EPISODE 6

SOOTHING WOMAN’S VOICE: Husk is brought to you by ABI Global. A better tomorrow, a better you. Find out more at anacondabiotech.com

Olga: I am standing in my kitchen looking at the backyard. I cannot help but wonder what Dmitri’s last moments were like. As the frozen water closed over his head. Oh, my poor Mitya. The phone rings. Hello?

Warren: Is Mrs. Olga there?

Olga: Speaking.

Warren: Yeah, this is Officer Warren from the Portland Police Bureau. We just got the results of the autopsy for the body in the lake. [Brief pause, Olga inhales sharply] Well, it’s not him.

Olga: Слава богу! Are you sure?

Warren: Sure as pie. The description fit and the tattoo seemed spot on, but no, turns out it wasn’t him. I’m awfully sorry for the mixup. Sometimes decomposition gets tricky to tell for certain with all the decay, and well.... you know how it is. Still, and I really don’t want to give away the whole cat’s basket, but it was a strange coincidence. Then again, everything about this case is turning into a strange coincidence.

Olga: Yes, yes, it is very strange. Um, do, do you have more information on where Dmitri might be?

Warren: Now we are trying to figure out who the the heck we’ve got on the table down there. We just can’t keep a John Doe in the morgue. We have to identify him and get him out to his family, if he’s got one. Also, we want to know if he has any connection at all with Dmitri. Things like this take a bit of time, you see? Gotta send samples to the lab and check out the par-ti-cu-lates.

Olga: Yes, I understand. You’ve been very kind. I really appreciate it.

Warren: Just doing my job, ma’am. I’ll let you know if we figure out anything more concrete.

Olga: Yes, please do. Thank you.

Warren: In the meantime, you just call me if there’s anything I can do to help. Sure is an awful lot that you’re going through right about now and I’d hate to think that you’re dealing with it alone by yourself.

Olga: Thank you. You are a very kind man. One more question, if I may.

Warren: Of course.

Olga: Please tell me Rebecca had nothing to do with this.

Warren: I’m afraid we’re still investigating her. Her story makes it hard to clear. Besides, there aren’t any other immediate suspects with him disappearing in the middle of nowhere. No, we can’t rule her out yet. But we’re workin’ on it.

Olga: Oh, I see. Thank you.

Warren: Talk soon?

Olga: Yes, goodbye.

[Husk theme song]

Narrator: You’re listening to Husk.

Kathy: Hi Rebecca, this is your mom, give me a call… I’ve got some news.

[Phone ringing]

Kathy: Hello?

Rebecca: Hi, it’s me. What’s up?

Kathy: Rebecca! I’m glad you called me back. Olga just let me know that they got the results of the autopsy in last night. That was quick wasn’t it? Science goes so quick these days. Good news honey- the body wasn’t Dmitri’s.

Rebecca: Yeah? What? Oh my god. Umm…

Kathy: It looked similar, but it wasn’t him! Can you believe that?

Rebecca:  No… no… that’s incredible. I was so sure they… are they sure? Do they know who’s body it was?

Kathy: No, they don’t know, some other poor fellow. There’s nothing new about the case, but I just thought that I’d give you the update.

Rebecca: Thanks, mom. I’ll talk to you later, I’ll just…

[Kathy interrupts]

Kathy: By the way, I’m at the store.

Rebecca: Oh shit.

Kathy: Do you need any more toothpaste?

Rebecca: No.

Kathy: I went into your bathroom the other day…

Rebecca: No, no, I have to go…

Kathy: And saw that you were getting kind of low…

Rebecca: Driving down the road. Can’t talk right now…

Kathy: They’ve got the kind you like on special.

Rebecca: No, I’m fine. Thanks, Mom.

Kathy: I’ll grab a couple just in case.

Rebecca: I don’t need any toothpaste.

Kathy: Just to have. You’re sure you’re okay hun?

Rebecca: Thanks mom… I’ll talk to you soon…

Kathy: Oh busy busy!

[Rebecca exhales as she puts down the phone]

Rebecca: Well, that wasn’t convincing at all. Next time I have to lie about knowing the results of an autopsy, I’d better practice a little bit.

I put on Dmitri’s sweatshirt. It still smells like him and forest with whiffs of generic brand deodorant. He feels closer when I’ve got it on. I stick my hands into the pockets and feel the sandwich bag from that day. I know what I have to do. Next thing I know, I’m in my car breezing along on 224. Every so often I look up out of my windshield to look for stars. It’s too foggy for the stars.

[Piano music]

Morrison: I’ve never slept well at night. I come home, pass out for a few hours in front of the television. Late night talking heads jabberin’ ‘bout new movies or going on about ways that teens are injuring themselves these days. I don’t really give a shit. It’s just background noise. My one bedroom apartment is cramped and looks even worse in the darkness, casts shadows across the room. I move a dinner tray off my lap. Salisbury steak, mushy peas. Could only stomach so much. I begin to pace around my room. Five steps in one direction, six steps in the other. Again and again until my back gets tight. I pause by the window and light up one of my last two American Spirits. I hate the things, but god knows I need something right now.

