Chapter Five: Where Is Dierdra?
“Has anyone seen Dierdra?”
Jerrica stood in the doorway of the dining room, a puzzled look on her face. It was the next morning and the household were at breakfast, minus one member. “I just took a phone call for her from one of her school friends…did anyone see her go out this morning? Her room is empty.”
“We haven’t seen her since last night, Jerrica.” Laura responded, taking a sip of lemonade. “She was in one of her huffs – she probably isn’t speaking to any of us now.”
“Laura’s right. She was steamed.” Krissie nodded.
“Steamed? At what?” Jerrica looked concerned. “Did something happen?”
“She saw some guy on the news, that’s all, and said she recognised him.” Ashley responded. “She said he was the guy she saw with Jetta yesterday, but it couldn’t have been him she saw.”
“A guy? What guy?” Jerrica glanced from Krissie to Ashley, her confusion growing. “And what has Jetta to do with anything? Does anyone want to explain what’s going on?”
“I don’t remember his name – some jewel thief from England.” Laura shrugged. “Dierdra saw Jetta rowing with some guy yesterday and she thought he was him, if you get me. We think she imagined it.”
“Jetta is English.” Raya looked thoughtful.
“Yeah, and so are a few million other people.” Aja put in from where she had been distributing breakfast to some of the smaller girls. “Bit coincidental. Did Dierdra actually say this guy she saw had a British accent?”
“Nope. Just what she said yesterday, that Jetta slapped him and kicked him out of her car, and that she thought he might be Jetta’s boyfriend.” Ashley shook her head. “I bet she’s gone out to prove it or something…you know Dierdra.”
“Too well.” Jerrica looked concerned. “I hope that isn’t what she’s done. Though you’re probably right about it being imagination, girls, I don’t want her getting tangled up with Jetta and the other Misfits if it can be helped.”
“What about the Misfits?” Stormer entered the dining room at that point, shooting Jerrica a curious look. “What’s happened now?”
“Dierdra’s gone off in a huff somewhere.” Ashley told her. “Don’t worry. That happens a lot round here.”
“She said she saw the guy Jetta was with on the news. That jewel thief that escaped a few days back.” Kimber added.
Stormer looked taken aback.
“I don’t think Jetta would get herself mixed up in that.” She said decidedly. “Really, I don’t. She might not be all that nice a lot of the time, but I don’t think she’s the kind to conspire with convicted jewel thieves.”
“Well, you know her better than we do.” Shana grinned. “Don’t worry about Dierdra, Jerrica. She’ll come in when she’s cooled off. Save her some breakfast and don’t ask too many questions, that’s my advice.”
“You’re probably right.” Jerrica sighed. “Okay. When she gets in, can someone let me know? I gotta get across to Starlight Music – and I still have to sort out your paperwork, Laura. I’ve a busy day.”
At that moment Terri entered the dining room, a fistful of letters clutched in her small hands. “There are lots for you, Jerrica, and one for Ashley and the others from BaNee cos I know her writing…and Kimber has one too!”
“Thank you, Terri.” Jerrica took the envelopes, distributing them to the relevant recipients. Then she flicked through her own mail. “Great. Bills, adverts, official looking letters, which probably means someone wants to drag Jem onto a plane somewhere…oh, wait, what’s this?” She set the other letters down, turning the one in her hand over and slitting open the envelope. “No return address.”
“Who’s it from?” Kimber asked eagerly, setting aside her own letter in her interest. She knew from the writing that the letter came from Shawn Harrison, her on-off boyfriend who was in New York making a new film and working on the soundtrack.
“I don’t know.” Jerrica unfolded the letter. Then, “Oh…Oh no.”
“Jerrica?” Aja glanced at her friend sharply, taking in the blond girl’s sudden pallor. Jerrica swallowed hard.
“It…it’s a ransom note.” She said unsteadily.
“Ransom?” Shana demanded. “For what?”
