Season 1/Episode 4: Rifled

by Jessica Wright Buha

Content advisories for this episode can be found below.

This episode features: Shariba Rivers as Lily, Marsha Harman as Dot, Kathleen Hoil as Abbie, Michael Turrentine as Wes, and Tara Schile as Emily.

 Written by Jessica Wright Buha, sound design by Ryan Schile, directed by Jeffrey Nils Gardner, music composed by Stephen Poon, recording engineer Mel Ruder, Unwell lead sound designer Ryan Schile, Executives Producers Eleanor Hyde and Jeffrey Gardner, by HartLife NFP.

This episode contains:

Conflict with customers
Getting fired
Swearing
Sudden frightening voices
Ghostly Apparitions

 SCENE 1.


    ABBIE'S ROOM. THE SOUNDS OF ABBIE’S TAPE RECORDER. ABBIE SPEAKS INTO A MICROPHONE.


ABBIE:                 (chanting) Bubble bubble bubble BUBBLE, bubble bubble

                    bubble BUBBLE.

                        ABBIE CLICKS A BUTTON. THEIR

                        RECORDED VOICE REPEATS.

RECORDED VOICE:         Bubble bubble bubble BUBBLE [repeats]

ABBIE:                 (chanting) Let's fizz, let's fizz, let's fizz, let's fizz.

                        ABBIE CLICKS A BUTTON. A RECORDING OF

                        THEM SAYING "LET'S FIZZ" IS LAYERED

                        OVER THE PREVIOUS RECORDING.

RECORDED VOICE:         Bubble /Let's fizz/ bubble bubble BUBBLE /Let's fizz.

                    [repeats]

ABBIE:                 (chanting) Celery spicy celery cool. Celery spicy celery

                    cool.

                        ABBIE CLICKS A BUTTON. A RECORDING OF

                        THEM SAYING THE "CELERY SPICY" BIT IS

                        LAYERED OVER THE PREVIOUS

                        RECORDING.

RECORDED VOICE:         Bubble /Let's fizz/ bubble / Celery spicy celery cool/

                    bubble BUBBLE /Let's fizz. [repeats]


ABBIE:                 (chanting) What? What-what-what? Soda. (pause-pause-

                    pause) What? What-what-what? Soda.

                        ABBIE CLICKS A BUTTON. A RECORDING OF

                        THEM SAYING THE "WHAT-WHAT-WHAT

                        SODA" BIT IS LAYERED OVER THE

                        PREVIOUS RECORDING

RECORDED VOICE:         What/ Bubble /Let's fizz/ bubble / what-what-what soda./

                    Celery spicy celery cool/ bubble BUBBLE /Let's fizz.

                    [repeats]

                        QUICK FOOTSTEPS. LILY FLINGS ABBIE'S

                        DOOR OPEN.

LILY:                 Abbie, I need that headset back right now.

                        ABBIE CLICKS A BUTTON. LILY'S "I NEED

                        THAT" ARE CAUGHT ON THE TAPE AND

                        LOOP.


RECORDED VOICE:         What/ Bubble /Let's fizz/ I need that. bubble / what-what-

                    what soda./ I need that. / Celery spicy celery cool/ bubble

                    BUBBLE / I need that. /Let's fizz. [repeats]

ABBIE:                Promising.

LILY:                 ABBIE!

ABBIE:                 I'm still using it.

LILY:                 I have to be at work in three minutes.

ABBIE:                 I'm in a flow.

LILY:                 I don't know, do I just rip it off your head? Is that

                    what's going to happen?


ABBIE:                 Flow is ruined.


                        ABBIE UNPLUGS THE HEADSET AND GIVES

                        IT TO LILY.

ABBIE:                 You did say I could use your headset.

LILY:                 I said that once, last week.

                        LILY STOMPS OUT. ABBIE GIVES A

                        FOCUSED SIGH, AND PULLS THE PIANO

                        KEYBOARD TOWARDS THEMSELVES.

ABBIE:                All right, keyboard. Dance with me.

                        A DEEP NOTE TAKES US TO SCENE 2


                        SCENE 2.

                        LILY'S ROOM, FIVE HOURS LATER. LILY'S

                        AT WORK, FINISHING UP A CALL.

LILY:                 I'm so glad I could help you with that issue, Diane. Thank

                    you so much for calling Spoodle Customer Support, and

                    have a wonderful day.

                        A CLICK AS THE CALL IS DISCONNECTED.

