Counselling for angry teenagers

I provide specialist counselling for angry teenagers in Poole, Bournemouth, Southampton and London. Anger is an emotion that brings to our attention a suspicion that we have been violated in some way. It may be hard for us to pinpoint exactly when and how we believe we have been violated and these feelings of violation may be tempered by a belief that we have, in some way, “deserved it” or, in some other way, they may be tempered by a sense that if we were smarter or wiser then these violations would not happen to us.

The more we buy into the idea that we were in some way responsible then, probably, the more anger brings itself to our attention, saving us from self harm and self blame. The problem is that some of us have never been given an appropriate voice to demonstrate with and so our anger either becomes depressed inside us or it becomes untamed and dangerous to ourselves and others. 

I work with a young person who is currently working out how he can appropriately and considerately use his anger to his benefit. He told me recently that he had been working on a screenplay based on the emotions we have been speaking about in our sessions. I was curious and impressed and I asked to see a synopsis. He promptly wrote the synopsis that same evening.

The following is published with his permission. It is a fantastical work of art and I am proud to be able to showcase it here. I am also glad that his anger has become a side show to his drive and creativity.


The Substitute

by Lempel Odefanjo 

Act 1

Micky is 12 and lives on Turlin Moor (old, small, hard council estate the wrong side of Poole nestling between industrial estates and a beautiful natural harbour) with his mum and her abusive partner, Ryan.

Mickey has a Nan who he loves and a Dad who he has not seen for years.

We start from the Bike’s pov, it has been buried for years and is rotting in the toxic sand.

It is dug up, taken to the lock up and left.

Later a deer is bought into the lock up, on the shoulders of a brute of a man, it looks dead but we find out that it is damaged beyond repair, run over by the thug, barely alive, it swings on a rope and from the bikes pov we see it’s throat is slit and butchered, painstakingly. It is watched by the bike, hidden in the shadows of the lock up.

The butcher releases his barking lurchers from his van and they eat the entrails from a tarp beneath the deer. He boots the smallest one hard across the room into the bike for knocking into him, because it tried to access the fresh food. It yelps badly, limping away from the bike. The two bigger ones bark and growl at the smaller one when it tries to access the food once again keeping it away. The Butcher laughs and throws another kick at it, it cowers in the corner.

Morning of the next day the hands that had rescued the bike the day before return to unlock the padlock and we see a boy. He side steps the deer, careful not to disturb it or the tools around it.

He takes the bike outside and inspects it. He scrutinises it and finds something of interest under the saddle. He enters the shed to find some tools.

When he’s inside the lock up a man in sunglasses, Shades, saunters up, he is a dry, crumbling ruin, he pauses by the bike, attempts to light his rollie with a rubbish green lighter, his attention is caught by the same thing under the saddle and he shakes his head in humorous disbelief.

He hides when a female voice calls the boy. The boy takes a piece of paper from an elderly lady, they hug, the boy says “thanks nan”

The boy looks at the paper and folds it up, pocketing it.

Shades appears from the balcony two stories up and, attempting to light his rollie with the rubbish green lighter, watches the boy go to a garage opposite to take a wire brush from the boot of a car inside. Shades engages the boy, saying the bike is valuable and they could return it. He knows the boy has access to a car.

The boy puts the bike back and rejects the offer silently returning the bike to the dark lock up.

Later, from inside the shed, we hear sobs of anger and pain from without. The boy fumbles his way into the lock up and when he enters we see he has a large black eye and a horrible fresh wound on the inside of his right arm. He vandalises the deer in tears of rage and pain, he breaks the bulb in the process plunging the scene into darkness. We know the Butcher has done this to him and he is taking revenge. From the bikes pov we see the deer looking at the bike again at is swings and judders the under the rain of blows. Before the boy leaves he sprays the deer silver with a spray can he finds in the lock up.

The morning of the next day from inside the lock up, the sun comes under the door and dimly shines on the silver paint. From the bikes pov the eye shines on the bike.

The boy kicks the door open, the carcass has fallen to the floor and he tries to clean the deer in fear and desperation. He fails.

A door slams above him, he freezes and panics, finding a wing mirror on a shelf he angles it right and is relieved to see Shades on the balcony, attempting to light his rollie with the rubbish green lighter. They engage via the mirror and agree to return the bike to the address on the bike. As they speak the boy takes the paper from his pocket and looks at the details he was given. He tells Shades they are going to Plymouth to return the bike.

Act 2

The car is taken from the garage, the boy checks the boot and the lights at the back of the car and loads the bike up. Shades, attempting to light his rollie with the rubbish green lighter, is behind the wheel. The boy pours some petrol from a ww2 gerry he has found in the lock up, into the car, he can’t replace the cap and goes to put it in the car, he seems Shades fumbling with the lighter and thinks better of it, putting it back in the lock up. They drive off and from the bike’s POV we see the lock up and the deer they are leaving behind.

The boy is in charge in the car all the way.

He directs the Shades to Weymouth and does not disclose the reason.

They arrive in Weymouth with Shades asking where they are going. The boy tells Shades to pull up next to a buss queue and asks for directions to The Zodiac record shop. After a horn battle with a bus and some abusive exchanges with pedestrians they are directed out of town, they find the broken down, forbidding, looking shop, it is 12 Sexton street. The boy gets out and goes to the back of the car and checks the boot again but then looking at the shop he suddenly appears reluctant to go in but, throwing stones up at the window, the door opens, with no one visible and the boy, backward glance to Shades goes in. Shades attempting to light his rollie with the rubbish green lighter, watches.

