Narrator: Tabitha Paige Wentworth was more than annoyed. It had been
just over twenty four hours since she had last spoken to her best friend,
Pandora Darling. Of course, it had been about a week since she and Pandy had
actual conversation. According to the rules of bestfriend-hood, it was
solemn duty to inform Tabby immediately if something was wrong. Should she
fail, it was Tabby’s duty to wring it out of her, even if she had to
resort to literally wringing. Tabby had been prepared to do just that, which
is why she found herself on the Darling’s doorstep the next morning.
Tabby: Pandy? Pandy open up! Where are you???
Narrator: Tabby had been annoyed, and even felt a little betrayed when no
one came to the door. On her way home though, Tabby realized that she probably
shouldn’t blame the absence of her best friend on said best friend.
She knew that Mrs. Darling was a stewardess and, though responsible, sometimes
quite absent minded, and tended to whisk Pandora across the country without
more than five minutes notice. But it was when Tabby settled down with a fuzzy
pillow and a dish of m&ms to watch the special coverage of the G8 summit
protest speech of Jason Brandt that mild annoyance turned into a full blown
case of infuriation directed towards her best friend. (cell phone ringing)
Pandy: Mom! Oh my God, MOM! What did you just DO?? What- Crap! It’s
Tabby! Tabby? Hi! How are you-
Tabby: Pandora Claire Darling! How could you?
Pandy: Tabby? How could I do what? What are you-
Tabby: You’ve been practically ignoring me for a week, Pandy! You’re
all distant, you brush me off, you promise to call and then you don’t!
And now I settle in to watch the G8 Summit protests, by myself, I should add,
after we made plans weeks ago to watch them together! Remember that? And who
do I see on the TV but you and-
Pandy: TV!? You saw us on TV!? Could this get any worse?
Jason: TV? Rockin’ Awesome!
Bobby: Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!
Mom: Crap. I had hoped we’d be able to get away before all the cameras
were up and running. Strap in everyone, we’ve got to-
Pandy: WOULD EVERYBODY PLEASE SHUT UP FOR ONE MINUTE!?
Tabby: Everybody? Who’s everybody? Did I happen to hear…say,
Bobby Kurtzman with you?
Pandy: Yeah, he’s here. Listen to me Tabby-
Tabby: So you admit it? You ditched me, Tabby, your best friend to go on
some hippie rendezvous with the Tweedledee of Carousel High!?
Pandy: Um…what? No! Tabby, let me explain, I know it looks like we
Tabby: Abduction. Right. Pandy I’ve heard a lot of crap from you this
week, but please, I’m not stupid.
Pandy: Wait. So you didn’t see the shootings?
Tabby: What are you talking about, Pandora? You know what? I don’t
even want to know. I might be tempted to care if my best friend spent a week
lying to me so she could have her twenty seconds of fame hand in hand with
some pimply geek, but I don’t have a best friend. So I guess it doesn’t
matter, now does it?
Pandy: Tabby? TABBY!? (sigh) Mom?
Mom: Yes, Potato?
Pandy: I hate my life.
Mom: Now Pandy, honey, why would you even say that? You have a mother who
loves you, you’re getting a great education, we may not be rich, but
you’ve never complained, you get to see more of the country than most
people your age, and you have a sweet boy who’s hopelessly devoted to
Mom: Look, just because you have a little tiff with Tabby doesn’t mean
it’s the end of the world. These things happen, honey. I promise, by
the time we get back home this little argument will be as good as forgotten!
Pandy: (mutter) I wish I could say that about everything in my life…
Mom: What was that, Honey?
Pandy: Nothing, Mother.
Jason: So guys, where’re we going? I know a great little place downtown
where we can grab a latte!
Bobby: Man, that sounds great! I haven’t had anything to eat since
that coke on the plane. (beat) Come to think of it, I don’t remember
taking more than one or two sips of that. I must have been really tired…
Mom: Sorry, Mr. Brandt, but we need to get you out of here before those…er…aliens?
Jason: Oh yeah! I almost forgot about them! Good thing you remembered though.
