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Orion and the Dark (2024) | Transcript

A boy with an active imagination faces his fears on an unforgettable journey through the night with his new friend: a giant, smiling creature named Dark
Orion and the Dark (2024)

Orion and the Dark is a charming animated adventure co-produced by DreamWorks Animation and Mikros Animation, and distributed by Netflix.

Plot Summary: Orion seems a lot like your average elementary school kid – shy, unassuming, harboring a secret crush. But underneath his seemingly normal exterior, Orion is a ball of adolescent anxiety, completely consumed by irrational fears of bees, dogs, the ocean, cell phone waves, murderous gutter clowns, and even falling off a cliff. But of all his fears, the thing he’s the most afraid of is what he confronts on a nightly basis: the Dark. So when the literal embodiment of his worst fear pays a visit, the Dark whisks Orion away on a roller coaster ride around the world to prove there is nothing to be afraid of in the night. As the unlikely pair grows closer, Orion must decide if he can learn to accept the unknown – to stop letting fear control his life and finally embrace the joy of living.

Production:

Directed by Sean Charmatz (feature film debut) and written by Charlie Kaufman, based on the children’s book by Emma Yarlett.
Features an all-star voice cast including Jacob Tremblay (Orion), Paul Walter Hauser (Dark), Angela Bassett, Colin Hanks, Natasia Demetriou, Nat Faxon, Aparna Nancherla, Matt Dellapina, and Carla Gugino.
Music by Robert Lydecker and Kevin Lax.

The film was released on Netflix on February 2, 2024.

* * *

[exhales]

[boy] Hi. My name’s Orion.

I’m a kid, just like you, so we have that in common.

Anyhow, I saw you sitting there by yourself and thought maybe you’d like some company.

[gentle music playing]

I know I would.

So that’s why I’m walking up to you right now and…

Walking right past you.

Why, you ask?

Because, Sally,

I’m afraid.

Afraid of what, you want to know? So much, really.

But in this case, rejection, humiliation… that you might tell your friends, and they would all laugh at me.

And it’s not just you I’m afraid of, Sally.

And not just girls in general.

It’s most things, to be candid.

Oh, it’s tuna. What do you have?

It would be kinda nice to know.

[gasps]

The school counselor told me to document my fears in some form.

That’s why I keep a sketchbook.

It’s my way of trying to manage my issues.

Take page 14, for example. My fear of clogging the toilet…

[screams]

…and flooding the whole entire school.

[toilet flushes]

Oh, thank God.

I’m also afraid of giving the wrong answer in class.

Who can tell me which explorer first reached India by sea?

Me, me, me!

[Orion] A tricky situation.

Mrs. Spinoza usually calls on kids who don’t raise their hands.

But raising my hand so she won’t call on me is a dangerous strategy.

Therefore I try to look invisible. But at the same time, not too invisible.

I know the answer is Vasco da Gama.

It’s the answer to a great many questions in the fifth grade, but I’m afraid if called on, I might say “Gasco da Vama”, or “Dasco ga Vama.”

Everyone would laugh.

[students laughing]

[Lisa] Oh, Mrs. Spinoza, I know!

[gasps]

Yes? Lisa?

Vasco da Gama.

[Mrs. Spinoza] Very good, Lisa.

[Orion] I’m not a real big fan of Lisa.

But to be fair, there are a lot of things I’m not a big fan of.

Murderous gutter clowns are high on my list.

[laughing]

[yelps]

Cell phone waves giving me cancer.

Hi, Grandma.

Mosquito bites getting infected.

Falling off a skyscraper.

[yelling]

Saying “good morning.”

“Goob dorning!”

Bees. Dogs. The ocean.

I’m afraid of being responsible for my team losing.

Hey, Orion, catch!

[grunting]

[buzzer sounds]

[students cheering and groaning]

[Orion] And of course, I’m afraid of locker rooms.

Because A, what sane person isn’t?

[panting, grunts]

You okay, Gabe?

And B…

[gasps, screams]

[gasps]

…Richie Panici.

Well, well, well, look who it is. Cryin’ Orion!

Hey, Richie.

[gasping nervously]

[chuckles] Wear pants much?

[Orion] I’m afraid of being humiliated by Richie Panici.

[kids screaming]

[Orion] Afraid of being punched by him.

[yells]

Also, I’m afraid of… Okay, what if I punch him back?

And his nose goes into his brain, and he dies.

That can happen, the nose and the brain thing. Look it up.

[siren wails]

I’ll go to juvie.

Plus, I’ll have to live with the guilt of…

Hey! I asked if you wear pants much. Don’t be rude.

Yes, I do wear pants.

Much?

Uh…

What’s that pad you always got?

“I’m afraid of monsters, bees, haircuts, dogs… the ocean, Richie Panici…” Hey! I’m famous! Thanks!

Wait. You drew me dead! No one draws me dead!

I’m hereby “consificating” this on account of its rudeness to me,

Richie Panici.

[Orion] If I weren’t so scared, I would tell you that that’s my property.

That I put my heart and soul into it, and that you had no right to grab it from me.

I would also tell you that the word is “confiscating.”

[tense music playing]

Thank you, Richie.

Huh?

Huh?

[scoffs] Whatever.

[students laughing]

[Orion] I don’t know why I thanked him.

[dramatic music playing]

[school bell ringing]

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Oh, and don’t forget to leave your permission slips on my desk.

The bus for the planetarium leaves on Monday at nine a.m. sharp.

[Orion] Oh, no. I was hoping Mrs. Spinoza would’ve forgotten about the field trip.

Ah, this is gonna be so fun!

[Orion] Fun? It sounds fun to you, Lisa?

Are you insane? This field trip sounds terrifying.

Getting packed like sardines into a rusty school bus with 30 other kids speeding down the highway?

Sounds like a traffic accident waiting to happen.

I should know.

[students screaming]

I’ve studied the actuarial charts.

And all those giant models of our solar system hanging from the ceiling?

I mean, how long have those things been up there?

A hundred years?

[planet grunts]

[kids screaming]

[Orion] Plus, what if I end up having to sit next to Sally at the planetarium, and our hands touch?

[yelps]

I’ll have a panic attack.

It’ll become a running joke around the school, and I’ll never know the joy of a meaningful human connection!

[students chattering]

Orion, do you have your permission slip?

[Orion] I was afraid she was gonna say that.

Um, my parents won’t let me go to the planetarium.

Yeah, they don’t believe in, uh, space.

Yeah, um, it’s a whole thing.

[girl] She’s over here.

[sighs]

[Sally] Hey, Orion.

[gasps]

I’m super excited for the field trip.

Uh…

So, um, I was wondering if maybe you wanted to sit together?

While we’re there?

[Orion] If I weren’t so scared, I’d tell you, “Of course I do, Sally.

Of course I wanna hang out with you.

To be frank, I’ve never wanted anything more, but to do that, I’d have to be able to not constantly obsess over every negative thing that could possibly happen…”

[horn honking]

Oh, that’s my mom. I gotta go.

See you at the planetarium, Orion!

[Orion] No, you won’t.

[melancholic music playing]

[children laughing]

[Orion] Page 17 in my sketch book.

