MANSION - FOYER
the 'old' part is pretty accurate," Judith grumbled flippantly, "but
the 'dear friend' part is a gross exaggeration!"
"Don't be snide,
dear," Joyce cooed with false politeness as she casually surveyed the opulent
surroundings of the Stokes home, "it's not too befitting of someone of your
"What do you want,
Joyce?" Judith eyed her sternly as she fought to regain her composure
after her earlier spell of dizziness. She knew that she had to be on her
toes where Joyce Scott was concerned.
I just wanted to visit and catch up on old times." Joyce smiled slyly
as she continued to subtly glance around the room. "That darling
little sister of yours wouldn't happen to be home, would she?"
"Jillian's out with her fiancÚ
making some last minute arrangements for her wedding."
sister!" Joyce rolled her eyes. "I mean the husband
stealer! You know, the murderer!"
Judith's jaw tightened as she
glared at Joyce. "Janet's not here! You know that!"
"Ah, still locked up in
the nuthouse?" Joyce let out a thin laugh.
"Honestly! I can't believe that that dolt of a father of yours
managed to con the judge into letting the little brat off with only a slap on
the wrist! Temporary insanity my eye! That little urchin knew damn
well what she was doing when she clobbered Gordon on the head!"
"If all you want to do is
rehash the past, then you can leave!" Judith quickly strode over to
the front door and swung it open, hoping that her unwelcome visitor would take
the hint. "I have no desire to deal with a part of our lives that's
best left forgotten."
"Of course you
don't want to remember." Joyce calmly and casually walked over to
Judith, carefully pushed her out of the way, and slammed the door closed.
"However, it's something that I've had to think about every day of
my life! Because of you and that sister of yours, my life was
"Still prone to
melodramatics, I see." Judith inhaled deeply and let out a heavy
sigh. There would clearly be no getting rid of Joyce so easily.
"You listen to me,"
Joyce spat as she reached out and grabbed Judith's arm tightly, "I had the
greatest life and the greatest marriage in the world until you and that tramp
sister of yours came along! My Gordon was the sweetest and most loving
husband I could have ever hoped for."
"And rich! Don't
forget rich!" Judith smirked slightly. "That was
the primary draw, wasn't it?"
"You don't know a damn
thing about my marriage!"
"All I know is that
Gordon Scott was a louse!" Judith pulled away and folded her arms
securely across her chest. "And he's one of the worst mistakes
I've ever made with my life!"
"You sure didn't think so
when you were sleeping with him!"
"Joyce, dear, must you be
so vulgar?" Judith began to slowly circle her rival.
"You're allowing your gutter roots to show."
"You did your damnedest
to take Gordon away from me but it didn't work!" Joyce paused and let
out a bemused laugh. "But I guess that you weren't quite
everything you were cracked up to be. He did throw you over for
that sniveling little twit of a sister of yours."
"That's not what
happened and you know it!" Judith's eyes blazed with
fury. "I admit that I was rather stupid where Gordon was
concerned. However, once I realized what a horrible human being he truly
was, I sent him right back to you. He was just the kind of old
letch that you deserved! Of course, you couldn't keep him in line
so he had to find something better. Poor Janet was just too young and too
naive to see him for what he was!"
"And you just had
to do whatever you could to save her!"
"Yes, I did."
Judith's voice softened slightly.
She had done everything in her
power to convince Janet of Gordon's true colors. However, a history of
animosity between the siblings resulted in Judith's warnings falling on deaf
ears. Of course, the revelation that Judith, herself, had been involved in
a tawdry affair with Gordon hadn't endeared Judith's opinion much, either.
"Did you know that Gordon
had cut me out of his will?" Joyce questioned as she fought to maintain
control of her anger. "Apparently, he did it right before he ran off
with that nitwit. I still can't understand how she managed to convince him
to run away and marry her! He was my husband!"
"She didn't know he was
laughed sarcastically. "And the grass is green in Nebraska!"
"Look, I don't know what
kind of fantasy of Gordon that you've got painted inside that empty head of
yours, but it has nothing to do with the truth of how he really
was." Judith clinched her teeth tightly. Why couldn't Joyce get
it through her thick head how her late husband was? Why couldn't she see
him for the horrible man who chased after pretty young girls behind his wife's
"My husband was a kind
and loving man who was entirely too trusting! He fell for your charms and
bought every smooth lie and compliment that you fed him! Once you'd used
him for your cheep thrills and had thrown him over, he was left broken and
vulnerable for that idiot sister of yours!"
"I can't believe
this," Judith muttered as she buried her face in her hands and shook her
"When Gordon realized
what an evil girl Janet was, he knew that he'd been a fool! He knew
that he was making the biggest mistake of his life!" Joyce took
several short, deep breaths as she fought back her emotions. "He
loved me! Not her! She couldn't handle that so she killed him
in cold blood!" She lifted a quivering hand up to her mouth as if the
retelling of such horrible events was nearly too much to bear. "Only
then did I completely understand the cold cunning that was hidden behind her
simple facade. She convinced him to change his will! She convinced
him to completely cut me out of his life!"
"Joyce, we went through
all of this in court," Judith muttered as she began to grow even more tired
of reliving the past. "Janet gave up her inheritance from Gordon as
part of the deal with the judge. Look around you! Does it look
like she needed his money? I would have thought that his estate
would have gone to you. You were his wife!"
"Oh, that would be
a natural assumption," Joyce murmured softly, "but, no! I tried
to get reinstated in the will! I tried to fight for what was mine!
But, no! The judge decided to let Gordon's foolish decision to cut
me out of his will stand! All of that money went to his second beneficiary!"
She paused and inhaled deeply as she clutched at her chest. "A home
for wayward girls!"
figures," Judith muttered dryly with a roll of her eyes.
"You find this funny,
don't you? You find the devastation that you two have made of my life
amusing!" Joyce felt her face flush with anger. "If it
weren't for you two tramps, I wouldn't have been left with nothing! Do you
hear me? Nothing! When Gordon died, I was left without one slug nickel!
Only a few months after Gordon's death, I was thrown out onto the street!
I lost everything because of you two whores!"
Suddenly, the heated exchange
between Joyce and Judith was interrupted by the presence of a new player whose
voice pierced through the shrill shouts.
going on in here?" came the voice from the doorway.
"You!" Joyce spat as
her eyes blazed as she pointed in the direction of the voice. "You're
the one responsible!"
"Oh, dear lord,"
Judith gasped as she turned to follow the direction of Joyce's outstretched hand
straight to the wide-eyed shock of her sister Janet.