                        LILY BREATHES.

LILY [CONT'D]:            Two minutes. Two minutes. One more call.

                        LILY CLICKS A BUTTON TO INITIATE THE

                        CALL

                    Thank you for calling Spoodle Customer Support, my name

                    is Lily, can I have the email address associated with your

                    account?

                        MUTTERED VOICE ON THE OTHER LINE.

                    Okay, and for security verification, can I have the last four

                    digits of the bank account or the credit card on file for the

                    account holder…

                        MUTTERED VOICE ON THE OTHER LINE.

                    Thanks so much for providing me with that information.

                    Finally, can I have your first and last name?

                        MUTTERED VOICE ON THE OTHER LINE.

                    Hello, Emily, how can I assist you today?

                        MUTTERED VOICE ON THE OTHER LINE.

                    I see. I'd be happy to help you with that issue. So the post

                    office typically takes two to five business days to deliver a

                    package--

                        MUTTERED VOICE ON THE OTHER LINE.


LILY [CONT'D]:            Okay, no, I totally understand. It's very confusing, but that's

                    just the first date in a range, and the package---

                        MUTTERED VOICE ON THE OTHER LINE.

                    Yes, Emily, I understand your frustration, but the package

                    is not technically late until the delivery window is elapsed.

                        MUTTERED VOICE ON THE OTHER LINE.

                        KNOCK ON THE DOOR.

                    I understand your frustration, but I would just ask that you

                    wait until the delivery window has elapsed.

                        MUTTERED VOICE ON THE OTHER LINE. DOOR OPENS.

DOT:                     Lily-belle?

LILY:                 (hissing) Mom, go away.

    (Full Voice) Yes, I understand you want a refund, but it's against Spoodle policy to give a refund until the entire delivery window has elapsed.


DOT:                     Do you want some tea? Or a hand grenade?

                        THE MUTTERING VOICE IS SOUNDING

                        MORE IRRITATED.

LILY:                    I understand your frustration, and I will be happy to

                    transfer you to my supervisor, but if you wait just another

                    day, I really think it will be delivered.

       

DOT:                     Oh, tell her to go to hell.

LILY: Right, except that it's not technically late as of today, so I'm afraid I'm unable to refund your money at this time.  If you could please call back on Friday, then I would be

happy to--

DOT:     Tell her, listen, friend. I don't give a shit about you or whatever useless crap you order on the internet, and you really just need to lighten the hell up, okay? Okay? LIGHTEN UP, FUCKER. IT'LL GET THERE WHEN IT GETS THERE.

LILY:                 IT'S NOT LATE! YOU'RE SAYING IT'S LATE BUT IT'S

                    NOT LATE!

                        SILENCE. THEN SOME VERY VERY VERY

                        ANGRY MUTTERING.

                I'm sorry that you're dissatisfied with my service. Please

                    give me one more chance to solve your problem, because at

                    Spoodle, the customer is...

                    Hello? Emily?


DOT:                     The customer is an asshole.

LILY:                    THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT, MOM. I think she heard you.


DOT:                     Good. Want to help me in the garden?


LILY:                 You shouldn’t be messing with the garden until you get off

                    your crutches.


DOT:                     I'll pay you.


LILY:                 I have a job.

DOT:                     I want us to bond.

LILY:                 Mom, we have dinner together every night. I live in your

                    house. We are constantly interacting.

DOT:                     But we're not BONDING.

LILY:                 Can we please bond later. I feel like I'm at my... bondage

                    limit. I'm gonna take a walk. Hard day at work.


                        A DEEP NOTE TAKES US TO SCENE 3


                        SCENE 3.


                        OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE. WES LEADS A

                        TOUR GROUP ALONG THE FRONT PORCH.


WES:                     And in that window there, second from the right on the top

                    floor, you can sometime see the ghost of Miss Lina wave.

                    Let's see if we can spot her. Anyone see her?

MUTTERS OF RECOGNITION AND

ASTONISHMENT.

                Our dear Miss Lina. She’s one of the friendly ones. Others,

                    not so much. Right this way, ladies and gentlemen.

                        MANY FOOTSTEPS CRUNCH ON THE

                        GRAVEL DRIVEWAY. MUTTERS OF

                        APPRECIATION AND/OR SKEPTICISM FROM

                        THE TOUR GROUP.

                    Yes, the Fenwood House has many secrets, and many of its

                    inhabitants have shared tales of the supernatural going-ons

                    both on the grounds, and inside the house.

