“In the face of death, secrets tumble, hilarity ensues, and an eccentric family finds unity amidst chaos – a funeral you won’t forget!”
The inked pages of history have always borne silent witness to the eccentricities of English families, like the quaintly bizarre relics hidden amid the vibrant tapestry of British culture. But among them, the Broadbents were a breed apart—a delightful entanglement of secrecy, insanity, and an unusual semblance of poise. Simon Broadbent, the family’s patriarch, was the pillar holding this chaotic ensemble together. His untimely demise, however, would serve as the catalyst for a series of events that were as wildly entertaining as they were morbidly dreadful.
The Broadbent mansion stood tall and daunting on the edge of the breathtaking Yorkshire countryside, housing secrets and memories frozen in time. It was here that the family and a collection of mourners had arrived, on a day when the stubborn English sun seemed to have hidden behind a veil of melancholy. Little did they know, they were about to dive headfirst into a maelstrom of revelation and disaster, one that was going to uproot their lives forever.
Chapter 1: “The Unholy Reckoning”
In the grand hall of the Broadbent mansion, a solemn silence hung in the air as the mourners offered their condolences to the grieving family. The patriarch’s favorite tunes wafted from an antique gramophone, occasionally drowned out by the soft whispers of prayers and reminiscences. Entwined with the beautiful notes of Chopin’s Nocturnes was the tangible tension of anticipated chaos.
Simon’s grieving wife, Marianne, stood poised and dignified, the picture of a family matriarch grappling with the loss of her husband. However, beneath her calm exterior simmered a brewing storm of dread, knowing her family’s deepest secrets lay but a whisker away from revelation. The veneer of pleasantries barely concealed the bubbling unrest.
The Broadbent children, a quirky assortment of personalities, were a study in startled bewilderment and poorly concealed apprehension. The eldest, Benedict, was an Oxford academic – a man of stringent routines and principles thrown into the familial vortex of unanticipated frenzy. The middle child, Clarissa, an aspiring actress, was a swirl of high-strung emotions and dramatic reactions. The youngest, Emily, with a whimsical spirit that hid a razor-sharp wit, was the only one finding a twisted humor in this morose spectacle.
Meanwhile, distantly related cousins, friends who were more like foes, and obscure acquaintances, who had last made an appearance during the Queen’s coronation, filled in the gaps. Each brought with them an air of their own eccentricities, their prying eyes scanning the room, adding streaks of color to an otherwise gray ensemble.
All of it felt like a bizarre theater production. The protagonists were in place, the stage was set, and the audience, the unsuspecting mourners, had no idea about the entertainment that awaited them. On the surface, the funeral appeared to be a conventional affair—a gathering of grief-stricken individuals paying their respects to the deceased. However, under the undercurrent of the mundane, the seeds of an extraordinary comedy-drama were sown.
Ironically enough, amidst all the chaos, Simon Broadbent lay perfectly peaceful in his coffin, blissfully oblivious of the turmoil his demise had set into motion.
Just as the hall reverberated with the solemn tolling of the ancient grandfather clock, marking the start of the official mourning ceremony, a seemingly insignificant event sparked the first flare of an impending blaze. The Broadbent’s loyal, but clumsily eccentric butler, George, was nowhere to be found. A frantic search ensued, adding the first dash of hilarity to the somber proceedings, but where could he be when he was needed the most?
The oddities were just beginning to take form amongst the closely-knit fabric of mourning and grief. It was indeed, an unholy reckoning. And as the day would progress, these oddities and eccentricities would take center-stage, unraveling the familial ties, secret pasts, and hidden scandals in the most comical and absurd manner.
Little did they know that the funeral was just the overture to a sprawling saga of looming calamities, rib-tickling screw-ups, and unpalatable revelations. The Broadbents and their patriarch’s regretfully humorous death were about to present an unforgettable tale of comedy and drama that the quaint town of Yorkshire would remember for years to come.
