Dreams In The Witch House

The new episode is up! I hope it doesn’t need any more trigger warning than “from a story by H.P. Lovecraft”.

I am including the script below, for anyone who wants to read along. Be aware a few changes were made in the final editing, so it might not be exact.

The Dreams in the Witch House

From the story by H.P. Lovecraft

Adapted by Julie Hoverson

Cast:

Walter Gilman

Keziah Mason

Brown Jenkin

Frank Elwood

Mrs. Dombrowski

Professor Ellery

Circe Wells

Desrochers, the man downstairs

Anastasia Wolejco

Detective

Doctor

Judge (1782 flashback)

VOICE (like Rod Serling)

SCENE 1.

SOUND            [FADE IN ON NIGHTMARE, just a glimpse]

WALTER           [Wakes with a start!]  Aah! 

BROWN JENKIN     [tittering echoey laugh]

VOICE            [vo] Whether the dreams brought on the fever or the fever brought on the dreams, Walter Gilman did not know.  America had sent a man into orbit, but Walter Gilman, in his dreams, travelled much, much further.

ANNOUNCER        The Dreams in the Witch House, from the story by H.P. Lovecraft, adapted by Julie Hoverson

MUSIC            SOMETHING TO SET THE TIME – the 1960s

SCENE 2.        

VOICE            [vo] It was in the changeless, legend-haunted city of Arkham, where the clustering gambrel roofs sway and sag over attics such as the one Walter rented while attending Miskatonic University.  He had felt a queer thrill on learning that this dwelling still stood after more than three hundred years – a dwelling where a witch – Keziah [kuh-ZY-uh] Mason – had lived, long ago.  And that her attic room was available to rent.

MUSIC

SCENE 3.         ANGLED ROOM

SOUND            KNOCK ON THE DOOR

FRANK            [almost amused] Walter?  Was that you screaming again?

WALTER           Shut up. 

FRANK            Do you want some coffee?

WALTER           I’ll be down in a minute.  [sigh, does something to try and wake up] 

SOUND            FOOTSTEPS, SLIPPERS, ETC., SKETCHING

WALTER           [muttering]  Posit intersecting or perpendicularly adjacent irregular solids, say, one of which is more or less wedge-shaped, like a piece of pie, but the top slants down at a slight angle from the apex to the–  No.

SOUND            PAPER WADDED UP.  FRESH SCRIBBLING

WALTER           [muttering]  a three-dimensional rectangular solid with a slice taken off the top on a slight diagonal, such that three of the upper corners remain roughly in their original positions, while the fourth is dropped by, [considers] um, about a foot.  [thinks, gives up]  Heck.  Without graph paper and a straight edge, I can’t even make the lines regular enough so the irregularities stand out.

FRANK            [from below]  Get it while it’s hot enough you can’t taste it!

WALTER           Yeah.

SOUND            CRUMPLED PAPER, TOSSED

MUSIC

SCENE 4.         FRANK’S ROOM

SOUND            BREAKFAST

FRANK            Your turn tomorrow.  But you can cook down here.  I don’t think I could shove down any food from your garret.  You don’t have a proper breadbox and the rats are getting bold again.

WALTER           [musing, worried] I never see rats in my room.

FRANK            I know.  You just hear them in your sleep.  Sleep-hearing.

WALTER           It’s worst at night, it gets so… acute. 

SOUND            KNOCK ON DOOR

WALTER           [surprised gasp]

FRANK            [groan, then quiet] Mrs. Dombrowski.  [up, louder]  Yes?

MRS.             You decent?

FRANK            [low] I’m a student – I’m too poor not to be. [up]  Yes.  Come in.

SOUND            DOOR OPENS

FRANK            [fakely bright and cordial]  Yes, Mrs. Dombrowski?

MRS.             [grim pleased] I thought he might be with you. [addressing Walter] Mister Gilman.  How many times have I told you not to just leave paper lying about on the floor?  If it’s garbage, put it in the garbage bin, and if you need it, leave it on the table. 

SOUND            UNCRUMPLING OF PAPER

WALTER           Sorry.  I thought I got it into the bin.  I’ll be more careful.

MRS.             With paper, you know I like to burn it, help keep down costs.  That’s why we have that red bin in the front hall.  The one with the lid.

FRANK            [annoyed, but pretending nice] Yes!  He knows! 

WALTER           [resigned] Yes.

MRS.             You know what rats make nests out of?  Do ya?  Paper.

FRANK            Yes.  He knows.  Thank you!

WALTER           [embarrassed]  Frank!

MRS.             [grumbling as she leave] Yeah, yeah.  Bad enough I gotta walk all those stairs to the very top of the ever-loving house…

SOUND            DOOR SHUTS

FRANK            Your own fault.  You paid her to clean the room. 

WALTER           My mother did.  And I was hoping to find out if she knew anything about that odd wall…. 

FRANK            [beat]  Are those more sketches of your room?

WALTER           I keep trying to adequately draw it, but my meager skills in outlining three dimensional solids are simply not up to the task.

FRANK            Modeling!  That’s it!  Get some Play-doh.  Make a cube.  A little slice here, a little slice there…

WALTER           [slightly brighter] That might work.  When I get a little money.

FRANK            [beat]  So.  Same dream?

WALTER           [horrified memory] Lying in the dark, fighting to keep awake, a faint lambent glow, then a violet mist at the convergence of the angled planes

FRANK            The “difficult” corner of your room?

WALTER           Yes.  And then, that tiny horror pops out of the rat-hole in the corner, pattering closer and closer over the sagging, wide-planked floor.  Mercifully, the dream always goes on to the next phase, the deeper phase, before it gets close enough to [deep disgust] …nuzzle.

FRANK            Jeepers creepers, Walt, Plug up the hole!

WALTER           Do you think I haven’t tried?  Whatever I stick in there, the rats – the real ones – gnaw it away!  I even had Mrs. Dombrowski let me nail a piece of tin over it, and don’t think THAT came cheap, but the next night?  Mm?  [triumphant punchline] The rats gnawed a fresh hole, right next to it. 

FRANK            Fine.  Excuse me for being logical.

WALTER           It wouldn’t stop the second part of the dream anyway – the part where I’m … away.

MUSIC

SCENE 5.        

VOICE            Gilman’s dreams were largely plunges through limitless abysses of inexplicably coloured twilight and baffling, disordered sound; abysses whose material and gravitational properties he could not even begin to explain.

MUSIC

SCENE 6.         SCHOOL

SOUND            CLASSROOM

PROF. ELLERY     [ending a lecture]  …following the idea of the power of suggestion to a rather unlogical conclusion, it might be assumed that all cases of “magic” or “witchcraft” in history were the result of simple credulity on the part of the so-called victims.  However, I will leave you with this happy thought – which may very well disprove such a “psychosomatic” argument – which is, one of the crimes witches were accused of, on a fairly regular basis, was making a man’s genitals disappear. 

CLASS            [ripple of laughter]

PROF. ELLERY     Now go and burn your bras or whatever disreputable things students do on weekends these days.

