Mutants at The Mall: under new management
Much of the early action happens at the abandoned Old Zoo, on Table Mountain, Cape Town
Old abandoned lion cage at the Old Zoo, converted into a refuge from other big cats
Scribble, who arrives as Drakanica's new patient
Monty the monkey-moth, Scribble's wingmoth
Aqua Velvet, the love of Scribble's life
Drakanica, inventor, self-made bionic dragonfly and biotech genius
Cogs, an owl with a new brain who sometimes loses his connections
Sheena Orion, incumbent Queen of the Mall
An abandoned shopping cart, memento of consumers long gone
Cogs playing the threshold guardian
Nature takes over when the humans disappear.
In a post-human world, a bionic dragonfly takes over a mall, driven to make and remake new friends – because she can…
90 min :: 3D CGI fantasy :: ages 8-11
A futuristic post-human buddy-movie: a genius dragonfly inventor wants to fix a mutant squirrel without a tail, but he loses interest in being her project, then has to cope with the Frankenst-iron she builds instead.
Imagine a world in the distant future, where nations have successfully destroyed each other with the DNA SmartBomb. Every last human life is now reduced to a little pile of ash, in the middle of sending emails, herding cattle or upon landing back on Earth after orbiting the planets. It would logically follow, then, that many spaces and places would be taken over by the surviving denizens of this planet. In our story, the cataclysm has led to odd mutations among the animals – like SCRIBBLE, a squirrel born with no tail and ‘constructively abandoned’ by his mother, to join the other mutimals at the Old Zoo.
When DRAKANICA, a self-reconstructed dragonfly and inventor, offers him a bionic tail, he accompanies her to the Mall for a rebuild, to impress his girlfriend AQUA. And play computer games and eat exotic food…
At the Mall, Scribble reunites with his witless owl-buddy, also a former Zoo inmate. Now named COGS, he spends his days enjoying his new brain and being ‘plugged in’ to VR existences from long ago, via memory chips Drakanica kindly provides. Sometimes he loses them and then he’s no longer a grumpy old man, but a pliant, bewildered little non-presence, the wheel embedded in his head at a standstill and his AI brain silent and empty.
Scribble learns about the humans’ fate and mourns them, becoming increasingly depressed. After spraining his ankle in the supermarket, he’s laid up and turns to comfort-eating and watching re-runs of old music shows. Soon he’s enormously fat. Drakanica’s plans can happen next… whenever. Just not now.
Frustrated, Drakanica brings a laundry iron to life instead, but creates a monster: SHEENA ORION, Scribble’s wannabe new manager and nemesis. He flees from her into a pharmacy and self-medicates himself into a stupor, inspiring Sheena to zombify him completely as her slave/pet, as befits the new ruler of the Mall.
Drakanica and Cogs manage to rescue Scribble from the horrors of a lobotomy and an ear-trimming at the little Barbie hands of Sheena, but his narrow escape from death by escalator causes a change of heart – he must overcome the formidable Sheena and bring peace to the Mall. And there’s Aqua… the half-forgotten love of his life.
With the aid of a Pedalocopter from Drakanica, he’s soon lean and mean again and evades Sheena’s clutches long enough to imprison the bombastic iron in the laundry forever, by fooling her into accepting a fake award in a team effort. He has grown from a feral, entitled brat into someone who can be a team player, even a leader – one who can be relied upon. Time to return to Aqua. Even without a tail.
Cogs, Drakanica and Scribble are welcomed back to the Zoo, but Aqua isn’t going anywhere. She’s now the beloved manager of the permaculture gardens, beehives and the weekly farmer’s market. Scribble pleads with her – neither he nor the Mall can live without her. Others can carry on her legacy at the Zoo. Finally, when she hears a sound that could be yet another leopard coughing on the mountain, she wavers. The Mall is safe, and if it’s sterile and nothing grows there yet, then she has work to do. She should go where she is needed most. The pair celebrate with everyone at The Old Zoo and have a delicious banquet that evening combining the best of the Zoo gardens and delicacies brought from the Mall. Drakanica and Cogs transport Scribble and Aqua to The Mall the next morning, after the choir sings a moving farewell song which Scribble had brought as a gift.
The Mall with its glass ceiling becomes a greenhouse bursting with life. Happy, (unenhanced) mutants and their babies and even ‘nature-typicals’ have joined them, with butterflies and monkey moths flitting around in the greenery. In the middle of it all are the four, contented and hard at work building a beautiful indoor farm to the strains of Sheena’s karaoke songs echoing from her washing machine in the centre of it all, just the way she likes it. Gazing at Sheena, transfixed, is Scribble’s father, Hugo, fresh off the basket Cogs uses to transport new inhabitants.
It’s a new beginning… if Scribble chooses it to be.
The story behind the story:
The world as we know it could one day simply shake off humans as a dog shakes off troublesome fleas. In this story, humans have finally done away with themselves with their DNA SmartWeapons leaving other life-forms intact, as well as buildings and technology. Most of these carry on because of sustainable energy resources, especially solar power. (Yes, it’s quite far into the future…)
Yes, the solar panels will eventually become dusty in my story but I believe the Mall carrying on as it does is feasible, because rain.
- By the way, did you know that Dead Malls are now a thing?
- And people are starting to live in malls…
- This article says humans are a greater threat to other species than even radiation.
- Not to mention making indoor farms, as mentioned in this article. That’s life following art.
- To my amazement, many comments at the bottom of an article about abandoned entertainment locations, express satisfaction at Nature taking over once more.
Basic premise of the story:
Self-acceptance is the major theme; everyone has their limits, faults and strengths, everyone’s different.
We need each other. Our relationships with others are more important than things and surface appearances. The little group is surrounded by things, more than they’ll ever need, but with their various weaknesses and strengths, they are dependent on each other.
Handicaps and injuries are a fact of life. Often, the most dangerous handicaps are invisible.
How will it be when nature can once again take over? A hard look at the legacy of the humans.|
Below are pictures bringing out other thoughts touched on here and there:
What kind of species humans were and how suddenly they all disappeared, will be brought out by the objects and scenes featured in the background. Half-finished cups of tea for instance, still moulder away on the restaurant tables.
Left – Jewellery shop – Scribble has a lot of fun in there, wearing some of the bigger rings around his wrist emphasising the irony of a squirrel running about with such expensive bling on his wrists and ears.
He also likes to string diamond
necklaces on the plastic trees to simulate dewdrops on spiderwebs, when he misses the Old Zoo.
|Left – The shop mannequins will come to be called monuments by the new inhabitants of the Mall, out of respect for the Departed.
Left: Drakanica’s bead shop
Left – The chairs in the restaurants are out of scale for our characters; they have to leap, fly, crawl or haul themselves up to sit in spaces that were designed for other bodies, no longer here. An ongoing poignant joke: the characters trying to fit themselves into and among all these monuments to the lost species.
Having shot these pix in the local mall I came out feeling very glad to still be here …