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A note on Grover’s Mill

Grovers Mill is a community that was initially made famous in Orson Welles’ 1938 radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds, where it was depicted as the epicenter of a Martian invasion, on October 30 of that year. There have been numerous references in fiction, including The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, the Wild Cards book series, and a town called Miller’s Grove in The X-Files episode “War of the Coprophages”. In issue 11 of DC Comics’ The Shadow Strikes (1989), The Shadow teams up with a radio announcer named Grover Mills, a character based on the young Orson Welles, who has been impersonating The Shadow on the radio. Welles played the Shadow on radio prior to the War of the Worlds broadcast. An episode of the War of the Worlds TV series takes place in Grover’s Mill on the 50th anniversary of the Welles radio drama, and expands on the town’s ties to the infamous broadcast. (Wikipedia 2018). Grover’s Mill Podcast is a podcast put together by a team of passionate people from all around the world. It has been two years in the making and is meant to be a form of entertainment. It has taken the spirit of the great works before it. It is a fictional podcast, that is shared with you as a satire and parody. The Podcast references familiar people, places, locations, pop-culture, historical points of interest and social settings to give context to the story for the purpose of conveying its satirical nature. The events, conversations and occurrences depicted in the Podcast were conceived by the Producers of the Podcast, and as far as the Producers are aware, they did not actually occur. Additionally, we have used some real-life personalities. However, the characteristics, qualities and actions that we have applied to those people are not meant to be real, and were conceived for the sole purpose of conveying and giving life to the Grover’s Mill story. To the extent permissible, in no event shall the Producers be liable for any damage, loss, harm, cost, disruption or confusion that arises as a result of listening to or engaging with the Grover’s Mill Podcast.

Episode 2 Transcription-The two missing paintings

*Note to reader. This is a fictional satirical podcast designed with parody for comedic purposes only-see our disclaimer on the website for more information.

Speaker:                                   Hi just a quick warning that the following episodes contains adult content and themes that some people may find offensive. Listener discretion is advised.

Speaker 1:             Previously on Grover’s Mill.

Willkie:                   Okay, hang on. So you’re saying someone’s gone missing, and you’d like my help?

Miranda:                Damn right he’s gone missing. He [inaudible 00:00:14] and not there anymore.

Willkie:                   Saw on the thing this guy might have some unreleased recording of us in Wells from War of the Worlds or something and that it’s valuable, and that’s why he’s gone missing.

Brian:                       No, he’s my brother, we can’t leave him out there, wherever he is. He might be tied up, he could be in a basement with no heating, he could be getting a finger chopped off by the Yakuza, no!

Speaker 2:             Yeah, man. Like I said, Ronny’s obsessed with the dude and then he just like, disappeared man. Oh puff on the VM I got.

Willkie:                   You got a voicemail?

Speaker 3:             We know now, that in the early years of the 20th century, this world was being watched closely by intelligences greater than mans. …

Speaker 4:             Gale flight controllers, going to go for landing. Retro. Go. Rhino. Go. Guidance. Go. Control. Go. Telcom. Go. GNC. Go. Decon. Go. Surgeon. Go. Cap com we’re go for landing. Okay enjoy stop. We copy it down, Eagle. Close enough. Eagle base here. The Eagle has landed. …

Willkie:                   Nancy Dearmore. It’s a name everyone in Grover’s Mill knows. Nancy’s the police captain of this small town. I spoke to her briefly about Rodney and she told me these things happen all the time. That people just drop off, drop out and then reappear. People sometimes have debts, she said, and just can’t handle them, so they try to run away, start a new life. She said she wouldn’t be surprised if he turned up somewhere like Spain. You never know, she tells me, but I don’t think he’s dead. There’s nothing suspicious about any of this. She tells me I’m wasting my time and that the police have other more important things to investigate. But she also says, that if new evidence comes to light, of course they’ll look into it further. But for now, there’s not much anyone can do and she tells me, I’d be better off trying to help solve a case where the facts are certain.

Willkie:                   Something in me says she’s telling the truth, at least from her point of view. But the information that we’ve gathered so far just has too many holes in it. Now you’re probably wondering about Rodney’s laptop and we’ll get to that, but something else comes up, which I think could be a good lead. Benji says he has some important information for us, so we arrange to meet in the back of the salon.

