Category: Episodes

Black Saturday

By Anne

Prologue

The open-backed Jeep bounced along as the driver maneuvered it across the desert road. The occupants rode in silence heading towards their destination. They had been on this desert road for several hours, and they were tired and weary. It was a surprisingly cold, dark night even by Egyptian desert standards. A light wind had picked up and was blowing little granules of sand in their faces. The driver glanced to his right and smiled at his wife, who was holding their two-year-old son in her lap. Their son was sleeping soundly, sucking on his thumb. Realizing he was looking at her, she turned to him and smiled back.

“You’re awfully quiet tonight, Mrs. Stetson,” he said, breaking the silence between them.

“I know. I just have a bad feeling about this assignment.”

“It’s just a simple milk run.” He reached across and caressed her hand. “We’ve done drops like this a hundred times. What could go wrong?”

“Milk can sometimes go sour.”

He smiled. “Not that I don’t trust your instincts, Mrs. Stetson, but what makes this assignment different?”

She shook her head, chuckling softly. “I don’t know. Let’s just say, I’ll be glad when it’s all over and we’re back home.”

“It’ll be over soon enough, my dear.” He gently squeezed her hand before returning his to the steering wheel. “And if I thought there was any danger at all, I wouldn’t have brought the baby.” Out of the corner of his eye, he saw her nodding her head in agreement.

They continued to follow the river for a while, noticing the gradual change of the scenery as they neared the city. Signs of habitation became more common, the closer they drove to the capital the denser the urban sprawl appeared.

In the city, the dirt and squalor was obvious and horrific to Western eyes and poverty was rampant. Gradually the streets became cleaner and wider as they entered the quarter where foreigners had gravitated, to be near their embassies.

“We’re here,” he sighed with relief as he drove the Jeep through the wrought iron gates. “We’re supposed to be meeting a James and Emily Woodward.” He steered the vehicle around the circular driveway parking near the front steps of the embassy complex building.

A brunette woman in her early thirties came hurrying down the stairs. On reaching their vehicle, she exuberantly opened the passenger door. “Here, let me take that baby from you before he catches a cold.” Her accent was decidedly British and she held out her arms to take the toddler from his mother. “You must be exhausted from your journey. Oh, I’m sorry. Where are my manners? You must be the Stetsons? My name is Emily-Emily Woodward.”

“Hello, Emily. My name is Matt, my wife Jennie and the one in your arms is our son, Lee.”

She smiled. “Pleased to meet you and welcome to the British Embassy in Cairo.”

Read more »

When the Bough Breaks

By Anne

A special thanks to Julie Faith Rigby for the story idea.

Prologue

Silver Spring Birthing Center, Silver Spring, Maryland

Friday, January 5, 1990

12:35 AM

She felt like she was having an out-of-body experience. The nausea was overwhelming, the pain unbearable, and everything was happening in slow motion. Her eyes burned from the bright overhead florescent lights; she heard voices and saw distorted faces, but couldn’t make them out. Then she heard a high-pitched siren-no, not a siren, a newborn baby crying. Collapsing onto the bed from exhaustion, she lost consciousness.

Karen Stevens felt someone shaking her and she groaned. “Sorry, to wake you, Mrs. Stevens,” she heard the voice say, “but I need to check your vitals.”

Karen opened her eyes and looked around the room. It took only a few seconds for her to remember where she was and why she was there. She could feel a blood pressure cuff tightened around her arm and saw a nurse bent over her bed. “Welcome back, Mrs. Stevens. My name is Ms. Wilson. I’ll be your nurse this morning,” she said checking Karen’s pulse. “Do you feel well enough to eat?”

Karen nodded her head.  “Yes, I think I would like to eat something.”  Sitting up in the hospital bed, she added, “And nurse, when can you bring me my baby? It’s probably time for her to eat, too.”

The nurse looked at her confusion. “Um, sure and I’m going to find your doctor. Let him know you are awake. I’ll be right back.” She quickly left the room.

Several minutes later, Doctor Andersen opened the door and then promptly closed the privacy curtain. “How are you doing this morning, Mrs. Stevens?”

