The 3:57: REMEMBERING, Episode Eight – Reconciled

Teaser – Zoey Gladden, the dying stranger, is recovering from hypothermia in her hospital room. When she regains consciousness, she tells Chris of their past connection. But the teenager is angered by having any memories of home and changes the direction of the conversation.



Full Transcript –

Remembering, Episode #8: Reconciled

Original Date: 24 June 2020

Hello. This is . . . The Three Fifty-seven.

[The 3:57 Theme plays]

My name is William Spear and I am the Host of The Three Fifty-seven. The current series is titled REMEMBERING.

And this episode, the eighth, is called RECONCILED. Zoey is recovering from hypothermia and telling Chris of their past connection. But the teenager doesn’t want any memories of home.

And now, REMEMBERING.

[Remembering Theme plays]

Eight and one-half-hours after being admitted to an Emergency Room for hypothermia, Zoey Gladden was conscious and explaining how she knew Chris.

“We are both from New Jersey,” she said. “In fact, we went to high school together.”

Chris stood up and backed away. Zoey continued, “We were in the same math class the day you left. I ran away a few weeks after you.”

Chris was uncomfortable talking about home and changed the conversation. “What are you going to do?”

“Get well,” she said. “Get out of here and go somewhere warmer.”

“You could call your parents. I am sure they miss you,” Chris said.

Zoey shrank under the covers. “It was bad there. They don’t want me.”

“You don’t know that,” Chris said. “Call your parents.”

“I can’t do that. We were yelling and arguing all the time,” said Zoey.

Chris pulled the chair close to her bed and handed Zoey the phone. “I’ll be right here.”

Zoey looked at it, then at Chris, back at the phone, back at Chris, then at the phone, again at Chris, back at-

-“Oh, just call them,” Chris said with a smile and a laugh.

Zoey dialed the phone, closed her eyes, and braced for the twin furies:

“Hello, Mom. . . . Yes, it’s me. Is this a good time to talk? . . . I can’t understand you through the crying. . . .

“. . . Wait, you don’t have to – oh, hi, Dad. . . . I’m fine. You? . . . I miss you, too. And I was wondering if you could, you know, do you think, I mean, would you consider, if it’s not a problem, maybe to, uhm, bring me home? . . .”

Zoey’s eyes opened wide and fear grabbed her face. She reached to Chris for support and the teenager leaned forward and held her hand.

Zoey continued: “Why is Mom screaming? Did she drop the casserole pan on her foot again? . . . Oh, screaming for joy. I get it. . . .”

Zoey eased back into bed and closed her eyes in relief. Her reunion faded into the background while Chris simmered with anger. What right did she have to rejoin her parents?

She ran away over some arguments. Made her family sick with worry. Now she was getting another chance. The teenager despised her as she said:

” . . . You can pick me up at Saint Luke’s hospital – I’m fine. Just a little frost bitten. Saint Luke’s near Mount Oliver. . . .

“. . .By the way, an old friend is here. Chris Rowe from high school. . . . Yes, I’ll introduce you. Hey, I need to get some sleep, okay. So long. . . . I love both of you.”

Zoey put down the phone, collected her thoughts, and spoke, “There, I called them. Are you satisfied?” She opened her eyes to say more but stopped.

Chris was gone.

[Remembering Theme plays]

You’ve just listened to Episode Eight of REMEMBERING. The series music, What A Way – The Prelude, is through the courtesy of Semaphore.

The Three Fifty-seven is an anthology of comedy, drama, and supernatural stories. Theme music is Not On The Bus . . .

[The 3:57 Theme plays]

. . . by U. S. Army Blues.

The Three Fifty-seven is Written and Produced by William Spear.

Thank you for listening.

The 3:57: REMEMBERING, Episode Seven – How Do You Know Me?

Teaser – After driving three hours through freezing rain, Chris and the talking car, an ancient Odyssey, found the dying stranger. Unexpectedly, she knew the teenager. Chris takes her to the Emergency Room where she begins treatment for hypothermia. Once she regains her consciousness, the teenager asks, “How do we know each other?” Her answer shocks Chris.

