WHAT’S THE FREQUENCY – EPISODE 2: TOOK A POWDER
INT. THE NOTHINGNESS –
WEIRD SWIRLING SOUNDS.
SLICK: Every time you bring Enfield No. 2 brand cigarettes to your lips, you’re treating your senses to the finest tobacco this country has to offer. What makes Enfield No.2s number one? Why, Spishak uses state-of-the-art machinery that reproduces the famous hand-rolled cigarette techniques of the one and only Wild Bill. Enfield No. 2 cigarettes… cigarettes so fine they explode with flavor.
INT. APT. ABOVE THE TAILOR SHOP – DAY
Det. Joy enters the crime scene. She immediately steps in a puddle of vomit.
DETECTIVE JOY: Jesus…
OFFICER KEETS: Quite a scene.
DETECTIVE JOY: Is that your vomit?
OFFICER KEETS (reluctant): Yes.
DETECTIVE JOY: Christ.
OFFICER KEETS: Well—
DETECTIVE JOY: First crime scene?
OFFICER KEETS: No.
DETECTIVE JOY: Puke at all your crime scenes, or did my shoe win the lottery?
OFFICER KEETS: It’s not everyday you see this.
DETECTIVE JOY: Hm. (beat) The killer sure did a number.
OFFICER KEETS: The man’s name is Mr. Harold Orville.
DETECTIVE JOY: Let’s take a look…
She bends down.
DETECTIVE JOY: (CONT’D): There are some extra puncture marks to the ribs and up here around the shoulder blades. See?
OFFICER KEETS: Would you look at that.
DETECTIVE JOY: Likely a household knife of some kind. Have you retrieved the murder weapon?
Keets clears his throat.
OFFICER KEETS: No.
DETECTIVE JOY: These were the spontaneous strikes. But this one… this one was decided on. I’m estimating he died just over twenty four hours ago.
OFFICER KEETS: He must have been incredibly strong.
DETECTIVE JOY: And the wife?
OFFICER KEETS: Yes! Mrs. Orville. She’s hasn’t turned up yet. She may be away, who knows. We have someone looking into any family she may have.
DETECTIVE JOY: I wouldn’t get too worried.
OFFICER KEETS: Why’s that?
DETECTIVE JOY: Take a look for yourself.
Keets leans closer to the body.
OFFICER KEETS: What am I looking for
DETECTIVE JOY: His lips.
OFFICER KEETS: Is that… lipstick?
DETECTIVE JOY: A kiss as he lay dying. Search the bedroom vanity for the matching shade. We may have to start looking for Mrs. Orville for an entirely different set of reasons.
ANNOUNCER: Love, Honor and Decay is brought to you by Spishak Brands. No finer name to trust. Spishak Brands, there from the beginning, seeing you through the years of love, honor, and until decay.
INT. THE NOTHINGNESS –
Door CREAKS open.
DONALD: Sweetheart?!? Sweetie?!
LOUISE: Donald! You caught me in a bit of a distraction. I wasn’t expecting you home so soon.
DONALD: Dear, what is it?
LOUISE: Neville. He was here looking for your brother’s book.
DONALD: James’ book?
LOUISE: He… he scares me Donald. He scares me in places that a husband and wife should never discuss.
DONALD: Scoundrel! He better not have laid one finger on you.
LOUISE: No! I’m alright. Once he left I sat on the arm of the Davenport for a long while. It calmed my nerves.
DONALD: That Neville is a dastardly fellow! You do know he tried to lay with my brother’s wife?
LOUISE: Did she happen to say how it was?
DONALD: Of course not!
LOUISE: Donald! What are we too do? What level of retribution will he level against our bodies? Can you please speak to James?
DONALD: No! I cannot. Not now… or ever again. You see my love… something terrible has happened…
LOUISE: Come on with it, Donald. You’ve got my nerves on edge. These pregnant pauses are insufferable!
DONALD: It’s James… he’s done something… horrific. He—
LOUISE: Got rid of the book?
DONALD: No. He… Please sit down for this.