                        LILY, TALKING ON THE PHONE, WALKS UP

                        FROM THE CEMETERY.

LILY:                 Mmmhmm. Yeah. Dad, I don't know.

                    I don't know what I'm trying to get out of this. Torture?

WES:                     Let us venture inside.

                        WES LEADS HIS GROUP INTO THE HOUSE

                        AND CLOSES THE FRONT DOOR BEHIND

                        HIM. WES AND HIS TOUR GROUP STAND IN

                        THE FOYER, SURROUNDED BY THE

                        VARIOUS SOUNDS OF THE HOUSE.

                    But mind you, step carefully on the floorboards.

                        DOOR CREAKS OPEN AS LILY ENTERS.

LILY:                 I'll talk to you later. Say hey to Mama C for me. Love you.

                    Bye.

WES:                 (over Lily's lines) Be careful not to make them creak, for it irritates the ghosts. It was in 1937 that Old Man Gideon made that fatal error...

                        LILY STOMPS UP THE STAIRS. WES'S VOICE

                        FADES. DOOR CREAKS OPEN.

LILY:                 Ahh!

DOT:                     Shh.

LILY:                 Are you waiting to murder me?

DOT:                     No.

LILY:                 Then why are you crouched in the bathroom with a wrench.

DOT:                     Waiting for my cue.

WES:                     (off) And one night, Old Man Gideon caught a chill.

LILY:                 Are you serious.

DOT:                     Lily, get away from the radiator!

WES:                     (off) Some say that you can still hear him to this day,

                    pounding on the radiators, praying for the heat to come.

                        DOT BANGS ON THE RADIATOR. FAINT

                        SCREAMS FROM DOWNSTAIRS. DOT

                        CACKLES.

LILY:                 He's so full of it. Is the whole tour completely made up?

DOT:                     There are dabs of truth.

LILY:                 What parts.

DOT:                     I think a Gideon did live in the house at one point.

                    Probably. Someone with a "G" name.

LILY:                 Very / impressive.

DOT:                     And the house really was in the Civil War.

LILY:                    Really.

DOT:                     Yes! It was used as a Union military hospital.

LILY:                 What!

DOT:                     At the battle of Mount Absalom.

LILY:                 Mom, that's made up.

DOT:                     Well, the skirmish of Mount Absalom. It was part of

                    Morgan's Raid. Look it up.

LILY:                 Yeah, I'll get right on that. I'm gonna go shower. So can

                    you... yeah, leave, thanks.

DOT:                     All right. Have fun.

LILY:                 (to the house) Hey, no one flush a toilet or turn on any hot

                    water for twenty minutes! Okay???


                        A DOOR SLAMS.

                        FAINT SOUND OF A SHOWER TURNING ON.

                        WATER RUSHES DOWN THE PIPES.


                        SCENE 4.

    A GROANING DEEP NOISE, THE NOTE FLICKERS


                        SCENE 5.

                        THE BOARDING HOUSE KITCHEN. ABBIE

                        AND WES ARGUE AS ABBIE MAKES TEA.

ABBIE:                 But what exactly don't you like about it.


WES:                     It's all just very--

                        TEA KETTLE STARTS TO HISS.

ABBIE:                Brutalist? Like, from the Brutalist period? Because it is.

WES:                     Very harsh. All the concrete? Architecture should at least

                    attempt to be beautiful.

                        LILY COMES DOWN THE STAIRS.

LILY:                 Where's my phone?

ABBIE:                 No, it should attempt to be striking. To expand your mind.

                        LILY ENTERS THE KITCHEN.

LILY:                 Has anyone seen my phone?

ABBIE:                 No.

LILY:                 Wes?

WES:                     You had it when you disturbed my tour group.

LILY:                 Okay, so I had it an hour and a half ago. Helpful.  

ABBIE:                 Let me call it.

                        THE RADIATORS CLANK. A WINDOW

                        SASH IN THE ATTIC THUMPS. THE SUMP

                        PUMP DRIPS. THE WINDCHIMES RING.

ABBIE:                Ringing.

WES:                     I don't hear anything.

LILY:                 It's on vibrate. You just--[have to be quiet.] Everyone be

                    super-quiet.

                        THE CACOPHONY CONTINUES.

                This is going to be impossible with all this house-

                    racket.

ABBIE:                 Voicemail.

WES:                     Where'd you last see it?

LILY:                 I DON'T REMEMBER.