Full Transcript –

Remembering, Episode #7: The Mount Rushmore of Nobodies

Original Date: 10 June 2020

Hello. This is . . . The Three Fifty-seven.

[The 3:57 Theme plays]

My name is William Spear and I am the Host of The Three Fifty-seven. The current series is titled REMEMBERING.

And this episode, the seventh, is called HOW DO YOU KNOW ME? Chris went with the talking car to search for a dying stranger. But, unexpectedly, she knew the teenager. Chris wants to know how.

And now Episode Seven of REMEMBERING.

My name is William Spear and I am the Host of The Three Fifty-seven. The current series is titled REMEMBERING.

And this episode, the seventh, is called HOW DO YOU KNOW ME? Chris went with the talking car to search for a dying stranger. But, unexpectedly, she knew the teenager. Chris wants to know how.

And now Episode Seven of REMEMBERING.

[Remembering Theme plays]

The talking automobile had insisted Chris travel to a town three hours away. It was early December and freezing rain fell the entire time.

They arrived as the sun came up.

The car, an ancient Odyssey, said they were looking for a dying young woman named Zoey Gladden.

The car, an ancient Odyssey, said they were looking for a dying young woman named Zoey Gladden.

Chris found her under a bridge. She was begging for help, “Is that you? . . . Let it be you. . . . Please, please, please, let it be you.”

The teenager told her, “Everything will be okay, Zoey”, then eased the blankets under her, and gently got her into the warm car.

“I knew you would find me,” she said. “Thank you, Chris.”

The teenager was shocked. “You know me?”

She was losing consciousness and unable to speak. The teenager spoke again: “Stay with us, Zoey.”

But she passed out.

Chris asked the car, “How does she know me?”

The car ignored the question. Chris got louder: “She knew me. Said my name. How?”

The car got louder; “If you want to find out, we need to leave NOW!”

Chris drove to the Emergency Room where she was rushed inside. The teenager parked the car and went in.

“You got her here just in time,” the doctor said. “Another fifteen minutes and she might not have survived.”

Chris sat in the waiting room while Zoey was treated.

An hour went by and then another. How could she know Chris? They had never met before. And how could the Odyssey know about her?

Two more hours went by and Zoey was still unconscious.

Four hours later and there was no change. And the teenager was no closer to figuring out where they might have met.

Finally, eight-and-one-half hours later, she regained consciousness. The doctor came to Chris: “She’s better and wants to speak with you.”

They went to Zoey’s room and the doctor left them alone.

“Thanks for finding me. I’m sorry for the inconvenience,” she said with a weak smile.

The teenager said ‘Nothing to it’ as if saving people from hypothermia happened every day of the week.

Then she asked: “By the way, who else was in the car with us?”

Chris offered an unconvincing ‘What do you mean?’ but she insisted: “You said, ‘Don’t leave us, Zoey.’ Then I heard another voice. It sounded like you were arguing.”

Chris told her she must have imagined it as she was passing out. She shrugged her shoulders and continued: “You’re probably wondering how I know you.”

Relieved at not having to explain the talking car, the teenager sat next to her and admitted, “The thought had crossed my mind.”

“Let me start with this,” she said. “You’re from New Jersey.”

“You can’t possibly know that. The people in New Jersey don’t even know I’m from New Jersey,” said the teenager.

They both grinned. “I remember your sense of humor, too” she said. “You’re from Hunterdon County.”

“Come on you don’t remember me. I’m a nobody,” said Chris. “You’ve never met me before.”

“Yes we have,” Zoey said as she struggled to sit up in her bed. “In fact, we went to high school together.”

[Remembering Theme plays]

You’ve just listened to Episode Seven of REMEMBERING. The series music, What A Way – The Prelude, is through the courtesy of Semaphore.

The Three Fifty-seven is an anthology of comedy, drama, and supernatural stories. Theme music is Not On The Bus . . .

[The 3:57 Theme plays]

. . . by U. S. Army Blues.