[Phone vibrates]

It’s 3:23 AM. Must be something important. I put out the last of my cigarette in the ashtray and glance over at the screen. Blocked number? I pick up anyway.

[Phone vibrates again]

Muffled voice (M.V.): Officer Morrison.

Morrison: Yes?

M.V. We see that the results of the autopsy that were released.

Morrison: We did our best considering the circumstances. It clearly wasn’t the Ivanovic kid.

M.V.: Not good enough.

Morrison: We’re moving forward with the investigation according to protocol. Above board. We owe it to those kids.

M.V.: We’re going to need a few more things from you. Can’t have all these loose ends coming back to bite us.

Morrison: You told me this was the last time.

M.V.: Circumstances have changed.

Morrison: I won’t. I did everything you asked. That was our agreement.

M.V.: You shouldn’t force our hand when we hold all the cards. Your past will stay there in the past if you cooperate. Can’t imagine they’d want a chief of police like you if they knew everything you’ve done. These things ruin careers.

Morrison: Please… don’t…

M.V.: Just a few more tiny favors. Barely anything at all. And it will just be like none of this ever happened.

[Pause]

Morrison: Fine, what do you need?

M.V.: The girl. She, she’s too much trouble. She has to go.

Morrison: What do you mean go?

M.V.: Out of the picture. Do what you have to do, just make it happen. Chances are she’ll entrap herself by doing something stupid. We just can’t have her snooping around.

Morrison: Understood. How do you want me to proceed here? Hello? Hello? Oh shit…

[Car sound and music]

Rebecca: It’s dark when I get there. I pull off the main road towards the dam. Fog envelops the foot of the trees. Scraps of police tape from the search of the area litter the ground. A few strips wave in the wind. It seems like I was here so long ago, but it’s only been a few weeks. The air is starting to cool for the year. I cross the bridge and take a left to walk on the same path I ran through that night. The ferns and trees are still as if they’ve been waiting for me to return. I shouldn’t be here. I know this, but I can’t stop myself. I must have missed something or someone. There’s gotta be a clue. Maybe he is back and everything will be okay. We’ll just drive home and Olga will throw us a party. When I get to the clearing and my heart drops. It’s empty. My knees hit the ground and tears begin to roll down my cheeks. Dmitri…

Warren: Hey there Rebecca, what’re you doing out here in the middle of the night?

Rebecca: Officer Warren, I just… I just needed to come back. What are you doing out—

Warren: You know you shouldn’t be here. It doesn’t look good. Not good at all. You understand that, right?

Rebecca: Y-yeah.

Warren: Now, you understand this is suspicious, so we probably have to talk about this. Okay? I’m going to come over there. Not quickly, just approaching slowly—

Rebecca VO: A few more officers appear from the fog and slowly begin encircling me.

Rebecca: Please understand, he’s my friend. I had to look for him. I had to come back. I wasn’t doing anything.

Warren: I don’t know what you’ve done or where you’ve been but this is an active crime scene. You can’t just come waltzing in here and looking around.

Rebecca: Please, please, you’d do the same thing if you were me. I can’t stop searching for him. If you’d just listen to me, we’d have a much better chance of finding him.

Warren: Rebecca, I think you need to come with us. We’ll go to the station. Have ourselves a bit of a chat over a cup of hot chocolate. Work out this whole thing.

Morrison: Warren, shut the fuck up already. She’s trespassing. We’re not just going to have a chat with the girl and give her hot chocolate. You’ve contaminated the whole scene and you may have hurt our chances at finding Dmitri. Do you understand? You’ve put your friend in more danger?

Warren: Well, okay, I just wanted to make her feel comfortable. There’s no need to ruffle her feathers.

Morrison: Comfortable my ass. Rebecca, slowly stand up and put your hands in the air.

Rebecca: What? I didn’t do anything!

Morrison: Now slowly and I mean SLOWLY, turn around and face me. Don’t try to do anything stupid. That’s right. Easy does it.

Rebecca VO: Morrison has a gun pointed right at me. Three man are standing behind him. They all have their guns drawn.

Rebecca: I’m sorry officers…. I…

Morrison: You have the right to remain silent…

Rebecca: I just wanted to see if I could find him. That maybe he’d be back here.

Morrison: Anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law.

Rebecca: He’s still out there. They took him! You have to believe me!

Morrison: You have the right to speak to an attorney and to have an attorney present during any questioning.

Rebecca: This can’t be happening. Warren, help me!

Morrison: Stay there and don’t make any sudden movements. Warren -- cuff her.

Warren: I don’t think that’s strictly necessary, she’s not resisting us.

Morrison: CUFF HER.

[BANG!]

Rebecca VO: Morrison is collapsed on the ground, yelping for help and clutching his foot. The officers break rank and begin surrounding him. My feet are running as fast as they can. I can hear the shouts behind me. Oh god, I know I shouldn’t be running. That I should stay there. That I should stay here and figure it out with them, but they can’t help me. I keep running towards the White Russian.