They both sit.
DONALD (CONT’D): He… He… murdered Mitzi and Gabriella.
LOUISE: What did they do?
DONALD: Likely something terrible, but that’s not the worst of it.
LOUISE: You’re killing me with suspense!
DONALD: I walked in just as he plunged an axe into his own head.
LOUISE: What was inside?
LOUISE: So will you be able to get the book?
LOUISE: For Neville… the book?
DONALD: His brains! So much-
LOUISE: You poor thing.
DONALD: Hold me!
LOUISE: Oh dearest!
INT. MRS. WU REPAIR SHOP – DAY
ARCHIE, early 30s, is slouched at a workbench in the back room as his twin sister LILLIAN looks on unimpressed.
ARCHIE: If I can just get this fellow to connect to this little fellow…
LILLIAN: What does this do exactly?
ARCHIE: Lillian, observe. With the parts I borrowed from the radio—
LILLIAN: Right. My radio… go on.
ARCHIE: BORROWED from the radio and with a little adaptation should be the missing ingredient to a… telephone watch!!!
LILLIAN: A Dick Tracy watch?
ARCHIE: A telephone watch!
LILLIAN: Fine. Does it work?
ARCHIE: I don’t know.
LILLIAN: Call the telephone here.
ARCHIE: Oh. That might not work.
LILLIAN: Archie, you are a fool. Put the phone back together AND my radio. I have to do my rounds through the neighborhood.
ARCHIE: What does it matter? Every station on the radio is static! It has been for days!
LILLIAN: Put. It. Back. I’m leaving. Love you.
ARCHIE: Ok, ok, ok… Before you go, Mr. Yee came by and picked up the Electrolux, which I have to say was really easy to fix. Considering that there was this ball of string, it wrapped itself all the way—
LILLIAN: Archie! The point.
ARCHIE: Yes! Mr. Yee has some strange foot problem he’s dealing with. Can you check on him?
LILLIAN: Sure. Who doesn’t love curing sixty-year-old men of their strange foot problems? Adding… Mr. Yee… to the… list.
ARCHIE: Take this too!
(He tosses her a small metal baton.)
LILLIAN: This is what?
ARCHIE: It’s a modified cattle prod. It’s doesn’t have a lot of voltage to it, but should take care of any problems.
LILLIAN: Thanks. I’ll be back later.
ARCHIE: Good luck!
She closes the door behind her.
ARCHIE (CONT’D): Ok. Let me see it. (Beat) Barton?!?
The closet door creaks open. Barton steps out and strolls to Archie at his workbench.
BARTON: Could you have taken any longer?
ARCHIE: Did you want her to suspect I was rushing her out the door?
Barton plops the heavy ledger on the workbench.
ARCHIE: Take me through this.
BARTON: The ledger is the property of the Miceli crime family. Within the ledger contains the details of all of their finances. Legitimate and… otherwise.
ARCHIE: Great. So? Why the secrecy? Why keep this from Lillian?
BARTON: First and most obvious, she would not let us do this.
ARCHIE: Right. Because we’re gonna get ourselves
BARTON: Killed. ARCHIE: Killed.
BARTON: Yup. Secondly… well… we might actually get ourselves killed. Everyone will be looking for this ledger. Cops names are in this book. If we take out a large chunk of the dirty cops in the city, we could devastate the Miceli organization. Maybe put our father’s death to rest.
ARCHIE: Look… maybe in this case, Lillian would be right. What are we really accomplishing with this?
BARTON: I can’t just sit back with this kind of corruption going on. I just can’t.
INT. SODA SHOP DINER – DAY
Walter and Whitney are sitting opposite each other in a booth. Walter is eating a cheeseburger. Whitney is eating pancakes.
WHITNEY: Why are you doing that?
WALTER: I’m sorry… Was my mouth open?
WHITNEY: Would you like some of my pancakes?
WALTER: Your pancakes?
WHITNEY: Here… Let me cut them for you.
She cuts them in half and separates them on the plate.
