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Kenny had arrived at the Knuts Landing Leather Bar, and he was starting to feel a little less self-conscious. Like him, there were some last minute sign-ins, and for the most part they were no competition. He started feeling like this was a sure thing but then they walked in...
Chip, Peter, and Joshua strutted into the bar like John Travolta doing his best Tony Manero and it seemed as if time had stopped. All eyes (including the one lesbian waitress) seemed fixated on the handsome trio, but not because of their looks but because of what they were wearing....
Bratney had dreamt the weirdest dream. She was traveling through space, like they did on that retarded tv show called Star...Star something, but it was like she was also traveling through fu*%*&^&g time. She could see these images of everyone she had met on the cul-de-sac passing her by. Like watching a whole sh*t load of tv images scrolling by and there was this music...this song....that went like DAAA-DA-DA-DA-DAAAAA-DA-DA-DAAA-DA-DA-DA-DAAAAAA!! When she woke up, she remembered little of what her mind had visiualized, but she found herself humming the tune. It was stuck in her head and she couldn't stop.
Val was leaving Karen's and heading back home, when Richard stopped her on the way.
"Morning, Richard. You off somewhere?"
"Actually, I can't believe I'm doing this, but I'm going to give Kenny some moral support. However, I need to go with some insurance in the guise of a beautiful woman like yourself, and since I can't find my lovely wife..."
"Well, where do you need me to go?"
"I'll explain on the way, and I'll buy you lunch afterwards. I just need to establish that I only bat for the opposite team."
Laura had actually been over at 16969 to help Ginger get some more things. She and Ginger were having a heart-to-heart that made Laura feel slightly hypocritical. Ginger still didn't know if she wanted to file for divorce; despite Kenny's total lack of respect for her and his questionable fidelity, there was Erin Molly to think about. Also, how would Ginger make it on her own? Kenny was hardly a cash cow for alimony, and Ginger had let her teaching certificate expire shortly after Erin Molly's first birthday. Laura felt like the last person on Earth who should be giving marital advice. She felt that her marriage was the neighborhood joke. But Ginger needed someone to talk to, and in a way Laura enjoyed hearing someone else having the same sorts of doubts about their life. Maybe Laura would pick up some tips on solving her own problems!
Ginger was still staying at that Lotus point place, making sure she had plenty of amenities on Kenny's credit card. She begged Laura to come over for an afternoon by the pool. "They have these awesome cabins on hillsides, tennis courts, an ocean view--it's so relaxing. You'd love it!"
Laura didn't give it much thought, but the name "Lotus Point" did seem to ring in her head for a while after Ginger took off. She decided she must have heard radio commercials for the place or something.
Laura had gotten past that uneasiness she'd felt on and off for nearly two weeks. The stuff with the Williamses had just been odd coincidences and poor communication. I mean, this is Knots Landing! Laura thought to herself as she folded laundry. My boredom has been making me dream up weird Twilight Zone scenarios. She heard the door slam and knew Jason had come home from school. She kept folding. "In here, honey..." she called. "Do you want hot dogs for dinner?"
Jason appeared in the doorway. "I like hot dogs, but he wants cookies. I tried to tell him cookies aren't for dinner." A little boy joined Jason in the doorway, and Laura asked "Who's your---?"
She looked down to see Jason, fully six inches taller and looking as if he belonged in the sixth grade, not the second grade he was registered for. He had all his teeth; he was no longer that snaggle-toothed kid she'd sent off to school that morning minus two bottom front teeth. As if that wasn't shocking enough, she then saw the two year-old boy, and before she could say "friend," her jaw dropped. The eyes, the bright red hair, that sweet smile--he was her child. Her child. She had no recollection of his existence whatsoever, but his appearance made it an unmistakeable conclusion that this was her little boy.
"Hot dogs are okay. Can we go outside and play now?" Jason asked, totally unfazed. Laura dropped the shorts she had started folding and leaned against the washing machine to keep from passing out.
Kenny was relieved when Richard showed up with Val. Richard was more nervous than Kenny being there, but his anxiety went into overdrive when Michael Torrance came out of nowhere with Ciji to say 'hello.'
"The jig is up, Mr Avery. Either you and Mrs. Ewing here are straying from your respective spouses with each other, OR she's your beard for every gay man's benefit here at my bar...especially myself." smiled the incredibly suave Michael.
"Well, you caught me...uh, Torrance right?"
"Please, call me Michael."
Joshua had seen Ciji walk by with Michael and turned to Chip and asked, "Do you know that girl? She looks so familiar."
"Never seen her in my life, but now that you mention it. <pbbbt!> She does look familiar. Porn star perhaps? <pbbbt!> She's stunning, though. <pbbbt!>"
"She's ok, if you like that sort of thing. I told you not to wear that feather boa." smirked Peter. He hoped the fake handlebar mustache was staying in place.
"She is quite attractive, but I can't shake the feeling I've seen her or someone that looks a LOT like her..." Joshua stopped as he spied Val. "I think I'm in love fellas."
From the other side of the bar, Val noticed the handsome young man in the buttless chaps staring at her, but she just assumed he was impressed with her make-up application or her taste in sun dresses.
"Mom, what's wrong?"
Laura looked up from where she stood to reply, but then stopped. The other little boy had dissappeared and Jason was back to 'normal.'
"Jason...h-honey. Did you have a friend with you just now?" Daniel! The boy's name was Daniel! How do I know that?
"Karen! You home?"
"Here in the kitchen!" Karen Fairgate was filled with a sense of dread. She knew what was about to happen and there was not a thing she could do.
Someone came up behind her and gave her a hug. "I missed you all day today. You smell great, Karen. Where's Meg?" Karen turned around, and just like it had been happening for the last few weeks, there was a man she did not know talking about things she didn't understand. The only thing she knew for certain was that he thought she was his wife. It was a bit too much for her to comprehend, and she would need to 'medicate' later. He leaned in for a kiss and she complied, because again she knew what was next. His lips were warm and familiar, and Karen shed a single tear. As he pulled away, Sid said, "Why are you crying?"
"I just love you so much."
Bratney had somehow fallen asleep again. She seemed to tire real easy now that she was staying with Val and Longhorn. As soon as she drifted off, she started to dream. This time she was in something called a...a RE-TARDIS? Something that looked like a robot dog kept calling her its Master. It was pleading with her to wake up and informed her that time was broken and her memory had been tampered with...
