Episode 16: “The Shadows of a Moment”

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Spotify

Listen on Google Podcasts

CONTENT WARNING: Pyrophobia, coughing and personal injury, secondhand embarrassment and social anxiety, singing, discussions of trauma and grief, mentions of drug use, some strong language

Tape 1-8-2-3-52: With the investigation into Anna Sheridan’s disappearance seemingly at an end, Bill Tyler and the rest of the Oslow County Police Department celebrate Sam’s success at Marvin’s Bar and Grill… But doubts still linger in his mind.

Starring Airen Neeley Chaconas as Anna Sheridan, Matthew Chaconas as Anthony Perdue, Jesse Steele as Bill Tyler, and Trevor Van Winkle as Sam Bailey, with original music by Jesse Haugen. Written and produced by Trevor Van Winkle, and made possible by our supports at patreon.com/homesteadcorner

The Parting Glass (Instrumental) Aussens@iter (ccmixter.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

For more information and additional content, visit thesheridantapes.com

 

Script

TST_200807_S016_Thumb

Transcript

CONTENT WARNINGS: Pyrophobia, coughing and personal injury, secondhand embarrassment and social anxiety, singing, discussions of trauma and grief, mentions of drug use, some strong language

Cold Open

[Muffled sounds of an office, phone ringing, voices]

[Papers flipping, shuffling]

Anthony Perdue

Okay, let me see — Now where did I put that…

[Door opens]

[Footsteps]

Anna! I didn’t think you were coming in today?

[Door closes]

Anna Sheridan

I’m not.

[footsteps]

Listen, Anthony, I need to ask you a favor…

Anthony Perdue

Whoa whoa whoa… Slow it down, alright? You feeling okay? You look a little…

Ann Sheridan

Please, Anthony, just… Listen, okay?

[Footsteps]

Anthony Perdue

Could you at least sit down? You know standing and talking makes me nervous.

Anna Sheridan

Fine.

[Anna sits]

Anthony…

Anthony Perdue

And I’m going to get you a glass of water, okay? You need to take care of yours…

Anna Sheridan

Anthony! Any other day I’d really appreciate it, but right now, just stop and…

Anthony Perdue

Anna, I know how you get when you’ve got a fire under you, so I’m not giving you a choice.

[Refrigerator opens, closes]

[Pours water into a small glass]

Drink this, take a deep breath, and then start over. Okay?

[Footsteps]

[Anna drinks]

Better?

Anna Sheridan

Okay, fine. Yes. Better.

Anthony Perdue

Glad to hear it. So: tell me what’s on your mind?

[Anthony sits]

Anna Sheridan

I’m… I’m not sure how much I can tell you. I don’t know how much of it you’d understand…

Anthony Perdue

Anna, remind me how long I’ve been your agent? I don’t think there’s much you can tell me I won’t understand.

Anna Sheridan

I need to… Go away for a while. Quite a long while, actually.

Anthony Perdue

What like, another writing trip? Well, I can’t imagine Poultice would have any trouble with that, so long as you don’t burn anyone’s house this time…

Anna Sheridan

No. Anthony… No. Not like that. I need to go away. I need to… disappear.

Anthony Perdue

[Nervous laugh]

Well, we all need to do that now and then. Get away from it all and…

Anna Sheridan

No! Anthony, listen to what I’m saying right now: I’m going away. I’m not looking for inspiration, I’m not writing another book, I’m not going on vacation or taking a break. I’m disappearing.

Anthony Perdue

For how long?

Anna Sheridan

I don’t know.

[Glass slips from her fingers, shatters]

Anthony Perdue

Whoa! Anna, are you alright?

[Footsteps]

Anna Sheridan

Goodbye, Anthony.

[Glass tinkles as Anna leaves]

Anthony Perdue

Bye? You just got here… Anna? Anna?

[Door opens and closes behind her]

[Anthony’s footsteps]

[Picks up phone and dials]

Phone Voice

Security.

Anthony Perdue

Yes, this is Anthony Perdue on level 4, Anna Sheridan just left my office. Could you send someone to the front lobby to… Uh, to…

Phone Voice

Sir?

