Fade In: Medium Shot of Ginny and Brian standing outside the charred remains of the Donahue house.
Ginny:…I was patrolling the area at the time and I saw the blaze and called the Fire Chief. They came over and put the fire out.
Brian: Was the house fully engulfed at the time you called them?
Ginny: Yes. There was no chance to go inside and try to save Mr.–if you’ll please excuse me.
Brian: I can see you are upset about this, Police Chief Cusack and I thank you for your time. (The camera remains solely on Brian as we see he is reporting from the fire.) Again, the Donahue house on 28 Glen Rose caught on fire and there is one fatality Mister Ralph Donahue. Back to you, Kathy, at the station.
CUT-TO: Interior. Dot’s living room. She and Elsie are seated in front of the tv as Charlie is entering from the stairs.
Dot: How terrible. Poor Grace.
Elsie: Tsk, tsk. I’d like my eggs now, please. (Rises and exits)
Dot: Yes, of course, Elsie. I’ll get them for you. (Turns off the tv) Oh, Charlie, I didn’t see you there.
Charlie: What happened?
Dot: What do you mean?
Charlie: On the tv. You said something about Grace.
Dot: Yes. Her house caught on fire–
Charlie: Was she in it?
Dot: No, Charlie, she wasn’t. Unfortunately, her husband was. He’s dead.
Charlie: Ralph is dead?
Dot: Yes. How do you know these people?
Charlie: I just do, that’s all. Do you know where Grace is?
Dot: The last time I saw her she was at the rectory having dinner with Father McShane. Why? (Charlie grabs his coat and runs out the front door. Dot stands there aghast. Elsie comes up behind her.)
Elsie: Can I have jelly with my eggs?
Dot: Oh, Elsie. Yes of course. But I thought you liked ketchup with your eggs.
Elsie: You’re all out. (She exits)
Dot: (Dryly): I wonder why.
CUT-TO: Interior. Kathy’s kitchen. Jim is standing at the counter, dressed for work, drinking a cup of coffee. Colleen enters from the stairs in her pajamas.
Jim: Good morning.
Colleen: (Lazily): Hi.
Jim: Don’t you have class today?
Colleen: I didn’t sleep good so I’m going to skip it.
Jim: No you’re not.
Jim: You heard me. Get upstairs and get dressed for class.
Colleen: But Dad–
Jim: Don’t but Dad me. Hurry up. I’m driving you into Boston and I’m picking you up. Move.
Colleen: But I wanted to see Andrew today.
Jim: You’ll see Andrew after you get back from Harvard. Let’s go.
Colleen: I can’t believe you’re being like this.
Jim: Believe it! Move!
(Patrick enters from the stairs wearing earbuds and dressed sloppily as Colleen stomps up the stairs. Jim pulls the ear buds out of Patrick’s ears.)
Patrick: Hey! What the–
Jim: Watch your mouth. Go upstairs and get changed.
Patrick: I’m fine.
Jim: No you’re not! Move!
Patrick: But I’ll miss the bus.
Jim: Then I’ll drive you. Go!
Patrick: Okay. (Exits up the stairs.)
Jim: And lose the attitude. You’d think since you are gay you’d dress better and care about how you look. (Jim picks up his phone and dials.)
CUT-TO: Interior. The Cable Station. Kathy is at her desk. Her phone rings.
Kathy: Oh, hi, Jim. I know but I had to come in early because of the fire. Ralph Donahue died. What do you mean you don’t care? Well yes I know things have been crazy lately. I don’t know if I can be home to make dinner. I have to do the nightly newscast. Yes, Jim, if Declan were home it would be different. All right. I’ll ask–okay tell–Brian he has to do it. All right. I’ll be home in time to make dinner. Every night yes. Okay. There are going to be ground rules? Okay goodbye. Wow.
CUT-TO: Interior. Kathy’s kitchen. Jim is at the bottom of the stairs wearing his coat.
