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MY STARLING

Comic Version

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000. Chapter One: A RAINBOW RISING.

001. In the ancient past, a time long forgotten. A bright, serene forest in September.

002. ~Music~

Credits: “Autumn Forest” by Adrian von Ziegler. Visit Adrian von Ziegler on YouTube or Spotify.

003. Yellowed leaves are falling to the deep brown soil, submerging it in a thick carpet of reds, oranges, and golds.

004. Some trees are already bare, the very last trace of summer flaking off from their dark, skeletal bodies.

005. A milky-white fog curls up around their roots, blurring everything, melting everything with its cold touch.

006. This white light seems so ancient, it is almost alien, existing before all written history.

007. In the midst of the thick forest a clearing has been made around a small hill, upon which the late-afternoon sun is lavishly pouring its autumnal heart out.

008. This hill is so sacred, so burdened, not even the poisonous fog dares to lay its hand upon its crown.

009. Up on the hilltop, a young woman and a little girl are standing side by side, facing the burning sky and the orange sun, piercing through the early-evening clouds and illuminating the land around them.

010. The young woman takes up her rusty shovel again forcing it down into the fertile soil and histories of her native place.

011. Then she raises her hands, and, in one swift motion, pushes her bright orange hair behind her ears and off the shoulders of her yellowed corset-vest.

012. An off-white puffy-sleeved blouse, showing signs of perspiration and wear, is visible beneath her patched-up vest.

013. The ripped hem of her brown skirt is soaked with mud and her oily short hair feels damp around her thinned face.

015.

🥶 *Cold Shivering*

DUNN

016.

Let’s go, Mother. Let’s go home already. (Pause.) My nose feels like a chip of ice.

DUNN

017.

This is your home. (Quietly.) It is our only home.

MOLI

018.

I don’t like it here. I am cold too. I want to return to the city. Now.

DUNN

019.

The city is the place you have known all your life, but it is not home. (Sighs deeply.) Come here. Help me.

MOLI

020. Slightly annoyed, Dunn grabs her little toy shovel and bucket and assists her mother with digging the hole, without being of much help, though.

021. In her torn and dirty mud-colored dress, she looks like a homeless girl.

022. Her long brown hair is greasy and tangled – matted with the dust of the streets.

023. But her big brown eyes show a serious and sweet luminance, as though she had already seen the light of a brighter world to come.

024. Already bored, Dunn tosses her toy shovel to the side and looks down into the small pit.

025.

🥱 *Yawn*

DUNN

026.

Why are we here, anyway? What are you doing, Mother?

DUNN

027.

Can’t you see? (She looks up.) I am digging a grave.

MOLI

028.

😲 *Surprised*

DUNN

029.

Oh? Why are you digging a grave?

DUNN

030.

(A long pause.) To bury this godforsaken metropolis. Crush it! Destroy it!

MOLI

031.

Everything started here. Here it ends. (She looks up at the sky.) Time is running out.

MOLI

032.

I’m trying to keep up with the pace. Without a doubt, I will put things in order again.

MOLI

033.

😕 *Confused*

DUNN

034.

The city? Haha. It’s too small. This hole.

DUNN

035. She sinks her tiny hands into the earth, turning it up as though she were pulling fistfuls of cotton stuffing out of a torn-open teddy bear.

036. Then Dunn spreads her five earth-smeared fingers in the air, her hand cupping the yellow stranger in the sky.

037.

I want a beautiful girl doll for my birthday. Will you get me one?

DUNN

038.

I’ll get you one tomorrow. Tomorrow.

MOLI

039.

🤩 *Star Eyes*

DUNN

040.

Oh, really? I am so happy. I’m so happy I could die!

DUNN

041. Finally, Moli puts her shovel away and easily climbs out of the five-feet-deep hole.

042. Rubbing her dirty hands to warm them, she sits down crossed-legged next to her four-year-old daughter and takes her into her arms. The latter clings to her mother’s soft and comforting bosom.

043.

😔 *Pensive*

MOLI

044.

There is no time. I grant you my blessing, my daughter. My love. Will you trust me?

MOLI

045.

(A slight pause. Happily.) Yes. Always.

DUNN

046.

Trust me when I say you’ll be entering a new world tomorrow. Another world. (Pause.) A better world.

MOLI

047.

Several worlds existed before ours, but he destroyed them all, because he was pleased with none of them.

MOLI

048.

Therefore, I pray that your tiny hands will be able to mould a better world out of the ashes which have come into being during all these years, millennia.

MOLI

049.

Knead earth’s bright clay with tenderness and strength, and throw it back down toward the potter’s wheel whenever a destructive air pocket or irregularity appears.

MOLI

050.

Be firm, don’t smile too much. Be ruthless when needed. (Long pause. Thinking.) When in doubt, abstain.

MOLI

051. Slowly, tenderly, she strokes Dunn’s head, gently brushing the dirt from her thick hair and letting her fingers run through the tangles, all the while careful not to hurt her.

052.

These air pockets may take on the form of pride, anger, greed, gluttony, lust, envy and sloth.