Chapter 2: “The Misplaced Cadaver”
It was not long after the mourners had assembled at the brooding ancestral mansion that whispers of an unimaginable calamity began to ripple through the hushed, solemn gathering. The central character of this somber affair, the recently deceased patriarch Simon, was mysteriously missing from his final resting place. His beautifully ornate coffin, usually a symbol of peaceful and eternal slumber, was ominously empty. The predicament was as baffling as it was shocking, and it served as the catalyst for a chain of events that would turn the supposedly straightforward funeral into a chaotic circus.
The news of the missing cadaver spread through the mourning crowd like wildfire, sparking a frenzied and haphazard search throughout the labyrinthine mansion. Corridors, bedrooms, libraries, even the sprawling gardens outside were scoured by the bewildered clan and their guests, each more shocked and confused than the last. As they trudged through the ancient house, the family’s facades of mourning quickly fell away, replaced by expressions of suspicion, accusation, and hilarity.
Simon’s widow, the fiery and resilient Matilda, led the charge with an iron will and a determination that outstripped her diminutive stature. Her piercing eyes flickered with an equal mix of worry and irritation as she directed the search party, her voice echoing through the mansion’s corridors. Matilda’s sharpness added a tang of English humor to the tense situation, a thin veneer of wit masking the sheer absurdity of the circumstances.
Meanwhile, Simon’s children, Harold and Henry, found themselves drawn into their own misadventures. Harold, the more serious of the two, approached the incident with the severity of a detective on a murder case. On the other hand, Henry’s jovial nature shone through, his hearty laughter in the face of crisis only heightening the comedic contrast between the brothers. Their unique personalities resulted in a series of hilarious mishaps, further complicating the chaotic situation.
While the search for the cadaver continued, another subplot began to unfold quietly within the mansion’s walls. The family’s loyal butler, subtly suspicious, chose to stay behind, keeping an eye on the gathering of mourners. Beneath the seemingly empathetic faces, he noticed whispers of discontent and unexplained smirks. The family servants, familiar with the clan’s eccentricities, exchanged knowing glances, their servitude notwithstanding.
Amidst the tumult and confusion, accusations flew amongst the family members, their grief momentarily forgotten. The quiet dignity usually associated with the mourning process was tossed aside in favor of a mad scramble to find the patriarch’s missing body. Each family member, consumed by their own worries and suspicions, added another thread to the sprawling web of comedy and drama.
The chaos reached its apex when Matilda, in her frantic searching, accidentally stumbled upon her late husband’s secret study, unveiling another layer of Simon’s mysterious life. The discovery further fueled the family’s already rampant suspicions and led to more infighting.
As the day drew to a close, Simon’s body remained nowhere to be found. The mourners, exhausted from their fruitless searching and emotionally drained from the day’s revelations, retired to their respective quarters. There was a tangible sense of unease in the air, a bizarre end to a bizarre day. The mourning was temporarily eclipsed by the outrageous mystery of the missing cadaver, setting the stage for more unpredictability to come. The ancestral mansion, always a witness to the family’s absurdities, stood quietly in the gathering darkness, waiting for the dawn of another day of chaos.
This hilariously catastrophic day marked the beginning of an unforgettable mourning period, an absurd start to the unexpected journey that lay ahead. As the secrets and mishaps unfolded, the line between tragedy and comedy blurred, painting a poignant yet humorous picture of this eccentric English clan.
Chapter 3: “The Tantalizing Twins’ Secret”
In a house fraught with a delicate tension, the twins, Henry and Harold, stood out as peculiar characters. They were mirror images, eerily alike in appearance and demeanor. With their pale skin and dark hair contrasting sharply with their natty, neatly-pressed suits, they seemed misplaced in the chaos that was, their uncle’s funeral. But it was the secret they harbored that elevated the level of drama in the already complicated scenario.
Henry, the more dominant of the two, was the first to discover their connection to Simon’s hidden life. As kids, they were both fascinated by their enigmatic uncle. Simon’s charisma was magnetic, his stories full of thrilling adventures and clandestine exploits. He was a figure they looked up to, a beacon of mystique and excitement in their otherwise mundane life. However, the admiration turned into alarm when they stumbled upon a forgotten briefcase filled with cryptic notes, secret codes and a peculiar photo.
