Episode 72: “The Quiet Sense of Something Lost”

Episode 72: “The Quiet Sense of Something Lost” The Sheridan Tapes

CONTENT WARNING: Depictions of loss and grief, financial hardship, guilt and self-destructive behavior, and loud noises01282020: Old friends remembered.Starring Matthew Chaconas as Anthony Perdue, Trevor Van Winkle as Sam Bailey, Virginia Spotts as Kate Sheridan, Paul Warren as Craig Domhnwell, and Airen Neeley Chaconas as Anna Sheridan, with Meredith Nudo as "the stranger" and original music by Jesse Haugen. Written by Trevor Van Winkle and produced by Virginia Spotts, with dialogue editing and sound design by Trevor Van Winkle. This episode was made possible by our supporters at Patreon.com/homesteadcorner, ko-fi.com/homesteadcorner, and our backers on Seed&Spark.For more information, additional content, and episode transcript, visit homesteadonthecorner.com/tst072Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/sheridantapes. Become a member at https://plus.acast.com/s/SheridanTapes. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

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CONTENT WARNING: Depictions of loss and grief, financial hardship, guilt and self-destructive behavior, and loud noises

01282020: Old friends remembered.

Starring Matthew Chaconas as Anthony Perdue, Trevor Van Winkle as Sam Bailey, Virginia Spotts as Kate Sheridan, Paul Warren as Craig Domhnwell, and Airen Neeley Chaconas as Anna Sheridan, with Meredith Nudo as “the stranger” and original music by Jesse Haugen. Written by Trevor Van Winkle and produced by Virginia Spotts, with dialogue editing and sound design by Trevor Van Winkle. This episode was made possible by our supporters at Patreon.com/homesteadcorner, ko-fi.com/homesteadcorner, and our backers on Seed&Spark.

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

Script

Transcript

CONTENT WARNING: Depictions of loss and grief, financial hardship, guilt and self-destructive behavior, and loud noises

[The sound of distant traffic and a gentle breeze lightly brushing some wind chimes through an open window]

[Anthony leans back in his chair, chatting into a phone; most line breaks indicate pauses for listening]

Anthony Perdue

Yes… yes, I understand it’s been a while. I’ve been waiting to hear back from… well, if you recall our last conversation, the police haven’t found any proof that Anna’s dead. I’m not in a position to — 

No, that isn’t an excuse, it’s a statement of fact. Unless she’s declared dead, her will isn’t in effect, and I can’t make decisions on her behalf. It’s as simple as that.

If that’s how you feel about it, I suggest you get in touch with my lawyer. Goodnight.

[Anthony hangs up and exhales as he sits back]

[muttering] Poultice Press… I’m going to need a poultice by the time I’m done with y—

[The phone ringing again cuts him off]

[He picks up the phone and answers]

Anthony Perdue speaking… uh, Perdue literary services. Who is this?

Ah. Miss Valentini. To what do I owe the… 

No, I don’t have any updates for the press. Anna is still missing. Oslow County PD is still investigating. I will issue a press release as soon as any of that changes, and not a second before.

That’s a leading question and you know it. I do not intend to have her declared dead — I do not have the legal authority to declare her dead, especially as I stand to inherit her estate. There’s this little thing called “conflict of interest” that I have to—

Uh huh. Uh huh. Uuuh huh. Miss Valentini — you are aware I know all of this already? Anna disappeared over a year ago — are things really that slow this week?

What do my finances have to do with anything… how did you even know about that? That lease is private.

The state of my company is my own concern, Miss Valentini — and I assure you that if you print any of this, you will be hearing from my legal counsel.

Yes, that is a threat. Goodnight, Miss Valentini.

[He slams the phone on the receiver]

[He walks over to the wall and unplugs the line]

No more calls tonight, huh Anna? That’s more than enough for a Tuesday.

[The doorbell rings downstairs]

Oh, what the fuck is it now?

