Studios, LLC


       MR BRAY

A boutique design & animation shop that dissolves the line between studio and agency.

The Three Lanterns - Part Three: The Red Light

My eyes are heavy as cement as my body falls to the cave floor. At the point my head is about to strike rock it lands on a soft pillow. I'm a toddler bouncing on an enormous bed. My mother appears in the room nine months pregnant and waddling after me. "Honey, come here, Honey it's time for dinner". I giggle and reply back with a comment much more snarky than a child can comprehend and say while leaping in all directions:"Mommy can't catch me she's too fat, mommy can't catch me she's too fat"...My laughter breaks down to my mothers face. She fights to stay serious as I crawl under the bed. Chanting my ornery little mantra, believing to be safely out of reach the bed pulls back as I see the large shadow of a hand reach down and pulling on my overalls.

In a seamless motion my back falls on a wood floor. I'm three years old and playing with a fire truck. In the background my mother is getting her hair and makeup fixed by a lady with a puffy pink shirt and tight black stretch pants. A photographer is adjusting his lens while his assistant walks up to me and smiles. She comments on my curly red hair and bops my nose with her index finger. I grasp my fire truck and roll it across the floor. 

Looking within the vehicle I see myself seated in the truck. I transition to the point of view of the passenger, I'm six years old and my mother looks sad. She starts to swerve and I reach for the wheel. As I clasps the wheel we turn towards traffic and I'm thrown back into my seat. Now I'm twelve years old seated motionless in a trailer. My mother is being slapped across the face and I can't draw the strength to do anything. I look at my arms and legs and I'm covered in bruises, frozen in this moment. That evening I see the moon reflect off a knife I'm holding up to the sleeping neck of the cruel man that struck my mother. Trembling I look deeper at the reflection of the moon. The moon grows larger and I can feel my breath bouncing back at me. I'm thirteen years old and I'm starring at the moon from behind the paned glass window of a train. 

Suddenly my eyes open and I'm the ten year old boy again in the cave. I'm covered in the fiery red liquid, clutching the skull lantern. The lantern was my deceased mother. The images were from when she was a model and a actress, along with her struggles with depression and the abuse her and I suffered from the hands of her ex-husband. The moon outside the window was the night I ran away on the train. The moon and the train were what saved me from doing the unspeakable and ending that mans life. The fire of this skull lantern burned though it was liquid because the love I have for my mother was complicated. I deeply loved her but to have her in my life was to also to be hurt by her or the life she unfortunately attracted. 

Placing the skull down the wall of fire now engulfs the lantern like a piece of wood. The lantern turns to ash yet remains visible in shape and crumbles to the ground. I know this represents the death of the most powerful feminine influence I'll ever have. My mother was horribly flawed yet more powerfully intoxicating. No one could ever replace her in my life. The cave goes dark once again.

I look up to the corner and see a brilliant green light. As I trek towards it a cloud of emerald dust billows in my direction. I begin to cough and choke on the particulate. My eyes and nose burn like I’m in the throws of a dusts storm. I power through. The green sand remains all the thicker the closer I approach the new lantern. Gripping my throat I’m unable to breathe as I gulp for my lungs to catch some air…

To Be Continued...

Stay tuned for the final part four - The Three Lanterns: The Green Light

An original story and dream by:

Jesse Bray