Buck & Jane
A Death in the Family
Decker & Hayes
Epic Echoes
The Great Muppet Debate
Guard Duty
Like Mother, Like Daughter
Stage Blood



Like Mother
Episode 1 - My Mother, the Killer

By Jordan D. White

Pandora Darling
Mom (Hope Darling)
Bobby Kurtzman

Narr: Pandora Darling was a 16 year-old upscale suburban girl, and Carousel, New York, was exactly the place for her. It suited her every need. She attended Carousel High, where she was active in the tennis and photography club. She shopped at the Hidden Orchard Mall in downtown Carousel, enjoying time spent in their book slash coffee store as well as the popular clothing shops. As a young woman whose life tended to feature things like geometry homework, talking on her cell phone, surfing the internet, and the occasional tennis match, she fit right in. Had she been, for example, an assassin working in secret towards a new world order, she might have felt a bit out of place. This wasn’t the sort of thing she worried about, however. In fact, on the afternoon in question, she was walking home from a tennis match, talking on her cell phone, with firm plans to surf the net in order to avoid doing geometry homework. She was far more concerned with getting a date to homecoming than with avoiding being shot in the head, and would have been quite surprised to learn which of the two was, in fact, more likely to occur.

Pandy: What’s the deal with Bobby?

Tabby: What do you mean?

Pandy: Why does he keep hanging around us so much? Is he even interested in tennis? He never plays.

Tabby: (on cell) Are you kidding me, Pandy? He’s totally in love with you.

Pandy: Oh, God, tell me you’re joking!

Tabby: (on cell)You wish. He couldn’t be more into you if he was your pancreas.

Pandy: Uhg, Tabby, please! I mean… don’t get me wrong, he’s a nice guy, I guess, but he’s not exactly a lady killer.

Tabby:(on cell) Please, tell me you’re not even considering-

Pandy: Oh, come on, I’m not that desperate!

Tabby: (on cell)Good thing. I was afraid I’d have to invoke best friend privileges and smack you around till you came to your senses. You’d be better off going stag.

Pandy: Good to know you’re looking out for me. Hey, my Mom’s car is back. She must be home early.

Tabby:(on cell) Tell her I say hi. Oh, speaking of desperate, did you hear about Steve and Andrea?

Pandy: I know! What is wrong with that girl? She’s completely lost her- (opening the front door) ….mind…

Narr: Pandora entered her home to find her mother holding a bloody hunting knife over the dead body of a man she didn’t recognize.

Pandy: Tabby, I’m going to have to call you back.

Tabby:(on cell) Ok. Bye. (beep, phone off)

Mom: You’re … home early, dear.

Narr: Blood was smeared all over Hope Darling’s torso, face, and hands. The source of this blood was no mystery; the dead man sported a slit throat from ear to ear and his chest cavity stood open for the world to see. Their familiar living room was spattered with arterial spray and little bits of ruby red innards.

Pandy: Oh my God! Mom! What the hell are you doing?

Mom: Shhh! No, shhh!

Pandy: Jesus Christ, Mom, did you kill that guy? Are you crazy? What are you- (Mom slaps her hand over Pandy’s mouth) Mmmpph! Mmmnnn!!!

Mom: Pandora, darling, shhh! Quiet down, and I’ll take my hand off your mouth. If I wanted to draw attention, I would have killed him with a grenade. Now, I can explain everything, but you have to swear to quiet down honey, ok? Promise?

Pandy: MmmHmmm.

Mom: All right… there.

Pandy: Eeeuch, you got blood in my mouth, mother!

Mom: I know you probably have a lot of questions-

Pandy: Like couldn’t you have wiped your hands off first?

Mom: -but we don’t have a lot of time, so I’m going to have to give you the fast version. Yes, I killed that man, and no, I’m not crazy.

Pandy: Was he trying to kill you?

Mom: Sort of. I mean, not at the moment, but in a more general sense, they want me dead, yes.

Pandy: Who’s they?

Mom: CASK. The conspiracy. (sigh) I’ve tried so hard to keep you out of this, but… There’s nothing I can do, now. I might as well come clean. Pandora… there is a great evil in the world today. People hell bent on putting an end to our society, destroying everything that we stand for.

Pandy: What are you talking about? Terrorists?

Mom: … Not exactly. From a certain point of view, maybe. But no, terrorists try to make change through fear. These people are far more insidious. No one even sees them coming, but I know they’re there, and I can stop them.

Pandy: And this convinces me you’re not crazy how?

Mom: CASK has made it’s way into every aspect of American life: the government, big business, food service, obviously the media… Pandy, baby, someone has to stop them! If not me, then who?

Pandy: OK… (deep breath) it’s going to be ok. We can call the police, and we can explain all this to them… and they’ll get you the help you need.