CLASS            [ripple of laughter]

SOUND            EVERYBODY GETTING UP AND CHATTING

WALTER           Hey.

CIRCE            [guarded]  Me?

WALTER           Yeah.  Can I – can we talk?

CIRCE            [slightly sarcastic]  You want it right from the horse’s mouth, do you?

WALTER           Huh?  Oh, um– Huh?

CIRCE            [relenting] I have another class, and a long way to go.  If you can keep up, you can talk.

WALTER           Okay.

MUSIC

SCENE 7.         OUTSIDE

SOUND            STUDENTS

CIRCE            It’s not that long of a walk.  You better get started.

WALTER           You room in the old witch-house, on the ground floor, right?

CIRCE            [flat] And you’re in the attic.  Hooray.  It’s like we’re cousins.

WALTER           Look, I’m not being smart, here!  There’s some weird stuff going on, and… and I need – I – I don’t know what I need.

SOUND            SHE STOPS WALKING

CIRCE            I’m Circe Wells.  Pleased to meet you,

WALTER           Huh?

CIRCE            I’m trying to start this conversation over from the beginning.  We’ve never been introduced.

WALTER           I – I’m Walter Gilman?

CIRCE            Good.

WALTER           But, your class?

CIRCE            If you’re serious, I’ll cut.  No big deal.

WALTER           Oh.

CIRCE            What about you?  Don’t you have somewhere to be?

WALTER           I – I … [shamefaced]  The professors cut back my course load.  My advisor thinks I’m burning the candle at both ends.  Maybe three or four ends.

CIRCE            Hmm.  So.  Be interesting.  Chop chop.

WALTER           I’m having weird dreams.  In the attic. 

CIRCE            Have you seen Brown jenkin yet?

WALTER           [disgusted sigh] You don’t have to make fun of me.

CIRCE            [serious] I’m not.  People all over the neighborhood have seen it for hundreds of years.  Probably a lot of it was [mimicking teacher] “the power of suggestion”, but it’s still pervasive.

WALTER           “Witnesses said it had long hair and the shape of a rat, but that its sharp-toothed, bearded face was evilly human while its paws were like tiny human hands.”

CIRCE            [sharp]  What?

WALTER           From the official records, what I can locate of them, of the witch trial.

CIRCE            This really is your bag, isn’t it?

WALTER           I don’t think I have any choice.

CIRCE            Easy.  Get another room.

WALTER           At this point in the semester?  I can’t afford to move.  I’d have to hang on til someone drops out, at the very least.  I’m stuck.

CIRCE            [decides firmly]  See me at the house tomorrow.  We might need more than talk. 

MUSIC

SCENE 8.        

VOICE            [VO] The hushed Arkham whispers were persistent – about Keziah’s presence in the old house and the narrow streets, and about the small, furry, sharp-toothed thing which haunted the mouldering structure and the town and nuzzled people curiously in the black hours before dawn. 

MUSIC

SCENE 9.         HOUSE, FIRST FLOOR HALLWAY

SOUND            KNOCK ON DOOR

CIRCE            [muffled] What’s the password?

WALTER           Huh?

SOUND            DOOR OPENS

CIRCE            No. But I guess I’m expecting you.

WALTER           Sorry I’m not sharper.  Haven’t been sleeping well.

CIRCE            Welcome to my humble abode.  Have a seat.

WALTER           Uh, where?

CIRCE            If you don’t like sitting on the floor, take the beanbag.

WALTER           This place – with all the scarves and candles and things – are you …a hippie?

CIRCE            No.  I’m just me.  If you gotta hang a tag on me, I’m closer to “beat” in my mentality, but not quite nihilistic enough.  I only go as far as pessimism.

WALTER           [lost]  Oh.

CIRCE            And I am a non-Christian religious practitioner.  That’s the reason you wanted to talk, isn’t it?

WALTER           A–?

CIRCE            Pagan.  Wiccan.  Witch.

WALTER           Yeah.  I guess I heard you “praying” some nights and smelled your incense.

CIRCE            Chanting.  Directed intention.  Power of positive thinking.

WALTER           What’s the difference?

CIRCE            I’m not asking anyone’s god to do things for me.  I’m doing it myself.  What do you know about Keziah Mason?

WALTER           [slowly perks up] I, uh, well, she lived in my room, was condemned for witchcraft in 1692, but was never executed, due to a pretty impressive vanishing act.  [now excited]  But that’s not what interested me about her,

CIRCE            [teasing] No?

WALTER           –it was the hints that she had somehow incorporated a form of, um, multidimensional mathematics into her magical symbolism! 

CIRCE            [huh?] Oh?

WALTER           Yes!  She seemed to have developed, or been part of a cult that developed, an insight into mathematical depths perhaps beyond the utmost modern delvings of Planck, Heisenberg, Einstein, and de Sitter!

CIRCE            You seem pretty well informed.  What did you need me for?

WALTER           I – I well…  At her trial, Keziah Mason made some interesting statements…

MUSIC

SCENE 10.        FLASHBACK, TRIAL

SOUND            CROWD MURMURS, ETC.

JUDGE HATHORNE   At peril of thy immortal soul, thou shalt speak the truth to this court of Oyer and Terminer!

KEZIAH MASON     Immortal?  [cackles] 

JUDGE HATHORNE   Dost thou mock this court?

KEZIAH MASON     Speak, aye, I might, but thou wouldst not comprehend.

JUDGE HATHORNE   Admit thou hast consorted with Lucifer!

KEZIAH MASON     Lucifer?  [cackles] None so common.

JUDGE HATHORNE   [furious]  Admit thy crimes, beldame!  Thou hast studied dark arts and magics beyond mortal ken, and outside the blessing of our lord God!

KEZIAH MASON     [smug] I ken the lines and curves that point the directions beyond the mortal four, and which lead through the walls of space – to other spaces …beyond.

JUDGE HATHORNE   Be this madness or heresy?  Directions beyond the four corners of the natural world?  Speak to the charges brought upon thy crimes, and leave such gibble gabble to lunatics!  Answer yea or nay, and naught else!  Hast thou met the Black Man?

KEZIAH MASON     aye

JUDGE HATHORNE   Satan’s messenger?

KEZIAH MASON     Nay.

JUDGE HATHORNE   Mark that as yea.  Hast thou signed thy name in the great book, in peril of thy soul?  Well?

KEZIAH MASON     No answer have I.

JUDGE HATHORNE   Thou dost not know if thou signed thy name in a book?

KEZIAH MASON     Aye.

JUDGE HATHORNE   The witch hath answered aye to the question. 

KEZIAH MASON     But twas not Keziah Mason that was signed.

JUDGE HATHORNE   What, then, foul old woman?

KEZIAH MASON     Nahab, the new name given by those beyond. 

JUDGE HATHORNE   [disgusted snarl] This court needst hear no more.

MUSIC

SCENE 11.        CIRCE’S ROOM

WALTER           [excited] That night, she drew these “devices” on the walls of her cell – and vanished!

CIRCE            Whatever it was she was doing, it’s not witchcraft or paganism – not what we know, nowadays, anyway.  Or even Satanism, though most of what everyone thinks is true about that is pretty recent – all from Lavey [luh-VAY], rather than any classical sources.

