Drama. By Colleen Neuman.
Cast: 2m., 2w. Vanessa lives with her mother, who seems too busy to listen to her and calls Vanessa's beloved collection of stuff a "pile of junk." Vanessa uses her stuff—keys, string, wire, cardboard, broken flashlights, old radios—to create inventions and to make up stories. There is one more treasure she keeps in her room: her father. Vanessa's father died last year, but Vanessa, unable to let him go, has imagined him back to life. Dad is there reading his newspaper and telling jokes, just like he used to. Vanessa gets carried away by her imagination, telling her father elaborate stories about things like receiving a gold medal from the president and having a ranch with bucking broncos. Then Mom does the unthinkable. She invites Timmy Fibbins over to play. Vanessa is mortified because no one talks to Timmy at school. Her dad reminds her that no one talks to her, either. He also decides that it's time for him to leave. Once Timmy arrives and starts talking, things aren't so bad. Timmy likes Vanessa's junk, laughs at her jokes, and doesn't laugh at her inventions. In the end, Vanessa makes a new friend and a statement of truth: her dad died last year. Realizing she is never really alone, she lets her dad go to "live on the ranch and ride the broncos." One int. set. Approximate running time: 45 minutes.