The usual disclaimers apply. Don't own them; just write about them for fun. Scarecrow and Mrs. King belong to Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon enterprises and no copyright infringement is intended
These stories take place in the third season, shortly after Utopia Now
A Matched Pair
the silk ribbon on her crook and looked at herself in
the mirror. The pastel pink dress fell to just above her knees and
under that she wore a pair of white pantaloons. A white mop-hat sat on
top of her head-tendrils of dark curls fell to her shoulders and
peeked out from beneath the gathered elastic, framing Amanda's face.
But perhaps the silliest part of the whole ensemble was the
patent-leather shoes and ruffled ankle-socks. The only plus to this
whole situation was that mother and the boys had gone to Williamsburg
for the weekend. They didn't have to see her like this. Even better,
Amanda didn't have to come up with an explanation for why she was
going to a costume party in November.
There was a
sound outside. Peering out the front window, Amanda
watched as Lee's car pulled into the driveway. She'd been surprised
when he'd called her up to invite her to this party- ever since that
night in the swamp it almost seemed like Lee had been trying to avoid
her. Amanda's hand brushed unconsciously over her lips as she thought
about that night-just thinking about that almost-kiss caused her pulse
to quicken slightly.
Stop it, Amanda,
she told herself sternly. This party is just
business, not a date.
The doorbell rang.
you ready?" Lee's muffled voice came from the other side
of the door.
Amanda said. "You can come in and wait-I'll only be a
minute." There was silence. "Lee it's okay-mother and the boys are
in Williamsburg, remember?"
"I don't want you to see me like this," Lee said.
ridiculous. If I'm going out with you I have to see you at
to talk about what's ridiculous you should look at this
costume. We should've never let Francine pick these out-I don't know
what she was thinking but she's paying for this one."
isn't any better," Amanda said. "Lee please just open
the door and come in. Please?"
"You asked for it," Lee said. "And no laughing."
laughing I promise," Amanda said. But when the door opened
had to put her hand over her mouth to stifle the giggles that were
gosh," she said. When Francine had told Amanda that the
costumes were part of a matching pair she'd expected Lee to be dressed
as a shepherd or something but this-
"A-man-da you promised," Lee said.
With some difficulty Amanda managed to compose herself. She
grabbed her purse and a medium-weight jacket. "I'm ready, let's go."
to me tonight, okay?" Lee said. "This is supposed to be
routine drop, but you never know what might happen at these things."
definitely be close," Amanda said, opening the door and
making sure it was locked behind them. Together they stepped out into
the chilly November night. "After all I don't want to lose my sheep,
Another Wooly Mess
Saturday, November 9, 1985
"Wow," was all Amanda could say as they pulled up in front of the house, parking the 'Vette in the circular driveway. "This is just—"
"Yeah, I know what you mean," Lee told her.
A woman dressed as Queen Elizabeth strolled past the car, arm-in-arm with a man wearing a very brief toga. Swans and peacocks littered the brightly-lit front lawn of the mansion, weaving in and out of the assorted guests. At the very center of the front walk Amanda saw a fountain, the bubbling water reflecting a variety of colored lights. It was fantastic, she thought to herself—amazing, even—but at the same time it all seemed a little excessive.
"Look, we'll just go in, meet our contact and get out," Lee said, voicing Amanda's feelings exactly. "There's no reason for us to stay the entire evening."
"Good idea," Amanda said. "Um Lee—before you get out of the car—I need to tell you that you're sort of askew."
Lee gave her a puzzled look. "I'm sort of a what?"
"Askew," Amanda repeated. "Your hood, I mean." Reaching up, she managed to pull the sheep's hood straight. "There—that's much better."
"Gee thanks," Lee said. "The last thing I'd want to be is an askew sheep. Shall we?"
SMK SMK SMK SMK
"So our contact owns all this?" Amanda asked as they approached the house.
Lee nodded. "Marco Cioffi inherited millions from his father. And according to Francine he has a reputation for being an eccentric—watch out!" Grabbing her shoulders, Lee suddenly pulled Amanda back against him, out of the path of the Indian brave, who was busy chasing a shrieking Cleopatra with a plastic tomahawk.
"I can believe the eccentric part," Even with the sheep's costume on, Amanda could feel the heat of Lee's body pressed against hers—was that the reason her cheeks were suddenly so warm? As suddenly as he'd grabbed her Lee released her, stepping back. Was it just her imagination, Amanda wondered, or did Lee look a little flushed himself?
"Your PLEASURE, ma'am?'
The voice belonged to a tall well-muscled man, wearing little more than a loincloth and sandals. In his hand he carried a tray of hors d'oeuvres, which he extended in her direction.
"No, thank you." Amanda shook her head.
"I can also get you a drink if you like," the waiter smiled. "Like I said, your pleasure."
Before Amanda could reply she felt Lee's hand on her shoulder. "We don't need any drinks," Lee said. "What we'd like to do is to speak to Marco Cioffi."
The waiter looked at Lee. "Are you sure, sir?"
