Scarlet Fever | Crash and Burn What they made instead...
After sleeping for one hundred years, a clumsy character sets off on a quest for flight.
We open with a shot of an ancient character who’s been napping against the tree for a hundred years. A flowerbed has grown up around her blanketing her body. She wears a giant wooden head, overgrown with weeds and berries. Finches and other songbirds crawl in and out of her eye sockets and mouth. The scene is bathed in orange light from an afternoon sun.
Suddenly, the Ancient awakens, startling the birds. As she wipes the sleep from her eyes, she dimly sees the birds taking flight. The Ancient finds the sight hypnotic. Still half asleep, she flaps her arms, attempting to follow the birds into the sky, before toppling over into the flower bed. Undeterred, the ancient wobbles to her feet and sets off on a quest for flight.
The Ancient passes passes a pond where she meets a Fisher character, struggling with a fishing rod, a tiny woman with a giant bonnet, her face is obscured by the shadow completely, except for large, brightly glowing eyes. Leveraging the fishing rod with all her might, the Fisher flights to reel-in a large snake-like catch. Seeking to help, the Ancient leaps into the pond and grabs the snake-fish by the tail. After some struggling, she heaves the fish up onto the shore. The Fisher is overjoyed and bounces around celebrating the catch. Grateful, the Fisher suggests the Ancient join her for dinner. An image of a roasting fish appears in a thought bubble over her head as she speaks. The Ancient declines and points to the sky. We see a clearing in the trees and beyond, a cliff face. Circling the rocky plateau are a flock of black crows. The Fisher looks on with dread. Reluctantly, she scoops the snake-fish up and follows the Ancient towards the cliff.
At the summit, the Ancient and the Fisher find a dark figure sitting on a bolder, smoking a pipe. This figure is a skeleton in robes, wearing a headdress of dried fruit and thistles. The Ancient approaches the skeleton and curtsies. The Ancient explains to the Skeleton, that she wishes to fly. She points to the birds in the sky and flaps her arms. The Skeleton smiles and laughs and with a wave of his robes he conjures a hand-glider. Transfixed, the Ancient walks towards the glider before being stopped by the skeleton’s outstretched hand. The Skeleton seeks payment. Eager to help, the Fisher offers the snake-fish. The Skeleton accepts it but seeks further compensation. He points to the Ancients large wooden eyes. The Ancient does not flinch, and with a wave of the Skeleton’s hand, the Ancient’s eyes vanish, leaving two empty holes in her wooden face.
As the song’s climax approaches, the Fisher leads the blinded Ancient towards the flying-machine. Smiling and confident, the Ancient lifts the glider up her shoulders and begins jogging towards the cliff. The Skeleton looks on confidently, puffing smoke from his pipe. The Ancient dashes over the cliff. The glider plummets. Though she is in free-fall, the blinded Ancient is unaware. She smiles broadly, laughing, exhilarated by the wind in her face. She’s in ecstasy. Her black hair, previously disguised by her mask, breaks free and unravels in air. As the song ends we see a wide shot of the glider crash into the forest canopy, throwing up a swarm of sparks and debris.