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- Diane threatened to go to the police about the illegal activity at the bookstore, so Keith paid her off to keep quiet.
- Jimmy asked Diane to meet him at the bookstore. Sarah worried about why Diane was still involving herself with Jimmy and Keith.
- When Diane arrived, Jimmy questioned her. Keith showed up, also having been summoned, and when he realized Jimmy was wearing a wire, he pulled a gun. A brawl ensued...



The burning coals of Keith Huff's eyes bore into Diane Bishop. "Is that what you were up to? Trying to prove that something for your buddy Jimmy?"

"No!" She barely manages to choke out the exclamation, because she is so focused on the gun pointed squarely at her and Jimmy Trask, one twitching finger away from firing a bullet into one or both of them.

Diane slides her gaze over toward Jimmy, trying to read him for some sign. Are there cops listening in via the wire he's wearing? And if there are, where the hell are they?

But before she can glean anything from his expression, Jimmy's whole being explodes in a rush of energy. He charges at Keith, and suddenly the gun is knocked off-course. As Diane scrambles behind the counter, she cannot tell which of the grunting men has a hold on the weapon. Just as she ducks down, she hears the jingle of the door and another voice, a familiar one:


  Diane Bishop

Sarah. Sarah is here? It makes about as much sense as anything else going on in this store right now. Her fingers feel annoyingly, disappointingly weak as they grip the counter and she pulls herself up just enough to peer over it, trying to figure out what the hell is happening. But just as her eyes climb over the surface, detecting Sarah's blonde hair and a flurry of flailing body parts and various shouts, an even more deafening sound cuts into all of it and seems to make time freeze in place:

A gunshot.

Diane's eyes flash from one of them to another, trying to figure out who has been hit. They all appear to be in shock, frozen like the clock itself, and she can't tell which of the men--still tangled together--has a grip on the gun. Before she can make sense of the scene, more people are running into the shop and angry voices are flooding the space.

"Police! Put the gun down, now!"

But Diane is no longer watching the gun, because she has seen something much more horrifying.

"Sarah!" she screams, bursting out from behind the counter.

"Ma'am! Freeze!" one of the police officers yells.

"But she's--" Diane skids to a stop, but her finger points across the store, and the officer follows it--all the way to the sight of Sarah, staggering backward and clutching her stomach as blood spills over her hands. 


"Yeah," Danielle Taylor says as she clears the two plates from the kitchen table. "I don't know what Travis was thinking."

At the table, Matt Gray taps his fist against the underside of his chin. "I mean… Kid's been through a lot lately. I'm not sure he's thinking straight."

Danielle turns on the sink. "I know. And I have sympathy for that, I do. But this is Elly's future he messed with. That's a pretty big…"



Danielle starts rinsing the plates as she mulls over the whole ugly situation.

"Thanks for lunch," Matt says, but before he can even finish the statement, his cell phone lets out a muffled jingle from inside his pocket.

"Sorry," he mutters as he pulls it out. Danielle sees that he is about to silence the call until he sees the name on his screen. She turns off the water as he answers.

"Diane," he says. "What's up?"

Danielle watches as his face loses several shades of color. 

"What?" he asks, something like anger rising up immediately in him. "What do you mean?"

Her hands still wet, Danielle stands by the sink, observing with concern.

"I'm coming," he says before hurriedly ending the call and shoving the phone back into his pocket.

"What's going on?" Danielle asks.

"I have to get to the hospital. It's--it's Sarah." He swallows hard, staring off at the floor, as if trying to process whatever impossible news he just heard.

"What? What happened? Is she okay?" She sees him hesitate and simply adds, "I'll come with you."

"I'll explain on the way." He grabs his keys off the counter but then stops mid-step. "Wait. There's something I need you to do for me."

"Of course," Danielle says, quickly drying her hands. "What is it?"


The ambulance races away from the store, its sirens and lights screeching through downtown King's Bay. Brent Taylor watches it speed off, his stomach twisting in on itself as he thinks of Sarah, bleeding and barely conscious as the paramedics rushed her off. He is somewhat comforted to know that Diane is with her in that ambulance, even if he doesn't quite understand what she was doing here in the first place or how this went so awry.