Jim: (Calling up the stairs): Let’s go!
(Patrick and Colleen come hurriedly down the stairs dressed nicely for school and a little scared.)
Jim: Good. Your mother is coming home tonight to cook dinner and we’re all going to sit down and eat it together without ear buds and without you being at the hospital. Do you understand? There are going to be some ground rules around here from now on. Got it?
Patrick and Colleen: Yes, we get it.
Jim: Now let’s go. (He holds open the back door and Patrick and Colleen scurry out it. He follows and slams the kitchen door.)
CUT-TO: Interior. Burke’s Corner Store. Martin is behind the counter reading the newspaper as Dot enters.
Martin: Good morning, Dot.
Dot: Hello, Martin. It’s a cold one today.
Martin: Feels like Fall.
Dot: Where do you keep your ketchup?
Martin: It’s over by the bread where it always is.
Dot: Sad news about Ralph Donahue. Even sadder for Grace.
Martin: Yes, I suppose. (Dot looks confused.) Well I never knew Ralph. I don’t know anyone who did.
Dot: Well that may be true, Martin, but it doesn’t make his death any less. He was a person after all.
Martin: Yes, yes, all right. I’m just saying the man always kept to himself.
Dot: From what I understand he was a hermit.
Martin: A hermit?
Dot: He never left the house.
Martin: Oh that kind of hermit.
Dot: What other kind is there for goodness sake?
Martin: I don’t know. When someone says hermit I think of a person who lives alone on a hill somewhere.
Dot: He might as well have. Poor Grace.
Martin: You’d know better than anyone else what it’s like to be a widow.
Martin: Didn’t your husband die before you came to Maple Falls? You told Mo he did.
Dot: Yes, yes, of course. I’d forgotten.
Martin: You forgot your husband died?
Dot: My we’re full of questions today, aren’t we? (Bringing over a bulk of ketchup.)
Martin: That’s a lot of ketchup.
Dot: I have a feeling I’m going to need it.
Martin: Oh, Ginny, sad about the Donahue fire?
Ginny: What? Yes.
Dot: How much for the ketchup, Martin?
Martin: Let’s see. That’ll be twenty dollars.
Dot: Twenty dollars! Well I–
Martin: You can put some of it back if you want. I don’t know why you’d need that much anyway.
Dot: Have you ever lived with Elsie Hunter?
(Ginny looks up.)
Martin: What’s that supposed to mean?
Dot: Never mind. Here’s your twenty.
(Ginny starts to exit)
Martin: Ginny, are you going somewhere? Don’t you want your paper?
Ginny: No I’ll see you later.
Martin: I’ll see you tonight. (Ginny looks confused.) At your house for dinner. Remember?
Ginny: Yeah um I’m sorry, Martin, I’m going to have to cancel. I’ll talk to you later. Bye. (She exits)
Martin: Bye. That was strange.
Dot: If you ask me she’s a strange sort anyway. I can’t quite take to her.
Martin: I like her.
Dot: Of course you do because you’re strange too.
(Martin laughs as Dot hands him the twenty)
CUT-TO: Interior. Brian’s office. He is seated at his desk as Kathy is standing there.
Brian: Well I suppose I could do the evening newscast but really the viewers want to see you.
Kathy: There’s nothing I can do about it. Jim wants me home making and eating dinner with him and the kids and I’ve given Jim enough trouble lately. I mean he is my husband and I love him.
Brian: I understand. You don’t need to plead your case to me. Why don’t you start doing the noon newscast and then I’ll do the evening one?
Kathy: All right. When do you want to start doing that?
Brian: How about today?
Kathy: All right. Thanks for understanding.
(Dot enters knocking on Brian’s door.)
Dot: Hello, Brian, Kathy.
Brian and Kathy: Hi, Mom.
Dot: You both looked wonderful on the tv. Dreadful news though.
Kathy: Yes, poor Grace Donahue.
Dot: That’s why I’m here today, Kathy. Grace is over at the rectory.
