The Seaglass Exchange



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Displaced from her city life to spend the summer in a quiet beachtown, a disillusioned young girl helps heal old family wounds by collecting seaglass for her eccentric artist grandfather.

I also have an even tighter 16-page version of this script, with some of the characters and scenes below removed. Please reach out if interested and I'll send to you.

The story opens with Crystal as she sadly packs up her New York City apartment. She recalls a similar situation from her childhood: twenty years earlier Crystal is in a San Francisco apartment with her mother, Dawn, doing the same as they were priced out their apartment due to the dot com boom and must go live with her grandfather.

When they arrive in Montecito, Crystal notices an underlying tension between mother and grandfather, Jerry. Dawn gets a job at a hotel but is upset that the job turned out to only be an assistant manager position and gets into an argument with her father. Crystal can’t bear the arguing so she leaves the house to go for a walk. Jerry follows her.

On their walk down the beach, Jerry collects little pieces of seaglass and makes a proposal to her: to go to the beach every day and collect sea glass for him in exchange for an allowance. She politely passes, but later on she encounters Mrs. Inglish, a local dowager and seaglass collector who mistakes her for a child of one of the local maids. Insulted, Crystal resolves compete with the lady by collecting seaglass herself.

Crystal witnesses from a distance the conflict between her mother and grandfather. He is nice to her and mentors her on collecting seaglass. She encounters Mrs. Inglish again who tricks her out of a piece of cobalt seaglass but Flash invites her to a pool party where she meets some girls who overdo putting green highlights in her hair. Dawn is very upset about the new hair color but Jerry tells her he thinks it’s “fleek”.

Crystal once again runs into Mrs. Inglish who, being distracted by her new appearance, is beaten to a rare piece of red seaglass. Returning home, she and Jerry have a laugh about the encounter. Dawn comes home and sees Jerry giving Crystal money. They have a row, which escalates to Jerry admitting he’s dying of cancer.

In a fit of rage, Crystal takes the bowl of sea glass and throws it all back into the ocean. Jerry explains to Dawn that the glass was for a special project and they come to terms about what happened between them: he had cheated on her late mother with a patron.

On another walk, Jerry tells Crystal a made-up story about a lighthouse keeper and a mermaid who helped him find his daughter with a magical piece of seaglass. This was a means of getting her to finish collecting the glass for him as time is running out.

Crystal scrambles to collect as much glass as she can, but has little success until Flash and Mrs. Inglish show up at their door with seaglass from their own collections.

Jerry dies and after the funeral it's revealed to Crystal that he used all the seaglass to create a beautiful mosaic of her. Back in the present, Crystal takes in the lovely art piece and sheds a tear, but out of joy: She’s moving back west to marry Flash.

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About The Writer

stevecleary's picture
I'm a comedy writer based in Southern California with a body of work including original features, shorts and sketches. Please feel free to download any of my material and reach out with any commentary or suggestions. I'll be happy to return the favor. If you would like to ensure you're reading the latest draft, please shoot me a message and I'll send a copy to you via email. Watch a table reading of one of my feature comedies, “Lawn Boys” here: Go to bio

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