Chapter 1






[INTRO]: NARRATOR

The following recordings were taken as evidence in the investigation of Anomalous Event 2014-7457A, also known as the Ella McCray Incident. All were recorded in March 2014. This collection of files concerns persons of interest A-F. 






BEEP OF A VOICE RECORDER TURNING ON. A DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES, AND SOMEONE WALKS ACROSS A TILE FLOOR.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

I’m sorry to keep you waiting, Mrs. McCray. My name is Detective Larkin. I’ve been assigned to your daughter’s case. Now, if you could just answer a few questions.

 

CORA

I already told two other officers what happened. We should be out there looking for her.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

And we have people out by the river right now doing just that. But the more information I have, the better our chances are. I understand your frustration, Cora—May I call you Cora?—but it really is important that you and the other witnesses answer these questions.

 

CORA

Fine.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Ok, can you please state your full name and your relationship to Ella McCray?

 

CORA

Cora Lee McCray. I’m her mother.

 

JORDAN

Jordan Eduardo McCray. Ella’s my sister.

 

JULY

My name’s July Calligaris, I’m 27, I live in Tucson, and Ella’s my best friend.

 

TRAVIS

Travis Dalton Reese. I’m. . . I was her fiancé.

 

DALTON

My full name’s Dalton Timothy Reese. Ella’s my daughter in law. Or, she and my son are engaged, so she’s my soon to be daughter in law.

 

SABRINA

My name is Sabrina Constance Maron. I suppose I don’t have any relationship to Ms. McCray. We only just met earlier today.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Why are you in Sonoita, Jordan? And what were you doing at the ranch house?

 

JORDAN

We were having an engagement party for my sister and her fiancé, Travis. Travis’s dad rented it for everyone. I guess because Ella and Travis both like wine, and so does my mom, so I think the plan was to go around to the wineries. You know, because that’s mainly what’s around here, in this town. Vineyards and stuff like that. At least, that’s what they were going to do. I’m still only 20, so. . .

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

And how well do you know Travis? Your sister’s fiancé?

 

JORDAN

Not that well. He seems ok, I guess.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

I see. And how well do you know Ella?

 

JULY

She’s my best friend. I mean, she’s practically family. Is family. I spent some time living with her and Cora and Jordan in high school, when I was having trouble at home. I’m going to be. . . I’m supposed to be her maid of honor.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Now, July, the name you gave the officer at the scene and the name on your driver’s license don’t match, can you—

 

JULY

July’s my real name, it’s just not the name on all of my documents. Now, you want to ask me more irrelevant questions about my transition or do you want to do your fucking job and find Ella?

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

My apologies, July. What about Travis? What do you think of him?

 

JULY

. . . if Ella’s happy with him, then I’m happy for her. He’s not exactly my type, but whatever. I don’t think the dude’s a serial killer or anything, he’s just kinda. . . normal. You know, boring. Basic.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Travis, do you get along with Ella’s family? Cora and Jordan and July?

 

TRAVIS

Um. Yeah. Mostly. Cora’s always been nice. Jordan’s quiet but I think he’s a good kid. July. . . Well, she was Ella’s best friend, so we spent a lot of time together, but I don’t think she likes me. Not that it matters now.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

How well did you get along with Ella, Mr. Reese?

 

 DALTON

Please, call me Dalton, Detective. And I, well, I think she’s a wonderful girl. She’s been great for Travis. My son’s a good kid, but he can be so driven, and she reminds him to have fun, so—Uh, look, shouldn’t we be out looking for her? Does this really matter right now?

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Yes, Travis, I’m afraid these questions do matter right now. You see, when I investigate a missing person’s case, I have to move very quickly, but I also have to understand everyone involved. Otherwise, I might waste a lot of time on dead ends. So please just answer the questions. I promise you, I’m very good at my job, and I really do need this information.

 

TRAVIS

Well, it doesn’t matter. She’s dead. If you’re not a homicide detective, this is a waste of time anyway. I saw her die. I fucking saw it happen.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

I’m not at all convinced of that, Travis. And, just in case you’re wrong, we really need to move quickly here. So, once again, will you please tell me how well you and Ella got along.

 

TRAVIS

We got along great. (voice breaking) I loved her.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Do you get along with Ella, Sabrina?

 

SABRINA

I only just met her today so I really can’t say one way or the other how we’d get along. I doubt we exchanged twenty words.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

I see. And why were you at the property, Sabrina?

 

SABRINA

I’m the caretaker. I live in the smaller house on the edge of the property, and I make sure everything is ok with the vacation rental, the ranch house. I just went to the main house to drop off a complementary bottle of wine and see if they needed anything.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Cora, was anyone else supposed to be at the ranch for the weekend? Anyone else coming in later?

 

CORA

Uh, yeah. A few people. Jordan’s father, Esteban.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Not Ella’s father?

 

CORA

No. He’s out of the picture. Esteban, Jordan’s father, has been more of a dad to Ella than anyone else. He was supposed to fly in tomorrow.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

And what about Ella’s father? Do you know his whereabouts?

 

CORA

No fucking idea. But it doesn’t matter, he never had anything to do with Ella.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Right. Was anyone else scheduled to come to the ranch house?

 

JULY

My girlfriend, Stephanie. She couldn’t get off work until tomorrow, so she’s coming in then.

 

DALTON

My wife, Peggy, and our daughter Tracey. Travis’s sister. I was on a business trip before this so I flew separately, but they’re supposed to get here the day after tomorrow.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

How did Ella seem, in the day or two leading up to the disappearance?

 

TRAVIS

Normal. Fine. Nothing unusual.

 

JORDAN

Um. . . I think she was a little nervous. For a few days before. Just, you know, wedding stuff. Stress.

 

CORA

She was distracted. Really distracted. Ella’s always been high-energy, active, but today was different. She was. . . hyper, I guess would be the best way to put it. We had lunch at the ranch house, so Jordan and July and I could meet Dalton for the first time. And the whole time Ella just couldn’t stop fidgeting. It was like she was a six year old again.

 

DALTON

I did think her behavior during lunch was a little odd. Ella’s usually so friendly. Very social, very at ease with large groups of people. But today, at the ranch house, she seemed agitated. She didn’t respond when I asked her a question. Cora asked her what was wrong, but she just brushed it off. At the time, I just thought it was the pressure of her family meeting me for the first time.

 

JULY

It was like the girl was tweaking, man. I mean. . . Oh, fuck, not literally. Ella would never do anything like that. I just mean she was amped up. All over the place. She didn’t touch her food at lunch. She kept, I don’t know, humming, singing something under her breath. I couldn’t tell what it was.

 

SABRINA

I got to the house while they were having lunch. The property owners wanted me to drop off a complementary bottle of sparkling wine, since it was an engagement party. The owners also own the tasting room where I work. You know, my other job. So I just went straight from the winery to the ranch house to drop off the bottle. I met all of them, then, including Ella. I don’t know what she’s like normally, but she seemed distracted at the time.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Can you describe what happened just before the disappearance?

 

SABRINA

Well, I dropped off the bottle of wine, and congratulated them on their engagement. I was just about to leave, at that point, but Ella stopped me. She asked about the hiking trails around the property. She asked if there was a river. I told her yes. Or, it’s a stream, really, but yes.

 

JULY

And then Ella just, like, straight up demanded that this Sabrina woman show her where the water was. It was pretty awkward, to be honest.

 

CORA

We hadn’t really planned on hiking. The plan had been to go to some of the wineries, but Ella seemed, just, really set on hiking to the river near the edge of the property.

 

TRAVIS

Ella wanted to take a walk. There’s nothing weird about that. I just wish I’d stopped her.

 

SABRINA

I felt a little put on the spot, but it wasn’t a long walk to the water, so I decided it couldn’t hurt. I told Ella I’d show her the river, and then the rest of the group wanted to come along so they joined us. It was about a fifteen-minute walk.

 

JORDAN

We were walking down to the river, and I asked Ella what was up. She said she could hear something. I didn’t know what she meant. I asked her what it was, and she seemed like she couldn’t really describe it, but she said she was looking for it. She thought it was down by the river.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Now, I realize this is difficult, but could you walk through what happened at the river? In as much detail as you can, please.

 

CORA

We. . . We went down the hiking trail. Through the woods. We came to this spot next to the river. It’s not even a river, really, just a stream. And Ella, she seemed distracted, like she could hear something. She went ahead of the rest of us and stood on this big flat rock on the edge of the river. And then. . . Look, I know how crazy this is going to sound, but I swear to God this is what I saw. Or what I thought I saw. I heard this weird buzzing noise. And then the air got really hot, and really dry. I thought I was having a stroke. I’m a nurse, and I’ve had patients describe something like that. But then I started seeing things. The river just dried up. Just, all of the water gone. It happened in less than ten seconds. And then the landscape was just different. That area, it was so pretty before. You know, those hills, covered in grass, and lots of little trees and streams? But all of that was just gone. It was just desert. Totally barren desert, too, just flat and hot and dry, like the areas around Phoenix. Ella, she. . . [grows tearful] walked right off into that desert. She just walked away. I tried to follow her, but I looked down at the ground for a second, and when I looked up, the stream was back where it belonged, and the desert was gone. And so was Ella.

 

JULY

Ok. Here we go. I can’t believe I’m actually freaking saying this, but here’s what I saw. Ella stepped up onto a rock next to the stream. Then it was like, I don’t know, it’s like the landscape changed. Like, you know how out there by the vineyards is lots of hills and grass, and most of the trees are pretty small and stubby? Right, well, all the sudden that’s not what it looked like out there. All the sudden it was a forest. Like a real forest, with big tall trees. No paths, either, just this forest that looked like no one had ever been there. And there were. . . things, in the trees. Flying things.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Birds?

 

JULY

No. Too big, and. . . No. They weren’t birds.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

What happened after you saw the trees?

 

JULY

I started freaking the fuck out, obviously. But Ella seemed calm. She just stood there on that rock and watched those things flying around in the trees. Then she, uh. . . God. She changed.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Changed how?

 

JULY

Like, her body. All of her. Her skin got all weird and leathery, and her face changed shape. Like it wasn’t really human anymore. I don’t know what it looked like, but it wasn’t human. And her legs started bending in different directions, like a bird. She. . . grew wings. These wings just grew out of her back, and then she jumped off the rock and flew up toward the trees, and she looked just like those other things flying around up there. Then I blinked and everything was back the way it was, except Ella was gone. [Pause]. Don’t fucking look at me like that. I know how it sounds. I’m not saying that’s what really happened, I’m just saying that’s what I saw. Somehow.

 

JORDAN

Ella pushed past me and went to the riverbank. She stepped up onto this rock, like she was trying to see something in the distance. I heard this weird noise. Like a hum, I guess, like some kind of machine. And then, just, out of nowhere, there was this thing in the air above Ella.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

What kind of thing?

 

JORDAN

I don’t know. Like a cube. Or, technically I guess it was a rectangular prism. A big block. Maybe twenty feet tall and five feet across.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

What happened then?

 

JORDAN

Part of it opened. There wasn’t a door or anything, I just blinked and there was this dark open spot on the front of the thing. And this. . . Well, not really light, because it was dark, but this shadow kind of beamed down onto Ella. The humming got louder, and Ella seemed like she was listening to it. Then she turned back to me and said something.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

What did she say?

 

JORDAN

She said, “The Green Man is going to need your help, Jordan.” Then it was like the shadow just pulled her up into the block, and it was just gone.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Do you know who she meant by that? The Green Man?

 

JORDAN

No. I have no idea.

 

DALTON

As soon as she was on that rock, everything about her changed. I don’t understand how, but her clothes were completely different. Her hairstyle, everything.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Different how?

 

DALTON

It was almost like she was dressed up for a costume party. A kind of flapper dress, pearls, a little black hat. Her hair, you know, her hair is almost down to her waist, but at that moment it looked like it was in, I guess you’d call it a bob. Something short.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

So like she was in the 1920s?

 

DALTON

I guess so. I’m not an expert, but that’s certainly what it looked like to me. And it wasn’t just her, it was everything around her. There had been just that little stream in front of her, but then it looked like a street. A busy street with cars, and people, and all the women were dressed like her. The cars were classics, maybe even Model Ts. Like it was another time. I was so distracted by that street, I didn’t notice Ella was walking down it until she disappeared behind a cab. I tried to follow her, but then the street was just gone.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Can you remember anything specific about the street, something that will help us identify it?

 

DALTON

Well. . . I mean, the street wasn’t really there, was it? I must have hallucinated it. Maybe I hit my head and don’t remember, or maybe I was exposed to something. Right? Like a drug?

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

That’s probably true, Dalton, but details might still be important. Do you remember anything else?

 

DALTON

Um. . . There was a store across the street. It looked like a drug store. The name on the outside was Maxwell and Wright’s Chemists, I’m pretty sure. I noticed it because I don’t remember the last time I heard of a drug store referred to as a “chemist’s”.

 

SABRINA

We reached the riverbank. I had been leading the group, up until that point. Then, all of the sudden, Ella pushed past me. I stumbled and almost fell. I was annoyed, and I started to say something to her about it. But she held up a hand and told me to be quiet. She stepped up onto a rock next to the river. Then out of nowhere there was this. . . I don’t know how to describe it. This bright white light. But it wasn’t like sunlight or light from a bulb. It was almost like a liquid. It just filled the air above the river, all around Ella, and it didn’t seem like it had any real source. I felt so strange looking at it. It was almost like. . . No, I don’t know how to explain it. Anyway. I fell to my knees, but Ella just stared into the light. I could see her clearly, even though the light was so bright she should have just been a silhouette. She turned back to me and said something.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

What did she say?

 

SABRINA

She said, “Help them find the liar.” I don’t know what she meant by that. And then, just after she said that, she turned back toward the light, and she just vanished. The light faded, and she was gone.

 

TRAVIS

A guy in a black trench coat stabbed Ella. She’s dead.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Travis, I know this is painful, but I need as much detail as possible.

 

TRAVIS

Goddammit. I can’t believe you’re making me tell this again. Fine. Ella was at the front of the group. We were all on the path through the trees. She got to the stream first. She stepped up onto a rock and held up her hand like she wanted the rest of us to wait. I don’t know why. I guess she saw something.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Good. What happened next?

 

TRAVIS

This. . . This guy, in a long black coat, came out of nowhere. He must have been hiding in the bushes.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Can you describe what he looked like?

 

TRAVIS

Tall, I think. Dark hair. I don’t know, I didn’t get a look at his face.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Then what happened?

 

TRAVIS

He. . . He had a knife. He grabbed Ella. He stabbed her. More than once. She bled everywhere, from her neck. There’s no way she could have survived that. Then, after he stabbed her, he picked her up and ran into the trees. It all happened so fast. I ran after him, but I fell, and when I got up he was gone.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Thank you. I just have one more question. Including you, there are six people who witnessed the disappearance of Ella McCray. And all of you provide consistent accounts up until the point where she stepped onto the rock next to the river bank. At that point, each of you provides a different, and completely incompatible story. Can you explain that?

 

CORA

No.

 

JORDAN

No.

 

JULY

Nope. And right now I don’t really care. I just want to get back out there.

 

TRAVIS

They’re lying. That’s all.

 

Dalton

No, I can’t explain that.

 

SABRINA

No.

 

END CREDITS

 

Chapter 2

[INTRO]: NARRATOR

The following recordings were taken as evidence in the investigation of Anomalous Event 2014-7457A, also known as the Ella McCray Incident. All were recorded in March 2014. This collection of files concerns person of interest A, Jordan McCray. Current Status: Living. Location: Berkeley, California.

 

SCENE 1: EARLY MORNING OUTDOORS. BACKGROUND OF CRICKETS, BIRDS, RURAL SOUNDS

 

JORDAN

[Fumbling as voice recorder is turned on] Is this. . . Ok, it’s working. Here. I got one for everybody.

 

JULY

Thanks, Jordie.

 

CORA

[Distracted, conversation far from the recorder] Dalton, I think if we divide up the map this way, maybe we’ll cover more ground?

 

JORDAN

Um, ok, this is Jordan McCray. It’s 5:15 in the morning. We were at the police station all night, and we just got back to the ranch house. Detective Larkin asked everybody to use a voice recorder and document our thoughts and what’s going on.

 

JULY

Right, because that’s the best possible fucking use of our time. Why doesn’t she just have us make a mood board about Ella while we’re at it?