The photo revealed a youthful Simon in a foreign land, arm-in-arm with a woman who had their mother’s eyes and the twins’ distinctive chin. A long-held family secret was hiding in the shadows of the past.
Harold, the quieter but more intuitive twin, immediately recognized the depth of their discovery. Keeping mum about it, they plunged into a world of covert operations and secret identities that Simon had been a part of. They found themselves embroiled in a world of intrigue they had only read about in their favorite spy novels, and the reality was much more exhilarating, yet terrifying.
As mourners began to throng the old English mansion, the twins’ anxiety grew. They knew that their uncle’s past had dangerous implications. The funeral was not just a sad affair; it was a ticking time bomb. Their jocund behavior belied the internal turmoil, their witty one-liners, and hilarious antics serving as a smoke screen for their mounting apprehension.
Comedic chaos ensued as the twins tried to navigate the labyrinthine maze of their uncle’s past. There were misplaced letters, a mysterious brass key, and obscure references to an organization that seemed to have emerged straight from a thriller novel. They struggled to piece together the enigma while maintaining a facade of unaffected mourners. Every untimely guffaw, every awkward stumble added fuel to the comedic fire that was blazing through the funeral.
On one memorable occasion, Harold found himself mistaken for Henry by Aunt Mildred, a feisty octogenarian with failing eyesight but razor-sharp wit. The result was a hilarious game of charades where Harold had to pretend to be his brother while trying to prevent Aunt Mildred from discovering a secret note in his pocket. The scene was a riotous hoot, with Harold’s over-the-top performance managing to charm the old lady while keeping their secret safe.
Amongst all the comedy and confusion, the twins had a revelation – a hint towards their mother’s unknown past and her relationship with Simon. The realization that their family was much more than an eccentric English clan was intensely sobering amidst the comic relief. It brought home the reality of their situation, casting long shadows in their hearts.
However, the English breed humor in adversity, and so it was with Henry and Harold. Their secret, rather than pulling them down, added an element of suspense and intrigue to their lives. Every mishap was an adventure, every blunder a step closer to revealing the truth.
As the chapter concludes, the readers are left with a sense of anticipation. The twins’ secret becomes a tantalizing thread in the narrative, an element that promises more hilarity, more confusion, and many more hidden truths to be revealed in the chapters to come. In the face of death and the ensuing chaos, life was far from dull for the residents of the old English mansion. It was a madhouse, a circus, a treasure trove of secrets – a delicious recipe for a thrilling yet comedic drama.
Chapter 4: “The Insidious Intruder”
A pall of gloom hung over the once lively English manor, thickening with each passing hour. The family, now mourning the unexpected death of their patriarch, Simon, was caught in a web of revelations, secrets, and outrageous misfortunes. The ancestral mansion, that once echoed with laughter, now bore an eerie silence occasionally broken by the soft murmur of prayers and stifled sobs.
As the sun began to set, casting long shadows on the ornate hallways, a new ripple of intrigue was set off by the arrival of an unknown mourner. Dressed in a perfectly tailored black suit, his face was a blank canvas, revealing nothing of his connection to Simon or the family. He offered his condolences stiffly, his voice a flat monotone that betrayed no grief. His cold, emotionless gray eyes scanned the room full of mourners incognito, his gaze stopping at each face, as if searching for something or someone.
Trisha, Simon’s widowed wife, had been brave and composed despite the chaos. However, the intruder’s arrival set her heart racing, gnawing at her peace of mind. She discreetly shared her concerns with her oldest son, Edwin, urging him to find out who the stranger was.
In the midst of yet another series of unfortunate events and clumsy mishaps, Edwin now found himself trying to decipher the identity of the insidious intruder. He walked up to him, with a polite, albeit forced, smile, his hand extended in a testament to his upbringing. The stranger met Edwin’s handshake with an iron grip, coolly introducing himself as “John Doe”. A name as ordinary as it gets, thought Edwin, adding to the enigma of the man.