Lillimae had tired of Bratney real quick. If she wasn't on the phone cursing up a storm, she was eating everything in sight (Bugles were her favorite snack), or bringing alcohol into the house. If Gary and Val weren't going to do anything about it, then she would do what was necessary to make Bratney's stay tolerable. As soon as she knew that she was up from her sleep, Lillimae took up a tray of pork rinds (they were out of Bugles) and a drink Lillimae had made special for her...
The Williamses' TV night had been pretty much ruined. Frank and Pat had bought their favorite ice cream, popped popcorn for Julie, and turned on the TV to watch their favorite, The Cosby Show. Thursday night had been Must-See TV for them for years, with Cosby at 8pm as the centerpiece. Family Ties was okay (whiny overgrown hippies, Frank had once grumbled) but the Huxtables were tops in their book. They turned on the TV and found...no Cosby. Heck, no Family Ties, either. They tried all sixteen channels and found nothing.
"By the way, why are there only sixteen channels in Knots Landing?" Julie asked. "In DC we got over a hundred. I thought Los Angeles was the entertainment capital of the world!" Pat, the couch potato of the family, knew that Cosby should have been airing on NBC at 8pm; it had been since its premiere in 1984. Yet KNBC in Los Angeles was touting Flamingo Road and Hill Street Blues? Her brain went into overdrive and she dismissed Julie's whining by saying they could just watch some MTV, something Pat normally would never have allowed Julie to do after 8pm.
Frank went to bed early (there were only so many rock videos he could take), and from the kitchen Patricia called her contact in the Witness Relocation Program.
"I need some answers, and this time I'm not going to be put off!" she whispered into the phone.
While the Williamses dealt with Cosby-us Interruptus, Val and Gary were enjoying an evening in their bedroom. Well, not as much as they could have if Lilimae's room had not been on the other side of the wall, but Gary wasn't complaining. His light blue boxers were circling around as they hung from the ceiling fan blade, and it was all Val could do to let out a hearty "yee-ha". Lilimae, meanwhile, was in her room standing in front of the mirror, practicing her sweetest smile and saying "Your honor, I thought it was Skinny and Sweet!"
Lilimae hoped the judge would not be a fan of 9 to 5.
Abby could not wait to gloat in Laura's face. It seemed her husband had gone off with "poor Val" the other day. They were gone for quite awhile, and whether it was innocent or not, it didn't matter. Abby loved to mess with Laura. As she walked up to Laura's front door, something odd happened. There was a flash of light and the next thing Abby knew, she was in an unfamiliar living room...
It looked like a ranch house, and there were people all dressed in black. She recognized Val and Karen, but there were other "guests"(?) she didn't know. It looked like a wake, and she was about to ask the curly haired man who had died, when Val and Karen started to get loud with each other. Oh, this should be good! she thought, but when she started to listen it seemed the best friends were arguing about who made the better coffee?!! I have to be dreaming this. No way would those two ever have it out.
There was another flash of light and this time Karen was staring at her in a huge office, and before Abby could think or do anything, she found herself saying, "Well, she doesn't have much to say about anything now...Does she? She's DEAD!"
SLAP!! And with that, Abby knew. It was Laura!! Laura's going to die!!
Another flash, and she found herself knocking on Laura's front door. She was back from wherever or whatever it was...Was I dreaming? It seemed so real. Was I looking in to the future? If so, HOW is that possible? In the name of Revlon, am I going crazy?!!
"What is it, Abby?" Laura was none too pleased to see that her old nemesis had come calling.
"Uhh, hi there, Laura. Nice night, isn't it? You feel well, don't you? I mean, really Laura, how would it look if you answered the door, saw me standing here, and dropped DEAD?!"
Laura was never one to mince words.
"I dunno, Abby, what would it be like if I answered the door, saw you standing there and slammed the door in your face?" and BLAM, Abby had her answer in an instant.
"Guess you know now..." Laura muttered under her breath as she went back to the living room.
Abby was reminded of those oddball women she saw on Donahue claiming to be able to predict the future. Why was it always women? she thought. After that little flash of insight, Abby wondered if perhaps she, too had a bit of psychic in her. But how could she use something like that to her advantage? Perhaps it wasn't even what she thought; maybe this whole funeral thing had been a vivid daydream that seemed more real than it actually was. Abby had often repeated lies so many times that they soon felt like they were the real thing, but it usually only involved events in cheap hotel rooms or her correct age.
Ginger had been cooped up in her hotel room at Lotus Point for days on end, having gotten her fill of massages, saunas, tennis, golf (she was a lousy golfer anyway), and nature walks. Hiding out from the world was okay in small doses, but she'd begun to wonder if she ought to make plans to rejoin the "real world". An employee of the resort recommended she have one "last hurrah" at the opening of the new dinner and dancing club that evening. After finding a sitter for Erin Molly, she got dolled up and headed for The Club at the Point, hoping to see a live band, mingle a bit, and maybe even meet some cute guy to take her mind off Kenny.
The blond hostess at the door seemed awfully dense, but Ginger just assumed it was due to opening-night jitters. Ginger sat with her back to the door most of the evening, at least until a nice-looking man named Sam asked her to dance. Once on the crowded dance floor, things seemed to get really weird. She saw the hostess-girl talking to a woman that looked like Karen. Later, this Karen-looking woman was trying to get into a nearby closet with no success; obviously she's a manager or something, Ginger decided. It was so dark in there that she couldn't be sure about anything--except that Sam had picked up some dance moves John Travolta never knew. If her shoes had not kept getting "stuck" to the floor due to some sticky patches on the floor, Ginger would have been better able to keep up. As it was, Ginger was having more fun than she'd had in months. Why a man in the music business like Kenny didn't want to go out dancing was beyond her.
Abby had immersed herself in helping Brian and Olivia with their homework and was tucking them into bed when she heard a car outside. Oh, to be a fly on the wall... Abby purred as she peeked out the window to see a staggering, disheveled Richard making his way to the front door--wearing a necktie with no shirt, and his boxer shorts over his suit pants. "That's probably what killed her!" she quipped. A short time later, Kenny managed to roll himself out of the other door to the cab, and though it was dark, she could tell Kenny was similarly undressed. Kenny filled out a pair of lime-green Speedos quite well, but how he managed to get across the driveway with handcuffs around his ankles was anyone's guess.
Last edited by Daniel Avery; 01-09-2009 at 09:52 PM.
