Dungeon Rock

SCENE: Dungeon Rock in Lynn, Massachusetts. It’s a warm summer morning in the woods, with birds chirping and a breeze through the trees. 

(MASON and TAYLOR are hiking in the area and have stopped at dungeon rock for a break. They’re coworkers who are friends, but not very close. TAYLOR hikes regularly but MASON is more of an indoor person.)

MASON (deadpan)

Yes. A cave. Very exciting, Taylor. 

TAYLOR

Oh, shut up. Unfortunately it looks like the door’s locked so we probably can’t go in today. But it’s cool, it’s this long winding tunnel that just keeps going underground. 

MASON

Is it natural? Like the glacial caves you were telling me about?

TAYLOR 

No, actually there’s a weird story behind it. 

MASON

And you’re about to tell me it, aren’t you?

TAYLOR

Obviously. Okay, so Dungeon Rock. Back in like the sixteen hundreds or something, there was supposedly a pirate captain who ended up here in Lynn. And he had a shitload of gold. So he comes out here to the woods and finds a small cave to hide it in. And it worked fine for a while until the cave collapsed, burying him and the treasure deep underground. 

MASON

And then he dug the tunnels to get out?

TAYLOR 

Naa, he was really fucking dead at that point. But, like, years go by and then a rich guy buys the property the cave was on. And he and his son spend the next thirty years searching for this pirate gold. He claimed that the pirate visited him in dreams and gave him instructions on where to dig. So they dug these winding tunnels all based on what this pirate ghost supposedly told him. 

MASON

And he never found it, did he?

TAYLOR

Nope. They spent their whole lives searching and never found it. Sad, really. 

MASON (obviously disinterested)

Yeah, devastating. Hey, pass me one of those granola bars. 

(They sit down outside the cave and take a break.)

TAYLOR (swallowing a piece of granola bar)

Mason, how are you feeling? Still stressing the presentation?

MASON

Yeah. I’ve got another week to finish it, but I’m just so nervous. I know I’m in the running for the open management position and I almost wish I didn’t, you know? I feel like this presentation is going to make or break me. 

(MASON takes a sip of water and sighs.)

MASON

It’s nice to get out this weekend though, rather than sit inside and obsess over it. Thanks for in inviting me to come with you. 

TAYLOR

No problem! I’m glad you came. I love hiking out here, I don’t get up here nearly enough. 

MASON

Yeah, it’s nice to get out of Boston for an afternoon. I’ve never been up this way. 

TAYLOR

Really? Like just Lynn or the North Shore in general?

MASON 

Really anywhere outside of Boston. I was working at the Cincinnati branch before I transferred here and just haven’t really gotten out much. 

TAYLOR

Damn. Well, there’s some cool shit around so definitely get some exploring in. It’ll help getting out of the office too. Not that I don’t love seeing you at work, but a personal day once in a while won’t kill you. 

(MASON laughs and the two sit in companionable silence for a moment)

TAYLOR

Want to head on?

MASON 

Sounds good. 

(They get up and start to walk away.)

TAYLOR

Sorry we couldn’t go in and check it out. I guess it’s only open certain times. 

MASON

That’s fine. Honestly, I’m all set on caves. I don’t do well in small, dark spaces. Even the T gives me the creeps sometimes.

TAYLOR

That’s fair. Though the T is pretty terrifying all on its own.

(The scene fades out as they walk on.)

(SCENE: MASON’S dream. It’s swirling and urgent.)

(VEALE is the pirate captain from Taylor’s story. He’s otherworldly, demonic figure.)

VEALE (whispering)

Mason…Maaaaaaaason…

(MASON shoots awake, breathing heavily. He lays there for a moment to get his bearings, then picks up his phone to check the time and groans.)

MASON

Ughhh…ten minutes before my alarm? Really?

(He sets down the phone and sighs.)

MASON

Might as well get up.

(He gets out of bed and stumbles out of his room and into the kitchen. He hums softly as he makes coffee.)

VEALE (in the same tone as the dream)

Mason…

MASON (startled)

What? Who’s there?

(There is no answer. MASON laughs nervously.)

MASON

Must just be that dream still lingering. 

(A couple hours later, MASON is at work. He is trying to type something, but keeps getting distracted and staring off into space.)

TAYLOR

You okay?