“Okay. I’m just anxious to meet my daughter.” Noticing the look of concern on the doctor’s face, she became frantic, “Is something wrong? Where’s my baby?”

“I’m sorry, but your baby was stillborn.” Dr. Andersen put his hand on her shoulder.

Karen starred at the doctor in disbelief. “No,” she said barely above in a whisper. Then she shook her head again. “No. Doctor, you must be mistaken. I know I heard her cry. Stillborn would mean she was not alive when she was born.”

“Mrs. Stevens, you had a very difficult labor and delivery. You were heavily sedated to help you with the delivery. And the drugs you were given can sometimes cause side effects-including hallucinations. You were just imagining things-I’m sorry, but your baby is dead.”

“No, I know I heard my baby cry!” she screamed. “What happened-what happened to my baby?”

“Mrs. Stevens, often times a specific cause isn’t known, but it’s important to remember it was not caused by something you did or didn’t do,” the doctor said sympathetically.

“Why are you lying to me?”

The doctor squeezed her shoulder, trying to comfort her. “I’m sorry for your loss,” he said as he left the room.

As the door closed, Mrs. Stevens could be heard shouting hysterically, “Give me back my baby!” Read more »

Christmas Surprises

By Lynn

Prologue

Early December, 1989

Four men entered a dimly lit basement.

“Our plans can now move forward.  There is a gathering set for December twenty-second.”

“And you know what is expected of you?”

“Si, General, we have been working in the White House as a part of the catering staff for several months now.  No one is suspicious of us.  We are free to come and go during any event.  We have been able to move about the guests without difficulty as long as we maintain the pretense of serving the guests.  We have simply been waiting for the right moment to arise.  Since the Secret Service will not be expecting anything to happen inside the State Dining Room we should not have any problems.  Do you think the Americans will catch on?”

Laughing, he said, “Not until it is too late!  No, they will be too wrapped up in their holiday parties, festivities and spirit.  But we will show them they cannot dictate to the world.”

The General continued. “Gentlemen, I don’t have to tell you that you will be making a great sacrifice but one that is needed in order for our great leader General Noriega to remain in power.”

The members of the Panamanian Defense Force gathered around a small table and reviewed the final plans for their mission. Read more »

The Fool’s Journey

Author’s note: The deck used for the readings is the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, Copyright 1971 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. It’s the one that is most easily recognizable, and also the one the author uses. References are made to the episode Remembrance of Things Past, written by Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming

By Ermintrude

Prologue

Monday Afternoon

Amanda and Francine were finishing their lunch at a small tea house. Francine had suggested it because they had readers who would come to your table if you asked.

The table was cleared and the young tarot reader came and sat with them.
She was in her early 20’s, dressed in a bohemian style, multi-colored clothing, with a peasant skirt and soft colorful shoes. Her dark blonde hair was tied back with a paisley scarf. “Hi ladies. I know Francine—she’s a regular.”

Francine smiled and looked eager for her tarot reading. “Annie, this is my friend Amanda.”

“Hello, Annie.” Amanda smiled warmly back, even though she was not totally sure about getting a tarot reading.

“Hi Amanda! I see you’re probably not here about love and romance.” Annie gestured to Amanda’s moderate belly.

Amanda laughed. “No, not today.”

“Let’s start with Francine—then you can see how it goes.” Annie pulled out a worn oversized pack of cards from a decorated cloth bag, and handed them to Francine.

Francine shuffled the cards and cut them into three piles to the left with her left hand. She thought a moment, and then pointed to the middle pile. Annie picked it up, and then Francine pointed to the right hand pile, and Annie picked that one up and put it under the first, and then the last pile under the others.

Annie laid the cards out—five cards in a row from left to right—face down. She explained to Amanda as she worked. “This is just a quickie reading. If you want a full reading you can make an appointment.”

Amanda nodded in understanding.

Annie started by turning over the far left card. It depicted a young couple holding two cups and looking at each other with a weird red winged lion hovering above them. Otherwise they looked happy. “This is your previous relationship. You were happy—you planned to marry and make a life together.”

