Show Low, Pinetop, Lakeside and the White Mountains of Arizona

Official Early Acceptance - Semi Finalist

Acceptable Damage


Lavinia Simina

Katy, a young Aspergic teenager dreams of becoming a rock star. Three things stand in her way. She is being harassed by a group of ex school friends. Her mother Lucy is so keen to protect her from abuse that she restricts her freedom. Katy is unaware that her boyfriend Roxy is one of the gang. 
Gang leader Rabbit, raises his own status by taunting Katy about her disability. Rabbit’s father Vince (small time criminal), takes every opportunity to belittle and demean his son. 
Alongside Katy’s coming of age journey, is Lucy’s battle with the authorities to get them to take action about the vandalism and intimidation. Local police sergeant Guthrie is well intentioned and principled. He attempts to help Lucy by having her keep an incident log to report each of the crimes. Local politician, Councillor Bettany’s desire for political advancement is more important to him than really addressing Lucy’s concerns. 
Katy’s world inside her home and the school music studio are juxtaposed with the power play within the gang. Roxy, (Rabbit’s second in command) is waiting to escape to university but remains in the gang because of a youthful criminal escapade that Rabbit holds over him to ensure his loyalty. Jockey, the youngest gang member longs to replace Roxy and sells stolen property for Rabbit to further his ambition. The two young women in the gang Zoe and Emma vie for Rabbit’s attention by escalating the nastiness towards Katy. Emma is sleeping with Rabbit because Zoe won’t let him go that far yet. 
For one evening Katy feels that the future she plans is on its way. She sings at an ‘Open Mic’ night and Roxy appears in the audience to walk her home. 
The power in the gang shifts when Zoe discovers Roxy is in a relationship with Katy and uses it against him. Rabbit’s anger at this betrayal leads him to agree to Zoe’s plan to break into Katy’s house. Roxy is compelled to go along with this plan to prove that Zoe’s story about him and Katy is not true. Lucy, hears the disturbance as the gang attack her daughter and runs to call the police after Rabbit threatens her with a knife. 
Seeing Roxy in her house with the gang is the ultimate betrayal for Katy. When the police arrive on the scene she responds wildly by attacking Zoe and bloodying her nose. Guthrie’s partner arrests Katy and she refuses to let her mother come with her to the police station. Lucy is left at home desperately calling the police to find out where her daughter has been taken. 
Katy is interviewed alone by Sergt Guthrie, she is confused by what is happening to her and unable to answer the questions clearly. Lucy’s phone calls to the Police Station lead Inspector Parasca to demand that Katy be released. Katy breaks down when she reaches home, traumatised by her arrest experience. 
The following morning Lucy makes a trip to the town hall in, searching the corridors until she finds Bettany to demand action about her daughter’s wrongful arrest. Meanwhile, Roxy persuades Katy to meet him in Camden. They picnic by the canal and eventually Katy is convinced by his intention to leave the gang and be loyal to her. 
Rabbit, enraged by a confrontation with his father, escalate his criminal behaviour as a way of regaining control. He and Zoe order a pizza and attack the delivery boy stealing his bike, the money and the pizza. The gang meet outside Katy’s house with the stolen bike, to take revenge on Katy for attacking Zoe. Roxy is notably absent. Katy, walks calmly out of the door to confront her attackers. Zoe is enraged and grabs Rabbit’s knife from his waistband stabbing Katy. As Rabbit calls the police, Lucy rushes out of the house, horrified as she realises what has happened. She holds Katy in her arms as the life slips from her. 
We see Roxy watching horrified from across the street. He is frozen to the spot. Hi
s loyalty to Katy has come too late