WALTER           Like the Necronomicon?

CIRCE            [sharp] What do you know of the Necronomicon?

WALTER           I- I -uh – I’ve just heard of it, and I know they have a copy in the special manuscript archives here at the college. 

CIRCE            Hmm.  [changing the subject]  Some of the things she talked about ARE pretty standard to “witch” lore – the black man, the book with the signatures of all those who have given their souls to Satan.  [spits]

WALTER           What was that?

CIRCE            You don’t speak certain names without opening a door. 

WALTER           Isn’t that just superstition?  “Speak of the devil”?

CIRCE            Take the chance if you want to.  I would rather make a symbol and close the door, even if it’s just in my head.

WALTER           Oh.  So the black man?  Wouldn’t he be easy to find?  In the 17th century, they’d just assume he was an escaped slave.

CIRCE            Not that kind of– [disgusted sigh]  “The black man” was most often assumed to be closer in shade to something like obsidian than any human skin tone.  Like some ancient Egyptian statue.  He was a staple of early anti-pagan lore.  [considering]  but there is another possibility – particularly, I think, in this case.

WALTER           Oh?

CIRCE            [spooky] A similar aspect is also mentioned in the Necronomicon as an avatar of a much older god than any modern religion would ever acknowledge.

WALTER           Oh?

CIRCE            Nyarlathotep.  [break, back on task]  I need to see your room.

MUSIC

SCENE 12.        ANGLED ROOM

SOUND            DOOR SHUTS

WALTER           Better leave it open.

SOUND            OPENS DOOR

CIRCE            You afraid I’ll try and seduce you?

WALTER           Mrs. Dombrowski doesn’t approve.

CIRCE            huh.  [rolls eyes]

SOUND            A COUPLE OF STEPS

CIRCE            Your clock’s stopped.

WALTER           Came with the room.  Was driving me batty.

CIRCE            Hmm…  That’s on purpose, is it?  This corner?

WALTER           It has to be.  But it must have been done hundreds of years ago.  I actually climbed up into the attic to try and get into the space above the ceiling here, and it’s walled up – sealed off with lathe and pegs, or something equally ancient. 

CIRCE            Ask Mrs. Dom if you can open it up?

WALTER           You think I didn’t?  I got the whole bill of rights for that one.

CIRCE            What?

WALTER           [sigh]  Apparently the house is–

SOUND            KNOCK KNOCK, SUDDEN AND HARD

CIRCE            [surprised gasp]

WALTER           [surprised gasp]

Mrs.             [belligerent] Having a party?

WALTER           No, Mrs. Dombrowski – I was just showing her the wall–

MRS.             You think I ain’t heard THAT one before?  I thought you modern girls know better these days.  Tsk tsk.

WALTER           [a little panicked] We left the door open!

CIRCE            I’m interested in the house, and the witch.  
NOT this guy.

WALTER           Yeah.  What?

MRS.             If I never heard about that sheep-dipping witch again, it will be too soon!  Can’t you students just do some ever-loving studying or something?

CIRCE            Walter was saying something about the house before you came up.

WALTER           Just about how it’s old enough to be–

MRS.             Old enough to be a historical site, [snide] yeah.  [disgusted dismissive noise]

CIRCE            But that would be groovy–

MRS.             Groovy my eye.  Means I can’t never sell the heap, since it can’t no longer be torn down and rebuilt and no one wants to maintain a pile like this one, least of all yours truly.

WALTER           Can’t you–

MRS.             [running over him]  And until the town council makes the decision, which they been not making for eight years now, I can’t do nothing but rent out rooms.  [going off] I can’t do a single thing myself to damage this house, or allow nothing to be done.  But accidents do sometimes happen.  God willing.

MUSIC

SCENE 13.       

VOICE            In his deeper dreams, he moved through twilight abysses that he felt were those of the fourth dimension.  A myriad of entities seemed to be projections of other life-forms – but what shape might they take in their own dimensional sphere or spheres…?  

MUSIC

SCENE 14.        ANGLED ROOM

SOUND            KNOCKING

WALTER           [jolted awake]  yaaah!

FRANK            You awake?

WALTER           [heavy exhaustion] No….

SOUND            DOOR OPENS

FRANK            You forget about that little thing called classes?  Today?

WALTER           Oh…

FRANK            You look like you been run over.  You sick?

WALTER           No.  Just slept crummy.

FRANK            I prescribe coffee and wheat germ.  Put some pep in your step!

WALTER           euch.

FRANK            Did you at least have a dream with a bathing beauty in it?

WALTER           [shuddering noise] uhhh.

FRANK            [all serious]  You need to get out of this room, man.  I have an almost decent couch in my pad – crash out there for a couple of days.

WALTER           Maybe.

FRANK            You wanna talk about it?

WALTER           You wouldn’t believe me.

FRANK            What’s to believe?  It’s a dream, for crying out loud.

WALTER           You know how I mentioned moving around in vast abysses?

FRANK            Sure.

WALTER           This time, I moved out of one.

FRANK            Out?  Home?

WALTER           No.  [sigh]  I – I didn’t even DO anything but notice something.  Some peculiarly regular angles formed by the edges of nearby gigantic prism-clusters.  In a split second, I was myself again, barefoot and pajamaed, standing on a rocky hillside bathed in intense, diffused green light.

FRANK            Green?

WALTER           I don’t think I saw it, but I felt like the sun was… green.

FRANK            That would be on the … um… hotter side of yellow, if I recall my Doppler effect?

WALTER           Maybe.  I’m not an astronomer.  But it was hot… I tried to take a step, and discovered I could scarcely lift my feet.  

FRANK            Heavy gravity and a green sun?  Someone’s turning over in their grave, but I can’t decide if it’s Asimov or Heinlein….

WALTER           In the midst of horrible lurking vapors like swamp ground cover, I saw two shapes laboriously crawling toward me – they were themselves again as well. The crone strained up to her knees and managed to cross her arms kind of like this [noise of effort], while Brown Jenkin pointed with a horribly anthropoid forepaw, which it raised with evident difficulty.

FRANK            [chilled] Wiggy.

WALTER           Somehow, I dragged myself forward along a course determined by the angle of her arms and the direction of its paw, and in three steps was back in the twilight abysses!  I was just beginning to recover when you woke me,

FRANK            So you’re dreaming of space travel by way of dimensional door?  Did “Time Tunnel” scare the bejeezus outta you?  Or maybe “Lost in space”?

WALTER           Funny guy.  [groan]  I’m not going to make it in to school.  I can’t even focus my eyes.  And it was all so lucky.

FRANK            Lucky?  Some heavy gravity world with a green sun and you were lucky?

WALTER           Well, I could still breathe.

FRANK            Oh, yeah.

WALTER           And… I materialized on the planet, and not inside it.

FRANK            Ew…  Seriously, pal.  My couch.  Here’s the key.  I’ll wake you when I need to get in.

MUSIC

SCENE 15.       

