Double Booked

The Arrival 

[Car tires on asphalt, soft wind blows past a car in motion. Inside, a podcast can be heard over the vehicle speakers, narration over music.] 

[PODCAST NARRATOR] On this week’s episode of Hidden Crime Documents, an unsolved case with a serial killer on the loose who preys on unsuspecting victims. This sadistic freak who continues to evade police just loves to dismember their victims in vacation rental homes. But why hasn’t law enforcement been able to catch up with them? And why isn’t every true crime podcast talking about this one? I’ll be taking a deep dive into the bowels of mystery on this one, folks… on this week’s episode of Hidden Crime Documents! 

[There is a click as the podcast is turned off.] 

[DEREK, gruff and annoyed] I can’t listen to this “true crime” garbage anymore. [KELLY, dismissive] It’s way better than your choo-choo crap. Murder shit is so cool. [DEREK, defensive] I hate it when you call it that! Can you at least extend me the courtesy of respecting my model train hobby? And the podcast is called, “De//Railed.” It’s not that difficult, Kelly! 

[KELLY] When you come up with a respectable hobby, then maybe I’ll consider showing it some respect. 

[Derek scoffs] 

[DEREK] I have sponsors, Kelly. 

[KELLY, condescending] Okay, “Hello Fresh” and “Me Undies” will work with literally anyone. How much money have you made from your three listeners again? 

[DEREK, audibly angrier] I have at least twenty listeners according to last month’s statistics, Kelly! Ugh, we’re never going to make it through this stupid getaway.

[KELLY] I still don’t understand what good Dr. Thomas thinks fucking off to the middle of nowhere for the weekend will do for our relationship. We’re together all the time, anyway. [pause] You were supposed to turn left there. 

[DEREK, sarcastic] There was a tree there. 

[KELLY] That’s not what GPS says. 

[DEREK] What are you talking about? You can’t even use GPS out here, there aren’t any cell towers for miles. 

[DEREK] That’s why I thought ahead and printed this off of Mapquest. Here, take a look. [There is the sound of paper rustling and unfolding.] 

[KELLY, sarcastically] What do I do with this? 

[DEREK] Uh, navigate? 

[KELLY] I don’t even know what I’m looking at here. Does Mapquest seriously still exist? [DEREK] Obviously, and I’d say they’re arguably better than Google Maps. Did you know they’ve been around since 1967? 

[KELLY, sarcastically] Hey, maybe you can get them to sponsor you! 

[DEREK, beginning mockingly] Hey, maybe you can – wait, is that a house over there? [KELLY] Oh, yeah. It looks kind of cute, do you think that’s it? 

[The car slows as the theme music begins.] 

[DEREK] It has to be. See? I told you I knew what I was doing. 

[KELLY, sotto voce] For once.

A Chance Meeting 

[The music fades out.] 

[KELLY] Okay, this sucks. How much longer do we have here? 

[DEREK] We got here less than an hour ago, so at least 47 more by my count. [KELLY] People are just not designed to live without wifi. 

[DEREK] That’s the point, we’re supposed to be communicating with each other, not our phones. 

[KELLY] Ugh. 

[A ball is heard bouncing off the floor.] 

[KELLY] Do you really have to do that? You’re going to trigger my misophonia! [DEREK] That’s not how misophonia works! Why don’t you try some of that stretching stuff you do? 

[KELLY] You know it’s called yoga! And you always make fun of me when I do it. Oh my god, how are we going to get through the whole weekend? 

[DEREK, placatingly] Look, they have board games; we could play one of those. How about Scrabble? 

[There is the sound of a boxed board game propelled to the ground and game pieces scattering.] 

[KELLY] Did you just try to throw that at me?! What the actual fuck, Derek? [DEREK] Do you really think I’d throw a board game at you? That totally wasn’t me. It just came off the shelf, I wasn’t even near it! 

[There are the brief sounds of footsteps on the wooden floorboards.] 

[KELLY] Hey look, the tiles are spelling F – U! 

[A faint noise is heard from elsewhere within the house.] 

[DEREK, whispering] Did you hear that?

[There is a brief pause and the noise repeats several times, almost rhythmically, under the next few lines of dialogue.] 

