1x01 - twelve oh one

TERESA

Okay, so–it’s recording. Cool .

Um. It’s Wednesday. It’s been nine days since–eight days, maybe? –well, if you’re listening, at this point, you know what it was–Benji says we’re gonna publish this, but, like, no. That’s–that’s ridiculous. This is for science.

Or our memoirs. Whatever.

We’ve–the seven of us have decided to keep a log. Of what’s been going on.

Um. So. Cool. Name and deets, just in case some more weird memory shit goes down–My name’s Teresa. I’m eighteen. I’m an Aries, I like bowling and shitty pop music, and only mostly ironically. That enough fluff? I’m a freshman at, ah, Lands College, here in town, and. Studying journalism, with a minor in women’s studies, uh–anything else–I feel like this would be a better story if I start showing, rather than telling.

Or, like. Telling stories rather than just reading out my dating profile. Because that’s lame.

My dating profile’s actually–it’s a lot more detailed than that. I’m on, like, seven different sites, and every profile is. Very Different.

(text notification sound)

[lean away from mic]

Anj, stop–stop listening in! You–you–dude, take a nap.

[and we’re back]

So. Anyway. Here’s what we know.

[long beat]

That was good, right? A good joke? That’s something. Um. Cuz we don’t know very much at all. There’s something there, I swear, like, I rehearsed that bit in the bathroom mirror this morning, and I was thinking, no, I won’t pull that, but–

But. Back to the point.

Y’know how, in movies, people are always like, “Nobody knows except for us?”

That’s so exclusive. So presumptuous. We don’t know if people are lying. We haven’t spoken to every person on the planet–we haven’t even spoken to anyone outside of Maryland. Outside of town. Like. We’ve watched news, but God knows, some of those conspiracies about hypnosis through CNN are real, or whatever. Y’know? Like–those conspiracies are almost exclusively believed in by, like, flat-earthing racists, so, like, they’re probably, definitely super wrong, but–I was making a joke and I’m overthinking it now. Cool.

Anyway. We don’t know who knows. Maybe someone in, like, Caracas, knows? Maybe someone in–you get my point–knows.

Or maybe we’re being Truman Showed. Wouldn’t be the worst theory to have come out of this.

I would–well, I’d hate it, but one time, back in middle school, the public library did these–these movie nights for teenagers, right? And, so, uh, a bunch of us were there, and I was sitting with Angie, cuz she was–she was the only person I knew there, of course, and she was sitting with these kids, like–uh, from the hippie school she had taken in, and–one of them was AJ, I know, and one was Charlotte. but the others, I don’t see anymore.

But anyway, she was, like, starry-eyed at the idea of her life being a TV show without her knowing. At the idea of unintentional stardoms. So maybe she’ll get a kick out of that theory.

Here’s something: I was working on my campaign notes earlier, cuz the group’s meeting tomorrow, should meet tomorrow  and I didn’t really–I didn’t like a few of the potentials, so, whatever. Irrelevant.

I checked the time, and–well. It was twelve oh one. And two minutes later, it was still twelve oh one. And now, it’s still twelve oh one.

I thought maybe my laptop was being bad again? But it said the same on my phone, and on the wall clock.

The app says time is passing. It’s been longer than fifty-nine seconds.

It’s still twelve oh one, though, is the thing. Which isn’t great, all things considered.

But, we’ll catch up on that later.

Here’s the big thing. I went back to the beach last night to see if I could recreate what happened alone, and, uh–at least. I think I did. I don’t remember going, but, uh, Angie says I did, and AJ said that when he was closing at work, he saw me walking towards it. But I didn’t–I didn’t go.

There are sixty-nine–which, yeah, nice, that’s the sex number, whatever–sticky notes on the bathroom mirror, and, like–I can make out letters on some of them them? Individual letters? But not words. And I know that they’re making words, and I know that it’s my handwriting, but my brain just–it goes somewhere else.

And other ones, that I can read, they have dumb stuff. One of them’s just a doodle of David Hyde Pierce with a caption that just says “HELL YEAH. LOOK AT THE MOON WEDNESDAY.”

