The Way We Haunt Now
- Episode Three – The Voice
- “Halloween Again” by the Zombie Dandies (available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License on Free Music Archive).
- “Dead From the Beginning, Alive Till the End” by Doctor Turtle (available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License on Free Music Archive).
- Link to PDF transcript
- For more information: www.hauntnowpod.com
- Twitter: @HauntNowPod
- Instagram: @HauntNowPod
Episode Three – The Voice
SFX: Theme music (simple guitar with spectral oohs and ohs and occasional cymbal crashes) fades in
COURTNEY: (V.O.) This is The Way We Haunt Now, Episode Three: The Voice
SFX: Theme music fades out; the sound of someone walking on gravel fades in…
EULALIE: So, I’m pretty sure my students are pranking me. They all started doing their weekly journals normally and then ended up reciting Christina Rosetti’s “Remember.”
PARKER: (through phone) What’s that?
EULALIE: A creepy Victorian poem about dying.
SFX: cars pass by in background.
PARKER: You’re kidding. What are you going to do?
EULALIE: Honestly? I don’t know. Technically, none of them actually met the assignment requirements. But what they did took so much more work…they used sound effects to make it sound all crackly and creepy and everything.
PARKER: If it was me, they’d all get F’s for scaring ten years off of my life.
EULALIE: (laughs) That’s why you aren’t a teacher.
PARKER: True. (Pause) So, tell me about this top secret project that has you ignoring your best sister’s texts and calls…
EULALIE: Only sister. (Laughs) But also best. (Blows air out of puffed cheeks as if in thought). So, you’re going to judge me…but I spent a third of this month’s stipend on a broken phonograph and I’ve been fixing it up to see if I can get it to play.
PARKER: You didn’t.
EULALIE: (huffing a little because she’s walking while she talks) I did.
PARKER: (horrified whisper) how much was it?
PARKER: Four. Hundred. Dollars?! I thought you were going to come visit us this summer?
EULALIE: I KNOW. But I couldn’t help it. It’s so cool.
PARKER: I–– Couldn’t you have just…I don’t know…looked at it for a little while and called it good?
EULALIE: No. You don’t understand. It’s almost like I was compelled to buy it or something. Like, I couldn’t stop myself. And, honestly, it was a really good deal.
PARKER: And now you’ll be eating ramen for the next three months. Serves you right.
EULALIE: Peanut butter sandwiches and microwave mac n’ cheese, I’ll have you know. But, yeah.
PARKER: (wailing) EULALIE I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOU. IT’S BEEN SO LONGGGGGGG.
EULALIE: I know. I’m sorry.
PARKER: (brightening up) Maybe after you fix it you can sell it for a lot more?!!
EULALIE: (noncommittally) Yeah, maybe. We’ll see. Anyway, I almost got the spring in this morning but it still didn’t work, so I oiled it and let it sit for awhile. Hopefully I’ll be able to pop it in when I get back and then… get it going.
PARKER: Listen to you, Ms. Handy Woman…
EULALIE: Mostly I’m just distracting myself with a bad attempt at jogging. I need it after last night.
PARKER: What happened last night?
EULALIE: Besides the creepy student prank? Well, a new doctor plied me with bourbon for a couple of hours and gave me lots of advice about ghosts. Which, I didn’t know they taught you in medical school.
PARKER: Mmmmm. And was this doctor cute?
EULALIE: Maaaaybeee. Okay, yes. She was definitely cute.
PARKER: Sounds like she had a good barside manner…
EULALIE: Okay, okay. That’s enough of that. I’ll talk to you later, sis.
PARKER: What? Too close to home??
EULALIE: Love you.
PARKER: (singing) She put a spell on you…
SFX: phonecall ends, music (“Halloween Again” by the Zombie Dandies) starts as Eulalie begins walking rapidly.
SFX: A ghostly soundscape of crows cawing, cicadas and frogs singing, and an occasional thunderclap fades in…
NARRATOR: What? Things aren’t moving along quickly enough for you? Hold your horses. Even hauntings have lulls.
SFX: Ghostly soundscape fades out…
EULALIE: Come on, you son of a––
SFX: sounds of a spring slipping and scraping
EULALIE: You little bastard. All you have to do is (panting, barely breathing) slide into this right here and
SFX: metal screeches
EULALIE (breathes hard) That’s it. You’ve got it. YOU’VE GOT IT!