Ginger had had a great evening out at that nightclub. Sam had been polite and attentive, just the sort of guy Kenny had been before he went into show business. He was also a great dancer, which awakened memories in Ginger of when she and Kenny had competed in a dance competition shortly before they got married. They'd been a team, but in the last year it was as if they were living separate lives in the same house. She'd had time and distance, and unfortunately absence had not made the heart grow fonder. The marriage was over in every way that mattered.
The bellman had helped Ginger get her things to the main desk, and while she and Erin Molly sat waiting for a valet to bring her car around, she heard a familiar voice in an unfamiliar tone. A huge planter blocked her ability to see.
"Just make sure the damn workers keep to their schedule!" Abby ordered, testily dressing down a construction worker. Ginger peered around the corner and nearly dropped her daughter when she saw Abby Cunningham, dressed to the nines and pointing at the hapless construction worker's rolled-up blueprints. "Why are you still standing here? There's a cement slab to pour!" she added, making the man take off in fear.
What the hell?? Ginger thought, withdrawing back behind the planter. Why is she here acting like a bitch who owns the place?
Her mind immediately went to the night before, when she thought she'd seen Karen in the crowd at the club. "First Karen, then Abby...I'm cracking up, that's it." She nuzzled into Erin Molly's face. "Mommy's having a spell! Too much fresh air..." she joked, as if whistling while walking through a graveyard.
Abby then stalked past, headed in the other direction with her back to Ginger.
"Abby...Abby! Can you wait for me?" Karen called, and Ginger got a second case of whiplash as she saw Karen walk past, trying to catch up with Abby. They were headed to the roped-off area that was going to be a playground for children. She remained unseen, eyes like saucers and jaw dropping as she watched an animated shouting match between Abby and Karen from a distance. They were dressed like millionaire society women on their way to a luncheon, but there was no mistaking Karen and Abby's patented sparring style. Before she could even get up to call out to her neighbors, a valet parked Ginger's car in the line of vision and emerged. "Mrs. Ward?" the young kid asked. Abby and Karen had continued to walk away and were now nowhere to be seen.
Ginger barely remembered the drive home. She was puzzling over what she had seen...or perhaps had NOT seen even as she drove up to 16969. Kenny would be at work, she knew, but he wasn't the reason she was driving to her house. She pulled up and saw Karen's station wagon in the driveway, a sure sign that Karen--"her" Karen--was home. Similarly, Abby's car was parked in the circle-drive. Cars were practically the only sign of life in the cul-de-sac. Only Lilimae was outside, gardening, so Ginger went over to say hello. Maybe I can get her to watch Erin Molly while I pack my stuff! she thought to herself.
Lilimae nearly jumped out of her skin when Ginger said hello. A handful of dirt went flying, and a clay pot turned over. Lilimae quickly tossed a rag over the small hole she had dug and turned to greet Ginger, blocking the view of what Lilimae had been doing. It was obvious Lilimae had something to hide.
But Ginger was so distracted by her own strange morning that none of it registered.
On the night before...
Somehow, Kenny had convinced Richard to go with him to the pageant dress rehearsal. Actually, it really hadn't been that difficult. Richard was starting to enjoy the strokes that the Torrance guy would give him everytime he saw him. If it meant having to suffer some minor flirtation in order to get free booze, well...what was the harm?
Kenny had chosen to do his dance routine (if only Ginger knew!) to "I Was Made For Loving You" by Kiss. As he swayed and shook his hips on stage, Richard was getting quite tipsy in the audience with Mr Torrance. After the rehearsal was over (the actual event was tomorrow night), Kenny stayed after with Richard chatting and drinking some more with Michael. At some point, they both remembered going upstairs to see the loft Torrance lived in...only to wake up later arm in arm, naked with one another on a waterbed with satin sheets.
Torrance was getting dressed in front of a wall of mirrors, and said "I think you two should really be going now. You have my word you'll win the contest Kenny. Thanks so much, Xavier...or are you Richard again?"
"Where's the key for this?" Kenny said pointing to the cuffs at his ankles.
"Ahh, yes that. Well, if you recall, Richard had them before he...uh..."
"Nevermind! I'll figure something out later! Come on, Richard. We need to get home."
"Kenny...I think I need to go the bath..."
"LATER, RICHARD!!" My, God! What have I done now? What got into me? How will I ever explain this to Ginger?!! Did he just say I'm going to win the pageant?
Kenny had no idea that his recent premature, mid-life crisis was the result of something Lilimae had broken...
Bratney woke up again from another odd dream. This time she was living in a city on the...MOON? In the dream, everything was white, and almost everyone talked with funny accents. The moon was moving through space and...
Bratney heard something and looked over and saw that the tv was on. Everything that she had experienced in the dream was right there on the tube. Of course!! The metal plate in her head was receiving the signal and realying it to her mind. She wasn't going bat-sh*t crazy like her neighbor's dog had done when she was little. She wanted to share the good news with someone and ran downstairs, turned the corner and stopped...there was Lilimae with her back to the doorway as she sat at the kitchen table.
She held an old pocket watch. The glass was cracked. She was also talking to herself...
"Oh, why did you have to clean it last month? You shoulda left things well enough alone! Now look at it. It's all a mess, and you have to put it back right!"
Kenny's sudden doubt about his physical desirability stemmed from the fact that those feelings...his state of mind...were displaced in time from his future self...the Kenny of 10 years later...the Kenny, who 10 years from now, would drive him and Ginger apart, which would lead to their divorce.
Ginger had come back to Lotus Point. She was unpacking when the phone in her room rang.
"Hey, babe. Look don't hang up. I know I've been a real jerk lately, and...quite frankly, I don't know WHY. I just know I needed something... a little something more to occupy my time with and give me some focus..."
"And your wife and daughter are NOT ENOUGH, KENNY!?"
"Please, babe. I threw Bratney out, and I want you to come back so we can work on things again. I love you, Ginger. And I love Erin Molly."
Ginger's heart sank for a little bit. He sounded so sincere...
"And tonight is the pageant, and I want you to come and see me. It's going to be great, babe."
Ginger's face went cold and hard, and then she got an idea. "Sure, Kenny. I'll be there. What time? Eight O'Clock? Count me there. Goodbye." I wonder how Kenny will take it when he sees me show up with Sam?
Joshua had talked to that little Avery man the other night at rehearsal. He said that his blonde friend was named 'Val.' Val. What a sweet name for such a pretty thing. Richard said that she would probably show up for the pageant. Joshua couldn't wait...
"<sniff>Can you hand me the <sniff> tissues?" said a teary-eyed Peter.
Joshua rolled his eyes and handed Peter the box. Peter always cried after sex...