ABBIE:                 Ringing.

                        FLOORBOARDS CREAK.

LILY:                 No one move.

                        FLOORBOARDS CREAK.

LILY:                 Who is that?

DOTTIE:                 (off) Dottie.

LILY:                 Mom, stop, I lost my phone.

DOTTIE:                 (off) Want me to call it.

LILY:                 Abbie / already is.


ABBIE:                 I already am!

LILY:                 Don't make the stairs creak.

DOTTIE:                (off) I'm going to the bathroom!

LILY:                 Just wait.

DOTTIE:                 It'll take one second.

LILY:                 THIS WILL TAKE ONE SECOND JUST WAIT.

                        FLOORBOARDS CREAK.

ABBIE:                 SILENCE!

                    Voicemail.

                        FLOORBOARDS CREAK AS DOTTIE GOES

                        UPSTAIRS.


            We'll have to work systematically. I'll assemble the

                    equipment.

LILY:                 Okay. Wes, can you turn off the radiators?

WES:                     Why?

LILY:                 Because why are they even on--it's July.

WES:                     Some of our guests might get chilly. I can’t have that. It’s

                    inhospitable.

LILY:                 Well, it's like eighty degrees in here, so I'm not super-sure

                    you have to / worry about that.

WES:                     And…and I can't turn them off because they go on

                    automatically when it gets below seventy-two, and the

                    temperature's taken in the basement.


LILY:                 In the BASEMENT?

WES:                     Yes, to ensure that the house is sufficiently warm. Better to

                    err on the side of cozy warm toes than frozen ones.

LILY:                 Go turn them off. Just go. Or else I'm gonna go down there

                    with a wrench like the ghost of whoever and just start

                    destroying pipes.

WES:                     You're too attached to your phone.

LILY:                 Nope, I am not attached enough, which is why I lost it.

                        WES STOMPS DOWNSTAIRS. ABBIE COMES

                        DOWN THE STAIRS.

ABBIE:                 Okay, field recorder has full power and an empty memory

                    card. We’ll go through each room systematically.

LILY:                 I think that’s overkill.

ABBIE:                 It’s the only way to pick up the fainter parts of the

                    soundscape, and we can isolate and remove the excess

                    noise on my laptop. Shall we?

LILY:                 Okay.


ABBIE CLICKS ON THE FIELD RECORDER

AND ADJUSTS DIALS.

ABBIE:                 How much power does your phone have?

LILY:                 Like five percent.

ABBIE:                 Assumed as much. I'll work fast. Recording.

                    (into the microphone) This is the kitchen. Calling now.

                        SO MANY HOUSE SOUNDS. THE WIND

                        CHIMES CHIME.

       

                Taking down the windchimes.

                        ABBIE STOMPS OUTSIDE, TAKES DOWN THE

                        WIND CHIMES WITH A CLATTER, AND

                        COMES BACK INSIDE.

                Take two. Kitchen. Calling now.

                        THE CLANG OF THE RADIATORS STOP.

LILY:                 Thank God.

ABBIE:                 SILENCE.

                        SILENCE. CREAKING OF STAIRS AS WES

                        COMES BACK UPSTAIRS.

LILY:                 No--DON'T MOVE NO ONE MOVE.

WES:                     (off) I'm coming back upstairs.

LILY:                    STOP.

                        SILENCE. DRIPPING. DRIPPING. DRIPPING.

                        CREAK-CREAK-CREAK OF THE STAIRS.

                I SAID NO ONE MOVE.


                        DRIPPING.

ABBIE:                 Voicemail.

FOOTSTEPS UP THE STAIRS. WES

REENTERS.

LILY:                 Wes, what's the dripping?

WES:                     The sump pump.

LILY:                 Turn it off.

WES:                     The basement will flood.

LILY:                 Just for two minutes.


WES:                     Okay. But I'm turning back on the radiators.

LILY:                 WES!


ABBIE:                 I don't know if you're going to find this thing.


LILY:                 Just gimme two minutes without the radiators and the sump

                    pump and with no one moving!

WES:                     No. Cold. Toesies.

LILY:                 It's summer!

WES:                     PERFECT HOSPITALITY. That’s the Fenwood way.

ANGRY FOOTSTEPS DOWN THE STAIRS.

(off) We are NOTHING BUT HOSPITABLE HERE.

                        MORE ANGRY FOOTSTEPS. NEARLY

                        INAUDIBLE BREAKING OF ATTIC WINDOW.