It’s, like–in fairness to me, or the person I assume to be me, it’s a fairly good David Hyde Pierce. And there’s–there’s a new moon tonight, so–well.

Whatever.

It’s still twelve oh–oop. Nevermind. Twelve oh two now. Nice.

Benji wants me to take off work until this whole thing’s sorted out. Says he’ll still pay me, but, like–being yelled at by awful dudes about trivia that nobody knows is kind of the only constant in my life right now? So I said no. Obviously. Like. It sucks, but it makes me feel normal. Like the beach out by Angie’s place did, before–

Well. Maybe some recollection would be nice, I guess. Just so, like, Danny and company–like, if we end up showing them. Cuz I’m better at sticking to the facts than, say, Robin or Charlotte. So. Yeah.

So. Uh.

Most folks know that she transferred in after a semester at–well, I’m not allowed to say the name of the school in front of her, anymore, and she’s, like, giving me death-eyes out of the bedroom door. But. A certain Ivy League school. This is relevant–

Okay, maybe not, but it’s a nice set up to our establishing shot, which is, of course, her New Year’s party, nine days ago. At her parents’ place. Or, eight days ago, at her parents’ place, I guess. She told us on New Year’s Eve that she was starting at Lands on the fourth, and I offered her a stay in my dorm, cuz I had a single, and, uh, it sucked? But. Whatever.

So I said, “You know, I have a single.”

And she said–wait, lemme find my journal–yes, I do write down conversations, Angie.

Alright. She said, “Oh, really, is it on–Bandcamp, Soundcloud, iTunes, MySpace? I didn’t know you–”

And I said, “I meant dorm room, dude, you mentioned–MySpace?”

She said, “I still use it.”

I laughed, “Of course you do.”

But, anyway. We agreed to live together, but. It was one AM. Robin Cabell dropped by with her new fiancee, said hi, and–well, like, our babysitter’s getting married, to, like, this gorgeous girl from DC, and the high school kids from the hippie school were there, and Benji was there, cuz he’s everywhere, and–

As folks left–Angie started playing Wonderwall around 3AM, so, uh, a little bit before then–it ended up just being the seven of us. Her parents are out of town–as always. Well, not always. But frequently.

They’re mad about–Blarvardgate.

I–I didn’t say it! I said something mildly close alluding to it. Stop texting me!

But. It was just the seven of us there, Angie still playing some terrible 90s song, and–Benji says, “I brought fireworks. Forgot about that til now.”

Elaine, uh, Robin’s new fiancee, asked, “They legal?”

Benji said, “It’s New Year’s Day and I’m a–a bit of a town celebrity,” he said, because his podcast gets, like, seventeen downloads per episode.

“You are?” asked Elaine.

He got really proud, real fast, and he said, “Yes, absolutely, and also, I’m at some rich people’s house and it’s New Year’s Day, so, like. We’ll be fine.”

Which, fair.

And that’s about when things blew up?

Ironically, not literally, cuz he went to his truck, and brought out the fireworks, and he was–well. It was New Year’s, he wasn’t sober, so, he tripped, and those things went flying, landing in the water. It was a bad fall, he hit his head on a rock. And Charlotte was laughing, and she was wading right where the waves were breaking, and she fell backwards, so–AJ panicked, and he jumped in after her, cuz she wasn’t coming up.

And AJ came up, holding Char so she could stand, and she was coughing up water, looked like she was about to pass out. I was checking out Benji’s wound, even though, I’m, like,–blood? Not my thing, ever, at all, it’s–it’s weird and red, and Angie was getting up to check on me, and Rob and her fiancee were trying to help out the kids, and–

And the sky went bright purple.

Not, like, when it’s a sunset, and the sky’s kinda magenta? And that’s blending into the night-sky color, but–

Like, highest saturation on photoshop, highest brightness, makes-you-almost vomit cuz your eyes are burning, that bright purple.

And my skin, it felt like it was burning. I smelled salt, felt a breeze, and I tried to close my eyes, to breathe out, but I couldn’t.

And then there was nothing.