MOLI

053.

You must destroy them. You must destroy them in your fury, and you must ruin them in your rage.

MOLI

054.

Don’t expect society to change by itself. Clay can’t correct its own defects and is unconscious of its moral imperfections.

MOLI

055.

It’s not horrified by its very existence, not scared by its many sins.

MOLI

056.

Humanity, finding itself enchanted by the starry night sky, thinks itself the pinnacle of creation, the cherry on the cake.

MOLI

057. Sighing, she puts Dunn down on the grass and stands up again, her tall, gaunt figure moving towards her daughter’s torn dress.

058.

Undress yourself, my child, and lie down in the hole.

MOLI

059.

😨 *Fearful*

DUNN

060.

For what? Why? I don’t want to!

DUNN

061.

But you have to. You must. There is no other way to do it. Lie down in the hole.

MOLI

062.

But why, Mother, why? (She’s afraid.) What’s going to happen to me?

DUNN

063.

Don’t be scared, my child. Trust me. Nothing is going to happen. I would never hurt you.

MOLI

064.

Come quickly! The sun will soon set. Trust your mother.

MOLI

065. Then Moli tears the clothes from Dunn’s quivering body by force, deliberately ignoring her daughter’s cries.

066. After removing the raggedy dress and holey shoes, she grabs Dunn by her shoulders and begins shaking her roughly.

067.

Stop crying already. You must become brave enough to move forward, despite the doubts. You won’t die!

MOLI

068.

Here take this. (She hands her a circular object.) It belonged to our ancestors, and those who lived on this sacred land.

MOLI

069.

Hold it tightly, okay? (She smiles.) Tomorrow I’ll buy you a doll. Just hold on to that thought. Okay?

MOLI

070. Slightly smiling with tears in her eyes, Dunn assesses the twelve-inch-wide polished bronze disc inlaid with a set of gold symbols that look like a sun or full moon, a lunar crescent and round stars.

071. Two golden arcs are added along the opposite sides of the disc, their lengths looking almost equal, and each spanning about eighty-two degrees.

072. A much smaller third gold arc at the top part of the disc might actually represent a stylized rainbow, or perhaps an upside-down boat?

073. Dunn studies the intricate pattern of stars or planets attached to the miniature universe in her hands while her tears fall on the shiny artefact of bronze and gold.

074. Moli takes her by the hand and leads her to the edge of the pit, quickly letting her nude, emaciated body, all blue with cold, down into the brown hole.

075.

Lie down in the hole. (Pause. Coldly.) Forgive me.

MOLI

076. Clutching the disc of bronze to her breast for comfort, she lowers herself into the grave on top of the small hill.

077.

😢 *Crying*

DUNN

078.

I don’t understand what’s happening. (Feebly.) I hate you, Mother!

DUNN

079.

🙁 *Sad*

MOLI

080.

(Long pause.) You will understand soon enough, my love. And you will forgive me.

MOLI

081. With that, she begins to cover the grave with the moist and cold earth again.

082. Dunn’s violent cries echo into the distance, breaking the solemn silence of the autumnal forest.

083. Her sickly pale body looks white amongst the dark of the soil.

084. Wriggling like a worm, she tries to crawl out of the slimy pit but soon her body is covered entirely by the earth, and only her muffled screams reveal the torture inflicted upon her.

085.

Don’t you cry no more. The earth would never reject you. Not you.

MOLI

086.

You are her flesh and blood. (Pause.) Her only flesh and blood, I might add.

MOLI

088. She shovels the last piece of mud-colored earth into the child’s grave, flattening its surface as if trying to obliterate all trace of it and the crime.

089. Slowly but surely the sun is setting behind tall cathedral-shaped mountains draped with clouds of silver and amber glowing against the bleeding vermillion sky.

090. And with the last rays disappearing beyond the horizon, the girl’s high-pitched shrieks turn into almost inaudible, suffocated, muffled whimpers, until they, too, cannot be heard anymore.

091. Silence.

092. The cold night passes. In the west the sky is still dark but above the mighty mountains hangs a gigantic rainbow spanning the starry heaven.

093. In the east the sky is taking on the sugary pinkness of a ripe peach; the sun is rising.

094. Overnight, the fresh grass that yesterday had still clothed the ground and the slope of the hill has dried up completely.

095. The once so fertile land has turned into a large plain of sand and clay. It had become a desert feeding on anything in its proximity.

096. The earthquakes that happened within this small clearing in the trees during the night are now followed by a release of hot vapors from the cracks in the earth’s surface.

097. Sitting calmly at the edge of the clearing, with her back against a tree trunk, Moli is gazing up at the black star-riddled sky, hypnotized by the rainbow of colors in front of her.

098. Suddenly, the ground begins to tremble. The tremble swells to a violent shake and the small hill erupts in a burst of dust and concrete fragments, exploding into the dismembered heart of the sky.

099. Then a little hand thrusts out of the cracked, dried-up earth, the fingers clenching into a fist – a fist seemingly gripping the rainbow rising from the vast, rolling sea of mountains below.