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September 15, 2021 28 mins

Henry and Rachael uncover a 3rd murder scene, one more brutal than the others, while Springheel Jack sends a care package to the New Sharon Times. Captain Spencer hatches a plan to put undercover cops on campus, desperate to catch the killer.

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Speaker 1 (00:13):
You were listening to Strawberry Spring, based on a short
story by Stephen King to Henry, I've missed you. Without you,

(00:35):
there could be no knee. My knife is sharp and
I'm glad to be getting back to work. I hope
you don't mind, but I needed your car to move.
Some things considered this an invitation. It's time to get reacquainted.
Let's just keep this between us for now. Congratulations on
the baby. M pay to Sharon n. It's just a

(00:55):
word of warning out there tonight. The fog is rolled
in once again on this view the full spring, So
drive slow, walk fast, don't forget to listen this weekend
when we count down and congratulate the biggest hits of
the six here on w s k X. Up next
the later from What am I gonna do? Why is

(01:18):
spring heel Jack targeting me? Now? Do I take this
to the police. I can't make the same mistake twice, Henry,
Are you okay? Huh? Yeah? Sorry? I thought I heard you.
Ye Oh, I tripped over some boxes. I'll be right in.

(01:39):
I'm sorry about before. It's just my hormones. I'm really
on edge. I get it. You're carrying our baby. Get
some rest, Okay, I won't be late. I love you.
He knows where I live. Nose Reach is pregnant. How

(02:01):
long has he been watching? I can't let him getting
near Rachel or the baby. We must miss something eight
years ago and now I have to think about what
happened that could have led us to him. Good morning,
New Sharon. If you haven't looked outside yet, don't bother.

(02:22):
We're about to break in another record for rain on
this day, March one. Mark that one down in your calendars,
because it's not every day we break records in New Sharon.
We mostly just break herds. I guess you could say
we're just a bunch of lady killers. And remember to
keep a lookout for spring heel Jack. He's still out there.

(02:43):
Stay safe, my friends, Stay safe. The rain hit hard
that week the quad filled with money run off. It
was heavy and thick, like a marsh in the middle
of the campus. Not that it mattered much. We're in
a state of perpetual lockdown. Curfew is still in effect,
and to make matters worse, Captain Spencer had a new idea,

(03:07):
one that wouldn't sit well with too many people. Spring
Break can't get here fast enough. I can barely find
time to study with everything that's going on. I have
of a journalist face or famine. You figure out what
you're doing after graduation. I'm not sure yet, still thinking
New York, Boston, maybe d S. I need to come

(03:28):
up with a plan. How about you? Same here depends
on if Rachel decides to go to grad school. I
just need one great story, and I will write my
ticket part in the pun. If I know you, you
think this could be that story. I don't think. That
doesn't occur to me. I guess one good story can
make all the difference. One great story. The question is

(03:51):
how does it all end? Chelsea? Can you wait until
I say it's okay to come in? No, you're gonna
want to hear this. My dad, the captain of Pigs,
is about to do something big. What another curfew? No, curf,
you ain't got nothing on this. He's going to put
undercover pigs on campus. What do you mean, young old

(04:14):
undercover cops. We won't know who they are. He's going
to have a bunch. They look like students, teachers, janitor,
do you name it? Walking around here hoping to catch
spring Hill Jack in the act. How's that going to work.
Our civil liberties are being threatened if we don't even
know who the cops are. I know he doesn't care.
He just wants to stop the killer. This is crazy.

(04:36):
You don't know the half of it. The blue boys
are getting pulled off, so now there will be less
uniformed cops. We have to write this up. I'll take
this one, Henry, keep your ears open, Chelsea. Yeah, good work.
Now both of you get out. I have worked to
do and published a brutal takedown of Captain Spencer on

(04:58):
the New Sharon Police Department. She was nothing of not emphatic.
I'm not quite sure her take meant as much sense
to me as it did to her. I sort of
thought it made sense to have undercover police on campus.
I mean, if you can't tell who the students are,
then neither could Jack. And after all, wasn't that the goal.
I didn't quite know what Anne was railing against back then.