Mom: What help can the police give me? They can’t do anything about CASK! They don’t have access to the type of resources necessary to take on an organization like this! Not to mention that they’ve probably been compromised! Honey, we can’t trust the police.

Pandy: Mother, this is crazy! You are crazy!

Mom: (getting motherly and consoling, more lucid sounding) Shhh, shh, come on, Potato, you know me. I’m not crazy. I’m still your same old Mom. You mean the world to me, Potato. Who took you and Tabby skating last week? Who taught you how to hit backhand? Who taught you how to drive without running down even one enemy agent, even though they were everywhere?

Pandy: Mother!

Mom: (back to business) Look, honey, you’re just going to have to trust me on this one, because I don’t have time to give you a full briefing right now. I still have to find the chip.

Pandy: Oh, for God’s sake, what chip?

Mom: Can you hold this flashlight for me? Point it down more. Perfect. It’s in here somewhere… (sound of bones breaking as she sticks her hands back inside the chest cavity)

Pandy: Mom, those’re his ribs!

Mom: Hold the light steady!

Pandy: I’m gonna be sick…

Mom: (digging through the body) Every member of CASK has an audio recording chip surgically implanted in their body upon joining. This man is an agent of CASK, and therefore, there’s a chip in here somewhere.

Pandy: Mom, that’s insane! There’s no chip inside that guy, you’re just… you’re sticking your arms elbow deep in a man’s guts! Do you know how crazy that is? We’re talking about Dahmer crazy, Mom! Dahmer!

Mom: Honey, don’t contradict your mother. There is a chip, and if I can’t find it, then once the CASK Council retrieves it they’ll be able to hear everything that he did. It should be just about… where is it? No, it should be right here. (panicking) Where the hell is it?

Pandy: Mother!

Mom: Where the hell is the God Damned chip?!?

Pandy: That’s it, mother, I’m calling the police! I can’t take this.

Mom: No!

Narr: As Pandora threw the flashlight to the floor and turned away, Hope tackled her to the ground. Before Pandora could even register what was happening, she was face down on the blood sodden carpet, her mother securing her hands behind her back with a plastic zip-strip.

Pandy: Ungh!

Mom: I can’t let you do that, honey. I can’t have anything Jeopardize my mission. I didn’t want to get you caught up in this, I would have preferred getting all this cleaned up before you got home, but here you are, and there’s nothing to do about it now.

Narr: She pulled her daughter to her feet and sat her down on the sofa.

Pandy: You’re tying me up, mother?

Mom: That’s right, baby. Now, I don’t want to have to gag you… but I need to deal with this, and I’ll do what I have to.

Pandy: Obviously.

Mom: You’re not going to scream, are you, Pandy?

Pandy: (angry) No.

Mom: That’s my girl. Now… this chip has got to be here somewhere… let me get my hacksaw.

Narr: The hacksaw in question was in a sack of tools nearby. Hope lay down a tarp, moved the body onto it, then set about the dismemberment.

Pandy: (almost getting sick) Oh, God…

Mom: You might want to close your eyes, dear. Really, I should have laid the tarp down first, but really, how do you explain that? ‘Pardon me, can you come stand over on this tarp for a moment? No, no reason, I was just hoping to- KIYAH!’ Not very likely.

Pandy: Who is he, Mother?

Mom: Hm. Good question. Let me see. (getting his wallet out.) It says his name is Thomas Samson. That’s a fake name if ever I heard one.

Pandy: What’s he doing here?

Mom: He said he was a Jehova’s Witness. Can you believe that? He even had copies of the Watchtower! The only question is whether he’s a plant within their organization or if he killed Jehovah’s real witness.

Pandy: There is one other possibility, Mom.

Mom: What’s that?

Pandy: He could really just be Thomas Samson, a Jehovah’s Witness who came to talk to you.

Mom: Pft. Honey, I’m not going to murder an innocent man. I wouldn’t have killed him unless I knew he was an agent of CASK. Have a little faith.

Pandy: How did you know, mom?

Mom: What?

Pandy: How did you know? What made you so sure he was an agent of… CASK or whatever and not Thomas Samson, innocent religious nut?

Mom: I could see it.

Pandy: What?

Mom: I can see it. The ones who are a part of it, they look different.

Pandy: What do you mean?

Mom: They just have a different look about them. They’re not lizards, or aliens or anything, I just… I look at them and I can see it. I can see that they’re a part of it. They’re helping to tear down everything I hold dear.

Pandy: Do you hear yourself at all, mother? Do you hear what you’re saying? It sounds completely insane. You’re lost touch with reality.

Mom: (angry) God Damnit!