Willkie:                   Okay, Benji, I’ve just confirmed that you’re happy for me to record this conversation. Is that correct?

Benji:                       Aye. On you go.

Willkie:                   So how well do you know Rodney?

Benji:                       Well, he works here. He gets his haircut here, I do it for him, we’re kind of friends. Both like hairdressing, you know?

Willkie:                   Right.

Brian:                       If you could tell us any extra information you have, we’d be grateful.

Willkie:                   Yeah.

Benji:                       We can’t talk here.

Brian:                       Right, but you wanted to meet here.

Benji:                       We have to be careful. Benji can handle it over there, but Benji is more gentle in here. Very gentle.

Brian:                       Okay. So where can we talk?

Benji:                       KFC, the one up the road.

Willkie:                   Right, okay. Can we go now?

Benji:                       No, I can’t go now, I’ve a client in 10 minutes but I can meet you on my lunch break.

Brian:                       Okay, how’s 12:30? Will we see you there at 12:30?

Benji:                       Aye.

Willkie:                   Benji nods. I’m not quite sure if he understood. Brian and I walk outside, this could be a ruse.

Willkie:                   So what do you think?

Brian:                       I’m not sure. I mean why couldn’t he just talk in there? Before you came, he said that Rodney would talk about a special place. I don’t know if that was Rodney just dreaming, but it could be something. I mean, I haven’t heard Rodney talk like that. What do you want to do? Should we try Rodney’s place one more time and then go meet Benji?

Willkie:                   We drive back and park a few meters away from Rodney’s house. It’s a quiet day, not many people around. Brian walks up to the house and I sit and wait. He gets out the key and opens the front door, we’re in. I jump out of the car and join Brian in the hallway.

Brian:                       So this is it.

Willkie:                   It’s quite a big house for one man.

Willkie:                   There are hardwood floors, high ceilings, french doors and large windows. There’s some police tape on the floor, some fingerprint dust marks on surfaces, and someone’s left blue shoe protectors to one side. There’s a fireplace in the living room and I notice the smell of whiskey in the air. We walk into the kitchen, which is painted duck head blue, and we look out into the garden. Two old deck chairs sit in the grass, their feet sinking into the wet ground. Brian opens a kitchen cupboard and pulls out two glasses and a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue.

Brian:                       I need a drink, do you want one?

Willkie:                   Why not?

Brian:                       So, where do we start looking?

Willkie:                   Everywhere and anywhere.

Willkie:                   We start rummaging through cupboards and drawers. Brian starts in the kitchen and makes his way into the living room, so I decide to head up to the bedrooms. I open a door and see a large charcoal king bed with gray bed sheets. There are some headphones sitting at the end of the bed and some Nike’s. There’s a side table that stretches along one side of the wall and there are two paintings sitting above it. The paintings are of what looks like a galaxy or solar system. The bright burnt yellow of a planet stands out as the focal point in one of them. I open a number of drawers and find the usual stuff, you know bills, loose coins, an asthma inhaler, some candles, condoms, a few old magazines, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Willkie:                   I walk into the en suite bathroom. It looks like any other, almost as if Rodney just left to go to work. Hair brush on the basin, some hair gel, tooth brush, tooth paste in the holders, some deodorant, after shave, the usual. But then something catches my eye, a gold chain on the shelf in the bathroom. I pick up the chain and immediately get a splitting headache. I think that’s when I fainted. When I come to I find Brian standing over me holding the chain. We head downstairs and I sit in the armchair in the living room.

Brian:                       Man, I was worried there for a second. What happened?

Willkie:                   I picked up Rodney’s chain and got a signal.

Brian:                       A signal?

Willkie:                   Yeah. When I touch something that holds energy or resonates from that person, I get signals.

Brian:                       Really?

Willkie:                   Well, yeah that’s what I do. It just happens.

Willkie:                   At that point, we hear someone open the front door. Brian and I panic as we think it’s probably the police.

Miranda:                Hello, anybody in here? Anybody?

Willkie:                   It’s Miranda. She walks into the living room and sees us.

Miranda:                Oh. There you all are. Now, you solve this thing or what?

Willkie:                   Miranda. What are you doing here?

Miranda:                I hadn’t heard from here, so I wasn’t sure where you were at. And I thought I’d come to do some snooping of my own.

Willkie:                   Oh.