VOICE            [vo] Perhaps it was this town.  Perhaps it was his studies.  Non-Euclidean calculus and quantum physics are enough to stretch any brain.  And, when one mixes them with folklore, one can hardly expect to be wholly free from mental tension.

MUSIC

SCENE 16.        FRONT HALL

SOUND            DOOR OPENS

Mrs.             So glad I caught you, Mister Gilman

WALTER           [startled gasp, sigh, then resigned]  Oh?

Mrs.             There’s been a complaint.

WALTER           Huh?  We left the door open!

Mrs.             Not that.  The walking around at night.

WALTER           The what?  I sleep [falters] like – like a log.

Mrs.             That’s not what Mr. Desrochers says – the fellow what rooms beneath you.  He’s gotta sleep too, ya know!

WALTER           I – I–

Mrs.             [kinder] My husband used to sleepwalk too.   God rest his soul.  But maybe you could take the shoes off before beddie-bye?  Charlie says it’s thump-thump-thump, thump-thump-thump all night long.

WALTER           Shoes?  I- uh, yeah.  Sure.

MUSIC

SCENE 17.       

VOICE            The waking world seemed so much less real than where Walter went in sleep.  That purple glow, like a monstrous pre-dawn presage of doom, the incessant approach of the rat-thing, and soon the appearance of the witch herself, all became so distinct.

MUSIC

SCENE 18.        FRANK’S ROOM

SOUND            PACING

WALTER           Like I would sleep with shoes on!

FRANK            Who would? This Desrocher guy – you think he’s screwy?

WALTER           I can’t think… [horrified] Unless… unless he can hear my dreams…

FRANK            You know

WALTER           Don’t joke!

FRANK            No, no, not like that.  I was just thinking there was a time last week when I came up to see if you were still awake, and you weren’t in your room.

WALTER           What?

FRANK            I went off to wrangle the equation all by my lonesome.  I didn’t attach much significance, figured you were in the gents.

WALTER           What can I do?

FRANK            I read about someone who tied their wrist to the bedframe, so they couldn’t go far.

WALTER           [darkly] I bet it could gnaw through that.

FRANK            what?

WALTER           [up] Nothing.  I’ll think of… something.

MUSIC

SCENE 19.       

VOICE            In the deeper dreams the visuals of the potential entities remained constantly in flux, but one thing was a consistent inconsistency – a vague shrieking and roaring which waxed almost imperceptibly louder and louder, as if some monstrous climax of utterly unendurable intensity was approaching.

MUSIC

SCENE 20.        OUTSIDE

SOUND            WALTER WALKING, CIRCE RUSHES UP

CIRCE            Hey!

WALTER           [startled] Huh?  Oh.  Hey.

CIRCE            Aren’t you a grumpy gus?  Or should I say a sleepy sammy?

WALTER           [yawns]  I don’t even know any more.

CIRCE            You need to get out of that room.  Now.

WALTER           Why?  I mean what new reason?   Why now?

CIRCE            We’re getting close to Walpurgis night. 

WALTER           What’s that when it’s at home?

CIRCE            May eve.

WALTER           We’re not even halfway through April.

CIRCE            The longer you wait, the harder it will get to leave.  These things tighten like traps.

WALTER           These things?

CIRCE            Magical things.  Some nights are powerful, whether you believe in them or not.  Walpurgis Night is when hell’s blackest evil roams the earth and all the dark practitioners gather for nameless rites and deeds.

WALTER           What about you?

CIRCE            Oh, I’ll be fine – I’ve been doing protection spells for a month now.  Oh, take this.

SOUND            HANDS HIM SOMETHING – A BELL RINGS

WALTER           Oh, no, thanks.

CIRCE            Take it!  It might protect you.  What can it hurt?

WALTER           It looks like a cat toy.

CIRCE            What better to scare off a rat?

[a moment, then]

WALTER           Oh.  Ok.  Thanks.

CIRCE            May eve is not just an ancient thing, pal.  It’s always a very bad time of year in Arkham.  Bad doings.  A child or two gone missing. Even if I wasn’t [quieter] what I am, [up] my grandmother in the old country heard tales from her grandmother about this stuff.

WALTER           Oh?

CIRCE            And you have to take precautions.  Pray and count the beads, if you’re bible-folks, or [significant] take alternative steps.

WALTER           Ok!  I’ll keep it–

CIRCE            Wear it.  On you.  At all times, preferably around your neck.  That’s why it’s on a thong.  Keziah and Brown jenkin haven’t been seen by anyone in a couple of weeks – and that’s always a bad sign. They must be up to something.

WALTER           I’ve seen them.

CIRCE            What?

WALTER           Nothing.  I have a doctor’s appointment.  Maybe he can give me something for this damn fever.

CIRCE            Oh, ok.  I’ll have some tea ready for you when you get back to the house.

SOUND            THEY PART, WALK OFF, HE TURNS AND CATCHES UP

WALTER           Hey.

CIRCE            What?

WALTER           You have a cure for sleepwalking?

CIRCE            Tie yourself to the bedpost?

WALTER           What if that doesn’t work?

CIRCE            Cover the floor in flour and see where you go.

MUSIC

SCENE 21.        HOUSE, KITCHEN

SOUND            CUPBOARDS OPENING

MRS.             What the devil are you doing?

WALTER           [startled]  Yikes!  Uh…. looking for flour,

MRS.             Flour?  You baking now?  Or making paste?

WALTER           I need to spread it on the floor in case I sleepwalk.

MRS.             Typical male.  Got no clue at all.  [firm] No.

WALTER           I have to–

MRS.             You’re supposed to be all joe college and stuff, and you don’t even think twice about simple things?

WALTER           Just tell me what I’m doing wrong!

MRS.             Right, I’ll tell you.  I can even do it in a way you will understand, mathematics boy.  Whatcha get when you add up rats in the walls and leaving FOOD all over the floor?

WALTER           Oh…

MRS.             If you’re determined, you can get some sand or something – something as can’t be et by rats – but you better believe you’re gonna clean up every grain of it yourself.

MUSIC

SCENE 22.        PROFESSOR’S OFFICE

SOUND            DOOR SHUTS

PROF. ELLERY     Sit down.  I’m glad to see you’re getting a little fresh air.

WALTER           Huh?

PROF. ELLERY     The sunburn?  You must have been out for hours.

WALTER           Oh, that…  Never mind.  What I came for is… um…

PROF. ELLERY     Ah… I was wondering when this would come.

WALTER           Huh?  What? 

PROF. ELLERY     Well, you’re here to drop my class, aren’t you?  I never could figure out why you were in it in the first place – not much room for a belief in the supernatural in most of you science-minded fellows. 

WALTER           I’m – I’m not here to drop the class. 

PROF. ELLERY     Really?

WALTER           I – I wanted to ask you… I wanted your advice on something.

PROF. ELLERY     Mine?  Well, I’m interested now, anyway.  Go on.

WALTER           I want to know what mythological or supernatural theories there might be about dreams.

PROF. ELLERY     Dreams?  Well, almost every culture has some form of imp or cauchmare [kohsh-mahr] which is supposed to visit one in sleep and hand them bad dreams, but I get the impression you’re looking for something a bit deeper?

