Episode 37: “Like Sweet and Subtle Fire”

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CONTENT WARNING: Pyrophobia, gun violence, strong language, terror, and loud noises including screams and destruction.

10312019c: Arriving on the scene of a possible Code Grey, Bill Tyler and Ned Leroux unexpectedly stumble upon Kate Sheridan outside the ruins of Shamson Mine. Unsure what to make of one another, the three are forced to work together by the sudden appearance of an unknown danger from deep within the earth…

Starring Jesse Steele as Bill Tyler, Virginia Spotts as Kate Sheridan, Ezra J. Wayne as Ned Leroux, Chris Martin as Robert Quincy, and Carmina Manley as Dispatch, with original music by Jesse Haugen. Written by Trevor Van Winkle and produced by Virginia Spotts and Trevor Van Winkle, and made possible by our supporters at Patreon.com/homesteadcorner and ko-fi.com/homesteadcorner

For more information, additional content, and episode transcript, visit thesheridantapes.com

“Snapping, Wooden Fence, J.wav” by InspectorJ (www.jshaw.co.uk) of Freesound.org
“In the Hall of the Mountain King” and “Night on Bald Mountain” recordings courtesy of musopen.org

Script

TST_210402_S037_Thumb

Transcript

CONTENT WARNING: Pyrophobia, gun violence, strong language, terror, and loud noises including screams and destruction.

Cold Open

[The sound of traffic outside]

[Muffled music from next room: In the Hall of the Mountain King – Edvard Grieg]

[Footsteps across a wooden floor]

[Someone unzips their jacket and sits down]

[A small police radio crackles to life]

DISPATCHER (over radio)

All units be advised, 10-53 at Second and Braddock.

NED LEROUX (over radio)

10-4 Dispatch. They need any more help over there?

DISPATCHER (over radio)

Negative 2-21, just a bit of a fender bender.

NED LEROUX (over radio)

10-3, I’ll check it out.

[A wash of static]

DISPATCHER (over radio)

All units in the vicinity of North Walford, 10-70 reported, repeat, 10- 70 in the North Walford vicinity.

[Bill stirs slightly in his seat, turning the radio down nervously]

ROBERT QUINCY

[Muffled, calling from next room]

Bill? Could you come help me with my costume? I can’t get this last zip up.

BILL TYLER 

I’ll uh, I’ll be there in a minute!

ROBERT QUINCY 

Are you still listening to that thing? Come on – it’s Halloween night, just leave it!

BILL TYLER 

I’m still on call for another three minutes. But after that, I’m all yours!

ROBERT QUINCY 

Well… Alright. Guess I’ll figure this out myself…

BILL TYLER 

[Sighing]

What the hell are you doing, Bill? You’ve got the night off for the first time in weeks. They’re not going to call you in now.

[He stands and starts to walk to the back bedroom]

[Someone knocks on the door]

BILL TYLER 

What? Trick or treaters already? Oh, I don’t even have my costume on yet. I guess I’ll just have to say I’m dressed up as a cop again this year–

[Bill opens the door]

BILL TYLER

Ned? What are you doing here?

NED LEROUX 

Just got a call from Morrison. Another Code Grey, up near Shamson. He wants us to handle it personally.

BILL TYLER

Us?

NED LEROUX

Yeah, he asked me to come get you. Why, is that a problem?

BILL TYLER

I’m off the clock in like… [he checks his watch] 30 seconds. Rob and I are spending Halloween together.

NED LEROUX 

Oh. Well, I wouldn’t want to interrupt your plans.

BILL TYLER

Thanks.

NED LEROUX 

But uh… I uh, I don’t really know who else to take with me.

[On the street, a car slows and stops]

BILL TYLER 

Well, Sergeant Nichols has been out on a couple of these calls. And uh, Martinez – well, she hasn’t, but I’d trust her with just about –

NED LEROUX 

What I mean is… I don’t want to go out there with anyone else. If something… Weird happens out there – I want to know you’ll have my back.