Brian:                       Wilkie may have gotten a sign or a signal. Is that right, Wilkie?

Willkie:                   Well, yeah.

Willkie:                   Miranda heads for the kitchen and we hear here pouring her own whiskey. She struts back and sits down next to Brian before lighting up a cigarette.

Miranda:                So what the hell is this signal thing you all are talking about.

Willkie:                   Well, when I touch something from the person, I sometimes get a signal. It sounds silly, I know, but I got a signal from that gold chain, so I might be able to get something more from it.

Miranda:                Well what you all waiting for? We got to hear some of this spirit shit, don’t we? You be talking about it, Wilkie. You got to prove yourself.

Willkie:                   Miranda gets up-

Willkie:                   Oh Miranda

Willkie:                   … grabs the chain from Brian and hands it to me. I close my eyes and wait.

Miranda:                Oh, I think Wilkie be going into the Twilight Zone.

Willkie:                   So, this is going to sound weird alright. There are a million skeptics out there that none of this is true but, look I can tell you for me it’s real and it happens, and it has helped solve a lot of cases. So, I’m sitting there and I start to get pins and needles. So this I know is the beginning.

Willkie:                   I’m getting something. It’s a voice.

Brian:                       Is it Rodney?

Willkie:                   I’m not sure.

Miranda:                You be bi-polar there, Wilkie?

Willkie:                   No, it’s a voice.

Miranda:                I got tablets for that.

Willkie:                   Let’s see. I’m going to ask if it knows anything. Their voice is going to come through my body so don’t be alarmed.

Willkie:                   Again, I know most of you out there will think this is just some made up nonsense but all I can say is it’s real. I get a voice that transitions through my body and it speaks to a room.

Voice:                      Hi Brian.

Brian:                       Rodney? Or is that you, Wilkie?

Miranda:                Sure damn sounds like Rodney.

Voice:                      No it’s me. I need to tell you that it’s not safe.

Brian:                       What’s not safe?

Miranda:                Rodney? Rodney, it be Miranda here from down there road. Hey, you know you borrowed my maple syrup just the other week, I was wondering is it in this house?

Voice:                      It’s not safe here. You must find the apple orchard. The recording is fake. Don’t follow the recording. Follow the apples.

Miranda:                Well looky there Wilkie. You be sounding like Rodney but you’re shaking like an old rag doll there.

Brian:                       Rodney where are you? Just tell us.

Voice:                      Apple orchard. Apple.

Miranda:                No, no. Maple.

Voice:                      Apple orchard.

Miranda:                Maple Rodney. Maple, not apple.

Voice:                      Secrets. Government going down. Others. There are others.

Miranda:                Oh, we in some deep shit here.

Brian:                       Rodney, just tell me where you are. Rodney? Rodney?

Willkie:                   It’s over. I come out of the trance and I look up. I tell them that I lost the signal. Brian looks at me suspiciously and I think he thinks it was an act. It wasn’t. I can’t really explain how or why it happens, it just does. So much so, I’ve been studied at Stanford and Duke Universities in controlled environments, and even they don’t have an explanation. We all get up to leave but on the way out Brian notices something and stops us.

Brian:                       Guys. Guys, wait a sec.

Miranda:                You all find my maple syrup?

Brian:                       No, no, but you see here in the hall, Rodney had I think from memory, I don’t know, three paintings.

PART 1 OF 3 ENDS [00:11:04]

Brian:                       Paul Rodney had, I think from memory, I don’t know, three paintings. Yeah, yeah, see. Look. See these marks.

Willkie:                   Oh, yeah.

Willkie:                   He points us to some marks on the wall, which resemble the outlines of where three paintings might’ve been. There’re also three picture hooks.

Miranda:                Yeah, they’d be right there, Brian. He had those paintings of those weird alien women tilting their heads, looking at you like they knew something of you. I told you they was missing.

Willkie:                   Are you sure?

Brian:                       Yeah, that’s them. We had them in the family home back in Portland. My grandpa got given them by Orson Welles.

Willkie:                   Wait, what, your grandfather new Orson Welles?

Brian:                       Yeah.

Willkie:                   Was that your grandfather int he photo you sent me?

Brian:                       Yeah. Yeah, they knew each other in the 60s, I think. Orson gave grandpa the paintings as a thank you for something.

Willkie:                   Wow.

