produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

EPISODE #64 (Thursday 9/6/01) click here for a printable version of this episode
a few days later - October 1935


Annabelle Lake800 W. Rose St. Apt #3, Albanyville, ILWith careful diligence, Annabelle Lake arranged the large bouquet of flowers in a vase that sat in the middle of the dining room table.  Realizing that it didn't quite look the way that she wanted, she furrowed her brow and made a quick rearrangement.  Stepping back, she smiled broadly with satisfaction.

"There!" she exclaimed with delight.  "That's perfect."  She quickly glanced at the clock on the wall and noted the time.  Charles Callison should be there at any moment.

After rushing to the mirror to make a last minute check of her face, she carefully smoothed down a stray eyebrow and pinched her cheeks to increase their rosiness.  Suddenly, the doorbell rang and she turned to run and answer it.

As she flung the door open, her jaw dropped in a mixture of shock and horror.

"Hello, Annabelle," Dr. Fred Rutherford smiled.  "We need to talk."

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23 Green St., Albanyville, IL"Are you sure I can't get you some tea?" Douglas Davis asked as he stood over his wife Lorraine while she lay on the couch, still recuperating from her near tragic collapse.

"I wish you'd stop fussing over me," Lorraine Davis replied as she looked up at him.  "I feel fine.  In fact, I really can't wait to get back to work."

"But you know what the doctor said!  You've got to take it easy.  This makes the second time you've collapsed."  He sat down beside her and carefully took her hand into his.  "We can't afford to take any chances."

"I know," she muttered as she rubbed her protruding belly.  "This baby has caused so much stress that we really do have to be careful."  She thought for a moment about what her life would be like if she weren't expecting a child.  Especially if she weren't expecting Douglas' child.

Douglas Davis"Lorraine, are you okay?" he asked as he looked at her carefully.  He could clearly see where her mind had begun to drift since a dark cloud seemed to cover her eyes.

"Oh, um, yes," she stammered when she realized that she'd begun to think about things too horrible to mention.  

She rubbed her stomach again and shuddered at the horrible thoughts that had started to run through her head.  No, she couldn't even consider that possibility.  She'd suffered so much for the sake of this child that she couldn't bear to endure the pain that loosing it would cause.

"J-just a chill," she muttered as she reached for a throw that lay on the back of the couch and wrapped it around herself.

"Well, let me get you that hot tea."  Douglas headed off towards the kitchen.  "And maybe some brownies.  You did say you'd been craving chocolate."

"Um...yes, dear, that would be nice."  Her eyes followed him as he came back into the living room with a tray carrying the tea and brownies and she smiled warmly.  "You know, Douglas, I've been very impressed and more than a little surprised at how well you've been handling all of this.  I know this can't be easy for you, either."

"It's because I know that we can't change the way things are.  Everything has worked out for the best."  He sat the tray down on the coffee table and reclaimed his spot on the couch next to her.  "You know this was all quite a shock for me, but, now that I've gotten used to it, I'm very happy.  Happy with you and happy with our lives."  He hesitated and looked at her lovingly.  "I just wish...I just wish that you could be just as happy as I am."

Lorraine Davis"I'm trying, Douglas, I really am."  She turned her head quickly to hide the tears that wanted to well up in her eyes.  She wasn't sure if they were as much from their entire situation or her physical state due to her expectancy.

"Oh, Lorraine, it's all going to be all right."  He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close.  "We did the right thing.  This is the best thing for all of us.  You and our child are the most important things in this world to me.  Once this baby's born, you'll see how wonderful things are going to be."

She shuddered slightly, still uncertain about their lives.  Could she ever be as hopeful for the future as Douglas seemed to be?  Would things ever truly be okay?  However, as she pondered their fates, she began to find comfort in her husband's strong arms that held her securely.  They seemed to bring almost a calming feeling to her and she found herself smiling despite everything that was going on.  Maybe they would be all right, after all.  Maybe...


800 W. Rose St. Apt #3, Albanyville, IL"What the devil are you doing here?" Annabelle demanded as she looked at Fred sternly.  "I told you never to come here!"

"We need to talk, Annabelle!"  Fred pushed past her and into the living room, completely disregarding her clear distress.

"We can't talk hereCharles could be here at any moment!"  She quickly followed him around the room as a sense of panic began to set it.  "He can't find us here, together!  He knows you've been seeing that dowdy wife of his.  If he sees you here, he'll know that something's going on!  He's sure to suspect that I might have something to do with your pursuit of her!"

"Then I guess I better talk fast, huh?"  Fred folded his arms across his chest and glared at her sternly.  "I need your help."

"Help?  What kind of help?  With Francis?"  She eyed him cautiously.  What in the world could he be up to?  Whatever it was, it made her deeply uncomfortable.  As she bit her lip, she quickly glanced at the clock on the wall.  Charles could walk in at any time!

"No, not with Francis.  I'm doing very well there, on my own."

Annabelle Lake"Would you just get to the point!  What the hell are you talking about?"  She began to wring her hands as her nervousness began to take over.  She'd worked too long and hard to have things ruined like this.  "You've got to get out of here!"

"It's awfully important to you that Charles Callison not find out about the connection between us, isn't it?"  His smugness unnerved her to no end.

"I would think it would be important to you, as well!  I'm sure dear Francis would be none too pleased to find out that we're friends."  She narrowed her eyes as she peered at him.  "I'm sure that would throw quite the monkey wrench into your own plans!"

"I have more urgent concerns, right now."  Stone faced and rigid, he was determined not to let Annabelle distract him from his true motives.  "As I was saying, you wouldn't want Charles to ever find out about our connection or the roll I played in your seduction of him at that party."

"What the devil are you getting at?"

"If you want me to keep my trap shut, it's going to cost you!"

"Blackmail?"  Annabelle's jaw dropped in shock as she began to gasp for air.  "You want to blackmail me?  Why you dirty son of a..."

"Now, now, now, don't get yourself all flustered," he smiled coyly.  "It wouldn't do to get yourself all worked up if lover boy's on his way."

She took a step back from him and inhaled deeply in an attempt to calm her anger and sooth her now ragged nerves.  Her composure maintained, she stood up straight, as if prepared for a fight, and eyed him with determination.  She knew that with Charles on the way, she had to think quickly.

"What do you want?"

Dr. Fred Rutherford"You owe me!  If it weren't for me, you'd have gotten nowhere!  If it weren't for me, you'd still be pining your pathetic little heart out over a deeply loyal and committed man!  If you want me to stay quiet, you'll do exactly what I tell you to."

"I will not!"  Her temper began to rise again as her face flushed a crimson red.  "I owe you nothing!  As part of our deal, I'm keeping Charles away from his beloved, pitiful Francis so that you can do whatever it is you're planning to do with her!"

"You listen to me, you wretch," he muttered through clinched teeth as he swiftly reached out and grabbed her by the arm.  "If you don't give me what I want, I'll run straight to Charles and tell him all about that night.  I'll tell him how you gave me certain...favors, shall we exchange for a little bottle filled with a wonderful power that you used to drug him into doing exactly what you wanted!"

"You wouldn't."

"Oh, yes, I would!"  He dug his fingers deep into her arm and she winced from the pain.  "So, what's it gong to be, Annabelle, darling?  Give me exactly what I ask for or watch this entire scheme of yours blow up right in your face?"