I’m afraid my parents will move away while I’m at school.

I don’t know why I fear this.

The counselor at school doesn’t have any theories.

[mysterious music playing]

[Orion] My parents certainly seem nice enough, he says.

And I think he’s correct.

Hi, honey!

Hi, Mom.

[mom] How was school?

Fine.

I made you oatmeal cookies.

[Orion] Oh, uh…

how’d that get there?

Your father found it stuffed under the couch.

I think you mean in between the couch cushions?

Hm. Wanna talk about it?

Not really.

You should go. It’ll be fun.

I’m not so sure about that.

Orion, bud, I get it.

These kind of things can be scary.

But that’s the thing. It’s okay to be nervous.

More than okay, in fact. It’s normal.

The trick is not to let your fear get in the way of living your life.

It’s true.

Otherwise, I never would’ve proposed.

[chuckles]

Sometimes, you just have to feel the fear and do it anyway.

[Orion] I love my parents, and I appreciate what they’re trying to do, but… that is, without question, the worst advice I’ve ever heard.

[crunching]

It looks like this is the end of the line for us, guys.

[character] Oh, no. This is terrible.

[Orion] This cartoon is completely unrealistic.

Recyclable items do not have eyes or personalities.

They do not go on adventures. I don’t appreciate being condescended to.

Real life is way more complicated than that.

And reincarnation is wishful thinking.

Wow!

[characters exclaiming]

[Orion] For plastic containers and people.

In real life, when you’re dead, you’re dead.

[mysterious music playing]

The realization that there’s no way around it terrifies me.

I try to imagine what death is like. I’ve concluded it’s like nothing.

I try to imagine nothing. This is black and silent, not nothing.

Blackness and silence is something.

Nothing is perhaps the one unimaginable thing.

[rattling]

[mom] Orion!

Bedtime.

All tucked in?

Yes.

Teeth brushed?

Uh-huh.

All right, buddy. Sleep well.

Goodnight, Orion.

[gasps, groans]

Uh… Wait!

[pants]

Um, how about a quick bedtime story?

[exhales] You know, for old times’ sake.

Orion, we’ve talked about this.

Here’s a good one. Nice and weighty. Perfect for bedtime.

Um, I’m not sure we have the time for David Foster Wallace tonight.

Okay.

You know, we’ll always be here for you, Orion.

But please, stay in bed tonight? Mom and I need our sleep.

Okay, I will. But… could you at least leave the door open tonight?

All right, bud. Say when.

Okay. A little more open?

Here okay?

Actually, a little more.

Here?

Good! Yes!

Actually, just a tad bit more?

Thanks.

Goodnight, sweetie.

Goodnight, son.

Night, Mom. Night, Dad.

[amusing music playing]

Okay. This isn’t so bad.

[exhales]

[thunder rumbles]

[yells]

I take it back!

This is bad! Very, very bad! It’s literally the worst!

[panting]

Because of all the things I’m afraid of,

I’m most afraid of the dark.

[dramatic music playing]

[thunder rumbles]

[gasps]

Oh, no.

[window scratching]

[Orion panting]

[yelps]

[house creaking]

[Orion] It’s an old house. Houses settle.

Nothing to worry about.

[thunder rumbles]

[screaming]

My parents have work in the morning. They need their rest.

Can’t I just put myself in their shoes for once?

[screams]

[yelps]

[pants, gasps]

No! No, no, no, no! No!

[whimpering]

Curse you, darkness!

What cruel aberrations hide within your inky cloak of… darkness?

Why can’t you just leave me alone?

[echoing] Alone… Alone…

[exhales]

[gasps]

[whimpers]

[sighs]

Okay! That’s it! I’ve had it with you!

[yelling]

[panting]

Every single night with the constant screaming and the carrying on and whatnot!

Seven nights a week, 365 nights a year.

It’s nonstop!

What are you?

Isn’t that obvious?

The room’s dark. It’s dark out. Hello? I’m Dark. Ta-da!

[yells]

[groans] There it is again.

You know, there are a lot of people that are scared of me.

But you, you’re on a whole different level.

[Orion grunts]

Of all the kids who are terrified of the dark, you are by far the loudest, the most obnoxious, and frankly, the most hurtful.

And that’s no small feat.

You’ve got some pretty healthy competition.

Check it out.

Millions of people are afraid of the dark.

You’re keeping a list?

Yes, I’m keeping a list.

Do you know how many kids are afraid of me?

It’s giving me a complex.

This is just volume one, by the way.

Dark doesn’t exist! Dark doesn’t exist!

Then why are you having a conversation with me?

[yells]

[panting]

You know what I mean. Dark is simply the absence of light.

Not a stupid cartoon character.

[groans] Here we go.

Look, you humans have always had weird ways of conceptualizing me.

I’m not listening to you. You know why? Because you’re not real!

Oh, I’m very real.

Here, check it out. I even made a little movie about myself.

You know, to offer a different perspective on darkness.

It’s kind of a passion project.

[narrator] Dark has existed for over five hundred million years, since early life on Earth developed light-sensitive proteins.

[Dark] So?

You didn’t like it.

I’m just trying to offer up some food for thought.

Everyone is against me. It didn’t get into Sundance.

And it’s so much better than half of the movies there.

[groans] It’s such a boys’ club.

I mean, it’s good. It’s a little short, though, for someone who’s been around for over five hundred million years.

But, you know, concise is good.

Listen, I didn’t ask to be a supernatural entity that evokes dread and despair.

I’m just a regular guy trying to do my job.

But people always pick on me.

Truth is, almost everyone is scared of me.

Or hates me.

Or thinks I’m evil.

Some people think I’m nothing. Hurts a guy.

Look, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…

No, it’s okay. [chuckles]

You know, and I-I like people. That’s the thing.

It’s just that so much of how you see yourself

is through the eyes of others, you know?

I just wish people would give me a chance.

I know how you feel. A lot of kids at school pick on me, too.

Richie Panici, Davis Jensen, Howard Helstrom, Isaac Pill, Rebecca Warren.

She moved, but she still sends me threatening letters on my birthday.

Which is sort of nice.

Huh. Yeah. Thoughtful.

[dramatic music playing]

I just wanna not be afraid anymore.

Yeah, that’d be nice.

Then maybe I wouldn’t have to hear you screaming every night.

Hmm…

Tell you what. I think I’ve got a way to fix this.

You come watch me do my job for one night, and you’ll finally see that I’m nothing to be afraid of.

You’ll learn to appreciate the beauty of the night, instead of being so terrified all the time.

So what do you say?

Are you in, or are you in?

I’m…

definitely not in.

[Dark groans]

Yeah, of course you’re not. Well, fine.

If you wanna spend the rest of your life paralyzed by fear, be my guest, but that’s on you.

[air whooshing]

[dramatic music playing]

[siren chirps]

[dog barks]

Wear pants much?

[girl] Hey, Orion, catch!

[students laughing]

Cryin’ Orion! Cryin’ Orion!

[Sally] Hey, Orion.

[gasps]

I’m super excited for the field trip… [voice echoes]

Okay, I’ll go!

Mr. Dark?

[sighs]

I knew you’d come around!

[gasps]

Let’s shake on it, you know? Make it official.