“Dierdra.” Jerrica sank down into a nearby chair, poring over the letter once more, her expression troubled. “It seems…it seems she didn’t just go out in a huff. Someone…has taken her.”
“Let me see that.” Aja reached for the letter, skimming over the contents. “Ms Benton – if you want to see Dierdra alive then bring a hundred thousand dollars to the old warehouse on fifty seventh street at midnight on June sixteenth. Place the money in a suitcase and leave it underneath the ochre coloured desk.”
“Why the sixteenth? That’s a whole week and a half away!” Raya exclaimed. “Why not tonight?”
“I don’t know, but…we have to do something.” Jerrica frowned. “Raya, go call the police, would you? This is way too much for us to handle.” Raya nodded, heading out of the room.
“There’s something odd about this note.” Aja turned the sheet over, then turned it back and examined the text once more. “I only wish I knew what it was.”
“Can I see it?” Stormer asked hesitantly, her own expression shocked and horrified by the turn of events. “Maybe I can help you find her.”
“Thanks Stormer, but I think the police are our best bet.” Jerrica said with a tired smile. “Show her the note, Aja, by all means, but I don’t know how she can help us.”
Stormer took the letter, scanning over its contents. Then she let out a cry.
“It’s the spelling!” she exclaimed.
“What do you mean?” Kimber turned on her friend. “What spelling?”
“Look, here.” Stormer excitedly pointed to the last line. “C-O-L-O-U-R-E-D.”
“So the kidnapper can’t spell. Big deal.” Aja folded her arms.
“Wait a minute. I think I see what Stormer’s getting at.” Jerrica snapped her fingers. “Isn’t that how they spell ‘color’ in England?”
“Yes!” Kimber exclaimed. “Shawn and I had this dispute when I wrote that song for him…he insisted there was a ‘u’ in it. Brilliant, Stormer!”
“No…it isn’t.” Shana frowned. “Can’t you guys see? This means that Dierdra was probably right about what she saw yesterday…and that Jetta is involved.”
“Then maybe we need to have a word with Jetta.” Jerrica scowled. “If this is a Misfit ploy to keep us occupied…”
“Jerrica, I swear, this is nothing to do with the Misfits.” Stormer interrupted. “Else I’d…I’d have known about it. And…and I don’t believe Jetta kidnapped anyone, either. She doesn’t even like kids – why go to all that trouble?”
“She likes money.” Shana said grimly. “Come on. Lets go find her. Stormer, you come too, huh?”
“Oh, I’m coming.” Stormer nodded her head. “But I still think you’re wrong about Jetta, Shana.”
“We’ll see.” Shana responded. “We’ll see.”
“So what’s this great proposition of yours, Pizzazz?” Jetta lounged on the windowsill of the studio, carefully replacing the reed of her saxophone, one eye never leaving her companion. “I’ve heard nothing about it since you dragged me back to the Mansion last night – when are you going to let me in on the deal here?”
“After the concert.” Pizzazz informed her sweetly. “Because then I know you won’t run out on me.”
“Charming.” Jetta rolled her eyes. “And how do I know you won’t run out on me?”
“You don’t.” Pizzazz shrugged. “That’s the part I like best.”
“I thought you said Stormer would be here.” Roxy glanced around her from where she had been sitting tuning up her guitar, a resigned expression on her face. Jetta’s return meant one thing – more work.
“I am here, Roxy.” The girls turned to see Stormer in the doorway. “But this is the last place on earth I thought I’d find you, Jetta.”
“What can I say, Pizzazz and I had a nice little chat.” Jetta smiled dryly. “Apparently we ‘ave a very important clause in our contract which means we all have to play tonight.”
“Oh?” Stormer raised an eyebrow.
“Yeah.” Pizzazz nodded. “Deal with it.”
Stormer shrugged, perching on the table.
“You do know that the Holograms are out for your blood, Jetta?” she asked. “I came here to ask Roxy or Pizzazz if they’d seen you – I didn’t think you’d have settled up with them so soon.”
