Dorothy Mars is having her 80th birthday. But she's been nursing a fear that, at 80, her family would put her away, into a locked-down assisted care facility, where she'd be left to die. One by one, her friends had all met similar fates. But even though Dorothy hasn't had any serious episodes, there have been other changes.
Her daughter died a few years before, and her son-in-law has been continuing to take care of her, even though he's remarried and has a new stepdaughter. But Harold is gruff and intimidating and increasingly impatient with her. She's invited to the house less and less, and her behavior with him is also becoming volatile.
So Harold arrives to pick Dorothy up to take her to a nearby restaurant to celebrate her birthday. Harold's new family is meeting them at the restaurant, he tells Dorothy.
But Dorothy doesn't believe him, and she's certain that he's going to take her not to a nearby restaurant but to a health care facility, from which she will never return. She begs with Harold as if for her very life.
Dorothy and Harold go head-to-head on the issue. She's afraid to leave with him, and he's increasingly impatient with what he claims is her paranoia. If this is the way she thinks, Harold suggests maybe she does need extra care. This only convinces Dorothy that she was right all along.
But Harold is not about to be bullied by Dorothy. In their contest of wills, Dorothy strikes him on the back of the head with a frying pan, knocking him out cold. When Harold wakes up, she's got him securely duct-taped to a heavy rocking chair and he's immobilized.
Now Harold must beg for his own life by convincing her that it was a surprise party that he was planning, with all her friends, waiting for them at the restaurant. If he can convince her, she'll release him. If not, she's got a plastic bag nearby, and big and strong as Harold is, he cannot free himself.
But who is telling the truth? And how does that truth change over the course of this tense and violent encounter as characters push events past the point of no return?
© Fletcher Rhoden, 2019. All rights reserved.