Transcript for 8. Feedback

[CLICK]

[STATIC]

WHITNEY

There’s something creepy. And unnatural. And…I really don’t like it.

[CLICK]

[STATIC]

INT. LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT – DAY

[Phone RINGS. Officer Keets answers.]

KEETS

Los Angeles Police Department, Officer Keets speaking. (Pause) Okay. Uh-huh. (Pause) Can you… provide a description of the man who tickled you?

[Phones RING.]

OFFICER 1

Ma’am, can you slow down? Ma’am– ma’am can you slow down? Mhm. Mhm. Ma’am, I understand your– Ma’am, I under– The department is flooded with emergency phone calls right now. We have the operators, desk clerks and all available detectives answering the phones. I can assure you, your crisis is extremely important to us. Can you provide me a location?
[Phones RING.]

OFFICER 2

You may need to apply a tourniquet until we can send someone out to you. Can you ask a neighbor or a friend to drive you and victim to the hospital.

OFFICER 1

What’s going on out there? That’s like the fifth phone call.

 

OFFICER 2

(Pause) I see. Were able to disarm him? (Pause) Let me take down your location and we’ll have someone check the basement.

[Phones RING.]

BARTON

Barton Wu of the Los Angeles Police Department.

WALTER (O.S.)

Eighth times the charm!

BARTON

Troubles?

WALTER

You sound like you’re busy.

BARTON

Yes.

WALTER

And now is a bad time?

BARTON

Yes.

WALTER

I was reading the news and they seem to think it’s a bad time as well.

BARTON

Please Walter! Is this going somewhere?

WALTER

I hadn’t given it much thought. I know it’s complicated. I just don’t think it can ever be anymore than what it is.

BARTON

What?

WALTER

(laughs)

We’re having two different conversations aren’t we?

BARTON

Goodbye.

WALTER

Wait! (Pause) Are you ok?

BARTON

I’m fine.

WALTER

You’re staying safe? No one knows you have the ledger?

BARTON

What are you worried about?

WALTER

I’m just checking on you. I keep getting this feeling like I left a loaded gun in the care of a child.

BARTON

There’s something your not saying. What is it?

[Pause]

WALTER

I… Look, things are going sideways in this town right now. I wanted to make sure I called and told you… that I don’t think I could ever take it if anything ever happened to you–

BARTON

Wow.

WALTER

– and that if you weren’t there to make sure that I won’t have to stay in a holding cell longer than a short while.

BARTON

That all?

WALTER

No. (Pause) This case needs my attention. We’re heading out to Santa Vacio following up on a lead.

BARTON

Where the hell is that?

WALTER

East. Just outside of L.A.

BARTON

(Awkward)

Well… have a good time?

WALTER

We should grab a drink when I get back. Catch up.

BARTON

Sure.

WALTER

Alright. Bye.

[CLICK. Phone RINGS again. Barton snaps it back up.]

BARTON

Walter?

LILLIAN

No. It’s me.

BARTON

Sorry Lil. (Pause) Everything alright?

LILLIAN

No. You need to come to the shop.

BARTON

What happened?

LILLIAN

Just… come down.

[CLICK.]

BARTON

Lil?!? Lillian?!?

INT. THE NOTHINGNESS

[CLICK]

[STATIC.]

SLICK

Ladies, does your man come home from hard days work, only to seem less than excited by the food you prepared? At Spishak we want nothing more than your home life to be the very best. That’s why your kitchen needs Shimmer Sheen spray.

[spraying, coughing]

SLICK

Perfected by our finest Spishak foodologists, Shimmer Sheen food spray makes every meal sparkle. It will have your little ones saying.

BOY (Distorted, low)

Gee ma! That chicken leg sure looks beautiful! [cough] Can I clean up the dishes after we eat?

[coughing]

MISSY

OH! Mama’s little helper!

[spraying throughout]

SLICK

And your husband will appreciate it too.

HUSBAND (Distorted, high)

Wow! Just look at that meal sparkle! Say, [coughs] did you lose weight?

MISSY

All I ever wanted [coughing] was for you to notice!

[coughing throughout]

SLICK

And how Missy! Sparkle Sheen is specifically for suburban life consumption and made with our patented Teflon ingredient. You’ll never have a dull, lifeless meal again.