The Three Fifty-seven is Written and Produced by William Spear.

Thank you for listening.

The 3:57: REMEMBERING, Episode Six – The Mount Rushmore of Nobodies

Teaser – Chris Rowe’s better life is about to be interrupted. On a cold December evening, the teenager argued with the talking car and then agreed to look for a dying stranger. But they would have to travel for three hours through freezing rain. Will the teenager find her in time? Also, does the talking car have other plans for Chris?

Full Transcript –

Remembering, Episode #6: The Mount Rushmore of Nobodies

Original Date: 27 May 2020

Hello. This is . . . The Three Fifty-seven.

[The 3:57 Theme plays]

My name is William Spear and I am the Host of The Three Fifty-seven. The current series is titled REMEMBERING.

And this episode is called THE MOUNT RUSHMORE OF NOBODIES.

Chris Rowe’s better life has been interrupted by a search to find a dying stranger. But will the teenager find her in time?

And now Episode Six of REMEMBERING.

[Remembering Theme plays]

Chris and the Odyssey were arguing. Chris refused to leave their new-found better life. The car said otherwise:

“You are leaving to help someone.”

“But everybody I know is here,” replied the teenager.

“THE PERSON KNOWS YOU,” roared the car. “You can save her.”

“Oh come on. You’re talking about me. I’m on the Mount Rushmore of Nobodies,” said the teenager. “There’s nothing I can do.”

The car spoke softly, “She’s dying.”

The teenager stopped arguing and listened. They were going to a town three hours further west.

“Okay, I am sure the manager will give me a few days off,” said Chris. “As long as I am back in a week.”

“We won’t be coming back,” said the car. “Pack your things and bring some blankets.”

Chris did as the car said.

They stopped at the manager’s house and Chris told of the friend’s poor health. She lived three hours west and Chris was leaving immediately. Apologies were offered for the inconvenience.

The manager said, “I have an idea.” Money was put into an envelope and letters of introduction were written.

The teenager offered thanks for both and left.

For three hours they drove through a freezing rain. The scratchy music was dark and gloomy and made the trip feel like a funeral. They got to the town as the sun was coming up.

The car motored around back alleys and down to the river. It told Chris to get out and ask for a young woman named Zoey Gladden. No one had heard of her.

Chris walked for a while then went back to the Odyssey to get warm and move it forward. It was cold. Bitterly bitterly cold. The teenager parked the car under a bridge and got out to look around when a Voice was heard:

“Is that you? Let it be you. Please, please, please, let it be you.”

The teenager grabbed the blankets from the car and climbed up the embankment. There was a young woman – grey from the cold – and begging for help. The teenager told her, “Everything will be okay, Zoey”, eased the blankets under her, and got her into the warm car.

With a Voice barely more than a whisper, she said, “I knew you would find me. . . . Thank you Chris.”

[Remembering Theme plays]

You’ve just listened to Episode Six of REMEMBERING. The series music, What A Way – The Prelude, is through the courtesy of Semaphore.

The Three Fifty-seven is an anthology of comedy, drama, and supernatural stories. Theme music is Not On The Bus . . .

[The 3:57 Theme plays]

. . . by U. S. Army Blues.

The Three Fifty-seven is Written and Produced by William Spear.

Thank you for listening.

The 3:57: REMEMBERING, Episode Five – Terms and Conditions

Teaser – Nearly two years ago, Chris Rowe went looking for a better life and found one. Since leaving Hunterdon County in New Jersey, the teenager has worked in a restaurant and begun meeting friends. But Chris will receive information that forces a choice between staying in the new life or giving it up.

Full Transcript –

Remembering, Episode #5: Terms and Conditions

Original Date: 13 May 2020

Hello. This is . . . The Three Fifty-seven.

[The 3:57 Theme plays]

My name is William Spear and I am the Host of The Three Fifty-seven. The current series is titled REMEMBERING.

And this episode is called TERMS AND CONDITIONS. Nearly two years ago, Chris Rowe went looking for a better life . . . and found one. But the teenage will receive information that forces a choice between staying in the new life or giving it up.