Francine nodded in acknowledgment with a resigned look on her face.

The next card showed a heart pierced by three swords. “And it ended badly—did he leave you?” Annie asked.

“Yeah, the scum. Then later—a few years later—after we tried again—he died.”

“Bummer.” Annie turned over the middle card. It was of a woman standing in a garden—nine big gold coins festooned the bush behind her—she was elegantly dressed and holding a bird on her hand. “You’re doing OK on your own—you have a good life—you’re financially secure and relatively content.”

“Yeah.” Francine looked wistful. “But sometimes that’s not enough.”

Read more »

In Remembrance

Beverly Garland

Born – October 17, 1926, Died – December 5, 2008

When a career spans 50 plus years, it’s hard to define an actress in a specific way.  But for most of us, Beverly Garland was a spunky but sincere mother figure.

It started way back in the 70′s when she became the mother to three rambuncous boys in My Three Sons and continued all the way into playing Annie’s nutty stepmother in 7th Heaven in 1997.

Along the way she was the mother of two spies, a reporter with a superhuman boyfriend, and a crazy woman living in Port Charles.

Scarecrow and Mrs. King fans will forever quote the “forth dimension theory of laundry” and “Clams again dear?”

I was fortunate enough to be one of the lucky few to meet Ms. Garland at her hotel during the 20th Scarecrow and Mrs. King reunion and she was more spunky and fun in person than she could ever portray through her characters on television.  She was as honest as the day was long and wasn’t ever afraid to say it like it was.  After 50 years in a business that stomps on the little people she stood proud and managed to make lots of great friends along the way.

There was a great deal of disappointment when it was discovered she was too ill to attend the 25th reunion this year and the rumors about her health that we were able to ascertain from the employees there were not good.

You will always be remembered Beverly, for your smile, your candid manner, and the hours and hours of wonderful entertainment you gave to us all.

RIP our beloved Dotty.

The Trials of Thanksgiving

Authors: Texas Twisters

Prologue

Somewhere in Arlington, Virginia.

Thursday, November 23, 1989

10:00 AM

Dark clouds hung low in the sky. He didn’t think he’d make it before they released their fury and drenched the earth. As he turned the corner, thunder boomed and lightning flashed across the sky. A large drop of rain hit the windshield. Then another. And another. The heavens opened up, sending down a pouring sheet.

He turned on the windshield wipers. Nothing. Then he noticed the left turn signal blinking. He switched it off and found the correct switch. He hated this damn car. But he didn’t have a choice at the moment. It was the only vehicle available at short notice. Unfamiliar with the car, he gripped the steering wheel when he felt the car slide slightly to the right. He eased off the gas; an accident was the last thing he needed.

At long last, his destination loomed in sight. He followed the line of cars turning at the intersection into the parking lot. A flash of lightning illuminated the sea of vehicles in front of him. Great. He’d have a hell of a time finding a spot to park. He drove slowly up and down the lanes, looking for the telltale sign of red brake lights signaling someone would be leaving and a cherished spot would be available.

It seemed like he circled the lot for hours. But when he checked his watch, he saw that only ten minutes had passed.

The rain started to let up. Instead of a downpour, it became a steady drizzle. He rolled down the window a tad to let some fresh air in and help clear his head. He needed a clear head to complete this mission.

As he tooled the car up another lane, a figure carrying a black umbrella and several bags passed him. Coming to almost a complete stop, he shadowed the man in hopes that he had a car parked in this lane and he’d be able to snag the spot. Luck was on his side this time. The man walked to a car just ahead of him and opened the driver’s door. Within moments, an engine roared to life.

He turned on his blinker. Just as the car backed out, another one came down the lane from the opposite direction in an attempt to steal the space. Thankfully, his driving expertise came in handy, and he managed to swing around the departing car and claim his prize.

After grabbing his umbrella, he stepped out of the car and found he didn’t need it. But a glance at the sky told him he’d better take it because it looked like the storm wasn’t over yet. Black clouds swirled, and thunder rumbled in the distance.

