Narrator: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, this is Knotty Pines, part three. Last week, the evil land developer Todd Bridges kidnapped the Greenland High Prom Regent Julie Skylark, after she overheard his dastardly plan to tear down all the houses in Knotty Pines and replace them with an exact replica of the Lincoln Memorial. She is now being held captive at Todd Bridges estate, the Charles Mansion, which lies just beyond the tall, stiff trees of the Morning Wood.
Todd: (on the phone.) Yes, I'm calling to inform you that Julie Skylark will not be in school today, due to illness. It's a woman s problem. She, uh, she fractured her ovaries.
Narrator: Before long, her absence was noted by her secret admirer and one of our heroes, Ben Covey.
(Ben stands next to Squid, who is seated.)
Ben: Lester, I think Julie's in trouble. She hasn't been in school for a whole week, and the last anyone's seen of her is when she was drug off stage by Todd Bridges. I fear for her life!
Squid: Ah, young love. I remember my first crush. (Pause.) Well, if you want, we can talk to Chief Bogle about it.
Ben: That'd be swell.
Narrator: So off they went to yet another character, Police Chief Charles Bogle.
(They cross to Bogle standing behind a table. He speaks similar to Edward G. Robinson, and holds a cigar in his hand, which he frequently almost puts in his mouth but pulls away at the last second.)
Bogle: Missing Person, eh? Is she very missing?
Ben: We think Todd Bridges kidnapped her.
Bogle: Todd Bridges is a man among men.
Squid: And one innocent schoolgirl.
Bogle: What makes you so sure?
Squid: Feminine intuition.
Bogle: You're not a female.
Squid: No, but Julie Skylark is.
Bogle: you've got no proof.
Squid: Her name's Julie, isn t it?
Bogle: No, you have no proof she's kidnapped. You're up a creek without a canoe, Squid. You've got no leg to pull, you're losing your grip, your whole life is flashing before your eyes and it's all coming up zero. What do you think of that, tough guy?
Squid: You're the zero, Bogle, you know why?
Bogle: No, why?
Squid: Because you can't see the truth, even though it's lying between your teeth. You can't face the facts, even though they're on the tip of your nose. If you can't see that, who can?
Bogle: All right, Squid. You win this round. But I'll get you yet.
Ben: Wait! Does Todd Bridges have a criminal record?
Bogle: Let me check. (He rummages.) As a matter of fact, he does. Let's see: disturbing the peace, arson, unpaid parking tickets, plagiarism, loitering, impersonating canned goods, hmm This last one is interesting.
Ben: What is it?
Bogle: Attempt to replace suburb with national monument.
Ben: You don't think
Squid: Think what, Ben?
Ben: That's his plan. He's at it again.
Bogle: You really think so?
Ben: I know so.
Squid: Then we haven't one moment to lose!
Narrator: And, they were off to the Charles Mansion. If only they could see what was unfolding at that moment.
(Julie is tied to a chair. Todd paces in front of her.)
Julie: What are you gonna do to me?
Todd: Oh, threaten you, torture you, something along those lines.
Julie: How can you be so evil?
Todd: My mother. The evil gene is a maternal one. My dad was bald and my mother was evil. So, I have a full head of hair, but each follicle is pure evil.
Julie: Good Lord.
Narrator: Good Lord indeed, for at that moment, the torturer arrived. Tall, dark and foreboding, his name belied his nature.
Ira: Hi, I'm Ira, I'll be torturing you this evening. Now, I have a couple of package deals, which may interest you. There's the premium, which consists of tickling, eating in front of her when she's hungry, changing the temperature drastically, stuff like that, and that runs about 350. And then there's my specialty, which costs 500 big ones.
Todd: What's that?
Ira: That's when I read the last chapter of mystery novels.
Todd: That will do perfectly.
Ira: Great. Now if you could just sign here, we'll be all set.
Todd: What is this?
Ira: It's just a standard waiver. It ensures that if she experiences any mental or physical trauma, we're held responsible.
Julie: You won t get away with this!
Todd: Oh, yeah? Who's gonna stop me?
Julie: Uh that kid. The one who sits next to me in class.
Narrator: She must mean Ben Covey.
Julie: I thought it was Brian.
Narrator: Regardless of his surname, the question at hand is will he rescue her in time? Be with us next week when you'll hear Ira say:
Ira: I believe, Miss Marple carefully said, The identity of the murderer is-
Narrator: That's next week in Knotty Pines!
"KNOTTY PINES, PART THREE" IS COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL AND MAY NOT BE
TRANSMITTED, PRINTED OR PERFORMED WITHOUT THE EXPRESS PERMISSION
OF THE AUTHOR
"Knotty Pines, Part Three" debuted October 15, 1999.
Cast: Greg Mitchell: Narrator, Neil Campbell: Todd Bridges, Brad Smith: Ben Covey, Mark Hansen: L.U. Squid, Chris Stangl: Chief Bogle, Sheila Franklin: Julie Skylark, Chris Breecher: Ira.