[KELLY, whispering] If there’s vermin down there, we’re so not giving them a five star rating. [DEREK, hesitatingly] Well, one of us should go down there. 

[KELLY, mockingly] Aw, do you need me to do it? 

[DEREK, defensively] No! But maybe we should both go. I’ll follow you. [There are the sounds of footsteps across a wooden floor, then descending a creaky wooden staircase as another set of sounds, meaty thuds and squelching, gradually become more audible. The footsteps stop, the grotesque sounds of butchery continue.] [KELLY, whispering urgently] It’s through that door. Go ahead, open it! [The door opens slowly with another loud creak and the sounds of butchery cease. There is a pause.] 

[DEREK, in a high-pitched shriek and in tandem with the following line] Oh my god! [SERIAL KILLER, exasperated and in tandem with Derek’s line above] Ah, shit. [KELLY, puzzled] What exactly am I looking at right now? 

[SERIAL KILLER, in a Philadelphia accent] Whaddya doin’ down here? I thought I had this place booked! 

[In the background, a door is heard being slammed shut.] 

[KELLY, confrontational] What are you doing down here? We have this place booked through Sunday! 

[DEREK, terrified] He – he has a fucking knife, oh my god is that guy dead? [KELLY, in tandem with Serial Killer below] Ya think? 

[SERIAL KILLER, in tandem with Kelly above] Well yeah, obviously. 

[DEREK] We need to call the cops, Kelly! 

[SERIAL KILLER] Ya see, I’ve had this place booked for months and I need to de-stress, so I really wouldn’t recommend doing that.

[KELLY] Why not, what are you going to do, kill us? 

[DEREK] Kelly, shut up! 

[SERIAL KILLER] Hey, don’t talk to your significant other like that. You’re supposed to be a “partnership!” 

[KELLY] Yeah, Derek. What would Dr. Thomas say right now if she heard you? [DEREK, audibly beginning to panic] It’s not like we have the talking pillow here! Oh fuck, he’s going to kill us with a machete. 

[SERIAL KILLER, placatingly] Hey, hey, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. You think I don’t have a life? I have plans once I’m done with this project, adding two more would make me late. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I still need to remove the skin from my buddy here. [KELLY] Plans? 

[Footsteps are heard retreating.] 

[DEREK, from the door into the basement with false cheer] Okay, great! Cool! We’ll just get out of your hair then. Come on, Kelly. 

[KELLY] Wait, isn’t a machete like, the worst thing to flay a body with? You should be using a flensing knife. 

[SERIAL KILLER, clearly caught off-guard] Why do you know that? 

[DEREK, still at the door and sounding panicked and winded] She listens to a lot of true crime podcasts! 

[SERIAL KILLER] Look, I had to improvise. Do I come to your job and criticize you? [There is the sound of a door flying open and a pained grunt from Derek as he flies back and hits the ground with a loud impact.] 

[KELLY, exasperated] What are you doing, Derek? Get up! 

[DEREK, pained and winded] But… the door… ow.

[SERIAL KILLER, abruptly] Look, seems to me like there was a mistake, but how about we make a compromise? You let me work in peace down here, and I’ll let you “lovebirds” have the rest of the place for your romantic getaway. 

[KELLY] I guess that makes sense. Come on, Derek. Let’s go play Scrabble. You get the board set up and I’ll pop some bubbles for mimosas! 

[Footsteps are heard walking up the creaky wooden stairs again.] 

[DEREK, indignant] But he’s a serial killer! 

[KELLY] Well actually, we don’t know that. He’d have to kill at least three people to be a serial killer, we only know of that one. And technically we didn’t even see him – [The door at the top of the basement stairs rattles as Kelly tries to open it, but to no avail.] [KELLY] Did you lock the door? 

[DEREK, triumphantly] No, I told you!

Stuck in a Basement with You 

[Butchery sounds recommence and, after a moment, footsteps come back down the stairs. The door at the bottom of the stairs creaks back open.] 

[KELLY] Um, slight snag. Don’t kill us or anything, but do you happen to have a key to the door at the top of the stairs? It’s locked. 

[Butchery sounds continue, more muted under dialogue.] 

[SERIAL KILLER] Of course I don’t have a key! What, based on our conversation thus far, makes you think I live here? 

