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Never Write For the School Newspaper

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Never Write For the School Newspaper

Post by Casey Aldridge on Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:05 pm

This was written by me (Tyler) for a Scriptwriting class this year irl. Didn't feel like doing much else with it, so I'm posting it here. Enjoy. This is NOT a true story. I used my own name for random purposes of it was for class -shrugs-
INT. middleton high school Journalism classroom - AFTERNOON
TYLER ANDERSON, 14 years old, average appearing with short spiked brown hair, sits at a computer desk in the back of the classroom. He appears to be typing, his right cheek looks sunken as he chews on the inner part of his cheek to think. He is dressed in a hoodie and jeans, the sleeves slightly tattered to show he wears the hoodie often.
He types for a minute before he moves away from the computer. The printer prints a piece of paper.


Tyler
(reads his paper aloud)
Of course, being gay myself, I can attest to the fact it might not be all that different than being straight. No one knew until I admitted it, after all.


Tyler snorts before balling the paper up and throwing it into the trash can.


Tyler
As if I'd ever submit THAT into the school newspaper. Wright would have a field day.


Tyler doesn't look back as he shoulders his backpack and leaves. He fails to notice that the wadded up paper revealed just one bold word from the title of his article. The word GAY sticks out from the trash can.
-----------------------
CUT to:
INT. Middleton HIGH SCHOOL Hallways - MORNING
CINDY WRIGHT, 15 years old, short with long blonde hair and bright brown eyes, runs hurriedly towards Tyler. He opens up his locker to put his textbooks up. She stops and catches her breath just three lockers down from Tyler, he does not notice her yet. She neatly tucks her hair back into place before she walks calmly over to him. She leans against the locker next to his. Tyler shuts his locker and finally notices her.
 
Tyler
What do you want, Wright?


Cindy
(fakes pleasantries)
Oh, why ever do you think I need something? I simply wanted to congratulate you on finally writing an article worth being published by yours truly, the school editor in chief.


Tyler blinks at Cindy, confused. He shuts his locker and turns to her in full.


Tyler
What article are you on about?


Cindy
Why, the article I asked you to write yesterday. The one about how homophobia affects bullying.


Tyler
And I told you I wouldn't write that trash. Who cares about homophobia? That article was such a pointless topic, I didn't dare even think of writing about such waste.


Cindy
(chuckles)
Is that so? I suppose you're right... but thanks for the article any ways.


Cindy walks down the hallway proudly with her hands on her hips. Tyler watches her, bemused, before he grabs his sociology book and heads off to his class. Cindy stops just before Tyler disappears and watches him go off, smirking.
Cut TO:
Int. MIDDLETON HIGH SCHOOL journalism classroom - Later
Students leave the classroom. Tyler packs his bag up and Cindy sits just off to the side. As Tyler makes a move to leave the classroom, she grabs one of his arms as he passes.


Cindy
I know I should have shown the journalism students the copy of the school paper for tomorrow, but I thought you'd like to see it first.


Tyler
Uh... thanks Wright.


Cindy
No need to thank me... yet.


Cindy hands him a folded booklet of printed pages and leaves the classroom with a triumphant look on her face. Tyler sets his bag on her now vacant desk and flips the book open. He reads avidly for awhile before he stops with a gasp. He drops the book and only when the booklet hits the floor does he react. He snatches it back up.


Tyler
But I threw that article out!


Tyler makes a mad dash for the trash can and discovers it empty. He adopts a horrified look as he dashes out of the classroom.
Cut to:
Int. MIDDLETON HIGH SCHOOL HALLWAYS - MOMENTS LATER
Tyler runs after Cindy, who is putting up her own school books.


Tyler
Hey Wright! I need to talk to you.


Cindy
What are you going to do if I don't, Anderson? Steal my glory as top of the line at school... Again?


Tyler
I wanted to talk to you about the article. How about you don't post that?


Cindy
Oh? Well... I want to post it, so too bad. It really was... So informative.


Tyler
You really, really, don't want to do that Wright.


Cindy
Why would I not want to?


TYLER
That article is incredibly lame. Surely you don't want such a ridiculous looking article printed


CINDY
I don't know about that. I found it rather... Interesting.


Tyler
Look, what could I do to convince you to erase that article from the print?


Cindy
(smiles widely, almost a smirk)
You tell the school yourself?


Tyler
(backs away angrily)
Not happening! Do you think I'm that stupid?