[“Apocalypse Dreams” by Tame Impala playing]

See? Nothing to it.

[Orion yelling]

[girl] Wait, wait, wait.

I know what you’re doing, Dad.

What do you mean?

By telling me this story.

I’m not doing anything.

Yes, you are.

You’re telling me a story about how you overcame your fear of the dark to try and help me overcome my fear of the dark.

Huh. [chuckles]

Well, I…

But it’s not gonna work.

Fear of the dark is an evolutionary adaptation that people developed to protect themselves from nocturnal predators.

Wow. You’ve done your research.

I wrote a poem about it.

“Hypatia the poet.” I love that!

It’s one poem, Dad.

I think that counts.

It’s not very good.

I’m sure it is. Can I hear it?

No!

All I’m saying is that fear of the dark is natural.

It’s hardwired in us, so there’s nothing we can do about it.

Right. Well, in that case, I guess I’ll just say goodnight and…

Wait!

I’m not saying it’s not a good story, and I don’t wanna hear it.

I’m just letting you know that I know what you’re doing, and it’s not going to work.

Okay, I got it.

So, you and Dark were flying off into the night…

So, Dark and I were flying off into the night…

[Orion yelling]

[“Apocalypse Dreams” continues]

[Dark] Pretty great, right?

If by “pretty” and “great”, you mean “terrifying” and “awful”, then yes!

I’m gonna get you to overcome your fears if it kills me!

And I’m immortal, by the way, so I’ve got all the time in the world.

[Orion yelling]

I thought we’d start with a little tour of what I like to call, “the virtues of night.”

See?

Without me, you wouldn’t be able to see all the wrinkles on the actors’ faces.

So far, you’re a terrible salesman.

Hm.

♪ Are you too terrified to try your best? ♪

[Dark] Hey? Pretty awesome, huh? [chuckles]

[yelping] I’m allergic to fireflies.

[groans]

Not allergic to stars, though!

[Orion] But I am allergic to dying! We’re way too high!

[sighs] You’re allergic to living.

What?

Uh, nothing! [chuckles]

♪ Oh, it feels so real in my sleep ♪

Go ahead. Put your hand in the water.

So a shark can bite it off? Are you insane?

[Dark] No, so you can see the beauty of the ocean at night.

You are familiar with the concept of “fun”, are you not?

“Fun” is just a word people made up to make danger sound more appealing!

Ah! Look at that! You can’t have fireworks without the dark!

[Orion] Technically, you can set them off at any time of day. [yelps]

[Dark] Yeah, I guess. It’d be pretty lame, though.

Beauty is in the contrast.

Hey, are you closing your eyes?

I’m protecting my retinas!

Oh, come on! Open them!

No!

You’re missing out on all the fun.

Absolutely not!

Open your eyes!

No way!

But that defeats the whole purpose!

Not my purpose!

It’s for your own good.

You see how much better that is?

Kid? Kid? Kid!

[yelling]

Gotcha!

Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh, my God!

It was an accident.

You dropped me! I could have died! I wanna go home!

Don’t worry. I’m going to bring you home.

Eventually.

Eventually, when?

Hey, look! You can see the Big Dipper.

It’s really quite beautiful this time of year.

When are you bringing me home?

Great question. Very probing.

In 24 hours.

So, anyway, back to the stars…

24 hours?

Yeah, well, that’s how the whole night and day thing works.

It’s a 24-hour cycle. I can’t go backwards.

What? Why not?

Look, I better get moving.

But, hey, if you wanna walk home in the middle of nowhere, in the dead of night, all by yourself…

Wait, wait, wait!

I can’t walk home by myself! It’s like 100 miles away!

[chuckles] All right then.

Looks like you’ve gotta come with me after all.

Buckle up and hold on to your hat because your mind is about to be blown.

Are you covering your eyes again?

I plead the Fifth.

Really?

Do you have any idea how many people would love to be you right now?

Zero?

A lot!

The answer is a lot!

[yelps]

Because I’m the coolest Entity of all time!

Because that’s what you are when there’s no other Entity that has ever existed that people like better than you.

[epic music playing]

Good morning, everybody.

[joyful music playing]

Right on time and so, so fine.

[rooster crows]

[music continues]

It’s going to be 75 and sunny.

Low humidity and a cool breeze coming out of the west.

Gonna be fun, fun, fun in the sun, sun, sun.

But, let’s be honest, when is it not?

God, I love this job.

[music fades]

[chuckles] Okay, so we got off to a little bit of a shaky start with the whole “dropping you and almost killing you” thing.

But we can’t dwell on that because we’ve got a lot of work to do, kid.

And in a way, my job is the most fundamental.

I show up every night, and I bring it.

Bring what?

Dark.

And it’s probably the most important job, too, because without darkness, the others don’t get to do their bits.

What do you mean “the others”?

The other Night Entities.

Wait, there’s more?

Raise. In or out, Insomnia?

I’m thinking. I’m always thinking. You know that.

Can’t seem to stop my brain. Think, think, think!

Ah, crap. I’m out. What about you, Quiet?

[Quiet] Call.

[female voice] Call.

[snoring]

You’re up, Sleep.

What?

[Insomnia] Royal flush?

Unbelievable.

Gosh darn it!

Huh? What happened? What did I miss?

You won.

Oh, wonderful. Pleasure doing business with you.

[Entities groaning]

[Insomnia] Great.

Wait, wait. Why are we going in here?

Well, kid, it’s break time!

The other Night Entities and I take one every new time zone.

We’re fun, you’re gonna love us.

Heya, gang, what’s up!

Heya, Dark!

Welcome back! Huh?

Great work tonight, guys.

You brought the kid?

Dark brought the kid!

So irresponsible!

Unbelievable!

Are you nuts?

Well, this is the opposite of encouraging.

I’ve got this.

Orion, allow me to introduce you to the other Night Entities.

There’s Sleep, Quiet, Insomnia, Unexplained Noises, and, of course, the most creative and poetic of us all,

Sweet Dreams.

Hm.

You brought the Screamer?

The kid who’s afraid of everything!

Is this your latest attempt at trying to convince the world that you’re not so bad?

Uh…

Helping random children to boost your fragile self-esteem is not in our job description!

Whoa. That is insightfully harsh.

Do you have any idea how many things could go wrong?

I mean, what if he freaks out and slows you down, and you know who finally catches up, and you get obliterated, and the concept of darkness ceases to exist, and the fabric of the universe is permanently and irreparably altered?

That’s a thing that can happen?

Ah, seems unlikely.

All right. Enough of this nonsense.

I’m sorry, honey, but Dark never should’ve brought you here.

You’re just gonna have to find your own way home. Okay?

Now, come on, everyone. Break time’s over!

Some of us have work to do.

Wait!

One night could change everything!

I got 24 hours with this kid.

We help him overcome his fear of the dark and all his nightly screaming, and all that interference with your jobs just goes away.

[sighs]

All right, fine.

Just make sure he stays out of my hair.

Absolutely. Not a problem. Won’t be in your hair at all.

[Sleep snoring]

[grunting]

[Orion gasps]

[snoring]

[chuckles]

[ethereal music playing]

Did you mean that?