Morrison: Don’t just stand around me - go after her! THERE IS A FUGITIVE ON THE LOOSE. GET AN AMBULANCE AND GET YOUR ASSES OVER AND ARREST THAT GIRL. AHHHHHH!

Rebecca: I can hear their shouts behind me. I gain distance from them. The White Russian is right where I left it. She starts on the first try and I begin to speed down the road.

All clear, all clear, no police. Just me and the car. Okay. Okay, well what’s done is done. You’re a fucking fugitive now. What the fuck were you thinking, Rebecca? Okay, no, no, get it together. GET. IT. TOGETHER. Okay… okay… drive, Rebecca, drive. Act cool. I drive

I drive straight home and park my car a few blocks away in the parking lot of the local Fred Meyers. Hidden in plain sight. The police have got to be circling the area and I can’t have them finding my car while I’m here. When I was younger, I used to play this game where I’d climb

through our neighbors’ yards and find ways into our backyard. I’d give myself these secret missions - that I was a spy trying to deliver a secret message or that I was a warrior infiltrating the enemy’s camp. Tonight is the type of mission my younger self would have loved. I climb through the yards and sneak in between the bushes between my neighbor Mort’s yard and ours. I can see the lights on in his house. Probably out smoking that cigar again or something.

The house is dark. My mom and dad are fast asleep. Everything is still. I slide the glass doors open and walk inside. There’s a lukewarm dinner plate with pork chops and steamed broccoli on the table. I try not to think of how my Mom will feel when she wakes up in the morning and finds it still sitting untouched.

My dad keeps $5000 behind the bookshelf in our living room as an emergency fund. It’s a weird comfort thing that he developed at some point before I was born. I slip my hand behind the

bookshelf and grab the money. Just a couple of things from my room. A change of clothes, a few granola bars that I keep up there for my long days at work, anything I can think of that I might need. Who knows if and when I can come back here. I glance at my cell phone. I know I should leave it behind but I don’t know where I am going and what if he--. [Phone vibrate noise.] --calls. The screen lights up. Unknown number.

Uh, hello?

Dmitri: Hi Rebecca. Rebecca, it’s me.

Rebecca: Dmitri - what? DMITRI? God, where are you?

Dmitri: I can’t explain now. You have to come get me, I don’t have anywhere to go. There’s a mural near me. It says Anaconda.

Rebecca: Yes. Oh god, I’m so… Yes. Yes. Don’t… just… don’t go anywhere. I’ll find you.

Dmitri: Rebecca, hurry.

Rebecca VO: I jump on my keyboard and print out the directions to Anaconda, Montana. 10 and a half hours, give or take. I run back out into the yard, retracing my steps through gates and bushes, doing my best to remain undetected. Luckily, things are pretty sleepy late at night in this neighborhood. When I’m a block away, I see the cops slowly pulling up alongside my house. I keep walking and they don’t seem to notice me, but I can see Mort’s figure slowly walking up to one of the police cars. I keep going. The White Russian is right where I left it.

I drove out of Portland as quickly as I can, reaching the suburbs and going beyond. I pull off in Troutdale. It’s probably a rookie move for anyone leaving town, but I’m running on fumes. Didn’t really plan to be on the run when I set out for the night.

Gas station attendant: What’ll it be?

Rebecca: Regular, cash.

Gas station attendant: You’ll have to pay the cashier inside.

Rebecca: Alright.

Rebecca VO: I pull up my hood.

Mini market employee: Good evening.

Rebecca: Evening.

Mini market employee: Long drive ahead of you?

Rebecca: Looks like it. Uh… where’s your jerky?

Mini market employee: Uh… second aisle from the right.

Rebecca: Thanks.

Mini market employee: Will that be all for you?

Rebecca: Yeah, I think that’s… oh, yeah, and a large coffee.

Mini market employee: Large coffee it is.

Rebecca: Thank you. And $40 in gas for the white car on pump 5.

Mini market employee: Great, sure thing.

Rebecca: Not sure the white Russian is up to this, but I guess we’re going to try. Anaconda, Montana, here I come.

Outro Song:

Thousand miles on the road

Check engine light is on

I wonder how far she’ll go

And the car man he’s a sayin’

There’s trouble down below

Drivin’ to Montana cold   Oh I-

Know death ain’t to far behind

We’re countin’ crosses on the road

And the coyote he’s a howlin’

There’s trouble down below

CHORUS

Live a mile high

Work a mile deep

Honey’s pacing back at home

As I’m goin’ down

With my brethren

To chase the copper from the stone

Live a mile high

Work a mile deep

My kid’s already almost grown

And I live here now,

In the trouble down below

Draw my fate now from the stack    Oh I-

Don’t think prayer will help me now

As I head feet first down the shaft

And Lady Luck is singing

Don’t plan on comin’ back

CHORUS

Dmitri: Thanks for listening to Husk. You can support us on our website at huskpodcast.com and be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram so you can find out all the cool stuff coming out for season two. Until next time.