A lonely school teacher who discovers his deceased father’s closeted homosexuality finds he is unable to cope with his own insecurities and his family’s prejudices—prompting an all consuming obsession with returning his father’s ashes to his British birthplace.

After learning of the death of his father, Connecticut school teacher Neil MacLeod heads out to San Diego to make the final arrangements. As he tries to cope with his complex emotional response, he makes a shocking discovery: his father lead a double life as a homosexual. Astounded by this, he begins to wonder who his father really was. To make matters worse, Neil later finds out that this was a fact known to everyone in his family—except for him. Dropping many of his father’s clothes off at a local thrift shop, an employee there tells him the story of how he took his mother’s remains back to Italy. Inspired, Neil decides that is what he will do—he will take the remains back to his father’s birthplace in England. Encouraged in this endeavor by one of his father’s old friends in the U.K., Neil becomes convinced that this last act of closure will heal all of the old wounds with this father. He becomes obsessed with the idea. Upon his return to Connecticut, he finds that his substitute teacher—a Scottish woman named Kate—has arranged a welcome home party for him on behalf of his students. Touched by the gesture, he bonds instantly with Kate. Things take a turn for the worst, though, when the coroner’s report from San Diego comes with dreadful news: his father died of a drug overdose. Neil learns that his father’s longtime lover had recently passed away, and the depression may have been too much for him. The old friend from the U.K. announces that he, and anyone else his father once knew, will not be participating in any service for a “queer drug addict.” Furious at his father, Neil decides that he is no longer worth it, and cancels his trip to London. Kate, however, won’t let him give up, and persuades him to go through with the service—even if he’s the only one there—and even helps him find a church in his father’s hometown. It is then he realizes he may be falling in love with Kate, and asks her to come along. She declines, but Neil—fearful of abandonment—rudely overreacts. As the day for him to leave for England approaches, he tries in vain for reconciliation with Kate. Their relationship has thawed, but she still refuses to come along. Alone with his father’s ashes, he heads to the church in England. Neil is the only one present at the service. When he heads outside with the vicar, Neil is stunned to find Kate waiting for him. Together, they bury his father, with a promise to look forward, not back.

Script Excerpt Interview
Written by:
Starring Roles For:
Aaron Taylor Johnson
Dakota Blue Richards
Rose Byrne
Author Bio:
Kevin Stuart Brodie’s day job is as a high school history teacher, but he has been writing and publishing most of his adult life. He has published essays in the Santa Cruz Spectacle, Grassroots Economic Organizing (where he once served as contributing editor), and poetry in a number of publications including Sojourners. Kevin has done a number of poetry readings throughout southern New England. He has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

A few years ago, a story that had tormented him for months was consistently refusing to be written as a novel, despite Mr.

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Contest Results:
StoryPros Awards (Finalist) [2021]
Writer's Digest (Honorable Mention) [2020]