[DEREK, yelling in a higher pitched voice] Can you please stop that?! [Butchery sounds stop.] We’re trying to talk to you! 

[SERIAL KILLER, unruffled] You’re right, you’re right, I’m being inconsiderate. [The machete is lodged into the body.] What seems to be the problem? 

[DEREK, off-guard] Oh. That’s – I mean, it’s the door. The one upstairs? It’s – [KELLY, interrupting] Look, we’re not going to spend the weekend sitting at the top of the stairs while you get all this space down here to yourself. We’re going to have to share. [DEREK] What? That’s not what I – 

[SERIAL KILLER] Did you try jiggling the handle? 


[SERIAL KILLER] Right. Okay, maybe there’s another exit somewhere. 

[KELLY] Hey, Derek, why don’t you make yourself useful and go look? 

[DEREK, sarcastically] Fine. I’ll leave you both to talk about your sharp objects. [To himself] Just go off on my own into the dark while my wife bonds with a damn serial killer, no big deal. Least I know I’m safe here since the serial killer’s over there. [Derek descends into unintelligible muttering.] 

[Whispering, unintelligible voices begin to rise.] 

[DEREK] Oh shit, is this a door? Huh, maybe there is another way out of here.

[The sound of a very creaky door opening is heard, the whispers grow louder. Derek screams.] [Pause] 

[KELLY] So what’s it like killing people? 

[SERIAL KILLER] Oh, ya know, most people think it’s all about the thrill, but me? It’s the art. [KELLY] Oh, so you’re an artist! That’s… that’s cool. Who’s your favorite artist? [SERIAL KILLER, deadpan] Jackson Pollock. 

[KELLY] And, um, who was that over there on the table? 

[Footsteps running quickly and Derek’s panting breath is heard approaching the others.] [DEREK, out of breath, panting] You guys, you guys… You need to come – you need to come check this out! 

[KELLY] Oh, you found an exit? Great job, Derek! 

[DEREK] No… no, it’s a – it’s a body. 

[KELLY] Yeah, we already saw that, it’s over there. 

[DEREK] No – another one. In a closet, follow me. 

[Footsteps on concrete as Derek leads them back to the closet.] 

[KELLY] Dude, you store them in a closet? 

[SERIAL KILLER, offended] Hey, that wasn’t me! I’ve got standards. 

[DEREK, panicked] Oh, that’s cool. So we’re down here with two serial killers. [SERIAL KILLER] Unlikely. I’ve been here since this morning and haven’t seen anyone else until you two showed up. 

[KELLY] Derek, come on. Either open the door or take your hand off the doorknob. [The door slowly creaks open and music swells.] 


[KELLY] Okay, alright, that was a good one. You actually kind of got me. [DEREK] I swear it was right here! 

[SERIAL KILLER] So, what, you think it got up and walked off?

[KELLY] I mean, zombies are fun, too! 

[DEREK] No, no, no! You guys, it was right here – it was… the guy was totally mutilated. He had this…ax, sticking out his… Fuck me, I’m gonna be sick. 

[SERIAL KILLER, dismissively] An ax? That doesn’t sound like my handiwork. I like to use a little finesse. 

[DEREK, sarcastically] Right, because you’re making art. 

[SERIAL KILLER, indignantly] Hey, we all have our passions! 

[KELLY] Yeah Derek, at least he’s got passion. 

[DEREK] His passion is KILLING PEOPLE! 

[KELLY] That’s better than your stupid trains! 

[SERIAL KILLER] Whoa whoa whoa! Trains aren’t that bad! 

[KELLY] Not regular trains, model trains. You know, toys. 

[SERIAL KILLER] Even better. I just picked up a Lionel T1 off eBay! 

[DEREK, mumbling to self] What the fuck is even happening? 

[KELLY] Hey Derek, maybe you should have this guy on your podcast. Your three listeners would love that! 

[SERIAL KILLER] You know, I’m not much of a podcast fan, myself. I’m more into audio drama. In fact, there’s this one – 

[DEREK, shouting] Can we please! [Pause] Can we please get back to the fucking body in the closet?! 

[SERIAL KILLER] Okay, but what body? 

[KELLY, concerned] Babe, are you okay? 

[SERIAL KILLER] Yeah, maybe you better go lay down. 