BILL TYLER 

Ned, I really –

NED LEROUX 

15 seconds.

BILL TYLER 

Huh?

[Muffled music from next room: Night on Bald Mountain – Modest Mussorgsky]

NED LEROUX

You’ve got 15 seconds ’til your shift ends. You don’t say yes, then I’ll go out there on my own.

BILL TYLER 

I – Okay, fine.

[He zips up his jacket & calls back to Rob]

BILL TYLER

Rob! They called me out again, I need to go!

[A door handle turns, Rob walks into the room]

ROBERT QUINCY 

Seriously? Isn’t your shift… [he stops, seeing Ned] Oh. Um. Uh – Hi.

NED LEROUX

Hi. Robert, right? You work in dispatch?

ROBERT QUINCY

Uh… Worked. I quit last week.

NED LEROUX 

Huh. That’s a shame. Bill didn’t say anything about that.

BILL TYLER 

We just got another – another weird call to check out. I should be back in less than an hour.

ROBERT QUINCY 

Yeah… Okay. Be safe out there.

BILL TYLER 

Always am!

[Bill steps outside with Ned, closing the door behind him]

[Continual sounds of traffic]

NED LEROUX 

He seems nice.

[Cassette noises begin]

BILL TYLER

Just knock it off, Ned. Let’s just get this done.

[Click]

Main Theme

Recording Begins

[Cassette noises, static fades away]

[Kate’s cassette player continues recording, picking up the cold, windy desert night, and the sound of a commotion in the distance]

BILL TYLER

What are you doing out here? I thought you were staying in town?

KATE SHERIDAN 

I’m just – chasing down some leads. I think Anna might have been out here at one point.

BILL TYLER 

So you came out into the middle of the desert after dark? Do you have any idea how dangerous that is?

KATE SHERIDAN 

I can handle myself, Lieutenant Tyler.

NED LEROUX 

Be that as it may – the mine is closed to the public. I’m sure you have a good reason to be out here this late, but it’ll have to wait until tomorrow –

KATE SHERIDAN 

Are you kidding me? I’ve been trying to chase Bill down all week! You think I’m just going to leave now?

NED LEROUX 

Yes, you are.

BILL TYLER

Come on Ned, I should probably just talk to her for a –

[Bill is cut off by a keening howl/wail in the distance… An almost human sound, and definitely not a coyote. All three of them fall dead silent]

KATE SHERIDAN

What the hell was that?

BILL TYLER 

Shit – Mrs. Sheridan, I don’t know how to quite tell you this, but… There might be something out here that – isn’t quite normal. A hiker called 911 about a… creature they uh, they saw out here, and –

KATE SHERIDAN 

You’re out here hunting ghosts, aren’t you?

BILL TYLER 

What? No, no, of course not, don’t be silly – it’s… it’s just that –

NED LEROUX 

Give it a rest, Bill. She knows.

BILL TYLER 

You do?

[Another howl echoes between the canyon walls]

BILL TYLER 

Dammit – Sheridan, get behind us. Ned, we need to get her out of here, now.

[Footsteps]

NED LEROUX

Agreed.

[Ned and Bill draw their guns, cocking them] 

[A moment later, a third pistol is cocked]

BILL TYLER 

What the hell – Where did you get that?

KATE SHERIDAN

I bought it here in Oslow – and before you ask, yes, I do have a concealed carry permit.

BILL TYLER 

In Nevada, or –?

NED LEROUX 

Bill, focus, Mrs. Sheridan, we’re going to move back down that canyon and make our way towards the trailhead. Can you cover our 6?

KATE SHERIDAN 

I think so.

NED LEROUX

You think, or you know?

KATE SHERIDAN 

[momentary pause]

I’ve got it covered.

BILL TYLER 

Oh, Jesus Christ –

NED LEROUX 

Let’s move.

[The three begin to walk back down the canyon when another howl comes from that direction]

[All of them freeze mid-step]

BILL TYLER 

Shit, what was that –?