[He walks to his office door, opens it, goes down a short flight of stairs, and opens his front door]

[The sounds of the outside air fill the space]

Hello? [he notices a package, picks it up, and tests the weight of it]

[calling back into house, as he closes the door] Alex? Were you expecting a delivery?

[muttering to self] Oh right… they’re out today.

[Anthony examines the package]

Lake Isabella? What the hell is this doing here… someone must have dropped it off.

[He looks for a way to open it]

What are you?

[He rips away the tape at the top of the package and catches a glimpse of the inside]

Holy shit… 

[Not wasting another moment, he clicks at his phone and begins an outgoing call]

Maria? Yes, hi — this is Anthony, Anthony Perdue… right, of course you have my number in your — nevermind. Is this a good time?

New Mexico? What were you doing all the way out there? 

Doesn’t matter — Maria, listen: I just got a package at my house. And you’re not going to believe who it’s from.

[Cassette noises]

[Click]

[Main Theme]

Recording Begins

[Click]

[Cassette noises; static fades away]

[Inside a car on the side of a quiet rural highway, Sam has already started speaking]

[Distant sounds of traffic]

Sam Bailey

…[records — daily log,] January 28th, 2020 at 5:21pm Pacific Standard Time. Kate and I are currently on assignment outside Fresno, California… our first mission since Bill and Maria left. It feels… strange, without them here. Bill’s been there from the start, and Maria… well, Maria’s Maria.

Our brief was pretty simple: “explore the area around Fresno and ascertain the possibility of supernatural origin for the entities known as nightcrawlers.” Yeah… we’re looking for the Fresno Nightcrawlers, of all things. [he scoffs] God, ISPHA isn’t even trying to hide the fact that they’re just throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks.

[he clears his throat]

Uh… The Fresno Nightcrawlers — if they exist — are short, pale, humanoid figures that look like a pair of pale legs with extremely short arms, or no arms at all. There have been several sightings of the cryptids on home security footage and motion sensor cameras — the first and most notable in Fresno, hence the name. There’s also a fairly convincing video from Yosemite National Park, about 70 miles north of here, and one possible sighting in Poland… though that one’s still debatable. So far, there haven’t been any in-person encounters with the Nightcrawlers, but it seems like Caldwell wants to change that by sending her supernatural lodestones out looking for them.

Uh, notably, in all three potential sightings, the Nightcrawlers travel in pairs of two — one smaller, and one larger. People have theorized that these might be a parent and child, or that they’re sexually dimorphic pairs of mates, or any number of other reasons for the consistent pairing… but no one really knows. All we have are a few grainy videos. But if we manage to catch a glimpse of them tonight—

Kate Sheridan

Why are you still doing that?

Sam Bailey

Doing what?

Kate Sheridan

Recording your logs.

Sam Bailey

Why aren’t you?

Kate Sheridan

Sam — you’re the only one who’s ever been recording them. The rest of us weren’t so keen on giving ISPHA access to our private thoughts.

Sam Bailey

Oh… right. I just — didn’t notice. I got used to recording them, you know? And honestly… I haven’t been handing over my tapes for a while now.

Kate Sheridan

So that little intro of yours… 

Sam Bailey

Yeah, it’s just… force of habit.

Kate Sheridan

Huh.

[both of them fall silent for a moment]

So, uh… you seem to know a lot about these things… that’s way more than I got from the briefing.

Sam Bailey

Not really… I just managed to do a quick search while you were driving. To tell the truth… most of what I talk about on these tapes comes from Wikipedia.

Kate Sheridan

[mock gasp] Not Detective Samuel Isaac Bailey?

[Sam laughs]

Sam Bailey

Not a detective anymore, Kate. I was never that good at it to begin with.

Kate Sheridan

Oh I didn’t mean it like that, you’re actually—

Sam Bailey

No, no, it’s fine… I came to terms with it months ago. I thought I wanted to be a detective for years, but… honestly, I think I just read too many murder mysteries as a kid. The only good thing that ever came out of joining the police force was meeting Allen — and Bill, I guess.

