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Once Young

Two parent-less 18-year-olds fall in love and, alone and together, struggle with what love and maturity may look like amid an adult world that is often confusing and sometimes dangerous.

George, 17, a top student, is traumatised by the senseless death of his parents at the hands of two criminal youths. He quits school to better look after his much younger sister, Belle, and to devote himself to professional boxing. In caring for Belle, he is assisted by Su-Ann, sister of his cornerman, Tan.

At nights George prowls the streets looking for the two. One night, he kills a murderous youth. Months later, now 18, George stalks someone he thinks is one of the two killers but instead saves 18-year-old Tracy from being the first victim of a to-be serial killer.

Romance blossoms between the two teenagers. However, trouble follows: 38-year-old celebrity lawyer, Michael, married and father to a teenager, is obsessed with Tracy; Su-Ann, who has quietly loved George, sees Tracy as a threat.

Michael, who has ingratiated himself with Tracy, creates a ruse, which has Tracy keeping away from George. However, as Michael has intended, George suffers believing Tracy has dumped him. Distress follows for both teenagers before they re-engage with each other.

George finally catches up to one of the two youths, Wes. On the verge of killing him, George breaks down and sobs. He visits the graves of his parents – and the parents appear, the father informing him it is the other youth (Buster) who is the sociopath. George is shocked to learn Wes has killed Buster.

Meanwhile, Michael and Su-Ann join forces to frame George for the theft of Tracy's emotionally valuable items. Overwhelmed by the contrived evidence, Tracy breaks off with George.

On a cliff’s edge, a distraught George contemplates life without Tracy. About to leave, he slips and falls over the cliff. Tracy, believing he suicided, suffers unabated guilt. As she is about to jump off the same cliff, she is talked out of it by a friend.

Having been saved by fishermen, George reunites with Tracy.

Tracy attends a party, which is gate-crashed by a gang of three. The sequence puts Tracy’s principles (and her life) to the test, principles her father taught when she was six.

The gang plays a game of he-or-you die when recalcitrant Tan is targeted for execution. All present are given the option to die for him, including sister Su-Ann, who refuses to do so. Tracy, abiding by the principle of “never pass on the bad meant for you”, shakily agrees. This brings the so-far unchallenged universal view of the gang leader into question.

Alternating between reasoned argument and physical cruelty, the leader fails to change Tracy’s attitude. So disgusted is he, he wants to shoot her himself but finds he cannot pull the trigger. He asks Tan to save her life by Tan offering his. Tan refuses. The leader gives Tracy a second chance by okaying Tan to take her place, but she refuses.

The leader orders one of his henchmen to sever her spinal cord to make her a paraplegic. The third gang member, who up to now has been mysteriously quiet, saves Tracy by shooting the leader and the other henchman.

The story ends with teenagers Tracy and George, contrary to conventional wisdom, marrying each other in order to recreate the family each has lost.

Script Excerpt
Written by:
Format:
Screenplay
Genres:
Budget:
Modest
Starring Roles For:
Actress aged c.18
Actor aged c.18
Actor aged c.38
In the Vein Of:
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Romeo and Juliet (play)
American Beauty (1999)
Posted:
04/14/2019
Updated:
04/02/2021
Author Bio:
I'm a happily unproduced screenwriter.

I've been writing screenplays proper since 2007 and can showcase (as at April 2021) nine of them.

I would love to have one of my screenplays produced, but several factors have to come together for this to happen. In the meantime, I keep writing and this very act makes me happy.

However, since completing my latest, Howlingween 4: Beastly Mist, I've had six false starts, because each of the storylines lacked sufficient emotional investment on my part to carry them beyond the beginning.

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