produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

EPISODE #95 (Friday, 3/1/02) click here for a printable version of this episode
Same Day
February, 1936 - Afternoon


Judith Stokes Linford76 Mapleton WayAn unsteady Judith Linford slowly stepped away from the wall that she had propped herself up against during her dizzy spell and tried to compose herself enough to enter the living room and Burt and Janet's conversation.  Just then, she was distracted by the delicate chimes that wafted through the house announcing a visitor at the front door.

Still slightly unsteady, she took a deep breath and carefully made her  way across the foyer.  Pausing just long enough to massage her temple, her head still slightly spinning, she opened the door.  She was not physically or emotionally prepared for who she found on the other side.

"Hello, Judith," Joyce Preston smiled snidely as she pushed past her and into the foyer, "I hope that you don't mind an impromptu visit from an old and dear friend."

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Albanyville University"What the devil do you think you're doing?" Helen Van Dyne snapped as she tried to catch her breath.  "You could give a person a heart attack by sneaking up on them like that!"

"Sorry," Clark Saxon muttered with a roll of his eyes.  "I really didn't mean to scare you.  I just need to talk to you."

"Where in the world have you been?" she asked angrily as she glared at him.  "You dropped off the face of the earth!  What's the big idea of running off and leaving me holding the bag?  Stephanie knows everything about what we were planning and that little witch is out for blood!"

"Yeah, I know," he sighed with a scowl.  "If it weren't for her and that mother of hers, I'd still be here at school!"

"Huh?"  Helen looked at him curiously.  "What do you mean?  What do they have to do with you getting thrown out of school?"

"Steffi and her mother ran straight to the dean!" Clark explained with an angry sneer.  "They made up a bunch of lies about me and how I was---let me see if I remember the words---'preying on the innocent co-eds'!"

Helen Van Dyne"Oh, my god!" she gasped as her hand flew up to her mouth.  "You can't be serious!"

"I wish I weren't," he muttered and hung his head.  "I wouldn't have known a thing about it if my dad weren't such good friends with a couple of the school regents."  He paused for a moment as a cold and callous look filled his eyes.  "I'm glad that old woman is dead!"

"Clark, that's a horrible thing to say!"

"Well..."  Clark took a deep breath.  "That's how I feel.  She got exactly what she deserved for trying to ruin my life!"  The cold, vengeful look still filling his eyes, he stared at Helen intently.  "And I couldn't help but overhear how our little miss Steffi was planning on ruining yours, too!  We've got to stop her!"

"I...I don't know..."  Helen folded her arms across her chest and shivered slightly, more than a little uncomfortable with Clark's tone and manner.  "I'm a little...tired of trying to get back at Stephanie because of what she did to Jillian."  And more than a little worried about what further retaliation might force Stephanie to do.  Helen was quite nervous about what the fallout about the revelation of her relationship with Mark might be.

Clark Saxon"I'm not letting you back out of this!" he snapped and reached out to grab her arm to give it a sharp and painful twist.  "You're into this mess up to your pretty bobbed hair!  Stephanie Lake did everything she could to ruin Jillian's life!  She and her mother all but destroyed any chance of a future that I might have.  Now, she's out to wreck your life, too!  Surely you're not going to let her get away with that?"

"I...I don't know!"  His fingers dug into her arm and she winced in pain.  "Owwww!  Stop it, Clark!  You're hurting me!"

"Would you keep your voice down!" he growled.  "Do you want everyone to know what we're up to?"

"N-no," Helen stammered, slightly shaken by a side of Clark that she'd previously never seen.

"You're in on this with me, whether you like it or not!"  He leveled his cold eyes at her.  "We're in this together and I'm not letting you back out of it!"

"I...I..."  She paused and swallowed hard.  "Okay."

"Good," Clark smiled slyly.  "Steffi's mother got exactly what she deserved for ruining my life.  Now it's Steffi's turn to get exactly what's coming to her." 


76 Mapleton Way"Well, 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 supposed breeding."

"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.

"Oh, 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."

"Not that 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 completely destroyed!"

Judith Stokes Linford"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.

Joyce Preston"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 married!"

"Right," Joyce 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 back?

"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 head.

"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!"

"Well, that 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.

Janet Stokes"W-what's 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.