Unsettled by the stranger’s detached demeanor and cryptic words, Edwin turned to his eccentric twin siblings, Henry and Harold, who were, thanks to Simon’s unusual demise, now engrossed in a secret mission of their own. The normally opposite poles were now drawn together by their shared anxiety and curiosity.
As the evening wore on, the stranger’s behavior only grew more suspicious. He was often spotted whispering to various mourners, or lingering in the shadowy corners, his eyes constantly darting towards the family. Catching him in private discussions with Simon’s old pals or stealing glances at Trisha, made the mourners increasingly uneasy.
Concerned whispers filled the room, the family’s curiosity piqued by the stranger’s unusual knowledge about Simon’s secret life. He shared anecdotes and tales that no one else seemed to know. Each revelation was like an echo in the cavernous hall, making the air thick with tension and adding an unexpected twist in the already complicated saga of the family’s patriarch.
As the drama of the day seeped into the night, the family couldn’t help but reflect on the peculiarities. The intrigue surrounding ‘John Doe’ felt like a ticking time bomb, a dark cloud looming heavily over the event. The mourner’s initial sympathy towards the stranger had now morphed into suspicion and unease, as the scent of mystery grew thicker, adding yet another layer to the already chaotic day.
From the misplaced cadaver to the revelation of Simon’s clandestine activities and now the puzzling presence of the insidious intruder, the family found themselves caught in an unpredictable whirlwind of events. Each escalating situation doused their grief, replacing it with dread, skepticism, and curiosity. As the day concluded, the mourners were left to nurse their frazzled nerves and heated speculations. Gone was the composure once associated with the blue-blooded English family. In its place was a group of peculiar characters tangled in secrets, suspicion, and the absurdity of a gathering that was anything but a normal funeral.
There was no doubt that Simon’s funeral was turning out to be as unconventional as his life had been. The story was far from over, and as the family braced themselves for what the next day would bring, they knew that the saga of their patriarch’s demise would forever cast a bizarre, yet amusing, shadow over their lineage, the memories leaving an indelible mark on their minds.
Chapter 5: “The Revelation Riot”
The mournful atmosphere of Simon’s death seeped into the rather imposing English mansion. The weeping willows in the garden swayed; their melancholic dance mirroring the mourners’ dire straits. It intensified the sense of foreboding, the building anticipation of a dam breaking. Unbeknownst to many, a cavalcade of confounding and shocking revelations was about to unfold.
The lit candle flames danced, casting ominous shadows on the audience as the unknown mourner took center stage. He introduced himself by the non-de-script name of John Doe. His somber demeanor belied the storm he was about to unleash. With a heavy sigh, he began narrating a tale; a tale so outrageous, so utterly contrary to everything they thought they knew of Simon, it left the listeners dumbfounded.
Simon, as it turned out, had been leading an elaborate double life. Far removed from the picture of an ideal patriarch, Simon apparently had a darker side. Illegal businesses, secret thievery missions around the world, and a trail of unclaimed children. These revelations came as a lightning bolt that left the mourners paralyzed with astonishment. The room buzzed with a palpable tension – a concoction of disbelief, anger, and shock. The patriarch they all mourned was a phantom, his reality starkly different from the avatar they believed.
Like stones thrown into a placid lake, the revelations started an unending ripple of upheaval. The truth about Simon cast a dark and unsettling shadow over the mourning family. It was as if they were living a farcical comedy where they were the players unaware of their parts. The reality of their beloved Simon was like a slap to their faces, the aftermath left them reeling, grasping for familiarity amid the absurdity.
The room was cloaked in silence, punctuated only by Doe’s staccato revelations. Even the ever-noisy twins, Henry and Harold, were quiet, their mouths agape in shock. The accusations were so incredible, so ludicrous, that many wondered if this was a bad joke. But the straightforward sincerity in Doe’s eyes and the countless documents he produced as evidence added an undeniable weight to his words.
Simon’s wife, the once elegant and now devastated Matilda, appeared as if the rug had been pulled from under her feet. Her world had turned upside down, and her struggle to cope was evident in her watery eyes. Her face was a canvas of emotions, her pain accentuated by the fact that the man she loved and respected for decades was a stranger she knew nothing about.