MASON (startled)

What? Oh, yeah, I’m fine. I just didn’t sleep well last night.

TAYLOR

Even after a full day of hiking? Man, that’s rough.

MASON

Yeah, I don’t know. (yawns loudly) I’m just wiped.

TAYLOR

How’s the report going?

MASON

Oh, I’ve made absolutely no progress on it. 

(He stands up and stretches.)

MASON

I think I’m going to take a walk, see if I can clear my head.

TAYLOR

Yeah, good call. I’ll see you later.

MASON

Bye.

(Scene fades out)

(Scene fades in on another dream. Again, Veale whispers against a backdrop of demonic urgency)

VEALE

Mason…I’m waiting, Mason…Mason…

(VEALE’s voice merges into TAYLOR’s.)

TAYLOR (sharply, concerned)

Mason!

MASON

What?!

TAYLOR

Jesus, are you okay? I’ve been trying to get your attention for like thirty seconds.

MASON (snippy)

I’m fine! Just…busy.

TAYLOR

Well, you look like shit.

MASON (sarcastically)

Oh great, thanks.

TAYLOR

You know what I mean. Are you getting sick? 

MASON

No, I’m fine. Hey, are you planning to go back to Lynn this weekend?

TAYLOR

No…why?

MASON

I need to go back to Dungeon Rock.

TAYLOR

What?

MASON

I need to go back to Dungeon Rock. 

TAYLOR

Why? You didn’t even-

MASON

I just do. It’s important.

TAYLOR

Well, I’m going to be out of town starting tomorrow, but it’s open to the public. So I guess you could just-

MASON

Good. Yes. Thanks.

(He turns back to his computer and starts typing, clearly dismissing Taylor.)

TAYLOR

Um, okay. Have a good weekend, I guess.

(TAYLOR walks away. VEALE’s soft laughter can be heard as MASON types.)

(SCENE: One last dream. The chaotic soundscape is thicker and more intense than in the others.)

VEALE

It’s there, Mason…you need to find it…it’s waiting for you…I’m waiting…

(MASON jerks awake again. But instead of lying still to catch his breath, he sits up straight.)

MASON

I need to find it.

(He gets up and walks out of his room, shutting the door firmly behind him.)

(SCENE: Dungeon Rock in the middle of the night. Crickets chirp and there’s the sound of very distant cars. Then footsteps and heavy breathing as MASON approaches. As he gets there, the door swings open.)

VEALE

Maaaaason… 

(He steps inside the cave and the door slams shut behind him.)

SCENE: Monday morning in the conference room. Mason is nowhere to be found.)

BOSS

Has anyone talked to Mason today?

TAYLOR

I haven’t seen him at all. It’s weird, usually I see him in the morning. He didn’t look too good last week though, maybe he’s sick?

BOSS

Try calling his cell phone. The other managers will be in soon, so hopefully he’s on his way.

(TAYLOR takes out their phone, dials, and waits as it rings. As they’re waiting, BOSS’s phone rings.)

BOSS (in background)

Hello? 

MASON (on voicemail)

Hi, you’ve reached Mason’s phone. I can’t take your call right now, so please leave a message and I’ll get back to you.

(The voicemail beeps and TAYLOR begins to leave their message.)

TAYLOR

Hey, Mason, it’s Taylor from work. Um…I hope everything is okay. You’re supposed to be giving your presentation in a few minutes and, um, well, obviously you aren’t here. Can you call me back? As soon as you get this? Thanks. Bye.

(They hang up and turn back to Boss, who is also hanging up.)

TAYLOR

No answer.

BOSS (stunned)

No…listen, Taylor. I just got a call from Mason’s dad. There was…some kind of accident? Mason’s dead.

TAYLOR (equally shocked)

What? No!

BOSS

I don’t know any details. But apparently his body was found in a cave up in Lynn.

(TAYLOR gasps.)

TAYLOR

Oh, god. Dungeon Rock. What the hell was he doing there?

(SCENE: TAYLOR’s dream. It’s swirling and chaotic, but not as demonic as MASON’S dreams were)

MASON

Taylor? Taylor, is that you?

TAYLOR

Mason! What happened?

MASON

I’m digging for treasure, Taylor! Just like you said! He told me it’s here, I just need to keep digging!

(The episode fades out with the faint sound of VEALE’s laughter amidst the swirling dreamscape.)