“When aren’t they out for one of us?” Jetta shrugged her shoulders, putting her saxophone to her lips and playing a brief, staccato scale.
“And what are you doing playing errand girl for the Holograms?” Pizzazz demanded.
“One of their girls was kidnapped last night.” She said slowly. “Either that or early this morning. I was…I was only trying to help.”
“What do we care about one of her brats?” Roxy demanded. Then, “Jetta, stop making that noise! We all hear enough of your saxophone when we’re recording, do you have to play it now, too?”
Jetta shrugged once more, raising the volume of her music and beginning to play the sax solo that had caused all the controversy in the first place. Roxy groaned, covering her ears.
“What a racket.” She complained.
“Are you guys paying any attention to me?” Stormer asked, a helpless look in her eyes. “Listen. The Holograms think Jetta had something to do with the kidnap, because apparently this kid saw her talking to some guy or something and then recognised his face on the evening news.”
A strange squeak came from Jetta’s saxophone and she hurriedly lowered the instrument.
“That’s rubbish.” She said. “What could I ‘ave to do with one of Jem’s brats?”
“That’s what I told them.” Stormer nodded. “But Dierdra did recognise the guy you were with – she said it was the guy off the news, the one who stole all those jewels!”
“You know that guy?” Pizzazz wheeled on Jetta who had suddenly gone very pale.
“I don’t know what you mean.” She said flatly. “I haven’t had anything to do with any kidnap. It’s total poppycock, that’s what it is.”
“Jetta, do you know that jewel thief guy?” Pizzazz demanded, her tone more insistent.
“I don’t know what guy you mean.” Jetta shrugged. “And I thought we ‘ad a concert to do tonight.” She glanced at Stormer. “I suppose you forgot to bring your synth, too.”
“I didn’t realise we were still on for tonight, but it’s still in the back of my car.” Stormer responded, eying Jetta curiously. She had never seen any of her band-mates act keen to practice before. “I’m glad you guys made up, though.”
“Money talks.” Pizzazz said shortly. “Get your wretched synth, Stormer. We’ve double the work to do now thanks to you know who.”
Jetta did not respond, and Stormer shot her another curious look before heading down the stairs to get her synthesiser from the car.
Outside, Kimber was waiting for her.
“Well?” she demanded.
“Well, Jetta’s inside. She and Pizzazz made up.” Stormer shrugged. “And she says it’s total…what was the word she used? Poppy-something. Rubbish, anyway. She said she’d had nothing to do with Dierdra’s kidnap and she didn’t know anything about a jewel thief.”
“Okay.” Kimber frowned. “Guess I can’t barge in there and demand to know what’s going on…she might be telling the truth.” She eyed her friend. “I s’pose you’re off to practice with them then?” she asked.
“Yes.” Stormer glanced down at her synthesiser. “I
have to. We play tonight, too, and now we’ve twice as much still to
She smiled. “Good luck, Kimber. If I hear anything about Dierdra I’ll
“Thanks, Stormer.” Kimber hugged her friend. “I still bet that creep Jetta’s involved in it somehow.”
“I don’t know.” Stormer admitted. “She went kinda
when I mentioned what Dierdra saw. But that picture on the news was
as anything – I don’t know how Dierdra could have made a match.”
“Perhaps she didn’t, only someone thought she did and took her just in case.” Kimber suggested. “We won’t give up till we know, anyway. I’ll see you, Stormer. Come by Starlight Mansion some time, huh, when you’re minders aren’t around.”
“I will do.” Stormer grinned. “As usual you’ve made me feel appreciated. Bye, Kimber. See you soon.” And scooping up her case, she hurried back inside the building.
Kimber considered Stormer’s words carefully.
“I wonder what Jetta does know.” She asked herself thoughtfully. “Let’s just hope it’s nothing too much, for her sake.”
