Script File


Raising an adopted child in the growing town of Des Moines, Iowa in 1888, Charlie and Adele Miller completely adore their son, Ethan.

It is Ethan's eighth birthday, and the couple makes plans to indulge Ethan's sweet tooth by taking him to the market for some penny candy. Unfortunately, Charlie oversleeps the morning away, and Adele takes Ethan alone.

Charlie suddenly wakes and rushes to join Adele and Ethan by quickly taking an outdoor bath in a basin behind their home. Charlie is soon discovered wet and naked by a menacing neighbor who seizes the opportunity for sexual gratification. Fighting off the assault, Charlie escapes his attacker by running far into the woods.

Lost and deserted in the great plain state, Charlie finally runs into a group of telegraph pole installers. Desperate, Charlie only convinces the men to loan him their horse and carriage by promising to quickly return. In an attempt to end the day's horrible ordeal, and to try and explain to Adele and Ethan why he completely went missing without notice during Ethan's birthday, Charlie races off towards home.

This will not be a quick trip.

Problems occur as the sun sets with no light for Charlie to steer the horse and carriage. Lost for countless hours in the dark, Charlie is captured at daybreak by the local sheriff, who takes Charlie into custody for stealing the carriage. Charlie is quickly convicted and sentenced to serve time at Fort Madison Prison.

Facing an uncertain existence with Charlie's sudden vanishing; Adele is left on her own to find work as a housemaid for a local plantation owner as her last hope. The prosperous landholder is reluctant to take on Adele as she requests that Ethan also share in her room and boarding arrangement.

Confronted with vile nineteenth-century prison conditions and horrifying treatment from the guards, it is not long before Charlie′s health fails. Balancing on the edge of death, and with no hope of survival, Charlie is discovered by a young guard who tries to nurse him back to health. It is then that the rookie guard makes a startling discovery about Charlie's true identity.

Stripped of his filthy clothes, Charlie's gender is exposed as a female to the shocked prison guard. Charlie's true nature had slipped unnoticed through the cracks due to the prison's disregard for her personal welfare. With this surprising discovery, Charlie is swiftly removed and sent to a women's prison, where she is sentenced to captivity for two full years of longing for her loving partner and adopted son.

In a harrowing journey to return back home to her family, Charlie escapes death aboard a locomotive crash in the barren grasslands, steals a wounded sheriff's horse, shoots her way out of the grasp from bounty hunters, and battles the sensationalized, overzealous nineteenth-century media.

Not only faced with the constant fear and daily struggle of being in a same-sex couple, and raising a family in rural nineteenth-century America, Charlie is also confronted head on with an uncertain future, as she races against time to reunite with her partner and young son.

  • Daron Weiss
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    United States
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  • TeaDance Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
    Greenville, NC
    August 25, 2017
    Finalist Best Screenplay
  • LGBTQ International Screenplay Competition
    Portland, OR
    May 19, 2018
    Grand Prize Winner
Writer Biography - Daron Weiss

His screenplay 'Chaos' earned the Finalist Prize out of three-thousand feature script submissions in the 2021 Chicago Screenplay Awards.

This screenplay received Grand Prize in the 2018 LGBTQ International Screenwriting Competition.

- Writer/Director, Second City Theater, Chicago, IL (2005-2015)

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