                        DRIPPING STOPS. THUMP OF SOMETHING

                        FALLING. SOFT BANGING STARTS.

ABBIE:                 Calling.

                        RADIATORS TURN ON.

LILY:                 Murder me.

ABBIE:                 We're not going to get clean audio anyway unless that

                    banging stops.

LILY:                 What banging--

                        SOFT BANGING IN THE ATTIC.


                Oh, yeah. What is that?

                        WES COMES BACK UP THE STAIRS.

                    Wes, what's that banging noise?

WES:                     Ah, it must have fallen over.

ABBIE:                 What is it?

WES:                     It's just a thing for the ghost tour. It's in the attic storage

                    room--don't worry about it.


LILY:                 Can you stop it?

WES:                     I have to go down and keep an eye on the sump pump.  

LILY:                 I’ll do it.

WES:                     The door’s locked.

LILY:                 So gimme the key. Wes, the key!

WES:                     All right.

                        A RUMMAGE IN A POCKET AND A JINGLE

                        OF A KEYRING.

                    But don't touch anything up there! If you need to turn the

                    hand off, there's a button by the base, but it's very delicate!

LILY:                 (to ABBIE) What's the hand.

ABBIE:                 No idea. Let's go before he changes his mind.

                        SCENE 6.

                        THE STAIRS TO THE BOARDING HOUSE

                        ATTIC. LILY AND ABBIE WALK UP.

ABBIE:                I've tried to pick the lock on the attic storage a few times,

                    just out of boredom. I can't ever seem to get it.

LILY:                 I can pick a lock.

ABBIE:                 Really?

LILY:                 It's not hard.

ABBIE:                 But why is it locked? It's the only locked door in the house.

                    The bathrooms don't even have locks.

LILY:                 That is weird--

                        FOOTSTEPS STOP.

LILY :             So why's the door wide open?

ABBIE:                 Puzzling.

                        FOOTSTEPS INTO THE ATTIC STORAGE

                        ROOM. THE BANGING GETS LOUDER.

LILY:                 Might have been the wind. There's a crazy draft in this room. What is this hand he was talking about?

ABBIE:                 Perhaps the mannequin hand clumsily attached to a motor

                    currently banging against the floorboards?

LILY:                 What? Oh, that.

                        A SCRAPE AS ABBIE PICKS IT UP. IT

                        RATTLES AS ABBIE EXAMINES IT.

ABBIE:                 It's weighted horribly. No wonder it fell.

LILY:                 That’s from the ghost tour! I remember he said, ooo, look,

                    Miss whoever is waving from the window.

ABBIE:                 Well, when ghosts are figments of your imagination, you

                    have to resort to lies.

                        ABBIE PUSHES A BUTTON. THE

                        MECHANICAL WHIRRING STOPS.

                    Let's see what's hiding in these trunks.

LILY:                 Wes did say not to touch anything.

ABBIE:                 Exactly--he won't leave us up here alone for long. Gather

                    ye data while ye may.

                        THE CREAK OF A TRUNK OPENING.

LILY:                 What's in there?

ABBIE:                 Tomes.

                        A THUNK AND FLOP OF AN OLD BOOK.

                    Handwritten. A diary? Notes from a novel? Ah, their script

                    was so... enthusiastic in the 19th century. I'll need my

                    magnifying glass. Please say I've happened upon the diaries

                    and letters trove. Oh, this trunk makes me giddy.

LILY:                 Yeah, well, be giddy for both of us--it's just a creepy old

                    house full of creepy old crap to me. You'd think I'd get used

                    to this place, coming summer after summer as a kid. But

                    the fear or whatever got worse.

I peed on it once.

ABBIE:                 On what?

LILY:                 On the foundation of the house.

ABBIE:                 What!

LILY:                 It was really getting in my head, I kept thinking I was

hearing things, and the creaks and the shudders and the

radiators--I was so scared I just got, like angry. I was like,

hey, no, you're scared of ME, House. You need to walk around looking

over your shoulder because of me.

                    I don't know, I was seventeen and drunk. I did say I was

                    sorry afterward.

ABBIE:                 That seems like anthropological. What do people do in

                    small towns when there aren't any cows to tip? Pee on

                    things.

LILY:                 Right on the marble foundation.

ABBIE:                 I think you peed on a bank by accident.

LILY:                 No, the house has marble foundations. Haven't you noticed

                    that?