Anthony Perdue

Just make sure she makes it out of the building safely, alright?

Phone Voice

Um… Yes, of course sir. Anything else?

Anthony Perdue

No, thank you.

[Anthony hangs up]

[Sighs]

Please Anna… Don’t do anything stupid.

[Cassette player motor whirs, stops]

[Main Theme]

Field Recording – Sam Bailey 042919

[Click]

[Hiss of static, then fades]

[Music, faint sounds of a small crowd]

Bill Tyler

…And even though we all thought it was impossible, this son of a bitch right here not only managed to figure out what happened to Anna Sheridan, but went one step further and brought her back from the dead to top it all off! Ha ha! And I know he hates being bragged on, but damn Sam — that is one hell of a first case!

[Round of laughter and applause]

Keep it down, keep it down you animals! Now, I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t think much of Sam when he first showed up. I mean, look at the guy! Small town cop without an ounce of small town charm, exclusively wears the world’s most boring ties. And Sam, I’m just being honest here, but you have the charisma and the emotional range of a piece of wet cardboard. I mean, seriously, you sound like a…

Sam Bailey

Bill.

[A few people laugh]

Bill Tyler

But still, even with all that against him — you’re a damn good cop, Sam, and I’m proud to serve alongside you.

Detective Sam Bailey everyone!

[Loud round of applause and cheers]

Now, everyone go have some fun, alright! This is a party, isn’t it?

[Cheers that slowly disperse as people drift away into conversation]

[Footsteps]

[Music and voices fade into background]

[Stool scoots out]

Sam Bailey

Uh… Excuse me? Coffee, black.

[Footsteps approach]

Bill Tyler

Seriously? Coffee?

[Pulls back another stool]

I think you missed the part where I said this was a party.

Sam Bailey

And I think you must have missed the…

[Mug set on bar]

Thank you. And I think you missed the part where I said I didn’t want a party.

Bill Tyler

Well, you definitely earned one, and I wasn’t about to let you skip out on us this time.

Sam Bailey

I didn’t earn it.

Bill Tyler

Oh come on, this again? Sam, you found Anna, even when she didn’t want to be found. I mean, I still have no idea how you did it, but…

Sam Bailey

It was luck. Just stupid, dumb luck. I could’ve missed it just as easily.

Bill Tyler

But you didn’t. That’s the point. Look, I don’t see what the big deal is. You found her! She’s alive! Case closed!

Sam Bailey

I don’t know if it is.

Bill Tyler

What do you mean?

Sam Bailey

[Sighs]

There are still too many questions. Too many — unknowns.

Bill Tyler

What “unknowns?” She wanted to disappear for a while. It’s not the first time someone’s done that. Not even the first time a writer’s done it. And if she was trying to break her pot habit, then…

Sam Bailey

I know, I know! It all fits, right? It all has a nice, simple explanation. None of the stuff on the tapes was real, she was just high the whole time. Everything just — makes sense in the end, and they all lived happily ever after, forever and ever, amen!

Bill Tyler

O—kay. Look… what’s gotten into you, Sam? Two weeks ago you were fighting with the chief over being assigned her case. Now, what… you think it was all true? Ghosts and monsters and — whatever else was on her tapes?

Sam Bailey

I…

[Sighs]

 I don’t know what I think.

Geez, is it getting warmer in here, or it just me.

[Fabric rustling]

[Mic bumps as recorder is set down]

Bill Tyler

Is that your recorder?

Sam Bailey

What? Oh, uh… Anna’s old one, actually. But uh, yeah, it’s the one I’m using.

Bill Tyler

Why are you recording right now? Are you expecting some big developments in the case?

Sam Bailey

No, it’s just kind of… becoming a habit, I guess. Plus, I’ve had a hard time keeping track of things this week. Recording helps, I think.

Bill Tyler

Have you been sleeping any better lately?

Sam Bailey

[Scoffs]

No. Worse, actually.

Bill Tyler

Why?