What?

You really think you can fix everything I’m afraid of in one night?

One night can change everything.

Hey, what’s that light?

Light? What light? I don’t see any light.

The one behind you that you’re trying to keep me from seeing.

Me? Keep you from seeing? [scoffs]

That’s cuckoo banana talk.

[Orion] Not so close. I don’t think they like me.

What? That’s ridiculous. You’re totally likeable.

They called me night enemy number one and said I ruin their jobs.

Yeah, admittedly, they didn’t make the best first impression.

But just wait until you see them in action.

It’s totally inspiring. And not scary at all.

Ah, yes, sleep is responsible for making sure all the creatures of the world go to sleep at night.

She’s down there making everyone go to sleep?

Oh, yeah! You gotta watch, it’s really fascinating.

[muffled grunt]

What?

Oh, don’t worry, she’s a professional, and it’s a magic pillow.

[snoring]

[gasping]

[man on TV] …and compare them to our air fried quinoa.

[woman on TV] I love quinoa. Yes!

Oh, my God.

Please tell me that’s magic chloroform.

Uh, yeah… [clears throat] Magic.

[man on TV] …restless creatures walk more than 3,000 miles in the seasons ahead.

[whimsical music playing]

[baby cooing]

Oh, you’re a cutie pie, aren’t you?

[Orion] Stop! No!

[yelping]

Stop!

[grunts] Dark!

Do you mind? I can’t have this blabbermouth freaking out while I’m trying to get work done!

None of what you’re doing is okay!

Smothering someone with a pillow? Chloroform? A hammer?

Not to mention, questions of hygiene with that kiss.

Listen, I’ve been doing this job for thousands of years.

I think I know what I’m doing, kid.

And these lips are clean!

[kissing]

[groans]

Clean.

Uh, thanks for letting us see how the sausage gets made!

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to sleep again.

Uh, right.

Well, if you’re staying up all night then I’ve got just the Entity for you.

[tense music playing]

Insomnia is the best impressionist I’ve ever met.

He makes himself sound like the person he’s keeping up, and then whispers worrisome things in their ears.

Why is that even a job?

Oh, you’re just great at making friends, aren’t you?

Not really. [yelps]

Yeah, that tracks.

Now, watch and learn.

[chuckles] Classic Insomnia.

Why did I say that to Michelle? She’s gonna think I’m an idiot.

[gasps]

[snoring]

Well, I’m pretty sure I’m getting fired.

Huh?

I’m never going to meet my deadline!

She’s sleeping pretty soundly.

I’m gonna have to pull out the big guns for this one.

[man on recording] Who can tell me the capital of Delaware?

[girl on recording] The capital of Delaware is D.

[children laughing]

[gasps]

Who can tell me the capital of Delaware?

The capital of Delaware is D.

All those sleepless nights were because of him?

What a jerk…

Whoa, whoa, whoa. You think I’m the one doing that to you?

Nuh-uh, pally. I’m just a megaphone for the thoughts people already got.

Don’t follow me around with this kid anymore, Dark. Okay?

He’s very judgy.

I’m not judgy… Am I?

And we’re walking.

Of course, none of us could do our jobs without a little help from Quiet.

[alarms blaring]

[inhaling]

[sounds muffled, dissipate]

[panting]

[heart beating]

Ah! It’s too quiet!

Quiet… Quiet… Quiet… [echoing]

[woman] Enough with that dog!

[alarm blaring]

[overlapping chatter]

[Quiet] We told you that this kid would ruin everything, and he is!

Uh-huh.

I’m not some kinda glorified babysitter.

I need absolute concentration to do my job, and I can’t have this kid getting in the way and screwing everything up!

Now, get him out of here, so I can get back to business…

Mm-hm.

…and focus on doing my job!

Okay, got it.

[Orion] What’d she say?

Was it about me?

I’m gonna be honest.

I never have any idea what she’s saying. But she did look pretty angry.

[clattering]

[yelps]

Oh! Unexplained Noises.

Come on, this way.

[yelps]

Hey, hey, what’s up?

[shushing] I’m thinking this moment calls for a crunching sound, with the tiniest hint of scraping.

[crunching, scraping]

[child] What was that? Mommy, Daddy! I’m hearing noises!

Ah, yes. I’m really making an impact.

This is so messed up!

Hey! It’s okay, kid! It’s not real…

Can you not…

[muffled]

You’re upsetting the delicate balance of nature.

You may not understand it, but we’re doing very important jobs here!

I mean, in the kid’s defense, a lot of your job does involve creeping around and scaring children.

[scoffs] I don’t have to explain myself to either of you.

The fact is, his very presence threatens to destroy the fabric of the universe as we know it!

Eh, don’t let her get to you. Her honk is a lot worse than her bite.

And, hey, I’ve saved the best for last.

So get ready, and hold on tight!

[majestic music playing]

Ah, there she is.

[Orion] You mean, all those colors?

Yep. That’s Dreams doing her thing.

If seeing her work can’t make you appreciate the beauty of nighttime, then nothing can.

What do you mean see her work?

[Orion yelling]

[groans]

Hey! Shh! Keep it down. She’s working her magic.

All right, what’s churning in your subconscious tonight, Irene?

Mm-hm. Okay. A lot of anxiety about work.

Big presentation tomorrow.

Hmm. Not sure you’re ready for this one, Irene.

Really need to impress your boss. Got it.

[cat meows]

Oh, and your daughter found a rescue cat that she wants you to adopt.

Mommy, can we keep him?

[meows]

Good material tonight.

Now, let’s work it all out.

You’re confidently giving your presentation.

If we just re-use the coil from our winding mechanism, we can reduce our manufacturing costs by 30%.

[employees exclaiming]

Everyone’s loving it.

[crowd cheering]

[crowd chanting] Irene! Irene!

[chanting continues]

[triumphant music playing]

I think you’ve earned this, Irene.

World’s most competent employee?

Mommy!

You’re the best mommy ever!

That was one hell of a presentation, Irene.

I definitely think you’re getting that promotion.

Oh, Mommy. Can we please keep him?

[purrs]

Yes, of course we can!

[man] Whoo!

We love you, Irene!

Amazing, she’s amazing. You’re amazed, right?

Yeah. She’s pretty great.

I told you.

You know, this reminds me of a dream I had where I was giving a class presentation.

But instead of cheering, everyone was booing me.

And the weirdest part was, my classroom was actually a dentist’s office.

[gasps]

Uh…

Wha… Huh?

What the… I didn’t conjure that.

That’s a coincidence, right?

Definitely. It has to be.

Right. Because otherwise, if I said something random, like, I don’t know, “evil cucumber”…

[gasps]

Wha…?

Hey there, Irene. Time for your yearly check-up!

[laughing maniacally]

[screams]

[both] Uh…

[Irene screaming]

What the heck is going on?

[Orion gasps]

Dark?

No! Off-limits!

You promised to keep him out of my hair!

Look, I need to inspire him, and your work’s the most inspirational stuff in the whole night time.

Sorry about the cucumber.

[laughing continues]

Usually.

[shushing]

Stop! Don’t say one more word.

Creating a dream is a very delicate art.

That means anything you say, or even think, could influence the dream.

