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Plots - Red handkerchiefs.

Updated: 6 hours ago

People at San Firmino Festival, with white shirt  and red handkerchiefs

Plots - Love; drama | Pamplona, 1959.

Main characters.

Juan and Isabel are two teenagers of the same age living in Zaragoza, Spain. They met as children in the orphanage that shelters them. He stutters, she is beautiful and has African ancestry evident in her dark complexion. Their being different makes them objects of ridicule and daily harassment, but it strengthens the bond of love by which they are united.

The call to adventure

Alejandro and Lucilla Remirez are brother and sister and run the orphanage in Saragoza. They are two despicable people in manner and thought. They are thugs who exploit children by setting them on criminal careers, prostitution, or selling them. They have turned the orphanage into a training center for petty thieves in their service. Juan and Isabel have been trained as pickpockets and survive by indulging their siblings.

One day, old Luis Diaz-a human merchant who runs his trade under the cover of a traveling circus of which he is director-is "visiting" the orphanage. The old man spots Isabel and buys her for his trades.

The conflict

The circus leaves at night with Isabel. Jaun's reaction is not long in coming: after injuring Alejandro in a confrontation, he escapes from the orphanage. He reaches the circus after some vicissitudes, snatches the key to Isabel's wagon and frees her. The next day, faced with the discovery, the merchant wants both his wares and revenge back.

The key

The escape pushes Juan and Isabel northward. They stop in villages and towns where they try to survive, but they are too young and nothing is easy. Sometimes they steal, sometimes they do small jobs. But despite the difficulties they feel free and happy and appreciate every moment of their life together. They reach Pamplona in the days when San Firmino is celebrated and the Running of the Bulls is being prepared.

The city welcomes the two in an embrace of colors, crowds and scents. But Diaz's men have found them, chasing them, until the climax unfolds during the running of the bulls. Isabel is run over and Juan is also injured. But Diaz's men are recognized by the local police and arrested. Now truly Juan and Isabel can start a new life.

The alternatives

Red Handkerchiefs is a plot that exploits some classic ingredients of the genre: life seen through the eyes of young people, diversity that unites, and hope. It has as a backdrop beautiful places to describe.

That's why the easiest and most natural modification is to place the story in other cities that can convey strong feelings, e.g. Rome, Paris, New York... Other modifications can concern the main and secondary characters, changing their gender, age, and relationships.


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