Each step closer and closer to the entrance filled him with dread. Never in a million years did Lee Stetson think he’d be entering a grocery store on the morning of Thanksgiving Day.

Before entering, he looked back and scowled at the hideous Mercury Zephyr. It stuck out like a sore thumb. He despised that car as much as Phillip did, but Dotty had taken Amanda’s car to pick up Curt, and the ‘Vette was in the shop for routine maintenance. Even though the Mercury wasn’t what Phillip had originally wanted, Amanda had picked it out, telling him it was something he could tinker with to his heart’s content. In the long run, that had been fine with Lee; his beloved ‘Vette would be safe from the teen’s hands.

Read more »

Blood Ties

Indicates *Translated from the Urdu*

by Ermintrude

Prologue—Sibi, on the Eastern side of the Bolan Pass in Pakistan, on the way from Afghanistan.

A line of trucks slowly made their way through the dusty streets of a village on the eastern side of the Bolan Pass. A beggar sat against a building in the shade and watched the convoy pass. He was clothed in a turban and voluminous dusty and worn robes. His feet wore old but surprisingly serviceable sandals. His face was bearded and lined from a hard life, but his eyes were bright and missed nothing. In front of him was a worn begging bowl, and beside him was a much-used and patched wooden crutch. As the trucks lumbered by, he pulled out a small notebook and a worn pencil and made some notes.

He waited several minutes after the convoy had passed, and the dust had settled, then he carefully tucked the notebook and pencil away within his robes. He gathered his alms bowl and hoisted his crutch and slowly made his way to a hotel several blocks away from the village square. He waved at the concierge as he passed and stepped behind the main desk into the room beyond. Inside a young male telephone operator manned an ancient plug-and-wire switchboard. The beggar nodded at the operator, and passed the man some money. The operator passed the beggar a sheet of paper and the beggar wrote down a telephone number, complete with country code. The young operator dialed it—made sure the connection had gone through and handed the headset to the beggar. The beggar heard the telephone ringing on the other end.

“International Federal Film. How may I help you?”

“I need to get a message to the Scarecrow in Washington, D.C. please.”

“What message do you wish to leave?”

“Tell him that the Beggar has seen hot cargo coming in and he needs to come to Sibi near the Bolan Pass or else the club will gain another member.”

“I’ll see that he gets the message.”

“Please expedite it, this is urgent.”

“I’ll do that.”

“Thank you.”

Read more »

Spooks

by Jennifer Cannon

Prologue:

Friday, October 20, 1989

Mont Claire Sanitarium

11:00 AM

No change.

That was the phrase Dr. Bill Walker heard every time he visited his stepfather. The people who said this to him always had an expression of pity on their faces, probably wondering why he would take the time to visit a man that psychiatric medicine had termed a lost cause. They wouldn’t understand, Bill thought. No one could possibly understand what was driving him.

No change.

Looking through the metal grille that covered the door, Bill could see him, His stepfather was wrapped in a straitjacket and rocking back and forth, talking, always rambling and ranting at people that only he could see. The doctors at the Sanitarium called it a Dissociative Mental Break—another term for a nervous breakdown¬—and they said the outlook was bleak.

No change.

Soon things would change. Dr. Bill Walker would make sure of it. Taking a deep breath, he pushed open the door.

“Good morning,” he said, forcing a cheerful smile. The eyes of his stepfather, the former Dr. Ted Glaser, looked up at him and for a split second Bill was sure that there was some recognition there. It vanished as quickly as it came, however.

“Ogden, haven’t I told you not to bother me while I’m working?” Ted snapped.

“Sorry, dad—Dr. Glaser,” Bill said, assuming the role of his father’s old colleague who’d died of a heart attack in prison over two years before.

“It doesn’t matter,” Ted said. “We’re close to a breakthrough on Stetson—the one that we failed to make with Kimball. I think this time we might succeed.”