And now Episode Five of REMEMBERING.

[Remembering Theme plays]

For nearly two years, Chris worked at the diner. When people heard where the teenager was from, gifts and greetings were offered for friends and relatives back home.

One day, in early December, after Chris and the Odyssey had finished driving, the car said, “We must talk.”

But Chris was heading off to meet friends for a holiday lunch and did not have time.

When the teenager returned, the car started again, “You know, we left almost two years ago.”

Chris interrupted, “And it’s been two pretty good years.”

The car agreed, “Yes. You’ve done well. But there were terms and conditions.”

The teenager said, “And I lived up to my part of the bargain. I play music for you.”

“Well, yes,” said the car. “But-“

“-And don’t forget everything piling up in the trunk and back seat.” The car reminded Chris the gifts and the greetings were for people back home.

Then the teenager added: “I left to find a better life and I have one.”

The Odyssey pushed back hard: “You agreed to visit as many towns as possible.”

Chris began to have an uneasy feeling about the conversation: “What are you saying?”

The car replied, “It’s time to move on.”

The teenager roared, “I am not leaving and there is nothing you can say to change my mind!” Chris left for work and walked through the snow.

The car mumbled to itself, “Kids.”

The teenager’s work was fueled by a fury to forget the Odyssey’s words. Chris worked without stopping until the diner closed, then slept in a cushioned booth, got up, and worked another full day and evening. The teenager staggered home exhausted and fatigued.

But the Odyssey was waiting to continue the conversation. “It’s time,” said the car. “To leave.”

“What could be so important?” Chris begged to know.

“You are leaving to help someone,” said the car. “Everybody I know is here,” replied the teenager.

“THE PERSON KNOWS YOU,” roared the car. “You can save her.”

“Oh come on. You are talking about me. I am on the Mount Rushmore of Nobodies,” said the teenager. “There’s nothing I can do.”

The car spoke softly, “She’s dying.”

[Remembering Theme plays]

You’ve just listened to Episode Five of REMEMBERING. The series music, What A Way – The Prelude, is through the courtesy of Semaphore.

The Three Fifty-seven is an anthology of comedy, drama, and supernatural stories. Theme music is Not On The Bus . . .

[The 3:57 Theme plays]

. . . by U. S. Army Blues.

The Three Fifty-seven is Written and Produced by William Spear.

Thank you for listening.

Beyond Reach – “How do balconies inspire us?”

Vittoria Traverso’s article titled “Why do balconies inspire us?” (BBC Travel; 10 April 2020; link is below) tells about musicians in Italy performing concerts attended by residents watching from their balconies.

One of the musicians is quoted as saying, “A lot of people thanked us for making them feel less lonely.”

Another quote from the article was “Balconies are reminding people of the importance to look outside and connect with something bigger than themselves.”

Two powerful statements at any time; more so during the pandemic.

Rather than stopping with Traverso’s question of “Why do balconies inspire us?” it seemed a fair question to ask “How do balconies inspire us?” That gentle shifting of the focus seemed to suggest a setting and two characters.

The setting was immediate: Two balconies during a pandemic. Characters followed soon after: One for each balcony. But what could their stories be?

Romance! Forbidden, not by families, but stay-at-home ordinances. Describe the suitors. Modern versions of Romeo and Juliet? That was okay, but better characters were waiting to be discovered. How about a pair of seventy-five-year-olds each with a backstory. That worked.

Add artwork, a title, and summary and . . .

BeyondReach-v1

 

BEYOND REACH – A romance between two strangers quarantined in separate apartments during a pandemic.
(Photo credit: Anastasia Shuraeva)

Fast forward from the article’s date of publication through today and a production script is finished.

 

At written, this is a five-eight episode series for The 3:57 podcast to be produced and hosted by William E. Spear. Recording is scheduled to begin within a week. Further details will be forthcoming.

Be safe! Be healthy!  Look look outside and connect with something bigger!

Article links:

BBC Travel: Why do balconies inspire us?

The 3:57 by William E. Spear