Tuesday, 6 March 2007

FROM HELL: 5/27

And so, after multifarious digressions, deviations, tangents and sidesteps, including The Rules of the House and the Invasion of the Geckos, as well as honourings of notable days and landmarks, in a stream of lively impromptus, after fifteen days meandering off-subject, we find ourselves back with Polly Nicholls, as we left her on 19 feb, just about to be murdered in this our sixteenth excerpt from Alan Moore's Scripts for FROM HELL, accompanied by a small file reminder of the page of art that was the final product of the effort. At this point the narrative will dally in a side-street of weird poetics when John Merrick, the Elephant Man, is brought back in view on the page following this one. He is just behind the bush you see at bottom right in the grounds of the London Hospital, not the one that owns to the rights to Peter Pan. However, I cannot guarantee to get on with it any time soon.

CHAPTER 5. PAGE 27. ( 839 words)
PANEL 1.
NOW A SEVEN PANEL PAGE THAT HAS THREE PANELS ON EACH OF THE UPPER TIERS AND THEN ONE BIG WIDE PANEL TAKING UP THE BOTTOM TIER. THIS FIRST SMALL PANEL IS JUST A LONGSHOT OF THE COACH MOVING THROUGH THE DARKNESS OF THE WHITECHAPEL ROAD, NETLEY CROUCHED UPON THE BOX. POLLY’S BALLOONS ISSUE THROUGH THE WINDOW OF THE COACH. THE STREET IS DESERTED.
POLLY (FROM COACH); Ah, well, I didn’t ‘ear no poems there, that next six year.
POLLY (FROM COACH): This April, tried to start afresh. I got a job, in Wandsworth, if you please!

PANEL 2.
PERHAPS NOW WE ARE JUST OUTSIDE THE COACH, IF THAT WORKS VISUALLY, LOOKING THROUGH ONE OF THE SIDE WINDOWS AT POLLY AS SHE GAZES OUT INTO THE NIGHT, HER EYES HEAVY–LIDDED, HER GAZE FIXED ON SOMEPLACE FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO. BEHIND HER WE SEE THE DARK SHAPE OF GULL AS HE SITS BESIDE HER, TURNED TO LOOK AT HER WITH A SORROWING EXPRESSION, EVEN THOUGH SHE IS TURNED AWAY FROM HIM AND LOOKING OUT THE WINDOW AT US.
POLLY: Two month that lasted, ‘fore I ‘ad temptation set upon me path, an ‘ad to leave.
POLLY: I bin in lodgin’ ‘ouses ever since.
GULL: Poor child. Poor Polly…

PANEL 3.
WE HAVE NOW CLOSED IN THROUGH THE WINDOW SO THAT WE ARE INSIDE THE CARRIAGE WITH POLLY AND GULL. POLLY SITS IN PROFILE IN THE FOREGROUND, NOT LOOKING AT GULL AS SHE SPEAKS. SHE LIFTS ONE HAND TO HER TEMPLE AS IF SHE’S FEELING DIZZY, AND CLOSES HER EYES. BEYOND HER, GULL IS STILL LOOKING AT HER WITH GENUINE SORROW AND SYMPATHY. PERHAPS HE HAS EVEN PUT DOWN THE BAG OF GRAPES AND REACHED OUT TO GENTLY TAKE POLLY’S FREE HAND, THE ONE SHE ISN’T HOLDING TO HER BROW.
GULL: What a life you have endured, awaiting nothing but deliverance…
POLLY: Mm. I … Sir, I feel so queer. Does everything look sparkly to you?