In the midst of the chaos, hushed whispers among the mourners bloomed into full-blown arguments. Accusations hurled back and forth, the air was rife with tension as everyone grappled with the magnitude of these revelations. The funeral, meant to be a ceremony of remembrance and tears, had transformed into a tumultuous theater of absurdity.
As the hours ticked away, the mourners slowly began to confront the unavoidable reality. Simon’s portrait on the mantelpiece became a mockery of the man they once knew. The mourning was replaced by extreme perplexity and a tinge of disdain. However, precisely in the eye of this storm, the bizarre humor of the situation was not lost. It was an eccentric English funeral after all; nothing could be too absurd or entirely unexpected.
Every mournfully hilarious predicament stripped their perception of Simon layer by layer, until all that was left was the harsh truth. A truth that would change their lives forever and taint their memories of their beloved patriarch. And thus, the mourners found themselves in the most unconventional of funerals, their world in disarray as their understanding of their patriarch was irrevocably shattered.
In the wake of these bewildering revelations, the mourners were left in a state of limbo. Their mourning was hijacked by the ludicrous revelations, leaving them dazed and disoriented. It was as if they had stepped into an alternate reality, a farcical comedy woven into a funeral procession. Amid the mayhem, a spontaneous round of nervous laughter erupted, echoing through the mansion halls, as if acknowledging the absurdity of their predicament.
Chapter 5, hence, was quite the riot, a delirious blend of life’s comedy and tragedy. The mourners were part of a tapestry that was dyed both with tears and laughter, with loss and shock, steeped in the biting English humor that was both their bane and boon. The patriarch’s death had indeed cast a long, albeit amusing, shadow.
Chapter 6: “The Chaotic Confessions”
The funeral that began as a somber gathering escalated into a theater of the absurd, a surreal circus spinning in every conceivable direction. As the mourners’ secrets started bubbling to the surface, the intensity of their emotions unfolded in the most chaotic yet comical instances.
Henry and Harold, the seemingly innocent twins were the first to crumble under the weight of the secrets they had been carrying. Their confessions, a tangled web of humorous anecdotes and shocking revelations, left the mourners reeling. It was as if the universe had conspired to pour more salt into their already festering wounds.
Whispering confessions floated through the air as everyone grappled to come to terms with their own transgressions and that of the others. Simon’s first cousin George, until that moment a paragon of propriety, shocked everyone by admitting he’d been embezzling from their family estate for years. Another ripple of shock spread as Simon’s distant relative, Clarice, confessed to being Simon’s secret lover, fanning the flames even further.
Louisa, the stern matriarch, known for her strong resolve, found herself losing control of the situation. Her attempts to restore order among the clan only led to more turmoil. The more Louisa tried to silence the mourners, the louder the confessions became, their voices echoing through the grand, ornate hallways of their ancestral home.
The sweet, innocent Eliza, crumbled under the weight of her secret. In an outburst of emotion, she revealed her clandestine affair with the gardener, Michael. The room went silent as she sobbed uncontrollably, the enormity of her confession settling in.
Amid these chaotic revelations, the mourners forgot their purpose – to mourn. The funeral turned into a carnival of confessions, with the eerie portrait of Simon silently observing the chaos. No one was innocent, and everyone had skeletons hidden in their closets, all tied to the departed patriarch in one way or another.
In one corner, the usually reticent butler, Alfred, dropped a bombshell; he was, in reality, Simon’s confidential spy, a detail that no one saw coming. His tales of espionage and intrigue added a dash of thrill to the already peppered drama, opening a can of worms that the family didn’t know existed.
The funeral was not just a farewell to Simon; it was an arena where secrets were let loose, where each mourner shed their well-crafted persona revealing their flawed humanity. The tale spun out of control, the characters within it, each fighting their own emotional battles, each unveiling the complexity of their existence.
