A Photo Speaks a Thousand Words

INT. MARTHA’S LOUNGE ROOM – DAY

MARTHA (78) sits in a comfortable recliner chair inside a lounge room that looks almost as old as she is. It has bland coloured walls, and nick knacks adorn many surfaces, all sit on doilies. Martha’s daughter ELAINE (50) hands her a cup of tea.

ELAINE
Mum, I’m just going to pop outside to make a phone call okay. Are you alright here?

MARTHA
Yes of course dear, I’m not an invalid yet.

ELAINE
Alright.

Elaine leaves the room. Martha drinks from her cup of tea and rocks in her chair happily. She picks up a photo frame from the mantelpiece next to her and looks at it. In it is a black and white photo of a strapping young man in overalls eating an ice cream cone. It is her husband EDWARD. As Martha smiles at the photo fondly it begins to move. An invisible wind blows Edwards hair and overalls. The young Edward waves to Martha, who gasps slightly, then he speaks.

EDWARD
Hello love.

MARTHA
Edward? What do you think you’re doing?

EDWARD
Just checking in on my favourite girl.

MARTHA
You damn near scared the life out of me is what you did.

EDWARD
(smiling)
Sorry dear.

MARTHA
So you should be. I’m an wrinkled old woman now! You can’t be scaring me like that.

EDWARD
Nonsense, you’re as beautiful as you’ve ever been.

MARTHA
Pfft. You’re the one talking nonsense. You old flatterer.

EDWARD
Well to me you’re still that young girl who out kicked all the lads on the footy team.

Martha laughs.

MARTHA
Those boys didn’t know what to do that day, yourself included.

EDWARD
I knew what to do, it just took me a few years. But I knew that day I wanted you to be my wife.

MARTHA
Hah, I don’t think I even noticed you, to busy kicking up a fuss I was. It was ridiculous that they wouldn’t let me play. It was ridiculous then and it’s ridiculous now. But anyway, you should know better than to be popping up in photos and scaring me like that.

EDWARD
I am sorry love. You remember the day this photo was taken?

Martha laughs again.

MARTHA
How could I forget. What a scorcher of a day it was, I don’t think we’ve had a hotter one since.

EDWARD
And I spent all morning putting that insulation in the roof. I swear it was over fifty degrees in there, it was no wonder I passed out.

MARTHA
You nearly died you silly fool, then I nearly died pulling you out of there. I was panicking, trying to get you to wake up and drink some water. And then what’s the first thing you say when you wake up?

                                  EDWARD                                                                        MARTHA
Ice cream.                                                                       Ice cream.

Edwards hefts the ice cream he’s holding.

EDWARD
And it was the best ice cream I’d ever tasted.

MARTHA
Oh Edward, I miss you.

EDWARD
I miss you to love. We’ll see each other again soon.

MARTHA
Well not too soon, you know me, I’m a fighter. Not to mention that daughter of ours coddles me like crazy, you’d think she was my mother. Won’t even let me have any sweets!

EDWARD
I’m sure Lainey means well, but maybe I can help you out.

Elaine re enters the lounge room to see Martha happily eating an ice cream cone.

ELAINE
Mum? Where did you get that ice cream?

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