Artwork for podcast October's Children
4. Uphill In January
Episode 44th October 2022 • October's Children • ArcanaCast
00:00:00 00:29:37

Share Episode

Shownotes

CW:

While Gardening Ollie and Grace talk about institutionalized prayer in public school, and Grace notices that something is very wrong with her garden.

Ashley is pulled over by a police officer for no apparent reason. Over the phone, Captain Beaumonte assures her everything is perfectly fine and then makes a phone call of her own.

Conrad takes an elevator much deeper than he expected at the Wolfbrook Community Collage

Jeff and Renee have a heart-to-heart about events in town.

Monk buys a gun

Xerxes runs some tests in the Scrapyard to try and discover why the metal is acting strangely.

Episode 5 10/16

Special thanks to Persephone Valentine, executive producer/ CEO ArcanaCastLLC

Mentioned in this episode:

Universe25 explores a Utopian society in the year 3051 where societal norms of today are long forgotten. A world without war, and devoid of religion gets unintentionally re-introduced to both. Nicolas, Ares, and Leona grapple with the newly discovered history, everyone determines the routes they must take for the good of themselves, and for Calland.

Transcripts

,:

FADE IN:

Ext. of Ollie and Grace’s House.

1. Birds chirp, wind rustles through trees and bushes. 2 pairs of footsteps on grass.

GRACE, "country femme," in her late 20's to early 30's, smart and funny but also somewhat vulnerable.

OLLIE

I still think it’s amazing that you managed to grow all this, Grace.

GRACE

Carrots, broccoli, and kale are hardly orchids love.

OLLIE

I mean, sure, for you maybe. But you’ve got at least two green thumbs.

GRACE

Next year we’ll start you on some radishes, ok? Even you can’t screw up radishes too badly.

OLLIE

Remember where you were when you said that. I’ll probably create a wasteland, a zone of desolation and despair where nothing grows and the social contract falls to ruin, where up is down, left is right, and conservative media begins to make sense.

GRACE

Ok, now I know something’s wrong. I’m willing to entertain the notion of you accidentally creating a Superfund Site, but conservative media coagulating into a coherent narrative? That doesn’t sound like the Ollie I know and love. Something’s up.

OLLIE

It’s just…they passed that referendum? To get prayer into the local schools?

GRACE

Oh, gross!

OLLIE

I know! It’s repulsive!

GRACE

No, not that. Well, yes, that too, actually. But look at this! If you look under the leaves, the entire bed’s covered in it!

2. Foliage rustles as Grace moves some leaves aside.

OLLIE (horrified and fascinated)

Ewwwwwww, what is that?

GRACE

Let me grab a piece, we can look it up online.

3. Foliage bends and snaps back as Grace plucks an object from a stem.

OLLIE

You sure you want to bring it into the house? Probably shouldn’t be touching it with your bare hands, either. Maybe it’s some kind of fungus? Could get spores everywhere.

GRACE

Mm, I don’t think so. It’s sort of yellowish-white, sure, but the texture’s all wro—Oh god!

OLLIE

What?! What is it? You ok?!

GRACE

No I’m not ok! It’s a fucking tooth, Ollie! Our garden’s growing a crop of human fucking teeth!

1. Cue Theme Song and Title Credits

Int. of a Ashley’s compact car

2. Quiet engine noises, and slight road noise in background

OLLIE (Over the phone, static overlay)

I legitimately do not have words for how weird it was. I think Cronenberg has a penchant for understatement, and I still thought this was bizarre. Sometimes it was just an individual tooth, sometimes it was, like, a whole row, or a mouthful, or whatever you’d call a full set of human teeth growing out of a bunch of swiss chard…

ASHLEY

How’s Grace doing?

OLLIE (Over the phone, static overlay)

I dunno. She was pretty freaked out, but we made some tea and she’s settled down, more or less? We’re trying to figure out what to do with a gardenful of teeth. Like, do we tear the plants out? Hire an exorcist? Pave over it and hope no one notices? Because let me tell you, this was not in the “Welcome to Wolfbrook” instructional pamphlet I got when I moved in.