As dusk fell, and the day of chaotic confessions drew to a close, the mourners were exhausted from their emotional outpours. They had laid bare their souls, their secrets no longer held them captive, their guilt dissipated into the cool night air. The family, although shaken to the core, felt a bizarre sense of relief.
In the heart of darkness, they found catharsis. The funeral had turned into a spectacle and, ironically, Simon’s death had given them a chance at redemption. As they each retreated to their rooms, they left a part of themselves behind in the grand ancestral hall – their shameful secrets. The day had been chaotic; it’d been dramatic, humorous, and sad in its own strange way.
The darkness of the night embraced the estate, and the mourners, spent and emotionally raw, retreated to their isolation. But the whispering walls of the mansion knew – the patriarch’s death had indeed cast a long, albeit amusing, shadow.
Chapter 7: “The Unforgettable Farewell”
The last crumbs of the family secrets had been regurgitated. The mourners’ absurdly human idiosyncrasies had played out in the grand thespian stage of their venerable, creaking ancestral mansion. Even the echoes of their uproarious laughter and aggrieved cries seemed to have sunk into the woodwork, etching themselves permanently into the familial lore. Now, amidst the rubble of their tumultuous lives, the clan found themselves coming together to bid their final adieu to Simon, their fallen patriarch.
In a twist of irony, the sumptuous funeral hall was filled with laughter as Uncle Pete took the podium. Flashing a toothy grin beneath his bushy moustache, he launched into a hilariously inappropriate eulogy, recounting tales of Simon’s bawdy adventures and misadventures. Deftly maneuvering between smutty anecdotes and heartfelt commendations, he sent the room oscillating between helpless gales of laughter and tearful sniffs. The hilarity that ensued seemed to defy the grave aura of the occasion, a fitting tribute to the patriarch who had an unparalleled zest for life.
Interrupting this unexpected comedic interlude, Aunt Margaret, in her royal blue silk dress, took her turn. The quiet hush that her regal presence imposed was soon shattered as she began her speech. Known for her dramatic flair and knack for storytelling, she spun a compelling narrative teeming with unexpected plot twists, capturing the essence of Simon’s colorful life. She described the man who played pranks at the most inappropriate times, the doting father, the loving grandfather, the mirthful companion, all bundled together in the person they were mourning.
Each shared memory brought a wave of emotion that rippled through the room. The nostalgic remembrances, peppered with outrageous tales of Simon’s youthful escapades, transformed the air of mourning into a potent celebration of life. The hall echoed with unrestrained laughter, empathic tears, soft whispers, and hushed gasps, as if each mourner was living through Simon’s vibrant life, experiencing his wins and losses, his joys and sorrows. Even in his absence, he was the magnetic center, a powerful force keeping the eccentric English clan together.
Henry and Harold, the mischievous twins, perhaps inspired by the confessional ambiance, decided to reveal their clandestine involvement in Simon’s affairs. The family was taken aback, as they struggled to comprehend the depth of the twins’ deception. Yet, amidst the shock, there was unexpected acceptance. Whether it was the reality of Simon’s absence or the cathartic release of truth, the family began to view one another with newfound respect and understanding.
The unexpected arrival of the unknown mourner, the man who had stirred up a storm earlier, managed to bring an unprecedented calm. Though he was seen as an intruder, his heartfelt tribute to Simon touched the egotistically fractured family, bridging the chasms that had been widened by a succession of revelations.
It was strikingly apparent that Simon’s life, though steeped in layers of secrets, was a testament to the duality of human existence – both hilarious and tragic, commendable and outrageous. His life unwrapped a valuable lesson for his kith and kin; to acknowledge their flaws and eccentricities without shame, to embrace the chaos that made their family what it was, an enchanting blend of comedy and drama.
As the ceremonial farewell came to an end, the troubled but resilient family stood united, lovingly placing roses on Simon’s coffin, their laughter intermingled with their sniffles. They embraced the adage that in every end, there is a new beginning. From the ashes of Simon’s paradoxical existence, they hoped to rebuild their relationships and start anew.