PANEL 4.
WE CONTINUE TO CLOSE IN, SO THAT NOW WE CAN JUST SEE A LITTLE OF POLLY’S FACE OVER TO ONE SIDE OF THE PICTURE, LOOKING AWAY FROM US TOWARDS GULL, HER EXPRESSION DRUGGED AND FAINTLY BEWILDERED. MOSTLY, WE ARE LOOKING PAST HER TO FOCUS ON GULL AS HE SITS BESIDE HER. HE SMILES BROADLY, AND HIS EYES LIGHT UP WITH AN EVANGELICAL FERVOUR. HE HAS THE SELF-POSSESSED, ALMOST MANIC GLOW OF A MISSIONARY WHO IS ABOUT TO SAVE A SOUL. IN THE FOREGROUND, THOUGH HER EYES SEEM PUZZLED, POLLY LAUGHS UNCERTAINLY, UNEASILY, NOT QUITE SURE WHAT GULL MEANS.
GULL: Why, child, that’s just the stars.
GULL: This is a rare and special night, I think. For both of us.
POLLY: Special? Ha ha. Why, sir, what… whatever do you mean?

PANEL 5.
NOW WE CONTINUE TO CLOSE IN UNTIL WE CAN NO LONGER SEE POLLY AT ALL. WE HAVE CLOSED RIGHT IN ON GULL, SO THAT HIS HEAD AND SHOULDERS PRACTICALLY FILL THE ENTIRE PANEL. HE IS TURNED TO FACE TOWARDS US AND THE OFF PANEL POLLY, AND HIS FACE IS ALMOST LUMINOUS WITH RAPTURE AND JOY. HE SMILES, HIS EYES UNBLINKING AND ALMOST WET WITH TEARS OF HAPPINESS. DR. GULL IS STARK BARKING MAD.
GULL: Polly, tonight the stars shine just for us. The Fates have brought us both towards the place, at the appointed time…
GULL: … whence our names shall go forth together into history.

PANEL 6.
REVERSE ANGLE SO THAT NOW WE SEE GULL IN THE FOREGROUND, IN PROFILE, AS IF WE ARE SITTING BESIDE HIM AND LOOKING PAST HIM TOWARDS POLLY AND THE FAR DOOR. GULL IS NO LONGER LOOKING AT POLLY, BUT HAS TURNED TO GAZE INTO THE EMPTY SPACE BEFORE HIM. HE LAUGHS, EYES ALMOST CLOSED WITH MIRTH, AT WHAT POLLY IS SAYING. LOOKING PAST GULL WE SEE POLLY AS SHE SITS BESIDE HIM, TURNED TO FACE TOWARDS HIM. EVEN THROUGH THE CLOUDS OF DRINK AND LAUDANUM SHE STILL HAS ALOOK OF UNCEFRTAINTY AND UNEASE IN HER EYES AS SHE ATTEMPTS, WITH A NERVOUS LAUGH, TO GROUND THEIR CONVERSTION BY MAKING A JOKE OF WHAT GULL HAS SAID. GULL, FOR HIS PART, SEEMS TO FIND THE JOKE WILDLY APPOSITE AND AMUSING.
POLLY: ha. Why, sir… you make it sound as if we’re to be married. Ha ha ha…
GULL: Ha ha! Why not? A ceremony then… and this time, not a printer’s church!

PANEL 7.
THIS FINAL PANEL IS A BIG WIDE ONE TAKING UP THE BOTTOM TIER. WE ARE NOW INSIDE THE GROUNDS OF THE LONDON HOSPITAL, LOOKING OUT THROUGH THE WROUGHT-IRON RAILINGS ONTO THE WHITECHAPEL ROAD, SO THAT THE RAILINGS ARE ARRANGED IN BARS ACROSS THE FOREGROUND. LOOKING THROUGH THE RAILINGS WE SEE NETLEY’S COACH AS IT PULLS UP ACROSS THE ROAD, WITH NETLEY SHOOTING US A WARY GLANCE AS HE REINS IN HIS HORSES. GULL’S BALLOON ISSUES FROM WITHIN THE COACH, THOUGH NETHER HE NOR POLLY CAN BE SEEN.
GULL (OFF, FROM COACH): Netley? Stop opposite the Hospital.
GULL (OFF, FROM COACH): We’re here.

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2 Comments:

Blogger HemlockMan said...

Moft wefweffing.

6 March 2007 6:39:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Christopher Moonlight said...

Oh good. For the longest time your word verification wouldn't come up. I forgot what it was I was going to say now.

6 March 2007 10:30:00 pm GMT-5  

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