[DEREK] Oh yeah, you’d like that wouldn’t you? If I left you alone again with my wife! [SERIAL KILLER] Take it easy pal, I’m married. 

[DEREK & KELLY, together] You’re married!?

[KELLY] Does she know about your…[Kelly makes stabbing/cutting sounds.]

Shattered Reality 

[The tennis ball is heard bouncing off the wall and dribbling to a stop on the floor again.] [KELLY] I can’t believe you brought that thing down here. It’s like you don’t even care about my misophonia. 

[SERIAL KILLER] You know that’s not what misophonia is, right? 

[DEREK] That’s what I told her. 

[KELLY] Oh fuck you guys. I’m going to go find a bathroom. 

[DEREK] A bathroom? Where do you think you’re going to find a bathroom? [SERIAL KILLER] Actually, there’s one over there. Don’t mind the blood – I didn’t know I’d be having company, if you know what I’m sayin’. 

[Footsteps on concrete are heard walking away.] 

[SERIAL KILLER] You know, I had an O gauge train set when I was a kid. [DEREK] Yeah, me too… I’ve since graduated to Z gauge. 

[Water is running into a sink and splashing, then the faucet turns and it cuts off.] [KELLY] Oh my god, it feels so good to get all this shit off my face. 

[Spooky whispers fill the space.] 

[KELLY, yelling through a door] Hello? Derek, what are you doing out there? Stop being weird. [Pause] I’d literally kill for my moisturizer right now. [Pause.] Not actual literally. [Spooky whispers grow louder and more intense.] 

[KELLY] Mirror mirror on the wall… 

[The mirror shatters, glass falling to the tile floor.] 

[KELLY] Rude. You could have lied to me. 

[Pause, the sound of butchery resumes for a few moments.] 

[DEREK] So, Z gauge was actually introduced by the German model train manufacturer Märklin in 1972 at the Nuremberg Toy Fair. 

[Footsteps approach.]

[KELLY] Guys, the weirdest thing just happened. I was looking in the mirror and then all of a sudden, the whole thing just shattered all over the place. 

[DEREK, worried] Are you okay? Did you get cut? 

[Footsteps quickly moving away.] 

[KELLY] No, I’m fine. It was just really weird – hey, where did our friend go? [SERIAL KILLER, from further away with a slight echo] The mirror in here? It’s fine, not a crack on it. 

[Two sets of feet run down the concrete hallway.] 

[KELLY] What? That’s impossible, I saw it and – huh. Weird. 

[Spooky whispers swell once more.]

What’s Behind the Door? 

[Spooky whispers are present below all dialogue for the time being.] 

[SERIAL KILLER] Uh, do you guys hear that? 

[DEREK] Stop playing around, we know that’s you! 

[KELLY] Derek, his lips aren’t even moving! 

[DEREK] Maybe he’s a ventriloquist. We don’t know what kind of weird Renaissance man talents he has! 

[SERIAL KILLER, offended] Uh, excuse me, I am not a ventriloquist! 

[DEREK] He’s lying! That’s what ventriloquists do! 

[KELLY] Who lies about being a ventriloquist? 

[Spooky whispers grow slightly louder.] 

[DEREK] This guy, I don’t know! 

[Spooky whispers grow angrier, accompanied by a faint rattling.] 

[SERIAL KILLER] You know, it sounds like they’re coming from your body closet. [DEREK] My body closet? 

[KELLY] Derek, go see if anything’s in your body closet. 

[DEREK] Why me? 

[KELLY] It’s your body closet. 

[SERIAL KILLER, condescendingly] Why don’t we all go? 

[The whispers grow more intense.] 

[KELLY] Okay, it’s definitely coming from there. Derek, open the door. 

[DEREK, emphatically] No way, I’m putting my foot down. You do it. 

[SERIAL KILLER] Jesus you guys, I’ll do it. 

[Door slams open and the whispers intensify to become the distant howl of an unearthly abyss stretching out forever into nothingness. Serial Killer, Derek, and Kelly must shout to make themselves heard over the rushing wind and howling abyss.]

[SERIAL KILLER, nonplussed] What the fuck. 

[KELLY] That’s… unexpected. There’s still no body in there, Derek. 

