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Rough Water

May 15, 2021
In this comic, a woman’s grief is expressed through a recurring dream.
View Comic Transcript

Rough Water

Comic written and illustrated by Ryan Reid

Panel 1: Outside, daytime. A SMALL COTTAGE is nestled among TREES, on the shore of a CALM LAKE.

ROSE (voiceover)

I have this recurring dream. I am at the cottage. We are all there. I stand on the veranda and look out at the lake.

Panel 2: ROSE, an OLDER WOMAN with LARGE GLASSES, and a COMFY SWEATER gazes out at the LAKE.

ROSE (voiceover)

It is so calm.

Panel 3: ROSE turns to hear A MAN speak. The MAN is in shadow, and we can’t see him, but ROSE knows him well.

ROSE (voiceover)

I turn to you.

MAN

I thought you were in school today,

ROSE (voiceover)

you say.

MAN

There’s a storm coming.

Panel 4: The EYES of the MAN fill the panel.

MAN (voiceover)

You shouldn’t be HERE.

Panel 5: TREES, and WATER and FISH. The STORM has arrived.

ROSE (voiceover)

The storm hurls itself across the lake with locomotive confidence. It bends trees, and upends fish.

Panel 6: Inside the COTTAGE LIVING ROOM, the STORM rages outside. ROSE stares into a GIGANTIC HOLE in the LIVING ROOM FLOOR.

ROSE (voiceover)

When I look back, all of you are gone. A huge hole fills the living room. “Who’s in there?” I call into it. “No one,” it replies.

Panel 7: ROSE’S BEDROOM, late at night. ROSE awakes from the dream. She sits in the dark, in her BED, holding a PICTURE OF THE MAN from her dream.

ROSE (voiceover)

And then I wake up.