(05:21):
I'm not so sure she did either. I left the
paper and headed home. There never seemed to be enough
time to study. The sun was starting to set. The
fog rolled in like clockwork. It drifted between the tree
line buildings, hiding them from the view, as if it

(05:42):
played a magical hide go seek. It was soft and white,
like pillowy clouds, in substantial but ever present. At the
same time, the fog was dancing, frightening. It was covered
for a killer spring heel Jack was a man. No
one seemed to doubt that the murders were brutal, and
if Rachel was right, sexual in nature. But the fog

(06:06):
was his accomplice, And to me it seemed like a woman.
She was beautiful, but in a way even more dangerous
than springing oh Jack. She was covering his tracks. It
was as if our school was caught between them, the
third wheel and a deadly lover's trying part of the
marriage consummated in blood. I sat and smoked, watching the

(06:30):
path lights come on in the looming darkness. At the
end of my cigarette, the red hot cyndric load reflecting
off the fog with an orange hue that almost felt comforting. Almost.
I wondered if it was all over. Two killing spreeze
have expiration dates. Two girls were dead. Maybe that was

(06:56):
the end of it. I finished my cigarette and hit
it home. Hey Henry, Hey Kevin, what's up? Do you

(07:20):
want a beer? You got anything? Stronger. Not at the moment.
Then if you have one hand, yeah, sure, why not
offer up a toast? But I can't think of anything
worth toasting too with the mom it's a little warm
in here. Mind if I open a window, suit yourself.

(07:40):
It's gonna snow soon. And is that the radio weather
report talking or you me? Who needs a weather man?
Just take a look outside. I don't see anything. Look
at the sky, and snow is about to move in.
Light bounces off the clouds. The sky turns just a
little pink. Can you see it? I guess a little

(08:00):
I've never noticed before. You call it yourself a journalist.
Sailors used to say red skies at night, sailors delight
red sky at warning. Sailors take warning. Warnings seem to
be able. We could use a little more of right
about that thing? You know? It's so strange, not a
single lonely soul walking the campus. It's like they wouldn't

(08:23):
be caught dead on the streets. Seriously, what poor choice
of words you could say that. I think it's the weather.
It has a mind of its own. Hey, Henry, have
you ever heard of strawberry spring? I'm not sure? Maybe
a long time ago. Something grandmother's talk about right, like

(08:43):
a wive's tale. Strawberry spring is like Indian summer, only
way less common. How so well, you get a good
Indian summer in this part of the country once every
two to three years. Weather like we're having, it's only
supposed to come every eight years. It's a false spring,
a lying spring, like Indian summer is a false summer.

(09:07):
I never thought of it that way. Before you got
another smoke. My grandmother used to say, Strawberry spring means
the worst norther of winter was still on the way,
and the longer last the heart of the storm. Ah.
Folk tales never believe a word of it. But the

(09:28):
spring heeled Jack. What about him? It makes me nervous?
What about you? Doesn't it concern you? He could be anyone? Yeah,
he could. At that the whole world is a bit
strange except for the and me. And I'm not so

(09:48):
sure about the Hey, you want to go over to
the Union and shoot some pool. I don't have any cash.
I mean, I'll float you a tense spot. I can't history.
Mid terms are coming up. I'm gonna stay and go
over some notes. Suit yourself. Hey, Henry, you know what

(10:08):
they say, No, keV, I don't. What's that Those who
ignore the past are doomed to repeat it? Last chance? Sorry,
but not tonight. If I get done early enough, I
might try to sneak across campus and see Rachel O Rebel.
Better be careful. You don't want to get caught out
after dark. Never gonna happen. I could walk through this

(10:31):
campus blindfolded, and you've never seen me. I hope you're right.
I watched Kevin out the window. The faint cherry red
fireball on the end of the cigarette disappeared into the fog.
For a long time after he was gone, I stared
out the window. I don't know why. I could barely
see my hand in front of my face. I sat