 

JORDAN

Uh, that was July there. Detective Larkin thinks we might have been exposed to a gas leak or a hallucinogen or something. That seems like the only way to explain what all of us saw out there when Ella. . . you know. Anyway, so she was thinking if we were hallucinating then maybe we’ll start to remember more about what really happened. Or if we keep seeing weird stuff then we should document it so they can figure out what we got exposed to. They told us to stay away from the river, where Ella went missing, but—

 

JULY

But, yeah, that’s not going to happen.

 

JORDAN

There were sheriff’s deputies out searching last night but we’re starting our own search now. Just in case we recognize something they missed.

 

DALTON

Ok, everyone, here’s what I think we should do.

 

JORDAN

That’s Dalton. He’s Travis’s dad.

 

DALTON

We should have a much bigger line of volunteers than this—

 

JULY

Yeah, speaking of which, where is everybody? Shouldn’t there be a whole bunch of people out here?

 

DALTON

I’ll call again before we get started. But for now since there’s only the six of us we should go out in pairs and work our way through this area in rows. The goal is to cover as much ground as possible and not leave any gaps. Watch for clothes, jewelry, anything that belongs to her. Don’t touch anything you find. Just tie one of these red strings to a tree nearby and call the sheriff’s department. Be sure to check holes, beneath logs, places where things could be missed.

 

JULY

You sound like you’ve done this before.

 

DALTON

I, uh. . . One of my best friends had a daughter who went missing, back in Massachusetts. I was in the search party.

 

CORA

Did they find her?

 

DALTON

[Long Pause] No.

 

SABRINA

I’m sorry. That’s awful.

 

JORDAN

Sabrina, she’s the caretaker of the place we’re staying. She’s helping us out, which is cool.

 

DALTON

[Clearing his throat] Anyway, we should get out there as quickly as possible. I divided up the map. Me and Cora, Jordan and July, Sabrina and Travis.

 

TRAVIS

I’m not going back out there.

 

CORA

What?!? What do you mean?

 

TRAVIS

I told you. There’s no point. She’s not missing, she’s dead.

 

JORDAN

None of the rest of us saw that, Travis.

 

TRAVIS

But none of you saw anything that makes any sense. I’m the only one who saw something that’s even fucking possible.

 

SABRINA

Travis, don’t you think, if there’s even a chance—

 

TRAVIS

There isn’t a chance. She’s dead.

 

JULY

Shut the fuck up, Travis! Look at what you’re doing to Cora!

 

CORA

I’m fine, Jules.

 

DALTON

Son, please—

 

TRAVIS

No. I’m not playing along with some sick fantasy about Ella still being alive, or being abducted by aliens, or something. I’m only interested in finding the guy who killed her, and he’s not going to be hiding out near that fucking stream.

 

FOOTSTEPS AS HE WALKS AWAY ON GRAVEL DRIVEWAY.

 

DALTON

I’m sorry. What he thought he saw out there, it’s too much.

 

JULY

It’s fine. Let’s just get out there.

 

DALTON

Ok, I’ll canvas my section alone. Sabrina and Cora, you take from here to here, July and Jordan. . . [Fades out]

 

SCENE 2: STILL OUTDOORS, RURAL SOUNDS, CRICKETS, BUT NOW WITH AUDIBLE FOOTSTEPS OF TWO PEOPLE.

 

JORDAN

Ok, July and I finished our first pass across our section, and now we’re going back over in another row. It’s about 6:30.

 

JULY

I can’t fucking believe Travis.

 

JORDAN

You know you’ve said that about fifty times already, right?

 

JULY

Sorry. It’s just. . .

 

JORDAN

Go easy on the guy. It sounds like what he saw was worse than any of the rest of us.

 

JULY

I don’t know. Mine was pretty horrifying. You were lucky. You got the ETs.

 

JORDAN

I never said that. I never said anything about aliens.

 

JULY

Ok, chill.

 

JORDAN

People already think I’m weird enough as it is. I don’t need anyone thinking I’m one of those paranoid morons who thinks aliens are showing up and anal probing us.

 

JULY

Come on, people don’t think you’re weird.

 

JORDAN

Don’t baby me. I know how people talk about. . . you know. The asexual stuff. It doesn’t help, you pretending people are cool with it.

 

JULY

Sorry. You’re right. (sighs) It doesn’t help.

 

JORDAN

Whatever, it doesn’t matter. I just don’t want to deal with the UFO nut reputation on top of everything else.

 

JULY

Yeah, yeah, fine, you’re right. [Clears throat, obviously trying to move past the conversation] Hey, remember when me and Ella convinced you there was a UFO outside the window? Back when you were in like second grade?

 

JORDAN

And I cried and hid behind the couch and then had nightmares for two weeks? Nope. Doesn’t ring a bell.

 

JULY

You were so gullible. [Starts to laugh, then cuts off abruptly]

 

JORDAN

Feels wrong, doesn’t it? Laughing?

 

JULY

Yeah. It’s like I keep forgetting what’s happening for, like, half a second and then remembering again.

 

JORDAN

Hey, someone’s coming. Oh, right: for the record, this is a middle-aged guy, medium height, grey hair, wearing slacks and a nice shirt. He has a walking stick but doesn’t look like he’s carrying anything else.

 

JULY

Ok, got my Mace ready to go if he starts some shit.

 

JORDAN

Excuse me, sir?

 

JOSEPH

Yes?

 

JORDAN

Have you seen this woman? She’s been missing since yesterday afternoon.

 

JOSEPH

She’s missing? I’m sorry, that’s terrible. No, she doesn’t look familiar.

 

JORDAN

Well, have you seen anything else, I don’t know, suspicious? I don’t really know what that means, we’re just looking for anything at this point.

 

JOSEPH

I’m sorry, I haven’t seen anything unusual. Do you have any idea what might have happened to her?

 

JULY

Nope. That’s kinda why we’re out here.

 

JORDAN

(Clearing throat, embarrassed) Well, if you see anything, we’re at the Bar K Ranch. It’s over across the river.

 

JOSEPH

Of course. I’ll call if I see anything. I hope you find her.

 

JULY

Bye.

 

JORDAN

[Pause] Ok, he’s walking away now, back in the direction we came from. He’s about to head into some trees.

 

JULY

Think we should follow him?

 

JORDAN

No. He was kinda weird, though, right?

 

JULY

How so?

 

JORDAN

I don’t know. I mean, he wasn’t carrying anything, not even water. And who goes hiking in nice clothes? Green slacks, nice green shirt, green. . . Oh, my God.

 

SOUND OF RUNNING, FAST FOOTSTEPS, QUICK BREATHING.

 

JORDAN

Hey! Hey, come back! Sir!

 

JULY

[Far away, in background] Jordan, wait! What’s wrong? Jordan!

 

MORE RUNNING, CRASHING THROUGH FOLIAGE.

 

JORDAN

[Stopping, trying to catch his breath] Where’d he go? Where the fuck did he go?

 

JULY

Jordan! What the hell is going on?

 

JORDAN

That guy!

 

JULY

What about him?

 

JORDAN

That guy! Green clothes, all green. Shit, I think he was even wearing green shoes.

 

JULY

So what?

 

JORDAN

Remember what Ella said to me? She said, “The Green Man is going to need your help.” I was thinking Green Man like, “Little Green Men”, but—

 

JULY

So you were thinking ETs.

 

JORDAN

Well obviously I’ve been thinking about them, July, I just didn’t believe they were real. Not really.

 

JULY

You sure about that?

 

JORDAN

. . . Maybe for a minute or two. But now, that guy, I think that’s what she meant. I think that’s the Green Man.

 

JULY

And he just disappeared into thin air.

 

JORDAN

Yeah.

 

JULY

Well, shit.

 

SCENE 3: SLOWER FOOTSTEPS, STILL WALKING OUTDOORS

 

JORDAN

Ok, the time is 8:45 am. We just finished another sweep across the field and we’re turning around for another. Still no sign of Ella. Or the Green Man.

 

JULY

Do you smell that?

 

JORDAN

What?

 

JULY

Ugh, it’s nasty. Like something dead. [Pause] Oh, my God, I didn’t mean—

 

JORDAN

It’s ok.

 

JULY

Ok, hang on. [MOVING AROUND IN THE BRUSH]. Here it is. Poor dead bunny.

 

JORDAN

I still don’t smell anything. Looks like it just died recently, too.

 

JULY

Yeah, I dunno. I feel like everything smells strong out here. It’s been driving me crazy.

 

JORDAN

Hm. For me it’s all the noise. That buzzing.

 

JULY

The bugs?

 

JORDAN

No. Powerlines, I think. It’s something electrical.

 

JULY

I think we’re pretty far from any powerlines.

 

JORDAN

Well, something’s making that noise. It’s a weird, high-frequency hum like, I don’t know, a faulty speaker? I think it’s been getting louder, too.

 

JULY

[Long silence] Jordan, what do you think really happened out there? Just between you and me?

 

JORDAN

I don’t know. I know I don’t believe in aliens, or heavenly light, or people turning into birds.

 

JULY

They weren’t birds.

 

JORDAN

Right, whatever, the flying things.

 

JULY

Creepy fuckers. I still get chills when I think about them.

 

JORDAN

Sorry. But, anyway, I also don’t think we could have all been drugged or breathed in gas or whatever. Not without feeling something later. I mean, I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing.

 

JULY

Yeah, that hallucinogen theory is crap. I’ve done enough shrooms in my time to know the difference. Acid, too. It doesn’t just flip on and off that fast. It takes a long time to come down. Ever done shrooms, Jordan? Or peyote?

 

JORDAN

No. I’ve only ever smoked pot, and that was with you and Ella.

 

JULY

Yeah, guess we were a bad influence. Or, tried to be, at least. Never could get you off the straight and narrow for too long.

 

JORDAN

I was too busy trying to get into college. And then grad school.

 

JULY

Aw, you’d still have gotten in. I bet your GRE would still be perfect even if you took it high as a kite. Little shit. I had to work my ass off and I still barely made the cut. [Pause] Guess maybe being high all the time might have had something to do with that, now that I think about it.

 

JORDAN

That’s different. You make video games. Being a stoner is like a degree requirement.

 

JULY

Yeah, well, now that you got into grad school it’s time we give you your first trip. Me and Ella can. . . [Pauses, clears throat. Gets more emotional]. Um. We’ll find her. And then the three of us are gonna do some shrooms. Yeah?

 

JORDAN

Yeah. We’re gonna find her, we just. . . Jesus, what is that? How is that not driving you crazy?

 

JULY

Sorry, still don’t hear it. The bugs are loud as fuck, are you sure it’s not—

 

JORDAN

It’s not the damn bugs, it’s. . . [Sound of pain]

 

JULY

What is it?

 

JORDAN

Agh, it’s my head. It feels like. . . Fuck, that hurts. . .

 

JULY

Ok, I think we need to get you back to the house. You’ve been up all night and you’re probably dehydrated. You probably just need to lie down.

 

JORDAN

No, I don’t need to lie down, I just. . . Oh, Jesus fucking Christ! What the fuck is that!

 

SCRAMBLING SOUNDS, JORDAN FALLING INTO WEEDS AND GRASS.

 

JULY

What?!? What!?! Jordan, talk to me!

 

JORDAN

There, there, right fucking there!

 

JULY

I don’t see anything!

 

JORDAN

In the sky, right above us. July, please tell me you can see that.

 

JULY

I’m sorry. I don’t. Take a deep breath. Tell me what you see.

 

JORDAN

It’s. . . It’s the block. The thing that took Ella. It’s in the air right above us. And that buzzing is so loud, I think it’s coming from that thing.

 

JULY

What’s it doing?

 

JORDAN

It’s just hanging there. It’s totally still. I don’t see any doors or anything. It’s just, like, a big stone block. And it. . . Wait, it’s gone.

 

JULY

Gone? Where’d it go?

 

JORDAN

It didn’t move, it just disappeared. Actually. . . I don’t know, the air looks weird where it was just now. Kind of. . . shimmery, I guess? Like maybe it’s still there, but it’s hiding.

 

JULY

What about the sound?

 

JORDAN

It’s gone. Oh, man, that’s so much better.

 

TEXT MESSAGE ALERT

 

JULY

Is it Cora? Did someone find something?

 

JORDAN

No, it’s. . . I don’t know what this is. Look.

 

JULY

“Acquire these items. Instructions will follow.” What the fuck. . . And then these pictures. . . A laptop, a microwave, is that a car battery? And is this one a TV satellite?

 

JORDAN

I think so. It looks like. . . It looks like instructions for building something.

 

JULY

Ok, well, someone’s obviously trying to screw with us.

 

JORDAN

But what if it has something to do with Ella? Shouldn’t we show it to that detective? Or do what it says?

 

JULY

I don’t know, Jordan. I don’t know. I think we need to go back to the house. I don’t think Ella’s out here. Let’s go back to the house and regroup. I’m not sure we’re really thinking clearly out here.

 

JORDAN

Yeah. Yeah. I think you’re right.

 

SCENE 4: INDOORS. PHONE RINGING, OUTGOING CALL.

 

ESTEBAN [VOICE HEARD THROUGH THE PHONE]

Hello?

 

JORDAN

Hey, Dad.

 

ESTEBAN

Oh, my God, Jordan, did they find her? What’s going on?

 

JORDAN

No, no news. We were out looking all day. Dad, I’m getting really scared.

 

ESTEBAN

I know. I’m so sorry I’m not there. I’m trying to get on an earlier flight out, but with the blizzard—

 

JORDAN

It’s ok. I don’t think there’s really anything else you could be doing here.

 

ESTEBAN

How’s your mom holding up? I tried calling her, but. . .

 

JORDAN

She’s. . . I guess she’s as good as she can be.

 

ESTEBAN

Jordan, what do you think happened? I mean, I know you all saw all that weird stuff out there, but what do you think really happened?

 

JORDAN

I don’t know. That’s all I’ve been thinking about, since it happened, and I still don’t know.

 

ESTEBAN

Do you think. . . Well, are you all keeping an eye on Travis?

 

JORDAN

Think he could do something like that?

 

ESTEBAN

I don’t really know the guy. But, you know, nine times out of ten when something like this happens it’s the husband or the boyfriend. And. . . Jordan, could he have found out?

 

JORDAN

No. I didn’t tell anyone. Why, did you tell anyone?

 

ESTEBAN

No. Besides, I’m in freaking Alaska, who would I tell?

 

JORDAN

Then no, I don’t think there’s any way he could know.

 

ESTEBAN

Could he have found out another way, though? Maybe Ella let something slip?

 

JORDAN

I don’t think so. If she was going to tell anyone else it would have been July, and she doesn’t know anything.

 

ESTEBAN

Well, don’t tell her. She already doesn’t like Travis. She decides he had something to do with it, I don’t think he’ll make it to an interrogation room.

 

JORDAN

I won’t say anything. I mean, I thought about telling the detective, Detective Larkin, but I really don’t think it has anything to do with this. Maybe if things go on, though. . .

 

ESTEBAN

Yeah. In the meantime, Jordan, keep an eye on Travis. Even if he didn’t find out, it’s still usually the husband or the fiancé.

 

JORDAN

Ok. I’ll watch him.

 

ESTEBAN

Tell your mother I’m trying to find my way out of Alaska. I’ll be there as soon as I can.

 

JORDAN

I know. Thanks, Dad.

 

ESTEBAN

Get some sleep, Jordan.

 

[CALL ENDS]

 

SCENE 5: STILL INDOORS. QUIET.

 

JORDAN

[Quiet, muttering to himself] Ok. Laptop, car battery, TV satellite. . . Hm.

 

DOOR OPENING, INDOOR FOOTSTEPS

 

JORDAN

Hey, Mom?

 

CORA

Yeah?

 

JORDAN

This place has DirecTV, right?

 

CORA

Yeah, why?

 

JORDAN

Just wondering. That means there’s a satellite dish on the roof, right?

 

CORA

I think so. Jordan, what’s this about?

 

JORDAN

Nothing, just thinking about. . . Um, I was reading some stuff about how signals from satellites can mess with your inner ear. Cause hallucinations.

 

CORA

That sounds like bullshit.

 

JORDAN

Right, I think so too, but. . . Hey, there’s probably a ladder out in that garden shed, right?

 

CORA

A ladder? Jordan, what the hell is going on?

 

JORDAN

Nothing. Hey, I talked to Dad. He’s trying to get out of Alaska, but they only have that little local airport so it’s going to be tough.

 

CORA

Thanks.

 

JORDAN

You, uh. . . You going to try to get some sleep?

 

CORA

Maybe later. You should, though. Go sleep.