[Awkward silence]

Sam Bailey

I’ve been having… bad dreams again. Nightmares. Pretty much every time I try to go to sleep.

Bill Tyler

What do you mean, “again?”

Sam Bailey

I don’t know. I think — I mean, I can’t remember anything when I wake up, but I think that — maybe — they’re the same ones I used to have as a kid. At least… Some of them are.

Bill Tyler

Is that all it is? Nightmares? Dude, just take some ambien and…

Sam Bailey

It’s — it’s not just nightmares, Bill… It’s memories.

Bill Tyler

What memories?

Sam Bailey

Anna’s last tape. It was… She was in Agate Shore just after I left. Right before the dam broke.

Bill Tyler

Oh Jesus.

Sam Bailey

[Sighs]

Yeah. She told the whole, sad story all over again: the day the lake evaporated, the day they found Pat drowned, and then every death after that.

You have any idea what it’s like to hear someone tell you all the ways you’ve ever been hurt? Someone who has no idea you’ll be listening, but tells your story anyway? You know what that does to you when you’ve spent months trying to forget it and move on?

Bill Tyler

No.

Sam Bailey

No. Of course you don’t. So stop trying to tell me to eat, drink, and be merry, because it isn’t going to work.

[Awkward silence]

Bill Tyler

Hey Mark! Virgin Mai Tai for the man of the hour, would you?

Sam Bailey

What are you…?

Bill Tyler

I know you don’t drink, but by god, I need to get you something more fun than a cup of black coffee.

Sam Bailey

[Groans]

Bill, I just said…

Bill Tyler

And I’m saying, he—ll no, am I going to let you stew in your self-pity any longer. We’ve all lost shit, Sam. You don’t see any of us acting like the world’s come to an end. We eat. We drink. We make merry, and we forget. That’s what moving on means.

[Glass set on bar]

Here we go: a cure for what ails ya.

Sam Bailey

I… I really am fine with just the coffee…

Bill Tyler

[Sighs]

Sam, I don’t want to, but I will drag you kicking and screaming towards enjoying yourself if I have to.

Drink.

[Sam picks up glass]

[Small, experimental sip]

It’s good, right?

Sam Bailey

[Coughs]

It’s a bit sweet.

Bill Tyler

[Chuckles]

That’s kind of the point. Whereas, I think the point of black coffee is to punish ourselves for some unspeakable sin in humanity’s past.

Sam Bailey

I like black coffee.

Bill Tyler

Eh, Suit yourself. The world must need masochists for a reason.

[Sam sips again]

So these um… dreams of yours. You… You want to talk about them?

Sam Bailey

Not really, no.

Bill Tyler

Suit yourself. Probably not the right time for it anyway… but hey, I told you I’d get you out to karaoke one of these days, didn’t I!

Sam Bailey

I don’t see anyone singing.

Bill Tyler

Oh, well that’s because it’s your party. Be a bit of a faux pas not to let the man of the hour go first.

Sam Bailey

Oh god, they’re not expecting me to… Are they?

Bill Tyler

‘fraid so.

Sam Bailey

Shit. I — I need to get going…

[Scoots stool back]

Bill Tyler

[Fabric rustles]

Oh, no you don’t. Either you sit down and drink, or you stand up and sing.

Sam Bailey

I… I can’t sing.

Bill Tyler

[Laughs]

Well shit, neither can I. No one’s asking you to join the choir, just — just belt something out that sounds vaguely like a song. Think of it like, like — like singing in the shower, just… in front of people.

Sam Bailey

I really didn’t need that image in my head, Bill.

Bill Tyler

Okay, fine. But you get what I’m saying, right?

Sam Bailey

Not really.

Bill Tyler

It doesn’t have to be good — you just need to have fun with it.

Sam Bailey

Fun.

Bill Tyler

Yeah, you know the feeling that you crush down inside every time you go to work? Just — let it out for a change.

Sam Bailey

What should I… What do you think I should sing?

Bill Tyler

[Scoffs]

I don’t care, just pick a song you know and go for it.

Sam Bailey

I don’t think most of the songs I know are on there.