I could have been dead!
Pandy: (quiet) Um, mom? What are you planning on doing with him?
Mom: Mr. Brandt, you are to be flown out of this area.
Jason: Oh, sorry. No can do ma’am. Too many aliens at the airport!
Mom: Mr. Brandt, I give you my word, there will be no aliens on the plane
that I will personally put you on. You’ll be safe in the air…because…uh…aliens
Jason: Right! I totally forgot about that! You’re so smart, Mom!
Narrator: Bobby gave Jason an awkward look, and slid closer to the car door.
Pandora leaned over and whispered to her mom.
Pandy: So…how did the aliens get here if they can't fly?
Mom: Beats me! But the only way to get through to whack jobs is to play along.
And this guy’s a doozy!
Narrator: Pandora gave her mom a weary look and sat back in her seat. She
watched the formerly familiar route to the airport go by and worried. She
worried about her grandparents- her real grandparents, and hoped that they
were all right. She worried about the nut in the backseat. She worried about
how to say no if Bobby ever got the guts to ask her to the Homecoming dance.
And she worried about Tabby.
Pandy: Mom? We’re not going to get into a firefight or go flying off
a bridge anytime in the next five minutes, are we?
Mom: Don’t be silly Potato. The worst that could happen is that we’ll
end up plowing through a barricade or two and maybe dodging a few taxiing
Bobby: Excuse me? I’d like to protest that! I’ve already gotten
shot in the head once, and I’d really like it if I didn’t make
a habit of it! I only wanted to go to the protests and see Mr. Brandt speak
and now there’s dead people and fake people and … and, Pandy,
we’ve kidnapped Jason Brandt! And my head hurts! Are you sure we shouldn’t
be going to a hospital? I-
Mom: Mr. Kurtzman, do you by any chance remember what happened the last several
times you, shall we say, "freaked out" in this fashion?
Bobby: What- wait…um…I guess I don’t…wow, that’s
really weird (trailing off).
Mom: There’s a reason for that.
Pandy: She means "shut up or I’ll knock you out and drug you again."
Mom: Pandora! That’s a terrible thing to say!
Jason: Woah, there, Mom! I don’t mean to cut in on other peoples’ business,
but if we’re going to have trouble with the Fuzz, I can't be associated
with drug runners. That would be way damaging for my rep!
Mom: Don’t worry Mr. Brandt, I don’t work with illegal substances.
Besides you’ll be long gone before it comes time for any confrontations
with Seattle’s finest.
Jason: If you’re sure the airplane’ll be safe! I don’t
want to have escaped them once only to be offed at thirty thousand feet!
Mom: Mr. Brandt, I’ve worked as a stewardess since before my daughter
here was born. I promise, everything will be fine. You just have to remember
to do exactly what I tell you once you land.
Jason: Right! Yes ma’am! (beat) What did you tell me to do?
Mom: (laughing) Nothing, yet. Should we be apprehended before takeoff, I
don’t want you to have anything to hide from the police, so I’ll
walk you through it on the way to the plane, ok?
Pandy: Mom! What I was getting at is, can I call Tabby back? Woah!
Narrator: Pandy was thrown against the passenger side window as her mother
took a sharp turn, crashed through the gate of a parking garage, sped up to
the third level, and screeched to a halt in spot 13C.
Mom: In a moment, dear, but make it quick. I may need you in a hurry.
Bobby: I thought we were going to the airport?
Mom: What on earth would give you such a silly idea, young man? There are
entirely too many bystanders there!
Bobby: But you said he was going to fly out of here!
Mom: Do you really think I could trust someone so important to those ill
trained imbeciles? Mr. Brandt will be taking advantage of some of my connections
in the form of a private jet. Mr. Brandt, if you’ll follow me?
Narrator: Hope got out of the car and peered out into the street. A worried
look distorted her face and she leaned back into the car.
Mom: Pandora, I want you to listen to me very carefully. Jason and I are
going to go into that building over there. You two are going to stay here.