(10:55):
on the ledge with a book in my lap. I
never turned a page. Part of me new who something
was still out there walking in the shadows where the
fog was now in charge. It took about an hour
of staring at the words on the page before I
figured if I was gonna waste time, I might as
well waste it with rachel m hmm. I didn't put

(11:24):
too much stock in anything Kevin said. He was like
a dime store philosopher, But I'll be damned if he
didn't predict a significant snowfall. The pink sky turned gray
as the snow fell. Little flurries of white dots drifted down.
I caught a couple of snowflakes on my tongue. I

(11:44):
hadn't done that in years. Last time was probably when
my mom and brother was still alive. For a brief
shining moment, I smiled. I really smiled. Been any eternity
since I smiled? The world was turned upside down and

(12:05):
we were all powerless to turn it back over. I
don't know how long I stood out of the snow.
I lost track of time. By the time I looked
at my watch, hours had passed. I finally wandered up
to Rachel's place. Thankfully her lights were still on. M H,

(12:27):
does it have a recurred to you? Call first? No?
You know mid terms are coming up. Don't you have
to study? I do, but you know what? It can wait?
Come outside with me. It's snowing. I don't even have
to jack it on. Well, then hurry up and get
one who knows how long this is gonna last. Ye,

(12:52):
I can hardly see a thing where everything I don't know,
but let's find a big enough place to make some snowing.
No angels, it's gone into you. You tell me you're
the psychiatrist. I'd say for some reason, you're trying to
rediscover your inner child. That sounds good to me. Here,

(13:12):
spread your arms in your legs. I've never done what
you've seriously never made a snow angel. Snake comes surprised you.
But you don't have a lot of snowstorms in the South. Okay, well,
no better time than the present. That should be good. Okay,

(13:36):
let's get up. We'll see how we did here. Let
me help you. Oh no, come on, let's see where
it's coming from. I see the lights. Come on this way,
I'm coming. It looks worse than it is that the

(14:04):
lights are reflected on the fog. Totally ships aground six.
Pay move your flashlight. I can't see. Stay back, both
of you. This is an active crime scene. What happened
there was another murder? I need you both to back

(14:26):
off the way. Captain Spencer really missed this. Look how
many cops are here and someone was murdered and it's
a hard to see fog that I count? How do
these sucking cops. Yeah, and that one in uniform. That
means they were all patrolling and Jack was able to strike.

(14:49):
It was crazy. All I could keep thinking was what
Kevin said to me. Strawberry spring was a false spring,
a line spring. The fog aided an embedded spring heeled Jack.
There was so much chaos, too many cops dressed like
college students. We didn't have a hard time inching our

(15:10):
way towards the crime scene. Follow me and walk towards
The cops just act like, hey, you need a light? Thanks?
I love the scene. Huh? Sure is? I haven't seen
anything like it? Did you see the first crime scene
I was on that night? There's nothing like this. Did

(15:34):
you see what the sick best It did to this one?
Gild all right propped her up behind the wheel of
her sixty Corvette? What do you mean? Propped her up?
Propped up against the wheel? Do you have a choice?
Why not? Because that top half was all that was
left of her. We found part of her body in
the back seat and the rest of her in the trunk.

(15:56):
That's the least of it. The sick bestard right across
the windshield and a blood What are you write? Cash
me if you can. He's challenging us. Have you identified
the victim? Yeah, she had a school idea on her
poor thing. Her name was adle Purpose. I have to go, hey,

(16:26):
are you okay? No, I'm not okay. What the hell
is going on here? We gotta muster into something because
it's inhuman I know. Can you stay with me, Charry?
Of course, I'll make you some team. Can I use

(16:50):
your phone? You're gonna call at this alarys to in
the morning. I have to call Anne. Nobody knows about
this yet. We get ahead of it and get an
afternoon edition out. And you're worried about calling Anne at
a time like this. You know what, why don't you