Bill Tyler

Oh, sure they are! What do you listen to on the road?

Sam Bailey

NPR?

Bill Tyler

Seriously?

Sam Bailey

What?

Bill Tyler

[Sighs]

Only you Sam, only you. Okay — what about songs from your childhood? I can’t believe everyone in your family was as boring as you.

Sam Bailey

I… I don’t know. I really can’t remember much…

Well — there is one song. My parents used to sing it with their friends, when they had them over for drinks. It’s been a while, but…

Bill Tyler

Well there you go, sing that!

Sam Bailey

Do you think they’ll have it?

Bill Tyler

Go check the machine and see! Go ahead, I’ll keep your drink warm for you.

[Sam scoots back stool]

[Footsteps move away]

[Bill picks up drink and sips it]

Ugh. Hey uh, Mark? Give me a refresh, and uh… don’t spare the rum.

[Sam coughs into microphone]

[Bill claps, loud and slow]

[A few other people clap]

Yeah Sam!

[Karaoke machine whirs to life]

[Piano and guitar version of “The Parting Glass” beings to play]

Sam Bailey

[Singing, slightly shaky]

Of all the money that e’er I had

I spent it in good company

And all the harm I’ve ever done

Alas it was to none but me

And all I’ve done for want of wit

To mem’ry now I can’t recall

So fill to me the parting glass

Good night and joy be to you all.

Oh, all the comrades e’er I had,

They’re sorry for my going away,

And all the sweethearts e’er I had,

They’d wish me one more day to stay,

But since it falls unto my lot,

That I should rise and you should not,

I gently rise and I’ll softly call,

Good night and joy be with you all.

A man may drink and not be drunk

A man may fight and not be slain

A man may court a pretty girl

And perhaps be welcomed back again

But since it has so ought to be

By a time to rise and a time to sleep

Come fill to me the parting glass

Good night and joy be with you all

Good night and joy be with you all.

[Music ends]

[Faint smatter of awkward applause]

Bill Tyler

Oh, god, only he could make karaoke depressing.

[Running footsteps]

[Sam stops, panting slightly]

[Pulls stool back]

Are you okay, Sam?

Sam Bailey

Never make me do that again.

Bill Tyler

[Laughs]

Trust me, I won’t.

[Picks up glass]

Cheers.

Sam Bailey

Wait, that’s my…

[Bill takes a sip, then starts to cough violently]

[Knocks his stool to the floor, gasping]

Bill! What’s wrong!?

Bill Tyler

[Gasping for air]

My throat, it’s — it’s burning!

Sam Bailey

Quick, get him some water now, he’s…

[The glass is knocked over, shattering]

[Flames roar up in an instant]

[Panicked voices in background]

Sam Bailey

Jesus… Where’s the fire extinguisher?

[Glass breaks]

[Fire extinguisher sprays over fire]

[Flames crackle louder]

Sam Bailey

Oh shit… Everyone out! Everyone out now! Quick, someone help me with Bill before he…

[Click]

[Silence]

[Click]

[Sound of traffic in the distance, faint crackle of fire]

Bill Tyler

[Labored breathing]

What the…? Where…? Why…?

[Thrashing slightly on stretcher]

Sam Bailey

Easy, easy… Try to keep still. The EMT said you might still have some trouble breathing.

Bill Tyler

Trouble…

[Coughs violently]

Sam Bailey

Yeah. Whatever was in that drink, it… it looks like it damaged your lungs pretty badly.

Bill Tyler

Oh, I’m going to kill Mark for that…

Sam Bailey

They’ve already taken him in for questioning. Though by the look of him, he’s just as confused about the whole thing as everyone else.

Bill Tyler

What happened? I think I passed out.

Sam Bailey

Well… When you knocked the Mai Tai over, it… It ignited. Went up like napalm the moment it touched the bar.

Bill Tyler

[Pained laugh]

Sure. And someone replaced the fire extinguishers with gummy bears too, I bet…

Sam Bailey

No, I’m serious. I’ve never seen a reactive agent go up like that. I don’t know what got into that drink, but… well, I guess you’ll need to find a new karaoke spot from now on.

