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 4 - Cleaning Up

By Guenevere Eckert


Narrator: Pandora Darling was a young girl active in the community. She played tennis at the park and spent most of her weekends among her fellow Carousel, New York residents at the shopping mall. Every engagement was carefully written down in a fuzzy pink weekly planner, just so she knew that she was not double booking her time. Wednesday afternoons were supposed to be spent surfing the internet, and chatting with Tabby about anything exciting that had happened since lunch. What was not supposed to happen on Wednesday afternoons was Pandora coming home to find her former social studies teacher fighting her mother on the kitchen floor. What was supposed to happen even less than that was that Pandora would subsequently shoot said former social studies teacher, three times, in the chest.

Pandy: (crying) Oh God! Mother, what have I done? What did you make me do?

Mom: You did fine darling. That was some excellent shooting. Now come over here, I want you to do the digging this time.

Pandy: WHAT?!

Mom: No, really. It took me at least three years to be able to shoot with that degree of accuracy. I suppose it’s all that tennis you play. Now if you’ll just-

Pandy: That’s not what I meant, Mom! (getting hysterical) Oh God. You really are crazy! I mean, ok so it’s one thing to slice a guy’s throat and then hide the body in the basement, but when your DAUGHTER kills a guy, that’s a whole other story. Now it’s not just you that’s insane and going to prison for the rest of your life, you’ve dragged-

Mom: PANDORA DARLING, BE QUIET! (soothing) I do feel different dear. I feel very proud of you. Following so excellently in my footsteps. However, you need to not panic. Remember what I told you about panicking?

Pandy: It wastes the air. But I’m not in a box, Mom! I’m-

Mom: No, you’re not. But you can still work yourself into a state of hysteria and your lungs will fail you anyway. However, the answer I was looking for was that I don’t deal with panic well. Now we made a huge mess here, and I’d really appreciate if I could have some help cleaning up this time.

Pandora: But I-

Mom: AND since this is your first kill, I think that you should be the one to do the honors of finding the CASK implant.

Pandy: (squeak) Me?

Mom: Yes, you, dear. Who else? I’ve spent the past eight years up to my elbows in intestines for you. Besides, you’ll probably need a few practice rounds before you can get through it without throwing up.

Narrator: Mrs. Darling dragged the protesting Pandora across the kitchen and handed her a knife. After watching her daughter stare at the kitchen implement for a minute or so, Hope sighed and sliced Miss Stetson’s abdomen open herself. Then she lay down the knife, took a flashlight out of a drawer, and directed Pandora’s hand into the stomach of her former teacher.

Pandy: Ugh. I cant believe I’m doing this. Pandy, wake up, please, wak-

Mom: (getting annoyed) Oh, Pandora, hush. You’ll never find that chip if you aren’t concentrating. Now you’re looking for a small metal piece, flat and rectangular. It should be-

Pandy: MOM! There is no chip! There is no CASK! This is crazy! You are crazy!

Mom: Says the one up to her elbows in large intestines.

Pandy: You can't keep this up, Mom! Somebody is going to start looking for these people! You-

Narrator: Pandy stopped yelling, clearly confused. She wiggled her fingers. She felt something small, flat, rectangular in shape, and smooth. Her eyes widened and she opened her mouth to speak, but was drowned out by the doorbell. (doorbell) Pandora screamed in surprise and yanked her hand out of the dead woman.

Mom: Pandy, no! You had the chip! Now we have to start all over again!

Narrator: Pandora cowered in the corner, muttering about detectives and how orange clashed horridly with her hair. Hope Darling gave an exasperated sigh and plunged her own hand into the corpse as the doorbell rang a second time. She fiddled around in between the small and large intestines, for a moment, and withdrew her hand, a triumphant look on her face. Sadly, that triumph was not long lived.

Mom: (sigh) Just a fragment of one of her vertebrae. I really do wish you hadn’t pulled your hand away so quickly, Potato. I was hoping that this wouldn’t take all afternoon. (doorbell) Especially as it seems we have company. Quick, help me drag her behind the table.

Narrator: Pandy rose to help her mother, and the door creaked open. Bobby Kurtzman stood in the doorway.

Bobby: Hi Mrs. Darling, I hope I’m not interrupting anything. I rang the doorbell but nobody answered, and I heard people talking so I-

Narrator: Bobby opened the door the rest of the way while he was talking, only to catch sight of the blood covering both Mrs. Darling and Pandora, while still somehow missing the dead body on the kitchen floor.

Bobby: Oh my gosh! Pandy! Are you ok? Is that blood you’ve got on you?!

Narrator: Mrs. Darling marched over to the door and dragged Bobby inside.

Mom: Pandora, please join your friend on the sofa.

Bobby: Really, if I’m intruding I can come back another time.