 

JORDAN

I will. [Muttering under breath] Right after I find that ladder.

 

CORA

What?

 

JORDAN

Nothing. Goodnight, Mom.

END CREDITS

Chapter 3

Chapter 3: July

 

[INTRO]: NARRATOR

The following recordings were taken as evidence in the investigation of Anomalous Event 2014-7457A, also known as the Ella McCray Incident. All were recorded in March 2014. This collection of files concerns person of interest B, July Calligaris. Current Status: Living. Location: Tucson, Arizona.

 

SCENE 1:

 

JULY

[Sleepy, worn out] Ok, dream journal entry for. . . I don’t know, whatever the fuck today’s date is. I went to sleep for a few hours, right around 3:00 am. It’s been so long since any of us slept, but searching in the dark wasn’t working anyway, so. . . Anyway. I had really weird, bad dreams. They were. . . I don’t know, kind of hard to describe. Like, most of the time when I dream it’s pretty much just visual. And some hearing. I don’t usually notice smells, or tastes, or anything like that. But this time was like I was awake. All my senses were working. And they weren’t just working, it’s like the volume was turned up. I was laying in grass, I think. I was outside, I know that. Something was moving under my skin. Like snakes, I guess, would be the best way to put it. Like there was something else alive under my skin. I could smell everything. I could smell, like, one grasshopper a few feet away. I didn’t even think grasshoppers had a smell, but I could smell this one. Then there was this really sharp pain in my shoulders, like the stuff under my skin was trying to get out. Then I woke up. Or, actually, it took me a while to wake up. There was a minute when I first opened my eyes when it still felt like I was dreaming, even though I was back in bed. I could still feel those things under my skin. And even now I still feel like. . . I don’t know. Never mind. I’m sleep deprived. That’s all. Going back to sleep.

 

SCENE 2:

 

JULY

Hey, Cora. Did you get any sleep?

 

CORA

No. I tried to lay down for a bit, but I couldn’t sleep.

 

JULY

Well, at least there’s coffee.

 

CORA

Not yet, but I’ll make some.

 

JULY

I think someone already made it. Best smell in the world. I. . . huh.

 

CORA

What?

 

JULY

You’re right. Coffee pot’s empty. Cold. Doesn’t look like anyone’s made coffee since yesterday. But I can smell it. Like it’s fresh.

 

CORA

You’re exhausted. We all are. It plays tricks on you. There were a few times, back when I did my ER shifts, when I was on my feet for twelve hours at a time. Things got weird after a while.

 

JULY

Yeah, must be. I’ll make some, I guess. [Pause]. So. Have you seen Travis?

 

CORA

No. He’s been holed up in his room all night. I heard something a while ago, so I know he’s still in there.

 

JULY

Want me to kick his ass?

 

CORA

I’d say yes, except Dalton’s been so great about all this. I don’t want to start a fight there.

 

JULY

Think he feels guilty about the fact that his son isn’t helping?

 

CORA

Maybe. I would be. But that wouldn’t happen. Ella, Jordan, you, none of you are quitters. [Gets tearful] That’s why I’m still. . . because if Ella’s out there, she won’t give up, she’ll fight. . .

 

JULY

Oh, no, no, Cora, don’t. It’s ok. You’ll make me cry.

 

CORA

[Sniffing] You’re right. No time for that. We should get back out there.

 

JULY

I’ll talk to Travis. See if I can light a fire under his ass. But, Cora, I was just wondering. . . Do we know where Ella’s dad is these days? I know he’s not my business, but if he could have anything to do with it, maybe we should consider that.

 

CORA

No. He’s never coming back.

 

JULY

But if we don’t know where he is or what he’s been up to all these years, then is there any chance, any chance at all?

 

CORA

Jules. Honey. I need to you to just listen to me on this. He’s never coming back. Whatever happened to Ella, it doesn’t have anything to do with him. Please just trust me.

 

JULY

Ok. If you say you’re sure, then I trust you.

 

SCENE 3: [SHARP BANGING ON DOOR]

 

JULY

Travis. Travis, get your ass out here.

 

TRAVIS

Go away.

 

JULY

I will break down this motherfucking door, I swear to God.

 

[DOOR OPENS]

 

TRAVIS

What?

 

JULY

I wanted to. . . Jesus, what’s that smell? God, have you been just shitting in the corner or something? What is that?

 

TRAVIS

What do you want?

 

JULY

Listen. You need to help us. Even if you think it’s pointless, even if you don’t think we’ll find her, you need to get out there. For Cora. She’s falling apart.

 

TRAVIS

She should be. All of you should be. There’s a killer out there, and you’re wandering around outside like you’re invincible. We should be planning. Preparing. Getting ready.

 

JULY

For what?

 

TRAVIS

You know.

 

JULY

Dude, I really, really don’t. Look, can you just be helpful, please, for us? Your dad knew Ella. . . Has known Ella. He’s known Ella for all of thirty seconds and he’s tearing the county apart looking for her. So be more like your dear old dad and help us, goddammit.

 

TRAVIS

There’s. No. Point. She’s dead. All we can do now is get ready for the. . . for the guy who killed her. He’s coming back. Yeah.

 

JULY

Ok, you know what, fine. You hole up here like a pussy. I’m going back out there.

 

[DOOR SLAMS. STOMPING OF FEET AS JULY LEAVES THE HOUSE]

 

SCENE 4: OUTDOORS, MORNING

 

JULY

Oh, for fuck’s sake. Jordan, what are you doing?

 

JORDAN

Um. This isn’t what it looks like.

 

JULY

It looks like you’re stealing a battery out of an old tractor.

 

JORDAN

Ok, yeah, it is what it looks like. But this is the only place I can get one. I got more instructions last night, more texts. I think they’re sending me the plans in stages.

 

JULY

Stages? Jordan, what the hell are you talking about? You know it sounds like you’re one step away from a tinfoil hat, right? You get that?

 

JORDAN

I know, but I’m not. I’m not making shit up, you can see the texts right here on my phone. Look!

 

JULY

That’s not. . . Ok, you know what, I’m not having this conversation again.

 

JORDAN

Good.

 

JULY

Ok, you do whatever this is here, I’m going to go search on the other side of the highway.

 

JORDAN

I’ll come with you.

 

JULY

No, don’t, it’s fine. I need some time to myself anyway.

 

JORDAN

If you’re sure.

 

JULY

I’ll call if I see anything.

 

SCENE 5: OUTDOORS, DAYTIME/MIDDAY

 

[RINGTONE]

 

JULY

Hello?

 

STEPHANIE

Hey, babe.

 

JULY

Hey. God, I’m glad to hear your voice.

 

STEPHANIE

Have you heard anything?

 

JULY

No, not yet. No sign. But everyone here is acting weird as fuck, especially Travis. And I’m, I don’t know. . . Something’s up.

 

STEPHANIE

What do you mean?

 

JULY

I’m not sure. I can smell everything. The light seems too bright, and my eyesight’s really sharp. I feel like, I don’t know, an exposed nerve or something.

 

STEPHANIE

It’s probably exhaustion. You can’t think clearly without sleep.

 

JULY

Maybe. But sleep’s going to have to wait. When do you get in?

 

STEPHANIE

That’s why I’m calling. Baby, I’m so sorry, but I can’t come.

 

JULY

Why not?

 

STEPHANIE

I broke my leg. I’m in the hospital right now.

 

JULY

Steph! Why didn’t you say anything? Why didn’t you call me sooner?

 

STEPHANIE

You already have too much on your plate. And there’s nothing you can do.

 

JULY

What happened?

 

STEPHANIE

It was the weirdest thing. I was getting into the car to drive there. I mean, my bags were packed, the GPS was set up, everything was ready to go. And then, right when I climbed into the car, my leg was still sticking out the door, and some kid on a bike just slammed into it, and the bone just snapped. It was a clean break so I was hoping they could just put a cast on it and I could still come to you, but they’re saying they need to do surgery on it.

 

JULY

Ok, I’m coming home.

 

STEPHANIE

No, absolutely not. My mom’s here, they’ve got me on good painkillers, there’s nothing you can do here. Your family needs you there.

 

JULY

Are you sure?

 

STEPHANIE

Positive. I’m just sorry I can’t be there to help you.

 

JULY

Trust me, you don’t want to be here right now. I think you might be better off with the broken leg.

 

STEPHANIE

Call me? The second you hear anything?

 

JULY

I will. I love you.

 

STEPHANIE

Love you, too.

 

SCENE 6: OUTDOORS, DAYTIME. STEADY HUM OF BUGS AND CICADAS IN THE BACKGROUND.

 

JULY

Ok, I just covered a big grassy area and now I’m at the top of a hill. I figured I’d have a good view from up here. Originally I was wishing I had binoculars, but I can see everything just fine. Like, everything. Maybe the air is just really clear out here. No pollution, no smog, maybe you can just see better in places like this. Still, this is crazy. Like, right now there’s this lizard on a rock all the way down the hillside. Like, probably fifty yards away. And I swear I can see its scales. I can see individual scales on this lizard’s skin. So. . . if I suddenly have superpowered eyesight, why the fuck can’t I see you, Ella? Where’d you go? [Long pause, just cicadas in the background] And you know what, for that matter, where are all the cops? I mean, you’re a blonde white girl who went missing at her freaking engagement party. Anderson Cooper should have fucking parachuted in by now. The whole FBI should be here. At least the sheriff’s department. But there’s nobody out here. And it’s. . . Now that I’m thinking about it, it’s actually weirder than the cops just ignoring this. Because, I mean, you’d think Cora would have been on the phone with every cop in the county by now. I should have been down at the station kicking their asses by now. But it’s like. . . I don’t know, it’s like every time I think about telling someone else about this, I just get, I don’t know, fuzzy. Distracted. Even now the idea of reaching for my phone is just. . .

 

[CICADAS SUDDENLY STOP]

 

JULY

Um, ok. That doesn’t sound good. Any idea what’s going on out here, El? What the. . . [Screaming] Oh, fuck!

 

[RUNNING, CRASHING THROUGH BRUSH]

 

JULY

[Stops running, is breathing heavily, speaking in a whisper] El, there’s something out there. I think it’s one of those things I saw when you. . . you know. One of those things you turned into. Oh, Jesus, I can’t believe I’m talking about that like it happened, but one of them is out there and it’s fucking flying around and. . . Ok. I’m under some bushes near a fence. The thing, the flying thing, it just landed in a tree a few feet away. It’s just sitting there. Oh fuck!! Fuck!! [Long pause] Ok. Here’s what just happened. That thing was sitting up in the tree, and a deer came down along the path. And the thing, it just flew down and picked up the deer like it didn’t weigh anything. And then it few off again. I think it’s gone. Ella, what the fuck did you get yourself into?

 

SCENE 7: OUTDOORS, TWO SETS OF FOOTSTEPS, MOVING QUICKLY

 

JORDAN

Are you sure?

 

JULY

Yes, yes, for the millionth time, I’m sure. It was flying all around here, and then it landed in a tree, and then it snatched the deer right over there.

 

JORDAN

Ok, well, if it’s still out here, are you sure we should be poking around?

 

JULY

Jordan, what if it has something to do with Ella? It’s one of those things I saw when she disappeared, so maybe if we follow it—

 

JORDAN

You keep saying ‘flying things’, but what does it actually look like?

 

JULY

Like. . . I don’t know. They’re not like anything I’ve ever seen before.

 

JORDAN

Do they have feathers? Because maybe it was just a bird.

 

JULY

No, it wasn’t a bird! Jesus. What kind of bird can pick up a deer?

 

JORDAN

Eagles can pick up a deer. There’s that Youtube video of an eagle picking up a goat.

 

JULY

You know what, Jordie, I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt on the UFO. The least you can do is take me seriously when I say that thing wasn’t a damn bird.

 

JORDAN

Fine, fine, jeez. What did it look like, then, if it wasn’t a bird?

 

JULY

It didn’t have feathers. It was more, like, scaly. Like a reptile, I guess. It has scaly, leathery skin, and its wings are kind of more for gliding than for flying. At least, that’s what it looked like. I guess if I had to compare it to something I’d say it looked a little bit like a pterodactyl. Pictures of pterodactyls.

 

JORDAN

So there are dinosaurs flying around here.

 

JULY

I didn’t say that. I said it was like a pterodactyl, but it wasn’t one.

 

JORDAN

Hm.

 

JULY

Like my story’s any crazier than yours.

 

JORDAN

I don’t know. I believe you, it’s just. . . I saw what I saw, and it’s hard to believe when someone says they saw something completely different.

 

JULY

Join the fucking club.

 

JORDAN

Maybe—

 

JULY

Hey! Look!

 

JORDAN

What?

 

JULY

Blood. See? There’s a drop there, and another there. We can follow it.

 

JORDAN

Oh, man. July, maybe we should go back.

 

JULY

Don’t be a wuss. It’s just from the deer.

 

JORDAN

Still.

 

JULY

Oh, so now you believe me.

 

JORDAN

I always believed you. It’s just now I can see blood and it’s freaking me out.

 

JULY

Ok, just stay behind me. We’ll just follow this trail as far as we can, and then we’ll go back.

 

JORDAN

Ok.

 

[Walking without speaking for a few seconds]

 

JULY

Oh, Christ on a cracker.

 

JORDAN

What?

 

JULY

Jordan, don’t look.

 

JORDAN

No, I want to see.

 

JULY

Wait.

 

JORDAN

Oh, my God. That’s. . . [Puking sounds]

 

JULY

Yeah. I’m pretty sure that used to be a deer. Or part of one.

 

JORDAN

Ugh. What could do that?

 

JULY

I don’t know. One thing’s for sure, though. Whatever’s out here, it’s definitely not a bird.

 

SCENE 8: INDOORS

 

JULY

Ok, it’s now 8:46 pm. Jordan and I spent a lot of time outside, but we didn’t find any trace of the flying thing after we found the deer. Or, I guess, its remains. I told Cora and Dalton about it, but they just said the same kind of thing Jordan said. You know, some big predator bird that can pick up a deer, that kind of thing. And Dalton thought maybe the deer got taken down by something else, like a coyote. Can’t really blame them, with me sounding like a crazy person. But, here’s the thing. There’s something else I didn’t tell them. While we were out there, I could have sworn, near where that flying thing landed in the tree, I was sure I smelled Ella. Which is nuts, because before now I wouldn’t have known Ella even had a smell, you know, aside from perfume or whatever. But I smelled something out there, and I was sure it was her. Like, I recognized it, and it was almost like it was related to the way Jordan and Cora smell. Everyone has their own smell, I just never noticed it before. It’s more than that, though. I’m starting to be able to hear better, too. Like right now. I’m sitting in my room, talking into this thing, and right now I can hear someone’s heartbeat through the wall. It’s Jordan’s. Even if I didn’t know he was in the next room, I think I would recognize it as his. I don’t know what’s happening to me, Ella. You need to come back soon. I don’t think I can handle this without you.

 

END CREDITS

CHapter 4

Chapter 4: Sabrina

 

[INTRO]: NARRATOR

The following recordings were taken as evidence in the investigation of Anomalous Event 2014-7457A, also known as the Ella McCray Incident. All were recorded in March 2014. This collection of files concerns person of interest C, Sabrina Maron. Current Status: Fugitive, ranked fourth on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives.

 

[SCENE 1: TASTING ROOM. CLINK OF GLASSES, LOW MURMUR OF CONVERSATION, RESTAURANT-TYPE SOUNDS]

 

SABRINA

Ok, next up we have our Cab Sauv. It has good tannins, hints of plum and blackberry, pairs well with—

 

CUSTOMER

Uh, we already had that one.

 

SABRINA

Oh. Right, sorry. Little distracted. Uh, so I guess that means we’re on the Merlot. Jammy, strong fruit, the kind of wine you want with rack of lamb. Enjoy.

 

MITCH

Doing ok, Sabrina?

 

SABRINA

Yeah, yeah, Mitch, I’m fine. I just keep thinking about that poor girl. I don’t know, maybe I should have called in sick again, kept helping with the search. But everything just feels so strange out there. I’ve lived out there for a year, but now it just feels like a completely different place.

 

MITCH

I’m sure the sheriff’s department has a ton of people on it.

 

SABRINA

See, that’s the strangest part, though. I haven’t seen any police out there at all, anywhere near the ranch. I know the family’s been talking to them, but I haven’t seen anyone. Not even that lead detective. Shouldn’t there be police all over that place?

 

MITCH

I don’t know. Maybe that’s just how it is on TV. [Pause] Looks like you got a new customer. Don’t think he’s from around here.