[DEREK] Oh come on, the specifics are the least of our worries! Are you even seeing this? [KELLY] I know, right? I would literally kill to get this kind of closet space on the upper east side! [DEREK] Okay, now that’s just in poor taste! 

[SERIAL KILLER] This is crazy, I’ve never seen anything like it. There’s nothing in here! [The sound of wind and howling intensifies.] 

[KELLY] Uh, you might want to back up a little bit… 

[The wind reaches a crescendo and the serial killer screams, his scream fading away over the next few seconds.] 

[KELLY] Yeah, definitely don’t want to get too close to that thing. Fuck, Derek! Move back! [The screaming cuts off suddenly as the door slams shut from negative pressure caused by the void. The wind and whispers likewise cease.] 

[KELLY] Huh. That’s too bad, I was really starting to like him, too. Oh well, at least we don’t have to share the house anymore, right? So what now? 

[DEREK, panicked] What, now? We’re still trapped down here with a corpse, Kelly [The music begins to intensify and dripping sounds can be heard throughout the room.] [KELLY] Derek, look at the walls. That’s either a seriously questionable decorating choice or, does it look like they’re bleeding? 

[The sounds of shuffling feet and zombie moaning joins the dripping walls.] [DEREK] Um, Kelly, I think that body is coming towards us. 

[A television clicks on and static joins the chorus of spooky sounds.] 

[DEREK] And did that TV just turn on by itself? 

[KELLY] How cliche. 

[The door begins rattling and banging in its frame.]

[DEREK, panicking] Really? Now the door again? Fuck, oh my god, we’re going to die in here aren’t we? 

[KELLY, matter-of-fact] Yeah, probably. 

[DEREK] You could have lied! 

[The door stops rattling and slowly creaks open once more. The other sounds, save for the zombie, all cut off together, replaced by gentle birdsong.] 

[DEREK] That’s… is that our car? 

[KELLY] Okay, this closet is so cool. Ooh, do you think next time we’ll get to go to Narnia? [DEREK] Are you kidding? We’re leaving. Come on. 

[ZOMBIE] Braaaaaains… 

[The door slams shut with finality.]

One Year Later… 

[There is a click and a familiar podcast’s theme music starts to play.] 

[DEREK] Is this a new episode? 

[KELLY] Yeah! It just came out this morning – I was waiting to listen to it with you. [DEREK] Aw Kelly, that’s so thoughtful of you! 

[PODCAST HOST] Imagine if you will, taking your spouse for a weekend getaway, only to find a deranged killer in the basement when you arrive. Even more? The house you are in… is haunted. Sound crazy? Well, truth really is stranger than fiction. That’s exactly what happened to my guests today. 

[KELLY] Hey, Derek! I’m pretty sure you were supposed to turn left back there. [DEREK] No, that was a tree. 

[KELLY] Hey, up ahead, do you see that? Oh, it looks like that cute little hell house we went to last year! Remember, honey? Can you pull over? 

[DEREK] You know, I think that might be it. 

[KELLY] We should go in! 

[DEREK] Are you fucking joking? 

[PODCAST HOST] Before we bring on our guests and dive deep into this chilling tale, here’s a quick word from our sponsors. All aboard! You won’t want to miss an action-packed second of DE//RAILED! 

[KELLY] Ugh, skip 30. 

[DEREK] Do you really hate my podcast that much? 

[KELLY] Ehh… 

[DEREK] You could have at least lied to me! 

[The music swells and fades out.] 

Bonus Scene 


[A train horn sounds as the podcast trailer begins. Derek can be heard speaking over “I’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad” and additional train sounds.] 

[DEREK VOICEOVER] Growing up, I didn’t get much of a chance to know my father. He did, however, leave me with a passion for this model railway transportation industry. On this show, you’ll get to ride the rails with me, Derek, as we explore the history of locomotion and how it’s 

shaped the world around us, recreating scenes from important American historical events involving trains, only on a much smaller scale – Z Scale, to be precise! Haha! 

Catch DE//RAILED every Monday, Wednesday and Friday wherever you listen to podcasts. That’s right! Hobby train chat… three days a week! I know it sounds like a lot, but I promise you, I haven’t bit off more than I can choo choo, haha!. All aboard for adventure, train or shine! Toot-toot, yeah! 

[The train whistle sounds and the show fades out with more train sounds.]

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