Episode 40: “Split the Lark”

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CONTENT WARNING: Discussions of religiously motivated homophobia, including brief mentions of conversion therapy and familial separation, depictions of violence (including mentions of blood), strong language, singing and secondhand embarrassment, and loud noises including screams.

11022019c: With the weekend arriving in Oslow, Kate Sheridan, Bill Tyler, and Ned Leroux finally hit the town for some much needed R&R. But as the night wears on, it becomes clear just how little they know about one another, and even as they grow closer, a dangerous secret lingers on the horizon…

Starring Jesse Steele as Bill Tyler, Virginia Spotts as Kate Sheridan, Ezra J. Wayne as Ned Leroux, and Mike Kennedy as Edgar Morrison, with original music by Jesse Haugen. Written by Virginia Spotts and produced by Trevor Van Winkle and Virginia Spotts, 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 
“Whiskey on the Mississippi” by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4624-whiskey-on-the-mississippi 
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license 

Script

TST_210423_S040_Thumb

Transcript

CONTENT WARNING: Discussions of religiously motivated homophobia, including brief mentions of conversion therapy and familial separation, depictions of violence (including mentions of blood), strong language, singing and secondhand embarrassment, and loud noises including screams.

Cold Open

[Late night traffic in Oslow, which slowly fades away as one car leaves the others behind on a desert highway]

[After a moment, the driver pulls off, keeping the engine running. They pull out their phone when it rings]

EDGAR MORRISON 

This is Morrison. Yes, I’m alone. Tell me what happened out there.

[He listens]

[A coyote howls in the distance]

I see. That’s… Unfortunate.

How did she take that?

Hmm.

[He sighs]

I don’t think I need to tell you why that’s a problem.

You’re going where?

Damn. You think you can find a way to get rid of them?

Good. Everything is ready for Saturday. Meet me at 1930, sharp. And make sure you’re not followed.

[Morrison hangs up, shifts his car into drive, then pulls off into the cold of the Nevadan night]

[Cassette noises]

[Click]

Main Theme

Recording Begins

[Cassette noises]

[Static fades away]

[The recorder is shuffled]

[Bill stands on the sidewalk in front of a moderately popular restaurant and bar. People walk past, chatting and laughing, the noise from diners floating outside]

BILL TYLER 

[Clears his throat]

Bill Tyler, Saturday November 2nd, 6:30pm. Ned and I are out with Anna’s sister, and she’s… Well, she’s different than I thought she’d be. I mean, my first impression was her berating me over the telephone, but still… she’s unexpected, Sam. I thought I should record this so you get a better sense of –

[The door bursts open, and Kate and Ned stumble slightly on their way out of the restaurant]

KATE SHERIDAN 

Stop right there, Lieutenant!

[She giggles]

NED LEROUX 

Reach for the skyyyy! 

[Kate laughs harder, drunk]

NED LEROUX

Tryna skip out on us, partner? Was it something I said?

BILL TYLER 

You two are unbearable lightweights.

[Kate & Ned laugh]

How are we supposed to make it through the night if you’re already sloshed?

KATE SHERIDAN 

Oh come on Bill, it’s only – 6:30?

[She gasps]

Oh no, I just remembered I need to make a call. I’ll be right back!

NED LEROUX 

We’ll be right here!

[Kate walks over and ducks into a nearby alley to make the call]

KATE SHERIDAN (as she retreats)

Hello boys! Sorry I’m calling late, but I – mommy’s having fun…

NED LEROUX

[Laughs to himself]

This feels really good, Tyler.

BILL TYLER 

This?

NED LEROUX

You know, this – getting a night out together. Unwinding with our, uh – new friend over there. We should do this more often.

BILL TYLER

She’s something else, isn’t she?

NED LEROUX

Sure is. 

You know – I never got a chance to thank you, Bill.

BILL TYLER

For what?

NED LEROUX 

Everything!