The boys comes out cocky, he is happy and says they are to have a meet at a place on Chesil Beech and that they can spend what little cash they have now as after the meet, he intimates, they will be given a huge sum of money.

They drive down remote roads to a lonely part of the beech and wait.

In the gloom with the sea crashing onto the rocks a fox crosses the road in front of them running from hedge row to hedge row.

The boy goes off up the stony embankment to the agreed meeting place, Shades attempting to light his rollie with the rubbish green lighter watches and waits.

Suddenly the boy come clattering down the stony embankment in a state of high anxiety. They have been snaked out by the Zodiac for The Butcher is traipsing down the beech looking for them with his a torch and his dogs.

We hear the Butcher coming closer to them. The only thing between them is the high wild hedge row. The small dog squeezes through and finds the hiding pair, it licks the boy silently, the butcher tries to squeeze through, his torch shines on the road a few feet from the pair. As he tries to force his head through the bushes the fox reappears and all the dogs go wild for it, the fox takes the dogs away at full speed.

Disheartened they find some boats and sleep under them, they speak and sleep.

It’s morning, the bike’s pov, it is propped up by a beach wall and a rubbish truck approaches. It slows to collect and dispose of the bike but in the nick of time the pair appear and rescue it, it was taken from the car to keep safe but was accidently forgotten…them remembered.

They are continue to Plymouth to find the boy’s father.

On the radio they hear about a fire at the Zodiac where all were killed.

They arrive at the destination written on the paper. It is dark.

They get out of the car and sneak up the garden, a pit bull on a chain runs at them.

The boy is horrified to see his nan, The butcher and another man, his dad in the living room speaking about what they will do when the boy arrives with the car. It is clear the car is the most important thing and that there is stuff in the car which the boy tried to sell to the owners of the Zodiac.

They represent the three parts of the individual

Nan-Super ego


The butcher-Id

They turn to leave, the boy completely gutted, but they are captured, and taken upstairs.

The boy is asked the location of the car, he refuses to give up the info, The butcher goes to beat him, the nan intercedes and the dad smiles and takes Shades down stairs.

The boy listens to Shades being tortured. His nan sits with him and begs him to be sensible and give the info up (Super ego stuff, “You know how Ryan gets” as she looks at the boy’s arm).

The boy tries to run and has a wrestle with nan and she is locked in the bedroom. The boy hides.

The beating stops when the upstairs scuffle is heard, the dad freaks believing his mum is in danger. (The ego worried that the id will take over) The bathroom window is open.

The boy goes to Ryan’s van a takes out the two larger dogs, he leaves the smaller one. He goes to the back gate where the pit bull lives and throws the two luchers over the fence into the jaws of the devil dog. The butcher appears at the window distraught, he goes to his dogs. (The id, the animal responding to the animals in pain)

The boy unties Shades and escapes.

In the car the pair are broken but united, sharing smiles of the war torn. Shades, attempting to light his rollie with the rubbish green lighter, causes them both to laugh.

They pull up out of town on the beach again going back home.

The boy finds himself on his own and looks for Shades, he hears the man and goes to find him, he is lying by the car and is dying from an over dose of the drugs that were hidden in the back of the car that the boy wanted to sell to the Zodiac, that the Butcher, nan and dad wanted to retrieve. Shades has used a needle, there is a scar on Shades arm, identical to the boy’s but healed over decades.

The boy pleads and cries “Don’t leave me on my own, how could you? Shades says “You don’t need me now” and says he will be ok, he tells the boy to go to his jacket as there is something  in the pocket that will explain everything, something he found in the father’s house. The boy goes to the other side of the car reluctantly leaving shades and takes out a photo. There is a photo of two people, the boy’s dad and what looks like the boy, he is older but the scar on his arm gives it away. The boy is in shades just like Shades’ sunglasses.

The boy dimly realises that Shades is him from the future, he runs back to the Shades but shades has already disappeared, his lighter is all that’s left.

Act 111

The butcher appears on the beach, he is raging. (Only the id remains)

The boy is beaten and gagged and tied to the bike frame and thrown into the back of the van with the small lurcher.

It is late, he is taken back to the lock up and put on the hook the deer fell from.

The butcher uses his van head lights to light the lock up after finding the light does not work. He stumbles over the deer carcass that is on the floor when the small dog barks and he is blinded by the lights. He tumbles into the boy and knocks him off the hook, his legs get caught in the bicycle frame and he stuns himself on the side of the cupboard. As the butcher groggily comes to he sees the boy has limped out, freeing himself with one of The Butchers own knives.

The door slams and locks, the key flies from the lock. The butcher is incandescent with rage, knocking over the petrol can he tells the boy that when he gets out he will kill the boy’s mother.

The boy searches for the key, he can’t find it, he feels Shades lighter in his pocket and takes it out, as he backs away from the liquid coming from under the door.

Shades lighter is useless as usual but when we see the key immersed in petrol an unearthly flame leaps from it high in the boys hand, he drops it in shock, it falls into the petrol and the lock up burns.

From the deer’s pov we see the butcher beating on the door, he is covered in flames and is beyond help.

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