Dear Lord, Deliver Us From Jack
@2017 Linda Barrett
"Are you sure we can get away with this?" Mr. Frog asked Mr. Devil as they crouched behind the foliage around the "Hawaii Five-O" star's house.
"What?" the tall man in the Devil mask brayed in his easy-going voice. "He's senile He won't remember a damn thing We roll him up, put him in the truck, drive up to the cabin in the mountains, tape his ransom video, send it to the fuzz and we're out of the country within days "
The short man in the frog mask sighed.
"What about him?" Mr. Frog slumped his shoulders. "He's Steve McGarrett People all over the damn world will book us for sure If he dies, we'd get the chair "
"Have I ever lied to you?" Mr. Devil wrapped his arm around Mr. Frog's shoulders.
"Plenty You said they wouldn't bust us if we sprayed that paint on all those cameras in that store "
"We took the wrong paint That's all How'd did you know we picked up Dial spray-on deodorant instead of the spray paint? Relax We've done bigger jobs before "
"And we wound up in the slammer...EVERY TIME " Mr. Frog shouted.
Mr. Devil clamped his hand over Mr. Frog's mouth.
"Keep it down " Mr. Devil whispered. "You want them to hear us?"
Mr. Frog swatted his hands at Mr. Devil.
"Let's get this thing going " he moaned as they crept out of the Hawaiian vegetation.
Abducting the Hawaii Five-O star turned out to be an easier production. Mr. Devil and Mr. Frog crouched their way through the house and into the bedroom. They paused at the front
of Lord's bed.
"Where's his wife?" Mr. Frog whispered.
"She went out for fabric or something. She makes all his clothes," Mr. Devil muttered.
"Now, what next?" Mr. Frog asked.
"Just throw the blanket over him and roll him up with this rope," Mr. Devil tossed Mr. Frog the rope.
Mr. Frog crawled up to the night table.
"What if he wakes up?" Mr. Frog looked at Mr. Devil.
"That nurse we hired put that sleeping stuff in his night cap,"
"Can you trust her?"
Mr. Devil swatted his hands at Mr. Frog.
"Just check to see if he's out " he whined.
"You're the taller of us and the stronger " Mr. Frog gestured to him. "You do it "
Mr. Devil crept up to Mr. Frog. His nostrils flared angry oxygen into Mr. Frog's face.
"You like passing the buck, don't you?" He jabbed a thumb at himself. "I'm the brains of this outfit "
"Well," Mr. Frog minced in sarcastic tones, "How come?"
"I've been in prison longer than you have " Mr. Devil opened his hands palms up at Mr. Frog. "Now, let's get going "
Mr. Devil and Mr. Frog stared down at the actor with bated breath. Seated on the couch in their cheap mountain hut, they waited for him to wake up. The nurse cursed and fumed as she set up the video equipment.
"This isn't on my job description," the red haired woman snapped, jabbing at the video tape's extension cords.
"Violet " Mr. Devil looked over his shoulder. "Do you want to have a honeymoon in Paris? Well, I can't operate those things either "
Mr. Frog held his rubber covered face in his hands.
"My father was right I made a deal with the Devil "
Mr. Devil patted Mr. Frog's shoulders.
"Vance," he said, "You, me, and Violet can rest assured that when we get the ransom money, Mr. Lord will not remember what we looked like. That great brain of his is slowly turning into a blob of wax inside his head They won't catch us in years "
"They can scour our place for DNA " Mr. Frog and Violet chorused together.
Mr. Devil raised his hands.
"By then, we'll be gone " He rose from the couch. "I'm gonna make a call "
"We cut the phone, Nick Go down to the general store below "
Mr. Devil slapped his palm to his rubber covered forehead.
"Oh " He moaned. "I forgot "
Grabbing his car keys out of his shorts pocket, he rushed out of the hut.
Mr. Frog sighed and Violet sat down next to him.
"We'd better get out of here before the Fuzz comes " she said, looking into the holes in Mr. Frog's mask.
"Wait until we get rid of him," Mr. Frog leaned into Violet's ear. Violet's peach colored face stretched into a coy smirk. He grasped at her white nylon covered knee.
Lord stirred and sat up. Wiping his hair or what was left of it over his head, he squinted at the three figures.
"What the hell are you three looking at?" he bared his teeth, sweeping off the bed sheets.
"It's four o'clock in the damn morning and you're not ready Where the hell's that script?" Diving for the night stand, he snatched up his glasses. Everything he did was deft and aggressive.
"Are you sure he's senile?" Mr. Devil whispered to Violet.
"They canceled the show ten years ago," she nudged him.
"Mr. Lord," Mr. Frog said after coughing to clear his voice to sound polite. "The producer said we have to do a night scene," Mr. Devil and Violet snickered.
Lord squinted through his glasses.
"That's a camera?" he asked.
"Yeah," Mr. Devil said. "It's the latest thing "
"Tell me to fire that guy they replaced Leonard with " Lord struggled to his feet from the side of the bed. Violet rose from the couch to help him.
"Where the hell did they get you from? A damn bra commercial ? Does this woman know how to act?"
"Oh." Violet purred, "I've been in a couple pictures "
Mr. Devil and Mr. Frog snickered again.
"Look You tell that idiot in Los Angeles to go back to producing Ford dealer ads I don't
want any hot cookies who dress up in nurse's uniforms What's your name?"