Pandy: I’m sorry, but I-

Mom: What? No, not you, dear, I just… I’ve taken this guy apart every possible way I can and I’m not finding ANY Goddamned CHIP! Every agent of CASK has a chip, I know this! And I know he’s CASK, so where’s the damned chip? Huh? WHERE THE HELL IS THE GOD DAMNED CHIP?!? ARRRRGH!!! (catching breath) I’m sorry, I’m sorry sweetie, it just makes me so ‘Argh!’ you know? What were you saying?

Pandy: Nothing.

Mom: Forget it, then. If I can’t find any chip, I’ll just dispose of the whole thing.

Pandy: (faking, duh) Good idea.

Mom: Hm?

Pandy: It’s a good idea. Getting rid of the… the body. Do you need any help? I can pull the car around to the back door, so no one can see you loading him up?

Mom: Oh, no thanks, hon, it’s ok. You just stay there. I’ve got a big old box of lye down in the basement. I’ve got it covered. But thanks!

Pandy: Sure thing!

Narr: Hope gathered up the corners of the tarp, making it into a makeshift sack. She hoisted it over her shoulder and headed down into the Darling family basement. Pandora waited until she heard her mother get all the way downstairs, then quietly dove for the hacksaw lying on the floor. She grabbed it in her bound hands, then got down her knees. She positioned the saw between her feet, then proceeded to saw at the plastic strip that held her hands. After a minute, she was free, with only a few minor nicks at her wrists. She crept over to the front door, slipping her cell phone out of her pocket, and was about to touch the door handle when- (doorbell rings) Her eyes grew wide and she quickly opened the door to find Bobby Kurtzman standing on their porch.

Bobby: Pandy! Hi, I just… are you… bleeding?

Pandy: Bobby?! We’ve got to get out of here, quick!

Narr: She grabbed the boy by the hand and began dragging him back to the porch stairs.

Bobby: Where are we going?

Mom: You’re not going anywhere, Potsy. Get your hands off my daughter. (sound of a gun cocking if I can get it?)

Narr: Hope Darling had come around the side of the house carrying what appeared to be an assault rifle of some sort. She began backing Pandy and Bobby back into the house.

Pandy: What are you doing, Mother?

Mom: I should be asking you that question, Pandora. I thought I told you to stay put?

Bobby: I can go, if I’m interrupting something.

Pandy: Mom, you killed a guy! KILLED him! I’m supposed to just trust you that he was a guy worth killing?

Mom: Yes! Why else would your mother kill someone?

Bobby: I really don’t want to intrude.

Mom: Shut up, kid. You’re staying. Now, get inside. (door shuts) You should tell your boyfriend to learn to make up his mind. He paced past the basement window so much, I thought it was a strobe light.

Pandy: Oh, God, mom, he’s not my boyfriend!

Bobby: Is this all blood?

Mom: It’s all right, honey, I understand how these things work. I was young once. Anyway, I saw him coming and grabbed my little insurance here, just in case. I didn’t expect to find him spiriting away my impressionable young daughter.

Pandy: You have weapons hidden in our house?

Mom: Nothing lethal.

Pandy: That’s not lethal?

Mom: Pft. Not to a well-trained agent, it’s not. I mean, maybe to a layman, sure.

Bobby: Pandy… are we going… are we going to die?

Pandy: Maybe.

Mom: Not if I can help it, honey.

Pandy: Ok, then definitely.

Bobby: Oh, God, I didn’t come here to die!

Mom: Nobody’s going to die!

Pandy: Nobody else, you mean, Mom?

Bobby: (flipping his wig, getting progressively more freaked, towards tears) I’m just a kid! I didn’t even get my license yet! I’ve never had a girlfriend! I’ve never… I’ve never even kissed a girl! I’m- I’m too young to die… I don’t want to die!

Mom: Kid-

Bobby: I’m sorry I saw all the blood, I promise I won’t tell anyone! I didn’t mean to see it! I just came by for a second, I just wanted to ask Pandy to-

Pandy: STOP right there. My day has been lousy enough already.

Bobby: (tears) Please don’t kill me, crazy lady, I’ll do anything, I promise, I won’t tell anyone, I’ll… I’ll do I don’t even know what, just please- (THUMP! Mom knocked him out.)

Pandy: Mother! You knocked him out!

Mom: He was hysterical. I don’t deal well with panic. Besides, he’ll be easier to move this way.

Pandy: We’re- we’re not going to kill Bobby!

Mom: Of course not! But he’s coming with us. Grab his feet.

Narr: As Pandora helps her mother lift her downed classmate, she can’t help but wonder what she has planned for them. Have they become pawns in whatever delusional games her mother has running through her head? Has Hope really killed before? Will she kill again? Will Pandora and Bobby be her next victims? "Like Mother" continues in next week’s episode: "Trapped in a Box".

Go to Episode 2.