NED LEROUX

That way’s no good. Bill, do you know if any of these other trails lead to the parking lot?

BILL TYLER 

I – No, I don’t.

NED LEROUX 

Mrs. Sheridan, where did you park your car?

KATE SHERIDAN

What? Oh, uh – just past the mine, down that way.

NED LEROUX

Can you get us back there in the dark?

KATE SHERIDAN 

Of course I can.

NED LEROUX

Okay – Sheridan, you lead. Tyler, you stay up front with her, and I’ll watch our 6. How far is it?

KATE SHERIDAN

About a ten minute walk, give or take. I was going pretty slowly.

NED LEROUX 

Alright. Lead the way.

[All three of them begin marching down the canyon]

NED LEROUX 

Canyon up ahead. Check your corners.

BILL TYLER 

Clear.

KATE SHERIDAN 

Yeah, same over here. Anything behind us?

NED LEROUX

Not yet – just keep moving.

[They continue down the canyon]

[A small rockfall nearby]

[Bill raises a hand to make them stop]

KATE SHERIDAN

What is it?

BILL TYLER 

Rockfall, just down the canyon. I think there’s something up there on the ridge.

KATE SHERIDAN 

I don’t see anything.

BILL TYLER 

I only saw it for a second. Maybe I –

[Another howl, closer than before]

NED LEROUX 

Run!

[All three of them break into a sprint, scrambling slightly in the loose sand] 

[Kate fires blindly behind her]

NED LEROUX 

Watch your fire, goddamnit!

KATE SHERIDAN 

Sorry, sorry!

BILL TYLER

I can see the mine up ahead! Which way is your –

[Bill suddenly stops, causing Kate to run into him]

[A faint crackling is heard]

KATE SHERIDAN

Oof! Hey, what’s going on? Why did you – [she sees what he sees] Oh, shit.

BILL TYLER 

It’s… It’s burning. It’s just standing there, burn –

[The creature howls]

NED LEROUX

What are you waiting for Tyler, an invitation? Just shoot the damned thing!

[Bill shakes off his stupor and starts firing, along with Ned]

[The creature retreats, its footsteps crunching and scraping]

BILL TYLER 

What the hell was that thing?

KATE SHERIDAN 

“Creatures of fire, stone, and red- hot iron –”

NED LEROUX 

Excuse me?

KATE SHERIDAN

Oh, just – it’s from something my sister wrote about this place. Something the old miners used to see in the dark.

NED LEROUX 

Ri-ight. Are we close?

KATE SHERIDAN

Yeah – my car should be just over that ridge over –

[Another howl]

[The second creature stumbles out of the dark, flesh burning and sizzling]

BILL TYLER

Shit, it’s the other one –

NED LEROUX

Sheridan, clear the line of fire, now!

[Kate scrambles out of the way, and Ned and Bill start shooting again]

[Kate breathes nervously]

BILL TYLER 

Uh, Ned… It’s not running.

NED LEROUX 

Reload!

[Both of them eject their magazines and load a new one]

KATE SHERIDAN 

Bill!

BILL TYLER 

What? Shit – Ned! Ned, look!

NED LEROUX 

Oh, fuck me. I thought we scared that one off?

BILL TYLER 

Apparently not!

NED LEROUX

Sheridan, is there another way to get to your car?

KATE SHERIDAN 

Not with these things blocking the trail.

NED LEROUX

Dammit. What’s that building over there?

KATE SHERIDAN

What? Oh, that’s the entrance to the mine, where the elevator used to be.

NED LEROUX

Would they keep explosives in there?

KATE SHERIDAN

Explosives? Well… Maybe? I don’t know.

NED LEROUX 

Not like we got a lot of other options. Sheridan, Tyler, go get that door open. I’ll cover you.

BILL TYLER 

Got it. Come on!