ABBIE:                 That's so funny you can't tell the difference between

                    limestone and marble.

LILY:                    No, they're marble. It's a fancy house. Was.

ABBIE:                 That's like if I told you the water pipes are solid gold.

LILY:                 Maybe they didn't want the house to go anywhere.

                        CRUNCH.

                    Was that a roach?

ABBIE:                 It's glass.

                    This window's broken--look.

LILY:                 Shit. Someone threw a rock in?

ABBIE:                 Someone threw a rock out.

                        WES'S FOOTSTEPS COME UP THE STAIRS.

LILY:                 But there's glass everywhere.

ABBIE:                 But there's no rock.

                        THE DOOR SWINGS OPEN, AND WES

                        ENTERS.

WES:                     I think that's enough poking around--DID SOMEONE BREAK A WINDOW?


LILY:                 I guess.

WES:                     These are two hundred year old window panes!

                        SQUISH.

WES:                     They're priceless. I can't--[even imagine what to do.]

                    They're irreplaceable. Who would do this. DID YOU DO

                    THIS.

LILY:                 No! What--

                        SQUISH.

            What is that? EW.

ABBIE:                Bird poop.

                    A bird broke the window.

WES:                     Impossible.

ABBIE:                Look--

                        SWISH AS A FEATHER IS PICKED UP.

                    A feather. Looks like a mourning dove.  

WES:                     That's seriously impossible.

ABBIE:                 Stop saying that! I'm just reading the data! You can't get tied up in, "This is impossible! This is the only possible solution!" You just think, "What happened?" And you look at the data and you're like, oh, THAT happened. A bird                         broke the window, then flew out the door, across the hall, into Lily's room, and took her phone.

                    Last bit was needless hypothesizing. But the bird did get out of this room.

WES:                     No, the door's locked.


ABBIE:                 It was wide open when we got here.

WES:                     What?

ABBIE:                 Yeah.

LILY:                 A bird stole my cell phone?

ABBIE:                 Let's just follow the evidence and see where it leads.

WES:                     You probably dropped your cell phone while on your

                    angsty walk through the cemetery earlier.

LILY:                 I dropped my phone while talking on it? Is that what you're

                    saying? How are you sixteen and don't know how phones

                    work.

WES:                     It'll turn up. You can go without calling your father for one day.

LILY:                 I can't go to work without my cell phone.

WES:                     You take the calls on your computer.

LILY:                 Yes, but if I need to pick up a shift suddenly, that's on my

                    phone. If my supervisor texts me and I don't respond in one hour, I get docked points, and if I lose too many points, I

                    get suspended. And if I get suspended, then I don't have

                    money, then I have to move out. So.

WES:                     I'm sorry if I was dismissive before. If it's important to you,

                    than it's important to me. We will find it.

LILY:                 Well, that should be easy, seeing as you're the one who

                    took it.

WES:                     I DIDN'T TAKE IT.

ABBIE:                 This bird scenario is very interesting. It went out this door--look, another feather here. But surely someone would have seen it, or at least evidence of it. Anyone have feces on their shirts?

                        LILY GASPS, REMEMBERING.

LILY:                 It's under my sweater. I'm sorry--I just remembered.

                    Phone's under my sweater. I knew it was someplace

                    weird--

                        LILY LEADS EVERYONE THROUGH THE

                        BROKEN GLASS TO HER ROOM.

                    I remember thinking, okay, you're never going to find it--

                    but I put the phone on my desk, and then I think I threw

                    my sweater over it--not like OVER it, just on the desk, and

                    I think the sweater covered it...

                        THEY REACH LILY'S ROOM. LILY

                        MOVES HER SWEATER. WITH A SOFT

                        SWOOSH, LILY PICKS UP A FEATHER.

                    What is this.

ABBIE:                 Mourning dove.  


LILY:                 What is a feather doing in my room?

WES:                     So you don’t think you misplaced your phone, you think a

                    bird--

ABBIE:                 Dove.

WES:                     --dove came in and took it?

                    What you're saying is impossible.

LILY:                 I obviously think that you took it and then put a bird

                    feather by my phone hoping that would connect the dots

                    and then you broke a window/  to—[help your case.]

WES:                     I WOULD NEVER BREAK A WINDOW OF THIS HOUSE.


WES [CONT’D]:            That's enough of that. If you think I would deliberately

                    harm any part of this house...

                    It's a lie.

                        WES LEAVES.

