Rusty's Journey Home
A Screenplay written by
Anastasija, Adam, Martin, Alaina, Sileena, Lexi, Megan, Gwen, Carmen, Charlie, Fionn, Olivia, Josh, Valerii, Alex, Sineta, Alanna, Molly, Ladina, Isobelle and Ryan.
This screenplay was written by a group of young writers from Leixlip Youth Reach over the course of three weeks in March 2023.
Lauren, 19. Mental health issues, Lovely person, Caring, Funny, Wealthy. Green eyes, Long Curly Blonde hair, 5” 9”.
Jeffrey Dempsey, 18. Reserved, Honest, Single, Dog person, Naïve. Brown hair, Braces, Lives alone, He busks.
Michael, 30. Lives alone, Eccentric (weird in a nice way), Was in the army, Benny is his emotional support dog, CPTSD, Night terrors, Prosthetic leg.
Benny/Rusty, 3 (21 in Dog Years), Jack Russell Dog.
Illustration by Anastasija.
1984, Spring, Inishowen Donegal,
How was the holiday?
Good - where is Rusty?
I’m not sure.
What do you mean, I’m not sure?
Something happened when you were away. I never had your dog.
(Lauren slams the table.)
Rusty is my life. Where is he?
Are you off your meds, Lauren?
What does that have to do with anything?
I’m worried about you. You’re acting strange.
Mind your own business!
You’re going back to your old ways.
How dare you bring that up!
Rusty is not real.
But I gave him to you.
No, you gave me a dog, not Rusty.
What are you talking about?
While I was setting up my busking gear someone asked could they put a poster in my guitar case . . .
. . . it was a missing dog poster.
Michael’s house, Slaíville, Donegal.
RTE Radio Broadcaster
Good morning, it is 9 o’clock, we have some breaking news coming in from County Donegal. There has been a bombing in Inishowen at 4.40 am this morning, 6 people have died and 10 injured. The bomb went off in the main street.
Having a panic attack.
Silence, static from the radio. Michael searches the house for Benny.
I need to find my dog. What do I do!?
The road is closed. Please stay away for your own safety.
More static. Michael turns the dial finds a new station.
…..Small Jack Russell wandering the streets......
Dog End Street, Donegal Town. Jeffrey is setting up for busking.
I’ve spoken to the owner of the dog on the phone. The dog’s name is actually Benny.
Jeffrey, I’m not stupid, I know it’s my dog.
This dog is about to have puppies and she needs her owner.
What do you mean, it’s pregnant? I thought it was a boy.
Jeffrey (clicks his fingers)
Guess what, it’s a gurl!
There is the sound of puppy yelps from the guitar case.
Let me show you.
Jeffrey opens the guitar case. The puppies have just been born.
Oh my god.
We need to get them to the owner.
Do you think he’ll let me keep them?
What do you mean?
They need their mother for eight weeks before they can be separated. We’ll ring the number off the flier and let him know we have his dogs.
Michael’s House, Slaiville, Donegal.
Michael opens the door. Lauren and Jeffrey are there with the dogs. They all awkwardly stare at each other for 10 seconds.
Michael picks up Benny.
Hold on, let me go and get your reward.
Holding a puppy in her hand.
Wait a minute...
Why do you have a puppy?
Did you know your dog was pregnant?
Are these my puppies?
How do you feel about one of the puppies being the reward instead?
When they’re old enough.
But my dog was neutered...