Bill Tyler

Did everyone make it out okay?

Sam Bailey

Yeah. A few pretty serious burns, but — everyone’s okay. Shaken, but okay.

Bill Tyler

Well… That’s the last time I go out drinking with you, that’s for sure.

Sam Bailey

[Chuckles]

Trust me, the feeling’s mutual. I think Robert wanted to talk with you, if you’re up to it…

Bill Tyler

Yeah yeah, send him over. He probably wants to know what I was doing drinking a Mai Tai in the first place.

Thanks Sam.

[Footsteps]

[Sound of fire fades]

[Crickets and traffic on roadside]

Sam Bailey

[Sighs]

First De Witt, now this: a fire that starts out of nowhere and can’t be stopped. Sound familiar?

[Makes a sound of disgust]

The things Anna talked about on her tapes… Monsters, ghosts, forces from… somewhere else. I mean, two weeks ago, I would’ve dismissed them outright the moment someone suggested them, but now… Now they seem to be seeping into real life even when I’m not listening to the tapes.

[Sighs]

When I found Anna, I thought someone might have been keeping her there in the halfway house against her will, but — but she shut that train of thought down pretty quickly. She’d tried to get sober once or twice before, and apparently the halfway house was doing better than any other place she’d ever tried. And because of that, she asked to be left alone, for us to keep it a secret.

So… we agreed. The law around a person’s right to disappear is a little fuzzy, but… There’s no law against it, and we still haven’t officially declared her dead. Nothing says we have to announce her survival to the world before she’s ready. But of course, that wasn’t enough to stop Bill from celebrating.

[Sighs]

Or to keep me from having doubts.

I wanted to ask her about the tapes, but… Something tells me she’d just say the same thing I always thought: that they were the product of a drug-adled mind and an overactive imagination and… Nothing more. Two weeks ago I would have accepted that explanation without question, but now I…

[Twig breaks nearby]

Hello? Is — is someone there?

[Footsteps]

It’s all right — come out where I can see you.

[Someone breaks through the foliage and runs]

Hey! Stop!

[Sam runs after them]

[Sam draws his pistol and cocks it]

Oslow County PD! Freeze, or I will open fire!

[Running footsteps stop]

[Sam takes a few steps forward]

Hands on your head. Turn around — slowly.

[Footsteps as the runner complies]

Miss… Miss Sol?

Maria Sol

I wish it wasn’t.

Sam Bailey

What — What are you doing here?

Maria Sol

What do you think I’m doing here?

Sam Bailey

I really don’t know.

Maria Sol

Well maybe if you put away that gun, I can tell you.

Sam Bailey

I don’t suppose you had anything to do with… that, did you?

Maria Sol

[Laughs]

What, do I look like an arsonist?

Sam Bailey

Um…

Maria Sol

Don’t answer that.

[Sighs, annoyed]

No, I didn’t have anything to do with the fire.

Sam Bailey

Then what are you doing here?

Maria Sol

Same thing you are, detective: trying to find some answers.

Sam Bailey

About what?

Maria Sol

About Anna. What else would I be looking for?

Sam Bailey

Miss Sol, there have been some… developments in the case I think you should be made aware of.

Maria Sol

What? You mean finding her in the halfway house?

Sam Bailey

How did you know about that?

Maria Sol

Oh, please. You called it in on an unencrypted police radio. I was listening in from my phone on the way to Oslow.

Sam Bailey

Well if you know we found her, then why are you…

Maria Sol

I know you found something in that house. Something that looked and sounded an awful lot like Anna.

Sam Bailey

What do you — what are you trying to say?

Maria Sol

I know you’ve been listening to Anna’s tapes, detective. I don’t know how much you’ve heard, but… Anna and I found a lot of strange

things over the years, okay. And a lot of them looked human, but definitely weren’t.

Sam Bailey

So you think that… Are you saying you think the person I found isn’t really Anna?

Maria Sol

I’m saying, I know that it isn’t.

[Clack and clatter as tape ends]

End Field Recording


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s