A GIrl Named David

A Girl Named David
Written by
Jody-Lynn Reicher
Betty-Ann and Joseph Turner at the time of Betty-Ann’s fourth full term pregnancy are expecting to be blessed with another boy. When a girl arrives on October 26th, 1956, Betty-Ann refuses to change the name she’s picked for her supposed fourth son. Betty-Ann feels that God betrothed her the well-deserved replacement son as a solace for having lost two of her previous infant sons. Thus, David Catherine Turner is born a girl carrying the first name opposite of the gender she is born into.
As Joseph Sr. deals with his wife’s mental illnesses. Their two surviving children, son Joseph Jr. and daughter David initially handle Betty-Ann’s illnesses well. Daughter David apparently understands her mother best. The will of the little girl to cure her mother Betty-Ann of her ills is overflowing. This is David’s mission. David thinks curing her mother is her mission from God. David begins to believe that is why she was born. Even when David’s father Joseph Sr. begins to pull away from the family after her fifth birthday in 1961. David does not fret. She prays. David’s mother confides all to David privately by age eight. Which strengthens David’s resolve in believing she was born to fix her mother’s mental illnesses.
By 1969, Joseph Sr. is no longer living at the Turner residence. In 1971 brother Joey moves out. He’s making a good living. He stays away from David and Betty-Ann. Upon this, Betty-Ann tells David that she is now the man of the house. David prays that she can live up to the task and her mother’s expectations. By age fifteen, David’s mother becomes ever more depressed. Betty-Ann’s mood swings have increased since David’s eleventh birthday.
The next time we see Joey he is at his mother’s wake. Afterwards, David is haunted at night, seeing flashes of the death of her mother. David feels like a failure. Yet, she continues to pray.
David finds out after her mother’s funeral that her father gave Betty-Ann the deed to the Turner home in 1968. In turn three weeks before Betty-Ann commits suicide, she in turn places David on the deed. As well, David becomes emancipated in early September 1972. David is now a young lady who was never a little girl.
In 1976 David is working two jobs. Three years remain on the Turner residence’s mortgage. David lives alone. She is given a career opportunity by George Zink, Carolyn Zink’s husband. Carolyn Zink was Betty-Ann’s closest friend, who hadn’t seen David since she was an infant. In the end, David discovers that compassion and love do exist even in the disharmony of mental illness within a family.

  • Jody-Lynn Reicher
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  • Country of Origin:
    United States
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  • Hollywood International Golden Age
    Hollywood, CA
    April 12, 2021
  • Toronto International Women's Film Festival
    Toronto, CAN
    May 7, 2021
Writer Biography - Jody-Lynn Reicher

Jody-Lynn Reicher has completed ten screenplays of varying genres. As well, one treatment for an action feature film. In those above-mentioned screenplays, four are teleplay pilots. Jody-Lynn’s television pilot, “The Divine Nine…Yesterday’s Today” received ‘Honorable Mention’ at The Santa Barbara International Screenplay Awards for her One Hour Pilot. She has had one feature film script, “A Girl Named David” become a Finalist at the HIGA Film Festival (Hollywood International Golden Age Film Festival) this past March. She’s has had two feature film scripts, “Little Guppies” and “A Girl Named David” were selected for the Toronto International Women’s Film Festival, she was notified on May 7th,2021. She has had one TV/Web Series One Hour Pilot script “The Divine Nine…Yesterday’s Today” selected for the March 2021 Toronto Independent Film Festival CIFT.

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Writer Statement

Even to this day, many people do not understand mental illness. This fiction story is near and dear to my heart. It is some of what I witnessed as a child, expecting to be ‘the man’ of the house as a young girl in adolescence. I know it to be a truth, that family members may run the other way, when they fear the stigma(s) of a mental illness in their family. The people that abandon their families, may have their own insecurities about their mental health. As well as the feeling of hopelessness, when they cannot understand, nor fix a person with mental illness.