 

SABRINA

Ooh, just my type.

 

MITCH

Behave yourself.

 

SABRINA

Welcome to Tres Halcones Winery. Would you like to do a tasting?

 

JOSEPH

No, thank you. I think I’ll just have a glass.

 

SABRINA

You look like a Chablis man to me. Afraid we don’t have any of that, but this Viognier should be close enough.

 

[WINE POURING FROM BOTTLE TO GLASS]

 

JOSEPH

I’m impressed.

 

SABRINA

Yeah, it’s my party trick. Impressive and utterly useless.

 

JOSEPH

Mm. That’s good. Is this your place?

 

SABRINA

No, I just work here. I used to own Eight Tiles Winery, down the road. But. . . Well, it’s difficult to run a business with someone you’re divorcing, so my ex-husband and I sold it. It was that or murder each other, so it was probably the right decision.

 

JOSEPH

Oh, I wouldn’t worry. You’ll get back on your feet.

 

SABRINA

I hope so. I’d like to open my own winery again, at some point. But, until then, at least I have a tip jar and scintillating tasting room conversation.

 

JOSEPH

And it’s a beautiful place to live. Recent events notwithstanding.

 

SABRINA

Recent events?

 

JOSEPH

The incident two days ago, when that girl went missing? And during her engagement party, too. [Pauses] Sorry, I guess that’s not light tasting-room conversation, is it?

 

SABRINA

[Becoming cautious, guarded] I didn’t think any of that had made the news.

 

JOSEPH

This is a small town. News travels fast.

 

SABRINA

Right, but—

 

JOSEPH

Since we’re on the subject, what do you think happened to her? Just between you and me?

 

SABRINA

Most people who go missing either wander away by choice or they’re kidnapped. I don’t know which it is here. I didn’t meet her until just before she disappeared, so I really can’t say.

 

JOSEPH

(Teasing) I don’t know, I get the sense you know more than you’re saying. You seem like the type to size people up pretty fast. Can’t imagine you don’t have a theory or two, since you’ve met her.

 

SABRINA

I never said. . . What did you say your name was?

 

JOSEPH

Joseph. Joseph Zielony.

 

SABRINA

Where are you from, Joseph?

 

JOSEPH

Oh, here and there. I’ve been traveling a long time. But I’ll be here for a while. I imagine you’ll be seeing more of me, especially if all your wines are this good. Here. Keep the change. It was lovely to meet you, Sabrina.

 

SABRINA

But, hey! Wait!

 

MITCH

Sabrina, I think the bachelorette party is ready for their next pour.

 

SABRINA

One moment, just. . . Do you recognize that man?

 

MITCH

What man?

 

SABRINA

The, you know, the good-looking one. Joseph. The guy who just left.

 

MITCH

No idea what you’re talking about. And that bride looks like she’s about to Bridezilla, so let’s get some White Zin down her throat.

 

SABRINA

Yeah, yeah, ok. [Clears throat] Sorry about that wait, ladies. Here’s our white Zinfandel, crisp with a hint of peach and a strong mineral finish.

 

CUSTOMER

Ew, minerals? That makes it sound like there’s, like, gravel in it or something.

 

SABRINA

I assure you, we operate a strictly gravel-free winery. Now if you just take a sip and pay attention to the taste on the back of your tongue—

 

CUSTOMER

I see it.

 

SABRINA

Right, so that taste comes from—

 

CUSTOMER

No, I see the light! Oh, thank you!

 

SABRINA

I don’t—Oh, my God, Mitch! Call 911, I think she’s having a seizure! Ow, you’re hurting my arm!

 

CUSTOMER

The light! I can see it! I can see the light!

 

SABRINA

I said you’re hurting me!

 

CUSTOMER

But I see it!

 

SABRINA

[New tone, strong and commanding] Let. Go.

 

CUSTOMER

Yes, Lady. Forgive me.

 

[SCENE 2: INDOORS, QUIET, BEEP OF VOICE RECORDER TURNING ON]

 

SABRINA

Right. I haven’t made any recordings yet. I know Detective Larkin wanted us to, but I thought. . . Anyway, it didn’t seem important before. But, with everything that happened today, it seems like maybe I should be documenting some things. I still don’t know what happened with that woman at the tasting room today. It was probably just a seizure, probably just one of those things. But she kept saying something about ‘the light’. And, well, it’s probably just a coincidence, but I can’t stop thinking about the light I saw when Ella disappeared. And, of course, I probably hallucinated that, but. . . I don’t know, it feels like it means something. There’s something else, too. When the woman in the tasting room started saying all those things about the light, she grabbed my arm. She grabbed it hard enough that I can tell I’m going to be bruised tomorrow. I told her to let go, and when I did that, it was like. . . I was looking right into her eyes, and it was like I just pushed a button. Like she didn’t have the option of ignoring me. God, listen to me. I’m letting this whole thing get to me, seeing patterns that aren’t really there. I’ll probably delete this later. Now I’m having a big glass of wine and going to bed.

 

[BEEP OF VOICE RECORDER TURNING OFF]

 

[SCENE 3: INDOORS, NIGHT]

 

[POUNDING ON A WOOD DOOR]

 

SABRINA

[Disoriented, jolted out of sleep] Ah, what, who’s there?

 

PILGRIM

[Muffled, through the door] Please! The light called me here! The light called and I’m here!

 

SABRINA

It’s 5:00 in the morning. Get off my bloody property before I call the police.

 

PILGRIM

Aren’t you the Lady of the Light? I walked all night. I walked for so long. Please.

 

SABRINA

The lady of the what? I. . . Who are you?

 

PILGRIM

I need the Lady’s blessing. I’m begging you. I’ll do anything.

 

SABRINA

Look, you lunatic, I really don’t know what you’re talking about.

 

PILGRIM

I’m unworthy. I knew it. I’m unworthy of the light.

 

SABRINA

Wait, the. . . You said the light. What light?

 

PILGRIM

The light you give. You’re the Lady of the Light.

 

SABRINA

Ok, look. I’m going to open the door, but you should know that I have a gun and I’ll shoot you if you make any move to come in. Do you understand?

 

PILGRIM

Yes, Lady.

 

SABRINA

Uh. Hang on a second. Let me try something. Stay out there. I think I have a bottle of Pinot open. . . Ok, here. I’m opening the door just enough to pass this out to you. [Door unlocks and opens] Try that. Drink up.

 

PILGRIM

[Sipping sound] Oh, I see it! I see the light! Thank you thank you thank you!

 

SABRINA

Right. I want you to stand up.

 

PILGRIM

Yes, Lady.

 

SABRINA

Walk in a counterclockwise circle. Now raise your right arm. Now stop. Now. . . tell me your full name and social security number.

 

PILGRIM

My full name is [redacted beep] and my social security number is [redacted beep].

 

SABRINA

Right, now tell me, and be honest. Would you do anything I told you to do right now? Would you have to?

 

PILGRIM

Yes, Lady. I’d do anything you told me to do, anything at all.

 

SABRINA

Interesting. [Long pause]. Now go back to the highway and walk home. Forget about me and this place and everything about this light.

 

PILGRIM

Yes, Lady.

 

SABRINA

Oh, except. . . Tell all your friends to visit Tres Halcones Winery. And to tip well.

 

PILGRIM

I will, Lady. Thank you, thank you.

 

SABRINA

That’s enough. Go on, get out of here.

 

[SCENE 4: OUTDOORS, WALKING ACROSS GRAVEL]

 

SABRINA

Hey, um, Cora?

 

CORA

Yes?

 

SABRINA

How’s the search going?

 

CORA

We still haven’t found anything. Dalton’s out canvassing the town. In case we were wrong about which direction she went in. I was thinking I’d drive downriver today and search there, in case she got farther than I thought.

 

SABRINA

Yeah. Yeah, of course, that makes sense. Listen. . . I was just wondering, have you noticed anything strange happening?

 

CORA

Aside from my daughter vanishing?

 

SABRINA

Sorry. I meant since then. Does it seem like things have been a little odd around the ranch since it happened?

 

CORA

You too, huh?

 

SABRINA

What have you been seeing?

 

CORA

I’d rather not say, yet. What about you?

 

SABRINA

I don’t know, exactly. I think I’m accidentally doing something to people when I give them wine. Or maybe it’s not just wine, maybe it would also work if I gave them food or something, I haven’t had much of a chance to test it.

 

CORA

Not to be rude, but why are you coming to me with this?

 

SABRINA

Well. . . Did that detective tell you what Ella said to me? Before I saw her disappear into that light?

 

CORA

No. What did she say?

 

SABRINA

She said, “Help them find the liar.”

 

CORA

The liar.

 

SABRINA

Yeah. If we’re to believe what your daughter said, someone’s lying about something. And I didn’t really think much of it at the time, because I assumed it was just a hallucination, like everything else everyone saw.

 

CORA

And then you started to figure out there’s something wrong with this place.

 

SABRINA

Yes. But, also, this thing I can do, I think it might help find this liar Ella was talking about. It sounds mad, I know, but I’m starting to wonder if this thing that’s happening to me, maybe it’s supposed to be a way of helping you.

 

CORA

I’m listening.

 

SCENE 5: SHORT TIME LATER, INDOORS

 

CORA

Hey, July? Could you come in here for a minute?

 

JULY

What’s going on?

 

CORA

Sit down, sweetie.

 

JULY

Oh, my God, did they find her?

 

CORA

No, no, nothing like that. Just have a seat.

 

JULY

Um, ok. Sure. Hi, uh. . . Sabrina, right? I know I heard your name like fifty times already, but with everything that’s going on. . .

 

SABRINA

That’s totally fine, I understand.

 

CORA

Jules, I wanted to ask you about something.

 

SABRINA

Here. Try this wine.

 

JULY

No thanks, I’m good. What about, Cora?

 

CORA

July, do me a favor, try the wine.

 

JULY

Ok, fine, I don’t get the big secret, but here, I’m trying it. [Pause] Oh shit, oh God, it’s so bright!

 

SABRINA

Can you hear me, July?

 

JULY

Yes! Oh, thank you!

 

SABRINA

July, tell us what you saw when Ella disappeared. Tell the truth.

 

JULY

She stepped onto the rock. A big dark forest grew around her. There were things flying in the trees. Big things, not birds. I saw Ella change. She grew wings, and she shrank, and her feet turned into claws. Then she flew up toward the trees, and she was with the other flying things.

 

SABRINA

Did she say anything?

 

JULY

No.

 

CORA

[Low voice, to Sabrina] Make sure she doesn’t remember this.

 

SABRINA

Right. July, I want you to get up and walk outside. Once you’re outside, you’re going to forget about the light, and me giving you wine, and this entire conversation. Do you understand?

 

JULY

Yes.

 

SABRINA

Ok, go outside now.

 

[FOOTSTEPS AS JULY LEAVES, DOOR OPENING AND CLOSING]

 

CORA

Jesus. I guess I didn’t really believe you could do that.

 

SABRINA

I don’t blame you. I wouldn’t have believed it, either.

 

CORA

But it worked, so I guess we can rule out July. It wasn’t her.

 

SABRINA

Did you really think it would be?

 

CORA

I don’t know. July would never lie to hurt me, but if it was to spare me something painful then, yeah, she might lie.

[Pause]

 

SABRINA

Are you ok?

 

CORA

I can’t believe I just did that. She’ll never forgive me if she remembers.

 

SABRINA

She won’t remember. But even if she did, she’ll understand that you have to do what you can for Ella.

 

CORA

I don’t know.

 

SABRINA

Should we stop?

 

CORA

No. If someone’s lying we have to know. I don’t know where Travis is, and Dalton’s still in town, so. . . [Sighs] Jordan, can you come in here?

 

SCENE 6: BEEP OF VOICE RECORDER, STILL INDOORS

 

SABRINA

That’s good, Jordan. Now I want you to go outside, and once you’re there, you’ll forget all about the light and this conversation and me being here. Nod if you understand. Yes? Ok, good. Go on. Go outside.

 

[DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES]

 

CORA

I knew it wasn’t him. At least, I didn’t think so. He’s always been so easy to see through.

 

SABRINA

So it’s Dalton or Travis.

 

CORA

I don’t know when they’ll be back.

 

SABRINA

Well, maybe you can give me a call when they’re back in the house. Maybe around dinner time. I’ll make an excuse to come over.

 

CORA

Yeah, thanks. Listen. . . I really appreciate this, and what you can do is amazing, but I just wonder. . . Why are you doing all this?

 

SABRINA

I just want to help. This is the only way I can think of, and it seems like I can do this for a reason, so it must be the right thing to do. That’s all.

 

SCENE 7: BAR, INDOORS, TALKATIVE BACKGROUND SOUNDS

 

SABRINA

Hey, I’m Sabrina.

 

BILL

Hi, Sabrina, I’m Bill.

 

SABRINA

I was just wondering if I could buy you a drink.

 

BILL

A beautiful woman like yourself, I feel like I should be the one buying the drinks. And paying for the hotel room, of course.

 

SABRINA

Thank you so much for making this easier.

 

BILL

What?

 

SABRINA

Never mind. I already got the drinks, so you can get the next round. You struck me as a whiskey man.

 

BILL

That I am. Cheers. [Pause] Oh, Jesus. It’s so bright, so—

 

SABRINA

Be quiet, Bill. That’s good. Don’t say a word. Now, you and I are going to get up and go outside, and then we’re going to find an ATM. Ok? Nod if you understand. That’s good, Bill. That’s very good. We’re going to go to an ATM, and you’re going to pull out a few thousand dollars, and then you and I are going to have a long talk about the way you’re going to interact with women in the future.

END CREDITS

CHapter 5

 

[INTRO]: NARRATOR

The following recordings were taken as evidence in the investigation of Anomalous Event 2014-7457A, also known as the Ella McCray Incident. All were recorded in March 2014. This collection of files concerns person of interest D, Dalton Reese. Current Status: Missing.

 

[SCENE 1: INDOORS. BELL DINGS AS FRONT DOOR OPENS]

 

DALTON

Excuse me, have you by any chance seen this woman?

 

CASHIER

No, I haven’t. Sorry.

 

DALTON

Oh. Well, would you mind if I put one of these posters in the window? We’re just trying to get the word out as much as we can, make sure as many people see her face as possible. Her name is Ella. She’s been missing for. . . Well, close to 48 hours, now.

 

CASHIER

Of course, go right ahead. We’ll make sure folks see it.

 

[BELL DINGS AS DALTON EXITS STORE. OUTSIDE IS SMALL-TOWN, LOW TRAFFIC]

 

DALTON

Excuse me, sir? Ma’am? Have you seen this woman? If you could just take a flier, there’s a phone number. . . Thank you.

 

JOSEPH

Excuse me.

 

DALTON

Yes?

 

JOSEPH

I couldn’t help but overhear your discussion about this missing girl, and I happen to know this area very well. Maybe I could help?

 

DALTON

That would be great, thank you. We can use all the help we can get. I’m Dalton.

 

JOSEPH

Joseph. Joseph Zielony.

 

SCENE 2: IN CAR, DRIVING ON UNPAVED ROAD

 

DALTON

I think there are a few wineries up this road, aren’t there?

 

JOSEPH

Yes, I believe so.

 

DALTON

I’m finding that GPS isn’t very reliable out here. Dirt roads, grape fields, little vineyards, a lot of this doesn’t even seem to be on Google. I didn’t think there were places like this left.

 

JOSEPH

Oh, there are. More than you think.

 

DALTON

So. . . do you live around here?

 

JOSEPH

No, I’m just passing through.

 

DALTON

Traveler, huh? I always wanted to do more traveling. I’m set to retire in a few years, maybe then my wife and I can see more of the world.

 

JOSEPH

You should.

 

DALTON

How about you? Married?

 

JOSEPH

[Chuckling] I’m not exactly the marrying type.

 

DALTON

Ah. Well, here’s a winery. [Car door opening, both stepping out onto gravel] Probably a good place to start. I. . .

 

JOSEPH

Dalton? Are you alright?

 

DALTON

I’m fine, just. . . a little dizzy. I think I’m. . . Oh, no.

 

JOSEPH

What?

 

DALTON

I think I might be having a stroke. I’m hallucinating.

 

JOSEPH

Tell me what you see.

 

DALTON

Doesn’t matter. It can’t be there. Maybe I should—

 

JOSEPH

Dalton. It’s ok. Tell me.

 

DALTON

Ok. You know how we just parked in front of winery? On a dirt road? Well, now it’s a street. There are cars and people. Big crowds of people.