Brent goes back into the store, running through a mental checklist of things he needs to deal with. At the moment, though, his attention fixes firmly on Keith Huff, seated on the floor against the front window with his hands cuffed behind his back.

"You can't do this," Keith says, looking like he's about to spit at Brent.

"My men read you your rights, yeah?" Brent says. 

Keith's head lolls to the side. "Yeah."

"Then I suggest you keep your mouth shut."

Jimmy emerges from the back room and approaches Brent. "How is she?"

Brent shakes his head. "On the way to the hospital. That's about all I know."

"Jesus." Jimmy sighs loudly. "I'm sorry this went so… I had no idea it was gonna be like this."

  Brent Taylor

"I didn't expect this clown to pull a gun that fast," Brent says. "Or for your wire to short out the way it did."

"That was fucked up, man," Keith says from the floor.

Brent shoots him a sharp look. "Wanna keep talking?"

Keith rolls his eyes and looks away.

"What was Sarah doing here?" Brent asks, lowering his voice as he steps closer to Jimmy. 

Jimmy's shoulders lift in a shrug, and he's so overwhelmed with confusion that they choke any words that he had brewing.

"I dunno, man," he finally says. "Who is she?"

"She's Molly's sister! She and Diane are close friends. And she's an ex-cop. Maybe she figured out…" Brent trails off as he lets the thought percolate in his mind. Sarah is certainly perceptive enough that it's possible she picked up on something.

"Oh, man." Jimmy shakes his head. "Sorry this turned into such a nightmare."

"Me, too."

"Why'd you let that bitch Diane walk away but I'm in cuffs?" Keith says.

Brent snaps around to him. "Seriously? Are you not understanding how bad a situation you're in?"

"She knows things," Keith says, as if he didn't even hear Brent. "Don't let her tell you otherwise. That bitch--she's playing all of us."

As much as Brent wants to tell the moron to shut his mouth again, he can't help but linger on that thought.

KB Memorial Hospital

Matt rushes off the elevator and finds Diane on her feet in the waiting room. 

"What the hell is going on?" he asks, out of breath from the furious drive and his sprint from the parking structure.

"Like I said, she was shot. She came racing into the bookstore to--I don't know, get me out of there, maybe--"

"Who had a gun?"

"This guy, Keith--I think it was a sting. Everything happened so fast."

Matt looks around helplessly. "Where is she now?"

"Back in there." Diane waves a hand toward the double doors that lead back to various hospital rooms. "I'm waiting for an update."

"Where did it get her?" Matt asks. "Was she conscious?"

"She was conscious in the ambulance, yeah. Groggy, but conscious. It got her in the stomach--I couldn't understand a lot of what the EMTs were saying."

"Jeez." Matt places his hands on his hips and attempts to catch his breath. 

"Where's Tori?"

"I asked Danielle to go pick her up. I didn't want her driving. She texted me that Billy is at Sarah's parents'."

"Okay, good. I didn't call them yet. I thought you might want to."

"I will, yeah. Thanks."

Claire Fisher comes through the double doors in her mint green scrubs and heads right toward them.

"I'm glad you're here," she says to Matt. "Sarah's in surgery now."

"Do you know anything?" Matt asks, desperation falling off every syllable he speaks.

Claire shakes her head. "Not yet. They were going in to try and locate the bullet. She lost a lot of blood. We'll know more soon, I hope."

"You don't even know if anything vital was hit?" Diane says, more an accusation of stupidity than a plain question.

"That's the point of the surgery," Claire says. "I'll keep you guys posted, okay?"

"Thanks, Claire," Matt says as he attempts, yet again, to wrap his mind around the fact that this is happening at all.


The air inside the car is stifling. Danielle knows it probably has more to do with the energy of the person in her passenger seat than it does with the actual temperature, but she opens her window in search of relief from the brisk Northwest breeze.

A few seconds pass before Tori Gray says, "It's freezing."