WHITNEY (CONT’D): Take them.
WALTER: I have a cheeseburger.
WHITNEY: Yeah, but this might be easier on your stomach!
WALTER: Must you shout?
She pulls back the plate of pancakes.
WALTER: My head is pounding.
WALTER: Shoulder is on fire.
WHITNEY: I know.
WALTER: Basically, everything hurts.
WHITNEY: Try not falling out of second-floor windows.
WALTER: Where is this woman?!? We’ve been here for an eternity!
WHITNEY: I told her you were NOT a morning person, but she insisted. (mocking) ‘I want mornings! I have very much to— (beat)’ AND there she is!
Carmen arrives to the table, dressed very well.
Walter keeps his head down.
CARMEN: Hello. Ms..?
WALTER: Whit! (pause) I can’t eat this cheese burger. There’s something wrong with my jaw.
WHITNEY: This is Paragoric. Put a little in your coffee and take some of my pancakes.
CARMEN: Is everything alright?
WHITNEY: Gosh! Please, Mrs. Ells, sit.
Whitney slides over on her side to make room.
WHITNEY: There we go… got plenty of room.
CARMEN: Kind of you. Is now a bad time?
WHITNEY: No. WALTER: YES!
WHITNEY: A little of both.
CARMEN: Maybe another time.
WHITNEY: No. Not necessary. He had a little incident on the job last night. Plus he’s just not a morning person.
CARMEN: Oh dear!
WHITNEY: He fell out of two story window.
WHITNEY: And onto a parked car.
CARMEN: Are you ok?
WHITNEY: He’s fine.
WALTER: Carmen, as a client, do you always plan to be this difficult, or is this morning an exception for you?
WALTER: Will you be requesting our meetings to be strictly morning meetings, or will you be cooperating and picking a reasonable time for meeting?
CARMEN: I beg your—
WHITNEY: Afternoons into evenings are usually best.
CARMEN: I apologize for the early meeting, but you were unavailable last night.
WALTER: You have a point Carmen. Dang it! You have a point! It is I who should be apologizing to you for my unseemly behavior. You have my sincerest regret, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera…
WHITNEY (to Carmen): This is big! I’m so proud of him! (to Walter) Troubles, I am so proud of you!
WALTER: Whit! I am proud of you too. And might I add, this Paragoric is a miracle in a bottle. I feel amazing!
CARMEN: Apology accepted. Thank you. Might I add that I admire your commitment to our appointment Mr. Mix? All things considered.
WHITNEY: In that case, shall we begin discussing what brings you to us, Mrs. Ells?
WALTER: What horrible thing has occurred? Cheating spouse?
CARMEN: No… I don’t think so—
WALTER: Kidnapping perhaps?
CARMEN: Could he be kidnapped?
CARMEN: My husband.
WALTER: Is your husband a child?
WALTER: Then impossible! But through our little exchange, I’ve been able to ferret out that your husband has taken a powder.
CARMEN: A what?
WHITNEY: Disappeared. It means vanished for some reason, and for some reason, he uses it all the time.
WALTER: When did he go missing?
CARMEN: Technically… two weeks ago.
WHITNEY: Could you elaborate on “technically”?
CARMEN: My husband is a writer. He started in funny books and pulp—
CARMEN: Recently he began working on a new radio serial, Love, Honor, and Decay. You know—?
WHITNEY: Do I? It’s my favorite serial! My NEW favorite serial. I mean, I listened faithfully to Compassion and Consequence first… but— then… wow…
WALTER: How long has your husband’s show been on the air?
CARMEN: Three months, I believe?
WALTER: Why so long?
CARMEN: I don’t know. That’s when it started.
WHITNEY: He means, why did you wait two weeks?
CARMEN: Oh. He went away two weeks ago to write up at my father’s cabin. Upstate.
WALTER: What makes you think he’s missing? Is it possible he’s deep into his craft, his writing?
CARMEN: My husband and I are very close. He usually calls when he’s in the nearby town or sends a letter by post.
WHITNEY: And the cops?