ASHLEY

Well, whatever you decide to do, don’t do it until I get a chance to [come over and take pictures]—

1. The double whoop of a police siren being hit very briefly.

ASHLEY (CONT’D)

—oh, darnit. I think I’m getting pulled over.

OLLIE (Over the phone, static overlay)

You think you’re being pulled over? How does a person not know if they’re being pulled over?

ASHLEY

This has never happened to me before! I drive the speed limit and everything! And it doesn’t even really look like a cruiser, it’s just a dark sedan with lights and stuff!

2. The double whoop of a police siren being hit very briefly.

OLLIE (Over the phone, static overlay)

Well, they’re definitely playing your song. Be careful, move slow, and remember: you have the right to remain silent. Use it. And for fuck’s sake get off the phone! And also call me back after to let me know you’re okay!

3. Beep as call cuts out.

4. The car slows to a stop. Keys turn in the ignition, engine cuts out.

5. Intimidating booted footsteps slowly approach, then stop right nearby.

6. Two taps on the car window.

7. Electric car window rolls down a very little bit.

1. Two louder, more insistent raps on the window.

2. Electric car window rolls down much more.

3. An uncomfortably long pause. Wind through the roadside trees. Maybe a lone crow or whippoorwill calls in the distance, but otherwise silence.

ASHLEY

…H-Hello, Officer…

ASHLEY (CONT’D)

Officer…?

ASHLEY (CONT’D)

Officerrr…? I’m sorry, I can see your badge number, but not your name. Heh. Heeeh...

ASHLEY (CONT’D)

Did you… um… do you need to see… my… er…

4. Another uncomfortably long pause.

5. Intimidating booted footsteps retreat. In the distance, car door opens, footstep, car door closes. Car (electric?) drives away.

6. Crow calls again.

ASHLEY (CONT’D)

1. Ashley scrambles and picks up her phone, dials a 7 digit number. Phone ringing noise.

ASHLEY (CONT’D)

Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck.

OPERATOR

Wolfbrook Emergency Services, Non-Emergency Line. How may I direct your call?

ASHLEY

Yes! Hello! Hi. Um. This is Ashley Slake? With the Union Monitor! I’m doing a piece on the heroes in local law enforcement, and I just had a great interview with one of your officers. They said that I should ask Captain Beaumonte a few follow up questions, could you please connect me to her?

OPERATOR

Let me see if she’s available. Please hold.

2. Truly terrible hold muzak.

VICTORIA (Over the phone, static overlay)

Captain Beumonte speaking.

ASHLEY

Hello Captain! Thank you so much for taking my call.

VICTORIA (Over the phone, static overlay)

Always happy to welcome a new face to town, and I’m not sure I’ve had the pleasure. How are you enjoying working at the paper?

ASHLEY

Oh, the Union Monitor is great! Yeah, they’ve been treating me very well.

VICTORIA (Over the phone, static overlay)

That’s great, glad to hear it. So. How can I help you today?

ASHLEY

I’m doing a piece on the heroes of local law enforcement, and I just had a really great interview with one of your officers.

VICTORIA (Over the phone, static overlay)

Oh?

ASHLEY

Yeah, very friendly, very informative. But, rookie mistake on my end, I didn’t catch their name! I do have their badge number, though. I was hoping you could tell me their name, maybe a fun fact about them or something…?

VICTORIA (Over the phone, static overlay)

Sure, I can do that. What was the number?

ASHLEY

Four. I think.

VICTORIA (Over the phone, static overlay)

Four. Just… four.

ASHLEY

I think.

VICTORIA (Over the phone, static overlay)

You think.

ASHLEY

The font was… a little strange. It was either a very stylized four, or it was twenty-one, with the one overlaying the bottom of the two? If that makes sense? And there may have been an umlaut.

VICTORIA (Over the phone, static overlay)

An umlaut. Over the might-have-been-a-four.

ASHLEY (Over the phone, static overlay)

Um. Yes?

VICTORIA (NO MORE STATIC)

Oh an umlaut over the four! Oh, sure, that’s Officer Fournier. Bit of a joke, them having that number, you see. Yeah, they’re great. Star pitcher for the softball team when we play against the firefighters each spring.