[End beat repeats, faster and faster. A gasp.]

SLICK

You’ll never have a– meal. Again.

[STATIC.]

[CLICK.]

INT. WALTERS CAR MOVING – DAY

[Whitney is driving as Walter sits in the passenger seat. Krog is taking up the backseat.]

KROG

Iz done unduhstand. Etz ah buk. Etz gahtz wurdz pintted init.

WHITNEY

Technically yes but that was just it. Each page in a large font was the word “Words”. Can you believe that? Weird, right?

KROG

Huh?

WHITNEY

Uh huh. Right, Huh.

[Silence.]

WHITNEY

Oi. Troubles… your thoughts? Anything at all?

WALTER

Sounds like a larger mystery that has nothing to do with our missing writer.

KROG

Typewriter.

WALTER

That too.

WHITNEY

Hang on. Hang on… What if they’re connected?

WALTER

They’re connected. I just don’t care.

WHITNEY

Mmmm. That’s insane.

WALTER

We don’t need to solve the larger mystery to solve the smaller one. Let’s stick to goals we can reach.

WHITNEY

There’s something else on your mind?

WALTER

Nothing. (Pause) When you spoke to Carmen, how did she seem to you?

WHITNEY

Sleep deprived. A little defensive.

WALTER

When you mentioned the brother, of course. Did you get a read on her on her relationship to the brother?

WHITNEY

I don’t think there’s anything there.

WALTER

Anything else?

WHITNEY

She has a neighbor friend providing her solace.

WALTER

Man or woman?

WHITNEY

Woman. And her name is Trudy.

WALTER

Anything on her?

WHITNEY

She took issue with my tone over not knowing about the brother.

WALTER

Ah.

[clicking of a turn signal]

WALTER

Just Barton stuff.

WHITNEY

Ah.

INT. THE NOTHINGNESS

[CLICK.]

[STATIC.]

LOUISE

Books!

[distorted, deep voice]

LOUISE

Books!

[distorted, deep voice]

LOUISE

Books! Books books books books, books!

[distorted, deep voice]

LOUISE

Books!

[distorted, deep voice]

LOUISE

Booooooks.

[distorted, deep voice]

LOUISE

Books. Book book books. Books books book.

[distorted, deep voice]

LOUISE

Book.

[distorted, deep voice]

LOUISE

Books? Book book?

[distorted, deep voice]

LOUISE

(crying)

Booooooooks.

[distorted, deep voice]

[STATIC.]

[CLICK.]

[Donald enters the front door.]

LOUISE (Normal)

Honey! You’re home!

[Pause.]

DONALD (Distorted)

Yes.

LOUISE

Care for a drink?

[Pause.]

DONALD

Yes?

[distortion, static]

DONALD

Yes.

[Louise pours him a drink, walks it over to him.]

LOUISE

Drink up! With the day you’ve had… seen you poor brother split his face open with an axe. Ghastly!

DONALD

What is it that you’re doing?

LOUISE

My day was very typical. Neville did stop by however.

DONALD

What have you got there?

LOUISE

He was looking… he was looking for your brother’s book. I’m afraid–

DONALD

You keep looking at that paper in your hand. Give it here!

LOUISE

Please… Donald…

[STATIC]

DONALD (Normal)

Words. You’ve been hoarding words!

LOUISE

You don’t understand!

DONALD

What don’t I understand?!?

LOUISE

(Hushed)

They’re listening.

DONALD

Who?

LOUISE

(Clears her throat)

Whom.

DONALD

Whom?

LOUISE

(Hushed)

Outside of these walls there are people listening to us.

DONALD

Rubbish!

LOUISE

Please Donald! We can’t let them know we know. Give me back the words.

DONALD

Where are my words?

LOUISE

Find your own.

DONALD

How dare you! You will share these words with me or we will both be discovered. Together.

[STATIC.]

[CLICK.]

[a voice in the static recites numbers, “there’s got to be a pattern, right?”]

[STATIC.]

[CLICK.]

INT. ELLS FAMILY HOME STUDY – DAY

[Carmen sits in front of the audio recorder and stares at it. Trudy sips on cocktail.]

TRUDY

Is that audio recorder about to do something?