Julie answered the phone, while her mom and dad made lunch.
"Hey, Julie. It's Eric Fairgate. You know, you're neighbor."
"<giggle>I know who it is, silly. What's up?"
"Uh, are you asking me if it's going to rain? Because I didn't watch the weather report last night. It doesn't look cloudy right now..."
"No...uh...that's not wha...nevermind. I forget. Uhm, WHAT'S GOING ON?"
"Oh, sure. Look I know this is short notice, but would you like to go out for a movie and a bite to eat?"
Val walked into the kitchen and found her momma sitting there sipping on her tea. "Momma, have you seen Bratney?"
"No, sweetpea. Why?"
"Well, I didn't see her this morning. Usually that poor child is asleep, but she wasn't in bed, and I wanted to let her know Gary and I are going to that pageant with Richard, Laura and the Williamses tonight."
"If I see her, I'll let her know, sugar!"
"Ok, momma, I gotta run. Saturdays for me are so hectic."
Oh, Valene. If you only knew, you wouldn't be saying that.
"You're going where...to see what??" Patricia incredulously asked her husband.
"Oh, come on, Pat...it'll be a hoot. Better than just sitting around the house tonight, right?"
"Richard Avery's having some sort of mid-life crisis, and I'm not really in the mood to watch him humiliate Laura. Frank, you can't go."
She showed him a piece of mail she'd received from "Grand West Bank"--the cover-company that was put on all correspondence they got with the Witness Relocation Program. She'd demanded--and got--their contact to come to the house that night so she (and by extension, they) could get some answers regarding the weirder-than-usual goings-on that were occurring in their lives. "There has to be something going on here that we're not being told, and if he won't level with us, I'm going to blow all this out of the water."
Laura was no fan of Karen's lately. Karen had been acting as if she didn't want Laura over for coffee, or to share gossip, or actually for much of anything. It was small comfort when Laura found that Karen had been rather remote with Val, as well, and they all knew that Karen would never invite Abby over for anything (unless they were holding public stonings). Still, with Richard locked up in the bedroom playing old Gloria Gaynor records ("It's okay honey...just getting in the mood!") and the Wards apparently heading for divorce court, Laura wanted to check in with Karen. Besides, seeing Diana smart-off at her mother all the time made Laura love her sweet little Jason even more.
When Laura arrived, she realized it had been a long time since she'd gone over. Karen had apparently re-upholstered the sofa and replaced those navy-blue chairs in the living room. "Karen...Karen? You upstairs?" Karen stepped from the kitchen wearing an apron over a smart-looking business suit.
"Oh, my God!" Karen gasped, dropping a plate she had been wiping clean. "Laura! It can't be you!" She closed her eyes tightly and shook her head, her brain trying to deny what her eyes were seeing.
"Well, I know it's been a long time, but..."
Mack MacKenzie stepped down the stairs and similarly gasped "Laura!"
"Yeah, I'm Laura...who the hell are you?" She noted he was wearing a short bathrobe, with his chest hair sticking out. Sid will be crushed! Laura thought. I've walked right into Karen having a little love-in-the-afternoon.
Karen edged closer, still not sure what she was seeing. "Laura! Oh, Laura!" She then threw her arms around Laura and started audibly sobbing.
Mack walked over to them and gave Laura that "is-it-really-real?" look.
"Wait a damn minute here, Karen Fairgate! What's going on here?" She cast a look toward Mack. "Sid Fairgate is a saint, and here you are shacked up with this...this...hairball?"
"Sid?" Karen asked. Sid Fairgate, her mind called out. Yes, this was another one of those strange hallucinations, and this time Laura's joined the mix.
"Wait. You are...Mack, right? Mack. You're....no, you're Karen's Mack. But what about Sid?" Laura asked, feeling totally confused and vulnerable.
This was another of her weird hallucinations, and this time Karen's joined the mix.
"What are you saying?" Frank asked.
"I'm saying that this is actually worse than living in fear of JR Ewing. I go to work and hear people talking about things that happened years ago as if it happened yesterday. The computers are practically antiques, yet everyone claims they've only been installed six months ago. When I mentioned ATM's to my manager, he had no idea what I was talking about! Julie says none of her friends have even heard of Madonna or Boy George, and you and I both saw that TV is five years behind. Honey, we're not in Kansas any more."
"Well, I thought it was just culture shock. You know, new place, new part of the country..."
Man, what a lousy police detective he must have been...Pat thought.
"There he is," Patricia said, hearing a car pull up. "If he doesn't give me some major reassurance, I'm going to call up Geraldo Rivera and have him do an expose on me, on JR Ewing, and then on this crazy place." Frank opened the door to Sam, Ginger's fleet-footed date at the Lotus Point party.
"Alright, Mrs. Williams, I'm here. Now, what seems to be the problem?"
Last edited by Daniel Avery; 01-11-2009 at 12:02 AM.
"Mr and Mrs Williams. I'm your new case worker, Samuel Adams, but you can just call me 'Sam.'" Pat and Frank shook Sam's hand as they invited him into their home. "Sorry that it took so long for me to check on you and how you're adjusting, but my predecessor was not very keen on keeping her files organized. It took me awhile to sort the mess, but I've finally managed to get up to speed...is something wrong?"
"Where do I begin?!" spat Pat. Frank put his hand on her shoulder, to steady her. She took a deep breath, and continued...
Ginger had called the number Sam had given her, but his answering service had informed her that he had an urgent meeting with some clients and would not be back for the rest of the day. DAMN! Looks like I'll just have to find someone there to dance with in front of Kenny! She called Diana to ask her if she would babysit Erin for her.
Laura was at her wits end with all the craziness. I've lost my f#cking mind here. Maybe I've been hanging out with Val too long...
"Mom! Dad wanted to know where you were."
Laura turned around to see her son walking up to the Fairgate's front door where she had backed up to. "Tell him I'll be there in a minute, sweetie!" When she turned around, the Karen she knew stood there and Mack had vanished. Am I'm having acid flashbacks?
"Laura?! Are you OKAY?" Karen asked rather impatiently.
She looks tired. Does she know what just happened? Laura wasn't sure what, if anything, Karen had experienced just now. "Yeah, I'm fine. Just wanted to see how you were. Haven't talked to you since the party last weekend."
"Oh, I'm fine. I-I've been meaning to come over and apologize...for the way I-I acted at the..."
"Hey, don't worry about it." Laura offered quickly as she started to walk out. "It happens to the best of us. Listen, just realized I left the iron on in the oven. Gotta go check on that! Talk to you later!" and with that she
took off for home.