Miranda:                Those paintings worth much?

Willkie:                   Do you know exactly what the paintings were of and who painted them?

Brian:                       Not really. All I know is that they were around growing up and Rodney took them when he moved out here. I can try and find out though. Maybe there’s some records somewhere in Rodney’s stuff.

Willkie:                   Right, good idea. In the meantime, we’ve got to get a KFC.

Miranda:                You going to KFC?

Willkie:                   Yeah.

Miranda:                God-damn-it, Willkie. I’m coming right there with you. I love me a bucket of those critters right there.

Willkie:                   I am sitting in the car outside KFC. Brian and Miranda have gone in to find Benji and I told them that I needed a minute. Oh, I need to take a deep breath.

Willkie:                   To recap, it turns out that the recording that Smart Dog’s using is a fake or made up apparently. Don’t think he’ll care about that. We didn’t find the laptop but Rodney signaled me and said something about apples and an orchard. To top it off, three paintings Orson Welles gave Rodney’s grandfather, who was in the U.S. air force it seems, have gone missing. Oh, you couldn’t make this stuff up in the age of made up stuff.

Willkie:                   I am lost and confused and the thought crosses my mind that this whole thing might be some huge practical joke. Then, I’m not sure. It’s all too real. Real things are happening to me, happening around me. Got to be authentic, isn’t it? Now I’m about to walk into a KFC to talk to Benji again. This is crazy, but hey, got to go with it right. Anyway, here goes.

Willkie:                   Right, is it okay if I record everyone, just for note keeping sake? No objections?

Miranda:                Yeah, go on, it’s fine.

Willkie:                   Good. I’ve got to say, if someone asked me a year ago what I’d be doing now, the last thing I’d say would be in a Grover’s Mill KFC trying to find a missing person with you lot.

Brian:                       I could say the same.

Miranda:                Oh, me too, Willkie. This chicken’s damn tasty. We’re good company. You want some?

Willkie:                   No, you’re all right.

Willkie:                   Miranda hands me some chicken. I turn to Benji who’s slurping on a huge bucket of cola. Benji, it’s been a big day for us. What’s your news?

Benji:                       Willkie, well, Rodney talked about a place right. A hideout or something, up there by the [Turhune 00:13:56] Orchards. He was always saying to me, if anything strange happened or if he had a down day, he’d go up there.

Willkie:                   Right.

Brian:                       Turhune Orchards? Turhune Orchards. Apples. Willkie, Rodney said apple orchard, remember?

Willkie:                   Yeah, but it could be a coincidence.

Benji:                       You speak to Rodney?

Willkie:                   Well …

Brian:                       No, Willkie channeled Rodney today and Rodney spoke to Willkie about apples.

Benji:                       Hm? That sounds strange but okay, yeah. No, Turhune Orchards, there’s something about it there. When he went missing, I thought, “Go down there and look.” I went there and I couldn’t find anything. Then I was walking back, I found his hat.

Miranda:                You found young Rodney’s hat? That red one?

Benji:                       Yeah, this one but then this man pulls up as I’m leaving and asks me who I am. I tell him I’m just picking apples but I have no apples on me. He says, “You have no apples on you.” I say, “No, I ate them.”

Brian:                       Did he do anything else?

Benji:                       He asked me my name and I say it’s Bruce Wayne, because that’s not my name and this guy looks all serious at me.

Willkie:                   Did he threaten you in any way?

Benji:                       He had eyebrows like very caterpillar-esque. Scary but not life threatening.

Willkie:                   Right.

Benji:                       He was in a dark blue car and he had on a shirt, I guess. In any case, I got in my car and I drove off.

Brian:                       Did he follow you?

Benji:                       No, but he came in for a cut.

Brian:                       What?

Willkie:                   A haircut?

Brian:                       He came in for a haircut?

Benji:                       Aye, aye. He wanted a step haircut. [Inaudible 00:15:09] I haven’t done one of those for years but I did it nice and even-like. He says nothing the whole time and then he leaves me a tip and that was it.

Willkie:                   Weird.

Miranda:                You want to hold that hat to see if we get to speak to Rodney again?

Willkie:                   No, Miranda, not yet. Look, I can only handle these things once a day.

Miranda:                I’m god-damn near going to try. Hand that over Benzo.

Willkie:                   Miranda picks up the read hat and puts it on.