 

JOSEPH

What do they look like?

 

DALTON

Everything looks. . . antique. The men are wearing these, I don’t know, caps and suspenders and long coats. The women all have hats. The cars look old, like something out of old gangster movie. It’s the 1920s, I think.

 

JOSEPH

Can you tell where it is? What city?

 

DALTON

I, uh. . . Hang on. There’s a guy walking past me. He has a newspaper under his arm. It’s the Times. The London Times.

 

JOSEPH

Interesting.

 

DALTON

Interesting?!?! It’s not really here, I’m seeing things, I. . . [Starts to hyperventilate]

 

JOSEPH

Dalton, breathe. I’ve got you, see? I’ve got your arm, you’re standing still, you’re not going to get lost here. Now just breathe. In and out. You’re safe.

 

DALTON

[Struggles for a while, finally catches his breath] Ok. It’s gone. I can’t see it anymore.

 

JOSEPH

Think you can stand on your own?

 

DALTON

Yeah. I’m ok. Sorry.

 

JOSEPH

Don’t apologize. It sounds like a weird experience.

 

DALTON

You have no idea.

 

JOSEPH

Oh, I don’t know about that.

 

DALTON

What?

 

JOSEPH

Nothing. So. You saw 1920s London. Any reason why it might be that, and not any other time?

 

DALTON

No. It’s just where I saw Ella go, for some reason. Not that she really went there, I know that, but. . .

 

JOSEPH

Well, why not? She must have gone somewhere. Slipping into the 1920s wouldn’t be nearly as strange as vanishing into thin air.

 

DALTON

Not sure I agree with that.

 

JOSEPH

Well then, shall we continue? Or do you need a minute?

 

DALTON

I’m fine. Let’s continue. If I have a brain tumor I’m sure it can wait until we find Ella.

 

JOSEPH

You don’t have a brain tumor.

 

DALTON

You can’t know that.

 

JOSEPH

I know. Come on, let’s go find our girl.

 

SCENE 3: INDOORS, PHONE CONVERSATION

 

DALTON

Hello?

 

PEGGY

Dalton! Oh my God, what’s happening there? I tried calling all day but you didn’t answer.

 

DALTON

I’m sorry, reception gets really bad when you get close to those hills.

 

PEGGY

Well, what’s going on out there?

 

DALTON

We’re still searching. It doesn’t seem like the police have found anything yet. Or if they have found anything they haven’t told us. I spent the whole day showing her picture around town, but no one had seen her.

 

PEGGY

I just can’t believe this is happening. What about Travis? How’s he holding up?

 

DALTON

[Long pause] He’s fine. He’s doing as well as he can, I think, under the circumstances.

 

PEGGY

Can I talk to him? I tried calling earlier but he didn’t answer his phone.

 

DALTON

I think he’s out searching now. I’ll tell him to call you back. When are you and Tracey getting in?

 

PEGGY

Well, that’s why I called, Dalton. I’m at my wit’s end. We’re still in Chicago.

 

DALTON

What? You were supposed to fly out two days ago.

 

PEGGY

I know, and we tried, but every flight we’ve been booked on canceled. We tried rebooking different times, different routes, but every single time they canceled. We spent the whole day at the airport just trying to get out, and we finally had to give up and go home to get some sleep.

 

DALTON

Why? Is there a storm or something?

 

PEGGY

No, nothing like that. That’s the strangest part. Every single cancelation was just over some maintenance problem or some freak delay, like the door on the last plane getting stuck. I swear, it’s like someone doesn’t want us to get there.

 

DALTON

You know what, Peg. . . Maybe that’s best.

 

PEGGY

No! We should be together now. I could help with the search, if I could just get on a damn plane.

 

DALTON

No, Peg, listen. Tracey’s pregnant, and we still don’t know what caused all those hallucinations. I’d never forgive myself if she got exposed to something here.

 

PEGGY

Oh, God, I didn’t even think of that. Well, if you’re that worried about it, should you still be there? Shouldn’t all of you go to stay somewhere else?

 

DALTON

I don’t think Cora would ever agree to that. And if we’re going to find Ella I think it’ll be nearby. Travis and I are already here, it makes sense for us to stay. You and Tracey, though, you should stay home. It would just make me worry and I don’t think it would help the situation.

 

PEGGY

If you’re sure. . .

 

DALTON

I’m sure. You stay with Tracey. I’m sure we’ll find her soon.

 

PEGGY

I hope so. I love you.

 

DALTON

Love you, too.

 

SCENE 4: VOICE RECORDER, INDOORS, NIGHT

 

DALTON

It’s. . . I think it’s 2:30 in the morning. I just got to sleep a few hours ago. I’m recording this because Detective Larkin suggested we document anything odd, in case our memories of what really happened start to come back. She said it might happen in dreams, that we might get some more of our memories back in dreams before we remember them while awake. You know. . . That’s very odd, now that I think about it. A detective asking witnesses to keep dream journals? What kind of police work is that? And I’m not sure why this seemed so reasonable before. Oh, I don’t know. Maybe this is standard procedure. I’m not a detective, I shouldn’t assume. Anyway. I woke up a few minutes ago. Or, no, I dreamt that I woke up. I had a dream that I woke up because I heard a sound in the house. I thought maybe it was Ella, for some reason. I got up and went out to the kitchen. It was dark, but I could hear someone there, someone going through drawers and cabinets. When I got to the kitchen, Joseph was there. That’s Joseph Zielony. I met him in town today, and he helped me pass out flyers and ask people about Ella. I saw him there, and, in this dream, I didn’t really find it alarming that he was in the ranch house in the middle of the night. I was just confused about why he was going through the cupboards. He saw me, and he smiled. He said, “It’s alright, Dalton. Go back to bed.” Then he, uh. . . He touched my face. Sort of, I don’t know, caressed my cheek. I thought. . . No, never mind. It doesn’t matter. He touched my face, and then I was waking up back in bed. It didn’t feel like any time had passed, but when I got up and checked there was no one in the kitchen. So it was just a dream, I know that. Still, it felt very lucid, very clear, not like the dreams I usually have. I don’t see how it has anything to do with Ella, but it seemed like something I should record. So. That’s all.

 

SCENE 5: OUTDOORS, EARLY MORNING, BIRDS CHIRPING

 

DALTON

It’s now 6:30 am. Cora’s car is gone. I think she and July got up early to search. I was about to go out and start looking myself, but I heard something that I think I should mention. I went outside into the courtyard at the front of the ranch house, and Travis was out there. He didn’t hear me, at first. He was talking to himself. Or, it sounded like he was talking to someone else, but he wasn’t on the phone and there was no one there. A lot of it was too quiet to hear, but I did hear him say, “They won’t find it. They’ll never find it.” Then he heard me and he stopped talking. I asked him what he meant, but he wouldn’t say. I tried to ask him how he was, if he’d slept, but he won’t talk to me. He looks terrible, like he hasn’t slept in days. He smells, too. I know that sounds like it shouldn’t matter. None of us have been showering as often as we should. But he smells like, I don’t know, an infection. Like gangrene. I’ve smelled that before, and that’s what he smells like. I’m so worried about him. I think he was talking about Ella. Her body. I think he thinks she’s dead, and he thinks we’ll never find the body. I wish I knew what to do for him. I. . . Hi, Jordan. What are you doing?

 

JORDAN

Um, nothing.

 

DALTON

Where did you get that microwave? And where are you taking it? We already have a microwave in the house.

 

JORDAN

Uh. . . Look, don’t tell Mom, ok?

 

DALTON

What’s going on?

 

JORDAN

I got more instructions. It needs a motor, and some other parts, and it seemed like a microwave was the closest thing that would have everything I need. So I found this one in that garage where they keep all their junk. I think it’s probably broken, but I can still use the parts.

 

DALTON

For what?

 

JORDAN

Here. I’ll show you. Just don’t tell Mom, she’ll think I’m nuts. July already thinks I’m going off the deep end, but she’s got her own weird shit going on, you know?

 

DALTON

Yeah. I know. Everyone’s having a hard time.

 

JORDAN

Here. I have the setup in my room. Come on.

 

DALTON

I still don’t understand what you’re making, or why. . . Oh, good God. What have you been doing in here?

 

JORDAN

Yeah, it’s kind of a mess. The first instructions were just for a satellite dish and a laptop and some other stuff, but then they started sending more. I’ve gotten three batches of instructions now, and the parts keep getting harder to find.

 

DALTON

What instructions?

 

JORDAN

On my phone. They’ve been texting me blueprints, lists of parts, stuff like that. That thing in the corner, that’s what I’m working on. All this other junk is just parts that I don’t need, and some I haven’t gotten attached yet.

 

DALTON

What. . . You just got these texts?

 

JORDAN

Yeah. But they’re not really texts. They don’t have a phone number, and they don’t show up on the list of texts or anything. It’s more like image files just showing up on the phone out of nowhere.

 

DALTON

So what makes you think you should pay attention to them? They could be just a prank or something.

 

JORDAN

No. I’m still not sure what this thing is going to do when it’s done, but it’s not just random parts attached together. It makes sense, engineering-wise.

 

DALTON

What do you think it’s going to do, when it’s done? How do you know it won’t be dangerous?

 

JORDAN

I don’t know for sure. But I don’t see why they’d bother sending something harmful. And I think, with the way they had me set up the dish, I’m pretty sure they’re trying to set up communication. I think it’s a receiver. Or transmitter and receiver.

 

DALTON

They?

 

JORDAN

Yeah. This is all coming from whoever’s in that block Ella walked into. I know it.

 

DALTON

Jordan, maybe you need to step back and take a breath. This all sounds—

 

JORDAN

Crazy? I know. I know I sound like I’m ten minutes away from wearing a tinfoil hat. That’s what July said. But look, Dalton, you can see the messages right here.

 

DALTON

That doesn’t mean—

 

JORDAN

What have you been seeing?

 

DALTON

What?

 

JORDAN

We’ve all been seeing things since it happened. Or hearing things, or smelling things, or whatever. What have you been seeing?

 

DALTON

I don’t understand.

 

JORDAN

Yeah, you do. Come on, man, we’re way past the denial phase here.

 

DALTON

You’re right. I’ve been seeing the past. A city in the past. I think about a hundred years ago.

 

JORDAN

Look, I think. . . I don’t believe in sci-fi shit. I really don’t. But if we don’t have any real leads, and if we don’t have any better ideas about finding Ella, then I think we should just, I don’t know, embrace this stuff. See where it leads.

 

DALTON

I don’t know, Jordan. It seems like nurturing these fantasies might be unhealthy.

 

JORDAN

Do you have a better idea?

 

DALTON

[Long pause] No.

 

JORDAN

Then, come on, man, let’s embrace the madness.

 

SCENE 6: OUTDOORS, WALKING ON GRAVEL

 

JOSEPH

Dalton. I was just about to come up to the house.

 

DALTON

Hi, Joseph. Thanks for coming out here so early. Uh. . . Just curious, were you around here last night?

 

JOSEPH

No, of course not. Why?

 

DALTON

Doesn’t matter, I must have just had a dream or something.

 

JOSEPH

A dream? What was I doing?

 

DALTON

Nothing, doesn’t matter. [Clears throat] I was thinking.

 

JOSEPH

Yes?

 

DALTON

These hallucinations I’ve been having. I’ve been, I don’t know, fighting them would be the best way to put it. And I wonder if maybe I should just be more open to what they have to show me.

 

JOSEPH

You’re starting to come around to the idea that they might be real.

 

DALTON

No, no, no, I don’t think they’re real. I just think maybe my subconscious is trying to tell me something. Maybe if I stop fighting it I’ll remember something I forgot about when Ella disappeared. [Pause] Never mind, bad idea, forget I said anything.

 

JOSEPH

Not at all. I think it sounds like our best option.

 

DALTON

Does it?

 

JOSEPH

Of course. And then there’s the fact that I’m curious about what you’re seeing.

 

DALTON

Ok. I guess now I just wait for another episode. Maybe we should keep searching in the meantime?

 

JOSEPH

I don’t think you need to wait for an episode. I think you can bring one on.

 

DALTON

How?

 

JOSEPH

If your subconscious is trying to tell you something, you only need to stop fighting it. Here. Close your eyes.

 

DALTON

Ok.

 

JOSEPH

Picture that street. The place Ella went into. Form a clear image in your mind.

 

DALTON

Ok.

 

JOSEPH

Now. Take yourself there.

 

DALTON

Oh, God.

 

BACKGROUND SOUND CHANGES. NOW WE HEAR A BUSY STREET, OLD CARS, BACKGROUND CHATTER OF PEOPLE PASSING BY ON THE SIDEWALK.

 

JOSEPH

Are you there?

 

DALTON

Yes. It’s clearer than before. Before I could only see it, but now I can hear it. I can smell it.

 

JOSEPH

Where are you? Where exactly?

 

DALTON

I’m on the sidewalk. It’s busy. There are people everywhere.

 

JOSEPH

Are they walking around you? Do they seem to know you’re there?

 

DALTON

I don’t know. It’s hard to tell. No one’s bumping into me. I think. . . Ok, a woman just made eye contact and stepped around me. She definitely knew I was there.

 

JOSEPH

Interesting.

 

DALTON

What does that mean?

 

JOSEPH

I don’t know. I think you should explore.

 

DALTON

I don’t know. What happens if I move out of this spot and I can’t find my way back? What if I get stuck here?

 

JOSEPH

I don’t think that’s going to happen. I still see you standing on a driveway. You haven’t gone anywhere from my perspective.

 

DALTON

Still, what if I, I don’t know, fade or something? Or what if I think I’m walking on a sidewalk here but I wander onto the highway or fall into a hole back there—

 

JOSEPH

Here. I’ll just keep hold of your arm, and I’ll make sure you don’t fall into a hole. Or disappear. Is that alright?

 

DALTON

Yeah. Yeah, that’s ok.

 

JOSEPH

Remember to breathe, Dalton. Don’t panic.

 

DALTON

[Taking deep breaths] Ok. I’m ok.

 

JOSEPH

Good. Now let’s go explore the 1920s.

 

END CREDITS

Chapter 6

 

[INTRO]: NARRATOR

The following recordings were taken as evidence in the investigation of Anomalous Event 2014-7457A, also known as the Ella McCray Incident. All were recorded in March 2014. This collection of files concerns person of interest E, Cora McCray. Current Status: Unknown. Note that subject has not been reported as a missing person.

 

SCENE 1

 

CORA

Remember the first time you disappeared? Remember that first time? I’ll never forget it. You loved hide and seek when you were a kid. Loved it. You asked to play every day, even after we both knew every hiding place in that damn house. And then, one day, you were almost four. It was just you and me, before Jordan was born. We were at the grocery store. Bashas. The Bashas on 7th Avenue. I turned around to get a box of cereal, and when I turned back around you were gone. I looked in the next aisle and you weren’t there, and I just panicked. I started yelling your name, and you didn’t come to me, and then the store manager and the cashiers were looking for you, and we were about to call the cops. And I knew, I just knew, you were gone for good. I felt it in my bones.

But then we found you. You were hiding behind this Halloween decoration display. And you looked so pleased with yourself, and then you got so confused when I screamed and cried and told you how much trouble you were in. And I realized, later, I realized why you were so confused. It was because it never occurred to you that I wouldn’t be able to find you.

I know I’ve told you that story before. You and Jordan both. I know I’ve told you that, but here’s the part I never told you before. That feeling, that feeling that you were gone forever, that never went away. Never. And I think. . . Now I wonder if I just always knew this was going to happen. Maybe I knew, deep down, somehow, that there would be a time you’d disappear for real.

How the fuck did I know that, Ella? How did I know that almost twenty-five years before it happened?

[Under her breath] Where are you? Come on, where are you? Come on, Ella, talk to me. Please, please, please. Ella, please.

 

JULY

[Calling from a distance] Cora!

 

CORA

[Clearing throat, adopting a calmer, more composed tone] Yeah.

 

JULY

Ok, I’m putting my foot down. This is day three without sleep. You’re getting some rest.

 

CORA

No, Jules, I’m fine. Really. I don’t need it.

 

JULY

It wasn’t a request, Cora. Either come in now or I’ll drug your food. You know I will.

 

JULY

That a girl.

 

SCENE 2: INDOORS

 

CORA

[Sleepy, just waking up] Uh. What? Shit. Fell asleep. Ok. [Pause, rustling of paper]. Oh, my God. Jordan! July!

 

[FOOTSTEPS RUNNING, DOOR BANGING OPEN]

 

JORDAN

Mom! What’s wrong?