[He laughs]

This might be the whiskey talking, so just, you know, tell me if I should stop, but – You know I had a hard time adjusting here. I underestimated how hard it would be – moving, settling in, getting the lay of the land… I mean, Oslow’s like a whole different world, to be honest. I thought it would be a breeze after Houston, but…

[He laughs]

I was wrong. But I couldn’t have asked for a better partner. You made me feel at home.

BILL TYLER 

Oh come on…

NED LEROUX

Just take the compliment, Tyler. 

You can’t stop being kind or patient even when no one else is. Hell, I wouldn’t have given Kate half a chance back at Shamson. Thank God you were there to keep me in check.

BILL TYLER 

Thanks Ned.

You know – I wasn’t in the best place when we met, either. The fallout from the Sheridan case and what happened with Sam, it was… It was brutal. And after you finally, well… opened up – it was just a relief to have someone to talk to. Someone who actually wanted to hang out outside of work. You wouldn’t believe how hard it was to try and get Sam to –

[He clears his throat]

Anyway – I’m glad you’re here.

NED LEROUX

What kind of idiot wouldn’t want to hang out with you? Seems like a no-brainer.

So Rob couldn’t make it then, huh?

BILL TYLER 

He had other plans –

NED LEROUX 

– Other plans tonight, mmhmm, yeah.

Well, even so – I don’t have a drink in my hand, but just pretend I do: Here’s to Bill and Ned, standing against the dark.

[Footsteps in the background]

BILL TYLER 

[Laughs]

Here here!

KATE SHERIDAN 

[Gasping in excitement]

Bill and Ned! Bill and Ned’s excellent adventure! Oh my god, you two must joke about that all the time!

BILL TYLER 

[Laughs]

How have I not noticed that? Ned!

NED LEROUX

[Awkward laugh]

Yeah?

BILL TYLER 

Excellent!

[Ned chuckles awkwardly]

KATE SHERIDAN 

What were you two talking about?

BILL TYLER

Oh, we were just saying that we’d better turn in our badges tomorrow, seeing that a civilian accountant just saved our asses the other night.

KATE SHERIDAN 

Oh, stop.

NED LEROUX

It’s true – you’re a regular ghost whisperer. Must run in the family, huh?

KATE SHERIDAN 

No. Just, uh – just had a hunch. That’s all.

NED LEROUX

So, where are we headed?

BILL TYLER 

Only place in Oslow with Karaoke, now that Marvin’s burned down. Follow me!

[The three of them start down the sidewalk]

KATE SHERIDAN

Can one of you go first? I’m honestly… I’m kind of nervous to go on stage.

BILL TYLER 

[He laughs]

Don’t be Kate, it’s just Karaoke. It doesn’t matter what you sound like, everyone else is too drunk to care.

[Ned chuckles]

KATE SHERIDAN

You know, the only people who say things like that are the ones who are actually good at it.

NED LEROUX 

She got you there, Bill.

BILL TYLER

Honestly, it’ll be fine!

[A nearby car leans on its horn]

KATE SHERIDAN

No, really – I don’t know if I’m up to it tonight. I’ll definitely cheer you two on, though!

BILL TYLER

Oh, come on – you’ve got to sing something. I can go up there with you, if that would make it easier?

KATE SHERIDAN

What do you want to sing?

BILL TYLER

Anything you want!

KATE SHERIDAN 

That’s not really helpful.

NED LEROUX 

What are your go-to’s, Bill?

BILL TYLER

Oh man, [he stops walking] uh, let’s see – [singing] Don’t Stop Me Now…

KATE SHERIDAN 

Oh, you’re kidding me…

BILL TYLER

Uh…

[singing]

I Want You Back! …if I’ve got the upper range that day.

[He clears his throat, tries for a high note, and coughs]

[Ned laughs loudly at him]

Yeah, maybe not tonight.

[Everyone laughs]

NED LEROUX 

Yeah, that would be a sight…

BILL TYLER

Uh, oh um…

[singing]

Suddenly Seymour… you know, if I’ve got a person to duet with…

KATE SHERIDAN 

Oh, no way. No way I could do that.

BILL TYLER

Oh, Oh – And I’ve been wanting to try out The Power of Love!