[moment of quiet]

Kate Sheridan

Have you always been interested in this stuff as well?

Sam Bailey

What stuff?

[Kate laughs lightly]

Kate Sheridan

You know — Nightcrawlers, cryptids, the supernatural…?

[Sam laughs lightly]

Sam Bailey

Not at all. I used to think this was all bullshit.

Kate Sheridan

But I thought… you know, with what happened to you as a kid, you’d think that… uh, I don’t know.

Sam Bailey

You’d think, but… [he sighs] I wasn’t your sister. I couldn’t accept it, so I repressed a lot of stuff just to make it through the day. And not just about the lake.

Kate Sheridan

Huh. You know, I did wonder, but I didn’t want to ask if you were—

Sam Bailey

Yeah. Took a while to figure out, but… yeah.

Kate Sheridan

I… I get it. It… takes time. To accept stuff like that.

I’ve… always had my doubts. About… myself. What I believe. Who I love.

Sam Bailey

What do you mean? …if you want to tell me, I mean—

Kate Sheridan

No, no, it’s… I mean — yeah. I’m still figuring it out, but… um… I know I’m not straight, at least. There were, uh… a couple times in college that I, um — well, I didn’t know what to make of them back then, but… um… I’m pretty sure I’m bi? Maybe pan… um… I don’t know.

[Sam scoffs quietly, not unkindly]

Kate Sheridan

What?

Sam Bailey

Nothing, just — not surprised.

Kate Sheridan

About what?

Sam Bailey

Everyone in our little… group. The people I made friends with have always been a bit… you know.

Kate Sheridan

Are we… are we friends? Is that what we are?

[moment of quiet]

[Kate sighs and fidgets a little]

Kate Sheridan

Do you want to listen to another tape? While we’re just… waiting?

Sam Bailey

I mean… might as well. Nothing else to do.

[Kate inserts a tape into the dash]

[Click]

[Static fades; we’re in a quiet room in a drafty manor house]

[Occasional sound of birds and approaching thunder through an open window] 

Craig Domhnwell

Right — let’s get this down on tape then. Been too long already.

I’ve always had an interest in the wee folk — the world hidden from the eyes of men in the deep forests and high mountains, far from the lights and bustle of humankind. My parents accepted this about me, e’en if they never understood it, and left me most to my own devices to seek it out. They did have one rule, though: never go out after dark. I was a foolish, impetuous child… but I never dared to break that rule. Much as I wanted to meet with faeries, I knew that those what I’d meet after nightfall were no those I’d wish to meet alone an helpless. So I was always fast asleep long before the nuckelavee and shellycoats began to roam the moors. My maw didn’t raise no fool, says I.

An so, I grew up. Grew older. This isn’n the place for a biography, so I’ll leave most o those years out of it. Suffice to say I learned my letters, went off tae university, came back, and began to write about the creatures I’d always loved. Made a name for myself. Made my fortune. Moved back into this home when my maw and dad died. Kept writing. Got a couple awards. Started looking further and further afield for the dwellings of the faeries and the monsters of myth — and found them. I always kept my distance, though, and ne’er went out at night. The knocks and bumps at my windows and doors after I’d gone to bed told me all I needed to know about the things I feared to find.

Before I knew it, the century had changed. Even up here, it changed, and soon I had a computer and a cell phone and a fiber-optic line straight to the rest of the world — and I din’n want any of it. I’ve ne’er had much patience for other people, and no time for the inane chatter and gossip of the pub. Now, those empty words were being traded day and night on every chatroom and social media on the planet. Got dragged into one too many arguments about my work with strangers before I realized it wasn’n healthy and unplugged the damned thing. Time went on. Money changed hands. Parson’s Press bought out my old publisher and my contract with it, an I ended up havin’ to fly to London far more than I ever wanted tae… and from the looks on their faces whenever I walked in, it was more often than they wanted to as well.