[Bill and Kate run towards the entrance to the mine]

[Ned takes the occasional shot at the creatures in the distance]

[A chain rattles on the door]

KATE SHERIDAN 

Dammit, they’ve got it chained shut. I wonder if –

BILL TYLER

Hold on – the wood looks pretty old. I should be able to just –

[Bill grabs the handle and grunts as he pulls the door. The wood holding the chain to the door splinters, and the rusty hinges squeak open]

BILL TYLER 

Ned! Get in here!

[Ned runs, panting as he enters the room]

BILL TYLER

Now what? They’re still coming!

KATE SHERIDAN 

Get back from the door!

BILL TYLER 

What are you – Whoah!

[Bill jumps back just as Kate topples a nearby shelf across the doorway, creating a makeshift barricade]

KATE SHERIDAN

Come on, help me move more of this stuff! We’ve got to block the door!

[She continues throwing wood and other objects onto the pile]

BILL TYLER

Are you crazy? We’ll be trapped in here!

KATE SHERIDAN

Would you rather have them get in here?

[Both beasts howl from just outside]

NED LEROUX

Sheridan, help me with this thing –

KATE SHERIDAN

Yeah, I’ve got it – one, two, THREE!

[Kate and Ned grunt with the strain as they lift, then toss the cabinet in front of the door]

[Bill throws old furniture and wood onto the pile]

NED LEROUX 

Alright – that should hold them for now.

KATE SHERIDAN 

For now?

BILL TYLER

Should?

NED LEROUX 

Best case, it keeps them out of here until dawn. Whatever these – things are, I doubt they’ll stick around during the daytime.

[Bill, frustrated, tosses another piece of wood out of his hands]

BILL TYLER 

Great. Great! So much for a Halloween with Rob. Thanks, Sheridan.

KATE SHERIDAN 

How is this my fault?

[Bill’s footsteps, pacing]

NED LEROUX

Look, Bill, ease off –

BILL TYLER 

You know what? No. No, I don’t think I will. I’ve got every right to be pissed off at her. You came out here in the middle of the night when you knew full well something like this might happen, and you just assumed you’d – what, that you could shoot your way out of it with your little .22 like Annie fucking Oakley?

KATE SHERIDAN 

Don’t take that tone with me. This isn’t my first time dealing with shit like this. I know what I’m doing.

BILL TYLER

And what makes you think this one couldn’t have gone wrong? Just because your sister walked away from stuff like this all the time, you think you can –

KATE SHERIDAN

Don’t you dare bring my sister into this! You have no idea who she was, and you don’t know anything about me!

NED LEROUX 

Okay, enough! God, you two are starting to give me a headache. Bill, am I missing something here?

[Ned takes a step closer to Bill]

[Bill shifts]

BILL TYLER

Oh, uh – No. Nothing important, anyways.

NED LEROUX 

Uh huh. Kate?

[He shifts to face Kate]

BILL TYLER 

You – you don’t have to tell him anything, Kate.

KATE SHERIDAN 

Oh now you’re worried. Why shouldn’t I tell him? I have as

much reason to trust him as I do you.

I’m here looking for my sister.

NED LEROUX

Anna?

KATE SHERIDAN

Yeah. She disappeared somewhere outside Oslow about a year ago. And I think she’s still alive.

[Ned shifts to face Bill]

NED LEROUX 

Why didn’t you want her to tell me that?

BILL TYLER 

It’s not that. She’s also looking for –

[He shifts]

She’s looking for Sam Bailey, too.

NED LEROUX 

Oh.

KATE SHERIDAN

Oh, what? What aren’t you telling me? And why is everyone so scared to talk about him?

NED LEROUX 

Mrs. Sheridan – Sam Bailey was the detective assigned to your sister’s case when… Well, when an entity calling itself “the Echo” tried to impersonate Anna and take her place. When he figured it out, Bailey went AWOL and made some kind of deal with another power to destroy it. We still don’t know what the terms of that deal were, but since then, the rate of supernatural incidents has massively increased.

If we could find Bailey we might have a clue, but as far as anyone in the department knows, he skipped town six months ago and hasn’t been seen since.

