Fishing in Heaven by Art D'Alessandro | Script Revolution

Fishing in Heaven

When 8 year-old Alex's best friend, her grandfather, dies suddenly, the young girl has a hard time putting all of life's pieces back together, especially without God in her life.

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13pp

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Alex is fishing with her Gran, her very favorite thing to do. She's something of a tomboy and doesn't feel like she fits in with kids her own age. She and Gran are riffing off one of Gran’s favorite old tunes, but Gran begins coughing and sends the girl back to the car for his water bottle. Alex hustles off, but upon returning, finds her Grandfather dead in the water (we don't see this).

On the day of her Gran's funeral the girl is left to question just about everything. Why do people do things that eventually cause them harm? Why do people have to die? Why do people eat after funerals? Will Grandpa be able to go fishing in heaven? Was his death her fault? Maybe she wasn't fast enough.

While the adults sit at the table drinking and smoking and discussing life and death, Alex's Mom suggests she go out and play with the other kids. But Alex doesn't much feel like playing and doesn't socialize with the neighborhood kids. She heads off to her Gran's bedroom. She picks up a framed photo of her Gran, decked out in his fishing garb, his favorite lure, "Buster", pinned to his vest, and carries it with her to Gran's bed, where she calls on a God she does not believe in to speak to her. When no answer comes, she falls asleep.

In a dream Alex spots her grandfather fishing at the end of the dock. She hugs the life out of him. They talk about life, death and God and Alex getting more involved with the other kids. Then Gran gives her his very special fishing lure, the one from the fishing photo. "But don't you need it?" Alex asks. "I have everything I need." Gran assures Alex that she needn't feel she's different from other kids and that's she's perfect just the way she is. He also tells her that his death wasn't her fault at all, she was, "lickety split." He admits he smoked too much and it was just his time.

When Alex wakens from the dream, her cousin Jason's in the room with a pack of cigarettes, "Just like the big boys smoke." Alex tells him to take a hike, and is left by herself in Gran's bedroom. She grabs the framed photo of her Granpa, reaches under his pillow and is pricked by "Buster", the lure the old man gave her in the dream. She sets the photo back in its place. We close on that fishing photo. The lure is no longer pinned to old man's vest and his cigarette which before dangled from his lips, is gone. Alex thinks about all this, goes to the window, where neighborhood kids play outside. They yell for her to come out. She never plays with the neighborhood kids… until today. Alex heads outside, singing a tune she and Gran always sang.

Submitted: September 29, 2021
Last Updated: May 20, 2022

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Art D'Alessandro's picture

The Writer: Art D'Alessandro

Art D'Alessandro was graduated summa cum laude from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida where he was the recipient of both top prose and poetry writing awards. He co-founded and ran The Maile School, one of the southeast’s most highly regarded talent training facilities for over 20 years before its sale in 2004. The school's alumni include Mandy Moore, Spencer Locke, Norm Lewis, Arielle Kebbel and two Miss Americas. His love of film has led to over forty screenplays bearing his name as writer, including “THE FINAL SEASON” starring Sean Astin, Powers Boothe, Tom Arnold and Rachael Leigh Cook. Directed by David Mickey Evans, “The Sandlot,” TFS premiered at the Tribeca Film Fesitval, hit 1... Go to bio
Lawyer: Bonnie Berry Lamon

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