 

JULY

Cora? Are you ok?

 

CORA

She left a note.

 

JORDAN

What?

 

CORA

Ella came back, sometime last night, and she left a note. Look.

 

JORDAN

That. . . That does look like her handwriting.

 

JULY

Let me see. What does it say?

 

CORA

I don’t know. It doesn’t make much sense.

 

JULY

Read it.

 

CORA

Ok. It. . . Here’s what it says. Dear Mom,

Today was rough. I went with Diaz and Abbot to check on a supply cache, and we ran into an AG patrol. Abbot got killed right away. Diaz took a flechette in the thigh. Doc thinks she’ll keep the leg, but his stitch work is getting worse with his eyesight going so it’s gonna leave one hell of a scar. Anyway, just after Diaz went down I managed to get the sonic out, and then I finished them off while they rolled around and squealed about their ears bleeding.

Turned their own augments against them, just like you taught me. Never fails.

I know you’d say any day you walk away from in one piece is a good one, but it’s gonna take a while for the camp to get over losing Abbot. Telling his wife might have been worse than watching him die.

Thanks for listening, Mom.

Love,

Ella

 

JULY

Well, what the shit does that mean? And who are Diaz and Abbot?

 

JORDAN

It sounds like some kind of Mad Max stuff. That doesn’t make sense, Ella hates dystopian sci-fi, so why would she come up with that?

 

JULY

Maybe it’s a message. Like, she knows that we know that she hates dystopian sci-fi, so if she’s being forced to write something, she goes with something she knows we’d notice is off.

 

JORDAN

I don’t think so. What kind of kidnapper would bring this kind of note back to the house? It would only make everyone more suspicious and want to find her even more. No, she must have written this on her own.

 

CORA

None of it makes any sense. It doesn’t even sound like her. She’s always optimistic and this sounds, I don’t know, jaded.

 

DALTON

What’s going on? I heard voices.

 

CORA

Dalton, she came back.

 

DALTON

What?

 

JORDAN

It looks like Ella came back in the night. She left a note. It’s. . . It’s pretty crazy. If this really is her writing it, then she’s hallucinating worse than any of us.

 

CORA

But she came back! That’s what’s important. She’s out there, and she’s alive.

 

DALTON

My God. I’ve got to tell Travis. Travis! Travis, get up! [Voice fades as he goes down the hall]

 

JORDAN

I’m going to go call Detective Larkin.

 

DALTON

Cora, Travis isn’t in his room.

 

CORA

Maybe he got a note, too. Maybe he. . . I’m checking his room.

 

DALTON

Cora, I’m sure he doesn’t know anything. He’d have told us.

 

CORA

No offense, Dalton, but I’m not sure that’s true. The way he’s been acting, he doesn’t have much of my trust anymore.

 

DALTON

That’s not fair.

 

CORA

My kid’s missing, I don’t give a shit about fair. Ok, let’s see. . . Jesus, what’s that smell?

 

JULY

Oh, God, that’s rancid. I’m gonna barf if I stay here, excuse me.

 

DALTON

Maybe he left some food somewhere and it’s rotting. That’s what it smells like.

 

CORA

Maybe. [Rustle of her moving and checking things in the room, tossing things to the floor]

 

JULY

He’s coming back. I can hear him at the end of the driveway.

 

DALTON

The driveway’s a quarter mile long, how could you hear that?

 

JULY

I just can. Come on, let’s go see if he heard anything.

 

[SCENE 3: OUTDOORS, SEVERAL SETS OF FOOTSTEPS WALKING ALONG A GRAVEL ROAD]

 

DALTON

There he is. Travis!

 

TRAVIS

What’s going on?

 

CORA

Did you hear anything from her?

 

TRAVIS

What do you mean?

 

DALTON

Travis, Ella came back sometime last night. She left a note.

 

TRAVIS

No, she didn’t.

 

CORA

Yes, she did. This is her handwriting. Look at it!

 

TRAVIS

No. It’s a fake. They want us to think she’s alive, so we’ll let our guard down. That’s when they’ll make their move.

 

CORA

They? Who’s ‘they’?

 

JULY

[Quietly, for Cora’s ears only] Oh, fuck. Cora, don’t push him.

 

CORA

What do you mean?

 

JULY

He’s. . . I can smell. . .

 

CORA

No, you know what? Fuck this. I’m sick and tired of pussyfooting around you. No, Dalton, don’t interrupt me. I know he’s your son and you want to stand up for him, but he knows more than he’s saying. Somebody lied about what they saw, and I’ve ruled out everyone but him, and—

 

JULY

What do you mean? How did you rule people out?

 

CORA

It. . . It doesn’t matter. The point is, Travis, you’ve been acting suspicious since she disappeared. We’ve all seen it. So you better tell me what you know right now or so help me God—

 

TRAVIS

Here’s what I know. She’s dead. Someone planned it. Someone in the house, someone close to Ella, they betrayed her. They were in on it. And I’m going to smoke them out.

 

DALTON

Travis, please, calm down. When was the last time you slept?

 

TRAVIS

It doesn’t matter. He says I don’t need sleep anymore. He says I’m beyond sleep.

 

CORA

He?

 

TRAVIS

It doesn’t matter. I’m going to find whoever betrayed Ella and I’m gonna kill them. That’s more than any of you are going to do.

 

[Footsteps walking away]

 

DALTON

Travis, wait! [Runs after him]

 

JULY

Cora, listen to me. Stay away from him. Don’t antagonize him.

 

CORA

Oh, what, now you want to coddle him like everyone else?

 

JULY

No, I don’t give a fuck about that asshole. I never have. I’m worried about you.

 

CORA

What are you talking about?

 

JULY

His smell. Cora, I can smell blood on him. It’s someone else’s blood, not his. It smelled like a lot.

 

CORA

How could you possibly know that?

 

JULY

Ever since it happened, I’ve. . . Something’s happening to me, Cora. My eyesight, my sense of smell. There’s something going on with my muscles, my skin. I don’t know what’s going on with me, but I keep having these dreams where I’m turning into something else, and I’m not sure they’re really dreams. Just. . . If something happens to me, stay away from Travis. And keep Jordan away from him.

 

CORA

Jules, sweetie, it’s ok. Nothing’s happening to you. Come here. Shh. It’s ok.

 

SCENE 4: INDOORS

 

[PHONE RINGS]

 

CORA

Hello?

 

ESTEBAN

Cora, it’s me.

 

CORA

Hey, Esteban. Jordan told me you’ve been trying to get out of Alaska.

 

ESTEBAN

Yeah, that’s why I’m calling. I’ve been trying for days, and I just can’t get a flight out of Ketchikan. I’ve never seen anything like it. Winter storms, yeah, those’ll get you stranded for weeks, but I’ve never seen anything like this during the summer. I’m sorry, I’m trying to figure something out.

 

CORA

Don’t worry about it. Everyone else is having trouble getting here, too. Dalton’s wife, July’s girlfriend, they’re all trying to get here to help but no one seems to be able to get a flight.

 

ESTEBAN

That’s weird, right?

 

CORA

[Exhausted] I don’t know. I don’t know what’s weird and what’s normal anymore. Ella’s alive, Esteban. She left a note last night, but it’s crazy. Just this rambling nonsense, and I don’t understand why she would have any reason to run off. I should be relieved that she wasn’t kidnapped, but at the same time I’m just more worried now than ever. I mean, why would she do this? [Long pause] Esteban?

 

ESTEBAN

I, uh. . . Listen, Cora, I think you should talk to Jordan.

 

CORA

Jordan? Why?

 

ESTEBAN

Ok, look, I’m not supposed to share this, but considering the circumstances. . .

 

SCENE 5: INDOORS

 

DOOR SLAMS OPEN

 

CORA

Jordan! How could you not tell me?

 

JORDAN

Jesus! What?

 

CORA

You know what.

 

JORDAN

Oh. You talked to Dad.

 

CORA

Yes, I talked to your dad. And why the fuck did I have to hear this from him, over three days after she went missing? What the fuck is wrong with you? Tell me everything. Tell me everything you know.

 

JORDAN

Look, I don’t know much. Dad probably told you everything. He and I were working on the car, two weeks ago. And Ella showed up, just, a mess. She was crying and not making a whole lot of sense. But she said she didn’t want to marry Travis. She said it was too late to cancel the engagement party without costing Dalton all this money on the rental place, but she was planning on calling the wedding off right afterwards.

 

CORA

How could you keep this from me? How could she keep this from me?

 

JORDAN

She made me swear I’d never tell. And I didn’t think it had anything to do with—

 

CORA

You can’t know that! Look at how Travis has been acting. What if he found out?

 

JORDAN

You don’t think he could have—

 

CORA

I have no idea. But if he did, you just cost us days we could have spent looking into it.

 

JORDAN

Mom.

 

CORA

No. I can’t talk to you right now. I can’t fucking believe you did this.

 

SCENE 6: INDOORS

 

[DOOR SLAMS]

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

[Voicemail message] You’ve reached Detective Tessa Larkin. I’m not available to take your call. If this is an emergency, hang up and—

 

CORA

Goddammit! Do you ever pick up your fucking phone?

 

JULY

Cora? What’s going on?

 

CORA

Did you know?

 

JULY

Know what?

 

CORA

That Ella was calling off the wedding.

 

JULY

What? She was?

 

CORA

Well, at least I can still trust one of you. Yeah. July told Jordan she was calling off the wedding.

 

JULY

Cora, keep your voice down.

 

TRAVIS

[Door opens] Too late. I already heard.

 

JULY

Oh, shit. Travis—

 

CORA

You’re saying you didn’t know?

 

TRAVIS

It’s not true. It’s part of their plan, making me think that. She never would have called it off. It’s one of their lies.

 

CORA

They? Stop with the—

 

JULY

Cora. Stop. You need to take a breath. Remember what we talked about.

 

TRAVIS

This is bullshit. I’m not listening to their lies anymore. They’re trying to make me lose focus, lose focus, and then. . . No. [Door slams].

 

JULY

You ok? Calmed down?

 

CORA

I’m sorry. I just don’t understand why Jordan wouldn’t tell me.

 

JULY

Try not to be too hard on him. He’s twenty, Cora. Still pretty much a kid. I think we forget that, sometimes, because he’s Jordan.

 

CORA

Yeah. Maybe you’re right. I need. . . I think I need to go out and look now.

 

JULY

We’ve already seen every square inch of this place.

 

CORA

I know. But if she’s moving around, if she came back. . .

 

JULY

Ok, I’ll go with you. We’ll be safer in pairs.

 

CORA

No. I think I need some time.

 

JULY

Ok. If you’re sure. I’ll be here if you need anything.

 

CORA

I know, sweetie.

 

SCENE 7: OUTDOORS, DAYTIME, FOOTSTEPS

 

CORA

Come on. Where’d you go? Where are you? Goddammit, Ella, stop playing games with me, I can’t go through this again, not again.

 

[Loud snap, branch breaking, followed by mechanical whir]

 

CORA

Ella?

 

[More snaps and mechanical sounds, something coming through the brush]

 

CORA

Oh, fuck! [Running, breathing heavily, the mechanical thing in pursuit]

 

[Crashing across a stream, coming to a halt]

 

CORA

[Whispering] Ok. Ok. There’s someone out there. If I don’t make it and you’re hearing this, I think it’s a man. It’s not the thing July says she saw, not the flying thing. This was, is, it’s some kind of machine. It’s like a drone, it flies, but it has these sharp little legs sticking off it. It came out of the area just past the stream, right near where Ella disappeared. It. . . I think the landscape changed again. It looked like a desert again, like when she disappeared, and this thing was standing there. It ran right at me, just through that desert and into the trees. I don’t know where it is now. I. . . Shit.

 

[MECHANICAL WHIR AGAIN]

 

CORA

[Screaming] Oh God, no, get off! Ow!

 

[WHIR RETREATS AS MACHINE FLIES AWAY]

 

CORA

[Breathes heavily for several seconds] Ok. Ok. I think it’s gone. It grabbed at my face, my head. . . Jesus, it ripped out a piece of my hair. But that’s it, I think, I don’t think I’m too hurt. Still, I think I’m going to make a run for it back to the house. Ok. I’m ready. Go.

 

SCENE 8: OUTDOORS. FAST-MOVING FOOTSTEPS AS CORA RUNS.

 

JORDAN

Mom?

 

CORA

Jordan! Get down, get down. Hide.

 

JORDAN

[Whispering] What’s going on?

 

CORA

There’s something out there. You must have walked right past it. Some kind of machine.

 

JORDAN

What?

 

CORA

Shh.

 

[Thirty seconds of quiet, insects in background]

 

JORDAN

Mom, I don’t think there’s anyone else out here. See, it’s gone from the tracker.

 

CORA

What? What is that?

 

JORDAN

The thing I’ve been working on. I got most of the parts set up, and a little while ago I got some programming instructions for an app. Look.

 

CORA

What am I looking at?

 

JORDAN

I don’t know. The thing I’m building, I thought maybe it was for communication. You know, transmitting and receiving over long distances. Now I’m thinking maybe it’s a tracking device. I got this program installed, and right away my phone started tracking something. See, this is a map, and there was a dot that started out here and moved toward the stream.

 

CORA

That’s it. That’s where it was.

 

JORDAN

But now it’s gone.

 

CORA

You mean it’s out of range, or something?

 

JORDAN

I don’t think so. This map expands to the whole county. If it were around, whatever it is, it should still be picking it up. But it’s gone.

 

CORA

That doesn’t make any sense.

 

JORDAN

I know.

 

CORA

Ok, well, that probably means it’s safe to go back to the house.

 

JORDAN

Yeah. Let’s go. [Footsteps] Mom, I’m really sorry I didn’t tell you about the wedding thing. I swear, I wanted to, but she made me promise. And I just, I saw what happened, and it wasn’t Travis. That’s not what happened to her, and it just seemed like breaking my promise would mean that she’s. . .

 

CORA

I know. I know, sweetie. I’m sorry I got so angry with you. I think you’re right that it isn’t Travis. Part of me really wishes that it was him. It would make all of this so much easier to understand.

 

JORDAN

Yeah. Angry fiancé is one thing. Messages from a big floating block in the sky, that’s something else.

 

[Walking in silence for a moment]

 

CORA

Jordan. These messages you’ve been getting. I’m worried. I feel like I shouldn’t be encouraging you taking them seriously. This sounds like conspiracy theory, alien abduction stuff.

 

JORDAN

Come on, Mom, we’re way past that. You just saw a cyborg. July is starting to get a bloodhound’s sense of smell. Travis is losing his shit. Other than Dalton I’m probably going through the least crazy stuff of anybody here.

 

CORA

That’s true. But still. I’m wondering if maybe you and July should go home. I have to be here, for Ella, but there’s something wrong with this place. I want you two to be safe, even if Ella isn’t.

 

JORDAN

I’m not going anywhere. And you know July won’t either.

 

CORA

Jordan, listen to me—

 

JORDAN

No. You stay, I stay. Until we get Ella back, we’re not leaving.

 

CORA

God, how did I end up with such amazing kids? You’re just the best—

 

JORDAN

Mom.

 

CORA

Sorry. [Pause] You know what’s the worst part of this whole thing?

 

JORDAN

What?

 

CORA

Not knowing which of the things we saw are true. Or which one I want to be true. I don’t know if what you saw is the least awful thing, or what I saw. Or if the worst thing would be that we’re all crazy and something completely different happened. It’s just driving me crazy.

 

JORDAN

And why would she leave that note? I just don’t get how that note fits in with any of the other stuff.

 

CORA

I don’t know.

 

JORDAN

So I was thinking. I know you don’t like to talk about this, but do you think we should be looking into Ella’s dad?

 

CORA

No.

 

JORDAN

Look, I’m just saying, from what you’ve said the guy was, like, dangerous and shady, so what if he reached out to Ella or got in touch or something? I mean, the guy was a drug dealer or something, wasn’t he?

 

CORA

He’s not involved. Trust me. He was capable of anything, but he’s gone now. He didn’t take her.

 

JORDAN

But if you don’t know where he is, if he maybe got out of prison—

 

CORA

Jordie. I need you to listen. Ella’s dad is gone. I know he’s not the one who took her. I need you to just trust me and not ask any more questions.

 

JORDAN

Ok. If you’re sure he couldn’t have anything to do with it.

 

CORA

Yeah. I’m sure. I’m very, very sure.