"Sorry," Danielle says. She closes the window and looks over at the young woman beside her. Tori's hair, her makeup, her clothing, even the way she holds her body--they are those of an adult woman. But the expression on her face right now is absolutely that of a scared little girl.

"We'll be there in a few minutes," Danielle says, her attempt to offer some kind of solace in a situation where there is none to offer. Not yet, anyway.

"So you have no idea what happened?"

"Not really." Matt gave Danielle the briefest overview on their way out of the house: there was some kind of police sting, Sarah was somehow involved, and she was shot in the process by a stray bullet. But there are no details to share, and Danielle hasn't had the time in all her rushing to text Brent and see if he knows anything. 

"Then why did my dad send you?"

"Because he didn't want you to have to drive upset. He would have come himself, but he wanted to get to the hospital as quickly as he could."

Tori looks over at her for perhaps the first time during the entire ride. "I'm not a little kid."

"I know that. And he knows that. But no one should really be driving when they're panicking over a loved one in the hospital."

Tori's pupils float up under her eyelids. "Yeah. I guess."

Danielle slows as a yellow light turns to red.

"You could've made that," Tori says.

Danielle takes a deep breath. If the circumstances were any different--if this weren't her boyfriend's child who had just found out her mother had been shot--she would scold the girl for being rude, which she is certain would tear open a larger argument entirely, which is how Tori barely tolerates her presence and seems disdainful of Matt being with anyone but Sarah. But now is not the time.

"Sorry," she says instead, hoping that the remaining two or so miles to the hospital will disappear in record time. 


Matt paces the floor of the waiting room for several more minutes before he decides that he cannot handle it anymore. He excuses himself, asking Diane to call his cell if there is any news, and begins to wander the hospital.

He finds himself outside the small chapel. He has never been much of a church-goer, but this place holds special significance: it is where he and Sarah were married, all those years ago.

As he steps tentatively through the doors, he sees that the place--the room, really--is completely empty. That puts him a little more at ease, as much as he can be knowing that Sarah is in surgery right now, anyway. Memories wash over him as though they were tangible things, puffs of smoke in the air wrapping themselves around his body.

  Matt Gray

Their wedding day was such a disaster. Sarah was so excited to plan a dream wedding, down on the beach with her family and friends all there. But then crazy Jennie Burkle locked her in the walk-in refrigerator at the restaurant, and after she was rescued, the ceremony was only getting underway when Molly went into labor and had to be rushed here. 

Sarah was so despondent. But Matt had a flash of an idea. He's never been any kind of grand romantic, but he knew how badly she needed to get married that day, and the truth was that the venue didn't matter to him. Not as long as he got to marry her. So he arranged for an impromptu ceremony here in the chapel, with Sarah's parents and brothers present. He felt so special, so amazing, in the moment they were pronounced man and wife that he can't imagine it having happened any other way.

He places his hand on the worn wood of one of the pews as he stares at the peaceful imagery on the large piece of stained glass that adorns the front of the room. It is non-specific, non-denominational, but something about it--the dove, the branch--evokes such faith. He feels something swell inside himself.

But there was another time he spent here, too. A horrible time. Sarah was being treated, just as she is now, for her injuries when her father's restaurant was blown up by that madman Nick Moriani. Matt was praying not only for her, but for the life of their unborn son--the son that eventually did not make it.

That was when everything changed, really.

They held on for another year, two ghosts dancing a phantom waltz of a marriage, but looking back, he sees that was really when their marriage ended. There was a chasm between them, full of thoughts too painful to articulate, that they were never able to bridge. 

He finds himself kneeling in one of the pews, staring up at the stained glass.

As the magnitude of history--of this place, of them--engulfs him, he manages to choke out a single phrase: 

"Please let Sarah be okay."

That is all that matters now.

He bows his head, memories flashing fast and furious behind the lids of his eyes. When he looks up again, he speaks again.

"I love her. I need her to be okay."

He draws a deep breath and bows his head again--never seeing Danielle at the entrance to the chapel, watching him pray.


Will Sarah make it through surgery?
How will Danielle react to what she saw?
Will Keith manage to get Diane in trouble?
Join us in the Footprints Forum to talk about it all!

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

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