WALTER           I think so.  Do you believe that dreams can possibly reflect reality?  That the old philosophical conundrum of the man wondering if he was dreaming he was a butterfly or a butterfly dreaming it was a man could possibly hold any water?

PROF. ELLERY     I think we’re talking around something here.  I’m going to make an educated guess and say you’re not sleeping well. 

WALTER           Uh, yeah.

PROF. ELLERY     So you’re concerned about something in your own specific dreams, and not some abstract concept of dreaming?

WALTER           Pretty much.

PROF. ELLERY     Why come to me?  We have a perfectly good psychologist on staff, and–

WALTER           Dr. Waldron?  He still thinks Freud is the top of the charts. 

PROF. ELLERY     [chuckles]  Plus, consulting me won’t be on any official record that might affect your scholarship, right?

WALTER           [admitting] Yeah.

PROF. ELLERY     Ok, so, what is worrying you so much about your dream?

WALTER           Um, this.

SOUND            SOMETHING METALLIC SET DOWN

PROF. ELLERY     Ew, ugly little thing, isn’t it?  Looks like one of those punching balloons, with the ribs, but deflated, and with sea anemones stuck to either end.  [chuckles] You’re creative, I’ll give you that.  What’s it supposed to be?  A movie monster?

WALTER           I don’t know.  That’s the problem.  I – I had this dream, you see.  I was standing on this huge terrace, all tiled and balustraded, but built on a large scale–

PROF. ELLERY     Large as in giants live there, or more as if you were seeing it from, say, a child’s perspective?

WALTER           Closer to the latter.  Things weren’t vastly out of proportion, but still big.  And wrong, somehow.  But >I< felt like myself, I mean I didn’t feel like a kid.

PROF. ELLERY     And it wasn’t any place you personally have been in the past?

WALTER           I should hope not!  The place had two suns! 

PROF. ELLERY     Oh.

WALTER           [calming a bit]  It was really hot.  I woke there, lying on the terrace.  When I stood, the tiles felt hot under my bare feet – I was still in my pajamas.  I walked to the edge and looked dizzily over the balustrade,  down at an endless, Cyclopean city with streets almost two thousand feet below.

PROF. ELLERY     Two thousand?

WALTER           I’ve been to the top of the Empire state building [1450-ish], and this was way past that. [back to the narrative]  I thought I heard a rhythmic confusion of faint musical pipings that welled up from the narrow streets below, and I wished I might discern the denizens of the place. But looking down like that, I was suddenly giddy from the height, and would have fallen to the tiles had the guardrail not been there.

PROF. ELLERY     Or worse.

WALTER           Hmm?  Ohh… yes.  Even as I clutched it for support, something on the railing broke under my clutching grasp, one of the decorative metallic finials that graced it at regular intervals.

PROF. ELLERY     Very tactile for a dream.  You felt it break?

WALTER           Yes.  The snap was almost audible.  Just then, though, I heard something behind me.  Approaching softly, though without apparent furtiveness, were five figures, two of which were, well… 

KEZIAH           [distant, cajoling]  Gilllllman!

BROWN JENKIN     [distant]  [titters]

WALTER           [rushing on] Two I dream about often.  That’s not the point right now.

PROF. ELLERY     People you know?

KEZIAH           [distant, sharp]  Gilman!

WALTER           No!  I’ve seen, or think I saw, one of them on the street once, but it might just have been a stranger whose appearance caught some subconscious fancy and my dreams adopted.

BROWN JENKIN     [distant]  [titters]

PROF. ELLERY     You’ve thought about this a lot.

WALTER           Trying to make things add up, that’s what we math fellows do.  [back to the dream] The other three figures, though, they were about eight feet tall, ridged barrel-shaped objects with thin horizontal arms radiating spoke-like from a central ring and with vertical knobs or bulbs projecting from the head and base of the barrel, surrounded by legs or arms like a starfish.  They were propelling themselves toward me by a spider-like wriggling of their lower set of starfish-arms.

PROF. ELLERY     Ah.  Thus your little sculpture here?

WALTER           Yes.

PROF. ELLERY     You’ve certainly managed to capture an eerie alien presence in this.  What’s the metal?

WALTER           I don’t know.  I was hoping you might suggest who to ask.

PROF. ELLERY     But…. you made it, didn’t you?  To try and capture the likeness of the things in your dream? 

WALTER           [grim]  No.  That was the finial that broke off the balustrade.  [very grave] Which somehow was still in my hand when I awoke. 

MUSIC

SCENE 23.        FRANK’S ROOM

SOUND            EATING

FRANK            You’re right about old Waldron.  Hate to think what he would have made of this thing.

SOUND            METAL THING SET DOWN

WALTER           Ew.  Yeah.  I let Professor Ellery break off one of the arms for metallurgic testing, since it’s like no metal either of us has ever seen.

FRANK            But it had to come from somewhere.

WALTER           [haunted] It did–

FRANK            OTHER than your dreams.  Let’s get serious, here, Walt – You musta sleepwalked and, well, lifted it.

WALTER           But from where?  I left white sand in the hall last night, so I could see where I went…

FRANK            And?

WALTER           And no footprints exited my room.

MUSIC

SCENE 24.       

voice            In the dazzling violet light of dream, the old woman and the fanged, furry thing came again and with a greater distinctness than on any former occasion.  He felt the crone’s withered claws clutching at him, pulling him out of bed and into empty space, and for a moment he heard a rhythmic roaring and saw the twilight amorphousness of the vague abysses seething around him.  

MUSIC

SCENE 25.        HOUSE, DOWNSTAIRS

SOUND            FRANTIC BUT QUIET KNOCKING

WALTER           [whispered, but urgent]  Circe?  Circe? You awake?

SOUND            DOOR WRENCHED OPEN

CIRCE            What?  Criminy, you look like three kinds of … get in here before you wake the whole house!

SOUND            BARE FEET, DOOR SHUTS

WALTER           Shouldn’t you leave the door open?

CIRCE            Nuts to her.  What happened?  [suddenly seeing]  You’re bleeding!

WALTER           [vague, slightly in shock]  Uh, yeah… uh…

CIRCE            Sit.  Drink this.

SOUND            CHAIR, SLOSH

WALTER           [Gulps, gags]  What the–?

CIRCE            Leftover tea.  What do you expect me to have handy at this time of the morning?

WALTER           [sighs]

CIRCE            Now, talk.

WALTER           I had another dream, but different this time.  More… witchy.

CIRCE            [flat, sarcastic] witchy.

WALTER           Yes!  I mean, the previous dreams were more science fiction, and this one was… different.  It started the same way, with the rat creeping from the corner to get me, and Keziah Mason appearing shortly after, but every time in the past, we’ve moved into the strange fourth dimensional realm before they ever reached me.

CIRCE            And this time they got you?

WALTER           [shudders] Yes. 

CIRCE            Give me your wrist.

WALTER           What? Is that some kind of healing potion?

CIRCE            Pshht.  Merthiolate, dopey.  And very non-witchy band aids.  Go on.

