Joseph Parker is a news reporter for a Culver City news station—WZYT Channel 9 News. He’s in his late forties-early fifties, whose hair is balding. He’s bald on top with brown hair on the sides. He has on a blue button up shirt with a blue tie. He is waiting to go live via a stream that’s similar to Zoom. He turns on his camera and then gets the cue to begin.
“Today, we have an interesting interview today with a scientist from the secretive town Lizard Valley. There are rumors that the town is stuck in a constant time loop. Today, we have professor Lars Kearns via Zoom stream to talk about this mysterious location. Lars, are you there?”
The Zoom stream goes to a split screen. Lars is a skinny, older man in his mid-fifties with hair that’s black and curly. He has on a white dress shirt with a red tie that’s loose on his shirt. There’s a significant blood stain on his shirt. He has on glasses that are crooked on his face. He looks distraught and tired. Parker didn’t expect his guest to look this way.
“Woah…Professor Kearns…are you okay there?”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m good. Call me Lars. The locals call me Lars.”
“So, Professor Kearns, tell me what it’s like living in the strange town of Lizard Valley.”
“Oh, it’s bullshit.”
Parker’s eyes grow large. Then he laughs nervously.
“I’m sorry, Professor, but we can’t curse on air.”
The professor is looking at the bloodstain on his shirt. Then he snaps out of it to look at Parker.
“Oh, sorry,” the professor says.
“I see you looking at a stain on your shirt. Is that blood?”
“Yeah, I shot myself in another failed suicide attempt.”
“Uh,” says Parker.
Parker chuckles nervously, while sweat appears on his face. Parker’s news producer talks to Parker in his ear piece.
Parker nods and continues on. “So…you attempted suicide?”
“Yeah, it was the…17th time. See…time in Lizard Valley is in a loop. We relive the same day every day. You can do different things. But when the day ends, we start all over again. Also, apparently, we can’t die and we’re immortal.”
“Wow. Immortality,” says Parker.
“It’s not a good thing. You wanna know why?”
Kearns pulls up his shirt to show his skinny frame and small belly.
“I have stage two stomach cancer. It will never go away. See, I could leave the valley and maybe get treatment. But, the next day, I’ll wake back up here with my body back in the same condition. I could go to Japan for treatment and I’ll somehow be back the next day. See, our brains and thoughts move forward with time, but our bodies don’t. Time always resets itself every day here.”
Parker looks baffled and curious as to what say next.
“Sounds awful,” says Parker.
“Don’t believe all of these rumors about the town. Don’t get me wrong–it’s a good town for some. Some, like me, it’s bad.”
“May I ask who thinks it’s a good life?”
“The Clarks do! They’re both in their eighties. Apparently they don’t wanna die yet. I guess they’re not tired of looking at each other.”
Kearns brings out a long, brown rope. He looks at Parker.
“You know…when the word got to me that this town was mysterious and it was in a time loop…I had to check it out myself.”
He starts tying the rope into a noose.
“That was a mistake. So fucking stupid. Oh, sorry, I cussed again. I thought that I could fix this town’s temporal crisis. I thought that I could be a hero. Instead, my brain is cooked.
Kearns gets up from his chair with the noose and stands on the chair. Parker starts to panic.
“Uh, Professor Kearns. Professor Kearns! What are you doing?”
Kearns looks at the camera.
“Killing myself. I’m sleepy. Tired. I need a breather. Gotta deal with this bullshit again tomorrow. Like I said, we can’t die here.”
Kearns puts the noose around his neck.
“I’d say goodbye, cruel world, but it wouldn’t be true. See y’all tomorrow!”
Parker cuts off the feed and makes it single screen. Parker is in shock as he closes his interview.
“That…that…back to you, Lance.”
Parker stares into his laptop screen in utter shock.