Silent Story

On the model of a silent movie
*****

A dog is lying down in front of a fireplace. Close-up on glowing embers. The dog’s flank goes up and down deeply. The embers die. The dog twitches.

Close-up on a window with a round face framed by a fur hood staring in. An ungloved hand knocks on the pane.

Cut to a child curled up on stairs. It appears to be sleeping in a onesie. It is huddled with a blanket. It opens its eyes and goes to the window. The hand points to something. The dog and child file out of the room and outside through a doggie door. The man puts the child in a fur-lined pouch and slings him on his back. The child falls back asleep. The dog follows.

The same child appears now to be sleeping in the snow. It is still tucked into the pouch and is smiling. The dog is curled around the child, eyes open, watching the man deftly building an igloo around them. Flames lick firewood, a small, well-contained fire.

The man is now standing near a hole in the ice. He is very still but his eyes are open. We watch him do nothing for a good 30 seconds.

Back to the igloo. The child is awake and near the fire. The flames are higher, the child is tinkering. A kettle is suspended over the flames. Steam can be seen coming out of the kettle. All movements are slow. The dog’s ears perk up. The fat man crawls in. He fillets wet fish, throws the entrails to the dog. The man and the child eat the fish raw and drink a dark, hot beverage. The child is lost in thought, mouthing something. The man chews with relish.

The man, the child and the dog crawl out of the igloo. Shot of the night sky and what appears to be northern lights. Steam comes out of their mouths. The man fastens the child to his chest and wears his coat over it. We barely notice the head sticking out. The dog walks alongside the man. They walk in a barren environment until we see a church spire amongst smaller buildings. We see a milkman doing his rounds.

The dog crawls through a doggie door in a large brick building. The child hugs the man and slowly follows the dog through the small opening, blanket in hand.

The man stares at the door. We watch him do nothing for a good 30 seconds. He turns and walks away.

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