“I know,” Bill said. At this point he didn’t care whether his stepfather understood him or not-he had to tell somebody. “That’s what I wanted to talk to you about. I spoke to mother today, and she gave me all of your case files—the ones you kept copies of in case the originals were ever destroyed, remember?”

“Remember?” Ted’s eyes flashed. “That’s a dangerous word, Ogden. I remember the day that—it was that Mrs. King wasn’t it? She ruined my plans—Stetson and Melrose—took apart my lab, destroyed all my work. My work. They even took Lester away.” Dr. Glaser started rocking again, tears streaming down his face and a keening sound coming from his open mouth.

“They didn’t take Lester away,” Bill said, grabbing the stuffed duck from the nearby bed and placing it into his stepfather’s straitjacketed arms. “He’s right here.” This simple act seemed to calm the older man, who placed his cheek on top of the duck’s head.

“Lester Duck is my friend,” Ted said. “Lester wants me to destroy—destroy them all.”

“We will dad,” Bill said. “I’ll make sure they all pay for what they did to you.”

“Lester is my friend. He’s my friend. Lester Duck is my friend.” Ted chanted the phrase over and over as though it was his personal mantra. Bill couldn’t take any more. He walked out of the room, nearly bumping into Dr. Graham.

“How is your stepfather today?” Dr. Graham asked.

“No change,” Bill said shortly, brushing past the man.

But there would be, he thought to himself. Very soon. Read more »

Even The Mighty Shall Fall

by Anne

Prologue

Englischer Garten Park Bench

Munich, West Germany

Monday, October 9, 1989

3:30 PM

The sun shone although the autumn air was cool and crisp. A tall, dirty-blond haired man sat on a park bench over looking the gardens reading a newspaper. He glanced at his watch again, shaking his head. He could hear a man’s shoes clicking on the sidewalk beside him. The short stocky man stopped, standing behind the bench.

“Du bist spät,” said the taller man, not turning around.

“Traurig.”

“Do you have information I requested?”

“Yes. Do you have my payment?”

The taller man took the manila packet from the other man, and then handed over a small envelope. “Here’s the agreed payment. This better be worth it.”

The stocky short man opened the small envelope, beginning to count the bills.

“Don’t do that here,” the tall man hissed.

“Yeah, right,” his companion apologized stuffing the envelope into his jacket pocket, then quickly walked away.

The tall man scanned the file. A smile formed on his lips. “Very interesting, so he does have an Achilles heel,” he said raising his eyebrows. “I have found the match that will burn our dear Scarecrow.” Read more »

The Trouble with Ashley

by Jennifer Cannon

Prologue

Georgetown University, Washington DC

Sunday, October 1, 1989

10:30 PM

“Mallory?” Lisa Cantin called out as she knocked on the door. “Look I know you’re upset about Jeff going out with Brandi, but this is nuts. Come on out.”

No answer. Lisa sighed. “Everyone misses you. It’s no fun having a birthday party when the birthday girl isn’t there. Mallory!” A guy, holding a beer and none too steady on his feet, gave Lisa a curious look as he passed, probably wondering why she was standing there yelling at a door. Lisa ignored him.

“I’m getting pretty sick of this. Are you coming out or not?” More silence. Lisa took her key out of her pocket.

“Okay you know what?” Lisa put the key in the lock. “I’m coming in anyway—it’s my room too, and you’re going back to this stupid party even if I have to drag you there—Mallory?”

The room was pitch black, the shades drawn over the windows. The only noise that could be heard was the soft whirring of a fan. Lisa swallowed hard, feeling her heart racing in her chest. This wasn’t normal. Even when Mallory went to bed she usually left the television on.

“Mallory?” Lisa reached up with a shaking hand to flip the light switch. The next sight that she saw caused her to gasp, falling to her knees because her shaking legs would no longer support her weight.

“Mallory,” Lisa whispered. But there was no reply from her roommate who was sprawled across the bed, and whose now-sightless eyes stared back at her. Read more »

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Disclaimer: Scarecrow and Mrs. King and its characters belong to Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Enterprises. No infringement is intended. This is written for entertainment purposes only.