Astray from the Path

My weekly blog post for this week is a digital story directed/created by Brandon Kieta, with a script that I wrote, and acting by Brandon, myself, and Kelsey DeFelice.  It is a re-imagining of the story of Little Red Riding Hood, but with the difficulties of modern teenage life being the true enemy.

You can find it here


Red Reithaube – Kelsey DeFelice

Counselor Forrest Hunt – Sean T. Jackson

Johnny Wolfe – Brandon Kieta


written by Sean T. Jackson, based on the events of “Little Red Riding Hood”

film directed and created by Brandon Kieta


Astray from the Path

A short script by Sean T. Jackson, for Prof. Marrissa Landrigan’s “Digital Storytelling” class



Stephen Hunt- Guidance Counselor

Red Reithaube- a student at James Woodsman High School

Johnny Wolfe – a rebellious 20 year old high school dropout from James Woodsman High School


Opening scene: Guidance counselor’s office: the Richard


Door opens: Red Reithaube, a student at James Woodsman High School, a book and a notebook with her.


Guidance counselor: Good morning Red!


Red: (*annoyed*) Hello…


Guidance counselor: Please have a set!


*Red sits down*


How’s everything going?


Red: Well… I’m here… (*rolls eyes*)


Guidance counselor: (*somewhat uncomfortably*) …Red, I’ve called you hear today to discuss the problematic nature of your behavior as of lately.  Just wanted to voice my explicit concern for you after recent events.

(*becomes less uncomfortable, speaks in a slightly stricter tone, pulls out a few sheets of paper and starts ruffling through them while talking.*)


I’ve looked at your records from your last school, and your grades, as well as standardized test scores were exceptional.  it seems as though you’ve been falling behind since the transition.    I know that you’ve been having some issues lately.  I know that your grandmother has been sick and that you haven’t been adjusting well to your new school.  Change isn’t easy for any of us.  How are things at home?


Red: Better than they are here.  It’s just my mom and I, and yes, we’re both worried about my grandma, but she’s happy at least.  She’s always been good at keeping upbeat when things get crappy.  I’m actually supposed to visit her at the nursing home after school today.  She’s the main reason we moved back here.


Guidance counselor: Well that’s good to hear.  So I’m going to cut to the chase, Red.  I spoke with your mother recently, and she informed me that a young man has been coming around often.  An ex-student here, from what I understand.  Sam Wolfe, is that correct?


Red:  (*irritated*) I can’t believe you and my mom are conspiring to keep me from being happy.  What I do on my own time is my own business!


Guidance counselor: (*somewhat cautiously at first, then more accusingly*)  Well, that’s true enough Red, what you do on your own time is indeed your own business.  But, well… you’ve been missing a lot of school lately.  After speaking with your mother, we both became quite curious as to who has been writing the excuses for your last four absences.  Because your mother assured me that two days ago, she did NOT write an excuse for you.


Red: (*panicked*) Yes she did! My mom’s just been under a lot of stress lately.  She forgets things constantly!


Guidance counselor: Ms. Reithaube, please do not lie to me.  I’m here to be your friend, and I just want to know what’s going on.  It seems like you’re straying from the path lately, Red.


Red: (*begins sobbing*): I’m sorry! I lied to you, I’ve been skipping, but only once every week or two.  I’m still doing my work, and I still have passing grades.  It’s not like I’m just going to flunk out! But Johnny needs me! He’s been having so much trouble lately, Mr. Hunt. And I need him! My grandma could die any day, and it’s so hard to deal with.  He understands; he’s felt real pain before, and I know she’s just my grandma, but other than my mom, she’s all the family I’ve got.


Guidance counselor: (*a combination of concerned and stern*)  Red, it wasn’t so long ago that Johnny was in the seat you are, and we were having similar conversations.  I don’t want to see you go the same way that he did.  Johnny was a star athlete, and an excellent student until he was eventually caught selling narcotics out of his locker.  Even after he dropped out, I tried to stay in touch with Johnny’s family.  I know that he’s had a few stints in rehab, and I also know that he’s currently off the wagon, and wanted for robbing a local grocer.


Red: (*still distressed, still sobbing*) Johnny just needs someone with a good heart to help him get his head straight.  He’s a good man! Besides, what good will jail do?  It just creates worse criminals.


Guidance counselor: I don’t necessarily disagree with you Red, but this is not about a philosophical question; this is about all of your questionable behavior lately.  I’m afraid that you’re going to have to start coming in here to have a “check in” with me at least twice a week.  We can talk about anything you want, but if you aren’t in school, I’m going to have to confer with your mother to make sure that you are where you say you are.  I’m sorry Red, but we don’t have a choice.


Red: (*annoyed*) fine! Just please leave Johnny alone.  He’s a good man, just misunderstood.


Guidance counselor: I’ll take you at your word Red.  Here, take this (pulling a tissue from his desk, counselor Hunt hands it to Red.  He then looks at his phone to check time)

Classes are over, but you said you were walking to the nursing home, so it shouldn’t be a problem.  Sorry to hold you up, but I’m glad we had this talk.  Go ahead and get your books, and please say hello to your grandmother for me.  I do hope that things improve for her.  Also, I believe in you, and I want to see you do better.  After all, today is the first day of the rest of your life!


Red: (*wipes tears away with tissue*) Thank you, Mr. Hunt.  I’ll try to keep that in mind.  I’ll tell grandma you say hello, and I won’t miss any more school.


Red gets up out of her seat, takes her books, and exits the room.



Scene two


(Red walks out of the school.  A young man wearing sunglasses, and looking somewhat rebellious comes up to her.  He goes to kiss her, but she turns her head.)

Red: Not here Jonny.  We’ve gotta go.


Sam Wolfe: What took you so long?


Red: Mr. Hunt wouldn’t leave me alone.  Just the usual waste of time.  Come on, lets go.


Sam gets in the driver side of his car.  Red gets in the passenger side.  They drive off.



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