Lillimae had been fooling with the pocket watch again. It still worked to a certain extent, but not like it should. Everytime she wound it up, she could hear the gears clicking, but then they would stop. She didn't realize that everytime she played with it, she was playing with people's time...
Patricia was having no more of this foolishness. Frank may be acting like none of this was relevant, but she needed answers. Having Sam acting like he was some sort of newbie wasn't helping matters.
"Not you too?" she spat out. ""We've been dealing with you for the past seven months, and now you act like you've never met us? I mean, you're the one who decided Jonelle 'looked like a Julie' when we were creating these new identities."
Frank jumped in. "Look, when you said you'd place us somewhere JR Ewing would never think to look for us, you obviously didn't do your research. The man's brother lives across the driveway! It's almost like you wanted to plant us in plain sight."
Sam was listening but not looking very concerned. He even began to have a smug look on his face.
"When the feds granted you protection," he said, "It was decided that we needed to do something more radical than just giving you a new name and a new job, Mrs. Williams. You are literally untraceable to Ewing or any of his associates. In a way you are indeed hiding in plain sight...and that's why our operation was such a stroke of genius."
"I swear, if you don't start making sense I'm gonna call the media!" Pat said, turning her back.
"Mrs. Williams....it's quite ingenious, really. JR Ewing isn't even looking for you here because....you haven't even met him yet. We lifted you and your family out of the situation in DC, and placed you in a time prior to any of the events. You and your family literally disappeared off the face of the earth when you were placed in Witness Protection."
Pat and Frank were understandably thrown for a loop, but after a few seconds of silence, they realized it all made a strange sort of sense. The neighbors' poor sense of fashion, Pat's problems at work, Julie's inability to actually fit in with her school friends---but why in the world would the government do something so drastic?
"So we're your guinea pigs?" Frank finally said, putting on his detective cap at last. "You and the feds decide to test out some sort of time-travel plot on us--without telling us!--and then just let us think we've gone insane? And what about all the other crap that's going on in this neighborhood?"
Patricia was snapped back to reality. "Oh, yeah! Whatever this 'procedure' is that you use, it's causing all sorts of side-effects. I'm no time-travel expert, but it looks like the minute you yanked us out of 1987 and shoved us into this...place, everyone's reality started shattering. The woman next door--"
Sam looked sheepish. "Well, yes...there have been some unfortunate after-effects that we are trying to examine..."
"Unfortunate after-effects?! Patricia yelled. "You have really screwed this one up, Sam...and what else should I expect from the US government? I mean, you show up and say 'We're here from the US government, and we're here to help you'. I should have run like hell!"
Sam looked a bit more defensive. "Hey, we really ARE out to fix all this. It came from the very top. I've even begun work on fixing one of the...um, problems on my very own."
Lilimae decided it best to quit playing around with her 'toy'. The Bratney situation was under control. Gary and Val were banging like a screen door in a hurricane, so the prospect of grandchildren in her future mellowed Lilimae a bit more. Besides, Hee Haw was going to be on in fifteen minutes, and nothing lifted her spirits quite like a weekly visit to Cornfield County. She put her pocket-watch in her sewing basket, unaware that she was but a pawn in much larger plotline. But at least I get airtime, she thought as she felt bad for poor Sid Fairgate next door.
Laura's mad dash across the driveway to her house had not gone unnoticed. Abby wondered if Laura was in fact losing her grip. I mean, she didn't even wait for Jason to follow behind. Maybe she is really sick, Abby thought, turning off her water hose. After switching off the faucet, she looked up to see a stranger approaching her. It wasn't the man who'd gotten out of the car at the Williamses. He had wild-looking blond hair, and while normally Abby would have thought he was quite attractive, she was more concerned that he looked angry about something. She ran to get into the house, but he pushed his way in before she could shut the door.
"Please don't hurt me!" she said, waving her hands. "Take whatever you want...I mean, that's my purse right there!" He looked to her purse near the door, then looked back at her, puzzled.
"Where's MacKenzie?" he barked. Abby was genuinely puzzled. She'd never met Brian Johnston.
"Mack MacKenzie! I know he lives in one of these houses. He pulled out a hunting knife, making Abby gasp. Thank God Jeff has the kids, she thought.
"Tell me where MacKenzie is or you'll end up just like Linda." He lunged forward, knife drawn.
"I don't know anyone named MacKenzie!" she cried out, closing her eyes in terror. She thought for sure she was about to be murdered.
She opened her eyes to...nothing. The door was closed. Whoever had been there...suddenly wasn't.
"What the hell was that??"
Well, THAT went well! Sam thought as he got back into his car. It's a good thing they don't have a clue about the missing Chronal Displacement Device...
Pat and Frank were more confused than ever as to what to do next.
"Frank, this is so messed up! How can they play with our lives like this? AND I didn't even VOTE for Reagan!!"
"We need to tell Julie."
"Ohhhhhh, I don't know if she can hadle that, Frank. Not after all she's been through! Besides, WHAT do we say? 'Baby, how was school today? That's great, by the way, you may get to do this all over again, because we're stuck five years in the past!!'"
Laura was pacing again, when Richard came from downstairs.
"Laura, honey, you better start getting ready if we want to make it for the start of the sho..."
"I'm not going, Richard. I have too much on my mind right now."
"WHAT?! WHY? I thought we agreed.."
"NO! You agreed to going, Richard. I said 'maybe'."
"I've already told Gary and Val..."
"Ask Abby. Maybe she'll want to go. I'm just not up for it tonight."
Ginger was getting Erin's things together when the phone rang.
"Hey, Ginger. It's Sam. I got your message. What did you need?"
Sid walked into the house and called for Karen. She came out of the kitchen, looking a bit apprehensive, but relaxed when she saw that it was just her husband.
"Where are the kids?"
"Oh, Michael is over at a friend's tonight, Eric is out with friends and the neighbors' daughter, Julie Williams (I think it's a date, but he didn't want to tell me), and Diana is upstairs. She's babysitting for Ginger tonight. She's going to that God-awful pageant to see Kenny."
"Oh, Sid. I can't help it, but I suppose she is supporting him (God knows why)...so, that's something, I guess."
Bubba and Verdelia Shears were in their trailer home ("It's a double wide!" Verdelia would proudly say). When news of their niece's possible singing success broke out from Bubba's brother, they were mildly interested. Then when he and his wife had been killed in the flea market incident, Bubba and Verdelia realized that they stood to profit from Bratney's possible success. But when her album flopped, they had given up hope, and decided they would collect her when they made it out to California, which was probably going to be NEVER.