ASHLEY (Over the phone, static overlay)

That’s perfect thanks!

VICTORIA

Anything else I can help you with today?

ASHLEY (Over the phone, static overlay)

No, I think I’ve got everything I need now. Thank you so much for your time! Ah, just so you know, I don’t actually know when this story will be printed, they gave me a pretty long timeline since I’m new and all.

VICTORIA

Well, we’ll be sure to put a copy on the breakroom fridge when we see it. You have a great day now!

ASHLEY (Over the phone, static overlay)

Thanks, you too!

1. Phone disconnect noise, deskphone is hung up.

VICTORIA

Four with a fucking umlaut.

VICTORIA (CONT’D)

Shhhhit.

1. Desk phone is picked up, 7 digit number dialed.

VICTORIA (CONT’D)

This is Police Captain Victoria Beaumonte in Wolfbrook, New Hampshire. I need to speak with the Director.

SWITCHBOARD, an utterly nondescript voice.

SWITCHBOARD

Passcode?

VICTORIA

Yeah, yeah, wait a second.

2. Metal desk drawer is unlocked and opened. A book is taken out. Pages are quickly flipped.

SWITCHBOARD

Passcode?

VICTORIA

I heard you, hold on, dammit.

3. Pages are quickly flipped.

SWITCHBOARD

Passcode?

VICTORIA

I said I heard you, dammit.

3. Page is found, book, it placed on desk.

VICTORIA

Oscar, Romeo, Whiskey, Hotel, One, Niner, Six, Eight.

SWITCHBOARD

Please hold.

1. Phone static for a few seconds.

2. Phone connection clicking noise, followed by considerable and ongoing line static, almost like white noise.

SWITCHBOARD (CONT’D)

You are now connected.

3. Switchboard disconnects from line. Loud static continues.

VICTORIA

Hello?

VICTORIA

Every goddamn time. I hate this.

Have you dispatched any agents to Wolfbrook, New Hampshire or the surrounding area?

THE DIRECTOR.

DIRECTOR

No.

4. Phone disconnects.

5. Phone makes the grating RAH-RAH-RAH noise of a non-working line.

6. Voice comes on the line saying “You have reached a non-working number,” etc.

7. Deskphone is hung up.

VICTORIA

Shhhhit.

8. Music to mark scene change.

Int. of elevator at Wolfbrook Community College, late at night.

1. Continuous elevator rumbling noises.

CONRAD

Listen, Betsy, I really appreciate you taking point on the Blackboard posting.

2. Backwards Wa Wa phone noises.

CONRAD (CONT’D)

Well you certainly didn’t have to, and you’re a lifesaver. Sincerely, thank you.

3. Phone hangup beep.

CONRAD (CONT’D)

Of course if the department head hadn’t changed my syllabus on me none of this would be necessary. But without such delightful surprises, life would be too boring to live. Clearly. Alright, Mr. Phone, what’s the weather going to be like tomorrow?

4. Elevator stops, door opens. The faint flickering buzz of decrepit fluorescent lights.

5. Footsteps and cane taps on linoleum.

CONRAD (CONT’D)

Partly cloudly, pleasantly brisk… I wonder if I should ask Ollie to grab lunch in the park? Do they even take a lunch break? I mean, that would be their busiest time of day, wouldn’t it? …Wait, what floor am I on?

6. Elevator door slowly closes, rapid footsteps and cane tap. Elevator rises, growing distant.

CONRAD (CONT’D)

nonononoNONONONOoooooookay then… I’ll just press the call button—

1. Pushes broken elevator button

CONRAD (CONT’D)

Which is both broken and requires a key! Phenomenal.

2. Footsteps and cane taps on linoleum.

CONRAD (CONT’D)

I need more exercise anyway. Time to take the… where’s the stairwell? The stairwell’s right next to the elevator…

3. The faint flickering buzz of decrepit fluorescent lights.

CONRAD (CONT’D)

Ah, good, yes. Flickering fluorescent lights in a sub-basement. This is both wholesome and entirely unreminiscent of literally thousands of horror movies. There must be a stairwell around here somewhere… Going to have to introduce someone to the A.D.A…

4. Footsteps and cane taps on linoleum.

5. Distant banging of metal on concrete. Fluorescent light noises cease.

CONRAD (CONT’D)

And now it’s dark. Hello?