END CREDITS

Chapter 7

[INTRO]: NARRATOR

The following recordings were taken as evidence in the investigation of Anomalous Event 2014-7457A, also known as the Ella McCray Incident. All were recorded in March 2014. This collection of files concerns person of interest F, Travis Reese. Current Status: Missing, Presumed Dead.

 

[SCENE 1: INDOORS]

 

JULY

Travis. Travis, get your ass out here.

 

TRAVIS

Go away.

 

JULY

I will break down this motherfucking door, I swear to God.

 

[DOOR OPENS]

 

TRAVIS

What?

 

JULY

I wanted to. . . Jesus, what’s that smell? God, have you been just shitting in the corner or something? What is that?

 

TRAVIS

What do you want?

 

JULY

Listen. You need to help us. Even if you think it’s pointless, even if you don’t think we’ll find her, you need to get out there. For Cora. She’s falling apart.

 

TRAVIS

She should be. All of you should be. There’s a killer out there, and you’re wandering around outside like you’re invincible. We should be planning. Preparing. Getting ready.

 

JULY

For what?

 

TRAVIS

You know.

 

JULY

I really, really don’t. Look, can you just be helpful, please, for us? Your dad knew Ella. . . Has known Ella. He’s known Ella for all of thirty seconds and he’s tearing the county apart looking for her. So be more like your dear old dad and help us, goddammit.

 

TRAVIS

There’s. No. Point. She’s dead. All we can do now is get ready for the. . . for the guy who killed her. He’s coming back. Yeah.

 

JULY

Ok, you know what, fine. You hole up here like a pussy. I’m going back out there.

 

[DOOR SLAMS. STOMPING OF FEET AS JULY LEAVES THE HOUSE]

 

TRAVIS

Dumb bitch. She doesn’t get it. None of them do. None of them get it. None of them want to listen.

 

OTHER TRAVIS

That’s because none of them want to face the truth. They want to believe whatever they magical fairytale shit they saw out there. You’re not like that, you’re willing to see the truth, but to do that you have to go back to the beginning. You have to go through it step by step and understand what happened.

 

TRAVIS

Ok, that’s right. You’re right. I should go through it from the beginning, from when she stepped onto the rock. Ok. Here’s what I saw. She stepped onto the rock. Then I saw something come up out of the stream and grab her.

 

OTHER TRAVIS

And what did it look like?

 

TRAVIS

It doesn’t matter. That’s the hallucination. Not the real thing.

 

OTHER TRAVIS

Yes it does matter. Even if it wasn’t real, it still matters what you saw.

 

TRAVIS

I don’t. . . Oh, God, I don’t want to remember that.

 

OTHER TRAVIS

You have to. Be strong.

 

TRAVIS

[Sniffing, tearful] Ok. Ok. It was. . . It was an animal. Or, something that wasn’t human, at least. It was bigger than Ella. It was covered in greasy brown hair. Not fur. Hair. Like on a spider. Bristly. And it didn’t really have hands. Just, I don’t know, claws. Or pincers. That’s it. Pincers. It smelled like rotting meat. It jumped up out of the stream, and it grabbed her, and it ripped out her throat. Then it pulled her body back down into the stream with it. I ran after her, but when I looked down it wasn’t even a river, just a little stream a foot deep. Nothing could have hidden in there. And she was gone.

 

OTHER TRAVIS

Ok. Time for the next question. Could that have been what really happened?

 

TRAVIS

No. No. Absolutely not. It’s impossible.

 

OTHER TRAVIS

Good. Now, if that wasn’t what really happened, then it follows that it was a hallucination.

 

TRAVIS

Right. Of course.

 

OTHER TRAVIS

But why you hallucinated, that’s not the real question.

 

TRAVIS

What’s the real question?

 

OTHER TRAVIS

The real question is, why did everybody hallucinate?

 

TRAVIS

You’re right. That’s important. It means. . . it means that it’s not, like, a brain tumor, or PTSD. It was something that affected everyone. Like. . . Oh, that’s it. We ate lunch just before we went on the walk. Someone got to the food. That’s it. Somebody slipped something into the food.

 

OTHER TRAVIS

Which means. . .

 

TRAVIS

Which means that there’s someone planning something. Someone’s trying to hurt the rest of us.

 

OTHER TRAVIS

And?

 

TRAVIS

And. . . And the drugs kicked in at the exact time someone killed Ella. And that means. . . Oh, my God.

 

OTHER TRAVIS

That’s right. Say it.

 

TRAVIS

Someone planned it. Someone planned for this to happen. They put drugs in our food and then they must have mentioned going on a walk and they must have made sure we went to the right place at the right time. Except, no, wait, Ella was the one who suggested the walk.

 

OTHER TRAVIS

No, no, that’s what they want you to think. You were such a mess right after it happened, whoever did this said it was Ella’s idea. And you were so traumatized that’s how you remember it.

 

TRAVIS

Shit, you’re right. I don’t even know who said it, but somebody said it first, and now. . . Oh, God, I’ve been so stupid. It was someone on the inside this whole time.

 

OTHER TRAVIS

Now for the last big question: Who is it? Who’s the traitor?

 

TRAVIS

I don’t. . . It could be anybody. Anybody who was here before the walk, anyone who could have gotten to the fridge before we ate, anyone around here.

 

OTHER TRAVIS

That’s right. It’s time to be very careful now, Travis. You’re going to have to be very careful if you’re going to find out who killed Ella.

 

TRAVIS

And I’m going to. Ella. . . Baby, I promise, I’ll find out who did this to you. I’ll find out who did it, and when I do, I’ll fucking rip them to pieces.

 

OTHER TRAVIS/THE VOICE

[At this point, this voice shifts to something deeper, less human.] That’s right, Travis. Just listen to me. Together, we’ll find the traitor and we’ll see justice done.

 

SCENE 2: INDOORS. BELL OVER SHOP DOOR RINGS AS TRAVIS ENTERS.

 

CASHIER

Can I help you?

 

TRAVIS

I need to buy a gun.

 

CASHIER

Excuse me?

 

THE VOICE

You aren’t being smart about this, Travis. The whole town is probably in on it. They’ve hidden all their guns.

 

TRAVIS

I said I’m looking for a place that sells guns.

 

CASHIER

Sir, this is a hardware store. We don’t carry guns.

 

THE VOICE

You’re letting on that you know. We should leave and regroup, then come back to—

 

TRAVIS

Shut up.

 

CASHIER

Excuse me?!?!

 

TRAVIS

Sorry, I wasn’t talking to you.

 

CASHIER

Sir, no one in town sells guns. And, frankly, even if we did, I wouldn’t sell one to you.

 

THE VOICE

See what you’ve done. She’s suspicious.

 

TRAVIS

Fine, whatever [Bell dings as he exits]

 

THE VOICE

We should—

 

TRAVIS

Stop. You keep trying to get me to leave, but I won’t. Not until I find out who killed Ella. So either help me with that or go away.

 

THE VOICE

All I want to do is help you, Travis. You know that.

 

TRAVIS

Ok. Let me think. We know they’re watching the ranch. We know they have someone on the inside. So I bet. . . Yeah. I bet if we watch tonight, after everyone goes to sleep, we’ll find out who’s doing stuff without the others seeing. Yeah, that’s it. That’s how we’ll find our traitor.

 

[SCENE 3: OUTDOORS, NIGHT. CRICKETS IN BACKGROUND]

 

TRAVIS

This should work. I can see the ranch house, the driveway, the highway, and the caretaker’s house from here. I bet it’s her. I bet it’s that caretaker. She showed up just in time, just before Ella died. Yeah, I bet it’s her.

 

THE VOICE

But she couldn’t have done it alone. She’s working with someone. Maybe a lot of people. You can’t assume it’s just her, Travis.

 

TRAVIS

Yeah. Yeah, you’re right. Maybe she. . . Hey, who’s that?

 

THE VOICE

A man walking to the garden shed in the middle of the night. Why would he do that?

 

TRAVIS

Yeah, who the fuck is that?

 

GEORGE

Hello? Is someone there?

 

TRAVIS

Fuck.

 

THE VOICE

He knows we’re here. You might as well pretend you were just out for a walk.

 

TRAVIS

You’re right. [Louder] Hi. Sorry if I scared you. I was just out for a walk.

 

GEORGE

Oh, no worries. I just didn’t think anyone would be up and about this late. Name’s George. I do repairs and landscaping on the place.

 

TRAVIS

What are you doing up this late, George?

 

GEORGE

Oh, Sabrina, the property manager, she’s been seeing rats around the place. Asked me to set out some traps.

 

THE VOICE

Why would he do that in the middle of the night, though?

 

TRAVIS

Yeah, I was just wondering the same thing.

 

GEORGE

What’s that?

 

TRAVIS

Oh, nothing. I was just wondering why you’d have to do that so late at night.

 

GEORGE

Oh, well, my wife works nights, so I’m a night owl too, I guess. Most of the work I do is just fine to do at night. Better, actually. Not so dang hot out.

 

THE VOICE

He’s lying. Can’t you see the panic in his eyes? He knows you’re onto him.

 

GEORGE

Um, if you don’t mind me asking. . . You’re with the group staying at the ranch house? The group that had a girl go missing?

 

TRAVIS

Yeah. She’s. . . She was my fiancé.

 

GEORGE

Oh, now, I’m real sorry to hear that. It’s just terrible, the things that go on in this world. Are the police having any luck?

 

TRAVIS

No. What about you? You wouldn’t happen to know anything about it, would you?

 

GEORGE

Me? Of course not. Just what I read in the paper, and what I heard from Sabrina. You folks just let me know if there’s anything I can do. I know this county inside and out, if you need someone to show you anyplace around these parts.

 

THE VOICE

Look, Travis. Look at the color of his shirt.

 

TRAVIS

Yellow. Lemon yellow.

 

GEORGE

What’s that?

 

TRAVIS

Ella was wearing a lemon yellow scarf when she disappeared. Exactly the same color as your shirt.

 

GEORGE

Oh. Um. I don’t. . .

 

THE VOICE

He’s taunting you, Travis. Look how bold he is, rubbing your nose in it. Sending a message by wearing her favorite color.

 

TRAVIS

You motherfucker.

 

GEORGE

Excuse me?

 

TRAVIS

Who else is in on it?

 

GEORGE

Son, I think you might want to go get some rest. Hope you don’t mind me saying so, but you don’t seem like you’re doing too good right now.

 

THE VOICE

And the second you’re asleep, that’s when he’ll take someone else.

 

TRAVIS

The fuck you will!

 

GEORGE

Hey!

 

[Sound of a struggle. Punches, grunts, cursing. Ends with a metallic bang of shovel against skull]

 

TRAVIS

Oh, shit. Oh, shit. What did I do? What did I do? Oh no.

 

THE VOICE

Stop your whining, Travis. You did what had to be done. You did it for Ella.

 

TRAVIS

Yeah. . . That’s right. I did it for Ella. Right.

 

THE VOICE

But it’s not over. Who knows how many others he worked with. You have to make sure no one finds out.

 

TRAVIS

What do I do?

 

THE VOICE

There, in the shed. There’s a tarp. Drag it out here. Then—[Fades out]

 

[SCENE 4: OUTDOORS, EARLY MORNING. FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL]

 

TRAVIS

Ok, it’s still early. I think we should be able to slip back into the house without anyone noticing. Cora’s been out looking nonstop but she has to sleep sometime.

 

THE VOICE

But the traitor may have eyes in the house. People watching but pretending to be asleep.

 

TRAVIS

You’re right. I don’t know. . . Hey, wait, someone’s coming.

 

THE VOICE

All of them.

 

TRAVIS

Why are they out here? Don’t they know it’s not safe?

 

THE VOICE

They’re in denial. You’re the only one who sees, Travis.

 

DALTON

There he is. Travis!

 

TRAVIS

What’s going on?

 

CORA

Did you hear anything from her?

 

TRAVIS

What do you mean?

 

DALTON

Travis, Ella came back sometime last night. She left a note.

 

THE VOICE

Someone must have seen what we did. They’re onto us. We should go.

 

TRAVIS

No, she didn’t.

 

THE VOICE

They’re doing this to make it seem like she’s back, but it’s a trick. Don’t listen to them. Just listen to me.

 

[Footsteps on gravel as Travis walks away]

 

DALTON

Travis, wait!

 

TRAVIS

Go back to the house, Dad.

 

DALTON

No. No, now you stop and you listen to me, damn it. I’ve tried to be understanding, because you saw something terrible. But you’ve got to pull it together. Ok? Ella needs you.

 

TRAVIS

Ella’s dead! She’s dead!

 

DALTON

Maybe that’s true. But if it is, she still needs you. She needs all of us to keep looking until we find her, or whatever’s left, and make sure whoever’s responsible doesn’t get away with it.

 

THE VOICE

Does it seem odd that a father would try to keep his son in a place this dangerous?

 

TRAVIS

Shut up.

 

DALTON

Don’t talk to me like that.

 

TRAVIS

No, not you. Listen, Dad. . . I need to tell you something.

 

DALTON

Of course. What is it?

 

TRAVIS

I, um. . . Wait, who’s that?

 

[Footsteps approaching]

 

JOSEPH

Is this a bad time?

 

DALTON

[Slightly flustered] Joseph, hi. Travis, this is Joseph. He’s been helping me canvas the town. He’s been a big help. Joseph, this is my son.

 

JOSEPH

Very pleased to meet you, Travis. Your father speaks very highly of you.

 

TRAVIS

Uh-huh.

 

THE VOICE

Oh, that’s interesting. Look at the way your father is looking at Joseph. He doesn’t look at your mother that way, that’s for sure.

 

TRAVIS

Jesus Christ.

 

JOSEPH

I’m sorry?

 

TRAVIS

Nothing, nothing, I was just thinking about something.

 

THE VOICE

Oh, and now look at the way this Joseph character is looking at your father. I think this little crush of his might just amount to something. Explains why he wants to stay here, even with a murderer running around and a conspiracy to have Ella killed. It all makes sense. They figured out your dad’s secret, sent a good-looking man to distract him, and it’s working.

 

DALTON

Travis, why don’t you go back to the house and get some sleep? You look like you were out all night.

 

TRAVIS

Yeah, well, what were you up to last night?

 

DALTON

What do you mean?

 

TRAVIS

I know what’s going on here.

 

DALTON

I honestly don’t know what you mean.

 

TRAVIS

Sure you don’t. Ok, you know what, you and Joseph have fun. I’m still interested in figuring out what happened to Ella [Footsteps walking away]

 

DALTON

Travis!

 

JOSEPH

Maybe he just needs some time. He’s been through something terrible.

 

DALTON

I know, but. . .

 

THE VOICE

That’s right. Your dad isn’t one of the bad ones, but he doesn’t see the truth, either. You’ll have to watch out for him. He won’t be ready when it comes.

 

TRAVIS

But I will be.

 

THE VOICE

That’s right, Travis. Listen to me, and you’ll be ready for what’s coming.

END CREDITS

CHapter 8

[INTRO]: NARRATOR

The following recordings were taken as evidence in the investigation of Anomalous Event 2014-7457A, also known as the Ella McCray Incident. All were recorded in March 2014. This collection of files concerns persons of interest A-F.

 

SCENE 1: EARLY MORNING, INDOORS.

 

[TAPPING ON KITCHEN DOOR, DOOR OPENING]

 

SABRINA

Hi, Cora. I heard shouting.

 

CORA

Yeah, we found a note from Ella. She came back last night.

 

SABRINA

Wait, what?

 

CORA

It’s pretty disturbing. Unhinged. But she’s alive. That’s the important thing. She’s alive. She’s close.

 

SABRINA

Did you call the detective?

 

CORA

Jordan just did. She said she’d be out soon.

 

JULY

In the meantime, I’m making breakfast for everyone. We can’t do a search on an empty stomach. Do we have any meat in the house? Like, beef, like a steak I could fry up?

 

CORA

There’s sausage in the fridge.

 

JULY

That’ll do. [Clanking of pots and pans in background]

 

SABRINA

I’ll help. Cora, you sit. Relax. You look tired.

 

[Door opens and closes]

 

SABRINA

Hey, what are you doing here?

 

DALTON

Everyone, this is Joseph. He’s been helping with the search in town.

 

CORA

That’s really good of you. I appreciate it.

 

JOSEPH

Of course.

 

JULY

Fuck me.

 

SABRINA

What?

 

JULY

Nothing. Um, Sabrina, can you watch the stove for a minute? I have to ask Jordan about something.

 

SCENE 2: INDOORS, BEDROOM

 

JULY

[Hushed voice] Jordan!