Their attitude changed last night after watching the latest installment of Entertainment Tonight (the only news program they watched). Mary Hart had reported that Bratney's album had started to climb its way back up the charts and her first single, 'Crusty Panties' had hit number 8 on the Billboard charts.
"My settlement check from K-Mart should be arriving soon. As soon as you go and cash it over at the Piggly Wiggly, we can get some bus tickets and grab our little gal there."
"Where did they say she was?" said Verdelia as she read her Soap Opera Digest.
"Knots Landing? Is that some sort of navy base or something?"
"Heck, I dunno. As long as she believes she's actually our niece, it's all gravy, ain't it? Finally, some payback for all this aggravation."
Ginger was honest enough to admit to Sam the "real" reason she wanted him to take her out, and though he didn't mind being a "trophy date," the idea of being in a bar full of men checking him out didn't exactly fill him with anticipation. Ginger said that until recently, Kenny would have said the same thing; in fact, he was one of the more homophobic men she'd ever met. "I don't know if it's his precious ego needing to be fed, or if maybe he's just working out some sort of problem he doesn't want to talk about--at this point, I don't care. There are so many things he refuses to share with me, and if there's one thing I will never forgive, it's someone keeping secrets."
Abby, still shaking, was afraid to answer the door. Richard rang the bell, then called out Abby's name. For once, Abby's cool facade had broken. She ran to the door and threw herself into Richard's surprised arms.
She told Richard what had happened, or at least the high points. She asked Richard if he knew any MacKenzies (he didn't), but didn't feel the need to mention how the man had disappeared into thin air.
"You know what you need?" Richard asked, ever the self-absorbed jerk.
"A Vodka Stinger?" Abby joked.
"Yeah...and I know the place for you to get it."
Suggesting Richard take Abby to that pageant thing was a stroke of genius on Laura's part. Not only did she get out of seeing her husband humiliate himself once again, but the idea of Abby parked in the middle of a room full of unavailable men just made Laura want to chuckle. Laura decided to rent a movie Jason and she could watch, and maybe bake some cookies. Sometimes I think we could be a lot happier if Richard went out every night, Laura thought after Richard took off.
"Valene? Valene?" Gary called downstairs. Gary was trying to decide on something to wear, while Val and Lilimae were in the kitchen. What does a straight man wear to a gay bar? Gary had wondered. Gary had spent an inordinate amount of time in bars, but not those kind.
"Just a pair of jeans...a plaid shirt...like you wear at work," Val suggested. She was wearing one of her cotton sun dresses as usual, not that it mattered; no one was going to be looking at her. And that was what Gary was most concerned about--what would he do if some guy started hitting on him? Gary feared he would hit back--with his fists--and cause a scene. Gary had been tossed out of his fair share of bars, but not this kind! "Do I have to go?" Gary finally asked. "This is...well, it's just damn strange, Val! Kenny and Richard have two gorgeous wives and they're trying to...well, it's just--"
"Damn strange!" Val agreed.
The Knuts Landing Leather Bar was pretty crowded. It was beyond Michael Torrance's expectations. Even Paul Lynde was impressed by the turn out. "I think my price just went up, Michael!" cackled the comedic actor as he gulped down another cocktail.
Ciji was on stage performing "I Wanna Kiss You All Over" when Richard, Abby, Gary, and Val walked in.
"Twenty bucks for a cover charge?!! This is highway robbery!" yelled Richard over the noise and music.
After debating for what seemed like forever, Val had conviced Gary to go just to see what all the fuss was about. From what he could see, there wasn't anything to fuss over, it appeared to be just a sea of hairy men dressed as...he was... Gary pulled Val in closer. She smiled at him.
Kenny, Chip, Peter, Joshua and the other contestants were getting ready for the first part of the show backstage.
"Do these jeans make my ass look fat?" asked a burly man with nipple rings to Chip.
"Uh...NO?" was his reply. This will all be over soon. This will all be over soon.
Joshua decided to take a peek through the curtain to see if Val had shown up. At first he couldn't make anyone out among the sea of flannel, but then he spotted that beautiful golden hair. I have to talk to her tonight! I don't know who that blonde guy is that's with her, but he's no competition for me...
Peter, ever the jealous type, wanted to see what or who Joshua was looking at. As soon as Joshua had finished peeking, Peter went right after him to see if he could figure out what he was looking at. He thought he was going to see that little blonde gal with pigtails Joshua had been staring at the other day, but instead his eyes came across another blonde with the most stunning eyes he had ever seen...
Abby was trying to forget about what had happened earlier. She kept thinking at any moment someone would usher her into a limo and drive away and do God knows what with her. Like cut my hair or take away my make-up! She shuddered and snuggled closer to Richard. Maybe he will let me stay over tonight? I don't think I can go back to that empty house...why are those men making out? Where the hell has Richard taken me?!
Ginger and Sam arrived just in time for Michael's(?!) stage entrance. "Good evening ladies and ladies!" While everyone laughed, applauded, whooped, and hollered, Gary looked offended while the others just smiled wondering what the hell they had gotten themselves into. Michael stood there in a sequined dress complete with make-up and huge shoulder pads. He had a short, black wavy wig on. Needless to say, his athletic frame looked ridiculous in the dress. That is not his color! Thought Abby as she sipped her Vodka Stinger.
"I trust everyone's having a decadent time! My name is "Alexis," and I'll be your host for tonight's event." More applause and some catcalling followed. "Please, let's give a hand for our music talent tonight, the incomparable, Miss Ciji Dunne!" Ciji who was standing off to the side, curtsied, and waved while the audience applauded. "Tonight is the first of what I hope will be an annual event here at the Knuts Landing Leather bar...the Mr Gay Knots Landing Pageant!" Again everyone applauded. "Before we get to the meat parade, I just wanted to introduce our celebrity panel of judges. First from television, we have Paul Lynde!" Paul stood up and blew kisses all the while smiling that infamous smile of his. "Next we have stand-up comedian, Rip Taylor!" Rip stood up and threw his signature confetti. "And finally, last but not least, Mr. Charles Nelson Riley of Match Game." Chalres stood up and raised his drink to the crowded bar while he waved his ascot. "Alright, let's meet the contestants!"
Meanwhile, back at the cul-de-sac.....