LILY:                 I don't know, maybe it was a bird.

ABBIE:                 Dove.

LILY:                 But why would a DOVE take a phone?

ABBIE:                 I minored in human psychology, not avian. Cause it was

                    shiny? I'm not super-concerned with the why.

LILY:                 It has a case—it’s not that shiny.

ABBIE:                 You're spending too much time on the why and not on the

                    where. That's really all the matters, right? Where is your

                    phone?

LILY:                 I mean, sure.

ABBIE:                 The bird adds an inconvenient layer of chaos.  Let us

                    reengage the field recorder.

LILY:                 Just say it's gone forever.

ABBIE:                 We'll find it within the hour. This is not even the hardest

                    thing I've done today.


                        A DEEP NOTE TAKES US TO SCENE 7

                        SCENE 7.

                        LATER. ABBIE'S ROOM..

                        ABBIE AND LILY ENTER.

ABBIE:                 All right, fifteen rooms captured, analysis impending. Sit

                    there. Don't touch those--

LILY:                 Is that my scarf?

ABBIE:                 That's on loan, yes. Temporarily.

LILY:                 You're welcome.

ABBIE:                 Lemme just--I have to just finish my train of thought.

                        ABBIE TAPS A COUPLE KEYS ON THEIR

                        COMPUTER KEYBOARD.

RECORDING:             Who's wondering about celery soda? Who's

                    wondering about celery so-(slowed way down) Who's

                    wondering about celery soda.

LILY:                 What is this for?

   

ABBIE:                 For the contest to rewrite the celery jingle. Winner gets a btour of the bottling works and five hundred dollars. I'm just your classic impoverished academic at heart. Computer, upload audio.

LILY:                    Your computer has voice control?

ABBIE:                 No, I just sometimes narrate my actions. Sorry, bad habit.

                        CLICK OF FIREWIRE PLUGGING IN. MOUSE

CLICKS AND KEYBOARD TAPS.

       All right, this is the first recording. That peak right

                    there should be the windchimes, right? We'll just isolate

                    that--lemme make sure it's what we think it is--

                        ABBIE HITS THE SPACE BAR.

A VOICE IN THE CHIMES:                 Light the lamps.

ABBIE:                 Oh, sorry, that's at twenty-five percent. lemme change the

                    tempo.

LILY:                 Play it again slow.

A VOICE IN THE CHIMES:                 Light the lamps.

LILY:                 Those're the windchimes.

ABBIE:                 I don't hear your phone.

LILY:                 Play the rest.

                        ABBIE HITS THE SPACEBAR.

A VOICE IN THE CHIMES:     Open the doors.

                    Beware the one in the night

                    Beware the one in the night.

                    Water the stones

                    Tighten the ropes

                    Count the stars

                    Sound the bell

        Beware the one in the night.

                    Beware the one in the night.

                        ABBIE SPEEDS IT UP. THE VOICES MELD

                        BACK INTO NORMAL HOUSE SOUNDS. THE

                        RADIATORS CLINK CHEERFULLY. THE

                        PIPES CLATTER. THE STAIRS CREAK. THE

                        WINDCHIMES CHIME. THE SUMP PUMP

                        DRIPS.

ABBIE:                 Hm.

LILY:                 What…

                    That's insane.

ABBIE:                 It's interesting, I suppose, but it's not helping us find your

                    phone.

LILY:                 Some people are trying to talk to us.

ABBIE:                 It's just noisy data.

LILY:                 What does that mean.

ABBIE:                 It means it's meaningless. It's a distraction. I'm sure there

                    are multitudes of samples that, if you slowed them down,

                    they'd sound like human words.

LILY:                 But what does it mean?

ABBIE:                 My goals for this evening are threefold. First, find your

                    phone. Second, lay down some more sweet beats. Third,

                    plug the 1920 census into my spreadsheet.

                    “Contemplate noisy data” isn't on the list, you might notice.

LILY:                 You have to admit it's interesting.

ABBIE:                 It's not interesting. It's annoying. I hate noisy data. I hate it.

LILY:                 What if the ghosts are real?

ABBIE:                 I am here in spite of any ghost talk, not because of it. You

                    know that ghosts are not, in fact, real?

LILY:                 Well, we don't know. And what’s more likely: a bird taking

                    my phone, or ghosts?

ABBIE:                 A bird taking your phone is improbable, yes, but

                    technically possible, depending on the size of its talons and

                    the texture of your phone case. Dead people being able to

                    speak is impossible. End transmission.

