STORY

 

Deep in the Appalachian mountains, Charlie, a 17 year old girl, cares for her sisters and brother while their mother, Tamera, battles addiction. Each day, Charlie gets them ready for school, dresses them, and makes their lunches.  Walking home from school, Charlie sees her uncle Darryl’s car parked in front of the trailer. When Charlie enters, there is drug paraphernalia all around her. The space that was once their home now looks like a meth lab. 

Charlie begins to pack her bags. Tamera, who is high, notices what Charlie is doing and demands for her to stop. Charlie, for the first time in her life, stands up to her mother and the two have an altercation that ends in a life threatening situation. Charlie manages to escape with the children but has no where to go. 

A trusted neighbor, Mrs. Buchanan, is not home. Charlie worries about where they can go for the night.

Walking by her high school, Charlie sees her English teacher, Mrs. Nealey who invite the kids to come to her classroom. Charlie reveals her situation to Mrs. Nealey who decides to show them something. She leads the children to a room in the school that she has set up,  a safe space for kids who can’t go home because it’s too dangerous. 

The children sleep in the safe space for the night, but Charlie is still terrified of what will come next. In the morning, she gets the kids ready and gets out of the school, afraid of getting caught. They walk up to the top of the mountain, to Bear Rock to watch the sunrise. 

 

As the sun comes up over the mountains, Charlie contemplates what she must do.