Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Script » Dramatic

18+ Language Mature Content

The One I Loved (Revised Opening)

by Elinor


Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language and mature content.

INT. DIVE BAR - DAY

1988. ESTHER ALTMAN (18) has her infamous mother’s face. She wears her dark hair in a short cropped bob. Her punk style is a cross between Grace Slick and Winona Ryder in Heathers.

Indeed, she sings Grace’s signature song, White Rabbit, to a mostly empty audience. Her voice is rough, deep, filled with pain. But it’s good. Maybe even great.

One person watches intently, her half brother, ADAM WHITMAN (31). Adam is a spitting image of the father they share.

She finishes the song, and Adam claps. Esther exchanges a smile with them as she puts the mic away. She goes to join and Adam.

ESTHER

Hey.

She sits with him.

ESTHER

Wanna buy me a drink?

ADAM

You can have soda. I’m surprised they let you in here, by the way.

ESTHER

Oh, Jeffrey and I are cool.

Adam raises an eyebrow.

ADAM

Jeffrey?

ESTHER

Yeah. And I have an ID anyway.

ADAM

You can have soda.

Esther nods.

ESTHER

So, nothing about the... song? Didn’t you like it?

ADAM

Of course I did.

Just then JEFFREY (40s), sketchy, comes over to their table, putting a hand on the back of Esther’s chair.

JEFFREY

You sounded just like Grace Slick.

ESTHER

Thanks, Jeff.

JEFFREY

Who’s your friend?

ESTHER

Oh, this is my brother, Adam.

Adam reaches out his hand to shake it.

ADAM

How are you?

JEFFREY

All right. Just gotta close up here later, go home to the wife and get things in order for Thanksgiving otherwise she’ll be... you know how wives are.

ADAM

Yeah, my wife and I are visiting from Seattle. Someone’s gotta keep track of this little squirt.

Jeffrey looks at Adam then back at Esther, Esther a second longer than normal.

JEFFREY

I can see the resemblance. Aren’t you a little old to be her brother though?

ADAM

Not necessarily.

Jeffrey turns to Esther.

JEFFREY

What can I get you, honey?

ESTHER

White Russian.

ADAM

You know she’s eighteen, right?

ESTHER

Adam.

Jeffrey says nothing.

ADAM

I could probably have you arrested or worse if I told the cops you were selling alcohol to minors. But for now I’m going to settle with you staying away from my sister.

Adam stands up, takes a ten out of his wallet and puts it in the table.

ADAM

Here’s for my drinks.

He grabs Esther by the arm.

ADAM

Come on.

Esther is visibly upset, but she doesn’t resist as he leads her out.

EXT. DIVE BAR - DAY

Worse yet, the bar appears to be in a dingy outdoor strip mall. The weather is dark and gray.

ESTHER

What the fuck?!

ADAM

What the fuck is right. Come on.

He takes out his keys. His car beeps nearby.

INT. CAR - DAY

Esther and Adam drives.

ADAM

Do I want to ask how you got here in the first place?

ESTHER

Jeff drove me.

ADAM

For fuck’s sake. How’d you even meet that guy?

ESTHER

This one party.

ADAM

What was he doing at a party with eighteen year olds? Oh wait, I think I know the answer to that.

ESTHER

He liked my voice. He wanted me to sing at his club.

ADAM

I think he liked more than just your voice, Esther.

ESTHER

So what if he does?

Adam realizes what she means.

ADAM

You got to be kidding me. He’s my mother’s age. And he’s married.

ESTHER

I didn’t say I liked it. It’s just sex.

ADAM

Esther. You are a very talented young woman and I support you following you dream. I always will. You don’t need to do that to get there. Okay?!

Esther has started crying.

ESTHER

You don’t know how many doors I’ve had shut in my face. And Jeff...

ADAM

I know. I thought you of all people would know better.

Esther scoffs.

ESTHER

What that’s supposed to mean?

ADAM

I thought you didn’t want to repeat your mother’s mistakes.

ESTHER

That’s low.

Esther leans back in her seat and squeezes her eyes shut to try and stop her tears.