CARMEN

Just a moment.

TRUDY

I can get my camera and capture this–

CARMEN

Hush now you.

[Carmen taps along the casing of the recorder. A hollow KNOCK.]

TRUDY

It…

CARMEN

Hmmmm.

TRUDY

It can be… can it?

CARMEN

You still have your toolbox. Can you open this up?

TRUDY

I don’t know. I don’t think I can take this kind of weird anymore.

CARMEN

Please Trudy. I’ll do it myself.

TRUDY

No, no… I’m here to help you.

[She walks over to the toolbox and removes a screwdriver.]

TRUDY

Step back. Make a little room.

[Trudy removes four screws from the back of the recorder and lifts the back casing off.]

CARMEN

Well? Anything?

TRUDY

Take a look.

[Carmen reaches in the back of the machine and removes a reel of audio.]

CARMEN

It’s another reel.

TRUDY

I see, but where are the gears on this thing? Where are the electrical bits?

CARMEN

Let’s play it.

TRUDY

How does it even work? Aren’t you concerned?

CARMEN

We’ve come this far. From this point on nothing can be impossible.

[slight distortion]

TRUDY

And that doesn’t have you worried.

CARMEN

No. (Beat) Well. Yes. (Beat) But no. Let’s play the reel.

[She places the reel on the recorder and flips the switch.]

[CLICK. The reels churn.]

JOSEPH (warbling distortion)

Chapter 72576. [sighs] Bennie gently placed the audio reel inside the machine and replaced the exterior housing. Once affixed and the tightening of four screws, he moved the recorder back into position in study. He was certain that one day the client’s wife would find it. She would find it when she needed it the most.

JOSEPH (Distorted)

So she could hear the voice… The v-v-voice… Th-the voice… [chuckles] Voiceeeee….

[STATIC and DISTORTION]

JOSEPH

The… VOOOOIIIIICE…

[The sound fragments and gives way to]

THE VOICE (High)

It put the message far into the distance–

THE VOICE (Low)

and made the split. You must listen to the message. It lays there still where it fell. The instrument.. The instrument waits in San Locura. The instrument waits in San Locura.

THE VOICE

Are you receiving this message? Are you receiving this message? Are you receiving this message? What is the frequency? What is the frequency? What is the frequency? What is the frequency? What’s the frequency? What’s the frequency? What’s the frequency? What’s…. the frequency? What is the frequency?

[STATIC and DISTORTION]

THE VOICE

What is… is… is… He flipped the switch to off… He.. He… He..

[The original narration fades back in.]

JOSEPH

He flipped the switch to off. The moonlight was all the light he required. He couldn’t help but press out a smirk and settle in for the long haul. He couldn’t help but press out a smirk and settle in for the long haul. The end. The end. [exhales] The end. [exhales again] The end. The end. The… end. [sighs] The end.

[The tape stops.]

[CLICK.]

CARMEN

My god… Trudy. Trudy did you…? Trudy? Are you sleeping?

[STATIC.]

[CLICK.]

[repeating, “You will share these words with me…”]

[STATIC.]

[CLICK.]

INT. POLICE STATION EVIDENCE ROOM – DAY

[Gans is filling out paperwork.]

BARTON

Hey Gans! Is now a good time?

GANS

You mean “Is that form you’re filling out detrimental to any aspect of your day to day duties”? Nope. What can I do you for?

BARTON

I need you to hold onto the ledger.

GANS

Ok.

BARTON

Here in evidence.

GANS

Why?

BARTON

The Miceli family… they came looking for it.

GANS

Wow! They got to you?

BARTON

No. They did shoot up my family’s business.

GANS

Shot!… They shot up your family’s shop?! Is… everyone okay?

BARTON

My brother took a hit… but he’ll be fine.

GANS

So… so why are you giving me the book?

BARTON

No one knows you’ve been helping me. It would safest with you and locked up here in evidence. You’re the only one with access.

GANS

Look I don’t want to end up shot at too. Are you trying to get me killed?

BARTON

Of course not! Please. Take the ledger.

GANS

Ok.

BARTON

I’ll be in touch. I have to go back and man the phones. All hell is breaking loose.

GANS

Hey Barton! Send your brother and sister my best, okay?