Back inside the studio, it seemed that there was another row brewing. Stormer bit her lip. Rows between Jetta and Roxy were fairly frequent, but it was still too close to the major bust up for comfort.
“Shut your face, Jetta.” Roxy retorted, evidently in response to something Jetta had said. “I’m surprised you don’t say you know this guy. Woulda thought you’d say anything to make yourself look good.”
“You better watch it, Roxy.” Jetta responded darkly. “It ain’t any of your business anyway what I do when I’m not practicing with you lot. You don’t own me.”
“The company does.” Pizzazz interjected. “And I’ve had enough of the pair of you.” She shoved them roughly apart. “Jetta, you better not be holding out on us.”
“What’s it to you anyway if I am or not?” Jetta demanded.
“Because, Jetta, if you do know something about that guy you’d better tell us all about it.” Pizzazz responded in her darkest, most threatening tones. “Because it just so happens he’s an important part of us each getting our hands on twenty five thousand dollars.”
“Twenty five thousand dollars?” Stormer’s eyes almost popped out of her head. “But…but Pizzazz, where from?”
Pizzazz paused, then let out a frustrated sigh.
“Sometimes I wonder if any of you even have a brain.” She snapped. “Where do you think, Stormer? The tooth fairy?”
“The police are offering a reward of $25,000 per person for anyone who can come up with any conclusive evidence about that jewel thief guy.” Roxy tested a chord or two. “Pizzazz thinks we can get that reward money.”
“Thanks a bunch, big mouth.” Pizzazz snarled at her companion. Roxy shrugged.
“Chill out, Pizzazz.” She said. “It’s no big deal.”
Pizzazz growled, but made no further demur. Instead she turned to Jetta.
“I want that money.” She murmured in a low, menacing tone. “So if you know anything, Jetta, you better tell me about it now.”
Jetta stared at Pizzazz for a moment. Then,
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She said flatly. “An’ if we ain’t gonna practice, maybe I’ll go for a little walk…after all, I don’t know that I’m interested in this proposition of yours. It sounds…rather unlikely to me.”
“Listen up, you stupid Brit.” Roxy grabbed Jetta by the shoulders. “Just cos you don’t want the money doesn’t mean that the rest of us are gonna drop it just like that.”
“Get your paws off me, you mangy low-life yank!” Jetta shook herself free, turning her attention on the vocalist. “If that’s your idea of business, Pizzazz, no wonder your Daddy doesn’t let you into his office.”
“Smart alec.” Pizzazz snorted. “You want to be deported, Jetta?”
“Not really.” Jetta shook her head. “Though it’s lookin’ increasingly more appealin’ if all we’re gonna do is talk about some dumb news story.”
“Come on, let’s practice. Please?” Stormer said, her tone pleading and her expression hopeful. “Jetta’s right. If we’re gonna do our best concert ever tonight we still have a couple of songs that aren’t working properly.”
“I blame the writer.” Roxy decided, slipping her instrument onto her shoulder. “Okay, let’s get this over with.” She began to play the opening notes to ‘Designing Woman’ and Pizzazz picked up her own guitar with a resigned sigh, scooping up the microphone and putting it back in it’s stand.
Jetta glanced at her saxophone, then put it to her lips. She hoped they’d believed her. Angry as she was with Jeremy, she would not blow his cover.
“Not that I even know where he is.” She mused.
“Which is a good thing. I didn’t know there was a reward out for ‘im,
be a bigger deal than I thought.”
Chapter One: The Fight
Chapter Two: Starlight Mansiom
Chapter Three: Jeremy
Chapter Four: The Reward
Chapter Six: At The Concert
Chapter Seven: Stormer...and Jetta
Chapter Eight: Kimber's Plan
Chapter Nine: Jetta Of The Misfits
Chapter Ten: Conclusion
(The Misfits and Holograms and other animated Jem characters are copyrighted to Hasbro Inc. All characters who do not appear in Jem episodes are my own creation. This story is copyrighted to E.A Woolley (2001)