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What if everyone knew how they were going to die… everyone, that is, except for you. For Samael, that is his reality.

The world is dictated, not just by money, but by Time — the countdown to death worn on everybody’s palm. The economy, society, community and everything else in how the world treats you is run by this number — it’s everything.

“Do you know how many years were lost to war since our Queen, Victoria, took the throne in 1837? 13.8 billion — 13,800,000,000 years — that’s the age of the universe lost to war in less than 200 years!”

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The rich get richer — and older. The poor get poorer, but thanks to the so-called generosity of the rich, they can make Coin if they sell their precious Time to one more affluent. A vicious circle has formed; a corporate food chain with both Time and money its currency. At the bottom of the ladder? Samael.

Sam is different. Sam has no Time, and with the world’s economy and society dependent on an individual’s Time, his options have always been limited to nothing. When his father dies of injuries to his lungs, he has no choice but to give his remaining 20 years to Sam’s older brother, Colin. But as Colin is about to ship off to war, the brothers begin to worry about what that means for their family’s Time.

With no job, no family and the only family he has left shipping to war, how will Sam survive?

This story idea came from the phrase “can you spare a minute for…” which is one we’ve all heard countless times from both charity workers and salesmen. It’s something we overlook, but when you’re asked for “a minute” or “just a few seconds” we’re giving away a thing more precious than money or any material thing — our time.

As an extension to that I asked the question “what if I could sell my time for money?” It’s an interesting question (one I’m sure countless people have puzzled over before), and makes you wonder what it would be worth to you. How much would you sell a year of your life for? A month? A day? But we already have that answer, all of us do. Because, after all, that’s what we do when we go to work, right? If you get paid £8 an hour, you’ve sold that hour for £8 and odds are there’s an exec up the ladder who, from your hour, made £80, £800 or even £8,000!

So yes, you might be able to take from that that this is a satire of modern life, of the structures we have put in place and accepted for the last few centuries, but that’s not the meat of the story; that’s just the world. The story comes from a tale of two brothers (classic sounding, I know) where one is perpetually hated — prejudiced against — while the other sticks his neck out to try and save his younger sibling, for whom he cares deeply, from torment and distress.

The story runs as two stories in parallel: Sam’s story as an adult where we follow the time around his father’s death and the subsequent events, including his relationship with Olivia Kumar, his only and closest friend who works as a journalist. Alongside this narrative is Colin’s, a time-jumping look into his childhood and, by extension, Sam’s. With this I want to drive home ideas about, as you might have guessed, prejudice, family, and relationships (although you can totally overlook the subtext and read a nice, albeit heavy, story about two brothers!)

That’s all I can say about the screenplay for now as it is firmly in stage 2 of my editing process, but for more updates as this comes out, subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on social media. The links can be found below and on my contact page.

For more on writing and to receive updates as and when they happen, follow my blog. And if you have any suggestions for topics, would like to give feedback, or just want to say hi, get in touch — I’d love to hear from you!

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Email: cbpowell95@gmail.com

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