ADAM

Look, you’re lucky I found you and not your grandfather. But if I ever hear you’ve been near that place or near that guy...

ESTHER

You’ll do what? I’m not a little girl anymore, you know.

ADAM

I know. And you know I love you, right? And I want the best for you?

ESTHER

(quietly)

I know.

ADAM

I want to have a good Thanksgiving, okay?

ESTHER

Okay.

Adam purses his lips and continues to drive.


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.







Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
81 Reviews


Points: 9227
Reviews: 81

Donate
Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:03 am
View Likes
Liminality wrote a review...



Hi, Elinor! It's clear this is a 'revised' version (even though I've not seen the original) because of how neat and nicely tied together all the aspects are.

1. I thought this sets up the main conflict of the story well and concisely. First we're slowly introduced to Esther's troubles in her career, and then Adam's concern about family is implied throughout his dialogue until he finally comes out and says it with the "good Thanksgiving" comment.
2. I also liked this reveal “EXT. DIVE BAR - DAY// Worse yet, the bar appears to be in a dingy outdoor strip mall. “ when the previous scene sets Esther up as being very casual about the whole thing so it conveys her desperation, as well as characterising her as someone who's trying to 'act adult'.
3. There was some good foreshadowing in the first few lines of Jeffrey being a creep, such as in " she’ll be... you know how wives are.”, so I thought that was an effective touch that would make the viewer uncomfortable with him from the get go.
4. The only suggestion I'd have for making the dialogue more natural would be at ”repeat your mother’s mistakes”. This bit felt a bit stiff compared to the rest of the lines. It could be because Adam’s quoting from something Esther said before, but I thought “end up like your mother” could have sounded more natural.

I'm no expert at reviewing scripts, but I did enjoy reading this one. It sounds like the prologue to a dramatic, life-troubles- type story. Hope you find these comments helpful and keep on going on!

Cheers,
Liminality




User avatar
91 Reviews


Points: 1925
Reviews: 91

Donate
Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:39 am
View Likes
dahlia58 wrote a review...



I haven't reviewed many scripts before, but since I know you're really good at your craft, I read this. Yikes, Esther sure is desperate for job connections...I'm glad she has Adam to keep her in line, at least in this scene. He seems like a responsible older brother so far. I'm curious to know what Esther's mother did exactly, since it's mentioned she's "infamous." Since this script is short, there's nothing much to criticize. I'm happy I got to see what scriptwriters create before filming.




User avatar
28 Reviews


Points: 76
Reviews: 28

Donate
Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:04 am
View Likes
redvictory wrote a review...



I'll preface this by saying I'm not a script writer, so some of the stuff I say may be a little out of touch. But I have done theater for years, so I've at least had enough exposure to be able to give a decent review (at least I hope so, haha!)

I liked this premise a lot! You establish the personality of the siblings really naturally and subtly, it came across super nicely. I do feel like Adam reacted a little too fast to Jeff, though. You said he seemed kind of sleazy, but I feel like the interaction he saw wasn't odd enough to justify storming out the way he did, at least from a reader's perspective. Personally, I would pepper in a little more mounting creepiness and Adam slowly getting more and more suspicious before he hits a breaking point.

The opening is good! It sets up appearances and relationships super smoothly. I don't know why the use of "they" threw me off guard. I think you meant to say "Esther exchanges a smile with him" rather than "them." I also feel like saying "the father the two share," but that may just be my writing style peeking through. :)

Overall I would also like to see more delivery directions! I think all you said was that Esther's "I know" is soft, but I would love to see a few more notes on the delivery of these lines to give them a little more life!

These are just little pointers, not me saying this piece is poor in the slightest. This seems like a really strong script! You establish details really smoothly without dumping exposition on your readers. And both of the siblings seem realistic, with believable flaws and different strengths and traits. Nice work! Hope this review helped some. :D Thanks for sharing!!





The most important thing is to preserve the world we live in. Unless people understand and learn about our world, habitats, and animals, they won't understand that if we don't protect those habitats, we'll eventually destroy ourselves.
— Jack Hanna