I need to write a story.
To begin you boil a saucepan of water on the stove.
Add tea leaves to the water. Let it all blend in. The colour seeps into the water like a setting sun but its still bitter. The milk gives it some substance but you need something to resolve it. Sugar. There's my answer, but I dont drink tea and i need to write a story.
(He is sitting at his chair, his legs up on a stool and is staring at a table
The table has a few objects on it.
A cup / a few pencils / a mirror and there is a photograph on the wall.)
Ash is holding a joint.
A crow sits on the window ledge. It caws.
Ash blows smoke in its face and the crow flies off.
"Ash means well. He's harsh but he means well. When he cares, which he seldom does, he can even make you tea and that in itself is a gesture."
My Grandmother always drinks a nice hot cup of tea.
She can drink one at any hour. I love making tea, not drinking it, but there comes a time when tea feels just fine and right.
He hands her the cup of tea.
"You should write about me." His grandmother smiles at him.
"I'm not being a narcissist, but i can be your worst case scenario."
"I don't want write about you ajji"
"Suit yourself. I can tell you many stories.I unlike you have lost my imagination. But i tell real stories. It's easier when its all actually happened to you and over time you gauge them, judge them, till you have every possible opinion, solution.. a perspective on them.
"Write about me". She says encouragingly.
She puts down her cup.
"You need to care more"
His grandmother had always been an optimist. Kind. Strong.
(Enthusiastic. Witty. Adventurous)
The day she vanished / went missing, he kept her cup with a chip missing. It was old.
A constant reminder of kindness.
He is sitting and staring at the cup.
It is delicate and has a chip missing from it.
He picks up the cup and puts it in a bag. He picks up sheets. Lots and lots of sheets and a pencil.
"I will find you."
He looks at the photograph and walks out the door.
"Ash can never make up his mind. Even now he has no idea what he wants to write about. On a quest for his missing grandmother?! Hah! Thats a first!"
Ash is in a room made of paper. He doesn't know what to do. He is naked except for the pencil tucked behind his ear.
He begins to draw.
He draws a portrait of his grandmother and tears it off the wall.
He tears some more paper off and makes his clothes of origami.
He shoves one foot out of the wall and then the next and slowly crosses over into a meadow.
"Ash is a fake. He believes in nothing. He believes in his gut. His gut is his God and when his gut fails he rolls a joint and thereon begins a new religion."
He is walking on a hilltop. He has a backpack. There is mist and fog everywhere. He can't see beyond 10 meters.
He can hear the cawing of crows. He walks further ahead when a crow swoops down in front of him.
It caws first and then clears its throat. "I know what your looking for. Clarity." Ironic as it may sound, the mountains are not the place to get it, this clarity."
"Its foggy here. You're lost. You're more interested in what happens to you than to anyone else." It's not right when your writing now is it?", "Where is your grandmother?"
With that the crow lifts off the soft green grass.
"She's right. You need to care more"
"Take the path up the ridge, when you see it that is... caw caw caw"
He is lost . He is looking around frantic.
He walks up the meadow toward what seems like a ridge when a bolt of lightning cracks approximately 5 ft above his head. He feels the slightest shot of electricity run through his body and he is frozen. The sound and the blinding crack still resound. His gut urges him to run.
He breaks into a run. Up the meadow. Up the ridge and flat onto a table land. He still can't see. He walks through the fog. Past some prayer wheels, through a farm patch until he arrives at a cottage. He walks up to the door.
He looks down to see a nepali man offering him a cup of tea. The cup is delicate and has a chip missing.
He enters the room. A false ceiling made of planks and the warm glow of a fire dances against the wall. He sits next to another man who is covered in darkness. Only his eyes can be seen. They study Ash.
Ash looks weary. He is holding the picture of his grandmother. He walks up to the door and nails it on. He sits back down at the table.
"XXXXXXXXXXX" the man speaks in an unknown language.
"I don't know what you're saying?"