Miranda:                Rodney, you hear me, Rodney? [Inaudible 00:15:33] we need you back, Rodney. Tell you what. If you just come back here now to talk to me now, I’ll cook you some of that nice pasta you like. What’s that? You saying I have beautiful titties.

Willkie:                   Miranda.

Miranda:                Thank you, Rodney. I have to agree.

Willkie:                   Oh. With that, we all have a little chuckle and head on our way. Brian and I head back to the hotel and decide to have a coffee in the bar.

Brian:                       Is this the strangest case you’ve ever worked on?

Willkie:                   It’s certainly the most confusing.

Brian:                       Do you think we’re getting somewhere?

Willkie:                   I think we’re getting closer, yes. There’s just so many moving parts.

Brian:                       Are there any suggestions on where we might start?

Willkie:                   We should try and find the paintings if we can.

Brian:                       Yeah, maybe worth going back to talk to Smart Dog.

Willkie:                   Just then, out of nowhere, Benji appears standing next to our table.

Benji:                       You think you’re going to find Rodney?

Willkie:                   Benji. What are you doing here? How-

Benji:                       Are you?

Willkie:                   We hope so, yeah. Did anyone ever talk to you about some paintings of Rodney’s or some photos or something?

Benji:                       Listen, I didn’t want to tell you this in front of Miranda. She’s not exactly running on all thrusters that one. It seems to me like, when an individual like Rodney’s so private, well, he has things he wants kept private. You know what I mean?

Willkie:                   Benji, do you want to sit down?

Benji:                       I heard from some of the boys down the station, pals of mine, were saying there was some kind of weird folk hanging around Rodney’s house after he went missing. Then they heard the case was just kept as a missing persons, just like that. Little too quick for my liking, eh. Seems to me like the close ages of a coverup of some sort. I’m not saying anything bad has happened to Rodney. All I’m saying is that Rodney was always into the different side of life. Do you know what I mean?

Willkie:                   Mm.

Benji:                       He wanted it kept private but I don’t know nothing about no paintings.

Brian:                       Okay, anything else you can find out, let us know.

Benji:                       Look, Rodney and I used to get into conversations about morphic resonance and different dimensions.

Willkie:                   Wow.

Benji:                       I’m not saying I take [inaudible 00:17:41] or anything like that but I do believe in genetic memory.

Brian:                       It’s okay. You don’t need to go into detail.

Willkie:                   No, exactly.

Benji:                       There’s a story about mice from one generation giving a smell of oranges and then an electric shock. Then, generations later, when the great, great grand mice of that first generation are born, they put the smell of oranges in thee air. Those mice, which are two, three generations apart, still get anxious and react like they’ve been shocked.

Benji:                       All I’m saying is that I think everything can be infinite and we cannot just assume this is our only reality.

Brian:                       Okay, right.

Willkie:                   I’m a forensic psychic so I tend to agree, Benji. If only other people could see [crosstalk 00:18:28]-

Benji:                       Remember what I said, boys. Take care now, you hear?

Willkie:                   By, Benji.

Willkie:                   Back in my room, getting ready for bed, I remember a case from back in 2012: The Funderberg Case. All this reminds me of that somehow. Little Maury Funderberg, the whole town thought he got lost down a sewer and the whole time he never existed. They’d made him up. Retouched photos, and sent me on fools errands. I wonder about this case in the same way but then there’s so much more to it. After a taxing day, I go to bed with another million thoughts swirling in my head and wonder again what the hell I’m doing in this small town in New Jersey when I could be back in the U.K.

Willkie:                   The following morning, Brian and I head over to see Smart Dog. We get to the studio but he isn’t there. No one knows where he is. The producer says he saw him a couple of days ago, when they were both laying down a new track. The receptionist didn’t know much at all either. I ask when he’s going to be back and she tells me its dependent on when people have money. That gets me thinking. That’s motive for sure.

Willkie:                   From meeting with Smart Dog, I don’t think he would do anything sinister. Often with these cases, you just never know, and it’s always someone close to the person. Who knows? It could be a fake kidnap for some reason, couldn’t it? Then Brian or someone would’ve had a ransom call by now I guess.

