Maude and Francine is copyrighted by the author and is not to be used or modified without permission. All rights reserved.
EXT. TOWN – SLEEPY RESIDENTIAL STREET – SPRING/MORNING
A black, stooped WOMAN makes her slow, steady advance on the cement cracks stretching towards the church few houses down. The thinning crop of silver hair bobs with each step, steadied by cane wielded with concentrated determination.
White, middle-aged MAN in the yard she passes stops the raking and smiles at her. She decreases her pace but does not stop. She returns his silent greeting, her own strong in ivory.
Every day, eh Maude?
The Lord blesses but He does not make the road shorter.
The MAN laughs and she picks up speed again.
Up ahead, a MINISTER cleaning the sign out front spots her and sets aside the supplies. He steps on the sidewalk, waiting.
Maude makes her way to the MINISTER and takes the offered arm. They continue together.
Further ahead is an open, wrought gate to the cemetery. The expense of trees, grass, and shaped stone wraps around the church, which stands in the corner of it.
Seventy years today.
Not long now.
You outlived my predecessor and most of your generation. There is a reason in His will.
Maude, feeling all her years, sighing
Wish He told it to me. Past ninety it is harder to walk for two.
MINISTER, making apologies long due, sorrow and guilt in his voice
Francine was an angel; people did not understand back then. I think it was worse for her, color difference and all.
Maude, having none of it, with warmth and forgiveness
I hold no hate for them. People say I visit the cemetery since her funeral out of spite; I say no one has decades in them. I simply refuse to let her memory die.
That you do.
Maude and the MINISTER stop at the entrance to the cemetery.
MINISTER, patting the wrinkled hand, kindly
Congregation got together and purchased a new marker. Go on, see.
Thank you, Father.
We love her too.
EXT. CEMETERY – MAUDE & FRANCINE'S GRAVE – WINTER/SUNRISE
The white hugs any available surface, openly daring the weak winter sun to break the embrace. The still land belongs to the snow.
Jutting up from it, the gravestone is unremarkable in its construction; nice, but not extravagantly expensive. It is the contents on the surface that draw the eye. Framed by snow sleeping on top and below, the twin dates of Maude (1918-2011) and Francine (1917-1938) are engraved.
The strange thing is that they don't share the same last name and their year of death is over seventy years apart. Stranger yet is the phrase connecting them.
Carved into the granite are the words “Love over time”.
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