Cindy
Then they're going to find out from the article, obviously. I think it'll be a nice ego deflation for you, Anderson.


Cindy begins to walk past him before Tyler grabs her arm. He stands there gripping her right arm as tight as he can. The discomfort shows on Cindy's face. She struggles to pull herself free.


Cindy
Ouch! You're hurting me you dimwit. Let me go!


Tyler
Only if you delete that article from the newspaper for tomorrow.


Cindy
(scoffs)
If that's your best bargain, you're going to be in for a rough time at high school.


A TEACHER walks in, tall and stern appearing. He looks to be in his forties as he walks towards the students. He has a receding hair line and stands at a slight hunch. He looks at the two students through thick round glasses.


Teacher
Mr. Anderson! What are you doing with Miss Wright over there!?


Cindy
(yanks her arm away)
Have fun getting your reputation trashed.


Cindy leaves in the direction of the teacher so that Tyler can not attempt anything. Tyler stands there, hands balled into fists, as he waits for the teacher to approach him slightly. He leaves before anything can be said, however. The teacher looks baffled.


 Teacher
(scoffs)
Kids and their mood swings.


He leaves the hallways.
CUT TO:
INT. TYLER's BEdroom - Later
Tyler, dressed in pajamas bottoms and a loose top to show that the time to sleep nears, falls onto his bed with a heavy sigh. The ceiling light is off, but his bedside lamp is on.
There is background noise, girls giggling and yelling and a father shouts to keep the noise down, that their brother is sleeping, before it goes silent.


Tyler rolls over so that his back is to the bedroom wall. He sighs again before he speaks aloud to himself.


Tyler
She's going to print that article no matter what I do... If it does come out tomorrow, would my family find out?


Tyler gets off his bed and makes his way towards the window. He looks out before he turns so that his back can rest against the wall.


Tyler
My little sister... What's Leanne going to think of me? She hates any sign of gays.


Tyler knuckles his forehead for a moment before he shakes his head. He stiffens his shoulder and looks determined.


Tyler
Come on Tyler, you can do this. You are... Were... The most popular guy in school for a reason. You can handle the bullying. You can do it...


Tyler doesn't look so reassured. He sighs and turns off his light before he goes to bed.
CUT TO:


Int. MIDDLETON HIGH SCHOOL HALLWAYS - The NEXT DAY
Tyler walks into the hallways which are filled with various students, several clutching a white and black newspaper article in their hand. At the sight of him, they quiet down and stare. Tyler hunches his shoulders in reaction. He takes a step forward and immediately a STUDENT shoulders him roughly. Tyler hits the locker near him harshly, pain on his face.


Student
Watch where you're going, homo!


Most of the students either snicker or ignore the sight. Tyler shakes the action off and continues to walk. A few students every now and then throw a sneer at him before he disappears from the hallway.
Cindy, after Tyler leaves, appears and looks smugly at her peers who are reading the article. Some call a thanks to her for revealing the truth. Others just laugh. Cindy smirks. She, of course, does not see any of the bullying or hears the truly violent remarks about Tyler.


CUT TO:
Int. MIDDLETON HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM CLASSROOM - LATER
Tyler sits at the same desk he had yesterday afternoon. He appears to be shaking. Cindy walks in and eyes him for a moment. She walks towards him and places a hand on his desk, the other on her hip. Tyler looks up in irritation.


Tyler
Haven't you made enough crap around here?


Cindy
(puzzled)
All I did was publish the truth, Anderson.


Tyler immediately grows angry at her words.


Tyler
(shouts)
Yeah, well, fat lot of good that was! You've ruined my entire life! I seriously hope you're happy with yourself, Wright.


Tyler slumps in to the chair before he stands up and shoulders his backpack. He looks serious, no longer confident in himself. Cindy frowns at him.


Cindy
Relax, Anderson. I'm sure it'll all blow over and you'll be little Mr. Popular soon again.


Tyler
(coldly)
You really don't get it, do you? My sister is homophobic. It'll be because of you that I lose my family.


Cindy
(crosses her arms)
It'll be because you didn't tell your family first, idiot. Tell them before they find out then. I'm not sorry I posted that article. Hiding who you are is... It's a pretty big deal.


Tyler
I wasn't hiding who I was. I was hiding the fact because people get hurt. Everyday someone gets hurt because they like the same gender. It's not going to be any different for me.


