By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 2/29/2020
Page Views: 1325
Working outline for Words Apart

1: Credit Where It's Due

Decker Goodman and Barry Brandt are in court, defending a deaf client (and son of a Congressman) from a car theft charge. Decker is deaf; Barry is his translator. Although Decker is successful in obtaining an acquittal, it's Barry who gets the credit.

Characters Introduced

Decker Goodman

A successful Deaf lawyer who specializes in cases involving Deaf clients, who is proudly Deaf yet still uncomfortable about the way Deaf culture is perceived by Hearie culture.

Barry Brandt

Decker's translator, a Hearie who is fluent in American Sign Language and Deaf culture.

Phil Bennett

Deaf son of a Congressman, caught up in a street gang, on trial for stealing (although he didn't actually take any cars).

Margaret Bennett

Phil's mother, a Hearie.

Judge, Jury, Reporters

2: Office Visit

At his office, Decker meets new client Reverend Hardesty Stone who wants his senile mother declared incompetent to free up the funds she controls, needed by Stone's organization. Decker explains he must meet the woman personally, and speak to her doctor, first.

Characters Introduced

Mrs. Gertrude Grimes

Office receptionist. Like Barry, she is a Hearie who is fluent in ASL, learned for the benefit of her daughter, who'd been born deaf.

Reverend Hardesty Stone

A televangelist who needs the money his mother controls.

3: Animals

Decker meets his wife and children at the National Zoo. The kids ride an elephant, and Decker's daughter displays a talent for communicating with animals, which Decker insists cannot communicate.

Characters Introduced

Carole Goodman

Decker's Hearie wife. She's his trophy; he's her good deed. A stunning redhead with a killer figure.

River Goodman

Decker's precocious 4-year-old daughter, who uses both speech and sign to communicate.

Forrest Goodman

Decker's 6-year-old son, also a dual-mode communicator, protective of his sister.

Ted Morrison, zookeeper

4: Greetings

The Goodmans arrive in the Great Ape house and encounter signing primates, including one who signs, "I'm being held prisoner! Please help me find my family!" Decker is so shocked by this he loses his balance and knocks himself out on the concrete floor.

Characters Introduced

Iris the Orangutan
Starr the Bonobo

Raised by humans in a loving home, freed when the funding ran out, Starr signs fluently but doesn't understand what has happened to her or her family.

5: Examination

Decker is examined for concussion and given an MRI to determine the cause and extent of his injury.

Characters Introduced

Dr. Mike Madison

A Hearie doctor who specializes in hearing problems but is also a general practitioner.