Mother Helen by R.L. Galbraith | Script Revolution

Mother Helen

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Page Count: 
87pp

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Logline: 
Harassed by a deranged doctor, haunted by teenage years in a mental hospital, a woman experiencing a dreadful life, is emboldened when meeting the daughter she never knew as a young mother in the asylum.
Synopsis/Details: 

Helen Ann Stupak subsists in her deceased parent’s house in New Hope Pennsylvania. She works a menial job as a janitor at a lumber yard not far away from her home. She regularly sees Dr. Baskin, her psychiatrist, to help her cope with her horrible dreams, and terrible memories of her seven year stay at Byberry Mental Hospital in Philadelphia.

Helen’s frustrated parents dropped her off at Byberry when she was 12 years old because they couldn’t deal with her deviant behavior. Superintendent Brumble didn’t waste time having her hauled away into what most sane people would call the bowels of hell. Helen kept to yourself most of the time, but did befriend Macy Moore, another troubled youth. Their relationship was hot and cold. Much to Helen’s angst, she was continually accosted by Billy Scruggs, an older boy who liked to intimidate other inmates. Unfortunately for them, they had to answer to Nurse Bledsoe, a no-nonsense, uncompromising, heavy set nurse who was generally unsympathetic to her patients. She was the attack dog for Devlin Deavers, a young doctor who treated the inmates as anything but human beings. When Helen was 14, she was impregnated, but the identity of the father could never be proven. She struggled during her pregnancy with constant harassment by Bledsoe and Deavers. When it was time to deliver, in a dismal room littered with trash, Helen, strapped to a bed, sweating, breathing heavy, gave birth. The baby girl was immediately taken away before Helen could hold her. Over time, she earned the title of Mother Helen from other inmates which was echoed by Bledsoe and Deavers.

At the lumber yard, Helen works hard, albeit underappreciated, but never waivers. Her friend, Thelma, helps her navigate mundane issues. Rosco, another worker, has no time for Helen and continually harasses her in the workplace, calling her a retard. Making things worse, Helen is experiencing terrible, violent dreams of killing people, that haunt her all the time. She also can’t stop thinking about her horrible experiences at Byberry. On a day when Helen is trying to relax at a lake where she goes to unwind, she is confronted by an older but still an intimidating Devlin Deavers. He tells Helen, who’s in shock, he’s glad he found her because she’s still trying to hide her mental illness. She now believes she has to constantly look over her shoulder.

Unbeknown to Helen, Deavers is approached one day by a down-and-out Billy Scruggs who claims he found Helen’s daughter and that he also knows Deavers is the father because of DNA he collected. Deavers dismisses him as the sick kid he was in the mental hospital and is adamant he doesn’t have a daughter. Days later while reading a newspaper in a county park, Deavers is approached by a young lady. Her name is Angelina Duquette, and she says she’s Deavers’ daughter. He dismisses her as a fraud.

New Hope is experiencing an inordinate number of violent murders. The FBI is called in, and when they find out neighbors reported Helen roaming around her front lawn in the middle of the night, indicative of a sleep walker, they interview her. The FBI agents decide to meet with her psychiatrist. Dr. Baskin has moved away, and curiously Dr. Deavers is now the head of the practice. He tells the FBI agents she is a sleep walker and can be responsible for the murders. When Helen goes to see Dr. Baskin, she is horrified to know Deavers has taken over. He tells her he has someone he wants her to meet. Reluctant, she agrees. Several days later, she meets Deavers at Bowman’s Hill in New Hope. They are joined by Angelina. In an awkward moment, Deavers tells Helen that Angelina is her daughter. Angelina throws a bombshell and says Deavers is her father which infuriates Helen; knowing he was her rapist.

In the coming days, Deavers finds out Helen won 50,000 dollars from the lottery. He corrals Angelina and tells her Helen has never done anything for her and he wants her to get the lottery ticket so they can split the amount. Angelina initially complies but has a change of heart after she steals the ticket. She wants to get to know her biological mother, returns the ticket, and hopes Helen feels the same way. Uneasy at first, they start to bond over time.

Based on police reports, the FBI agents now know the murderer they seek is a man and based on a police sketch that looks a lot like Deavers, they interview him. He denies everything, but the agents tell him they will continue their investigation of him. Days later, at night, Helen is accosted in her home by Deavers, yielding a knife. He attacks Helen without mercy but doesn’t see Angelina who had been upstairs in bed. She’s now behind Deavers. She attacks him and before he can harm Helen, grabs his knife, and stabs him in the heart. Helen and Angelina sit on her porch steps in shock, as the EMTs take Deavers out in a body bag. The police officer tells them he believes Deavers is the serial killer and responsible for the New Hope murders.

Wanting to start a new life, looking at the for-sale sign in her front lawn, she tells Angelina, she wants to show her something important. Standing adjacent to a housing community in Northeast Philadelphia, visualizing the evil, Helen tells Angelina that’s where Byberry stood before it was demolished, where she painfully went through hell. Helen realizes they were destined to meet and even though their initial encounters were rough, they were made to have a life together.

Submitted: June 22, 2020
Last Updated: August 6, 2020

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R.L. Galbraith's picture

The Writer: R.L. Galbraith

I grew up in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. I retired from the United States Air Force in 1992 after 24 years of service. Following my Air Force career, I pursued a career in industry supporting intelligence agencies as a researcher and intelligence specialist. I am now retired. I have been writing for a number of years; now that I’m free from long hours and difficult caseloads, I have time to finalize much of my work. I feel like I have good stories to tell, and ready to turn my scripts into marketable, plausible films Go to bio

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