[Kate snorts]

I’ve been singing that one with Rob, but you know there’s such a thing as too much of a sympathetic audience, so…

KATE SHERIDAN 

Oh! Would they have anything older – any Irish or English pub songs, maybe?

BILL TYLER 

Uh… Probably, yeah! Uh, Sam – Uh, I saw someone sing one of those once.

KATE SHERIDAN

Well then – I’ve got an idea what I want to sing. But I need you both to join in, got it?

[Noise from bar gets louder]

BILL TYLER

Can do!

Oh, here we are!

[Bill opens the door, and the sound of the crowd and uptempo music washes over them]

[The recorder is jostled as Bill moves through the crowd]

BILL TYLER

Excuse me – pardon me – just trying to get to the – Oh, thanks.

[The noise of the crowd abates slightly as they reach the bar]

[They pull out barstools]

KATE SHERIDAN 

Gin and tonic, please!

BILL TYLER 

One for me too! Ned?

NED LEROUX

Make it three, why don’t you?

[The bartender moves quickly in the background, pulling out glasses, tipping the bottles, and spraying tonic]

BILL TYLER 

Not too bad for the Saturday after Halloween, huh?

KATE SHERIDAN 

God, I haven’t been out to a place like this in ages.

NED LEROUX 

They still haven’t started karaoke yet? Thought they’d be going by now.

BILL TYLER

Hey, what’s the rush? Sit down, enjoy your drink with us.

NED LEROUX

You two get started without me. I’m gonna go find the DJ.

[Three glasses are set down on the bar top]

[Kate unzips her purse]

BILL TYLER 

Oh no, I’ve got this, Kate.

KATE SHERIDAN

You sure? You don’t have to –

BILL TYLER

Please, you got dinner.

[He lays cash down on the bar]

Least I can do for you pulling my ass out of the fire. Literally, in this case.

KATE SHERIDAN 

Thanks. Well – Cheers, then!

[They clink glasses]

BILL TYLER

Cheers.

KATE SHERIDAN

It’s too bad Robert couldn’t make it out. I would’ve liked to meet him.

BILL TYLER

Good to know you and Ned are on the same page!

KATE SHERIDAN 

Was he busy tonight?

BILL TYLER 

Uh… No. He used to work for the department, but – he quit a few days ago. And he’s, uh… He’s not too keen on hanging out with cops anymore.

KATE SHERIDAN

Oh. Wow, uh… That must be rough.

BILL TYLER 

It is.

KATE SHERIDAN 

Did… Did that have something to do with what Morrison asked you to do?

BILL TYLER 

Sort of. A little bit.

Fine, yes, it did.

KATE SHERIDAN 

Do you want to talk about it?

BILL TYLER 

[He sighs]

What I… Want isn’t really relevant. There’s a lot of it that I just can’t tell you about because of what might happen if…

KATE SHERIDAN 

What might happen if what?

BILL TYLER 

I like you, Kate. And I don’t want to see you get hurt. It’s so rare to find another person that… To find someone it feels like I’ve known for years.

[They laugh]

And we just met two days ago, right? 

KATE SHERIDAN

Yeah.

BILL TYLER

Isn’t that nuts?

KATE SHERIDAN

I know what you mean… I don’t know what it is, but it seems like…

I guess I understand. If you can’t tell me, that is.

BILL TYLER 

Thanks. I really appreciate you not judging me for… Well, for keeping my job. After what happened.

KATE SHERIDAN

Well, I’m sure you had a… Well, I don’t know for sure. But you probably had a good reason to stay. I mean – hell, I’ve definitely been there before. Not with the police, obviously, but… with the church.

BILL TYLER 

What do you mean?

KATE SHERIDAN 

I’ve… had a lot of doubt, recently. Stayed with it way past when it stopped making sense to me. I tried walking away a few times, but… I just couldn’t let go, no matter how much I wanted to. And God, I really wanted to sometimes.

BILL TYLER 

Oh man, do I understand that.

KATE SHERIDAN 

You grew up in the church too?

BILL TYLER

I did. Mormon family, back in Salt Lake. Haven’t been to church since high school, but… It’s still got a hold on me.

