Simon Says – The Good Old Days



BLAINE MATTHEWS is a man in his late seventies. He’s in good shape for his age. Curling a set of dumbbells, he’s seated in a plain aluminum chair. As he works out, He glances over at a picture sitting on his dresser.

The picture shows him standing beside his WIFE as she is about to cut a ribbon. The ribbon stretches in front of a lawyer’s office. Blaine looks away as a tear comes to his eye.

Blaine sets the weights down and begins to stand. He wobbles on his feet. Starting to fall, he grabs a cane from against the wall and steadies himself. He leans on his cane for a beat, catching his breath.

Once he has regained himself, he pulls a housecoat on and slips a pair of slippers onto his feet. He opens the door and glances back into his room. The sparsely furnished space is kept clean and tidy.

Blaine exits the room and walks down a hall towards a common area. As he approaches, MALORY waves at him. Blaine smiles, but Malory trips on a tear in the carpet.

Blaine rushes to reach her, but her arm stretches out. She places her hand on his shoulder. Her other arm stretches, and she uses it to stabilize herself. She looks at Blaine.

MALORY: Don’t worry about me, young man. I’ve still got a stretch to go before I’m finished.

She laughs as she passes him. Blaine shakes his head and continues on his way. He enters the common area and looks around.

ANDREW and VALERIE are napping in their chairs. HAROLD and AGNES are playing checkers. ERNEST is reclining in front of the TV. Blaine spots FRAN sitting, reading a newspaper on her lap, and knitting a scarf.

Blaine walks over to her and watches as she scans the paper. Her eyes reach the bottom of the page. She lifts her knitting higher, and a breeze blows by and flips the page on her paper. She resumes her reading.

BLAINE: Is this seat taken?

Fran glances over to the unoccupied chair beside her.

FRAN: Looks empty to me.

Blaine sits down and exhales.

FRAN (CONT’D): Winded from your walk?

BLAINE: It’s no funnier the seven hundredth time.

Fran smiles.

FRAN: Relax, you old wind bag. Let’s shoot the breeze.

Blaine shakes his head. He watches as Ernest blinks and the channel changes.

ERNEST: I was watching that, stupid.

He blinks again, and the channel changes back.

ERNEST (CONT’D): That’s more like it.

Blaine shivers as a breeze cuts through him. He shoots Fran a look as her page flips.

BLAINE: Do you mind?

FRAN: Don’t be such a gas.

She snickers.

Agnes turns away from the checker board to take a sip of water. Ernest closes his eyes and places his index fingers on his temples. The checker pieces begin to shake and lift from the board, but when he opens his eyes, he sees the pieces are held in place by vines. Glancing up, he sees Agnes’ disapproving frown. He smiles sheepishly.

Blaine leans back and stares at the ceiling.

BLAINE: Why are we reduced to this?

Fran keeps reading.

FRAN: A pleasant morning indoors?

Blaine closes his eyes.

BLAINE: Wasted potential and terrible humour.

FRAN: I make myself laugh. I like it.

An alarm bell sounds out. Blaine jumps to his feet. As he opens his eyes, he notices everyone in the room is in superhero costumes. He grins and pulls open his housecoat.

Fran laughs. Blaine glances down at his bare chest and whips his housecoat closed.

BLAINE: Damn it.

The heros rush off, and Blaine is left standing there. He spots Fran’s knitting, grabs it, and wraps the scarf around his face. He sprints after them as quickly as his cane will allow him.


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