CINDY
Don't be dramatic. I thought you lived with your mother.


Tyler
I do. My mother and I are staying with my father for the holidays. We probably won't after tonight...


Cindy
What do you mean?


Tyler
People have died because they were gay. They didn't choose to fall in love with someone the same sex as them. My family will be no different than the other families who find out. I'm telling them tonight, and it'll be because of you should I lose my life tonight. Literally or figuratively.


Tyler walks past her, he keeps his distance as if she were a disease. Cindy doesn't move after he leaves. She looks contemplative. She eventually crosses over to the computer. She types a few things up before gasping. An article of a teenage boy killed by his father is seen on the screen.


Cindy pulls out her phone and calls someone.


Cindy
Mom... I've done something terrible to another person today... I outed someone and that may have just destroyed him...


Cindy starts to cry. She shows signs of regret and remorse.


CUT TO:
Ext. Tyler's Front Yard - LATER
The house is modest, no yard as it is New York, but there is a small planted garden box next to the house. The bricks are a golden red color and contrast with the dark toned roof.
Tyler stands in front of the house silently. It rains outside. He is soaking wet now, hair slapping into his face miserably. He rubs his eyes before he takes a step forward.


He hesitates, and takes a steps back. The porch light flickers on and his mother, HOLLY ANDERSON, short with medium brown hair and bright blue eyes, steps out with an umbrella clutched in her hand.


Holly
Tyler! Dear, you're soaking wet! Hurry inside before you get sick, love.


Tyler
Coming, mom...


Tyler follows his mother in. She wraps a towel around his shoulders and rubs the towel over his hair to dry him off. Tyler does not react and waits until she finishes to nod in thanks.
The living room is medium sized, with a foyer leading to the dining room. There is a chimney adjacent to the couch and a little ways near the plasma screen TV that plays a sports channel currently.


He sees his father, ANTHONY ANDERSON, average size with a good built, short black hair and brown eyes with a good healthy tan. Anthony reads the paper before he looks up.


Anthony
Rough day, sport?


Tyler
You could say that... I... I need to tell you guys something.


Both parents look at their son before they nod. His mother ushers him to the lush arm chair and she sits with her husband on the brown leather couch. Tyler's two young sisters, HANNAH ANDERSON and LEANNE ANDERSON are nowhere to be seen.


Tyler plays with his soaked sleeve shirt, silent for a long time. The grandfather clock behind him chirps after a moment.


Anthony
(impatiently)
Well?


Tyler
Uhm... Remember how I write for the school newspaper?


Holly
Of course. It's all you ever talk about these days. Why?


Tyler
I wrote something I shouldn't have and Cindy Wright published it today...


Anthony
That doesn't sound too bad. What was it about?


Tyler
(whispers)
That I'm gay.


No one moves in the house after Tyler whispers. His father looks surprised, but his mother does not. In fact, she smiles sadly at him. Tyler looks away, his hand clench his pant legs tightly.
Finally, his mother stands up and sits on the arm of the chair. She pulls him into a hug and Tyler turns into her chest.


Anthony
Oh. Uh, that's not good at all. I mean, that she published it. Not that I'm saying it's not good that you're gay.
Anthony appears helpless at what to say. Finally he sighs.


Anthony
Tyler, nothing changes just because you've come out, kid. You're still our son.


Tyler
(shakes head)
Leanne won't agree.


Anthony
(frowns)
Unfortunately, you'd be right. We'll just have to handle that situation carefully.


Tyler doesn't say anything. He offers a small smile, a weak one. Suddenly, footsteps are heard before Leanne appears at the front door. Hannah appears just behind her, face clearly nervous.
Leanne, petite with long flowing brown hair and a green headband neatly tucked into her hair, stands there with her hands at her side. She wears a neatly pressed denim jean jacket over a white ruffled blouse. Her jeans are pressed and very neat as well, covering the top of her white converse.


Hannah is shorter than Leanne and appears more childike. She wears a pink bow on her hair and a matching dress with white sandals to complete the look. She clutches her sister's arm as she looks at their family.


Leanne stares blankly at her family. In her hand is a copy of the newspaper. The very one that Tyler had left in his backpack after chasing Cindy yesterday.
She raises the article up and the title shows broadly to the family. She looks angry, while Hannah appears too stunned for words.


The title words read "What it's like to be gay".

FADE TO BLACK.


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Casey Aldridge
1st year

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