Pandora: Mom, what are you going to do?

Bobby: What do you mean, what is she going to do? Is she-

Narrator: Bobby glanced into the kitchen on his way to the sofa and finally saw the body of Miss Stetson, surrounded by a congealing mess of blood and innards.

Bobby: Oh, God! Pandy! There’s a body! And the blood! And you- are we going to die!?

Pandy: Why do I feel like we just had this conversation?

Bobby: What? What are you talking about? Oh God! I didn’t come here to die!

Mom: Pandora, would you kindly make it stop squalling so that I can deal with this mess?

Pandora: Which mess, mom? The dead woman in the living room, or the fact that Bobby has a wonderful habit of arriving at precisely the wrong time?

Mom: (deep breath) We can do this, Pandora. We’re sensible, grown women. We just have to take things one at a time, and nobody will be the wiser. We just need to stick to our guns. Now first things first-

Bobby: Did you just say "stick to our guns"?

Mom: -we need to find that chip and get the blood up before it stains. I don’t know how much lye I’ve got left. I really wasn’t expecting this to happen again so soon-

Bobby: Tabby said that earlier, and it reminded me of something. I can't remember though... What was-OH MY GOD!!!

Mom: Does he ever shut up, Pandora?

Bobby: (totally nuts) You! And you had a gun! And Pandy was covered in blood! And you hit me! And- Oh my god, I’m going to die! I don’t want to die! Please, crazy lady, don’t kill me! I- (knocked out again)

Mom: Pandora-

Pandora: I’ll get the stuff to erase his memory.

Mom: You will do no such thing, Pandora Darling. Don’t you read the footnotes? A double dose of that stuff and the quantities we’d need to administer in such a short space of time could cause permanent brain damage. Especially as it seems that the last dose wasn’t quite large enough. Anyway, we need to take care of this Stetson and Reilly business first. There’s some rope under the easy chair. Do be a dear and tie the boy up so that he can't do anything irrational if he comes to?

Narrator: Hope Darling turned to head into the kitchen, wondering out loud how Pandora could have ended up with such a dim witted boy. Instead of fetching the rope from beneath the easy chair, Pandora grabbed the handgun that she found next to it. She stood up and pointed the gun at her mother.

Pandy: He’s NOT my boyfriend, Mom.

Narrator: Mrs. Darling smiled and turned around.

Mom: Put the gun down, Potato.

Pandy: Mom, I’ve had enough of your crap. This ends, right now.

Mom: Potato. Listen to your mother. Put the gun down.

Pandy: No, Mom! It’s over. I can't deal with this anymore! We’re going to the police!

Mom: Why, Pandy? So you can be arrested right along with me? I’m not the only person in this room responsible for the death of another.

Pandy: You ruined everything, Mother! I just killed a woman! Now I’ll never get a date to homecoming!

Mom: Dear, I really don’t see what one thing has to do with the other.

Bobby: Actually, Pandy, I was-

Pandy: If you finish that sentence, I swear-

Bobby: I’m sorry, I wasn’t going to say anything, I didn’t mean it, I-

Pandy: Shut up!

Narrator: Pandora turned her head to glare at Bobby. Her mother took that moment to dive at her daughter. Unfortunately for her, Pandora turned back just in time to see her mother lunging at her and fired the gun, just before her mother’s flying body knocked her to the ground.


Pandora groaned and tried to rub her throbbing head. However, the fact that her hands were tied made it difficult. As did the fact that she found out (by rather painfully scraping her hands) that the darkness that was staring at her ended about an inch above her nose. The worst part of the situation became clear when Pandora tried shifting her body in order to ascertain the rest of this box’s dimensions, and her hip bumped something that was soft, warm, and smelled like a boy.

Pandora: AAGH! HELP!!! (Bobby starts yelling too)

Mom: Now Pandora, what did I tell you about panicking?

Pandy: MOM!? What-

Mom: Really, Pandora. Did you actually think for a second that I wasn’t wearing body armor? I know this is all relatively new to you, but be sensible.

Pandy: Oh mom, I’m so sorry! I’m SOOO SORRY!!!!

Mom: Oh baby, hush. I’m still here. I love you. I know you didn’t mean it. (beat) But you still did it. I wasn’t going to bring this box out for a few months yet. But I figure it will work as a suitable punishment. Good luck honey, I’ll see you at dinner!

Narrator: Pandora opened her mouth to yell for her mother, but, knowing better, shut it again. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and began to assess her situation.

Bobby: (whisper) Pandy?

Pandy: Shut up, Bobby.

Bobby: Pandy I’m scared…

Pandy: Bobby! Shut u-…I’m sorry. Just…please be quiet. I need to think.

Bobby: Where are we?

Pandy: In a box.