He makes a gesture asking him where he's going?
"I don't know." Ash says. "I mean, I met the Crow, he gave me a direction in passing, but i got lost along the way."
He glances around the room and sees a cow being milked. A woman at the stove and a man cutting meat.
"I'm in the house of God aren't I? A sanctuary of some kind..?"
"You aren't in any house of god."
"ah! you speak!" "Shelter is what i meant. From the lightning."
"Yeah! almost survived severe electrocution"
"Whats in your bag?"
"Lots of paper.... and a pencil" he takes the pencil out from behind his ear.
"No pen... a pen nib might've killed you with all that electricity above your head." "You're writing a story eh?"
He looks back at the man in the shadow. He is rolling a joint.
"How did you know that?!"
The man in the shadows leans forward and blows smoke in ash's face and for a brief second Ash sees himself.
"Who are you?!"
"I am the Mirror."
"I know Ash as he is. But he forces me to exaggerate. He looks within me to see an idea of himself but i do not have one. Not anymore."
Ash and the Mirror are on a walk. The meadow has disappeared and they are in a white space.
(Everything in one frame is the opposite of everything else in the frame next to it.)
"Why are you here?"
"Why am i where?"
"Here, in this house?"
"Im looking for a story of how my grandmother went missing"
"Where do you think you're going to find her?"
"Up, over the ridge. The Crow said it as he flew off."
"The Crow tricked you. You're on the wrong path."
"and I should trust you?"
"Yes as a matter of fact you should. You are sitting on a chair taking a snooze at this precise moment. You are not in your house. Its okay, don't look around. What i say is true. I am merely bringing you back to the matter at hand."
"what is going on?"
He hands him a cup. Its delicate. But its got no chip on it.
"Hey. Its not broken"
"Check your pocket"
He puts his hand inside his pocket and feels something sharp. He takes it out holding a chip of china.
"Thats not your cup. She's not missing you know, but in your world you can bring her back. You can have her mauled by snow leopards for all i care."
He looks at the chip.
"Its like you said. You are God here. You can do what you want. You can kill her, you could make her young again. Its your choice."
"Drink the tea". "Tell me if the sugar is right."
"So what do i do with the missing grandmother? Will i find her?"
"That's up to you"
"So what was the lightning?"
"Chance. You can't script everything."
"So now what"
"you could just walk left."
"you'll be back in your peripheral vision. No worries, It will all shift back into focus"
Ash begins to walk. He turns back.
"Where did she go?" Ash looks at mirror sadly.
"We don't know."
Ash walks until he reaches an edge. The wind is blowing really hard. He looks left and he sees a large mirror, on his right are pencils and behind him he sees the cottage, but within a photograph. He is on the Table.
"Upon me rest the cup, the pencils, the photograph and the mirror."
The only thing that doesn't sit upon me is Ash. I have no control over him."
Ash is in his room and is leaning on the edge of the table. He is looking across at his empty chair. He has his pencil in his hand. He looks at the cup.
"I don't have fucking grandmother!"
I could draw a million portraits of a thousand aged women and call them my grandmother and have them do anything!" "So what now!?"
He looks around the room.
He looks at the cup. "This isn't my cup!" he breaks it. This isn't my photograph either! He tears it. And this! Mirror!"
He throws it and the shards shatter.
"This is not my fucking house!"
The crow is sitting on the window sill and looking at him.
Everything as it is and Inanimate.
Ash turns around and an old lady is standing next to him.
"Son, i think you need help."
"You can't keep breaking into my house this way."
"Let me get you a cup of tea."
She brings him the tea.
"You aren't going to figure this one out. I can tell."
She turns his face towards her. "Write about me instead." I have real stories from real people."
"You need to care to write. You can't break in to my house and try to figure me out.
Get to know me. Speak to me. Visit me whenever you can. My house can only offer you that much and nothing more. Stories that only make me but aren't me."
She takes the cup from him and goes into the kitchen.
She walks back out to find him gone.