Willkie:                   As we’re leaving, the sound engineer runs out and tells us it might be a long shot but Smart Dog used to hang out in Van Ness Park and shoot his rap videos there. He tells us that, a few want to be rappers do the same thing and that Smart Dog could be up there hanging out with his old crew. We decide to give it a shot and put it into Google Maps.

Willkie:                   We pull into Van Ness Park. It’s lush and full of bright green trees, huge sparse areas of grass, a river with ducks waddling along the banks. We see a few people walking around, kids and their parents chasing each other. Some people under a tree having a picnic. The last place you’d expect to be the setting of a rap video.

Brian:                       I don’t think they’d be anywhere here. Right?

Willkie:                   Worth the look I reckon.

Willkie:                   We get out of the car and decide to head away from the open lawns and into the more bushy areas. We pass a kids’ playground with artificial green slippery slides and a sand pit and some nature signage. Before we know it, we’re in some deep foliage. It’s pretty quiet and no one seems to be around. We walk along the river in the hope of finding some kind of meeting place.

Willkie:                   I’m struggling to see where rappers would hang out. After about 10 minutes, we decide to head back.

Brian:                       I just can’t see why kids would want to hang out here. You know?

Willkie:                   Something catches Brian’s eye and he changes direction, walking faster down a different track.

Willkie:                   You see something?

Willkie:                   Brian is standing in front of a monument of some type. It’s a dark, green metal plaque, about my height. It say something about a martian landing sight and Orson Welles.

Brian:                       Are you getting anything? Any readings?

Willkie:                   No, no, this is what I call a flat zone. Not much energy here, strangely.

Willkie:                   We head back to the car and, as we get there, we see a group of teenagers hanging around the back of a couple of pickups. The truck doors are open and music is playing. There are two boys, probably 19 or so, and one girl who looks a bit younger, probably 17 or so. They’re all dressed in sweat pants and the boys-

PART 2 OF 3 ENDS [00:22:04]

Willkie:                   -teen or so.

Willkie:                   They’re all dressed in sweatpants, and the boys have gold chains. The girl’s hair is slicked back and she has those big panda eyes. We decide to ask them if they know anything about SmartDog.

Bryan:                      Heya, how you guys going?

Speaker 5:             What you want?

Bryan:                      Hey, we’re just wondering if you guys know SmartDog?

Speaker 5:             Yeah, my do.

Miranda:                Depends.

Speaker 5:             Who wants to know?

Willkie:                   Can tell she’s hinting at cash, so pull out $20. Here, that’ll do it.

Speaker 5:             Give me that.

Willkie:                   The guy takes the money off the girl.

Speaker 5:             Yeah, what you wanna know about Travis, yo?

Willkie:                   Well, we’re just wondering if you guys know where he could be?

Miranda:                Why you want to know? Travis is just a nobody.

Bryan:                      We’re looking for my brother, Rodney. He’s gone missing and we know Travis –

Speaker 5:             It’s SmartDog, yo!

Bryan:                      SmartDog, hung out with him a bit.

Speaker 5:             Yeah, yeah. Rodney cut our phase, yeah. He be kinda cool. Travis got his hair cut there, kinda hung out so yo, what?

Willkie:                   Well, we’re hoping that SmartDog can help us, that’s all.

Miranda:                I dunno. I know Travis has been laying down tracks with Rodney’s music or recordings, or something, but man, I don’t know. Travis been living in that shared house down Rabbit Hill Road, you can try there, right?

Willkie:                   Right.

Bryan:                      You know what number?

Miranda:                No man. It’s just been that big house, there, down the road, you know what I’m saying? You know, Travis told me one day he’s going blow up, record, like a whole album.

Willkie:                   What, you chatted to him?

Miranda:                Yeah. He told me some story, thought it was bullshit.

Willkie:                   Wait, what story?

Miranda:                Well, me and Travis were at my crib.

Speaker 6:             Turn that shit off! I wanna hear this.

Miranda:                Just chilling, you know? And Travis says he’s got a way to make a heap of money, and he has this guy that gases him up, like. So anyways, me and Rodney went up to Wemburys to get something to eat. We stayed there, maybe 20 minutes, and then we headed back to mine. Was passing by this big old road and Travis says he has a key to some place, and asks if I want to check it out. SO, I’m like, okay, as long as we don’t stay too long.

Willkie:                   Right.