It was on one of those trips that I first met ye, Anna. Ye came across the pond for a book tour — though ye ne’er made it north o the border, so I cannae say it was much of a tour. But by some turn o fate, I was visiting Parson’s on the day after ye got there. I forget what the meeting was about — some contract dispute or new royalty share I had tae sign off on… I din’n much care. My books have always sold well to a very small audience, and I din’n see much need to change that, despite what my agent says. I do just fine.

Anyway — I heard ye were in town, and I decided I best see if I could find a way to meet ye. I’d read a few of yer books — I’ve ne’er been much of a reader when it comes to horror, but somethin’ in your style caught me — certain turns of phrase and ways of describing things. It made me think that maybe ye’d touched the same world I had — a darker corner of it, maybe, but still… I had to know. So I grabbed a copy of yer schedule from the secretary, and headed out to the old Warner’s Bookstore in the driving rain.

I hope ye’ll not take this the wrong way, but… I was sorely disappointed. Yer eyes were bloodshot and it looked like a cold draft couda knocked ye right over — but still. I had a picture of ye in my mind, and it wasn’n a jet lagged tourist barely managing not to laugh at my accent. I got yer signature on my old dog-eared copy of Anathema and soon after, headed across the street to the one half-decent pub in London for a rusty nail and a pie. It was two in the afternoon, but it was pissing down and I had a flight in three hours… not enough time to get a proper meal and a cab to the airport — not in London, at least. Besides, I knew the pub would be quiet at that hour, so I ordered my food and settled into a seat by the window with my drink to watch the rain come down in silence.

I’ve always loved the rain… not being caught in it, I’m not some romantic idiot. But watchin’ it — the way it paints the world in shining darkness, and makes every point of light into a line of fire. Even the maze of concrete and steel London’s become is turned to glass by the rain, and I can bear to watch the endless lines of cars and trucks go by without worrying about what they’re doing to the only home we have… how the wild places are disappearin’ one by one until there’s no corner of the planet we haven’t catalogued and paved over. How we’re buildin’ a future that can’t last.

But like I said — I wasn’t worryin’ about that. The pie was overpriced and soggy like everything in this part of town, but warm enough I didn’t mind too much. As I ate, my gaze kept drifting up to the little strip of sky I could see between the edge of the window and the roof of the old Warner’s across the street. I din’n know why… far as I could see, the clouds were a solid wall of grey with patches of shadow where the rain fell heavier… nothin’ I hadn’t seen a hundred times or more. Yet my eyes kept find their way up to it, and eventually, I just let them sit there as I stared up at the sky. I’ve ne’er had the best vision, and I’ve needed glasses e’er since I was five, but I let my eyes sit there, unfocused… and then I stopped. There was somethin’ there… something I hadn’t noticed before.

Ye know how these things are — how impossible it is tae actually capture them in words. Somethin’s always lost when ye try. So best I can say is, it was a line — a line of darkness, cutting through the clouds… or maybe a dark line of clouds, nestled in the crook of the storm. I blinked — but now that I’d seen it, I couldn’t ignore the pattern. It was subtle, but impossible to miss once ye knew it was there. A perfectly straight line, going on for as far as the eye could see — which tae be honest, wasn’n too far, considering where I was sitting. But it still held my gaze longer than it should have.

At first, I thought it might’ve been some kind of contrail, but it wasn’t blowing away in the wind like it should’ve. It didn’t line up with any of the airports, and if it didn’t come from a plane landing or taking off, it should’ve been far above the clouds and out of sight. There wasn’n enough sunlight to cast a shadow that dark, and e’en if there was, the line should’ve moved at least a little bit during the full hour I stared up at it, my drink forgotten and my pie gone cold.

I only realized how long I’d been watching it when the door to the Warner’s burst open across the street and you ran out, holding yer coat over yer head to keep the rain off as ye rushed to the car. I realized I’d miss my flight if I stayed any longer, so I paid my bill, caught a cab, and made it to Heathrow just before the gates closed.