6. Distant banging of metal on concrete.

CONRAD (CONT’D)

Hellooooooo? Oh, my god, what is that smell? It’s like… ozone and fungus…

1. Footsteps and cane taps on linoleum.

CONRAD (CONT’D)

Seems to be coming from gaaaAAAAAAAaaah!

SAMUEL

Watch your step, there.

CONRAD

AAAAAAhhhhh! Oh… sweet… lord… you could have given me a coronary!

SAMUEL

Oh, now, I think that’s unlikely. Young man like yourself? Pffff. You’re made of sterner stuff, Conrad.

CONRAD

Ah, thank you for the vote of confidence? But also really, Samuel, please, please never do that to me again.

SAMUEL

Do what?

CONRAD

Appear suddenly out of the darkness?

SAMUEL

Ehhhhhh no promises.

CONRAD

Really?!

SAMUEL

Ayunh.

CONRAD

Why?!

SAMUEL

Well, how else would I stop you from going ass over teakettle down that flight of steps? They’re concrete. Don’t think you’re next in line for a heart attack, but dashing your brains out because you wandered into a sub-basement? I’d say that’s a reasonable contender for your obituary.

CONRAD

I’m confused… should I feel insulted?

SAMUEL

If you want to. Never thought much of the idea of telling other folks how to feel, personally… Watch yourself.

1. The screech of a metal door on rusty hinges slamming to the floor.

CONRAD

Where does that lead, anyway?

SAMUEL

Oh, that? …Just some old steam tunnels. Now, let’s get you back upstairs. You’re alright on stairs, aintcha?

CONRAD

They’re not my favorite, but sure. Can’t we just use the elevator, though?

SAMUEL

Sorry, still working on fixing the call panel. You want to see the sun again, it’s this way…

2. Two pairs of footsteps and a set of cane taps fade out.

3. Music to mark scene change.

OPERATOR(Over the phone, static overlay)

911, what is your emergency?

SOPHIA (Over the phone, static overlay)

Hello?

OPERATOR(Over the phone, static overlay)

(A bit tired)

Hello again Mrs. Castellanos.

SOPHIA (Over the phone, static overlay)

Please, how many times do I have to tell you? Call me Sophia!

OPERATOR(Over the phone, static overlay)

You know that I’m not really supposed to talk to you unless you have an emergency, don’t you Sophia?

SOPHIA (Over the phone, static overlay)

And you know that I will keep calling until you talk to me. Did you know that loneliness is a real problem for the elderly?! I read about it in the paper, even. ‘Loneliness and Isolation in Older Adults,’ the article was called. Someday, when I am elderly, I will have many friends much younger than I am. To keep me spry! Besides, how many other calls have you had tonight?

OPERATOR(Over the phone, static overlay)

It has been kind of slow… We did have a degloving come in a couple of hours ago.

SOPHIA (Over the phone, static overlay)

A degloving?

OPERATOR(Over the phone, static overlay)

It’s when someone has all the skin—you know what? Let’s go back to talking about your preserves. How did the applebutter come out?

1. Music to mark scene change.

Int. of “Bill’s Rods and Guns,” a hunting and fishing store.

2. The rattle and cough of an ancient heating system. The electronic BING-BONG of an old foot traffic sensor.

BILL, a heavy-set older man with the haggard voice of a smoker.

BILL

Hepya.

MONK

Hello, yes, thank you. I’m looking for the Everington Gun Show?

BILL

Sure.

MONK

Is that… here, then?

BILL

Sure.

MONK

Only we seem to be the only ones here.

BILL

Ayunh.

MONK

Very well. I’d like to purchase a firearm.

BILL

Watcha lookin’ fer?

MONK

Nothing terribly flashy. Something dependable, with stopping power. For self defense. And possibly for use in deterring… bears. Perhaps a .357?