Kathy: What’s she doing at the rectory?
Dot: I’ll explain the whole thing to you when we go.
Dot: Yes. I don’t want to see her alone and Kathy and I can bring over some clothes. She’ll need them. She lost everything in the fire poor dear. You don’t mind, do you, Brian?
Brian: Well I–
Dot: Come along, Kathy. (Kathy shrugs and exits.)
Brian: How long are you going to be? Kathy is doing the noon newscast today.
Dot: Well can’t you do that?
Brian: I’m going to do the evening one.
Dot: Good now you can do both. I’m proud of you, Brian. Bring Arthur over for dinner some time soon. Good to see you, dear.
Brian: Mother, I am running a news operation here.
Dot: Yes, I can see that. Bye, dear. (She exits)
CUT-TO: Interior. Kathy’s desk. Dot enters.
Dot: Get your things, dear. We have to go. I’m so glad you’re coming with me. I feel badly for Grace but I don’t particularly like her and you’re being there will make it less awkward.
Kathy: Well I–
Dot: You better bring everything, Kathy. I don’t think you’ll have time to come back today.
Brian: (Entering from his office): Mother, Kathy has a job here.
Dot: Brian, Kathy and I are on an errand of mercy. Where is your compassion? Come along, Kathy.
(Kathy shrugs, grabs her coat and bag, and exits after Dot. Brian throws up his hands.)
CUT-TO: Interior. Bedroom at the rectory. Grace is seated on her bed wearing the same clothes she wore yesterday. There is a soft knock on the door.
Grace: Yes? Come in.
Father: (Opening the door): Your son is here to see.
Charlie: (Enters): Hello, Mom.
Grace: Charlie? This is Father McShane–
Father: We’ve met. I’ll leave you alone.
Charlie: Thank you, Father. (Father exits)
(An awkward silence.)
Grace: Well what are you doing here?
Charlie: I was worried about you. I saw on the news that your house burnt down and Ralph died.
Grace: That must have pleased you.
Charlie: Pleased me?
Grace: You never liked Ralph.
Charlie: Not like him? I never met him.
Grace: Let’s not get into all that today. I don’t have the strength for it.
Charlie: Hey, I only came here to make sure you’re okay. I mean you are my mother.
Grace: Yes. It’s good of you to remember that.
Charlie: Remember it? What’s with you anyway? I came over here because I’m worried about you. Not like you ever gave a shit about me.
Grace: Charles Syms I will thank to remember you are in a House of God.
Charlie: Why did I even bother?
(There’s a knock on the door.)
Olive: Father McShane said it’s okay if I see–oh Charlie
Charlie: You know me? I mean I know we met at Clarke’s but what are you–
Grace: Olive Dunbar is my cousin, Charlie. She works for me at Crest Haven and she lives at Jennifer Crane’s home. Her daughter Rosie is a patient Crest Haven.
Charlie: Amazing. You never said anything to me at Clarke’s.
Olive: It must have skipped my mind.
Charlie: I’m outta here. (He exits)
Grace: Is there something I can do for you, Olive?
Olive: I just came by because–well, you know. Ralph and everything.
Grace: Thank you but I’m really very tired so if you don’t mind.
CUT-TO: Exterior. St. Mark’s Parking Lot. Dot and Kathy pull up in Dot’s car. They see Charlie going across the parking lot and getting into his car.
Dot: Isn’t that Charlie? What’s he doing here?
Kathy: I don’t know. I suppose there could be a lot of reasons.
Dot: He was upset when he heard about the fire. He seemed very concerned for Grace and sad to hear about Ralph. He said he knew them but no one knew Ralph and no one wants to know Grace.
Kathy: Come on, Mom. Let’s be charitable. She did just lose her husband. Let’s get the clothes out of the back.
Dot: You’re right, Kathy. We are here on a mission of charity and I must remember that.
(They exit the vehicle.)
Fade to Black