalk. There is a strange shadow laying across his. He cant see what it is, and neither can the reader, but it is the shadow of the falcon. It is causing bizarre wings on his shadow. Low angle shot looking up into the sun, past Edgar and the falcon. Edgar is looking up at the falcon. Maybe raising a hand to shield his eyes from the sun. Edgar starts to take a step, still looking up at the bird.

Dialog Caption: Fly away, sweet bird of prey.

2.2

Caption: Sweet bird, if you knew the words...

2.3

Caption: I know that youd say, fly... Caption: fly away.

Page 3

The strings

Panel 3.1

Description Close up on fingers trying to pull open a plastic box of guitar picks. If possible, they can look like the falcon talons tearing at the bird from page 1. Wider shot showing Edgar busting the pack open and the picks all bursting out. We can see his modestly furnished, messy, room. He has some punk posters on the walls, some dinosaur toys on a shelf, and a violin case that you might not notice at first glance. The open guitar case is much more prominent. There is a large black electric guitar inside. Edgar standing with the guitar strap over his shoulder. He is in a cool guitar pose and looking back over his shoulder at a picture of Joe Strummer on the wall. He is checking to make sure that he is in the same pose. The guitar is plugged into an amp sitting on his bed. Extreme high angle (or low if that works better) of Edgar raising a guitar pick high and about to smash it down across the strings.

Dialog Caption: It makes sense that it should hurt in this way.

3.2

3.3

Caption: That my heart should break...

3.4

Caption: and my hands should shake.

Page 4

Their music

Panel 4.1

Description Edgar smashing out an awesome rock chord. The guitar is the same as the previous page, but the scene is different. Now he is on a low stage in a garage being used as a show venue. There are a few lousy lights on him. His hair is messy, but moussed. He is wearing a tight, black, t-shirt with the word "death" printed on it. He looks like this could be the awesomest moment of his life. Maybe we can see some other teenage band members, maybe some people in the teenage crowd. They dont matter, though, this is Edgars time. Later that same night, a now sweat-soaked and ragged Edgar hammers away at some awesomely complex guitar thing. We can see all of the sweaty people in front of him. Some still wearing winter hats. One tall, drunken, teen swigs from a 40 ounce beer bottle. Smiling and dripping sweat, Edgar is snatching the bottle away from the guy. Beer and saliva splash out of the guys mouth. Close on Edgar swigging from the bottle. Emphasis on the wetness of his face and the bottle. Several of his knuckles have been cut open by guitar strings.

Dialog Caption: As if to say, sure it dont matter...

4.2

Caption: except in the most important way.

4.3

Caption: As if to say... Caption: hey...

4.4

Page 4

Their music

Panel 4.5

Description Wide panel, across the bottom of the page. Edgar stands outside the crappy garage/industrial place where he just played. He is standing in the snow in chuck taylor shoes. He is holding his guitar in its case. Under that same arm, he is carrying his jacket. He is wearing his sweat-soaked t-shirt which is steaming in the cold night air. A van is pulling away with some of his band mates in it. The driver is happily waving at Edgar. Edgar is happily waving a bloody knuckled middle finger at the van. There are a few other punk kids straggling out into the night.

Dialog Caption: hey.

Page 5

The cold

Panel 5.1

Description Edgar is about a block away, his guitar case leaning up against a phone pole or something industrial. He is putting on his jacket. The place he left is still visible behind him. Picking up the guitar case, a thin crust of snow falls from it. A younger Edgar is taking violin lessons at the home of a very old Asian woman. We can see snow out a window. She has empty bird cages in her home. He is lowering a violin from his chin and listening as she talks. Young Edgar and the teacher talking.

Dialog Caption: Fly away, sweet bird of prey

5.2

5.3

VIOLIN TEACHER Until it is warmer, Edgar, you will leave your violin here with me. Cold and warm and cold and warm will make the strings go out of tune.

5.4

EDGAR But I can just tune it again when I get home. VIOLIN TEACHER No. Too much tuning is bad. The strings will stretch and the neck will bend. It will lose its sweetness.

5.5

Close of snow landing on present-day Edgars cheeks and eye lashes. He is cupping his hands around his mouth and blowing warm air through them.

Caption: Fly, fly away, I wont stand in your way.

Page 6

its chill

Panel 6.1

Description From nearly his POV. Edgar holds his hands in front of his face and looks at them. They are thin and pale and shaking. One thin, cold, hand grabbing the handle of his guitar case.

Dialog Caption: Sweet bird...

6.2

6.3

Flash forward. Edgar is older. This shot is tight on his hand as he takes an oxford shirt on a hanger off the rack in his closet. Pull back slightly to see that it is an older Edgar who is selecting the shirt. He has a normal haircut. The real focus of the shot, however, is in the closet. In the back, behind where the shirt had been, we see the violin case leaning up against the guitar case. Both are unused. Maybe they have dust on them. Maybe some laundry or something like that. Older Edgar in his same room from before. It is slightly neater, but all of the individual stuff is gone. No dinosaurs. No posters, except one motivational poster with an image of a seagull in flight. Edgar is joylessly buttoning up his shirt. Caption: if you knew...

6.4

6.5

Caption: the words.

Page 7

The wings

Panel 7.1

Description Young Edgar slouched on his bed, probably a day later, shaking and looking feverish. He is looking over at light streaming in through the window. Very old Edgar, in his 80s, in a lager reclining chair in a sparsely decorated apartment. He is a small man bundled in a large blanket. Light form the window is falling across him. Looking out the window. We cannot tell if this is young or old Edgars window. Outside the window, but obscured by the bright light streaming through, and the frost on the edges of the glass, if the form of a shapely woman with large feathered wings. In young Edgars room, we see the shape that was outside the window, now inside the window. It is now clearly visible as not a woman with wings, but a violin case with a falcon gripping its neck. The falcon is staring at Edgar the way falcons do. This is a hallucination or a spirit, so it need not make physical sense. But, as much sense as possible would be nice. Looking over old Edgars shoulder as he reaches toward a similar, but more glowing, vision. In the vision the falcon is larger and looming toward old Edgar.

Dialog Caption: It makes sense...

7.2

Caption: that it should feel just this way.

7.3

7.4

7.5

Caption: That you slowly fade and yet still remain.

Page 8

their sound

Panel 8.1

Description

Dialog All five panels on this page are wide, stretching the width of the page.

8.2

Violin teacher smiling as young Edgar from the flashback plays the violin. Guitar picks scattered on the floor. The falcon lifting off from the post. Trailing feathers which mix with the snow. Elderly Edgar slouched in his chair, peaceful. His mouth open and his eyes closed. Open space with snow falling through it. Some are big and clumpy. Some are just drifting.

Caption: As if to say...

8.3

Caption: everything matters...

8.4

Caption: in such an invisible way.

8.5

Caption: As if to say...

8.6

Caption: its okay... Caption: fly away. Caption: Lyrics by Poe.