Got it?

Anything I think?

You thought of something scary, didn’t you?

What? What did you think of now?

Just a kid from my school.

[floor rattling]

[gasps]

[Dreams gasps]

[Dark] Uh…

Who?

[laughing maniacally]

Richie Panici.

[grunts]

Run!

[suspenseful music playing]

[groans]

[grunts]

You’ve been “consificated”. [chuckles]

The word is “confiscated”!

[Richie laughing]

Cryin’ Orion!

Cryin’ Orion! Cryin’ Orion!

[Orion panting]

[yelps]

Ever had a swirly before, Orion?

[screams]

[Richie laughing]

I mean, he can’t like get hurt or anything, can he?

No, it’s impossible to get hurt in a dream.

Oh, well, that’s a relief.

Unless, of course, he dies.

Then he dies in real life.

Wait, what?

Kid, you need to get out of here, or it’s going to end very, very badly!

I’m very aware of that!

Uh… Huh?

Come on, Orion! Think of something to get us out of here!

Come on! Think, think, think!

Wait! Page 14 of my sketchbook.

Clogging the toilet and flooding the entire school.

Huh?

[both yelling]

[grunting]

[gasps]

[yelling]

[suspenseful music playing]

[yelping]

No!

[yells]

Kid!

[yelling]

[Dark] Hang on, Orion!

[suspenseful music continues]

[gasps]

What the heck was that?

Kid, you’re either extremely disturbed or extremely creative.

You’re extremely lucky.

That could’ve been a disaster.

[sighs]

[scoffs]

But it wasn’t a complete disaster. You know why?

Because you looked your fears in the eye and showed them what’s what!

Okay, let’s try that again.

You know what you do, you just put your hand like this and we…

Is it me, or am I more excited about this than you are?

I didn’t overcome anything.

Kid, I was there. I saw it with my own two eyes.

What you saw was me being terrified and trying not to die.

Now that you mention it, it did kind of have an air of mortal desperation.

But that doesn’t make it any less impressive!

Dark, you’re not listening.

I didn’t overcome my fears. I’m still just as scared as ever.

I know for a fact you’re wrong, and I can prove it.

I sincerely doubt that.

Oh, yeah, Mr. Smarty Pants?

Try this one on for size.

You’re not still afraid of me.

Are you?

I’m not scared of you.

See?

That’s what I’m talking about.

[both laughing]

You know, my daughter’s gonna love that we’re becoming friends.

I knew you’d start warming up to me.

Hold on, aren’t you too young to have a daughter?

My future daughter.

You’re wacko, kid. [chuckles]

[Hypatia] Wait.

So, are you saying that you could see into the future when you were a kid?

I guess. I don’t know. I’m just kind of riffing here.

Is that a bad idea?

No. I don’t know.

The story is great.

I like that you made Light a character, too.

Is he coming back, or was that just like a guest appearance?

Uh, possibly. Like I said, I’m just riffing.

I don’t know how you keep making all this stuff up.

Well, you could definitely make up a story like this.

No, I couldn’t. It’s just… Is it too much stuff?

Like you’re already traveling around the world with magical Night Entities, and now you can predict the future, too?

[chuckles] Gilding the lily?

I don’t know what that means.

It means what you said.

Oh. Then, yeah.

Hm. That’s a terrific point.

I’m going to remove the “predicting the future” element.

No more predictions from me as young Orion.

You sure? I mean, it’s kind of cool and funny, so…

Nope! It’s gone.

Okay.

Hm. I’m lost. Where were we?

You were flying through the night with Dark again.

Right. So Dark and I were flying through the night again, only this time, it was different.

♪ Ya, ya, ya, ya ♪

[woman speaking in foreign language]

You’re right, you really can see

every wrinkle on the actors’ faces!

Like rings on a log.

[“The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song” by The Flaming Lips playing]

♪ Ya, ya, ya, ya ya, ya, ya, ya ♪

♪ Ya, ya, ya, ya ya, ya, ya, ya ♪

♪ If you could blow up the world ♪

♪ With the flick of a switch ♪

♪ Would you do it? ♪

♪ Ya, ya, ya, ya ya, ya, ya, ya ♪

[Orion] I mean, I guess it kind of looks like a belt.

Know what it looks like to me?

A robot waiting for a hug.

♪ Ya, ya, ya, ya ya, ya, ya, ya ♪

♪ And so we cannot know ourselves ♪

♪ Or what we’d really do ♪

♪ With all your power ♪

Whoa.

[in Japanese] Is that a gas smell?

Did I remember to turn the oven off?

[groans] [in English] Nothing is working!

Okay, let’s see. Which tape to use? Which tape here… [groans]

Hello!

What did I tell you, kid?

[in Japanese] What if life is a cosmic accident…

What! No, no, no.

…and my existence has no meaning?

Wait, wait, wait, wait. No, no, no!

[in Japanese] Mommy!

That’s it.

I gotta get back into therapy.

[in English] Wow, kid! You go deep.

[laughs]

[song continues]

♪ With all your power ♪

♪ With all your power ♪

♪ With all your power ♪

[muffled grunting]

[both laughing]

[metal clanging]

[gasps]

[man] What was that?

Honey, I think I heard something.

[both laughing]

♪ Ya, ya, ya, ya ya, ya, ya, ya ♪

♪ Ya, ya, ya, ya ya, ya, ya, ya ♪

[bleating]

♪ Ya, ya, ya, ya ya, ya, ya, ya ♪

♪ Ya, ya, ya, ya ya, ya, ya, ya ♪

[vocalizing]

[baby crying]

[man on phone] Do you know how much I pay for you by the hour? Wait for once, okay?

[giggling]

♪ With all your power ♪

♪ With all your power ♪

♪ With all your power ♪

♪ What would you do? ♪

♪ With all your power ♪

♪ With all your power ♪

[both laughing]

[boy crying] Mommy! Mommy!

Oh, sweetie, what’s wrong?

I got scared.

I hate the dark so much.

[sad music playing]

[Dreams] Come on, everyone.

I hear the tea is exceptional here.

[sentimental music playing]

[door closes]

Hey, Dark. Thanks by the way.

For what?

You know, all of this.

Showing me that there’s more to night than just the darkness.

Ah, don’t mention it.

That kid back there?

Don’t listen to him.

He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Maybe he does.

He doesn’t.

I was the same way, remember?

He’s just afraid.

Yeah. I know what it’s like to be afraid, too.

You? What could you possibly be afraid of?

I guess I’m afraid that everyone’s right about me.

That I’m not a good guy, and I’m just as scary as everyone says.

Hey, Dark? Remember when you told me you’re actually a really great guy?

And I didn’t believe you?

Yeah.

I’m starting to believe you.

Aw, thanks.

You know, you really have come a long way.

Uh, I don’t know about that.

Hm.

[Unexplained Noises] That’s it. Let’s get back to work.

Time to go.

[sighs] Okay. Time to get sleepy.

Welp, come on. That’s our cue. Break’s over.

[whimsical music playing]

[door closes]

Orion, you dropped this.

Oh, uh, thanks, Quiet.

Eh… don’t mention it.

All right, kid, you ready? Hop on. Huh?