I’m guessing you were…

KATE SHERIDAN 

Evangelical. Presbyterian, actually.

BILL TYLER

Hm.

[He chuckles]

Oh… Anna must have been quite the troublemaker in your house, huh?

KATE SHERIDAN

Sort of… Yeah. She didn’t come around often, but it was usually pretty rough when she did. For her, I mean. There were exceptions, but…

Sometimes I was the one making it rough for her.

Okay, more than sometimes.

BILL TYLER

Yeah – Siblings can be tricky to live with. I get it.

KATE SHERIDAN

When did you leave the church, then? After you graduated?

BILL TYLER 

[Scoffs]

Right around the time my family threw me out on the street, actually.

KATE SHERIDAN

They did what?

BILL TYLER

Yeah… My sister found out about Rob. We’d been together for a while, and they… Well, let’s just say they didn’t approve. My folks gave me a choice between leaving the house immediately or… Well, they didn’t call it conversion therapy, but that’s basically what it amounts to.

[Kate makes a noise of disgust]

KATE SHERIDAN 

Oh my god, that’s… That’s horrible.

BILL TYLER 

It’s fine, they just – didn’t know any better. I don’t talk to them anymore, but… I don’t hate them as much as I used to. Or as much as I want to, sometimes. And Rob and I turned out okay.

KATE SHERIDAN

Still, that’s… Anna had something similar happen in our church. Dad never kicked her out for it, but… [she sighs] at a certain point, I guess she just had enough of lying about it. And then…

[She sighs]

Everything fell apart after our dad died. Mom lost herself in church, and Anna could barely talk to either of us after that.

I’m sorry your parents couldn’t accept you were gay.

BILL TYLER

I’m uh… I’m bi, actually. But thanks.

KATE SHERIDAN

Oh! Sorry, I didn’t mean to assume anything –

BILL TYLER 

No, no, it’s fine. Just… Figured that if we’re telling each other secrets, least I could do was be specific.

KATE SHERIDAN 

I’ve, uh…

[She laughs]

I’ve kind of been thinking actually, that…

[She clears her throat]

Well. Cheers to you, Bill. To new friends.

BILL TYLER

Yeah… To new friends.

[They clink glasses and drink again]

KATE SHERIDAN

So, uh… Buddy…

BILL TYLER 

Yeah, “buddy?”

KATE SHERIDAN 

[She laughs, drunk]

Are you… Sure you can’t tell me anything else about this – Sam Bailey? Where I might be able to find him, maybe?

BILL TYLER 

You are unbelievable, aren’t you?

[Kate laughs]

And no… I still can’t tell you. Sorry. I wish I could. I trust you, I really do, but…

You have a lot more in common with Anna than you let on, you know.

KATE SHERIDAN 

What do you mean by that?

BILL TYLER

Nothing, just… I’m not sure… it just came out?

[A pause]

KATE SHERIDAN 

What if I told you why I’m out here… Why I left my family and job behind to look for Anna. Uh… could you tell me something about Sam then?

BILL TYLER 

Maybe I could. What happened?

[Kate hesitates, then leans in]

KATE SHERIDAN

Something happened… Something back home, in Iowa. It was… Terrifying. I don’t know if I can describe what it was – I haven’t actually told anyone –

[Ned rushes back to the bar]

NED LEROUX

You two, get up on stage. I got the DJ to start early.

BILL TYLER 

Shit…

[He pushes his barstool back]

You’d better finish your drink and get up there with us.

NED LEROUX

You and Kate go on, I’ll join in on the next song.

BILL TYLER 

Are you ready Kate?

KATE SHERIDAN

Oh god oh god oh god…

[She hops off her barstool and walks to the back with Bill]

[They make their way through the crowd]

KATE SHERIDAN 

Oh my god…

BILL TYLER

You know what you want to sing?

KATE SHERIDAN 

Uh… I think so, one second. 

[She approaches the DJ]

Hi, uh… “The Rattlin’ Bog,” please? If you have it.

BILL TYLER

Wait, for real?