The unforgettable funeral of their patriarch, which had begun under a cloud of sorrow and uncertainty, concluded in a spirit of unity and warmth. The delicious paradox of mourning and merriment, the clash of drama and humor, had lent an unusual charm to Simon’s final journey. In his death, Simon had inadvertently given his family an unforgettable lesson in embracing life – in all its vibrant hues and contrasting shades – just as he had done, living his life on his own eccentric terms.
Finally, the curtain fell on the unforgettable farewell, leaving behind a trail of laughter, tears, secrets, and lessons. Simon’s death had indeed cast a long shadow on his family, a shadow filled with a strange mix of humor, melancholy, and most importantly, the profound understanding of the capricious game of life. The grand stage was empty, but the echoes of the funeral would reverberate for years to come, reminding the eccentric English family of the man who had been at the helm of their riotous journey.
Some scenes from the movie Death at a Funeral written by A.I.
INT. STONE-COTTAGE LIVING ROOM – DAY
We see the eccentric English family seated around, their faces a mix of shock, denial, and grief. Looming portraits of ancestors gaze from the walls, the room filled with whispers and murmurs.
EXT. STONE-COTTAGE – DAY
A black hearse pulls up. The family gathers at the door, their faces turning white.
INT. STONE-COTTAGE LIVING ROOM – LATER
MRS. PENNYWORTH (60, stern-looking, a disciplinarian) looks around the room, her eyes welling up.
Our Simon… is gone.
Laughter from the corner room. Everyone turns to see HAROLD (35, mischievous, short) and HENRY (35, witty, tall), sharing some private joke.
INT. STONE-COTTAGE KITCHEN – CONTINUOUS
VIRGINIA (30, beautiful, a look of worry on her face) paces the room, phone glued to her ear.
(into the phone)
I know he’s dead, Jerry. But the body… it’s missing.
COMMOTION is heard from the living room.
INT. STONE-COTTAGE LIVING ROOM – CONTINUOUS
A family argument ensues. Accusations are thrown, fingers are pointed.
The camera PANS from the chaotic scene to the empty coffin, an open doorway revealing the pouring rain outside. The funeral has just begun, and all hell has already broken loose.
INT. MANSION FOYER – DAY
The floor echoes under the black shoes of JOSEPH, mid 40s, a stern but comical butler as he walks towards the room where Simon’s body should be lying in state.
INT. MANSION PARLOR – CONTINUOUS
Joseph swings open the doors and GASPS. The coffin is open and EMPTY.
He runs back to the foyer where the TWIN BROTHERS, HENRY and HAROLD, 30, are arguing over a family heirloom.
The twins STOP, turning their attention to Joseph.
It’s…it’s Simon. He’s… he’s gone!
Very funny, Joseph. We’re not in the mood for your jokes.
I’m not jesting! The coffin is empty!
The brothers glance at each other, disbelieving, and then bolt towards the parlor.
INT. MANSION PARLOR – CONTINUOUS
They share a look of horror as they peer into the empty coffin.
This is not happening…
We need to find him!
Suddenly, panic ensues. Their quiet mourning has turned into absolute chaos. All while trying not to alert the rest of the mourners. The search for Simon’s body begins.
INT. ANCESTRAL MANSION – LIVING ROOM – DAY
A dimly lit room filled with MOURNERS in black. The TWINS, HENRY and HAROLD (mid 30s, quirky yet charming) stand near a corner, their eyes darting around nervously. They appear odd and out of place in such a somber setting.
Suddenly, they notice their AUNT MARTHA (late 60s, sharp-tongued with a keen sense of observation) approaching.
(Walks over, suspicion in eyes)
You boys seem…nervous. Any reason why?
No Aunt Martha…Just…just a bit overwhelmed, that’s all.
(Interrupts, smiling awkwardly)
We miss Uncle Simon, believe it or not.
Martha nods, her gaze intense. She walks away, leaving the twins visibly relieved.
INT. ANCESTRAL MANSION – HALLWAY – DAY
Henry and Harold sneak away from the living room, moving towards a hidden door under the staircase. They exchange glances then quickly enter.
