Had taken these stories off WordPress because they were entered in a variety of competitions, which stipulated they shouldn’t have already been published [this included self-publishing on webpages].
Originally there were supposed to be seven stories, I got to five and then began converting some to short film scripts. One of which has been funded by Northern Ireland Screen and is due to be filmed at the end of September [fingers crossed].
It’s fair to say getting films made [short or feature] is a challenging task, one that has personally tested my patience to the limits. A bit of advice from a first time script writer ALWAYS hand your script to someone who TRULY has the best intentions for the original creation. Although a script is a living, moving, changing idea – it’s my opinion all other creative people should work from the original canvas/script. Cutting into peoples idea’s and creative work is a sorry process, one which takes it’s toll.
On The Road Home – short story [funded by Northern Ireland 2013]
Three people packing a car, awkward silences, awkward sentences everyone averting eye contact. Sorcha already sorted and sitting in the passenger seat of the car, gazing out of the window, feeling a little fuzzy from lack of energy and nursing a bad hangover.
Glen’s head lowered, nearly bumping into Dean as he makes his way to the back of the car where Dean is putting his bag into the boot. He looks up instinctively aware of a surge of energy, anger, the tightening of his muscles, something inside urging him to shove Dean against the car. Sorcha feeling and hearing the thud is out of her seat in a flash, reaching them in time for Dean to retaliate, shoving Glen in the chest hard, he stumbles backwards, finds his footing. Sorcha taking the opportunity to jump in between the two boys before anything serious kicks off. Surprisingly nothing has been said during this ‘tit for tat’ shoving match, both glaring at each other intently. Sorcha pushes Dean to her side of the car leading him to the back seat, frowning at him as though he should know better. His response a simple questioning “What?!” Sorcha shaking her head “not my fault Ricky Rich is repressed and uptight” Dean giving a nonchalant shrug of the shoulders. “Shut it Dean” rages Glen, “Cool it, both of you” Sorcha ending the dispute with an authoritative tone and dead pan stare, she wasn’t in the mood for any shit.
Once all are in the car, there is a noticeable air of relief as they get started on the journey home. Glen takes off at warp speed, Dean in the back is thrown slightly, thinking/saying “on edge, MUCH!?” Down the road a bit Sorcha can’t stand the silence and tense atmosphere, they were all waiting for the same thing, someone to speak. She reaches for the radio clicks it on, static, fiddling, tuning, but nothing. Dean coming in with “don’t think we were able to get reception around here on the way down.”
The way down, before any of this had happened, Glen grimaces, on the carriageway now he puts the pedal to the metal, unable to convey what hangs heavy on his mind. “Can you slow it down (Glen), I’d like to get home in one piece thanks, I’ve got a hot date this weekend!” Dean chimes as he rolls his eyes while fiddling with his phone, taking on an unusually camp character as he does this. Glen not giving him an inch questions Dean angrily, “why the hell are you always so god damn happy anyway, eh?!” “Hmmmm, let me think for a moment” Dean taking the opportunity to dramatise and exaggerate his response “perhaps it’s because I’m comfortable with myself, maybe because I’m accepting of other people regardless of their personal status, could be because I’m neither personally or sexually repressed and of course having learned the hard way I now understand the value of everything I have, from material possessions to fabulous friendships,” stopping short and directing his gaze to the back of Glens head rest “is it possible for you to say the same Glen?” there was only silence, Sorcha dared not intervene or look over to the drivers seat, squirming in her seat she kept her eyes on the road ahead, not wanting to make this exchange anymore painful for Glen. Before there was time for the silence to settle Dean adding another blow with sharp deliverance “No? I didn’t think so!” smiling smugly he turns his attention to his phone.
Sorcha blocking the hostility pouring out of Glen AND Dean’s apparent ignorance of why Glen might be up tight at the moment. She’d other issues to consider, like having had sex with not one but two guys. Elbow leaning on the window she lets her head fall into the palm of her hand, and rests it there for a moment, sometimes the weight of your own head can be enormous, at times it feels like its going to drop off, unless cradled… hands, are such inviting shapely things, OK, she was clearly losing it!
What if she found that she was pregnant, what would happen, who would the dad be, how would she ever explain, not knowing without admitting everything. This could be the single most stupid, sluttiest thing she’d ever done, course she knew she was feeling worse because of the hangover. Poor Glen, she wouldn’t be the only one feeling guilty, in fact it might very well be worse for Glen, who knows he could be questioning his sexuality right now. Let’s face it, they all knew before last night Glen was the biggest homophobe going, no matter how much he’d tried to accept Dean. Becoming vaguely aware of arguing she turns her attention back to ‘the boys’.
Glen had been working himself into a tizz since they left the camp site, eyes darting back and forth from his mirrors, catching sight of Dean every time in the back, thinking that Dean looked pretty happy with himself, cat that got the cream, looking smugger with each glance, Glen wound up and ready to pop.