KATE SHERIDAN

You’re sure the Echo’s… That he destroyed it? Completely?

NED LEROUX 

You knew about it?

KATE SHERIDAN

Anna… Anna and I ran into it a couple of times. The last one was… 

Bill? Are you okay?

[The wind outside moans]

BILL TYLER 

What? Oh, yeah – I’m fine.

NED LEROUX 

Sam was your last partner before I got here, right? I hear you two were pretty close.

BILL TYLER 

Not really – I mean, he was kind of an asshole, and I tried to make friends with him, but he… He, uh – –

[Kate steps closer to Bill]

KATE SHERIDAN

It’s okay, Bill. You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to.

Ned, could you give us a moment?

NED LEROUX 

Uh… Sure, yeah. I’ll – I’ll go check around back, make sure there’s no other way in.

[Ned walks off further into the building. After a moment, Kate leans in]

KATE SHERIDAN 

What happened to Sam?

BILL TYLER 

Huh? 

KATE SHERIDAN 

What happened to him?

BILL TYLER 

What happened to “you don’t have to talk about it?”

KATE SHERIDAN 

That was to get Ned out of the room. You clearly have something you need to say. And you clearly don’t trust him half as much as you pretend to.

BILL TYLER 

I do trust him. He’s a good cop. I know he’s got my back.

KATE SHERIDAN

That might be true, but that just means there’s something you know that you don’t want him to tell your boss. Something about Sam.

BILL TYLER 

[Hesitates, then sighs and shifts]

Morrison turned on him. After what happened with the Echo, he and I and a couple other officers… we raided his apartment to look for Anna’s tapes. He told me to get rid of Sam, so… I did.

KATE SHERIDAN

Did you… Did you kill him?

BILL TYLER

What? No, no – I mean, I’m guessing that’s what Morrison wanted me to do, but I just… I got him out of there. I hid him somewhere… safe!

KATE SHERIDAN

Where?

BILL TYLER 

I – I can’t –

[A distant clattering]

[Before Bill can finish, Ned runs back into the room, panting and coughing]

BILL TYLER 

Ned? Ned, are you alright?

NED LEROUX 

[Between coughs]

We need to get out of here. Now.

KATE SHERIDAN 

What’s wrong?

NED LEROUX 

Can’t you hear that?

[All three of them go silent] 

[It’s faint, but there – the sound of dry wood crackling in a fire]

BILL TYLER

Shit.

NED LEROUX

The fire’s already spread through the back half of the building. We need to move this stuff, now!

[Without another word, all three of them turn and start pushing the debris away from the door, grunting and groaning with the effort]

BILL TYLER

Ned, get on the other side of this case!

NED LEROUX

Got it, I’ve got it! One, two –

[The creatures howl from just outside. Kate, Ned, and Bill drop what they’re holding and retreat further into the room]

BILL TYLER

We’re trapped!

NED LEROUX 

There’s got to be another way out of here. Sheridan, you read about this place. Anything that might help?

KATE SHERIDAN 

I think the only other way out of here is – down there.

BILL TYLER 

[Fearful, wild laugh]

Down the mineshaft? Are you crazy?

KATE SHERIDAN 

I didn’t say we should go that way, I just said that it’s –

[Kate stops, realizing something]

NED LEROUX 

What? What is it?

KATE SHERIDAN 

“Still trying desperately to return to their posts and pay off their debts…”

BILL TYLER 

Come on, Ned – if we move fast enough, we might be able to 

shoot our way out of here.

NED LEROUX

Did you see how many rounds they already took?

BILL TYLER 

Do you have a better idea?

KATE SHERIDAN 

I might.

[Bill and Ned turn to look at her]

KATE SHERIDAN 

I think we should let them in.

BILL TYLER 

Let them in? Jesus, are all you Sheridans completely nuts?

KATE SHERIDAN

I know what they’re trying to do now! We thought they were trying to stop us from getting out, but what if they’re just trying to get in here!