Miranda:                So when I head to this place and Travis has a key and we like, walk in, and it’s a pretty big place. We just chill and drink some expensive-looking whiskey and stuff. But you know, we’re not supposed to be there. Then lights go on. Then we hear someone open the door and I’m freaking out and Travis grabs me and we head upstairs.

Miranda:                So, we’re upstairs and I can just hear voices, like and we hear drawers opening, and people chatting, like they’re looking for something, so, it felt like forever, but then they start coming upstairs. So Travis and I hide in the closet, you know like in the movies? It was seriously movie shit.

Speaker 6:             Hey what you all talking about?

Willkie:                   At this point, the two lads are chuckling and making fun of the girl’s story.

Speaker 6:             It’s bullshit. It’s bullshit.

Speaker 6:             That’s a lie.

Miranda:                Shut up y’all, this is true!

Speaker 6:             What!

Miranda:                You know, it’s true!

Willkie:                   Right.

Miranda:                So anyway, I’m in there and I’m worried Travis might touch me up, like, try it on, like I was worried he might try to kick it with me.

Willkie:                   Okay.

Miranda:                But he didn’t, so we’re looking out the gaps in this closet and two men with masks are looking for something. And they find a laptop there and take it and walk out.

Willkie:                   A laptop?

Bryan:                      What the fuck?

Miranda:                That’s it. Me and Travis then get the fuck out of there and Travis says not to tell anyone. Like, who I’m gonna tell, anyway? I’m no snitch. Anyways, on the way out, we see these paintings in the hallway and Travis says the owner says he can have them and they’d be worth coin, you know what I’m saying?

Willkie:                   The painting?

Bryan:                      This house, it didn’t happen to be in Jared Court, did it?

Miranda:                Nah, I can’t remember that! It was dark, yo, but those paintings, they were heavy.

Willkie:                   Yeah, the paintings. Can you remember what the paintings were of?

Miranda:                Yeah, they be a fucked up-looking alien bitches tilting their heads. Kinda creepy if you ask me.

Willkie:                   We thank them, and head straight over to find SmartDog. For the first time, I think we might be closing in on this whole thing.

Bryan:                      Christ, can you believe that? What if Travis did something to Rodney to get the paintings? This is crazy.

Willkie:                   Well, he said Rodney gave them to him. It just doesn’t make sense.

Bryan:                      Rodney was generous, but those paintings were his favorite.

Willkie:                   We drive for about 20 minutes until we reach what we think, is the share house. It’s just an ordinary-looking, white, two storey house. When we get out of the car, we can hear rap music.

Willkie:                   Hear that?

Bryan:                      Yeah, this has to be the place.

Travis:                      Well, well, if it ain’t Starsky and Hutch.

Willkie:                   Hi Travis. Look, sorry to disturb you at home but Bryan and I wondered if we could ask you a few more questions.

Travis:                      What, you have to?

Willkie:                   We’d like to.

Travis:                      What, am I in trouble?

Willkie:                   No.

Travis:                      Taping this again?

Willkie:                   Yeah.

Travis:                      Come on in.

Willkie:                   He lets us in and we sit in the living room. He leaves the music on, so we try our best to talk over it. I retell the story we just heard and ask about the paintings. Travis says the story’s true, and he does indeed have the paintings.

Willkie:                   He takes us to his room, and pulls them out from beneath his bed. The images are incredible. Beautiful, yet haunting. Fair-skinned, alien-looking creatures, clearly female, with long, thin necks, tiny chins, large black doll’s eyes, flat, featureless noses, small holes for ears and large, bald heads. The way they tilt their heads and look at you, as if they’re trying to tell you something is intimate and hypnotic.

Bryan:                      So, okay. Let me get this straight. You’re saying Rodney said you could have these to sell to fund your music, is that right?

Travis:                      Yeah, man. Totally real talk, man.

Bryan:                      So, okay. Can you see how it might look a little weird, you know? Like, he goes missing and you have the paintings?

Travis:                      Not really, man. He trusted me, you know? You can take these if you want, but Rodney, he be detail, you know? He sent me an email about it.

Willkie:                   An email?

Travis:                      Right there.

Willkie:                   SmartDog scrolls through his phone and pulls up an email. Bryan confirms it’s from Rodney, and basically it says he can have the paintings, so it seems to pan out. But then he tells us he told everything to a police officer, who turned up at his house. Although he said he thought it was strange, because he says he didn’t look like a cop, more like a lawyer, in a suit.