[groans]

You gotta be kidding me.

Who is he?

That is Light. He’s Dark’s nemesis.

Huh.

I like him, for some reason. He makes me feel safe.

Like I’m wrapped in a warm blanket.

You know, if you’re into that kind of thing.

“Ooh, look at me. I’m so bright!”

I’ve got tricks too, you know.

But unlike some of us, I like to leave a little to the imagination, instead of rubbing it in everyone’s face.

[Light] Come on, Dark.

Do we really have to go through this every time?

Go through what? I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Uh, your attitude, your lateness, your insecurity.

How you doing, kid?

Um, hi!

[Light] It’s always the same routine with you, man.

I show up, you feel inadequate, then you start to project your insecurities onto me.

Every day, I bring brightness and hope to the world, and you bring the exact opposite.

Eh… That’s not… I’m…

I do more than that.

Wait, really? Like what?

Like, a lot of stuff. I would love to tell you all about it, but I don’t really have the time right now.

Finally, something we can both agree on.

Welp, I’m bringing daylight through here in about three seconds, so if you want to continue to exist, I’d, uh, you know… [clicks tongue]

Oh, whatever. We were leaving anyway. Jerk!

I wouldn’t call him a jerk. He seems okay.

[groans] He’s not so great. Trust me.

[Hypatia] Hey, Dad?

What, you ready for bed?

Actually, no.

I was wondering if we could go for a little walk while you finish the story.

Oh, really?

So, like, we could be in the night, like Orion and Dark.

Um… Yeah, sure.

I guess it’s not a school night.

So, yeah, let’s go.

[amusing music playing]

[dog barking in distance]

Um, come on. We can cut through the park.

Okay.

[gasps]

[gasps]

[mysterious music playing]

[light flickering]

You know what?

I think I like the other way better.

Agreed.

[car horns honking]

[siren blaring]

[people chattering]

Can I have my hand for a minute?

Oh, of course. Sorry.

No, it’s okay.

I just thought of a couple new lines and didn’t want to lose them.

Oh, good ones?

Well, you know, just about how weird it is that you can’t see any stars.

Yeah. I couldn’t agree more.

You don’t have to pretend, you know?

That you wanted to come this way, too.

I’m not pretending.

The street lights were out in the park. It was scary for me, too.

But I thought you got over that.

That’s what you said in the story, at least.

Well, it’s a complicated story.

Then couldn’t you let it be complicated?

Parents love simple stories like that because whatever problem the character has, it all gets fixed, and then they don’t have to worry about it anymore.

Orion meets Dark. Dark’s not so bad.

Orion isn’t afraid of him anymore, then there’s a dance party.

[chuckles] You think I should add a dance party?

I think if you’re still scared, you should let Orion still be scared.

The only stories that really help are the true ones.

That is a really great point.

You think so?

I do. And we should definitely use that idea.

[Entities whooshing]

[upbeat music playing]

[laughing]

[yells]

[yells]

[gasps]

What’s wrong?

Yeah, did you die?

Insomnia!

What?

Jumping to worst case scenarios is my actual job.

No. I’m good.

Yeah. He’s over that now, right?

Totally.

Phew. [chuckles]

Good. All right now, let’s get to work.

Race you inside.

[haunting music playing]

[being roars]

[yawns] Come on.

Uh, you all go ahead. I’m more mortal than you are.

And, I mean, there’s not even a night light.

[scoffs] Trip hazard. No thank you.

What are you so scared of?

Nothing. I just… I really like the daytime.

Like, the noises. I mean, have you heard day noises?

Birds, children playing, brunch?

It sounds amazing.

It is, and you are definitely missing out. Like, in the daytime, there’s this sense of connection between the sounds and colors.

Everything is lit up in the daytime. It’s almost psychedelic.

Reds, greens, yellows, violet.

[scoffs] We have colors at night.

[birds chirping]

I mean, you can see them better if there’s a fire.

Hm?

Yeah, that’s light!

Oh, wow! Really?

Incredible.

This makes me feel so safe and warm.

I can see why this makes you less afraid.

I’m not saying I need it.

I’m just saying there’s no way to imagine how beautiful it is, if you haven’t experienced it.

Huh?

So you’re saying the problem is Dark?

Well, in a way, yeah!

And I love him, but I guess he’s the issue here, right?

Don’t get me wrong, Dark’s a really nice guy.

The best. But as long as you’re with him, you can never really enjoy all the amazing things Light has to…

What?

Uh…

Uh… [chuckles]

Well… [chuckles] time to go.

Sure you don’t want to wait for your new best friend?

[chuckles]

[chuckles] Hey, Dark, you know, I think you’re the best.

See, I didn’t get that from the conversation back at the house with the door.

No, no, I was just chatting.

Just because I’m talking about how much I love ice cream, doesn’t mean I don’t love French fries.

Which one am I?

What?

Ice cream or French fries?

Um, French fries?

And Light is ice cream?

Exactly!

Which one do you love more?

Is that really important?

Exactly!

I’m just saying, I wish you could all experience daylight. You, too!

That’s saying you wish everyone could experience me not being around.

That’s not what I meant to say. Perfect!

Then you won’t mind unsaying it to the rest of the team, in a touching, heartfelt speech.

[chair creaks]

Hello!

Come on.

It has been brought to my attention that some of my comments during our last break have been interpreted in a way I never intended.

So let me be clear.

I love the nighttime and my good friend, Dark.

Now, some of you might feel you are missing out on other experiences in the world.

But I’d like to take a moment to remind you of the old adage, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the…”

World! Because it’s daytime there, and you can see that it’s green!

Wait. Wait. That’s not what I was trying to say.

But it’s true! I mean, what does green grass even look like?

Yeah! Why should the Day Entities get all the colors?

Yeah!

[Insomnia] Exactly! See?

That’s what I think, too.

Okay, everyone.

I think we’re getting a little off-track here.

Dark is great. He has so many wonderful characteristics.

Like what?

[sighs]

Look… my point is that I was wrong.

Implying that Day is superior to Night was wrong. Period.

Sure, some people might say that you’re not as pretty and vibrant as Day, but so what?

Because, ultimately, the thing that makes the vibrancy of Day exist is its exact opposite, dark and empty.

So, you see, if you think about it that way, you are the wind beneath Day’s wings.

I don’t think this is helping.

Wait, let me finish. So, in conclusion, thank you.

Thank you for performing these humble, thankless tasks, in order to make Light-filled Day great again.

Well, that’s it. I’m leaving.

What? You’re leaving?

Actually, I’m staying.

I’m staying and waiting for daylight. Maybe I’ll be able to get a job there.

Oh, come on. Be reasonable.

You! Don’t even talk to me, you.

You’re the reason everyone hates us. It’s you and your infernal Dark.

But I’m your friend.

Some friend!

Keeping me from the true beauty of life.

Come on, Unexplained Noises, we all know you’re not actually going to quit.

My name is Debby now. Call me Debby.

Debby!

Well, that’s just great.

But at least we’ve got the rest of you. Right?

Come on, guys, let’s hit the road.

[shattering]

I think what Debby means is that we could all use a little light in our lives.