NED LEROUX 

Talk fast – We don’t have much time.

BILL TYLER

You don’t seriously think –

KATE SHERIDAN 

Anna said that the miners who were trapped in the caves are still bound to Shamson, trying to pay off their debts to the mining company. And those things were always behind us, moving towards the mine. What’s behind that canyon we started in?

BILL TYLER

The… the ruins of Shamson.

KATE SHERIDAN 

Where the miners used to live. Don’t you see?

NED LEROUX 

There’s a lot of suppositions in there, Mrs. Sheridan –

KATE SHERIDAN 

As opposed to your plan, which assumes bullets will magically start hurting them now?

[Beat]

Bill, help me move this last shelf, then get out of the way as fast as you can.

BILL TYLER 

But if they’re not trying to hurt us –

KATE SHERIDAN 

Doesn’t mean they won’t if they feel threatened – or that they

can’t burn us on accident. Ready?

BILL TYLER 

R – Ready.

KATE SHERIDAN

One, two, three, lift!

[Kate and Bill grunt as they lift the heavy shelf, then drop it to the side and scurry out of the way. 

[The creatures both shamble in]

NED LEROUX 

Steady… No sudden moves, anyone…

[The creatures pause, growling low in their throats]

KATE SHERIDAN 

Ned! Ned, put your gun down!

NED LEROUX

What?

KATE SHERIDAN

You’re scaring them!

NED LEROUX 

I’m scaring them?

BILL TYLER 

Ned, just do it!

[Ned hesitates, then holsters his sidearm] 

[The creatures stop growling, then continue shambling towards the mineshaft]

[The creatures push through the wooden barrier around the mineshaft, then step over, vanishing with an echoing howl]

BILL TYLER

Holy shit, did they just –

KATE SHERIDAN 

“Return to their posts?” Yeah… The only way they can with the elevator broken.

NED LEROUX 

Uh, Sheridan…?

[The crackling of the fire is louder now, and a burning timber suddenly falls from the roof nearby]

BILL TYLER 

Everybody move!

KATE SHERIDAN 

Come on, my car’s this way!

[All three of them sprint out of the mine, the sound of fire even louder outside]

[Structures burning and collapsing]

BILL TYLER 

Should we call someone, or –

NED LEROUX 

Too late – no way to get an engine out here in time.

KATE SHERIDAN 

Less talking, more running!

[Click]

[Silence]

[Click]

[Running]

[Kate pulls out her keys and unlocks her van, climbing inside and starting the engine]

[Bill and Ned scramble into the backseat, slamming the doors]

NED LEROUX

Go, go!

[Kate shifts to drive and accelerates away]

KATE SHERIDAN 

Everyone okay?

[Silence]

[Bill chuckles, then starts laughing wildly]

[Ned laughs]

[Kate holds out for a moment, then gives in and starts laughing too]

BILL TYLER

We’re alive! How the hell are we still alive?

NED LEROUX 

Luck… And no small measure of quick thinking on Mrs. Sheridan’s part. Much obliged to you.

KATE SHERIDAN 

Please, just call me Kate, Ned. Mrs. Sheridan makes me think of my mother.

NED LEROUX

[He laughs]

Well – we both owe you one, Kate. Thank you.

KATE SHERIDAN 

Could that “one” count towards help with my investigation, by any chance?

NED LEROUX 

Absolutely. Whatever help I can be, that is.

KATE SHERIDAN 

What about you, Bill?

BILL TYLER 

Abso-frickin-lutely. If you hadn’t been there, then I’d be–

Oh, shit – Rob must be worried sick about me. I should… I need to go home.

NED LEROUX 

And Morrison will be wanting me to report in. Damn. You mind a rain check for sometime this weekend? Maybe… Saturday?

KATE SHERIDAN 

I guess I can wait until then. What are you thinking?

[Dramatic pause]

BILL TYLER 

Karaoke, anyone?

[Clack]

[The tape spits out]

Recording Ends


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