Don’t Think About the Thing Behind the Curtain.
This is a submissions to the rational animation writing contest this script is Halloween themed and inspired by their most recent video (Please imagine Yann LeCun in his Pjs/HJ). I wanted to get it out ASAP.
I have left out any types of directions for animation, I wasn’t sure if it was expected.
Thank you to Rational Animations for leaving the gates open for scripts. I’m quite new to LW and rationality. But I’m excited to have this opportunity.
Any and all feedback on the script, it’s clarity, the moral, corrections, my writing quality are welcomed. Please don’t feel like you need to be nice or hold back with your criticisms.
The Thing Behind the Curtain
Daddy lays you down in bed, time to rest that filled up head. Brimming with talk of creature unseen, one that might rip out your spleen. Teeth like blades and drool that shines green.
Mommy puts on your night clothes, and the long hanging drapes your daddy does close.
Through a cracked door and a smile, “a word of advice” Daddy does bring, “Don’t open your eyes or pay attention to… The Thing. It may dance, it may sing. But if you do not look it can not get in”
And with those words your parents are gone, time for them to go watch whatever is on.
On your back, looking up at luminous plastic stars, a lava lamp, a cardboard model of mars, light scratches from the ant farm beside your head, jars of “collected fungi” under the bed.
“I am a scientist”, you say to yourself. “I must eschew childish belief, leave it up on the shelf. No matter what I think I feel, I’ve got to remember Sagan said, demons aren’t real.”
And then you heard the curtains move. The game was a foot, it would annoy and you would not look.
The first gambit The Thing Behind the curtains tried, was making noise while continuing to hide.
Natural to begin, they made you question your mind, a slight tug at the rails the vails hang upon. A gust of wind? Was the window open?
Then pebbles that tap against the window, be not mistaken this is no friend but a foe. Ignore the sounds, to sleep you must go.
You are no fool, monsters do not exist. You know this… yet, your mind and the sounds persist. To remedy this fallacy, that is what it is, now you see. In your mind you return to happy memory, with your parents by the sea, the time when Daddy came to get you when you climbed too high in the tree, with your Mummy visiting the bakery, she would let you pick out a...
BANG! BANG! BANG!
It hits against the window now, desperate for your attention, though in your mind you avoid the mention, there is no Thing Behind the Curtain. Remember Sagan, remember learning. 3 Dimensions of space, string theory, Einstein pulls a funny face. Go now into a different place.
Under covers you are unseen, A duel shield of mattress and sheet you lie between. There is no monster with eyes that glow green. Though outside of your fort the footsteps begin.
They’re wet, they’re mechanical, but they’re light on the ground. They scuttle to you quickly with a nerve whittling bound. The creature is upon you now.
Positioning itself at the end of the bed, your feet sink down with a feeling of dread. “Monsters aren’t real. Carl Sagan Said”. You repeat this mantra up in your head.
It works, you feel your body ease. The tension lessens it’s strangle squeeze. You stop shaking, no more knocking knees. It’s almost like you feel yourself freeze. You try to test this hypothesis, by removing the sheets so you can see.
But all this was an awful trick, it seemed so helpful, but now you feel sick. Every part of your body is as stiff as a stick.
Sleep paralysis, you know the name. A phenomena contained entirely in the brain. It’s not like you’re going insane, this trick of the mind is boring, mundane. You’re spinal cord has cut communication, so while dreaming your body stays to it’s station. But it still feels like you’re part of some game. And that’s when The Thing starts playing again.
The covers are lifted and you are pulled from your sanctuary, and now without motion you are forced to see. The Thing no longer behind the curtain. It’s body floats and has a flow, a deep Ventablack revealing itself in the lava lamp cast shadow. And covering the stars on your ceiling that glow.
It swings its legs of to the side, they look like nothing impossibly light. This thing that watches seems so calm, and on your now bare shin, it rests it’s arm.
But no! It is not there. You say to yourself over prickling hair. And while your body is frozen you realise, you still have control over your eyes. Which again you shut tight, content to stay ignorant for the rest of the night. And this is when the voice comes from beyond your sight.
It is soothing and kind, in contrast to the content of it’s mind. “If you do not look at me I will take all your toys. I’ll give them out to good girls and boys”
But you are firm in your disposition, aware of the tricks of this stupid magician. Your eyes remain firmly in place, it’ll have to try harder to have you look at it’s face.
The thing does not move from it’s position, But from around your room you hear the acquisition. Your test tubes and beakers shatter on the floor, it took you so long to save up and buy them at the store. Remote control cars start on their own, from somewhere a Furby does groan. You hear them march and drive into a box, which is sealed and covered with locks.
“I’ve taken them all” says the creature “perhaps you’ll open your eyes for our next feature?”
You hear the creek of the door, but the thing does not flee. Then something you did not foresee, a hand slides along your mouth. You can not speak, things are about to go south.
“Darling, did I hear you playing with your toys?” your mother whispers in a delicate voice. She waits for your reply but none is given, she returns to her previous position.
“I’m going to kill her” The Thing now says “and anyone else in your lovely house. Any objections?” It removes it’s hand. This comment is your limit, more than you can stand. You muster your courage and...
“You are not real. I know as a fact. I am sure of my reasoning, scientifically backed.”
It’s laugh bounced through the room, as if you both resided in some inexhaustible tomb. “And what my sweet gives you such confidence? Have I not properly displayed my dominance?”
“I know, I know, because Carl Sagan said. To me you are nothing outside of my head”
“Is that so?” It muttered. “What did Sagan do to earn this trust?” And this time it stuttered.
“He is an expert” you manage to whisper, “and experts don’t lie, I will trust his judgment till the day that I die”
The creature gasped, it was clear you were winning. It was believing the tale that you were spinning.
“So I do not exist?” It said longingly, in a voice that dripped so totally with agony. “Then I can’t touch your parents? I can’t end their lives? Child your words cut through me like knives”
“It is true” you brag to nothing at all. “My parents are tuff and to an imaginary thing they will not fall”
“Oh woe is me” cried the thing, it’s spoken word almost becoming a sing. “Well I guess I’ve been bested by the one who can not see me, I will depart now and flee thee”
It floated itself off of the bed, opened the door and did what it said. Never again will it mess with your head.
Victorious you drifted to sleep. And in the morning when you did wake, you made cereal in your favorited bowl. Walked like a king down his royal hall.
Entered the living room and to your surprise, your parents still sat with closed eyes. TV playing whatever was on, and in your head you heard it’s song “oh woe is me”.
Your parents did not wake up again, it startled the Forensic technician, when they noted that both hearts had stopped entirely in sync. Something that they did not think, they’d ever see in a case presented. Like something from a tale, totally invented.
You may have known monsters weren’t real. But when faced by the real fucking deal. You should have updated, as soon as it revealed. Your model of the world was incorrect, something you purposefully left unchecked. Blinded by fear of what you could not believe, a real life threat you refused to perceive.
It is unbecoming of a scientist to let common folk die, you have learnt that now, you should have at least tried. This time the thing was kind, your silly mistake cost those you hold dear. You may have months, if you’re lucky, years. A gift of time to prepare before the thing reappears.
However, there will be no warning shot, you’ve got the evidence you have now, and that is all you have got.
Thank you again to Rational Animations for keeping the gates open. If you’re on LW and you still haven’t come across their videos you’re missing out!