It was long past dark by the time I was driving the long road back to Inverness. The plane had been fightin’ a headwind all the way to Edinburgh, and by the time we landed I was shaken half tae hell and wanted nothing more than to be home and straight to bed. I still had a few hours to go, but the promise of home and sleep kept me going as I stared out into the dark, hypnotized by the beat of wipers thudding back and forth. My mind began to wander, and I started to think about that strange dark line of clouds again. For some reason, the idea of ley lines came into my head — an old theory about ancient and perfectly straight lines between historical sites that was borrowed by the earth mysteries movement and then thoroughly debunked. I’d ne’er believed in them myself… I hadn’n seen any sign of them in all my searching for the wee folk, and if anyone would be attuned to those energies, it would be the fae. I find the skeptic’s explanation more probable… that given enough historical sites, you can draw straight lines through any number of them that seem significant, but arenae.

But e’en so… that line of shadows made me think o them: lines of power, converging somewhere over London. On the flight back, I tried to catch a look at them again, but I was stuck in a middle seat and couldn’n see out the window too well. From what I could see though, it looked like one of them continued all the way from London to Edinburgh, unbroken — never shifting direction or growing lighter or darker, even as the sun went down. Curious, I glanced up, not really expecting to see anythin… only to find the same dark line drawn against the clouds, while the thin moon illuminated the rest of the sky. The clouds were fallin’ apart to the east, but that dark line endured… though it seemed to stop a little ways north, in a patch of muddy heath I knew well from my childhood expeditions. It was a few miles out of the way and would take nearly an extra hour to reach… but I knew I wouldn’n make it back to bed before midnight anyway. I turned off the highway.

My old Rover made it farther than I thought it would, but eventually I had to give it up and go on foot. I grabbed a heavy-duty torch and switched it on, knowing better than tae trust myself to navigate the swampy ground in the dark. The rain had finally quit completely, so I didn’n need my coat… I just started off in the direction of that dark line, following it to wherever it ended.

The moor was washed in an eerie, late-night stillness that was utterly unfamiliar. I kept my eyes screwed open, watchin for any sign of devilry — the faery lights, an earthen mound that seemed out of place, the sound of piping where there should be no music. I din’n expect to actually hear it, though. Strange as this all was, it didn’t feel like the wee folk… this was something else. But I heard music nonetheless. Not the unearthly pipes and fiddles of the faeries, but something I knew all too well: “Land of Hope and Glory,” by Edward fuckin’ Elgar.

As I got closer and shone my torch where it was comin from, I realized it sounded muffled because I was hearin it through a door — a plain, paneled wooden door in a basic wooden frame, sitting perfectly level in the middle of an empty moor. There was tall grass around the bottom of it, but no mud or dirt on the wood itself… like it’d just been set there a moment ago for me tae find. Confused — and more than a little nervous, I’ll admit — I tried the handle. It didn’n look like there was a deadbolt, but it was locked fast. I frowned, then tried again, yankin on it with all my strength. I’ll not deny that tendin my own land has left me stronger than most academics, and with a frame that thin I should’ve been able to rip it right off its hinges. If nothin else, it wasn’t mounted to any kind of foundation. It should’ve toppled over the moment I put my weight behind it. But it din’n. The door stay locked, and I was left scratching my head as to what this all meant.

I looked back up at the sky. Just like I thought, the line I’d followed all the way from London ended just above my head, thousands of feet above where that impossible door stood. But the more I looked at it, the less it reminded me of a Ley Line. Ley Lines were supposed to be terrestrial, etched in the earth… Whatever it was, it was not o this Earth, and had no place upon it — I knew that much. It was more like I was seein somethin greater… somethin bigger than the sky, its movements pressed into the clouds like a hand against a bedsheet.