BILL

You want a handgun that’ll work on bear, probly better off with a .44, .45.

1. Finger taps on the glass of a display case twice.

MONK

Then let’s try the .44. Revolver, in case that needs saying. Less to go wrong. May I?

BILL

Sure.

2. Jangle of keys, the display case is unlocked.

3. The gun’s cylinder is opened, checked, and the gun is placed on the glass case.

4. Monk picks up the gun, slowly rotates the cylinder, closes the gun. Pulls back the hammer, lets the hammer down very gently.

MONK

That’s a fine gun. Is the price on the tag correct?

BILL

Ayunh.

MONK

Fair enough. I’d like this and three boxes of ammunition to go with it, please. Is there… paperwork?

BILL

You using paper or plastic?

MONK

Paper.

BILL

Should be all the paperwork we need, then. What’s your name?

MONK

Monk.

BILL

Hello, Monk. I’m Bill. We’re friends, right? Old friends.

MONK

Yes?

BILL

Co-rrect. See, now we’re old friends, I can draw on my vast reservoirs of personal knowledge ‘boutcha. I know you to be of sound character and good judgment, and therefore, this being a gun show and all, I have no compunction ‘bout sellin you this here firearm without need for a background check or o-fficial identification. On account I know’s ya.

MONK

Yes, of course. It’s been great catching up on old times, Bill. Do you accept hundreds, my good and dear friend?

1. Music to mark scene change.

Int. of the Simard house, a very nice house bordering on a mansion

2. Fish tank noises. High quality Westminster door chime goes off.

E

1. High quality Westminster door chime goes off.

RENÉE (CONT’D)

Hnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnrgh

2. Body rolls over on couch.

3. High quality Westminster door chime goes off.

RENÉE (CONT’D)

Shadup’ngo’way.

4. Knocking on the distant front door.

RENÉE (CONT’D)

Noooooooooooo…

5. Knocking on the distant front door.

6. Pillow is thrown across the room. Feet in socks stagger-stomping across floor to front door.

RENÉE (CONT’D)

Was fine’lly a sleep, fucker. If it’s that newspaper kid asking about his two fuckin’ dollars, swear I’m gonna… ‘mgonna… ‘mgonna brain the little twerp with this fuckin’ golfing trophy. Dad’s got plenny more.

7. Knocking on the nearby front door.

RENÉE (CONT’D)

Alright, you little puke, I’ve got yer two dollars right—

1. Unlocks and opens front door. Daytime bird calls and wind.

JEFF

Whoa there!

RENÉE

Oh shit.

2. Drops golfing trophy.

RENÉE

Misser Jeff? I mean, Tremlly? Jeff’s yer dad.

JEFF

What?

RENÉE

What’re you doin’ here?

JEFF

Mrs. C. said you were supposed to stop by this morning. You didn’t show, she got worried, and, as these things do, eventually it got to be my problem. So now I’m here doing a wellness check… Hey, are you drunk?

RENÉE

Mebbe? What’s it to you?

JEFF

Reneé, it’s not even two in the afternoon on a weekday, and you’re already drunk.

RENÉE (slyly)

“Alreddy?” or “Still?” Ah? Ah? Truly, a kweshun for the sages.

JEFF

I think you mean “ages.”

RENÉE (slyly)

Do I? …Doooooo Iiiiiii?

1. Feet in socks stumble back into the house.

JEFF

Guess I’m invited in, then.

2. Booted footsteps, door closes, fish tank noises. Fridge door opens.

RENÉE

Y’wanna beer?

JEFF

No, thank you, and I’m pretty sure you don’t either.

3. Fridge door closes.

RENÉE

You are not my dad!

Fuck, my dad is barely my dad…

4. Kitchen chair scrapes on floor, person settles into it.

JEFF

No, I’m not your dad. I’m your friend. And right now, your friend is worried about you. You ok?

RENÉE

Me? Oh, yeah. ‘M great. ‘M juss fuckin’ peachey, me. ‘M rich, an’ famous, and I’ve got a kickass ride, me.