KATE SHERIDAN 

[Nervous laugh]

Don’t back out on me now, Tyler. Bottoms up!

[Kate downs her drink, then whoops as she climbs up on stage. Bill whoops with her and they both grab their mics]

[They clear their throats as they face the room]

[The music starts to play, bouncy and energetic]

KATE SHERIDAN/BILL TYLER

[Singing}

Oh ho the rattlin’ bog

The bog down in the valley-oh! Oh ho the rattlin’ bog

The bog down in the valley-oh!

BILL TYLER

[Singing]

Now, in this bog,

There was a tree,

A rare tree,

A rattlin’ tree,

The tree in the bog,

And the bog down in the valley-oh!

KATE SHERIDAN/BILL TYLER

[Singing]

Oh ho the rattlin’ bog

The bog down in the valley-oh! Oh ho the rattlin’ bog

The bog down in the valley-oh!

BILL TYLER (nudging her forward)

Go!

KATE SHERIDAN

[Singing]

Now, on this tree,

There was a limb,

A rare limb,

A rattlin’ limb,

The limb on the tree,

And the tree in the bog,

And the bog down in the valley-oh!

KATE SHERIDAN/BILL TYLER

[Singing]

Oh ho the rattlin’ bog

The bog down in the valley-oh! Oh ho the rattlin’ bog

The bog down in the valley-oh!

KATE SHERIDAN 

You! Go, go, go! [She laughs]

BILL TYLER

[Singing]

Now, on this limb,

There was a branch,

A rare branch,

A rattlin’ branch,

[In the background, voices can be heard arguing]

BILL TYLER

[Singing]

The branch on the limb,

And the limb on the tree,

And the tree in the bog,

And the bog down in the valley-oh!

KATE SHERIDAN/BILL TYLER

[Singing]

Oh ho the rattlin’ bog

The bog down in the valley-oh! Oh ho the rattlin’ bog

The bog down in the valley-

[A sickening crack of bone on wood is heard]

[Someone screams in the crowd]

[The DJ cuts off the music, but Bill is already moving off the stage]

[The crowd rapidly thins, fleeing out the doors]

BILL TYLER 

Ned! Ned, are you okay? What happened to –

…Oh god.

[Ned casually takes a sip from his glass, ice clinking]

[Something drips slowly onto the floor]

BILL TYLER

Ned – you might want to take your hand off your sidearm now.

NED LEROUX 

Easy, Bill, I’m just enjoying my drink here.

[Ice clinks]

Or… Well, I don’t know whose drink it is. Bartender couldn’t be bothered to top me off, and God helps those who help themselves. Cheers.

[He takes a drink]

BILL TYLER

Ned – I think you’d better leave. Now.

[Kate walks up behind Bill]

KATE SHERIDAN 

What’s going on?

[She gasps]

Why is there blood on the bar?

BILL TYLER

Kate…

[The Bartender groans from the floor behind the bar, and Kate finally notices him]

KATE SHERIDAN

[Stammering]

I, uh… I’ve got to go.

[Kate runs towards the door]

BILL TYLER 

Kate, wait a second! Don’t – 

[The hinges on the back door creak in the background]

Ned, you’d better have a good r–

[The door shuts]

[Bill cuts off. Ned is gone]

BILL TYLER 

Dammit Ned.

[The manager walks up to Bill]

MANAGER 

He with you?

[Bill pulls out his badge and flashes it to the manager]

BILL TYLER 

Oslow P.D. Don’t worry, it’ll be taken care of. Did you call an ambulance?

MANAGER

Oh, yes, of course officer – thank you. They’re on their way now.

[Another moan from the fallen Bartender]

Tony, Tony, stay still and stay quiet, the paramedics are on their way… Shh, shh, the police are here, don’t make a scene…

[Bill crosses to the front door and steps out into the night]

[Some late-season chirping is heard in the night air]

BILL TYLER

[Whisper-shouting]

Kate? Kate!

[Bill walks along the sidewalk for a moment before he stops, hearing her deep breaths from a nearby alley. Bill slowly approaches her]

BILL TYLER

Kate? Are you alright?