And then I woke up on the beach. I could smell salt, I was totally clear-headed–and Benji’s cut? It was gone.

My watch said it was around 4AM. My phone was dead, but–it was the first, still. The sun was rising, in–in normal sky colors.

And I woke up second. Elaine was already up.

She asked me if I saw it too.

I said I that did.

Neither of us needed to clarify what. But we did. Obviously. Because “it” could be, like, anything, like–could be that new reality show that everyone’s super into where eliminations are decided by arm wrestles–it’s, like–it’s got compelling storylines, I swear.

My phone died, Angie, so if you’re trying to communicate, I can’t help you.

Oh! Time’s passing normally now. That’s nice. That’s good.

The plan was to recount the past week’s events, as well as their psychological effect on us. That’s what we agreed on.

So. Time stopped for a little while today. That was weird. That’s important.

I guess–I’m first, so I should talk about my other big experience too.

I was the fourth of us to see something, after it all? It was the third. After work, I was walkin’ to Ramon’s? And as I passed the custard stand, I saw this woman.

She was shorter than me, uh, long sundress on that was way too summery for this weather, but she didn’t seem cold. I offered her my hoodie, cuz I at least had long sleeves, but she didn’t answer. Dark hair, big sunglasses. I’d wager maybe thirty.

She took off her sunglasses, yeah? And the sky flashed purple–the same purple, the same burning feeling all over me–

And then the same nothingness, same smell of salt, same breeze, but–

I was still standing. And we were in this space, this–this purple nothingness, no ground, no sky, no nothing, that’s a double negative, you get what I mean, and–I was still standing–more floating, which was–not as pleasant as you’d expect? But not unpleasant, either. And this woman, she looked at me,  dead in the eyes, and–

And she said–

[beat, uncomfortable]

What did she say?

[laughs]

It’s–it’s in my head, like. Tip of my tongue. I wrote it down, but it’s–it’s another individual letters making out a word I know but can’t–type situation.

But whatever.

What I’m most concerned about is my going to the beach. About the sticky notes. Like, that’s some sci-fi bullshit. Or some horror bullshit. Either or. Probably both.

Again, Truman Showed. Viable theory, here.

Or it has something to do with the Groundhog Day thing. Maybe.

I think what bothers me about this is how easy I’m accepting all this–that, like, I’m fairly sure all this is real. I know it’s–it’s weird. I know that this is sci-fi-esque, but, like–I never saw myself as a protagonist, or–any kind of tagonist, I guess, in those stories. But this–now, I think that I am.

So. Cool.

But why do I think that’s cool? I’m the–I’m the socially-stilted nerdy girl who either dies second or gets really good at guns, and I’m very afraid of guns.

So, therefore? I’m dying second.

Or, or or or, I’m Lois Lane. Charming and tough young journalist, swept off her feet by a charming stranger. Hopefully not a Superman, though, cuz–he’s not my thing. But. Yeah. I can deal with Lois.

I feel like I should know what happens next. Me or Benji, we gotta, we’re the ones who know genre like the backs of our hands. That’s why we’re friends, but–

This isn’t supposed to happen here. Like, I grew up here, and I’m–I wasn’t planning to stay here forever, obviously, but–This town, VB, it’s–it’s comforting in its boringness. Sure, it’s not– the people here are always cycling in-and-out, cuz tourism and school, and all that, but–Violet Beach is a normal-ass town. We don’t have ghost stories, we don’t have cryptids, we–we don’t have lore, or whatever. I don’t think there’s ever been a murder here, for God’s sake.

Okay, well–the hippie school’s headmaster, uh, the rebrander guy, Andrew Corielli, or–his son’s the mayor, right?–Shot that grocer, like, in the sixties. But everyone was a serial killer back then, if I can trust every true crime show ever.

But–my point is. What’s going on is not what happens in this town. What’s going on is what goes on in, like, Roswell, or–or Twin Peaks, or something.

I’m–I don’t have much else to say. That’s a conclusion if there ever was one. So. Uh.

Okay. I’m signing off. Thanks, guys. Hope to see you soon.