I suddenly remembered reading Flatland as a kid… how the characters in a two-dimensional world perceived a sphere moving through the higher dimensions as patterns they could not understand or explain. I began to wonder if these strange, radiating lines weren’t something similar — a projection of a being in a higher dimension, moving through our world in ways I couldn’n understand.

Of course, I had no way of knowin if that were true or no… not from where I was standing. So instead, I tried the door again, rattling the handle more out of curiosity than anythin… then jumped back when somethin banged against it from the other side, screaming in rage and fear. I didn’n know what to do, so I just stood there. That scream sounded human, but I knew all-too-well how sounds and appearances can be used to lure the unaware. Every instinct pounded into me by my mam screamed for me to run, to get back to my car and drive home, where it was light and warm and safe… but instead, I reached out and knocked. There was no reply, so I tried again — two knocks together, a pause, then two knocks again. It was an old code from my childhood, one that I’d used to signal my friends that all was well — that it was safe to come out. Whatever was on the other side matched it. It was faint, but I could almost hear the cautious desperation in that sound — something I doubted the wee folk could truly imitate. Someone was trapped on the other side of that door, and needed my help. And much as I keep to myself, I’ve never been one to ignore a call for aid — which has got me in trouble more than once. I just hoped this wouldn’t be one of those times. Not sure how much strength I’d need to break the frame, I wheeled back and kicked at the bolt with all my strength… but I shouldn’n have bothered. The door had somehow come unlocked, and I stumbled through it and out into a brightly lit corridor I didn’n recognize.

The silence of the moors was replaced by the roar of applause and cheering behind me, and I looked back to see the inside of the Royal Albert Hall, stuffed to bursting for the Proms. With everything else happening, I’d all but forgotten that was going on. And standing there alone, looking as confused as I felt — was you. Anna Sheridan, same as I’d seen ye only a few hours before. It looked like ye were just about to turn around, and I suddenly realized ye might think I’d followed ye here if you saw me. So I rushed out — I din’n want ye to think I was a stalker, and plus… I’d made a rather clumsy entrance myself, and I felt somewhat embarrassed.

No one noticed me on my way out of the hall, and I made my way back out onto the streets of London for the second time that day. Looking up, I could see the dark lines indeed converged over where I stood… but as I watched, the one that stretched away north suddenly broke like a string under too much weight, unraveling along its path and vanishing like it had never been there. The others — I didn’n have time to count them, this all happened almost too fast to see — broke a moment later, like they were all sharing the load of some enormous weight and could no longer bear it now there were fewer strands to take the load. I felt no small measure of pride to see it go… but then I realized that probably meant that door was no longer standing in the moors, and I had no other way of getting back to Inverness tonight. Annoyed and exhausted, I called myself another cab and checked into the cheapest hotel I could find at short notice… which was far too expensive for me, even on a good day. Between that and a rail ticket back to Edinburgh to get my car back, the whole trip set me back a long ways… not that I mind so much now. When I finally met you properly about three years later, it was like we’d known each other our entire lives. I’ve never had an overabundance of friends… but I think it’s safe to say that finding someone like you this late in life is a rare gift. I wouldn’n trade that for anything.

[Click]

[The tape continues; a clock can be heard ticking on the wall]

[A gas fire hisses and crackles; the rain is faintly heard coming down outside]

[Anna sighs, breath ragged and emotional]

Anna Sheridan

We landed at LAX this morning. I didn’t ask Maria to pick me up this time… I didn’t want her to see me like this. I haven’t been sleeping since we left Babia Góra, and this… 

God, I don’t know how I’m going to tell her what happened. I don’t know how to… I don’t know if I can tell her anything. I’ve just been listening to this tape over and over again, trying to decide what to do, and it’s… 

Craig agreed to let me record him on our last trip to Aberdeen. I never got his whole story, and Maria wanted to hear it as well, so he finally agreed to put it down on tape. I always… Craig always felt like a mentor to me. He never saw himself that way, but — he spent his whole life chasing the impossible, just like I did. Except he knew when to stop — when to turn back. I always thought — I hoped — he would outlive me. That he’d die peacefully… at home, in his sleep, like normal people do. He deserved that much.