 

JORDAN

What’s up?

 

JULY

The Green Man is here.

 

JORDAN

The guy on the hiking trail?

 

JULY

Yeah! Dalton said they’ve been searching the town for the last few days. He’s been around this whole time.

 

JORDAN

Well. . . I mean, Ella did say the Green Man was going to help. Or was going to need my help. So I guess that probably means we can trust him.

 

JULY

No, no, Jordan, listen. He’s not human.

 

JORDAN

Um. What?

 

JULY

His smell. You know how my senses have been getting crazy, lately? Well, I’ve been able to smell the differences between you and Cora and Travis and all the others. Like, just as easily as I can see the differences between you.

 

JORDAN

Ok. Feel like I should have more questions about that, but go on.

 

JULY

Well, that guy? He doesn’t smell anything like any other person. Not even close.

 

JORDAN

What does he smell like?

 

JULY

I don’t know. Not like anything else. Like ozone, I guess, would be the closest thing. Ozone and sage and. . . if North, like the direction, had a smell, that would be it. Things I didn’t use to be able to smell, so I don’t have words for them now. Look, it doesn’t matter. I don’t know what he is, but I can damn well tell you that’s not a human being out there.

 

JORDAN

Jesus, that’s. . . That’s kind of a mindfuck. Ok. Um. Ok. Let’s just play it cool and keep an eye on him. Maybe we can figure out what he’s doing here. [Pause] What’s wrong? You keep scratching at your back. Did you hurt yourself?

 

JULY

No, I’m just itchy as hell. It’s like there’s something under my skin. Can you check my shoulder blades, it feels like. . .

 

JORDAN

Um.

 

JULY

What?

 

JORDAN

Nothing.

 

JULY

No, Jesus, Jordan, what is it?

 

JORDAN

You have, I guess, two bumps on your back. Right on each shoulder blade. They’re like bone spurs or something. Did you have these before?

 

JULY

No. Fuck, are they really that noticeable?

 

JORDAN

They’re kind big, yeah. Maybe you fell and bruised them or something?

 

JULY

Ok, doesn’t matter now. I’ll worry about that later. For now, let’s focus on all the other freaky shit going on in this house.

 

SCENE 3: INDOORS, KITCHEN

 

SABRINA

Dalton and Joseph are outside?

 

CORA

Yeah. I sent them out to the car to get something.

 

SABRINA

Right, well, that man, Joseph? He came by the tasting room a few days ago. He was asking questions about Ella, early, long before you’d think he’d have a chance to hear anything about it.

 

CORA

You think he has something to do with it?

 

SABRINA

Maybe. It’s worth checking, right? Make him a breakfast mimosa?

 

CORA

Do it.

 

[Door opens and closes]

 

DALTON

I didn’t see it out there, sorry, Cora.

 

CORA

No worries.

 

SABRINA

Here. Some orange juice.

 

JOSEPH

Thank you, Ms. Maron. Oh, and a touch of Champagne. Lovely.

 

SABRINA

[Pause] You, uh. . . You feel ok, then?

 

JOSEPH

Of course. I’m so happy to hear that Ella left a note. It’s a very encouraging sign. In fact, Dalton, maybe we should do a quick check of the woods? If she came back, she might still be close.

 

DALTON

You’re right. Cora, are you ok waiting here for Detective Larkin while we take a look around?

 

CORA

Yeah, yeah, go ahead.

 

[Door opens and closes]

 

CORA

What happened?

 

SABRINA

I don’t know. I did the same thing I did before. It just didn’t work. Maybe it’s wearing off.

 

JORDAN

Maybe what’s wearing off?

 

SABRINA

Nothing.

 

JULY

Cora, I want to talk to you about. . . Huh.

 

JORDAN

What?

 

JULY

I don’t know. Weird déjà vu. Something about that champagne flute.

 

JORDAN

Yeah, you know, now that you mention it, me too.

 

JULY

Wait. . . Hang on, I remember you giving me a glass of something. Bitch, did you roofie me or something?

 

CORA

Oh, shit.

 

JULY

What? Cora? What’s going on? Why do I remember her giving me a glass of something?

 

CORA

Listen, Jules. . . You know how you’ve been feeling different since Ella disappeared? How everyone has? Well, Sabrina’s able to do this, this thing.

 

JULY

The light.

 

SABRINA

Yeah. You remember?

 

JULY

You asked me about what happened to Ella. You thought I was lying to you. Jesus Christ.

 

CORA

Jules. . .

 

JULY

You really don’t trust me, after all this time? After everything?

 

CORA

No, no, Jules, it’s not that. I just needed to make sure—

 

JULY

That I wasn’t betraying you. Even though you spent the last fifteen years telling me I was family. Sorry, didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to take that seriously.

 

CORA

You are family, Jules, please—

 

JULY

I can’t be here [stomping feet, door slamming].

 

JORDAN

You did that to me too, didn’t you?

 

CORA

I’m so sorry.

 

JORDAN

I don’t really care about you doing that to me, but I think July deserves better. She’s fucking worshipped you since she was fifteen. She talks about you like you’re a saint. And I you just threw all that in her face. No, don’t get up. I’ll go see if she’s ok.

 

[Door slams]

 

SABRINA

Are you ok?

 

CORA

I feel like I’ve lost both of my girls, now.

 

SABRINA

She’ll calm down. I’m sure she’ll—

 

[KNOCK ON THE DOOR]

 

SCENE 4: INDOORS, KITCHEN

 

SABRINA

I’ll get it.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Hello, Miss Maron. May I come in?

 

CORA

Detective Larkin? Where have you been? Do you know how many times I called your office?

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

I’m very sorry, Ms. McCray. But I’ve been working hard on your daughter’s case.

 

SABRINA

Really? Because I haven’t seen a single person from the sheriff’s office searching. I haven’t seen any volunteers out there.

 

CORA

What’s more, you have no idea the freaky shit that’s been happening. There’s something wrong with this place, this ranch.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Can you tell me what you mean by that?

 

CORA

What I mean is that it’s doing something to us. July’s senses are so strong she can smell an insect a mile away. Jordan keeps getting texts and emails from someone who wants him to build some kind of weird machine. Sabrina can make someone see God by pouring them a glass of wine. Travis, God fucking knows what it’s done to him.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

And what about you, Ms. McCray?

 

CORA

What about me?

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

What has this place done to you?

 

CORA

I’ve. . . been seeing things. There are things out there. Some kind of person, sort of, but part machine, too. And I keep getting glimpses of some kind of, I don’t know, some kind of desert. The place I told you about in my statement.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

I have to say, Ms. McCray, I’m very alarmed by what I’m hearing. Think about what you’re saying. You’re saying that all of you are experiencing some frankly magical occurrences, none of which can be verified. Unless you have some kind of evidence for any of this?

 

CORA

Wait around long enough, you’ll see for yourself.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

And this claim that there haven’t been any deputies searching the grounds. Ms. McCray, we’ve had teams searching around the clock. You couldn’t possibly have missed them. Look out the window.

 

CORA

Oh, come on, there haven’t been any. . . [long pause]. I don’t understand. No. They just got here, they weren’t here before.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Ms. McCray, go talk to them. They’ve been working this case for days.

 

SABRINA

That’s rubbish. I haven’t seen them either. You’re lying, they haven’t been here.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Now why would I do that? Think about what you’re saying. Either there’s some kind of vast conspiracy to cover up Ella’s disappearance and impede the investigation, all while covering up an insane variety of supernatural scenarios unfolding in this one location, or the people in this house have been exposed to something that’s making them paranoid and causing memory loss. Don’t you think the second option is the more likely one?

 

CORA

No. This is real, I know it.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

I’m afraid not, Cora. But that’s not really the most important issue right now. Right now, I need to ask you about George Gibbons.

 

SABRINA

What about George? You can’t think he has anything to do with Ella’s disappearance, he’s the sweetest man alive. He even insists on using humane traps for the rats.

 

CORA

Who’s George?

 

SABRINA

The maintenance man.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

No, he’s not a person of interest. His wife called us this morning and said he’s been missing. One of my deputies just found his body in the tool shed, and we’re investigating it as a homicide.

 

SABRINA

Oh, my God.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

I’m going to need all of you to account for your whereabouts over the last 48 hours.

 

SCENE 5: OUTDOORS, DAYTIME

 

[TWO SETS OF FOOTSTEPS IN GRASS/OUTDOOR TRAIL]

 

JOSEPH

Dalton, I hope I’m not overstepping, but I wonder if your son is alright.

 

DALTON

I don’t know, honestly. He’s always been a little temperamental, but nothing like this. Of course, he’s never been through something this hard before.

 

JOSEPH

Perhaps I could speak with him. My sister went missing under similar circumstances, so I know what he’s going through.

 

DALTON

Really? I had no idea. I’m so sorry. I guess that explains why you’re helping us.

 

JOSEPH

No. That’s not why.

 

DALTON

Why, then?

 

JOSEPH

Well, I. . .

 

DALTON

Oh shit. It’s happening again.

 

[1920s JAZZ SONG STARTS UP]

 

JOSEPH

Stay calm. What do you see?

 

DALTON

We’re indoors. It’s dark, and there’s a lot of cigarette smoke. People are dancing. I can hear music, jazz.

 

JOSEPH

Yes, I hear it.

 

DALTON

Wait, what? You can actually hear it?

 

JOSEPH

Yes. I can’t really see it, not clearly, but I can hear the music.

 

DALTON

That’s impossible.

 

JOSEPH

Why? I already told you I didn’t think you were hallucinating.

 

DALTON

But I still think I am! I have to be. Nothing else makes sense.

 

JOSEPH

I don’t know about that.

 DALTON

Jesus. So this is really happening.

 

JOSEPH

It seems so.

 

[Song plays in background for a minute]

 

JOSEPH

What’s happening around you? What can you see?

 

DALTON

People are dancing. I’m standing on the edge of the dance floor. And. . . Oh, ok.

 

JOSEPH

What?

 

DALTON

It’s not important.

 

JOSEPH

Tell me.

 

DALTON

Well, it’s just. . . All the people dancing are men. [Nervous laugh] Didn’t realize they had gay clubs back in the 1920s, but I guess there must have been.

 

JOSEPH

[Laughing a little] I see. Well, as long as we’re here, shall we?

 

DALTON

Shall we what?

 

JOSEPH

We can’t continue the search as long as all you can see around you is a jazz club. You’ll walk into a tree. So let’s dance.

 

DALTON

Um. What?

 

JOSEPH

Dance. It’s a great song, shame to let it go to waste. Besides, we’ve already established that people can see you when you travel, so this is the best way to blend in. May I? [Pause] Come on, Dalton, it’s just a dance. What are you afraid of?

 

DALTON

Nothing. Uh. . . Yeah. Ok. Why not?

 

[SONG PLAYS IN BACKGROUND FOR A MINUTE, NO DIALOGUE]

 

SCENE 6: OUTDOORS, DAYTIME

 

JORDAN

Jules! Wait up!

 

JULY

Leave me alone, Jordan.

 

JORDAN

She had Sabrina interrogate me, too, if it makes you feel better.

 

JULY

Why the fuck would that make me feel better?

 

JORDAN

Just that it wasn’t about you. She doesn’t trust anybody.

 

JULY

Yeah, it fucking better not have been about me. God knows I’ve earned that woman’s trust. Hey, where the fuck did all these sheriff’s deputies come from? It’s been days, and they just now show up to search?

 

JORDAN

Look, I know you’re upset. I am too. But I think we should talk about the Green Man.

 

JULY

Ok, yeah, you’re right. We need to look into him. I guess I can be pissed off later.

 

JORDAN

We need a game plan. If we don’t know what we’re dealing with, we need to be careful.

 

JULY

I don’t even know what we need to be careful of.

 

JORDAN

Yeah, that’s why. . . Hang on.

 

JULY

What?

 

JORDAN

I probably don’t even need to ask if you see that giant block floating over those trees, do I?

 

JULY

Nope. That’s all you, man. None of the sheriff’s department guys seem to be noticing anything, either.

 

JORDAN

Ok, well, it’s back. It’s over those trees, right there, that little cluster. And it’s shining a light down on the ground. Holy shit, do you think they’re letting Ella go?

 

JULY

I don’t think so. Oh, God. Jordan, the wind just changed. I can smell something from over in that direction.

 

JORDAN

What is it?

 

JULY

I hope I’m wrong. Come on.

 

[FOOTSTEPS WALKING THROUGH GRASS]

 

JORDAN

Ok, the block is gone.

 

JULY

Smell’s still there. Oh, shit, shit, shit—

 

JORDAN

What? Tell me?

 

JULY

 I don’t want to say. Not until I’m sure.

 

JORDAN

 You smell something dead, don’t you?

 

JULY

Jordan, wait!

 

[RUNNING, BREATHING HARD, CRASHING THROUGH BRUSH]

 

JULY

Jordan, stay back!

 

JORDAN

[Hysterical] Is it her? Is it her? Jules, tell me it isn’t her, please, please—

 

JULY

No. It’s not her. It’s not her, but it’s definitely a body. And it’s definitely dead. Really, really dead. We need to get back to the house right now.

 

[SCENE 7: INDOORS]

 

CORA

Look, Detective, none of us have been getting a full night’s sleep. We’ve all been all over the place. There’s no way I can tell you where all of us were at every moment for the last 48 hours.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

The problem I’m having here, Ms. McCray, is that there are six people on the property, all of whom have been actively searching and awake at all hours, and none of you saw or heard a thing. You have to admit that seems odd.

 

TRAVIS

What’s going on?

 

CORA

Where the hell have you been?

 

TRAVIS

None of your business.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

I’m actually curious about that as well, Travis. Where have you been for the last 48 hours?

 

[Door slams open]

 

JORDAN

Mom! We just found a body.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

In the shed? We know. Stay away from it, it’s an active crime scene.

 

JULY

No, no, not in the shed. Another one. It’s out by the stream.

 

TRAVIS

Wait, by the stream?

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Why does that location surprise you, Travis?

 

TRAVIS

Nothing, no reason.

 

CORA

Is it—

 

JULY

No, it’s not her.

 

CORA

Oh, thank God.

 

JULY

It is a woman, though. I’m pretty sure. It’s hard to tell. The body looks, I don’t know, mangled. Like she was mauled by an animal or something. But she has dark hair, not blonde, so it’s not Ella.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

In that case, I’d like you, July, to show one of the deputies to the scene. The rest of you need to come back to the station. Two bodies on the property means we need to secure a much bigger scene, and all of you need to make additional statements.

 

[DOOR OPENS]

 

DALTON

One of the deputies just told me I needed to get back in here. What’s going on?

 

CORA

They found a body. Two bodies. Neither is her, but now we’re apparently all under suspicion.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

I never said that. I said that all of you need to make statements while we secure the scene. Anyone who has been on the property in the last two days.

 

DALTON

Of course. Um, someone else was helping me search. Joseph. He was with me just a moment ago, said he’d catch up in a minute. Not sure where he went.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

I’ll send another deputy to look for him and make sure he makes a statement. In the meantime, the rest of you go wait by that squad car out front. Deputy Alvarez will coordinate transportation to the station.

 

SABRINA

Just to be clear, are we under arrest?

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Of course not, Ms. Maron. But failing to make a statement about such a serious crime might hinder our investigation. You might have information and not even realize it. And if that were to impede the capture of a killer, well. . .

 

JULY

Yeah, yeah, we got it, Detective Thinly Veiled Threat.

 

DALTON

Ok, everyone, let’s go. The sooner we get this over with, the sooner we can get back to the search.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Thank you. I’ll be there in a minute.

 

[FOOTSTEPS WALKING OUT, DOOR OPENING AND CLOSING]

 

SCENE 8: IN THE KITCHEN, QUIET

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

You can come out now.

 

JOSEPH

Never could hide from you, could I, Commander?

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Please, it’s “Detective” here. Good to see you again, Joseph. It’s been a long time.

 

JOSEPH

It has.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Wish it was under better circumstances. This is a fine old mess we have here, isn’t it?

 

JOSEPH

It’s a mess, but still salvageable.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

You think? I’m surprised at you, Joseph. You were always quick to cauterize. Getting soft in your old age?

 

JOSEPH

Hardly. We’ll cauterize if necessary. But I don’t think we’re there yet.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

If you say so. But don’t hesitate too long. This one looks nasty.

 

JOSEPH

Agreed.

 

DETECTIVE LARKIN

Well, we better catch up with the others. Are you ready to play concerned witness?

 

JOSEPH

Lead the way.

END CREDITS