"What do you mean am I sure?" Lee asked.
"It's just that some days his probatophobia really gets out of hand—"
"Probatophobia?" Lee repeated. The word sounded vaguely familiar to Amanda, but for the life of her she couldn't remember why.
"Look, all we want to do is speak to Mr. Cioffi for a moment," Amanda told the waiter. "He's expecting us anyway—surely it wouldn't do any harm."
"You might be able to speak to him—" the waiter told Amanda when Lee interrupted.
"No, we're both speaking to him." he said
The waiter sighed. "It's your life, I guess." he said. "You'll either find Mr. Cioffi by the pool out back or in his theater, watching his VIDEO of NAUGHTY nurses—the only film he ever directed. Don't worry, it's not as EXPLICIT as it sounds."
"I'm sure it isn't," Lee said. "Come on, Amanda.""
SMK SMK SMK SMK
"Who would've thought a movie called Naughty Nurses would be a docudrama about medical mistakes?" Amanda said as they went out the French doors that led to the pool.
"Well they don't call Marco eccentric for nothing," Lee said.
The back of the house was as well-lit as the front. Soft music was being piped in from an overhead sound system. In the pool about a dozen bikini-clad girls hopped around, playing what looked to Amanda like an informal game of pool volleyball. But where was—then she saw him—a large man clad in a black ZORRO costume. And he saw them as well. Amanda watched the man's eyes widen behind the mask he wore. Still holding his WHIP, Marco Cioffi gave a roar as he charged in their direction.
And it was at that split-second that Amanda remembered what probatophobia meant.
"Lee!" she shouted. After that everything seemed to happen very quickly. Marco leapt on top of Lee-there was a sickening crack as his fist connected with Lee's eye. Thinking fast, Amanda lifted her shepherd's crook, bringing it down hard—right at the base of Marco's neck. Once, twice— until the larger man's body finally convulsed and then lay still.
"Thanks, Amanda," Lee croaked. "But now can you get me out from under him?"
SMK SMK SMK SMK
"Here we go," Amanda placed a towel in the driver's seat before Lee got in. "This should help things—I'm so sorry about the pool."
"Amanda it wasn't your fault," Lee said. "After you pulled Marco off me I just slipped—I think being underneath him made my legs go numb or something." Water dripped off the sleeves of his costume as he pushed the car into gear—the tires screeched as they pulled out of the parking lot.
"Probatophobia," Amanda said. "I should've remembered that—it was one of Jamie's vocabulary words last month—it's a fear of sheep. Oh Lee that eye looks pretty bad—we really should put some ice on that."
"Later," Lee smiled grimly. "I want to pay Francine a little visit first—thank her for this costume."
Thank You So Much
in front of the full-length mirror in her bedroom.
Perfect, she thought. Her hair was swept up, blond curls falling in
wispy tendrils on either side of her face. Taking a bottle of perfume
from her vanity she carefully applied it to the pulse points on her
wrists and neck. After that came some lipstick. Magazine ads had
promised that this particular lipstick made any man want to kiss the
woman who wore it. Not that she and Mike hadn't kissed before,
Francine thought. In fact, they'd been seeing each other for nearly
two months and it was starting to look really promising. Francine
carefully blotted her lips and then leaned closer towards the mirror,
smiling at what she saw.
rang. It was him. A little bit early, but she didn't
care. "Just a minute!" Francine called out. Hurriedly she pulled on
the silk robe and tied the ribbon. The gourmet dinner she'd ordered
from Ma Maison was already laid out on the table and the champagne was
chilling in the ice bucket. This would be a night they'd never forget.
got close to the door, a smell assaulted her senses. It
was a damp smell but more than that-she flashed back to the time at
Sarah Lawrence when one of the other girls had pushed her into the
swimming pool. Francine had been wearing her new sweater at the time
and after that it had shrunk to the point where the only girl capable
of wearing it would have to be Barbie-sized. Mallory Kimble had sworn
it was just a joke but Francine had never been quite able to forgive
her. She'd also never been able to forget that smell.
The smell of wet wool.
the door to reveal a very
bedraggled and angry-looking Lee Stetson. The sheep's costume was
soaking wet and leaving little puddles on the floor outside and the
hood was askew so that one of the sheep's ears hung over Lee's right
eye. His right black eye.
Francine said. "What happened? Little Bo Peep give you a
funny, Francine," Lee said. "Wasn't there a little
forgot to tell me about our contact?"
know Marco's a little unstable," Francine said. "But
except for his probatophobia." Lee said, walking closer.
"Know what that is? It's a fear of sheep-Marco gets very violent in
the presence of sheep."
"I'm sorry," Francine said. "If I had known-"
Lee held up his
hand. "Save it," he said. "That man is over
pounds, Francine. If Amanda hadn't conked him over the head with her
crook I'd probably be in the hospital."
can't come in here- I have a date-you're dripping water all
over the carpet and I just had it cleaned-"
Lee started to
smile. "Oh I won't stay long. I just wanted to thank
you for the costume."