BARTON

Tha– [cuts abruptly]

[STATIC.]

[CLICK.]

KROG

Ronnie. Ronnie. It’s Ronnie. Ronnie. Ronnie. My name’s Ron–

[STATIC.]

[CLICK.]

INT. WALTERS CAR PARKED – DAY

WALTER

Ok Whit, you stay with car and Krog and I will check and see if Ms. Killmeiser is home.

KROG

Ronnie.

WHITNEY

Aren’t you a little weary by the lack of people?

WALTER

It’s odd.

WHITNEY

Just odd? It’s middle of the day. No one on the street. Zero cars moving about. There aren’t even any birds in the sky.

WALTER

Definitely strange.

WHITNEY

So… So why am I staying in the car?

WALTER

Someone has to stay with the car.

WHITNEY

Why me? Why not have Krog–

KROG

Ronnie.

WHITNEY

– stay in the car and I come inside with you? Isn’t that a better idea? [pause] Is it because he’s a big, hairy, scary man?

WALTER

Whit! For shame on you.

WHITNEY

Hmm.

WALTER

It doesn’t even deserve an answer.

WHITNEY

You’re favoring him. Over me!

WALTER

He coming with me because if he doesn’t there would be no reason to have dragged him with us in the first place.

WHITNEY

No! No, no, no. I don’t care why he’s here. I’m coming with.

WALTER

Stay.

[Whitney makes a mouth fart.]

WALTER

You don’t know when we need to make a fast getaway.

[Whitney makes a mouth fart.]

WHITNEY

Fine. (sighs) Have it your way.

[Krog and Walter exit the car and walk up to apartment building door. Walter KNOCKS but the door doesn’t sound right. Like it’s made of paper.]

WALTER

That’s different.

[Walter presses hard against the door. It CRACKLES and CRUNCHES until]

KROG

I don’t understand this door. What kinda dore iz dis?

[SNAP. The door waffles in the air to the floor.]

WHITNEY (From the car)

Everything okay?

WALTER

Yup! Everything’s tip-top! (To Krog) Maybe I should lead on this.

[They make their way down a narrow hallway. The floor CRUMPLES a bit like paper.]

WALTER

Careful big guy.

KROG

Dare no won here.

WALTER

It’s pretty clear Ms. Killmeiser is unlikely living at this address. It’s unlikely anyone lives at this address. The place is empty. A shell.

[They make their way to a lobby area. It’s empty but for a single pedestal. On top of the pedestal is a typewriter.]

KROG

Hey! Iz da typewritter!

WALTER

By golly… I think you’re right. Sitting on a pedestal by itself in the middle of the room. (Beat) Exactly as one would expect it to be.

WHITNEY

Why is the building made of paper?

WALTER

(Surprised)

Christ on a stick!

[Krog gasps.]

WHITNEY

Peas and carrots! Is that the typewriter?

[Walter takes a closer look.]

WALTER

This is it. The one The Devil asked us to find. Except it is missing a piece.

WHITNEY

Huh. Where?

WALTER

The platen.

WHITNEY

The platen?

WALTER

The thingy that looks like a rolling pin. It usually sits at the top.

WHITNEY

Interesting.

KROG

Here. Giv etome. Gimme that typewriter thing.

WALTER (to Krog)

Slow down a bit buddy.

WHITNEY

Troubles! Look at this!

[Walter lifts the typewriter and hands it to Krog.]

WALTER

Take this to the car and wait there.

KROG

I’ll take good care of it.

WHITNEY

Troubles, come here!

[Krog exits to the car. Walter makes his way carefully to Whitney.]

WALTER

And what are you doing in here?

WHITNEY

Look at the wall here.

WALTER

Well I’ll be.

WHITNEY

It’s a fold.

WALTER

With tape over it.

[Walter lifts the tape, a GUSH of air blasts through. Music builds. In the distance, voices. He quickly affixes the tape back down.]

WHITNEY

Are you ok? What did you see?

WALTER

Nothing. It was… too dark. A little too windy as well.

WHITNEY

Okay. So…What do you think we should do?

WALTER

We go back to the office and figure out what to do with the typewriter.

[Walter and Whitney trek back down the hallway.]