LILY:                 Well, I mean, impossible is / a—[strong word.]

ABBIE:                 This is an exasperating conversation.

LILY:                 Sorry, I don't mean to--

                    I just think those mysterious voices on your recordings

                    were weird. That's all.

ABBIE:                 Noted.

LILY:                 Sorry.

ABBIE:                 You should check the graveyard for the phone. If the dove

                    made it out of the house, it was heading to the woods. I

                    doubt it could carry it far. Likely dropped it.

I'm going to get back to my beats.

LILY:                 Okay.

                        FOOTSTEPS AS LILY LEAVES. ABBIE HITS

                        THE SPACE BAR.

A VOICE IN THE CHIMES:                 Beware the one in the--

    ABBIE MAKES AN EXASPERATED NOISE,

    AND CUTS OFF THE SOUND. A DEEP NOTES TAKES US TO THE NEXT SCENE.           

                        SCENE 8.

                        OUTSIDE NOISES. PHONE BUZZING IN THE

                        GRASS. RUNNING FOOTSTEPS.

LILY:                 Oh my God, oh my God, oh my Goddddd. Are you kidding

                    meeeeee. Yes. And still two percent juice. Nice nice nice.

                        THE PING OF RECEIVED MAIL.

                    Shit, twelve emails.

                        LILY TAPS HER PHONE. SHE READS.

                    Dear Lilian, we have...

                    Mm...

                    Well,

                    Well,

                    Well, that's not good.

    LILY WALKS BACK TOWARDS THE HOUSE.

    WES IS ON THE PORCH SWING. THE WINDCHIME IS BACK UP OVER THE PORCH, AND RINGS IN THE AFTERNOON WIND.

WES:                     You found it.

LILY:                 Yeah.

WES:                     Good! Is something wrong?

LILY:                 Nope.

                    Yep.

                    I've just been suspended from my job.

WES:                     Why.

LILY:                 My last customer gave me zero out of five stars. So now

                    my negative feedback rating is three percent, and that's

                    over the threshold, so... I'm suspended.

                    She was just a bitch--I'm sure they'll reinstate me once they

                    review the recording. But the appeals process takes at least

                    fifteen business days on their end, so...

                    So now I just don't have a job.

                    I don't know, maybe I can move in with my mom.

WES:                     You're funny.

LILY:                 Yep. Laugh-crying. My favorite.

                    Hey, who's the one in the night? That I should be afraid of?

    THE PORCH SWING STOPS

WES:                     I don't know.

LILY:                 Because I heard something--

    WES LAUNCHES OUT OF THE SWING.

WES:                     Don't mention it again, and don't ask Dottie.

                    It'll upset her.

LILY:                 Okay.

    WES STEPS CLOSE AND HUGS LILY

WES:                     You're protected. Don't worry.

    LILY RECOILS

LILY:                 Just don't even--don't try to make me feel better, especially

                    like that, because I really have enough? In my brain? Right

                    now?

                    I'm just going to forget about it.

WES:                     Good. It's nothing to worry about.

LILY:                 Okay.

                        LILY WALKS INTO THE HOUSE. DOT'S

                        SITTING AT THE KITCHEN TABLE, SIPPING

                        SOME COFFEE.


DOTTIE:                 You found it! See? I told you you just dropped it

                    somewhere. Want some coffee? Got a fresh pot.

LILY:                 Mom, I need a job.

DOTTIE:                 Oh, honey, I'm so glad.


THE CLOCK FADES INTO THE CREDITS

THE THEME SONG COMES IN- STOMPING FEET, RHYTHMIC GUITAR, AND PRONOUNCED BANJO.

CREDITS:        This episode features: Shariba Rivers as Lily, Michael Turrentine as Wes, Marsha Harman as Dot, Kathleen Hoil as Abbie.

MUSIC BREAK- A HAUNTING SUNG NOTE    

        Written by Jessica Wright Buha, sound design by Ryan Schile, directed by Jeffrey Nils Gardner, music composed by Stephen Poon, recording engineer Mel Ruder, Unwell lead sound designer Ryan Schile, Executives Producers Eleanor Hyde and Jeffrey Gardner, by HartLife NFP.

THE STRANGE BASS NOTE RETURNS

Frank “Giddy” Gideon was an out of work handyman who traded repairs for room and board during the notorious “Chill of ’37”. He kept the heat on all winter long though he did lose two toes to frostbite.