We all need to feel seen and…

Well, since no one else will, I’m just going to come out and say it.

We all need to feel seen and heard.

Yeah! That’s what I’ve been saying.

Yeah, we do!

[Unexpected Noises] Exactly!

That’s it. I quit!

I’m quitting, too. I’m sick of living in your shadow.

Wait, what?

Daydreams are a thing, right? I bet that’ll be a fun new challenge.

Definitely better than nightmares.

Dreams, please…

Well, that does it. If Dreams is quitting then so am I.

I’m not sticking around in the nighttime for dreamless sleep.

What’s the point?

Well, if Sleep leaves, then, what… it’s my job to keep everyone awake all the time?

No, no. That’s too much work.

I quit, too.

Okay, break time’s over, guys.

Stop messing around. We need to keep moving.

Can’t wait to see the dawn of a new day.

Guys, don’t make me do this by myself, please.

We all need to work together.

We’re… we’re friends.

[squeaks]

Well, I really enjoyed spending all that time with you all.

Have a good morning.

[sad music playing]

[door closes]

[Light] Good morning, everybody!

Did someone say, “Light”?

[birds squawking in distance]

[sighs]

Honestly, I don’t know what anyone sees in him.

That makes one of us.

There’s nothing left of the night but me.

This isn’t night anymore.

It looks like nothing now.

It sounds like nothing.

And tomorrow, even you’re gone.

So I just fly around by myself forever?

This was a terrible idea.

I’m really sorry.

Maybe tomorrow, I can find them during the day, and I can try to convince them that…

No!

I’m not going on.

I’m going to sit on this… whatever it is.

Rock? I don’t know. I don’t think it’s alive.

I’m gonna sit right here on this thing and wait for daylight.

No, you can’t!

Why not?

Nobody likes me anyway.

That’s not true.

So where did everyone go?

[Light] Hey, Dark!

Let’s go! Move it or lose it.

[dramatic music playing]

Uh, Dark?

Come on! Let’s go.

Dark, come on, you can’t be in the light.

You can’t be where you’re not. You’ll disappear.

I’m willing to risk that possibility.

[Light] Okay.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Wait, don’t!

[Light] I’m really sorry, kid.

But day waits for no one.

Dark, you have to leave now!

Oh, I didn’t get that right at all.

What are the odds?

No! Dark!

[dramatic music continues]

Dark!

Bummer. I-I tried to warn him.

Well, I have to go make life on Earth possible and stuff, so… see you, kid.

Good morning, everyone!

[sighs]

[Light] I hope your days are as bright and beautiful as your faces.

Yeah, but then what?

I don’t know.

What do you mean?

I don’t know what’s next. That’s all I got.

You’re just leaving little you all by himself in the middle of…

Where are you?

Europe somewhere? I-I don’t know.

That’s not a good ending.

Yeah. I’ve said it was a complicated story.

I guess I just ran out of ideas.

It’s your story. It happened to you!

True. But I don’t know how it ends.

[whirring]

[man] These visible patterns amongst the stars came to be known as constellations.

Looking over various ancient depictions of the night sky, we start to recognize…

We’re looking at a ceiling.

It’s a really good illusion, though. And highly educational.

We should be able to look at the real sky at night.

They build a city that blocks out the stars, then they put up fake stars to look at?

That’s… That’s a really profound thought, sweetie.

Thanks. I didn’t mean to put down your job.

I really think the planetarium is cool. Really cool.

It’s a cool place to work.

Thanks. I like it, and I like what you said. Both things.

[gentle music playing]

Maybe I have an idea about where the story could go.

Oh, yeah? Well, let’s hear it.

Really? Are you sure?

I’m very sure. Go on.

Okay. So, I show up.

You?

Do you not like it?

No, I love it. Keep going.

I always wondered if we would be friends if we were the same age.

I can’t wait to find out. Please, continue.

Okay. So, I show up.

[Hypatia] Hello.

Uh, hello, person appearing on my turtle.

I’m Hypatia.

The ancient Greek astronomer?

Well, I’m not her. Named after her, though.

I guess that makes more sense. I’m Orion.

The constellation.

Yes, which, to me, looks less like a hunter and more like a… like a robot waiting for a hug.

Yeah. I’ve heard that.

Do you know where we are?

Europe somewhere? I don’t know.

Oh, man. I’m so far from home.

I ruined a lot of things last night.

I know. I’ve been following your story.

Really?

Yeah.

Without night, people won’t be able to sleep.

And without sleep, everyone’s gonna go crazy.

We can’t let this happen!

That’s why I’m here.

I think I have an idea about how to get all the Night Entities back.

Really? What’s your idea?

I have a poem I wrote to try to help.

[exhales]

“Now that it’s gone, I miss the night Now that the only thing left is light”

[bird squawking]

I don’t know. I don’t think this will help.

Keep going.

“And something else Neither night nor day

[traffic sounds]

Maybe everyone cheers, ‘Hooray’

But I miss the night Because it’s like me

And when it is dark is when I best see

Maybe the world has become too bright”

[people chattering]

[Hypatia] “Too loud, too selfish, and ready to fight”

[arguing in Japanese]

[reporter on radio] Possible apocalyptic event, which is creating a climate emergency, with catastrophic consequences in the absence of darkness.

Huh. It’s not quite how I imagined it.

“And the one That is quiet never gets heard And the ones that are awkward Dismissed as mere nerds”

[Light] Huh.

Okay.

[man groans]

[Light] I gotta admit, this is starting to undermine my confidence a little.

“I once thought quiet The absence of sound

But learned it’s the space Where small sounds can be found

I once thought Dark Was the absence of Light

But it is the place Where starlight is bright

The Quiet, the Dark The Dreams once embraced me

They let me feel safe In a world that erased me

Now that it’s gone, I miss the night

Now that the only thing left is light”

You’re a poet.

Yeah, I am.

It was beautiful. Thank you.

[squeaks]

We need to bring the night back to the world.

But Dark is… He’s gone. We can’t make night without him.

But he’s not.

Dark is still very much alive, in your memory.

But the only one who can access your memories is…

Dreams. We need your help, Dreams.

We need all of you.

The whole team.

Remember, if you die in the dream, you die in real life.

Insomnia!

What? I’m doing my job!

[dramatic music playing]

[sighs] Uh…

On second thought, maybe it’s not such a good idea to put the fate of the world in the hands of an 11-year-old kid with severe performance anxiety.

Don’t worry.

I’ll be right there with you.

I’m on it.

[inhales]

[inhales]

[noises quiet]

Okay, Sleep. You’re up.

Do not worry. I’ve got this.

All right. Time to put you to…

sheep!

[bleats]

[yawns]

[dramatic music playing]

[snoring]

Great job, Sleep.

You ready?

Sweet dreams, Orion.

We’re gonna have to go deep. Into the darkest recesses of his mind.

Talking to Sally.

Speaking in class.

Murder clowns.

[laughing]

[Dreams] Cell phone waves… Mosquito bites…

Falling off a skyscraper.

[screaming]

[Dreams] Oh, yes. Here it is.

It’s the night you first met Dark.

[thunder rumbling]

You’re in your bedroom… you hear a low rumbling from the room’s darkest corner.