Are you following so far? I don’t want to confuse you, so if you need
me to repeat anything, like the fact that you are to stay here, let me know.
Now, when I leave, you two stay here. I don’t care what you see, or
what you hear, or who comes out, or who you think comes out, or anything.
Stay. Here. When I come over to you and tell you that Sally Sells Seashells
Down by the Seashore, show you my tattoo, and recite your social security
number backwards, you are to unlock the door, let me in, and cut out of here
like the apocalypse is behind you. You can plow through the exit lever, but
there’s a stoplight about a block after that that the cops love to sit
at, so watch out for that. Any questions?
Pandy: (obnoxiously sweet) No, mother. Of course not!
Mom: Bobby, dear? I’m putting you in charge of making sure my sweet
Potato doesn’t do anything…very very stupid. See you in a little
Narrator: With a wave and a smile, Mrs. Darling loped off through the garage
towards the entrance elevator. Pandy leaned her forehead against the wheel
and sighed. Bobby climbed through the space between the seats and settled
into the passenger seat.
Pandy: Did you leave anything in the back seat?
Bobby: Um…I don’t think so, why?
Pandy: Good, let’s go.
Bobby: But Pandy, your mom specifically said to stay here.
Pandy: Psht. Whatever. Come on.
Pandy: If we leave now, we can be back at the airport in time for the nine
o’clock plane back to New York. I’ll have this whole thing with
Tabby straightened out before noon tomorrow.
Narrator: Pandy pulled at her door handle. Nothing happened. She looked over
at Bobby, who was holding his finger resolutely on the automatic lock button.
Pandy: Bobby, unlock the doors.
Pandy: Excuse me? This is my mom’s rental car! You are a guest! Now
unlock the doors.
Bobby: No, Pandy. Your mom said to stay here. There is no doubt about it,
she’s totally nuts. But even though I’ve gotten shot, and knocked
out, and I think you even said something about my memory being erased…well
like you said, I haven’t died yet. And…and…well, I’m
not about to start!
Narrator: As Pandora stared, slack jawed at this new version of Bobby, the
quiet outside of the car was shattered by the noise of something exploding
far above the garage level on which they were currently parked.
Narrator: It was in that moment that Pandora Darling lost it. She started
screaming, yanking the handle of the locked car door, and throwing herself
against the windows.
Bobby: Pandy? Pandy! PANDY!
Pandora: Bobby, let me out! Please! You have to let me out of the car! My
Bobby: Your mom told us to stay here. And that’s exactly what we’re
Narrator: Pandora paused. She leaned in front Bobby and rifled through the
glove box, the arm rest, and finally, reached under her seat.
Pandora: Bobby, please don’t make me do this.
Narrator: Bobby’s resolve faltered in the face of a forty five caliber
semi automatic handgun.
Pandora: Let me out. Of this car.
Bobby: Pandy? Um…don’t you think you’re taking this a bit
Bobby: Ok! Ok! Just don’t shoot me! Can…can I say one thing first?
Pandy: Make it quick.
Narrator: Pandora lowered the gun, having enough sense to know that accidents
do happen, and just because you shoot one person does not make you an expert.
Bobby, counting on Pandora’s genius, dove forward, grabbed Pandy by
the shoulders, and kissed her. (beat) Inside the burning building, Hope Darling
was picking her way through what was once the cafeteria. She rounded a corner
and stopped, squinting at a pile of sushi packages that appeared to be breathing.
Mom: (whispered) Gotcha.
Narrator: Hope inched around the corner and over to the mess. Keeping her
handgun trained on the shifting lump of raw fish, she nudged it with her foot.
Mom: Nice to see you again, Annette.
Narrator: Hope paused and squinted at the young woman’s identification
Mom: Or should I say, Joan?
Narrator: Did Jason Brandt’s plane take off before the explosion? Will
Pandy and Tabby ever speak again? Is Bobby Kurtzman a dead man? What psychotic
mission is Mrs. Darling on now? Find out in next weeks thrilling continuation
of Like Mother: "Habeas Corpses."