Season 7, Episode 12 – Whatever Tomorrow Brings

smkA blast from the past?

Usually, once the past has been put to rest, it stays there.  But, as the Stetson-King family begins the final steps on their journey to the future, they discover that the past not only has an uncanny way of reemerging when they least expect it, it might even alter the future.

The adventures of Lee and Amanda continue on Friday March 6th at 8pm ET.

Living in a Shoe

by Ermintrude

Late Monday morning

Dr. Smyth’s elegant paneled office was dim and quiet, but not unoccupied. A thin thread of smoke arose from behind the big leather chair which was turned away from the desk, facing the wall behind. There was a quiet air of expectance about the place.

The muffled ring of a hidden telephone broke the silence. The chair turned to reveal Austin Smyth-the head of the Agency. He opened a desk drawer and pulled out a telephone receiver.

“Yes sir,” he answered in a respectful tone. He listened in silence for a few minutes. “I see, sir. Kagemusha. No-we have nothing concrete on the man-but rumors have surfaced from time to time for almost a decade now.” He listened attentively for a while more. “I understand, sir. I’ll put my best team on it.” He paused briefly. “No sir, she still has a few weeks left yet.” He paused again. “Very well-I’ll keep you informed.”

Dr. Smyth replaced the receiver and closed the drawer. From below the desk, he raised his other hand and waved a stick of incense around. He frowned at it, and crushed it out in the ashtray. “Not the same. Not the same at all.”

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Triennial

Author: Sue

++++++

Agency Bullpen

Thursday, 9:30 AM

“Don’t worry. I have everything under control. ‘Operation AnniPar’ is right on schedule.” Francine’s smile slipped a bit as she listened to her partner in crime.

“Yes, I took care of that.” She paused. “That, too . . . Not yet, I’m tackling that this afternoon . . . I’m checking on that tonight on my way home from work. Don’t worry. I’ll be in touch. Bye.”

Hanging up the phone, she shook her head in frustration. For the umpteenth time, she wondered how she’d let herself be roped into this. If it didn’t concern the two people she counted among her closest friends, she certainly wouldn’t have gotten this involved. It would all be over by tomorrow night, and then her life could get back to some semblance of normality.

She clipped her earring back on her lobe, stood, and tugged down the jacket on her Chanel suit. Her long stride ate up ground as she hurried out of the Bullpen toward the elevator that would take her up to the Georgetown Foyer.
She ducked under the camouflage coats and emerged just in time to see the objects of her quest collect their identification badges from Mrs. Marston.

Amanda looked exhausted as she stood next to Lee, his right hand supporting her lower back, his left hand resting protectively on her distended stomach. Dark circles marred her usually flawless peaches and cream completion. Francine imagined sleeping had to be difficult, and carrying all the extra baby weight around couldn’t be easy. No wonder the perky agent had slowed down a bit.

“Good morning, you two. I’m glad I caught you. Saves me a trip upstairs.”

“Good morning, Francine,” Lee and Amanda chorused together.

“Lee, a message came in for you down in the Bullpen. One of your snitches…” She pulled the pink paper from her pocket and glanced at it. “Augie Swan. He said he had something you would be interested in and it was urgent he speak with you. He wouldn’t give me any more information than that.” She handed him the paper. “Could you make sure he has your office number, please? I’m not your secretary.”

“I’m sorry, Francine. I’ll make sure he calls my number in the future.”

“Thank you.”

Lee laced his fingers with Amanda’s. “Come on, let’s go up and see what Washington’s worst antiquities dealer has to say.”

Francine turned and pushed the elevator button. The doors slid open, but Amanda’s voice stopped her from slipping back under the coats.

“Go on up and make that call. I need to speak to Francine for a minute.”

An army of frogs chased butterflies around in Francine’s stomach, and she placed her hand there to try to still them. Somehow, Amanda must have found out about “Operation AnniPar.”

Flipping through her mental Rolodex, she tried to find something, anything to satisfy Amanda’s curiosity. Then, like a flash of lightning, the phrase “need to know” popped into her head. She could honestly tell Amanda “AnniPar” was need to know, and, at this moment, Amanda didn’t have a need to know.

Taking a calming breath, she prepared to face the music. “So, Amanda, what did you want to speak to me about?”

“Do you have plans for lunch?”

The simple question surprised Francine, and she fumbled over the answer. “Lunch?”

“Yes, lunch.”

“I have no plans for lunch, why?”

“Well, I have a favor to ask you. Will you drive me to the mall? I have to pick up an anniversary present for Lee, and since Doctor Adams forbade me to drive, Lee will not leave me alone long enough to shop for one. It shouldn’t take long. I know exactly what I want to get for him. When we’re through, we can grab something to eat-my treat. So will you do it?”

“Sure. I’d love to join you, as long as nothing vital happens between now and then. Around twelve-thirtyish.” She slipped into the closet elevator, and once the doors closed, heaved a sigh of relief. “Operation AnniPar” was still top secret.

She looked forward to her lunch date with Amanda. It should be fun, as long as Amanda didn’t drag her into one baby store after the other. She didn’t think she could coo over baby clothes all afternoon. Read more »

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.”

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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.”

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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.

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Season 7, Episode 5 – Trials of Thanksgiving

The holiday season has arrived but will there be anything normal about this Thanksgiving for Lee and Amanda?

From misadventures in the grocery store and along the highway – as well as the makings of a new case right in their own backyard – it’s anybody’s guess as to whether the cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie will actually make it to the table.

So, hold on to your turkey and stuffing – and stay tuned for the all-new and exciting episode of Scarecrow and Mrs. King, premiering on Wednesday November 26th at 8pm ET.

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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.