Bobby: Oh. Why? What’s going on? How do we get out?

Pandora: What part of ‘I need to think’ did you miss? Please, if you aren’t telling me a way to get out of here, shush. (beat) Can you move your hands at all?

Bobby: Um…no. They’re tied.

Pandora: Great. Mine are too, and I can't get to my lock picks.

Bobby: Gee, that’s too bad. Wait. Lockpicks?

Pandora: This is kind of a daily occurrence. One can never be too prepared.

Bobby: Right. So, um, you don’t have your lockpicks?

Pandora: No. I have them. I just can't get to them. Weren’t you listening?

Bobby: Sorry. Well, where are they?

Pandora: Right in my back pocket. But with my hands tied and such a low ceiling I can't reach them by…my….self…

Narrator: Pandora was silent for a few moments. Bobby fidgeted next to her while she debated which would be worse, suffocating in a box next to Bobby Kurtzman. Or having Bobby Kurtzman fishing around in…

Pandora: Bobby. Ineedyoutogetthelockpicksoutofmypocket.

Bobby: Um…what was that?

Pandora: (through gritted teeth) I. Need. You. To. Get. The. Lockpicks. Out. Of. My. Pocket.

Bobby: Oh! Ok!

Pandora: And don’t you dare sound happy about it!

Bobby: Right…sorry…

Narrator: Bobby shifted so that he could reach into the back pocket of Pandora’s jeans.

Pandy: The OTHER pocket, Bobby.

Bobby: Oops.

Narrator: Bobby retrieved the lockpicks and passed them off to Pandora, who had been knocking about the box, trying to find the lock. Unfortunately, it was to no avail.

Pandy: Bobby, I need you to feel the edges of the box and find a lock.

Bobby: A lock? Why would a box be locked from the inside?

Pandy: You’d have thought he would have asked that when I brought up the lockpicks.

Bobby: Uh, Pandy? Who are you talking to?

Pandy: I’m talking to God. Now get to work.

Bobby: Ooh! I think I found something! Right by my ear!

Pandy: Excellent! Now-wait. Crap. How do we do this?

Mom: If you two keep yapping like that, you’ll be out of air within the next ten minutes.

Pandy: Bobby, you have to do it.

Bobby: What? Me? Don’t be silly, Pandy! I don’t know how to pick locks!

Pandy: I…I think that’s the point.

Bobby: What?

Pandy: No. Stop talking. She’s right, we’re going to run out of air. So shut up and do exactly what I tell you. Here, take one of these.

Narrator: Pandora handed one of the lockpicks back to Bobby, and proceeded to walk him through picking the lock. Three dropped pins and 13 minutes later, Bobby and Pandora breathed the fresh air of the Darling dining room. They climbed out of the box to see Mrs. Darling sitting at the dinner table, sipping tea with a young blonde woman.

Pandy: Mother. Please, tell me you’re not going to-

Mom: Annette, this is my daughter Pandora, the one I showed you all the pictures of. Pandy, this is Annette. She’s one of the stewardesses that I work with. You and Bobby may help yourselves to some ravioli. It’s in a bowl on the stove.

Narrator: Pandy and Bobby stumbled uneasily into the sparkling clean and blood free kitchen. They helped themselves to some food and returned to the dining room.

Mom: I can't believe they never caught on to you!

Annette: I count my blessings every day. So many others have lost so much in that situation.

Pandora: Whatcha talking about?

Mom: Oh, nothing important. Just the horrors of stewardessing. More tea?

Annette: Yes, thank you.

Narrator: Hope excused herself to the kitchen. Pandora took the opportunity to try to get some information out of Annette.

Pandy: So, Annette. You work with my mom?

Annette: Oh yes. For years! To be honest, Pandy, I’m surprised it took us this long to meet. But you know how it is, unless you’re really lucky, you never know when you’ll be shipping out to where. I regret to say that it’s been about three years since I worked with your mom on a continual basis.

Pandy: How did you meet?

Annette: Dallas. It must have been about six years ago. They were in hot pursuit, but thanks to your mother, I was able to make a clean getaway with barely a scratch!

Bobby: Mrs. Darling, may I have some milk?

Pandy: Who was in hot pursuit? What happened?

Mom: What happened to who? What was that, Bobby dear?

Narrator: Pandy shot Bobby a look while he repeated his request.

Annette: I was just telling Pandy about how we met.

Mom: Oh dear me, I had almost forgotten about that! I can't believe you got out of that one. That was close!

Narrator: What was close? Who exactly is Annette? How will the Darlings explain their situation to Bobby Kurtzman? Will Pandy ever get a date to homecoming? Find out the answers to these, and other questions in next weeks episode of Like Mother: Me In The Corner.

Go to Episode 5