The Boys with the Issue of Blood

Created by Phoebe Hickson, The Pitch 2023

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This story follows two brothers, 12 and 14, living in the heart of a block of flats with their father Eli. Harvey and Philip are known to be very mischievous. They steal, harrass, loiter, litter, you name it. Their mother separated from them not too recently and has recently given birth to a new baby named Samuel. The brothers live next to an ageing beauty called Alice - they do nothing but ridicule her. They leave various smelly concoctions outside her house and one day they break into her house under a fake guise and smash up a number of mirrors, stealing her possessions. This greatly moves Alice. As Alice comes through the end of menopause, Harvey and Philip, although completely male in anatomy, begin the menstruation cycle, both mental and physical. Think of this as a coming-of-age comedy horror, a dark comedy. This is directly linked to the concept of ‘the woman with the issue of blood’ where some renditions had stated she was unclean and could infect people with her period. So, what if it really could ‘infect’ people? They begin to take revenge on baby Samuel in their panic. They learn more about the world.

Biblical Connection

I have taken my inspiration from Eli's Wicked Sons, 1st Samuel Chapter 2. The way I have decided to adapt it is through the exploration of shame, and wickedness - is this hereditary? Can we change? In an attempt to rearrange the way in which we perceive shame and sin, I have written two characters who in the Old Testament are named Hophni and Phineas but now Harvey and Philip. They live with their father Eli who is much like the wicked priest who was selfish, 'the priest's servant would come with a three-pronged fleshhook in his hand while the meat was boiling. They grow up and live around mischief and wicked tendencies yet they are heartbroken by the recent absence of their mother who has had a beautiful baby called Samuel. Their world is set into disarray and upon meddling with the possessions of Alice, a reference to another source 'the woman with the issue of blood', they are forced to witness their karmic lesson of the supernatural occurrence of a period to sift through their subconscious to see if their wickedness is pure of if they are simply coated in shame. Can they be forgive themselves?