"Violet March "
"Sounds like a damn nail polish Some of these actresses get the silliest names Sit down, Violet And what's your experience?"
"I've done a few independent features "
"Yeah," Lord snorted, eyeing her down. "I'll bet Your best work's in a few little dirty shops in Honolulu Where's that damn director?"
"He's off on a location shoot " Mr. Devil swatted a hand at the actor.
"Oh, Well," Lord sighed, circling the bed to enter the bathroom. "If you want something done around here, you have to do it yourself "
All three of them looked at each other.
Lord opened the door after a few minutes.
"I don't have a damn costume What the hell is going on here? What kind of production is this? It's a network television show seen by millions And they can't find my
suit? I'm going to call that little bastard they put on this show "
"He's dialing the phone " Mr. Devil hissed through his clenched teeth.
"It doesn't work " Mr. Frog threw his hand across his partner's chest.
"Oh, God," Violet said, rising from the couch.
Lord shook the phone at them.
"The phone's dead What's this producer want me to do? Use telepathy to get him from L.A.?" he bawled. He tossed the phone back onto the receiver.
"Let's get this show over Turn that damn video camera on " he rose from the bed.
"Who told you that you could operate this thing?" the actor shouted. Mr. Devil poked his head from behind the video camera.
"My best friend at the camera shop said....," Mr. Devil began.
Lord waved his hands at the kidnapper.
"A drunken cameraman filming a cheap cable talk show has better techniques
Where'd you get your license from? A Cracker Jack box? Let me do it "
"You'd better let him take over if you want him back alive and get our money, Nick,"
Mr. Devil moaned and sagged his shoulders. Mr. Frog threw back his head and laughed. Lord turned on him.
"You on the couch " Lord shouted. "Do they pay you to sit there and laugh? Get up and show me what you learned in that damn University of Hawaii Film School "
Mr. Frog blinked his eyes from behind his mask.
"Uh," he pressed his hand on his chest.
"You did graduate from there, didn't you?"
"Oh," Mr. Frog rested his elbows onto his thighs. "I went to Oahu State "
Lord rested a hand on his hip.
"Yeah. Oahu State Prison, probably " he sneered. "Get me that script "
"Uh, yeah " Mr. Frog tossed him the ransom note. Lord snatched it up and studied it.
"That's a damn script?" Lord shouted, shaking the paper at him. "Look at the typing
errors on it That's a manual typewriter Are they cutting the show's budget that much?"
"Yeah," Mr. Frog looked up at Mr. Devil for moral support. Violet's face grew redder from suppressed laughter.
Lord rolled his eyes and threw up his hands as he turned to stare at Mr. Devil.
"What the hell are you shivering at? Sit down some place or get out of here I'm directing this episode "
Mr. Devil scurried out of the way.
"All right All right " Lord murmured. "Sometimes I think you guys are loopy from
all that thin air up on that mountain "
Dawn came and the store owner at the bottom of the mountain opened his eyes at the sight of a man in a devil's mask driving down the lone road in a battered yellow jeep.
The devil masked man turned a sharp left into the shack and jerked the jeep into a swift parking position. He pulled off his mask and reached out to embrace the owner.
"He's crazy up there " Mr. Devil panted. "We've spent the whole night with him He's making us say the same lines over and over again He has my partner and my girl with him in the hut Call the cops "
"What?" The round faced Hawaiian shop keeper moved his mouth before his voice came from it.
"Jack Lord is with us Forget the ransom video He thinks he's doing the show We kidnapped him and he made us type up a script I can't type for the life of me He watched the video over and over You've got to call the cops I'm going crazy It's worse than being in solitary Anything to get away from that man " Mr. Devil whirled the shop owner around and marched him into the store.
"You sure about this?" the store owner said, twirling the phone's dial.
"God yes " Mr. Devil buried his face in his hands.
The Hawaiian State Police surrounded the hut by late morning. Mr. Devil and Mr. Frog came out followed by the actor. Mr. Devil and Mr. Frog held up their hands. Violet walked behind Mr. Lord with her high heels digging into the earth.
"You will invite me to the wedding, won't you?" Lord said to her.
"Oh, yes Vance and I will be happy to see you there to make your speech at the reception " She wore a smile as bright as the sun overhead.
"Vance?" Lord looked back at her.
"Oh, sure " Violet trotted past him to reach out to the descending Mr. Frog. She wrapped her arm around his upraised left one.
Mr. Devil whirled around and fell over backwards into the dirt.
"What?" he screamed as two patrolmen hoisted him to his feet and clamped handcuffs onto his wrists.
Violet and Mr. Frog winked at each other and looked down at Mr. Devil.
"They were undercover cops " Lord crowed as he finally landed his feet on solid ground.
Mr. Devil screamed up at them as the patrolmen pushed him into the patrol car.
"You have to be kidding me Vance and I served time together I've known him since we were nine years old and we stole pigs from our neighbor's farm "
"Not anymore, brudder " Mr. Frog shouted, wrapping an arm around Violet's waist.
"I'm turning evidence against you We're going to Paris with the reward money Aloha,
Nick Have fun in Hell "
Lord turned to the police chief, thumbing over his broad shoulder.
"Book him, Danno " he smiled, "Bad Acting "
The police chief looked at him for a moment.
"My name's Chuck, Mr. Lord Not Danno "
"Well, book him anyway,...Chuck-O " Lord said as he slid into a waiting patrol car.