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Sycamore Hill: Thick As Thieves

Today's installment of "Sycamore Hill" is being broken up into two parts, one part this morning, the other this afternoon. Tom is trouble, or, as spell-a-holic Mayvene might say, "T-R-O-U-B-L-E."

ACT II

Scene B

HALLWAY OUTSIDE BILL’S CONDO

MAYVENE ROUNDS THE CORNER TO FIND THE

NEIGHBORS GATHERED OUTSIDE BILL’S DOORWAY.

JOANN AND HER SON, TOM, ARE LEAVING THE CONDO

AND ENTER THE HALLWAY CARRYING BILL’S LARGE-SCREEN TV.

TOM IS 35, HANDSOME BUT ROUGH-LOOKING.

MAYVENE

Tom, what are you doing?

TOM

(struggling with TV)

We’re taking this TV.

JOANN

(appearing at other end,

also struggling)

Looks like Bill’s kids took everything

they want, they’re giving the rest to

charity, so… we’re charity!

MAYVENE

Do they know you are taking the TV?

TOM

What business is it of yours, Mayvene?

MAYVENE

(here comes the full twang)

Tom, I am the former Homeowners’ Association President, and this IS my business.

TOM and JOANN stop.

TOM

Yee haw! That is some accent you have when you’re angry. Just where are you from?

MAYVENE

Mississippi.

TOM

(sneering)

Well, you sound like an ignorant

backward hick.

MAYVENE pulls herself up like she’s the Queen of

England. The other neighbors shrink back.

MAYVENE

I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable…

JOANN

Yes she does…

MAYVENE

But where I come from, we don’t insult

our elders, and we don’t steal, especially

from the dead.

Shocked silence. TOM puts down the TV, forcing

his mother to do the same. He steps toward

MAYVENE angrily.

TOM

Are you calling me a thief?

MAYVENE clamps her jaw tight and gives him a

withering stare.

JOANN

Son…ignore her.

DIANE, the young assistant manager, walks in.

DIANE

What’s going on?

She looks at TOM.

TOM

(suddenly bashful)

Diane, it’s nothing. Bill’s kids…

they just…left this…and…

MAYVENE

They’re stealing it.

JOANN

Oh, for crying out loud, Mayvene,

We are not stealing it! (to Diane)

They left it behind!! I dare any of

you to prove otherwise. Tom, let’s go.

TOM hesitates, but picks up the TV with his mom, smiles weakly at Diane, scowls at Mayvene, as they EXIT.

MAYVENE

(to DIANE)

That man has been trouble since

the day he moved in here. Parking in the

wrong spot, playing music after 8pm.

A complete danger to all of us! I don’t

understand why the Homeowners’

Association doesn’t force him out. He’s

younger than 55.

DIANE

Joann insists her son is her caregiver,

which allows him to stay under the rules.

MAYVENE

Caregiver! The only care he’s ever

given her is an empty bank account!

Mama is still taking care of HIM! And if he

lets his dog…which he’s not even allowed to

have here…do its business…one more time

on the common greenbelt without picking

it up…that rulebreaker will have me hopping

to the Homeowners Association faster than

a toad in heat.

IRMA leaves Bill’s condo and ENTERS the hallway,

pushed in her wheelchair by her nurse, CLAIRE.

IRMA carries a small TV in her lap. CLAIRE pushes the wheelchair with one hand and carries a lamp in the other. Trailing them are TWO HANDYMEN carrying a couch.

IRMA

Diane! Claire and I want to know if we could donate my old couch to the community room

and get a receipt for my taxes.

DIANE

Certainly, Irma, that’s very generous of you.

MAYVENE

(stunned, points to handymen)

Irma, Is that Bill’s couch?

IRMA

Not anymore.

ANDY, the hippie walks up to watch.

IRMA

(quietly to him)

Andy, see you at the GTA Friday.

He nods conspiratorially.

MAYVENE walks into…

INT. BILL’S CONDO

LINDA sits on a folding chair. The place is

picked clean, except for a couple of Bill’s paintings--

the copies of “The Scream,” and “American Gothic.”

MAYVENE

Linda, how are you?

LINDA

They won’t even let me come to the

memorial service. And they say he left

me nothing in his will. I don’t believe it!

I’m going to have to hire a lawyer.

MAYVENE

Is that necessary?

LINDA

Absolutely. Bill’s kids never approved of me.

Even though their mother died years ago, they

saw me as the other woman trying to

steal away their lonely father!

Imagine! Me, take advantage of a man!

So you know what? I’m keeping his car!

MAYVENE

Yes, well that certainly isn’t taking advantage…

LINDA

I won’t be treated like this! They’re going to have to pry those keys from

my cold, dead hands…

MAYVENE

A cheery thought. Let me know if you need anything.

While they’re speaking, DEIRDRE, a resident,

ENTERS and looks at the two paintings, assessing

them. She takes “American Gothic” off the wall.

LINDA

Deirdre, don’t you dare walk away

with that painting! That’s MINE!

DEIRDRE ignores her, takes the painting and EXITS.

FADE TO BLACK

Up next: getting ugly in the laundryroom

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