Bryan:                      Okay, so this guy you spoke to, did he give you a name?

Travis:                      Nah, can’t remember, man. He was shady cat, you know? Men in black type. He had a step haircut-kinda thing. I wasn’t so sure either, man, thought I’d just play it dumb. He said he was working with the local black and white, you dig?

Willkie:                   Right, well look, you’ve got our mobile numbers if you think of anything else, alright?

Travis:                      Mobile, English-style, love it. Sure, man. I just think we gotta find Rodney, you know? I hope he just ran away, but if not, I hope we find him and the shadiness gets justice, you know what I’m saying?

Willkie:                   I think we’ll find him. Don’t worry.

Willkie:                   Bryan and I leave Travis and head back to the hotel. On the way, I decided to give Nancy Dearmore a call. She pretty much tows the party line. Says that there’s nothing strange about the case and these people usually turn up. But she does say there was a note in the file about a call he had received.

Nancy:                     The caller further advised us that Rodney had, in his possession, some photographs and that he had on occasion, told friends and acquaintances that these photographs could potentially be some kind of ground-breaking news.

Willkie:                   Mmm-hmm.

Nancy:                     [inaudible 00:28:58] phone interview, the caller further stated that Rodney had taken out life insurance, and told everyone that if he ever went missing, it wouldn’t be an accident.

Willkie:                   Right, and did you believe that? Can you tell me what the photos were?

Nancy:                     Look, we get situations like this all the time. False callers, false missing persons, so, no. We looked into it, but no one confirmed any of it, and as for the photographs, there were none.

Willkie:                   Did they ever call again.

Nancy:                     No…oh yeah. There’s only one more record of that on the 25th, where the same alleged caller tells us to look into the Tearhewn Orchards.

Willkie:                   And did you chase that up? Did you trace his mobile phone?

Nancy:                     Of course we put a trace on it, yes and the last known place we got a signal was –

Willkie:                   Yeah?

Nancy:                     Oh. Okay.

Willkie:                   What?

Nancy:                     So, it’s saying here it’s picked up somewhere near Shipetauken Woods, between two towers there, but they’re 10 miles apart, so the area’s very large.

Willkie:                   Shipetauken Woods. Got you.

Willkie:                   I quickly Googled Shipetauken Woods and get a wave of excitement. Shipetauken Woods is only about a mile from Tearhewn Orchards.

Willkie:                   Next time, on Grovers Mill.

Speaker 7:             What you bitches want, man? You lot look like 5-oh to me.

Bryan:                      We just want to talk to McVie, that’s all. We’re not the police.

Speaker 7:             Man, that’s exactly what the police say.

Speaker 8:             So, my buddy down there got hold of the forensic report on the blood and, Loci, it’s not Rodney’s. It ain’t human. And it ain’t animal, either.

Speaker 9:             Dew was simple man. He don’t do Class 1, you know what I’m saying? But I get him the blues and the greens. What goes up must come down, you know?

Willkie:                   We know Rodney’s last signal was around here, but those weeks will take us weeks to search.

Speaker 10:          Let’s take Sherlock down the edge and see what happens.

Willkie:                   Grovers Mill is written and produced by Matt Cohen-Gold, Garrett Dupes, and me, Will Capole. Music and Sound design is by Matt Slaydon. With special thanks to Rupert Deigas and Amy Horn. We’d also like to thank Megan Tate, Mark Gluehap, Mary Steward, Marcus Beer, Steven Busatil, Zanzen Pierre and Anya Dolganaver. This has been a Grovers Mill Production, copyright 2018.

Willkie:                   Grovers Mill is a fictional podcast, that is shared with you as a satire and parody. It depicts entirely fictitious situations that are products of the writers’ imaginations. The podcast references familiar places and events, and whilst we also use some real-life personalities, the characteristics, qualities and actions that we’ve applied to those people are not intended to be real. We also do not suggest any association with, or sponsorship by, any personal entity. All of the names, characters and incidents portrayed in this production are fictitious. No identification with actual persons, living or deceased, places, buildings and products, is intended, or should be inferred. For further information on Grovers Mill and its use in satire, parody and fiction, please read the disclaimer on our website, Grovers Mill Podcast dot com.

PART 3 OF 3 ENDS [00:32:20]