"Submission" Three Dysfunctional Siblings Pack Up Their Mother's Things After Her Funeral. Upon Opening A Box Labelled "Do Not Open", Everything They Know About Mother Is Thrown Into Question.
The living room of MILDRED BENNETT, recently deceased. Boxes haphazardly cover most of the floor. A silver urn rests on the side table next to a dusty chesterfield. VERA stands in the center under a spotlight, straight-backed and in full corporate attire.
VERA: As she moves on from this world into the next, let her shadow be radiant with pride. Let her soul be filled with hope. Let her spirit be moved to eternal serenity. May the Lord bless her and all those she touched with peace of mind that she has moved on to a place of wondrous paradise.
(The spotlight transforms into a wash, revealing MAXINE on the floor, organizing stuff into boxes.)
MAXINE: Beautiful. Solemn yet inspiring. You should have done the service.
VERA: I might as well have.
MAXINE: I'm not getting into this with you again. Father Murrow was --
VERA: Late as usual.
MAXINE: -- Doing us a favor.
VERA: It was a funeral, Maxine. Who arrives late to a funeral?
MAXINE: Still, I think it was nice of him to cover for Father Strathairn. He's still traumatized after Mother yelled at him at the clothing drive for letting Misty Pinkleton donate those sundresses.
VERA: Absolutely disrespectful. I've fired people for much less, you know. One time, I heard someone spilled some toner in the copy room. That same day, I saw Gabe Sachs look at me in a weird way. It was fear. Never let your boss sense your fear. I called him to my office. When I was done with him, he couldn't even get a job at Pet-Co sweeping up the dander.
MAXINE: All that for a little ink spill? You could have just sprinkled a little bleach over the splotch. Maybe add a little lemon juice if it got on the carpet.
VERA: Turns out no one spilled any toner. Doesn't matter. People were afraid after that. That's how real CEOs handle things. People are getting soft nowadays. I heard Google even lets people bring their emotional support peacocks to work.
MAXINE: (beat) She'd have loved the service. All of her friends were there --
VERA: Did you see Mrs. Rosenthal in that low-cut damask thing? Who wears florals to a funeral? And she even brought that ghastly daughter of hers.
VERA: Horrible dress, too. It's like the crippled elves that made them went color-blind halfway through. Though I suppose she didn't have much to work on. Like putting a pinafore on a piglet. Bless her heart.
MAXINE: Look, I don't know what to say. But I have to finish organizing these boxes before Bradley and the kids get home.
VERA: Why weren't they at the service?
MAXINE: Doctor's appointment.
VERA: I keep telling you. They should go outside more. It builds character. And why are you wasting your time on this? Leave something for Jeremy to do. Work would do him some good. Where is he anyway? Jeremy!
MAXINE: I wanted to get a head-start. And Jeremy has enough on his plate to worry about the little things --
VERA: You're not doing the garbage man any favors.
MAXINE: (indicating the boxes) No, these go into storage. These go to charity --
VERA: Isn't he selling the house?
MAXINE: I don't think so, no.
VERA: How can he afford all this? You can't expect me --
(MAXINE gives VERA a knowing look.)
VERA: Oh no. I'm not giving him a cent.
MAXINE: Well, I can't help out.
VERA: It won't do him any good. Babying him like this.
MAXINE: Just for a while. Until he gets back on his feet.
JEREMY (off): That might be too much to ask.
(JEREMY enters, groggy and unkempt. He wipes his glasses on his coffee-stained hoodie.
He waves an electronic tablet as he maneuvers his wheelchair towards the pair.)
JEREMY: The eulogy was awesome, guys.
VERA: I'm sorry?
JEREMY: Uncle Art live-streamed it for me.
VERA: Is that why that contraption was there?
JEREMY: It's called a drone, Vera. And don't be a Luddite. It doesn't help your face.
MAXINE: It would be really nice if someone here could help me with these boxes.
JEREMY: I'm sorry you have to do this.
MAXINE: It's fine. It's very calming, actually.
VERA: I have a meeting with the guys at Milton Urban at 3:00 and I drove 200 miles to come here. And you won't even come to the damn thing? What would Mother say?
JEREMY: Nothing, I hope. Given the state she's in.
MAXINE: Are you -- how are you feeling?
JEREMY: Definitely better than last week. And I got the muffins you sent me, by the way. The delivery guy forgot to ring the doorbell so the basket was outside for three days. But once I picked most of the ants off, I'd say you've truly outdone yourself.
MAXINE: I can't even imagine how you're doing. With all that's been happening. And so recently after --
VERA: It's been a month, Maxine. He's been in the chair for a month. It's time to move on like we all have.
// That's it for now. Eventually, they find a box that says DO NOT OPEN and argue about what to do with it. Vera wants to toss it away, Maxine wants to put it back, and Jeremy wants to open it. Eventually, they open it and discover their late mother's S&M gear and a few compromising photos of their dear, hyper-religious mother and their worlds are shaken. But I'll continue that when I have the time.
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