Two Scoops of Summer
Two Scoops of Summer is a book I wrote for early teen readers. I then converted it into a screenplay and in 2019, it was shortlisted for the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Competition for children, family, and young adult media. The top three selections were then showcased with live actors in London. I attended and kept thinking, oh how much fun it would have been to see Matt and Lydia share their first awkward kiss in the cupboard under the stairs, but, it wasn’t meant to be. I’m preparing a new TV series script for the 2021 BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Competition so, perhaps, the second time is a charm?!?
Here’s an excerpt from the book and how it looked in the screenplay. I had to cut a LOT of words out from a 55k word book to just under 20k for the script. Any of those inner thoughts of Matt’s? Deleted. Wordy descriptions of location? Gonzo.
We wedge ourselves into the rammed cupboard and I pull the door shut. Our bodies are so close I feel the rise and fall of her breathing. My head has no option but to bend at a funny angle. It’s pitch-dark, warm, and smells like 50 years ago. Our friends’ murmurs and outbursts of laughter snake their way under the door.
I whisper, “My dad added a handle on the inside because I used to like hiding in here. I could never quite close the door without getting my fingers stuck.”
“Was it your favourite Hide and Seek spot?”
“Um, no, I just liked to hide. In the dark. On my own.” A drip of sweat rolls down my spine. “Is that weird?”
I feel Lydia’s quiet laugh against my chest.
“I had a dollhouse under our stairs. I played under there all the time.”
“Cool.” We have something in common! I find myself nodding. In complete darkness. I should put my arms around her.
“What was that?”
“My elbow hit the wall. Sorry.” Shoot. I don’t quite have enough room to raise my arms so I can’t put them around her if I wanted to. And I really want to! I’ll talk while I try to wiggle them up. “I love your new haircut, by the way. It looks really nice.” She recently cut it to, I’d say, just below her shoulders. All I know is it totally suits her. “Well not now, because I can’t see you. You are Lydia, right?”
Lydia pushes her hands into my chest. “Very funny.”
How could she get her hands free? They’re still on me! She’s totally going to feel my heart doing the rumba. I manage to get mine on her hips and that’s as far as they’ll reach. Works for me.
We jump at the same time and manage to move closer to each other in the process.
“Are you two talking in there?” It’s Sophie. I bet she wants a status report.
Then I hear Dylan’s distinctive sneer. “He won’t do anything.”
That’s it. I’m going to do something. But it’s so dark in here. I could lean in to kiss her, but I might kiss her nose and that would be totally embarrassing. If she’s going to tell her friends about this, it needs to be perfect.
I could ask her a question (like, can I kiss you?) and then make a move while she’s talking. Oh. Her hands are sliding up onto my tilted face, and her thumbs, oh man, they just brushed over my lips. She does it again and I can’t help but kiss them.
I cannot believe I am kissing Lydia’s thumbs. But, shouldn’t I be making the first move? I’ll try to stop her so I can. “I can’t believe he said I wouldn’t do…” Lydia’s lips are on mine. “Mamythim.”
INT. MATT’S HOUSE – TINY CUPBOARD – NIGHT
It’s pitch dark. There’s RUSTLING around. Something BANGS.
What was that?
My elbow. There’s a light in here
somewhere. Not sure I can…
A dull light flicks on. Matt and Lydia stand close. Matt’s head is at an angle and one arm rests on a shelf. A KNOCK on the door startles them. Lydia’s hands end up on Matt’s chest.
Are you two talking in there?
He won’t do anything.
Lydia’s hands slide up onto Matt’s tilted face. She brushes her thumbs over his lips. He kisses them.
He thinks I won’t do…
Now Lydia’s lips are on Matt’s.