WALTER           They grabbed me, and in the blink of an eye, we were in an oddly-shaped room.  It had an attic dormer ceiling, and a slightly sloping floor…

CIRCE            The space above your room, then?

WALTER           I – I think so.  [losing to sleepy musing] There was also a gap down one side of the room – a long acute triangular shaft.

CIRCE            Behind your slanting wall.  [waits]  So?  What happened?

WALTER           Huh?

CIRCE            You were there, the witch was there, Brown jenkin was there.  What did they do?

WALTER           We weren’t alone.  There was also a– [ominous] a tall black man in a strange robe.

CIRCE            [sharp noise of surprise and revulsion]  The Black Man?  And he had a book?

WALTER           How did you know?

CIRCE            Remember your court case?  It’s a standard of the satanic end of the spectrum, the black man makes people sign their name in his book… in blood.

WALTER           [haunted] Blood….

MUSIC

SCENE 26.        HIDDEN ATTIC

BROWN JENKIN     [chittering laugh]

KEZIAH           We have brought him, master. 

BROWN JENKIN     A new disciple!

WALTER           What?  Me?

KEZIAH           Of course!  Now that thou hast seen the ways of our magic, thou must become one of us!

BROWN JENKIN     One of ussssss!

WALTER           No, I – I’m only dreaming!  You aren’t even real!

KEZIAH           [cackles]  As real as thee, and twenty times as much, as well!  I have walked this world, and many others, just as thou wouldst walk, wouldst thou not?

BROWN JENKIN     Walk with us, Walter, Walk!

WALTER           But what would I have to do?

KEZIAH           Do not question.  Sign the book, and place thy life at the beck of our master.

BROWN JENKIN     sign!  Sign now!

KEZIAH           Prodigious wonders await thee at the center of all things – at the very throne of Azatoth!

MUSIC

SCENE 27.        CIRCE’S ROOM

WALTER           With that, the little monstrosity crawled [shudders] up me, to reach my wrist, and bit me!

CIRCE            Must have bled a lot.  You better clean it all up before Ms. Dombrowski sees your room.

WALTER           You’re not even surprised? This rat BIT me in my dream, and here I am – NOT dreaming… I think… with a bite on my wrist?

CIRCE            Hah.  You think I’m that easy to surprise?

MUSIC

SCENE 28.       

VOICE            What kept Walter from going with Mason and Brown Jenkin and …”the other” to the throne of Chaos where the thin flutes pipe mindlessly was the fact that he had heard the name “Azathoth” in connection with the Necronomicon, and knew it stood for a primal evil too horrible for description.

MUSIC

SCENE 29.        FRANK’S ROOM

SOUND            BREAKFAST

WALTER           [finishing the story, very tired]  But there wasn’t any blood in the room.  Anywhere.  Not in the bed, not on the floor!

FRANK            And you’re only telling me this now, days later?

WALTER           [mumbled]  Only two days.

FRANK            If I have to nail you to the damn couch, Walter, you’re not sleeping another night in that room.  [pause]  Walter?  I’m serious.

WALTER           [heavy sigh, too tired to care]  I dunno. 

FRANK            [beat] So… what about last night?  More space travel? 

WALTER           [evasive] Uh… nothing.

FRANK            [suspicious]  Walter…?

SOUND            POUNDING ON THE DOOR

WALTER           [gasp of surprise, fearful noise]

FRANK            Be cool.  [up]  Who is it?

DESROCHERS       [furious, from outside the room]  Is that Gilman fellow in there?

WALTER           Huh?

NOTE:      Frank talks loudly to be heard through the door, Desrochers is outside.  Door never opens.

FRANK            Shh.  Let me handle this.  [up]  Why?

DESROCHERS       [growled] Get him out here, now!  

FRANK            What’s the problem?

DESROCHERS       Problem?  What makes you think I have a problem?

WALTER           [mumbled] All the yelling.

FRANK            I’ll be seeing him later if you want me to pass along a message.

DESROCHERS       Message?  Yeah, I have a message for him.  If he decides one more time to pace all night in his room, tell him he can do it in his stocking feet!  If, like last night, he clomps around in iron shoes again, I will go up and remove them for him.  [threat] But permanently!

FRANK            Okey doke!  Thanks for stopping by!

SOUND            A MOMENT, THEN HE GOES STOMPING HEAVILY OFF

FRANK            [hurriedly] Did you put that sand out again last night?

WALTER           Yeah, why?

FRANK            We’ll give him another few minutes to get clear, then go up and have a look.

MUSIC

SCENE 30.        ANGLED ROOM

SOUND            GRITTY FOOTSTEPS

WALTER           [dully]  Well, I didn’t go anywhere near the door.

FRANK            [weirded out]  Yeah.  But it looks like you moved furniture around.  These round marks, like table legs…Hmm.

WALTER           Huh?  Table?  My table has square legs.

FRANK            Wiggy.  But what–

CIRCE            [sneaking up on them, speaks quiet, but spooky]  Cloven Hooves.

WALTER           [slight gasp]

FRANK            [startled]  Whoah!

CIRCE            You saw the black man again last night, didn’t you Walter?

FRANK            It’s not polite to call them–

CIRCE            Shut up.  [coaxing]  Walter?

WALTER           [admitting, with a sob]  Yes.

FRANK            You said you didn’t–

CIRCE            [clears her throat]

FRANK            Don’t have a cow, kitten!

WALTER           I don’t want to talk about it–

CIRCE            [cutting him off] You’re in danger, here, numbskull!  And we can’t even help unless–

WALTER           No, no, I just can’t talk here.

MUSIC

SCENE 31.        OUTSIDE, IN THE PARK

SOUND            WALKING

WALTER           How did you know about last night?

FRANK            Maybe she read the tea leaves.

CIRCE            Maybe I read the newspaper, Maynard.

SOUND            NEWSPAPER UNFOLDS

FRANK            [reading the headlines in a spooky voice]  Arrest made in King assassination?  Billie Jean wins third Wimbledon?

CIRCE            No – That one.

FRANK            “Strange kidnapping”?

WALTER           What?  Let me see!

SOUND            TRIES TO SNATCH PAPER

FRANK            Uh-uh, let your uncle read you a story, pal.  [clears throat, then talks like a newsreel]  Orne’s Gangway, a disreputable slum street, experienced a tragic event last night.  Two-year old Ladislas Wolejko was snatched from the arms of his family – [normal voice] or I should say his mother, since it looks like there’s no one else in the home – [back to “newsie”] sometime long past midnight.

WALTER           [gasps]

FRANK            The mother, a laundry worker named Anastasia Wolejko had this to say on the subject.

ANASTASIA        My poor baby!  I begged Mary Czanek [ZAA-nuk] to stay with him while I worked, but she would not!  She knew that devil Brown Jenkin had marked my little Ladislas for to take as sacrifice – they all knew, and none would help us!  Every year a child taken this way, and every year none will help!

WALTER           [sob]

FRANK            [suddenly concerned] Walt?  You all right?

WALTER           [weak] You can stop now!

FRANK            Cool, man.  I – I didn’t know you’d go ape.