INT. SECRET ROOM – DAY
The room, filled with files and strange artifacts, reveals Simon’s SECRET LIFE. Henry and Harold begin hurriedly stuffing all evidence into a bag.
Suddenly, a FAMILY PHOTO falls from a shelf. The twins look at it, a moment of simultaneous sadness and guilt in their eyes.
(Looking at the photo, whispering)
We have to protect his legacy, no matter what…
We owe him that much. Even if…it means hiding the truth.
They continue their task, the weight of their secret hanging heavy in the room, the comedy of their earlier nervousness fading into a dramatic moment of revelation.
INT. ENGLISH ANCESTRAL MANSION – FUNERAL PARLOUR – DAY
A FUNERAL is in full swing. Framed portraits of SIMON, the deceased patriarch, are scattered throughout the room. The room is thick with tension – whispers of secrets hang in the air.
Suddenly, the grand old mahogany doors creak open. The room falls silent as a STRANGE MAN, 50’s, dressed in a black suit, walks in. He looks around the room and heads straight for the family huddled around a casket.
(Murmuring to himself)
Finally… the end of an era.
HAROLD, one of the twins, watches him with suspicion.
(Whispering to Henry)
Do you know who that is?
(Shaking his head)
Never seen him before.
Meanwhile, the Strange Man makes his way to the casket.
(Whispering over the casket)
Goodbye old friend.
SARAH, Simon’s daughter, sees him and walks over.
And you are?
(With a sad smile)
Just an old friend of Simon’s.
He leaves a cryptic note in Simon’s casket and walks away, leaving Sarah with a bewildered look. As Sarah picks up the note, the room buzzes with whispers. In a mansion filled with secrets, a new one just walked through the door.
INT. ANCESTRAL MANSION – LIVING ROOM – DAY
Mourners clutter the antique-filled room, whispering in hushed tones. ANDREW, late thirties, Simon’s nephew, stands at the center, holding a letter. He is flanked by the TWIN BROTHERS, HENRY and HAROLD, who watch him warily.
“It is time the truth came out.”
He pauses, looking around the room. The silence is palpable.
“It appears our dear Simon led a rather interesting life. Double, to be precise.”
Gasps echo around the room. Andrew continues, revealing Simon’s clandestine affairs and covert operations. He stops, pale, as he divulges the last secret – Simon had another family, hidden from all.
Shock waves ripple through the room. Suddenly, HELEN, Simon’s rigid sister, erupts into laughter. Everyone stares at her.
“Oh, Simon, you old fox!”
Then, across the room, GERALD, an old friend of Simon’s, clears his throat.
(simultaneously sad and amused)
“Seems like our Simon had more layers than an onion.”
The tensions ease as mourners start sharing stories of Simon, a mixture of surprise, laughter, and tears. The revelation becomes a celebration of Simon’s complexities rather than a scandal.
INT. ANCESTRAL MANSION – DAY
The room is filled with MOURNERS, a sea of black outfits and surprised expressions. The air is thick with secrets about to be spilled.
ANGLE ON LUCIA (40, elegant, secretive) as she nervously glances around the room. Her brother- HENRY (35, pompous, arrogant) is arguing with HAROLD (35, timid, anxious).
(in a hushed voice)
How the hell did the secret slip out, Harold?
I – I don’t know Henry, maybe it was the intruder…
Suddenly, the room falls silent. LUCIA is standing in the center of the room. She clears her throat.
(echoing in the silent room)
Now that we’re airing out the skeletons in our closet…
She glances at her brothers before continuing.
I think we all need to confess… I wasn’t just Simon’s secretary, I was his lover too.
The room gasps. Henry drops his drink.
ANGLE ON INTRUDER (45, mysterious, sly) at the back of the room smirking.
Suddenly Harold steps forward. He’s visibly shaking.
I – I also have a confession. I knew about Simon’s double life… I was his partner.
Henry looks at Harold in disbelief. Lucia steps back in shock.
Chaos breaks out as everyone starts confessing. The MOURNERS’ individual secrets begin to surface, turning the funeral into a chaotic and comical scene of confessions and confrontations.
TO BE CONTINUED…