(17:11):
go tell her in person? Get out? Wait what, Rachel,
This doesn't make any sense. You spend every waking moment
with her, So why don't you go to her and
tell her all about Adele Perkins, the poor girl who
was cut in half, disembodied and left in her car

(17:31):
in the middle of campus. You're being irrational. This is
what we do. We have a breaking story. We follow.
It is what you do. What we are you referring to?
Don't get all psychoanalytical army right now? Why not Henry.
There's a killer out there. He's murdered three girls. No

(17:52):
one knows who he is, why he's doing it. You've
turned it into some kind of game. You're wondering around
at all hours of the night. You claim you can't
sleep since when for the last two years we've been dating,
you've slept like a baby. I'm not the crazy one.

(18:13):
What are you doing out there in the fog? Do
you think you're gonna catch this guy singlehandedly? This spring
Hill jack is cutting women in half? Do you really
think you're five ft ten one d sixty pound frame
is a match for this guy. I'm not I'm not
trying to catch anyone, aren't you. Maybe you're trying to

(18:33):
catch Anne? You've lost your mind? Good I I get
better that way. Look, I know you're under a ton
of pressure with mid term so I am not doing
this right now. You have a story to break, Okay,
good Anne, A good night. It was a short walk

(18:56):
to Hand's place, so I figured i'd listen to the
radio for some company work by Wilson Pickett. These days,
I wouldn't be called dead outside in the midnight hour.
I'm sure that's not what Wilson had mine, but he
was waiting until no one else was around to hold
or do things. Kind of takes on a whole new

(19:18):
meaning with spring yield, jack on the loose. Something to
think about anyway, if you have any requests, give me
called the station. I'm up until you go to sleep.
Rachel was being irrationally. I didn't have feelings for Anne,
but with everything going on, everyone was at their breaking point.

(19:40):
Adele Perkins was the third girl to be killed inside
of a week. As I walked through town, past apartments
and the houses, I couldn't help but think. Everyone has
a sleep, they're peaceful, but in just a few short
hours they're gonna wake up and find out another girl
is dead. H Jesus, Henry, what are you doing here?

(20:18):
It's almost three in the morning. Rachel and I had
a fight. Can I come in? If you do how
to fight? Why don't you go home? Because you're the
reason we got into a fight. I told her I
had to talk to you. I don't get it. And
there's been another murder. We were out tonight and stumbled

(20:38):
on the police right after it happened. But the police,
they were out undercover. You should have seen it, or
maybe you shouldn't have. But it's the worst one yet.
Oh my god, Henry, he knew the police were going
to be undercover. How stupid. If they're wandering around campus
looking like students, he looks just like them. Maybe nobody
knows who the cops are. But it's an even better

(20:59):
way for ring heeled jack to move in between students.
What a mess you're Captain Spencer didn't take any of
that into consideration. Do we know who the victim was?
Adele Perkins? Did you know her? Oh? Did you? I
felt terrible. I didn't know her, but someone was going
to know her. Someone was going to be devastated. The

(21:21):
police weren't any closer and finding the killer. Maybe Rachel
was right. Maybe subconsciously, I couldn't sleep because I was
trying to catch the guy. By mid afternoon, we got
the school. Adele Perkins was twenty one junor. She worked
at the union from six to eleven at night, facing drunk,

(21:42):
frad guys and starving students who barely had enough money
to eat, let alone tip. The union was just across
the street from the library, so I'd have to imagine
for the last three nights she had it pretty easy
curfew was in place. The crowds had dwindled down to
hungry cops on the night shift and a random teacher

(22:03):
to picking up food for the drive home from campus.
We didn't have a lot to go on to tell
Adele's story, but none of that mattered. The story wasn't
about the victims anymore. Now it was about the killer
springing Jack. The campus was never going to be the
same again. Neither was I. If there was any doubt,

(22:27):
that all vanished into thin air when the letter arrived
late the next day, and I haven't slept. What's so
important that it couldn't wane until later? Henry? This came
about an hour or now. That's a tress to you?
Is that written? And yes? He wrote? In blood? What's

(22:51):
that say? Dear Henry? I keep reading your stories about me.
The police tried to fool me last night. I had
to laugh when they tried to pretend to be one
of us. Who do they think they're kidding? You? And
I knew better. I have my type and she's everywhere.