We see lights in the windows at the Fairgate home. Karen comes into the living room where Diana was listening to music on headphones, and Erin Molly was asleep in her bassinet. She looked over at the baby and smiled. Thank God Diana isn't a tramp. I couldn't bear to be a grandma at my young age...she thought, and smiled sweetly at Diana.
Diana continued listening to the music and smiled back. I hope she isn't zonked out on speed again.... Erin Molly, asleep for over an hour, was unavailable for comment.
Karen was actually quite lucid, but still felt unsettled. She told Diana she was going to go over to the Averys' to return the measuring cup she'd borrowed, which was actually just an excuse to get out of the house. Before she could head out, there was a knock at the front door. It was an older, African-American woman with a stylish streak of gray in her otherwise black hair. She looked panicky.
"Alright, Mrs. MacKenzie. I give up. I'll tell you what I know about the babies. But I want your guarantee you and your husband will keep Ackerman away from me. I want this to be over! I can't sleep at night, and I can't look at myself in the mirror over what I've done."
"Pardon--?" Karen asked. Diana rocked on, not hearing a word.
"Your husband's connected. You said he could get me immunity if I testify. Otherwise, I'm out. I'm not goin' down for kidnapping babies." Karen walked out to the doorstep and shut the door.
"I think you have the wrong house."
"Ohhh, no you don't," Nurse Wilson said, pointing at Karen. "I'm putting my life on the line to help you and your husband. Dr. Ackerman could have me killed. I got too much to lose for you to back out on the deal."
"The deal...?" Karen said, trying to play along; obviously she was having another hallucination--but she hadn't popped a pill in over six hours!
"I mean, one minute you're at my house guilt-trippin' me about your friend's babies, and now you act like I'm gum on your shoe! You are one crazy white woman."
"Stolen babies...whose?" Karen asked. "You stole someone's babies?"
"Okay, I'm out of here," Nurse Wilson said. "You're crazy--almost as crazy as Ackerman." The woman stalked away and got into her old car, parked in the circle-drive.
Karen stood on the doorstep with shock and horror on her face. She was obviously part of the whole thing with the MacKenzie man--she called me Mrs. MacKenzie! and somehow, in some way, he had gotten involved with stealing babies!
Lilimae was finished watching Hee Haw and was half-way into Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters when she remembered Gary had a sock needing mending. As she took out her sewing basket, she remembered the pocket-watch that she'd put in there, but she resisted the urge to play with it; she'd been assured things would fall into place. So far, she wasn't too sure. She sewed on the sock, thinking of the mistakes she'd made in the past and how she had been given that most incredible opportunity--to right the wrongs of her past. Val and Gary had lost the chance to raise their little girl because of Lilimae, and she still carried that guilt like a weight around her neck. Gary and Val were no closer to creating grand-babies than they had been when Lilimae had moved in, which also hurt Lilimae's heart. Moreover, she had hoped that by that point, her long-lost (and unmentioned-to-that-point) son would have found his way to Knots Landing. Though she had no idea what he would look like or even if he still had the name she and Jonathan had given him, she had been promised that if she did "her part," she would have the chance to make it all up to him, as well as the other members of her family that she had let down.
Gary's sock was mended rather easily, but her family? It was going to take much more work.
Julie came home from her date with Eric (it was only 9pm, but Eric managed talking his dad into extending the weekend curfew), and she felt...happy. Eric was turning out to be the one good thing about moving here.
The pageant was going fairly well.
Gary was very uncomfortable. He had seen how most of the men were eyeing him. I wish my jeans weren't so tight. And why does Contestant #6 keep staring at Val? I-I could use a drink right about now...
Abby was trashed. As if being attacked in her own home by a handsome stranger was not enough, here she was surrounded by all kinds of gorgeous men...who had no interest in her. She downed her 6th Vodka Stinger and told Richard she was heading to the bar to get another. "Don't you think you should slow do..." He stopped as he realized she was not listening. As Abby approached the bar, she noticed the rather studly bartender eyeing her. He had tattoos and a swarthy complexion. He winked at her and said, "What can I get you, sweetness?"
"Vodka Stinger. You're not like the other men here are you?" she purred at the man.
"You got that right, babe!"
"Hmmm. Well, 'babe', what's your name?"
Oh, that's perfect! Last call for the tuna boat, Abby!
After all 12 contestants had been introduced, the question and answer/swimsuit session followed. Kenny managed to breeze through his question as it pertained to music (Did Michael have something to do with the selection of my question?), and Joshua lucked out on his ("Contestant # 6, what would you say is your best feature?" "I'd have to say my sensitivity and my schlong."). Chip and Peter had not fared as well. Peter was so nervous, he stuttered through most of his answer, while on the other hand, Chip was articulate but he rambled forever in responding to his question about what he felt were his shortcomings. It didn't help that after he was done and was strolling up the catwalk, the sock he had stuffed down his swim trunks had slipped out and fell on the stage. Well, I can kiss any prize money good-bye. Hopefully one of the other two can pull this off.
The talent portion was now underway, and Kenny was last. He was pacing backstage. He had seen Ginger in the audience with some man, and they looked quite chummy. Who the hell is that guy? Why am I doing this? Who am I trying to impress? Am I really proving anything to myself if I win a fixed GAY pageant? Why the hell have I been ignoring my marriage? Why did I choose lime green bikini briefs for my act?! He heard Joshua finish his dramatic reading of Green Eggs & Ham and knew that he was up. With his sudden moment of clarity, he was about to throw in the towel and just skip the rest of the show, but then he remembered the dance competition he had won with Ginger, and suddenly he knew what to do...
Last edited by AdrianCuldesac; 01-14-2009 at 03:56 AM.
"Mr. Adams! Are you Mr. Adams??" Karen the bartender yelled, even though she was standing at Sam and Ginger's table. The music ("In the Navy") was deafening. "You have a phone call at the bar!!"
Sam had only left his number with one person, so he knew he would have to take the call. But how to explain to his date?
"The curse of having a common name..." he said, smiling sheepishly. "Must be a wrong number."
"Are you sure it isn't just a customer ordering a beer?" Ginger asked innocently.
"Oh! Yeah! Good one!" he smiled, and pointed at her as he got up to head to the bar. She laughed, wondering why he thought she'd made a joke.
Oh, good grief, what does he want me to do now?
"Sounds like the cul-de-sac wasn't Lake Wobegon back then, after all..." the voice on the other end of the phone cracked after hearing the loud music and cat-calling.
"Has something happened?" Sam asked.
"Get out of there ASAP, and check on your little dancing queen."