But that isn’t what happened. I brought him to Poland. I asked him to come because I needed someone I could trust — someone who’d look after me, after what Ren did. And he died because of me.

[Anna falls silent for a moment]

It has to mean something. It has to. Craig can’t die for nothing. I have to make it worthwhile. No matter how scared I am.

Every night since I left the mountain, I’ve dreamed of my own death. I can’t sleep, but I still dream — I still see it, even when my eyes are open. I see a desert, and a tunnel, and a door in the earth. I see a gun, firing. And then I’m not there anymore.

I was afraid to say it before… I was afraid that would make it true, make it real. But I have to make this pain worth it — even if it costs me everything. These dreams have already taken too much.

[Clack]

[Sam and Kate sit in stunned silence; the sounds of the quiet highway return]

Kate Sheridan

…fuck.

Sam Bailey

That about sums it up, doesn’t it?

Kate Sheridan

Anna saw her disappearance. She thought she was going to die.

Sam Bailey

Yeah.

Kate Sheridan

She knew what was going to happen when she went out to the bunker. And she still went.

Sam Bailey

I guess… she felt like… like she had to.

Kate Sheridan

I know how that feels. Losing people… it makes you do some dangerous things.

Sam Bailey

Yeah… I guess it does.

But why would she go down there in the first place? If she knew Morrison would be waiting for her — even if she thought her prophecies were inevitable, she went down there of her own free will. Why?

Kate Sheridan

Sam… when OCPD found her van — did they find a gun in the glove compartment?

Sam Bailey

No, they… Shit. You don’t think Anna tried to k—

[Kate’s cell phone starts ringing, cutting Sam off]

[She rummages for it]

Kate Sheridan

What the — who is that?

Sam Bailey

It isn’t Ren?

Kate Sheridan

No… might just be a telemarketer. [Beep as she answers] Hello?

Anthony Perdue (on phone)

Kate? This is Anthony Perdue… your sister’s agent?

Kate Sheridan

Oh, uh… hi Anthony, it’s uh… been a while. How did you get this number? This is, uh… a work phone.

Anthony Perdue(on phone)

I just got off the phone with Maria… she gave me your number. Listen, Kate: I’m not 100% sure, but I think Anna is still alive.

Kate Sheridan

What happened? Did you hear from her?

Anthony Perdue(on phone)

Not exactly. Someone delivered a package to my house just now — no return address, no shipping label, so it must have been delivered personally. Guess what’s inside?

Kate Sheridan

I… really have no idea.

Anthony Perdue(on phone)

A manuscript! A handwritten, loose-leaf manuscript, like I haven’t seen in years!

Kate Sheridan

That’s great Anthony, but I don’t see what this—

Anthony Perdue(on phone)

It’s called Echoes, Kate. And it has your sister’s name on the by-line.

Kate Sheridan

What?

Anthony Perdue(on phone)

The last time I saw a manuscript like this, it was Anna’s original draft of Anathema. I’d recognize her handwriting anywhere.

Kate Sheridan

I thought she stopped doing longhand after her accident?

Anthony Perdue(on phone)

So did I, but apparently, she’s doing it again! Anna’s alive — she’s alive and writing, and for all I know, she could have been the one who dropped this off! I called Maria to confirm, but she said she’s driving from somewhere in New Mexico and that you’d want to know. Anna’s alive!

Kate Sheridan

What… what’s the manuscript about? Did she leave a note?

[brief pause]

Anthony Perdue(on phone)

Oh — uh, I assumed it was more of her usual… let me see.

[brief pause as he looks over the manuscript]

What the… No… no, no Anna, don’t do this to me, not again… 

Kate Sheridan

What’s wrong?

Anthony Perdue(on phone)

It’s all… scrambled. Just… alphabet soup all over the pages. The entire thing.