CARMEN: Yes. They informed me that an officer checked in on the cabin and no one was there. When questioning the locals, they suggested that he had already headed back to Los Angeles.
WALTER: Got it.
Whitney writes down on note pad.
WHITNEY: The flat foots washed their hands of it. Is that right?
She shovels pancakes into to her mouth
WHINEY: (Mouthful) We see that a lot.
CARMEN: We? Dear… are you a detective too?
WHITNEY: Hey! Rude! (to Carmen) No, I’m not a detective.
WALTER: Oh, she’s good enough but no she is not a detective.
CARMEN: I’m sorry to if I’m intruding… then you must be
WALTER: She’s my bodyguard.
WHITNEY: (To Carmen) Don’t say it like that.
WALTER: By looking at her, you would never guess it. I know. But inside that small wispy frame is a strength unlike you have ever seen before. I’m not sure of her limitations. If she has any, I have seen no proof of them.
WHITNEY: Aw, Troubles… that may be the sweetest thing I ever heard you say.
WALTER: Yes! And I feel wonderful!
CARMEN: So it’s a professional relationship?
WALTER: No! More than that. We are two souls bonded for eternity! I met Whit many years ago, only a few blocks away from the very seats we are sitting in this moment. She was seven years old and looked like a waterlogged ragamuffin. She was working for some spindly homeless man who employed a gang of children as thieves and pickpockets. That young lady you see right there before you had successfully picked my pocket. She would have made off with it if not for an ill-timed sneeze that violently knocked my hand into hers. My wallet falls from her hand and onto the ground. She panicked and took off running. There was no chance of me catching her. She was gone. A month later as I was tailing a cheating spouse on foot around Alverado St., I was new to game and unwisely got too close to my mark. Of course he made me. One thing leads to another, and the louse is taking swings at me. As one would expect, I get the upper hand in the fight just in time to have him change the rules. He produces a knife and lunges for me. Before he can land a strike, a little feral hand flashes from out of nowhere and blocks him. It’s the little thief girl… it’s Whit. She saved my life, which as you well know means she is now responsible for it. From here to eternity.
CARMEN: And? What happened? With the scoundrel?
WALTER: Oh! She knocked the tar right out of him. I’ve never seen something so tiny and brutal.
WHITNEY: Glass jaw.
WALTER: Just a mess.
WHITNEY: It really was.
CARMEN: What… a touching story.
WALTER: Well, Carmen… we’ll take your case.
WHITNEY: Congratulations, Mrs. Ells. We’re going to find your husband!
INT. THE NOTHINGNESS –
THE VOICE: Remember… what to remember… I am to remember what… Remember what I am… supposed to remember the who I am. Not a voice… not a house… not a house… not a cell… a prison for a voice… for a man… I should remember…
JAMES: What’s the Frequency was written and created by James Oliva. Production and sound design by Alexander Danner. What’s the Frequency theme music composed by Kurt C. Nelson. Let us know what you think of the show by subscribing to us via iTunes and all other podcatchers out there, and feel free to leave us a review. If you really enjoyed the show, please consider contributing to our Patreon campaign at www.patreon.com/wtfrequency. We have a ton of additional content planned and available for our supporters. Anything you can contribute is appreciated, and it ensures that we can keep improving the show in getting it to that next level. This episode contained audio from the 1940 film: His Girl Friday and an excerpt from Invisible Sun by Seclorance. Additional music and sounds used from public domain and creative common sources.
So, you came back for more and tuned into episode 2. Cool. I choose to assume that you liked the first episode. In fact, I choose to assume that you loved it. And I’m glad. Truly. Couldn’t be more happy with your happiness. My happiness from your happiness becomes everyone’s happiness, and the more happiness that I feel, the more productive I am and the better the shows are, so it all works out.
We’d like to give special thanks to Paul Purry for his generosity, John Grills of Creepy Podcast, Paul Sedig of Fategrafters Productions, and my wife Darla for just being amazing every day. As always, I’m James Oliva. ‘Til next time.