Taken Away by Art D'Alessandro | Script Revolution

Taken Away

Two 16 year-olds, one a mouthy cutter, the other a church boy, become unlikely allies when they're snatched from separate states and taken to a remote hideaway by an inexperienced kidnapper and his terminal mother.



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Cole Dolan, 35, sits on the bed in a small, all-but-empty room and stares out at the forest of hardwoods. Later, we follow him as he drives through the gates of a women's prison and waits outside. Cole is the soft-spoken, dutiful son of Meg, late 50s, who's being released today after some fifteen years. She is wheelchair bound and the victim of a disease which obviously will finish her off. Cole takes her to their new 'home', a simple house hidden in a mountain forest.

Arin Hester, 16, is an angry young lady, who proudly admits to her shrink that she feels nothing. Maybe that's why she continually cuts herself, this last time carving the word “morte” in her forearm with a nail clipper. Arin and mom Joy are at loggerheads, and a frustrated Joy even suggests that, “some kids just run away.”

In stark contrast to Arin, one state away, is Luke Atwood, 16, a handsome, golf-playing, god-fearing young man. Luke's dad Tom questions his son's academic dedication, but Luke assures Tom he's all business, and we can't help but believe this kid.

Barely settled in to their new digs, Cole sets off to pick up his paycheck at Belhaven Assisted Living Facility, but while there, he also steals some drugs. He drives to another city where he uses a ruse and a syringe to kidnap Luke outside Mulligan's driving range. Cole packs Luke in the trunk of his car, drops him off back at the hideout, and drives off to find Arin in a park where he nabs her after she's completed a minor drug deal with another teen, the pretty Kate.

When Arin wakes up in the same strange room with Luke, she's ready to fly into him, but soon finds out that he's also a prisoner, though he handles it in a much different manner. After 3 days he seems to have made his peace with it. He's been relying on his God to get him through. This infuriates Arin, and she convinces him that they can and will escape. They hatch a plan.

Uncle Ned, who's been following Cole since Meg's release, shows up after many years to check in on Meg. Seems he wants to make sure she dies. Cole kicks him off the property, but is now wary that someone else knows they're there.

Arin and Luke execute their plan and make their getaway, but Luke's fall and apparent leg injury forces them to retreat into the woods 'til dawn. During that night together, Luke reveals secrets to Arin which bring them closer, like the hideous scarring on his leg and its cause. Her arm scars pale in comparison, but rather than be repulsed by it, Arin is enthralled, almost envious. They seem to touch each other in very unexpected, yet much-needed ways.

When they waken the next morning, Cole is waiting to take them back to the hideout at gunpoint. He warns them not to mention anything to Meg. Arin makes an escape, and Cole is forced to stay back with Luke. Arin makes her way, hands bound, through the dense forest, until she happens upon a churning river and a tent. Uncle Ned offers her assistance but tries to take advantage of her. Cole tracks her down and saves her, violently.

Detective Swope meets with Luke's family who now know their son is missing.

Arin's put in cold storage in the car trunk, while Cole attempts to get to know Luke. But now Luke's been influenced by Arin. He's not the same kid anymore. The captives finally meet Meg, and she drops the surprising bombshell that Arin and Luke are her twin children taken away from her when she was sent off to prison. She waited over 15 years to see them. Their capture was Cole's gift to her. He tried to do it the right way, but got nowhere. Meg will now spend her final days with them, and her family will be restored.

Arin flips out. She's finally found a reason to live, to care, and now this?! And she didn't even know she was adopted. Did Luke know? Yes, he admits, but knew nothing of his birth mother.

Cole has accomplished his mission but seems troubled as he listens to Meg try to bond with each teen individually as she lies in bed. Arin seems visibly moved by this woman. Maybe her life would have been different, had Meg raised her. Meg, momentarily rejuvenated by her private time with each of her estranged children, wants them all to go out as a family. And against Cole’s better judgment, they find themselves at a Waffle House. While Arin’s in the restroom, a Highway Patrolman talks to the family about Cole's old car. Arin chooses not to tell him anything.

Meanwhile, Swope is dogged and closing in. We find that his own child went missing and wasn't found until it was too late. Uncle Ned's pick-up is towed off the mountain. Swope has what he needs.

Back at the hideout, Arin and Luke waken to the sounds of a struggle. Cole barges in dragging someone else. It's Kate, bound and gagged! Arin was in the wrong place at the wrong time that night in the park, as Cole watched Kate ride off. Rather than chasing her down, wasting time Meg just didn't have, he snatched Arin and destroyed the files he was working off, so Meg wouldn't find out. Now, seeing how desperately his mother needed to form that last bond, he was going to make it right. But while Arin celebrates with Cole and Luke, Kate, removes Cole's weapon and, in an awkward, acrobatic move, shoots him

Arin and Luke carry Cole out onto the porch where Swope arrives with local PD. Swope and his partner attend to Cole. He's barely alive. Swope clears the house, finds Kate, identifies her, and informs her of her relationship to Cole.

Amidst all the commotion, Meg passes away, but not before meeting her daughter Kate.

Submitted: June 10, 2017
Last Updated: October 28, 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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