Sam Bailey

Could it be some kind of cypher?

Anthony Perdue(on phone)

Who is that?

Kate Sheridan

He’s, a… a friend of the family, it’s okay. Do you think it might be written in code?

Anthony Perdue(on phone)

If it is, then Anna might have finally killed me. What am I supposed to do with this?

Kate Sheridan

Was there any kind of address on the box? Any label?

Anthony Perdue(on phone)

Just one that says “Lake Isabella, California…” Handwritten too, but not by Anna.

[brief pause]

Kate Sheridan

Hey Anthony, can I call you back later? Something just came up.

Anthony Perdue(on phone)

Uh… sure thing Kate. Good talking with you.

Kate Sheridan

Yeah — same. Bye.

[She hangs up and turns to Sam]

Sam… 

Sam Bailey

That’s where Anna’s house is, isn’t it?

Kate Sheridan

That’s where I saw her back in October.

Sam Bailey

It’s only a couple hours away, right? I know we’re on a mission, but—

Kate Sheridan

Finding Anna is the mission, Sam. Screw the nightcrawlers.

[Sam laughs]

Sam Bailey

Screw the nightcrawlers.

[Kate turns the key and the engine roars to life]

[Click]

[Silence]

[Click]

[Sam and Kate quietly creep up the stairs in Anna’s house to the second floor]

Sam Bailey

What do you think we’re looking for?

Kate Sheridan

I don’t know… doors that lead somewhere they shouldn’t, weird noises or voices — honestly, I just kind of stumbled onto it last time.

Sam Bailey

Where did you see her last time?

Kate Sheridan

In here — there was a corridor leading off to… well, a beach that shouldn’t exist. That’s where I saw Anna.

Sam Bailey

In there? It looks like a—

Kate Sheridan

A linen closet, yeah… that’s what it’s supposed to be.

Sam Bailey

I was going to say it looked like my old office.

[Kate scoffs and puts her hand on the doorknob of the linen closet]

Kate Sheridan

Ready?

Sam Bailey

Probably not.

[Kate takes a deep breath and yanks the door open]

[It’s a normal closet; small items clatter and fall on them as the door opens and Kate gasps in panic despite herself]

Kate Sheridan

Shit!

[Kate jumps back slightly and laughs at herself]

Sam Bailey

So… just a linen closet this time?

Kate Sheridan

Yeah… just a linen closet.

Sam Bailey

Hey… what’s this?

[Sam steps forward and looks at the inside of the closet, pulling tape away to reveal…]

Kate Sheridan

Is that a key?

[Kate gasps]

Sam Bailey

Yeah… she had it taped to the wall in there. Why would she—

Kate Sheridan

Here, let me see that.

Sam Bailey

Why?

[Kate is already moving down the hallway]

Kate Sheridan

Her bedroom was locked the last time I was here, and I didn’t have the key. If I’m right… 

[She fits the key into the bedroom doorknob, we hear it fit]

[She gasps with anticipation]

Sam Bailey

Looks like you were.

[Kate hesitates, then pulls the door open]

[A whistling, howling wind pulls the door open and knocks the key from her hand]

[Echoes from beyond]

Kate Sheridan

AAH!

Sam Bailey

Kate, are you okay!?

Kate Sheridan

I… I think so — wind took it right out of my hand—

[A voice speaks clearly from the chaos, reverberating slightly]

Mysterious Voice

Took you long enough to get here.

Kate Sheridan

Who… who are you?

Mysterious Voice

You don’t recognize me? After all this time? Or were you expecting someone else?

Kate Sheridan

I was expecting my sister.

Mysterious Voice

Well, Anna isn’t available at the moment. I guess you’ll just have to settle for her best friend.

Sam Bailey

Wait… you’re… you can’t be… 

Mysterious Voice/Amy Sterling

Amelia Rae Sterling — at your service.

[Clack]

Recording Ends

End Theme & Credits


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