SOUND            PAPER SNATCHED AWAY

CIRCE            There’s one more bit you HAVE to hear, Walter.  [reads] A pair of undergraduates who had been walking past the mouth of the gangway just after midnight came forward as witnesses. They admit to intoxication, but both vowed they had seen a crazily dressed trio furtively entering the dark passageway. There had, they said, been a huge robed person with dark skin, a little old woman in rags, and a young white man in his pajamas.

WALTER           [screams]  No?  No!  It was real?  No!

FRANK            Hush!  Hush, Walt, people are staring!

WALTER           [desperately explaining]  She made me!  They took me there, and she dragged me up the stairs, but I wouldn’t go into the room!  I wouldn’t!  [fainter]  When she came out, she wanted me to carry him…  I ran!  He tried to stop me!  I can still feel his hands around my throat!

MUSIC

SCENE 32.       

VOICE            Walter mechanically attended classes that morning, but was wholly unable to fix his mind on study.  A mood of hideous apprehension and expectancy had seized hold, and he seemed to be awaiting the fall of some annihilating blow.

MUSIC

SCENE 33.        FRANK’S ROOM

SOUND            BED RUSTLES

FRANK            Glad you finally came to your senses, Walt.  The couch ain’t much, but at least you’re well away from… from them.

WALTER           Yeah.

FRANK            And after exams next week, I say take a couple of days completely away – visit home, do something.

WALTER           Home’s a little far.

FRANK            Bum it to the seaside, stay at the Y, I don’t care, just get the heck out of the house for a full weekend.

WALTER           I’ll try… [quietly] but I think this may be over by then.  I think it may even be over tomorrow.  Tonight is Walpurgis night.

FRANK            [ominous pause, then]  Whoosis-whatsis?

WALTER           That’s pretty much what I said.

MUSIC

SCENE 34.       

VOICE            Walter listened as he dozed, straining for some subtle, dreaded murmur beyond the noises in the ancient house.  Unwholesome recollections of things in the Necronomicon welled up, and he found himself swaying to infandous rhythms said to have an origin outside the time and space we comprehend.

MUSIC

SCENE 35.        FRANK’S ROOM

SOUND            CREAKING OF WOOD

FRANK            [snoring]

WALTER           Elwood?  Frank?  [gasp] Asleep?  He swore he’d–

BROWN JENKIN     [tittering]

WALTER           What?  Where?  [horrified] A new rat-hole?  In THIS room?  [horrified gasp] No!

SOUND            SPOOKY MUSIC BEGINS TO SWELL

KEZIAH           Thy friend sleeps …now.  Mayhap yon sleep shall stretch to eternity, shouldst thee defy us.

BROWN JENKIN     [very creepy] A nip, a rip, a drip… and red shall flow.

KEZIAH           My dainty sweetie knows the veins to open, to close the book of a man’s life for once and all.

WALTER           No!  [giving in]  What… what do you want from me?

KEZIAH           Thy task is simple.  Follow and obey. 

WALTER           [shudder]  I – I won’t let you hurt Frank.

KEZIAH           Here’s my hand.  The choice is thy own.

MUSIC

SCENE 36.       

VOICE            The screaming twilight abysses flashed by, and he felt himself helplessly dragged along.  All through the churning void there was a heightening and acceleration of the vague tonal pattern which seemed to foreshadow some unutterable and unendurable climax.

MUSIC

SCENE 37.        ATTIC SPACE

SOUND            ARRIVAL NOISE

CHILD            [sleeping whimper]

WALTER           [gasp]

KEZIAH           A dainty treat for the master, aye?  Wheat straining for the scythe.

BROWN JENKIN     Flash the blade!  Drain the cup!  Listen for the primal beat!

WALTER           How can I stand by and let–

KEZIAH           [sly] How canst refuse?  Thy name, thy blood, is in the book.

WALTER           But I didn’t–!

KEZIAH           [sly] Art so certain? [commanding]  Take this!

SOUND            METAL BOWL PASSED OVER

WALTER           A bowl?  For– [gasps, getting it] Ohhhhh.

BROWN JENKIN     Hold steady.  Red stains aught it touches.

KEZIAH           The time is nigh! Step forward and receive–

SOUND            SCHWING OF KNIFE

WALTER           I – I – I Can’t!  I won’t! Ungh! [noise of effort]

SOUND            CLANG OF METAL BOWL IMPACTING RAT   

BROWN JENKIN     Whooooooahhhhhhh!  Ungh!  [flying across room and hitting wall]

KEZIAH           I curse thee!  I curse thee twice! [scream of pain]

SOUND            METAL BOWL HITS KEZIAH

WALTER           Ungh!  [hits her again]

SOUND            BOWL DROPS TO FLOOR

KEZIAH           I curse thee thr– [cut off in mid words, choking]

SOUND            BELL FROM THE CHARM – WALTER IS STRANGLING KEZIAH WITH IT

WALTER           [with effort]  I may not believe in charms, but I believe in strangulation!

KEZIAH           [choking and gasping]

WALTER           [gasping in exertion and almost in tears]  I can’t just stand by and let you kill that child! 

CHILD            [whimpers]

KEZIAH           [one last glurk, then dies]

WALTER           [almost hysterical] Your sentence is carried out!  Hah!  A noose!  After all these years!  [breathing heavily for a second]  And now–

BROWN JENKIN     [titters, slurps]

WALTER           Nooooooo!

MUSIC

SCENE 38.        FRANK’S ROOM

SOUND            THUMPING ON DOOR

FRANK            [groggy]  what?  Who’s there?

DESROCHERS       I’ll break this door down, you don’t open it!

FRANK            [groan]  I’m coming.

SOUND            BEDCLOTHES, FOOTSTEPS, DOOR OPEN

FRANK            What?

DESROCHERS       [freaked out]  You go on up and tell your friend party time is over, as real people have to sleep!

FRANK            Walter?  But he’s here–

SOUND            TURNS, LOOKS

FRANK            Sonuva– [turns on Desrocher]  Why don’t you go and tell him?  Why come to me?

DESROCHERS       [backing down, afraid]  It was – it was the light!  Coming from under the door and through the keyhole, wasn’t it?  I won’t go nowhere close to it, eh?  That hideous purple glowing!

MUSIC

SCENE 39.        ATTIC SPACE

SOUND            DRIPPING INTO WATER

WALTER           [narrating] Brown Jenkin, tough of sinew and with four tiny hands of demoniac dexterity, had been busy while I was “dealing with” the witch, and my efforts were all in vain.  What I prevented the knife from doing to the victim’s chest, the yellow fangs of the furry blasphemy had done to a wrist – and the bowl stood, full, beside the small lifeless body.

BROWN JENKIN     The master must be served.  Traitors perish!! [attack noise]

WALTER           Ow!  Ungh!

SOUND            KICK, THUMP!  RAT HITS WALL!

BROWN JENKIN     [hissing wail, flies across room]

MUSIC

SCENE 40.        ATTIC

SOUND            METAL DRAG

CIRCE            Got it?

FRANK            Got it!  Come on up.

