Created by: [Tyler]
Hi, I'm [Tyler], and this is all about trying to get along with my roommate!
Edit: It isn't going well. This is the only place that keeps everything up to date in real-time. My phone may be compromised, so this is the best way to keep track of everything. In case he comes back.
a 2x4 to the head
[Note: password-protected and encrypted. We can't read or hear any of the files in this series. Our thanks, as always, to Oliver for his work.]
[Note: This file was originally treated as multiple separate files. Upon further analysis of the original file, it is not possible to determine which parts were written text and which were audio. This opacity informed our rendering of these pieces as a single unit. Thanks again to Oliver for decrypting this file. We trust him, despite the file's illegibility. Hope it makes sense.]
The water reaches like the tree: floor to ceiling, covering, filling everything. As much as Sam wants, as much as it looks like Sam will, he can't spill out of the door.
I hear Sam's voice. He can't hear me.
The tree grows. The water rises. The sky opens.
[Sounds of heavy breathing, Tyler filling his lungs in a few deep breaths]
[Sounds of a door closing behind the microphone. A lock shutting.]
I am here.
The water filters everything blue. This is Sam? The guy I helped, whose worst problems I thought stopped at a fall and some confusion? I don’t even see the couch. It’s gone, I think. I have nothing here.
I think of this as the water in the apartment pulls me to the ceiling. I don’t think about my aching torso and the breath I keep there.
I hear his voice. And then the monster. Cold and gray. Turning with his whole body. Teeth searching for pain.
“When I need you, you’re gone. Again.”
His foot to my hand on the floor.
His foot to my back. I don’t feel that one.
“And again! When our room floods, you’re somewhere else.”
His foot to my ribs, to the bite. I gasp in pain, can’t afford the gasp.
“When I’m hurt, you can’t bother to help.”
I take a deep breath. He’s so tense. He moves. He can’t stop. He paces past me. That costs him his ankle. I drag him into the soft ground. I speak.
I can’t bother to help? Our room floods. You’re in the middle of it and do nothing.
There go a few of his teeth.
You lock me out of your room. I’m stuck on the couch, which you trash at every fucking opportunity. I help you with the smallest nosebleed. You can’t bother to help with this.
I lift my shirt so he sees the bandages.
You’re off chasing a monster, Sam. Try looking in the mirror.
He stares at me. “You think I’m the—"
I know. Brandon and Finn showed me.
He’s dumbfounded. He grabs my arm. I don’t feel the bending. I don’t feel it straighten out again because it doesn’t.
He leans into my face. "Let me show you," he sneers.
I turn the corner.
Books. A room made of them.
An empty bedroom.
I gag, covered in water, clothes sticking and slouching. I catch my breath. In. Out.
Finn is standing where Sam should be. “Whoops,” he laughs through a cheesy smile.
A thicket and a smell of lemon. The light flashes on and off. Not the light. The room. No one else is here.
“Sorry about the arm,” he notices. “No time. Get him off his feet, remember?” He glances up, does that motion with his finger, like he’s counting, before the smile comes back. “Um, flying tackle from the front. Try the neck and collarbone.”
Finn’s face is light, eyes wide. A face shared. The room flickers.
I gulp in a breath. He lowers his head, bends his knees in a ready stance. Is he—?
Two. He flicks my forehead.
Finn is gone.
Back in the water.
Sam lunges at me. I step to the side so his stomach crushes into the countertop.
He pushes himself up. I get to the bedroom and throw the door closed before he reaches the frame.
I try to hide. It doesn't work.
The monster stands over me. I hear his voice. "I thought this was what you wanted. For your blog. Where you tell everyone about how weird and stupid the guy you live with is before you abandon him. 'I need a record at least to show someone else I'm making an effort.' Right?"
My blood runs cold. How does he know that?
"Exactly what effort did you make, Tyler? Besides running away?"
I didn't run away, Sam. You chased me out. You hurt me. More than once. That disqualifies whatever you want. I'm sorry I ever helped you.
The ground breaks under our feet.
Where is he?
Water. Ceiling—surface gone—floor head hard thud—freezing—fading—not quite—blurring—above—around—through. Stand up. Kick—push. Stop. Shark over head—searching. Hide. Shark closer. Hide—hide. Push. Bury. Ache. Ache. Bubble... shark move. Hide. Hide hide. Close. Closing. Touch. Find? Hide—hide—please slow—slow—slow—slow—slow——stopping——stop.
...I can do this?
I have to get air.
Curtain rises on INT. APARTMENT, still full of water. I stand, back to the fridge. SAM stands opposite, at couch. I finally have some distance between us again.
I glance at the clock. SAM swims towards me.
The phone in my pocket RINGS. SAM turns with his whole body. If I go after it, I lose concentration on SAM.
I go for the phone. SAM dashes at me. I duck under him.
Idiot. The phone can wait.
I scramble out. Almost safe again. SAM catches me, GRABS my ankle, HOOKS his arm around my arms. I’m pinned. He drops to the ground, lifting me up and over him until I CRASH back to the ground, behind him now, onto my back.
He YANKS my arm. That stinging pain from the bite is back. I’m vulnerable here. I bring my legs up tight to my chest and KICK up into SAM.
He gasps to get his rhythm back.
(shouting to get attention, then softer) Sam!... I’m not hiding from you anymore. I’m sorry I ever did.
SAM grows, eating up the room. He starts following a trail of words in the water, wherever it goes.
(like the words scratch his tongue) Why didn’t you say that shit a month ago?
He punches my face.
I thought I was alone.
He punches my face.
I thought I was the only one scared.
I take a deep breath, in and out. My broken arm is still numb. I float.
You’re not alone, Sam. I just can’t believe this is about takeout.
(stunned by my stupidity) Takeout? Takeout is a grain of sand on the floor. You keep missing the water we’re in.
You don’t trust me.
(moving closer) Of course I don’t trust you.
I’m sorry. I didn’t know what you needed. And I’m not totally sure I could have given it to you.
Let me be your roommate.
Let me be your friend.
The water falls, just below the ceiling.
We cry. I don’t know when we stop crying. Minutes. Hours.
The water’s kind of nice.
SAM circles around me.
It is. Nice and cool in August.
It’s September now, I think.
There’s a pause.
(awkward) Shit. Did we pay rent?
We have until the end of the day.
You were… keeping track.
Easier than dealing with you.
(resigned) Fair enough.
We don't know what else to do. So we laugh. The water falls. The surface is close to our heads.
Are your ears okay? With the pressure and all.
ME (BRANDON V.O.) [Note: what the hell?]
My ears are fine.
I stretch out my legs, then my arms. Out of my shell.