[shudders]

You see an ominous form taking shape… as if being drawn out of the very darkness of the room.

[haunting music playing]

[chuckles]

[gasps] Dark!

Orion!

You came back for me.

Of course I did. You’re my friend.

I was afraid I lost you.

Nope. I’m right here, bud.

[tense music playing]

[rattling]

Huh?

Whoa!

Dark!

[yelling]

Oh, no!

[yelps]

[grunting]

[yells]

[straining]

Dark!

Orion!

[tense music continues]

[gasps]

[clown laughing]

[yells]

[buzzing]

[yelling]

[straining]

[yelling]

[straining]

What is that?

Why does it keep showing up?

This is in your head, Orion! You’re the only one who can stop it!

You have to go in there and pull him out!

I can’t just jump in there! What’s gonna happen?

I have no idea, but I think that’s the point!

Wh… What are you talking about?

We always want to know the ending because it makes things less scary in the middle parts.

But maybe being scared is just a part of life.

I think you just need to feel the fear.

And do it anyway.

[dramatic music playing]

[yelling]

Good luck, Orion.

Thank you, Hypatia.

Hang on, Dark. I’m coming!

Orion! Over here! [yells]

Orion!

[gasps]

[Orion] Dark!

[grunts]

Now let’s get you out of here.

[Dark straining]

It’s not gonna hold!

Oh, no. Just hang on.

[straining]

[dramatic music continues]

We need to wake him up now!

If we don’t do something, they’re both going to…

Get torn into a million tiny pieces and die?

Move over. I’ve got this.

It’s going to suck us in!

What happens now?

I don’t know. But being with you, somehow, it makes the horror of the unknown less horrible.

I know what you mean.

It’s been a pleasure knowing you, Orion.

The pleasure is all mine.

[both yelling]

[gasps]

[Insomnia] Orion!

Time to wake up! You’re late for school!

You read an article about how sleep stunts your growth!

Come on, wake up!

Why isn’t it working?

I don’t know, man!

I’ve never put that many Z’s on anyone before!

Wake up, wake up! Time to wake up!

[horn blares]

[Entities] Wake up!

Wake up already!

Come on, wake up!

[overlapping chatter]

[horn continues]

[silence]

Orion, if you don’t wake up you’re going to miss your field trip.

You’re going to miss your field trip.

[gasps] Sally!

[dramatic music playing]

Dark. We made it.

That’s some nice work, kid.

[people chattering]

[car horn honking]

[grunting]

[both exclaim]

[laughs] All right! There it is. Glad to have you back, old buddy.

[ethereal music playing]

[Entities whooshing]

[traffic sounds]

[people chattering]

Bye, Orion. It’s been a dream spending the night with you.

It really has.

See you, Hypatia.

I admire your work.

And I admire yours.

And I admire yours, too.

Oh… [soft chuckle] Wow.

You’re the best, Dark.

Yeah, I second that.

Thanks for everything, Dark.

Hear, hear.

So, this is it.

But I’ll see you tomorrow night.

Ah, sure. You’ll see dark. I mean, I won’t look exactly like this.

But you’ll see me in new ways.

Ways that are even better.

Yeah. I can see that now, and I can appreciate it.

Thanks for that.

No. Thank you, Orion.

For what?

Well, seeing me the way you do.

So much of how you see yourself is through the eyes of others. You know?

So, you gonna go on that field trip tomorrow?

Yep.

You nervous?

Terrified.

But I’m going anyway.

Ah, good for you, kid. You’re gonna be all right.

Well, it was nice meeting you, Hypatia.

It was nice meeting you, too, Dark.

[dramatic music playing]

[chuckles]

You’ve got a good father there.

I know.

Wait, what?

I don’t understand.

I came to help you get home.

From the future?

Um, I guess so, yeah.

Am I okay, in the future?

Yeah, you’re doing good.

So, I don’t have to worry so much, is what you’re saying?

I guess that’s what I’m saying.

[Hypatia gasps]

They look so young.

Really? They look a million years old to me.

[gasps] What?

Orion. I thought we agreed, no check-ins tonight.

We did, Dad. It’s tomorrow night. You and Mom slept through the entire day.

What? Oh, my God, it’s true.

Really? Holy cow, we overslept!

[Orion] Yeah, I think you were tired.

I-I wanted to let you sleep. To give you a break.

[mom] Who’s that?

Believe it or not, that’s my child… hood friend.

Oh! Nice to meet you.

Hi.

What’s your name?

Hypatia.

That’s pretty.

So, I was wondering if you could maybe drive Hypatia home.

Um, where do you live, sweetheart?

Manhattan.

Manhattan? How’d you get here? Do your parents know you’re here?

Uh, sort of.

And they can’t pick you up?

Um…

Oh, yeah, right.

Maybe we’ll give them a call.

[tense music playing]

[panting]

What do we do?

I don’t know.

We can’t just drop you off in New York 20 years before you were born.

Yes, I know.

How did you get back here in the first place?

I don’t know. I just did it.

Well, do it again.

Okay.

Mm…

What’s wrong?

I don’t know. It’s not working.

This is terrible. Maybe my parents can adopt you.

What? No! What about Mom?

She seemed to like you in there.

Not your mom. My mom. Your wife?

Oh, yeah.

[gasps] I have a wife?

Yes, my mother!

I know!

[both] This is a disaster!

[rumbling]

[both] Huh?

[both gasp]

Who are you?

I’m Tycho. I came to help.

I have my time machine out on your lawn.

I can take you home.

You can?

But we have to go now.

Coming back to get you has released interdimensional time monsters, and we have to stop them before they multiply and destroy history!

[tense music playing]

See you in 20 years.

See you in 20 years.

[grunts]

When I say “now,” make a beeline for the capsule.

Got it!

Now!

[tense music continues]

[panting]

[grunting]

Oh, yeah!

Hold on to your butts!

[beeping]

[engine whirring]

[gasps]

What the…

Dad!

Hypatia!

[laughs]

[gasps]

[roars]

Hi, Tycho. Long time no see. You haven’t changed a bit.

You have. You’re so old now.

[laughs]

Well, I guess I have grown up a little bit.

[chuckles] Well, gotta go.

Thank you for getting me home.

No problem.

And then I piloted the time machine module all the way back here, killed the time monsters, and climbed back in bed.

Huh. That’s such a good ending.

Yeah?

Definitely. Thank you for figuring it out. I was stuck.

[yawns]

You sleepy?

Yeah.

Goodnight, sweetie.

Goodnight, Mom.

Open or closed?

Mm. Closed tonight.

Okay. Sleep tight.

[door closes]

[melancholic music playing]

[Hypatia] Hey, Dad.

He asleep?

Almost.

Did he come up with an ending?

He did.

[chuckles] Time machine.

[chuckles] Oh, that’s good. A time machine.

That’s a good idea.

I thought so, too. You up for a while?

I’m heading back to the city in the morning, so I thought I would just enjoy the night for a bit.

Okay, Dad. I’m turning in.

Goodnight, Hypatia.

Goodnight, Mom.

Goodnight, Hypatia.

Mind if I sit with you?

I would love that.

[dramatic music playing]

[inspirational music playing]

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