‘M the crown princess of a deadend crapsack mill town in the middle of fuckin’ nowhere,

RENÉE (CONT’D)

my life’s a joke, an’ I… almos’ got fuckin’ boomsticked by Mrs. Casa… Cacsa… Catsa…

I almost got shot by a witch. An’ I think monssers might be real? Monssers that aren’t human, I‘mean. Fucker’s the size of a truck. An’ I have to pretend like everything is normal!

1. Person slides to the floor

RENÉE (CONT’D)

I almost died… So no. No, I am not okay.

JEFF

Hey, hey. Hey now. It’s okay to not be okay. You know that, right?

RENÉE

Do I? ‘Cause lemme tell you, that’s not what I was taught when I was little.

JEFF

Then I guess it’s a good thing you grew up to be such an independent thinker and badass, right? Someone who’s smart enough to know they have friends, and brave enough to ask’em for help when they need it?

RENÉE

Yeah. Right. ‘M a real badass. ‘M a fuckin’ mess is what I am.

JEFF

Three sheets to the wind and suffering from PTSD is what you are. C’mon, lemme in the fridge and I’ll fix you up some eggs and toast. You get the coffee going.

1. Chair scrapes, clothing rustles, feet (shoes/socks) shuffle around.

JEFF (CONT’D)

When you’re feeling better, we can have an actual talk about how you’re doing. Maybe call Ollie. Or, better yet, we can set you up with an appointment with a professional. Sound good?

RENÉE

Yeah. Yeah, ok.

2. Fridge door opens, food rummaging noises.

RENÉE (CONT’D)

S’do we like… hug… now… or something?

3. Food rummaging stops immediately.

JEFF

I mean… are you feeling a need for us to hug?

RENÉE

Not really, no. Seems like a thing people would do in this sort of sit’uation, but I think it’d jus’ feel weird.

4. Food rummaging resumes.

JEFF

Ok, good. I’m all about being there for my friends, but: one, I’m not much of a hugger, and two, I don’t know that it’d be such a great idea.

RENÉE

Whyzat? You got something going on with somebody?

JEFF

Whoa whoa whoa, I never said anything of the kind! You know pretty much everybody I do, and you know that my daughter comes first. She’s too young, and i-it’s too soon, a-and she might start gettin’ confused if I look at some local lady like that.

RENÉE

Yeah, the local scene’s fuckin’ hoooooOh, shit! You’ve got a thing for the reporter!

JEFF

Ahhh… No comment?

1. Music to mark scene change.

Ext. of Xerxes’s Scrapyard, at night

2. Peepers and other night sounds

3. Electronic Beep as recorder is turned on.

XERXES

Third trial. Readings from the Geiger counter are negligible, have opted to forgo lead cladding. Interesting readings along broad swatches of the EMF, but isotropic probe is no longer sending data that can be regarded as either consistent or accurate, assume corruption of the digital platform.

4. Electronic whirring and static noises, Geiger counter ticking, etc.

XERXES (CONT’D)

Have deployed analog gauss and tesla meters along the periphery of the phenomenon, attempting to account for and minimize interference from nearby scrap.

1. Low, slow building otherworldly noise. Instrument noises increase in parallel, as does the sound of wind.

XERXES (CONT’D)

Unsure audio recording is reliable based on previous trials. There is a hum or droning that seems to originate from well beyond the epicenter of the phenomenon, regardless of the angle of approach.

2. A low juddering rumble in the earth, like heavy furniture dragged over difficult material.

XERXES (CONT’D)

There is a wavering distortion in the air, somewhat akin to heat haze.

3. Hundreds of shards of metal slide across one another.

XERXES (CONT’D)

Objects, mostly metal, within the phenomena’s boundary are beginning to move. It appears to be a patterned effect, likely magnetic, though some non-ferrous materials are also caught in the movement. The materials are forming themselves into a variation on the spiral fractal previously observed. Wait…

XERXES (CONT’D)

Something is happening in the air above the phenomenon.

4. There is a strange noise, part high and strident tone, part sizzle, and part low thrum—the sound of reality unweaving.

XERXES (CONT’D)

I can see… something… in the darkness…

5. The monster roars.

6. Cue Endcap Music and Closing Titles