20 slides are each projected for 20 seconds and spoken to for the same period, no more, no less. The script for one of these precision-based presentations is found below.
Season 1: PC#3
Word came through: someone was killing the children. They were dropping off the face of the earth. This made me sit up. What could I do? I had a been a child once. Everyone has. When I looked down I saw I had a gun in my hand. This sort of thing had been happening lately. I put it down to a kind of luck. You couldn’t decide to do it, it would just happen sometimes.
Okay, the gun was small. It was tiny. But it was all that was needed. The small bullets would have a punishing effect on whoever it was that was going around. They would sting and they would break flesh. As if to say “Excuse me, do that again and the next time will be worse.” Not just a warning – an example of something.
This was where I needed to look. In among the ‘ordinary people’. In among these people would be the individual who was eliminating the children. The individual wouldn’t necessarily look un-ordinary. He wouldn’t stand out, he might use the crowd to melt away. I was going to have to be thorough. I wished the answer would appear in my hand, like the gun. But it didn’t.
I studied the crowds and melted into them. As I moved among them I glanced at the faces of the men. Only the men could have done this. The women are too marvellous. What was I looking for? What were the signs that might betray the thief of innocence? I must be careful not to fall in with my own prejudices. My mind turned again to the victims.
Their fragility was heartbreaking and electrifying. It could be stamped out so easily and the world turned from diamonds to ashes. If I could stop a man with my concealed weapon, bring him to his knees with the sliver of a bullet then all the children can step forward into their full lives. They can gladly sing songs in their singsong voices.
They are the flowers and the rising sun and the silence of rivers and rain. If we destroy this earth they will rise through the ruins and this time they will get it right. They will go to the heart of things and find the souls that are hiding in the hills. Nothing must be allowed to stop them. As they march together an awesome light trembles around them.
As I pondered the difficulty of my mission I felt the skin of my right hand break open. Droplets of blood oozed from the wound and a terrible pressure built up and I started to feel as if my bones were about to snap and slide up to the surface. My worst fears were confirmed as a hard, pale, glistening object emerged from beneath the flesh.
I gazed at my pearl handled gun and wiped it clean. Somehow my body had come to my rescue. Not just my rescue – for I was of little importance in the scheme of things – but the rescue of the singing children. My gun was larger now and I walked calmly into the city where empty men avoided the eyes of others as they slithered through the shadows.
As I walked I realised that the children were changing: the part of them that was untouched by the darkness of the world was growing stronger. They were getting ready to lead us to places designed under their laws, places that were actually built to reflect the way they wanted the world to be. Only the men could stop them now and the men were full of fury.
I felt puny; a weakling among ferocious creatures. The city was cold. Snow swirled across deserted squares. Suddenly my arm began to pulsate and an unimaginable pain swept in waves from my fingertips to my shoulder. I screamed into the blizzard and, in the corner of my eye, I saw wolves pacing restlessly in the side streets. My arm yawned open.
A heavy revolver slipped slowly from my gash. It was a Reeder custom 510 GNR Hunter with octagonal barrel, red cherry grips and a considerable amount of engraving. A deluxe grade weapon with a five shot cylinder, built on a Blackhawk base, it could stop just about anything that cares to obstruct your passage. I wiped it down.
My wound had healed. I felt light, purged, ready. I said to the girl “Are you not cold?” She said “Soon I will be home.” Her voice was surprising, it was soft but it also had deep notes. I said “Do you fear the men?” She said “I keep them away, a long way away.” I said “You are wise.”
I said “Is your body full of light?” She said “Yes, it is. That is the way with us.” I said “It is the light of the world.” She said “I carry it, I do not make it, it is with me, it is dimmed by experience.” I said “You shall not have experience!” I felt the flesh across my ribs tighten. A mark seared into me. I cried out.
Metal pieces showered out of me, clattering into the snow. The child watched me closely. I held myself open. I was beyond pain. My stomach and my intestines began to harden. I felt appalling shifts deep inside me. Something impossible and magnificent was about to spring from within me. I threw my head back.
“He is the White Boy,” said the girl. “But he is empty!” I gasped. “He is taking us to our good place where we belong, where we live by our laws,” she said. “He will die when he reaches that place,” she said. “Not if I can help it!” I cried. I pulled at the sides of my gaping wound. I opened myself to my outermost limit.
The gun crashed onto the stones. It was as long as my upper trunk and the beads of blood on its barrel skittered across the black, oiled metal. The White Boy, growing weaker by the moment, whispered “Pump it into the sky.” His voice was soft but, as with butterflies,
…there was a faint chittering and gnashing to be heard at the back of his throat. I fired gloriously into the stars and, for a moment, saw world peace. The men were all round us, pacing, showing their teeth, making sudden movements. An empty girl appeared. She said “My body has gone.” I pumped again and then I pumped again.
My gun grew bigger and my skin went thin. The men would know me now. The rasping and slurring of the glowing children drew beads of tears to my eyes as I escorted them to the edge of our laws. I turned and showed the men my gun. “You shall not pick them off any more!” I shouted.
The men were in crowds. I needed firepower. But I could not ask my body. I had to wait. If the innocence of the children could be preserved I was prepared to die. As my skin peeled away I began to shudder. Liquid metal poured from my mouth, my arms and my chest, hissing onto the woodland floor, congealing into silvery bullets.
I raised my spurting arms and eliminated the men. More would come but the children were safe now. As they walked into their land the metal in my body turned to water. I felt myself sinking into the soil. There was no point in fighting now. My shudders ran through the dead leaves and the wet, black branches.