(23:13):
Last night's distraction worked out well. She barely had time
to scream, how can they catch me? Now? I love
my work and can't wait to start again. Pay close attention.
I'm about to start a new game. I thought that
writing and blood would be hard. It turns out it
coagulates fast, but not fast enough for my next number.

(23:37):
I'll send it to the police as a memento. Do
me a favor. Hold on to this letter until I'm done.
We don't want to ruin the surprise. My night's so
nice and sharp. I want to get to work right away.
Good luck. PS. I like the name spring heel Jack.
It's very pointed. I hope it sticks. Get it? Ha

(24:00):
ha ha? Do you have any water in here? Hey?
What's going on? Not? Now? He's been he's been reading
my editorials. He knows who I am. Hold on a minute,
How do we know it's not a hoax? How do

(24:22):
we know it's not? Can I see it? Is it real? Blood?
Could it be right? I don't know. I don't know
anything right now? All right? All I know is we
should call the cops. Now, let's just think about it.
If it is real, you have a direct connection to
spring heel Jack. That could be the difference between breaking
the story and someone else getting it. We have no idea.

(24:43):
If there are clues here that could help he said
to wait. What if you turn it over and everyone
goes nuts again? What if that's what he's counting on?
Another distraction. Let's get something to eat before it gets
too late. We're still on lockdown. We can talk about
it over dinner. This could be a key pe of evidence,
but it could be a prank either way. We have

(25:05):
some time before I could start Let's go Why so
hush hush. We have some things to discuss. We can't
talk about it yet. Nothing personal. We'll talk tomorrow. Oh okay,
I'll just keep getting inside info and passing it off
to you guys. Thanks, passers, see you tomorrow. Hey, who

(25:37):
goes there? Hey Officer Findley, can you just give me
some space? Chelsea Spencer? Is that? Yes, it's me. You
need to get home. It's already after curfew. Yeah, I
think I know what time it is. What are you
going to do? Tell my father? Why don't I escort you? Huh?
I'm the last thing I wanted to be seen with
some gig who works for my father. Thanks, but no, thanks,

(26:00):
I'll take my chances. Awesome. Hey, I told you I
don't want to please escort. Seriously, my dad is not
going to be impressed that some horrified security guard walked
his daughter home for all I know your spring Hill Jack. Okay,

(26:30):
this isn't funny. My dad is the police captain. When
he finds out you're messing with me, She's gonna mess
with you. I'm serious. Will you please stop? You know what?

(26:56):
Fuck you? I'm going home. You can allo means you want,
but you gotta tea because this is the Latti Films.

(27:18):
Yeah did it. Strawberry Spring is a production of Audio
Up Media and I Heart Radio, based on a short
story by Stephen King. Executive produced by Lee Metzker, Jared

(27:39):
Gootstadt and Philip Alberstad. Written and directed by the Lee Metzker,
Starring Garrett Headlund, My Little vent Amilia Horizon, Guardiola, Sydney Sweeney,
Ken Marino, Al Madrigal and Brett Passenger. Audio Up in
house production by Georgiana Glick, Franzheim and Laura Ramada, Edited
by Carry Caulfield, Eric and Jeremiah Zimmerman. Sound design and
mixed by Jeremiah Zimmerman, scored by Jeff Peters. Songs and

(28:02):
music by Jared Gootstadt and Jesse Stephen Burke. Strawberry Spring
is published in Stephen King's short story collection night Shift,
available in paperback and ebook from Anchor Books, and as
an audio book from Penguin Random House Audio. For the
full list of production credits, please visit audio dot com.
You can find more podcasts from I Heart Radio on
the I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you

(28:23):
listen to podcasts. Good Body Up
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