WHITNEY

Okay, sure. Sounds like a plan. Won’t Krog have to take it back to The Devil?

WALTER

The guy is part of the team now. In fact we’ll skip the office and discuss the next step over some banana splits! The three of us!

WHITNEY

Oooh, yeah. I can definitely get behind that.

[They step out onto the street.]

WHITNEY

So…

WALTER

And the car is gone.

WHITNEY

Mhm. What were you saying about him being part of the team?

WALTER

Where did we go wrong?

WHITNEY

Trusting him. Just so you understand, I get his AND my portion of the banana splits. Two, Troubles. Two. Hm?

[STATIC.]

[CLICK.]

[ rhythmic hammering, static ]

[STATIC.]

[CLICK.]

INT. MS. WU’S REPAIR SHOP – NIGHT

[Lilian is sweeping up some glass. Barton finishes putting in the final nail to board up the display window.]

BARTON

That should hold until the repairman installs the replacement tomorrow.

LILLIAN

He can’t get here until a few days from now.

BARTON

I will talk to him in the morning. Believe me he’ll be here tomorrow.

[Pause.]

LILLIAN

Fine. Thanks.

[She continues sweeping.]

BARTON

I can do that for–

[She stops a glares at him.]

BARTON

– or I can do something… else.

[She goes back to sweeping.]

BARTON

Should I check on Archie?

LILLIAN

No.

BARTON

Shouldn’t he eat?

LILLIAN

No.

BARTON

Okay.

[Silence.]

BARTON

He’ll be fine though. Don’t worry about this. I’ll find the guy.

LILLIAN

Are you looking to get knocked out?

BARTON

What?

LILLIAN

You say one more dumb thing and you’ll be out before you know it. Are we clear?

BARTON

Lil, come on. I just–

LILLIAN

SAY something other than yes. Go on! You have anything else other than “Yes. I’ll shut my mouth”?

BARTON

Yes. I’ll… um…shut my mouth.

LILLIAN

What is wrong with you?

BARTON

He’s going to be–

[Lillian clocks him in the face.]

BARTON

Ow! Bah…

LILLIAN

That was rhetorical. Your brother is laid up in bed after being grazed by a bullet that he should have never been near. It split his left cheek wide open! Archie took thirty stitches to get it closed. You can’t… you WON’T tell me that he’ll be fine. You won’t tell me that I shouldn’t worry! Who do you think you really are? Your baby brother almost took a bullet for you. You are way, way, way over your head. Way over.

[Silence.]

LILLIAN

Good night.

BARTON

You were right. You were right Lil. I… thought I could do some good. I thought I get the ledger… get it and use it to… get my life back on track. Get out of the doghouse. Damn it! I don’t know Lil. Talk to me. What do you want me to do? Tell me what to do?

[typewriter sounds start, distorted laughter]

LILLIAN

I don’t know Barton. You should figure it out soon though. This will catch up with you and you are not ready for it. I love you. Set it right before something happens that’s irreversible.

[Title sequence plays.]

[Triumphant march plays]

SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN “JAMES OLIVA”

What’s The Frequency? is written and created by James Oliva. Production and sound design by Alexander Danner. What’s The Frequency’s theme music composed by Kurt C Nelson. Additional music and sounds taken from public domain and creative commons sources. As well as greater [clicks] As well as “Greater Boston” by Alexander Danner and Jeff Van Dreason.

If you enjoy the show, please let us know what you think in the form of FEEDBACK in the form of a review on ITunes! In good faith, it’s only fair that we share how we feel towards you, the listeners. And that feeling, is love. We love you. There. We said it. Now it’s your turn. Provide FEEDBACK. Without FEEDBACK, ITunes has no clue what to do with us. Without it, they don’t even believe we exist. That makes us here at Team What the Frequency [clicks] That makes u– [click] Excuse me. I’ve made a boo-boo. I’ve made an error.

We’d like to give special thanks to David Rheinstrom of the wonderful podcast, Radio Drama Revival, Chad Ellis of the audio drama podcast, Station Blue, and Paul Bae, of the audio drama podcast, Big Loop. [clears throat, clicks] Of the audio drama podcast, Big Loop.

As always, I’m James Oliva. Til next time.

[whispered] I love you.

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