Sam looked across the crowd. Kenny was strolling onto the stage. "But he's right in front of me!" Sam objected.
"Not those! I'm talking about Bratney Shears. When she gets out of our sight, I get nervous. Do you hear me?"
"Barely!" Sam said, thinking of the background noise.
"No, you dumb-ass, I mean do you hear what I'm saying? You need to keep closer tabs on her, because she's a loose cannon."
More like a loose slut, Sam thought. Oh well, he had not really been too keen on getting his butt grabbed every few minutes anyway--and unfortunately Ginger wasn't the one doing the grabbing.
Sam was getting good at coming up with quick excuses, but lying to Ginger was getting harder and harder. Luckily, fate intervened. Sam looked to the stage and saw the other Dancing Queen pulling his estranged wife onto the stage. Sam scawled a quick note onto a cocktail napkin and headed out of the bar.
Sorry to leave like this, but the phone call is from work. Will explain over lunch Monday? Tell me how your dance debut went.
Sure, the setting was different, the music faster paced, and the dance area a bit more cramped, but it felt just like old times for Ginger while she danced with Kenny. The crowd didn't know what to make of it. Contestant #2 had strolled out looking a little unsure of himself. Then when the music started, he reached out into the crowd and pulled a woman (?) onto the stage and started dancing around her. She seemed reluctant at first, but then got into the groove of things, and it turned out that they were good together. Was this part of the show? Was this the breeder-friendly portion of the contest? Maybe she was really a drag queen...a really CONVINCING drag queen. Whatever the case was, it didn't matter, because everyone seemed to be getting into it as well.
"I love you, Ginger! I want you and Erin to come back home, where you both belong!" shouted Kenny as he dipped his wife.
"I don't know if I'm ready to do that, Kenny!" replied Ginger as she came back up.
"Promise me you'll think about it! I'm through with all the nonsense!" He spun her out.
"I can't promise anything! What if you don't win tonight?! Are you going to have another pre-mature mid-life crisis?!" She spun back into his arms.
"I feel like I've already won!" He caressed her cheek and stared into her eyes as the music died down, and their dance routine came to an end.
"That is the cheesiest crap, I have ever heard, Kenny Ward!" giggled Ginger, and she kissed her husband.
The crowd roared and stood to applause. Paul Lynde wiped a tear from his eye, and Rip Taylor snapped, "Act like a man for Christ's sake!"
Val was touched and hugged her husband. Richard toasted his friends, and then realized Abby had not returned from getting her drink...
Peter had been disqualified after the Q & A session, and had been trying to work up enough nerve to talk to the blonde minx. He didn't understand why he was feeling this way for a woman, but something about her definitely intrigued him.
"Look, this is going to sound strange, but I feel like I know you from somewhere. Kinda like deja vu." despite his poor delivery of what was obviously a lame line, Abby thought he was handsome.
"Well, I have been known to turn a few gay men around in my time. I'm just that good! It's possible we may have made...LOVE once before...perhaps we need a refresher? You know, to jog our memory!" she teased while batting her eye lashes. Not once in her whore life, had she ever had the opportunity to bed a gay man. To her, it was the closest thing she would EVER come to bedding a woman...
"Alexis" had returned to the stage with the finalists. Joshua, Kenny, and the other two contestants (a buff and blonde curly-haired guy and a scruffy, balding guy) stood there awaiting the judges' decision.
"Our second runner up is...Contestant #8!" Alien looked at Music, who was standing next to him, and said, "Congratulations, buddy!" The blonde biker looked pleased with himself as he accepted his trophy and check from Ciji. Music stepped back, and Alexis continued. "Our first runner up is...Contestant #2, that means Contestant #6...You our are FIRST Mr Gay Knots Landing!" Kenny just smiled and graciously accepted his prizes, while Joshua basked in all the attention he was getting. I like having masses of people groveling at my feet. It feels great to be wanted by so many. It's like I'm GOD! I hope my package looks good.
Chip was watching from the sidelines with great interest. Getting the money from Joshua would be a piece of cake. Five thousand dollars really wasn't that much...he had already considered that, but it was enough to get away from there and do what he really wanted. I swear, if I ever come back to Knots Landing...I-I'll just DIE!!
Last edited by AdrianCuldesac; 01-15-2009 at 01:05 AM.
Gary was tugging at Val's arm, anxious to leave.
"This is about as much sophisticated California society as I can stand, Val...let's go home."
"Oh, come on, Gary, they're just people like all of us. They're just having a good time, and I'm enjoying myself. I mean, I got Charles Nelson Reilly's autograph. Look!" She held up a blue, Match-Game style card that had CNR's distinctive signature on it.
"I feel like I'm attending a Newcomer's Mixer at Sodom and Gomorrah."
Through her alcoholic haze, Abby had lost a bit of her sex-kittenish qualities. As they danced, she meant to whisper sweet nothings in Peter's ear, but let out of a really stinky burp instead. Still, Peter felt there was a connection that went beyond her .36 blood-alcohol level. He was conflicted, however, when she asked him to "come back to her place". She definitely needed someone to make sure she got home, but was this really "getting lucky"?
That hairy little guy she'd come with was not much to look at, but they're usually so....grateful. Peter couldn't make a decision, but ultimately Abby coerced him into driving her home. Well, if nothing else, it would be an opportunity to try on some of her dresses after she passed out.
Ginger stood backstage having second thoughts. While Kenny accepted his adoration from one and all, Ginger was in that most familiar of positions: wallpaper. She was standing in a corner, pushed aside while various show-bizzy types and wannabes crowded around Kenny. She'd sat through many dinners with record execs where she was not asked a single question or even looked at as Kenny joined in on conversations. She'd always resented his tendency to forget she was even there, and now she was feeling that way again. Why do I keep letting him do this to me? she asked. She slipped away from the backstage brouhaha without anyone noticing, least of all Kenny Ward.
Richard could not find Abby anywhere in the bar, and became worried. His ego took quite the beating when he realized that Abby probably ditched him to leave with a gay guy. Then again, she was so blitzed that she probably didn't know what she was doing. That made him worry more.
"Gary, you haven't seen Abby, have you?"
"Last time I saw her was...man, an hour ago?"
Val became frightened. "I hope she isn't in trouble!" Val reached down between the chairs and retrieved a small bag that she had just noticed. "It's Abby's make-up case!" All three gasped as their faces turned white in horror; they then hurried for the exit. If Abby and her mascara had been parted, it could only mean foul play had occurred.