Dean aware of the stares and undeniable tension, is fed up “is there a problem Glen?” he purr’s staring directly into Glens rear view mirror. “What do you think!” growls Glen in return, Sorcha at the ready, shifting in her seat and turning toward them both. Having a feeling they were going to start taking pop shots at each other like they always did. “Listen I won’t be telling anyone about last night anymore than you will, be a tad difficult for me to explain (to my mates) how my cock ended up inside a girl, don’t you think, me being gay and all, sorry Sorcha, no offense!” “Oooh, that’s ok, none taken…” Sorcha taken a back, having not considered this perspective. Dean has always been proud that he’s never ‘had’ to be with a women to hide who he is.
Glen slightly calmer, until Dean adds “have to say you’ve a quor nice cock Glen” flashing a pearly smile at him threw the mirror. Glen just about stays on the straight and narrow, face like thunder tells Dean to “Fuck up!” “Since you’re not going to mention it, you’ll not mind not talking about it now!” he glowers. Pulling the car abruptly over Glen jumps out of the drivers side and heads away from the car, Sorcha and Dean glance at each other clearly startled and watch as Glen hops over a small fence into a grassy area that drops off into the sea, walking to the edge Glen looks down, to the side, up and out to sea, taking a couple of deep breaths he then bellows as loud and for as long as his lungs will let him. His stance strong to begin with, arms extended out from his body as though to put more effort into what he is doing, but by the end of his breath his shoulders fold in on themselves, arms dropping limply by his side followed by the bending of his knees and the folding of his back. He seemed to be all spent as he stood there crumpled over, body swaying in the breeze. Again without warning, his head jerks upright and his body follows, turning he gallops back to the car, taking a last deep breath of air before getting into the drivers seat. Dean and Sorcha stare at Glen bug eyed but nobody speaks, Glen eases the car off the lay by and back onto the open road as the radio springs to life Glen turns the volume down.
Taking a moment Glen decides to offer “I’m not gay you know”, Dean finds this statement hilarious, flicking his hand in the air and extends “Oooh don’t worry Glen, I know what you mean I’m not either, apparently!” winking and giving Sorcha a cheeky grin. Trying his best to hide feelings of confusion and doubt while savouring the memory of Glen’s naked body but bemused when Sorcha pops into the image. He had to admit to himself there had been some sort of attraction, he had enjoyed the night, confused he couldn’t decide had he fucked her, had sex or made love to her. He didn’t want to think about it, he wasn’t interested in dating Sorcha, he cared for her as a friend but that was as far as it went. Dean having empathy (deep down) for how Glen must be feeling didn’t mean he couldn’t enjoy himself while empathising!
The car fell silent but only for a second, Glen adding, “if any one of the guys I hang around with were to find out or even my dad…” he trailed off, shaking his head slightly. Sorcha feeling the urge to comfort him, she always got the impression even though Glen came from a comfortable back ground, there were signs of never quite making the grade, perhaps Glen’s life wasn’t as cushy as it appeared regardless of how much money his family had. She touched his shoulder, rubbing the top of his arm just for a second as he wasn’t the type to take kindly to being pitied.
Dean was off on one “Gay! What is that exactly, we all have our own meanings for things – words, bi, hetro, homo, gay….” Thinking, mulling over the events of last night “tell ya, long gone are the days when it simply meant happy!” taking a second but only for a breath “as cheesy as it sounds, when you care for a person… people, when you FEEL LOVE there are no words, it’s a place beyond most of our simple minds.” Gazing to the side Dean continues taking on a note of sincerity and depth “yet the vast majority of us need to put names to things, boxes for this, tags for that” he frowns a little “why, I’ll never know, perhaps a way to keep people in line, we all may as well wear badges, different colours, high earners, low incomes, bisexuals, level of intelligence… yada, yada, yada” taking another contemplative second/a breath Sorcha and Glen lean in with their ears, mouths slightly open, waiting for the last words to the most sincerely, honest, emotionally open conversation they’d ever had with Dean. “Society may never feel comfortable with those of us who are open to loving all things, all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, characters. Hell, I don’t even know if I’m ready, as open minded as I consider myself to be but I do know this… That place ‘in our own heads’ where unconditional love lie’s, that is the place where everyone of us can find freedom!”
Dean having had his fun and rant is happy to get back to fiddling with his phone, setting up his social calendar for the weekend ahead. “Bloody hell that was deep Dean” Sorcha looks surprised, Dean shrugs, she’s glad some of the tension has gone, still having a lot on her mind and now more to digest she turns in her seat to look back out the window again at the passing scenery. Glen left to his own feelings of guilt, denial and blame, looking ahead up the road he goes back to last night.
What was bothering him so much; he’d enjoyed himself, all of it and felt guilty for that, he didn’t even want to imagine what the people he knew would say if they found out he’d had a blow job from another bloke, damn good bj though. He bit his lower lip at the thought, his eyes flit off to the side mirror, poker faced, jaw locked tight and then back to the front win-screen. Angry, he’d been lured in by wanting HER, remembering how good she smelt, softness of her skin, she made him relax, everything melted away when he was with her, feelings of excitement at the memory of him lying back as she straddled his chest, pushing away the thoughts of where and what Dean was doing at that moment, they had all just moved together, no reason to it, how had they gotten to that point? He remembered a lot of drink, chatting, laughing the closeness, bumping heads then Dean; it had been Dean who started it. Glen had wanted Sorcha not Dean, denial hitting Glen harder than a ton of bricks.