KATE SHERIDAN 

What the hell was that?

BILL TYLER

I don’t know, I’ve… I’ve never seen Ned behave like that before. I’ve never even seen him angry. I don’t know why he’d slam that guy’s head into the bar, it just… It makes no sense.

KATE SHERIDAN 

He’s unhinged.

BILL TYLER

He’s probably just under a lot of stress right now, I can’t think of what else it could be. I’ll try and ask him when I see him again.

KATE SHERIDAN

You let him go?

BILL TYLER 

I had to, Kate. There’s a way we have to handle these things when another officer’s involved, and it’s –

KATE SHERIDAN

Look – stop. Just stop. You know… I think you might be too charming for your own good, you know that?

BILL TYLER

What’s that supposed to mean?

KATE SHERIDAN 

It means that you need to stop making excuses for everyone! For all the shit you let slide! First you don’t quit when Morrison tells you to kill your own partner –

BILL TYLER 

If you’re going to dress me down like this, then keep it down, would you?

KATE SHERIDAN

– and now you’re making excuses for Ned cracking a bartender’s skull? Out of nowhere, for no reason?

BILL TYLER 

Kate please, it isn’t –

KATE SHERIDAN

It isn’t what? You clearly don’t trust him, not half as much as you pretend to. And if you don’t even realize that… Well, I don’t know what to do with you.

BILL TYLER 

He’s my partner, Kate. I have to trust him.

KATE SHERIDAN 

Stop making excuses! You work with a needlessly violent man for a needlessly violent man, and that means I can’t trust you to be any better than the two of them. Not until you wise up.

[A moment of silence between them. Finally…]

Goddammit.

[She paces slightly, breathing deep]

I don’t know why I came to Oslow in the first place. It hasn’t gotten me any closer to finding Anna. And unless you start talking, I’m not going to figure out where Bailey is either.

Tell me where I can find him. You owe me that much.

BILL TYLER 

That – That won’t be possible.

[She steps closer to him]

KATE SHERIDAN

Why not?

BILL TYLER 

Because you might get hurt.

KATE SHERIDAN 

[Scoffs]

By what, ghosts? Or by you and your buddies? What happens when your boss says I need to be taken out of the picture? You just going to sit back and let it happen?

[Another long moment of silence]

BILL TYLER

Sam Bailey is dead.

KATE SHERIDAN 

What? But you said –

BILL TYLER

It wasn’t me. Someone else got to him before I could. I was trying to keep that from you, for your own sake. I’m sorry.

KATE SHERIDAN

Where was he last seen, at least. Can you tell me that much?

[A pause]

BILL TYLER 

Agate Shore.

[A moment of tense silence, then…]

KATE SHERIDAN

Goodbye, Lieutenant Tyler.

[Kate walks off, and Bill watches her go. Then he remembers the recorder in his pocket]

BILL TYLER 

Oh, of fucking course I got all of that on tape–

[Click]

[Silence]

[Click]

[Kate starts her recorder in her parked van. The night outside is quiet]

KATE SHERIDAN 

Kate Sheridan. 3:31am, Sunday, November 3nd.

[She sighs]

I’m outside Agate Shore. It didn’t take me long to get here, but I did have to wait at the hotel until I’d sobered up enough to drive. I’m in the parking lot of… I think it’s a state park or something. I don’t know, none of the lights were on, and the whole place looks abandoned. I’ll be able to tell more in the daylight, but it looks like there was some kind of disaster out here recently. All my phone was able to tell me is that a dam broke somewhere in the area last year, but that doesn’t seem to explain…

[She sighs heavily]

Anyway. Bill reluctantly pointed me in this direction. Finally. I had to all but physically twist his arm to get it out of him, but now I’m beginning to wonder if he wasn’t lying about this place. It seems totally deserted. Would he really do that, though? Even after everything that…

[She sighs again]

I guess I’ll be sleeping in my van after all – I don’t know how long I’m going to have to stay here, and I haven’t seen a single motel since I left Oslow. It’s too dark out to do anything else now. And I need some time to think.

[Clack]

[Tape spits out]

Recording Ends


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