SOUND            CLIMBING A LADDER

CIRCE            [from below] Get started!  We already may be too late!

SOUND            AXE HITS WALL

FRANK            [ungh!] What makes you think he’s in here?

CIRCE            What makes you think he’s not?

SOUND            AXE HIT, WOOD GIVING WAY

FRANK            Jeez, what a stink!

CIRCE            Try just yanking the boards, now that we can get a grip!

SOUND            MUCH WOOD CREAKS and CRACKS

FRANK            Light?

CIRCE            Here.  Is he in there?

SOUND            CLICK FLASHLIGHT ON

SOUND            SLOW FOOTSTEPS

FRANK            Holy jumping jacks.  No, there’s nothing– nothing moving. 

CIRCE            Move the light back – is that dried blood on the floor?

FRANK            I think so. 

CIRCE            And on the table?

FRANK            [sad and horrified] A skeleton.  Small.

CIRCE            Like a rat-thing?

FRANK            No.  Like a kid,

MUSIC

SCENE 41.       

WALTER           I believed my subconscious mind held the angles I would need to guide me back to the normal world alone and unaided for the first time, though it would be like trying to drive an automobile after only watching someone else behind the wheel. I knew I was in the immemorially sealed loft above my room, but doubted greatly whether escape through the slanting floor or the long-stooped egress was possible.  Would I not escape from a dream-loft only to find myself in a dream-house – an abnormal projection of the actual place?

MUSIC

SCENE 42.        HALL

SOUND            FEET COMING DOWN STAIRS

MRS.             Hey!  What was all that noise?

FRANK            Call the cops, Mrs. Dombrowski.  There’s corpses in the attic.

MRS.             [speculative] Really?  You didn’t–?

FRANK            No.  The smell.  Just get the–

WALTER           [off] [groan]

CIRCE            [gasp]  Walter’s room?

SOUND            DOOR OPENS, SHE GOES IN

CIRCE            Frank!  Walter – He’s hurt!

FRANK            [to Mrs.] Police!  Now!  And a Doctor!

MUSIC

SCENE 43.       

VOICE            The coroner’s physician determined that some of the bones found belonged to a small child, while certain others – found mixed with shreds of rotten brownish cloth – belonged to a rather undersized, bent female of advanced years.  Around the neck of the presumed crone was wound a knot of surprisingly modern materials, hung with a small bell.

SOUND            BELL RINGS

WALTER           It was presumed that the rats stole this latter piece more recently from within the house and dragged it into the crawlspace, then snagged it on the long-dead bones.

MUSIC

SCENE 44.        FRANK’S ROOM

SOUND            HEAVY FOOTSTEPS WALKING BY IN THE HALL

FRANK            So?

DOCTOR           He’ll sleep for a while.  Let him wake naturally.

FRANK            And?

DOCTOR           [pessimistic noise]  Hmm.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  Apart from the obvious rat-bite injuries, and signs of a struggle, the only thing wrong with him is…

FRANK            Yes?

DOCTOR           Both his eardrums have been shattered, And I have no idea how!  Unless a stray sonic boom wandered through here and no one else heard it.

FRANK            Can it be… fixed?

DOCTOR           Surgery is certainly an option, but there’s no guarantee your friend will ever hear normally again. 

MUSIC

SCENE 45.       

WALTER           The passage through the vague abysses was frightful!  The Walpurgis-rhythm vibrated in tune with that hitherto-veiled cosmic pulsing which I so mortally dreaded. Half the chants of the Sabbat pattern themselves on this pulsing, which no earthly ear could endure in its unveiled spatial fullness!  

MUSIC

SCENE 46.        ANGLED ROOM

SOUND            FRANK BURSTS IN

WALTER           [talking loudly – he can’t hear himself]  I flew too close, you see!  The rhythms!  The piping!

FRANK            But you were able to–

WALTER           Huh?

FRANK            Oh, here–

SOUND            WRITING

FRANK            [slightly slowed as he writes]  You were able to make it home, anyway.

WALTER           Yes!  I had to go back to my own room, you see – it was a known coordinate.  I don’t know any place else. 

FRANK            [writing] Coordinate?

WALTER           If lines are travel, points are destinations.  You can’t move without a destination – you might end up inside something.  That’s why they were able to find me again, though it took a little while.  People are coordinates too, but they have more variables.  [coughs]

FRANK            [writing] But now they’re dead, right?

WALTER           The witch is dead. I saw her unearthly violet phosphorescence go out.  I’m not sure about– [deeper cough]  Brown Jenkin.  [sound of deep pain]

FRANK            Walter?  Walt?  Oh– [writing]  What’s wrong?

WALTER           A knot.  In my gut– no, it’s higher, in my [horrible painful noise]  in my chest!   [screams]

FRANK            Walter?  Did they curse you?  What is it?

WALTER           [long wail>] Ooooooh, god, I feel teeth!

MUSIC

SCENE 47.        HALL

SOUND            STILL MOVEMENT UPSTAIRS

DETECTIVE        We’re gonna have to take that wall down.

MRS.             [pleased] Show me the paperwork, and it’s all yours!

DETECTIVE        There’s gotta be decades of human remains down the side of the room.  How could anyone not realize there was something going on in there?

MRS.             I always wondered that myself.  

WALTER           [distant scream]

MRS.             What NOW??

DETECTIVE        Stay here!

SOUND            RUNS OFF

MUSIC

SCENE 48.        ANGLED ROOM

SOUND            FEET COMING

WALTER           [screams in agony]  The teeth!

SOUND            DOOR FLUNG OPEN

FRANK            [yelling down stairs] Where’s the doctor?

SOUND            DETECTIVE RUSHES UP

DETECTIVE        Gone.  What’s up?

WALTER           [whimpering and agony noises under talking, then screams] 

DETECTIVE        What’s wrong?  Say something!

FRANK            [duh, yelled]  He can’t hear you!

WALTER           [ONE FINAL SCREAM, then gasps and dies]

SOUND            HORRIBLE SQUISHY NOISES, BURSTING OUT

DETECTIVE        [horrified] What is that THING?!

FRANK            Kill it!

DETECTIVE        What is it?  A blood-soaked rat?

FRANK            Shoot it!  Quickly!

DETECTIVE        Don’t be stupid!

SOUND            WHIPS BLANKET OFF BED

DETECTIVE        Trapped it.  Now–

SOUND            STOMPING, CRACKS, AND SQUISH

BROWN JENKIN     [squeal of agony, then dies]

FRANK            [bitter]  Good.  [agonized]  Walter!  Oh god!

DETECTIVE        What?  Oh….

FRANK            [nauseous] Look at him.  I don’t know how that thing got inside him, but it just gnawed its way out.

MUSIC

SCENE 49.       

VOICE            The body of the invader had been too damaged to identify any of its peculiar characteristics, but Frank Elwood managed to take a picture of one footprint, outlined in dried blood, which might have been that of a large rat, except that it was clearly the print of a tiny human hand.

MUSIC

END

Published in: Uncategorized on October 21, 2020 at 1:17 am  Leave a Comment  

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