Glen felt like a fake, no longer a ‘stand up guy’, how could he go back to who he’d been before, there was no way to, things were different. Last night wasn’t awkward, a bit of Dutch courage and it all felt normal so why did it feel like he was being eaten from the inside out, guilt gnawing at his stomach?
Glen mentions they need petrol he pulls over at the next station, gets out and begins filling the tank. Dean leans forward to Sorcha explains he’s all out of cash, Sorcha thinking that was all they needed another argument, over petrol money. “Didn’t you think to keep any money for the trip home” Sorcha slightly irritated not waiting for an answer gets out of the passenger seat, strolls around the back of the car slowly making her way to Glen, not sure how she’s going to explain this one. Extending her arm she offers some petrol money and says the inevitable “Deans all out, so sure here’s a bit extra…” not letting her finish Glen starts “OH, you mean the open minded, loving everyone, having learned the meaning of life the hard way, in the back seat can’t afford to splash the cash and pay his own way!?” “I can hear you!” Dean chimes, two seconds later he sticks his head out of the drivers window exclaiming “perhaps I’ll pay my tab by other means, like sucking’ cock in the middle of the fore court, are ya with me, now stop making’ a scene Glen, or I’ll make an even bigger one” Dean pulls a million dollar smile then sits back in his seat. “Don’t worry about it Sorcha, if he’s not paying I don’t expect you to!” Glen takes off inside to pay and Sorcha makes her way to the car, getting in she says “smooth Dean, real smooth” shaking her head she can’t hide a slight smirk at the thought of Dean sucking cock in the fore court for petrol money!
Glen is heading back to the car now as Dean jogs past him “won’t be a minute” heading toward the toilets. Getting into the car Glen huffs “Great, now we have to wait for him…” shaking his head. Sorcha is looking out the window again, turns to Glen irritated “give it rest Glen, you’re not the only one with stuff on their mind!” she looked a little upset. “Are you ok” he offers sensing she needs a hug, he leans over holds her while she explains “I’m just upset with myself, we didn’t use any protection…” trailing off, Glen understands now. He gives her a squeeze in the hope to reassure her of his feelings.
Dropping Dean home first, Sorcha leans into the back seat to shake he awake “Dean you’re home” getting out of the car she waits to hug him. As Dean steps out of the car he says goodbye to Glen and is surprised to get a warm response, hesitating Glen offers “yeah take it easy Dean, I’ll see you about” also managing a half smile. Sorcha says goodbye Dean motions toward Glen still in the car “he’ll be fine, it’s just going to take a little time” he smiles kisses Sorcha on the cheek, she watches him walk away and has a feeling it’ll be awhile before she see’s or speaks to him, a knowing time also being something Dean needed. Getting back into the car she directs Glen to where she lives. Stopping outside she is unsure of how he feels or what he needs pushing her own fears to the side she asks if he’d like to come in for tea. He hesitates explaining he doesn’t want to be any trouble, assuring him its no trouble she gives him a little shove and wonders if he just needs a chat.
They head inside, nobody appears to be home which makes the conversation flow a little easier. Sitting at the kitchen table eating warm toast with butter and sipping tea with a tiny bit of sugar, Glen hadn’t wanted any sugar but Sorcha insisted it was good after a few too many, “good for keeping the strength up” looking away as she says this not wanting it to seem like a double entendre.
Glen perhaps considering this, Sorcha noting a thoughtful expression on his face, she wasn’t prepared for what came next. “I’m REALLY not gay you know” he blurts out, the silence of the kitchen amplifying every word, the clock on the wall, ticking over every second. Sorcha half choking as she sips on her tea “Oh, no, no, I didn’t think that you were, are, I mean… that’s not what I think Glen, honest!” He looked a little happier, as though it mattered. Sorcha pausing then explains “you do realise it doesn’t matter a damn ‘what you are’ gay, bi, or even heterosexual, all that matters is that you know yourself and you’re happy with who you are, right!?”
He contemplates this and agrees, “so you and I shagging again wouldn’t better prove that I’m all about the girls?” he laughs lightly, she gets the humour and listens as he continues, “you know that it was you I wanted though, don’t you Sorcha I’ve always really liked you.” “Yeah I know I’d be lying if I said I didn’t” she looks down at her tea as she speaks “but, I’ve never thought much of how you strut about like you’re Mr. Thing. Have to admit I’m seeing you in a whole different light now though” she grins at him.
“Oh great, didn’t take much, just you’re usual night of forbidden sex, having my dick sucked by a bloke!” his voice rising toward the end of his sentence. It still bothered him not as much as before it seemed. Maybe Sorcha had misjudged Glen perhaps he was capable of broadening his views more than Sorcha had originally thought. Something was for sure he wasn’t as narrow-minded now, as he had been at the beginning of the summer.
**On The Road Home has it’s own WordPress page, you can follow it’s progress by searching firstname.lastname@example.org or look for us on Facebook with the same email**