SFX: metal screeches one last time and then spring clicks into place
EULALIE: Whew, you really didn’t make this easy did you? I probably shouldn’t be talking to a machine, but considering how much of my sweat and blood lives in you now, I might as well. Okay. Now to get everything back in place and give you a whirl.
SFX: Metal clanking as Eulalie puts the phonograph back together, attaches the horn, turns the crank, and starts it going. Phonograph crackles to life.
SFX: Eulalie pushes a button and the phonograph winds to a stop.
EULALIE: I wonder if I should record this. Like one of those YouTube unboxing things but for an antique. Parker would get such a kick out of it. (PAUSE) Ok, don’t go anywhere, I’ll be right back.
SFX: Faint sound of footsteps walking into another room and then returning as Eulalie goes to grab her phone.
EULALIE: Alright, got it. Just let me get it set up…I think maybe the view from this shelf is a good angle?
SFX: Sound of Eulalie adjusting her phone on a shelf.
EULALIE: (Takes a breath) Looks good. Okay.
SFX: Chime of phone starting to record.
EULALIE: Hi everyone, I’ve been MIA lately because I’ve been fixing up this absolute unit.I think I’ve finally got it in working order, so I figured I’d livestream it’s first time playing music in who knows how long. Ready? (Takes a deep breath) Here goes nothing.
SFX: Phonograph crank, phonograph crackles as cylinder turns…
FRANKIE (recording): Christina Rosetti’s “Remember.”
SFX: Scary sound. (Think Friday the 13th!)
FRANKIE (recording): Remember me when I am gone away, / Gone far away into that silent land; / When you can no more hold me by the hand, / Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay. / Remember me when no more day by day / You tell me of our future that you plann’d: / Only remember me; you understand / It will be late to counsel then or pray. / Yet if you should forget me for awhile / And afterwards remember, do not grieve: / For if the darkness and corruption leave / A vestige of the thoughts that once I had, / Better by far you should forget and smile / Than that you should remember and be sad.
EULALIE: (speaking over the recording of Frankie) I…uh…that’s enough live streaming for now. I’m…I think I’m going to…
SFX: Eulalie takes a couple of footsteps, then faints. The phonograph keeps crackling in the background. Eulalie’s phone starts to ring and ring. Suddenly, the phonograph cylinder starts playing again – even though phonographs don’t work like that. Scary sound repeats. Everything fades out.
SFX: Ringing phone and phonograph fade back in.
EULALIE: (moaning) Ugggh my head. What happened? (Breathes like she’s just waking up, deep and snuffly) Why am I on the floor?
SFX: Eulalie takes a few steps to grab and answer the phone.
PARKER: (on phone) Eulalie! Are you okay? You were livestreaming the phonograph and then you just… Fainted.
EULALIE: I’m fine.
PARKER: Have you been eating enough? You should go to the doctor to get checked out.
EULALIE: I’m fine, I promise. I just got a little lightheaded. I forgot to eat lunch.
PARKER: Are you sure? What if something’s wrong? You scared the crap out of me. I–– I didn’t know what to do.
EULALIE: I’m sure. I’ll eat right now, I promise.
PARKER: Okay… Um. I told everyone online I’d handle things, so hopefully nobody called the police or an ambulance.
EULALIE: Thanks for that. I’ll call you if anyone shows up.
PARKER: Good. (Breathes hard) Don’t do that again, okay?
EULALIE: (laughing weakly) I’ll try not to.
SFX: Phonograph crackles louder as if in challenge. Eulalie gasps.
PARKER: What was that?
EULALIE: (Distracted) What was what?
PARKER: Are you sure you don’t want to go see your new doctor friend? Just to be extra sure you didn’t bump your head too hard?
SFX: Phonograph crackles intensify.
EULALIE: (Strained, distracted, trying not to sound scared) I promise, I’m okay. I–– I’m gonna go make a sandwich now. And I think I need to charge my phone, too.
SFX: Frankie’s recording starts playing again.
PARKER: Okay. But text me to let me know you’re still alive, okay?
EULALIE: Sure. Talk to you later, sis.
SFX: Eulalie hangs up. Spooky phonograph sounds get louder. Frankie’s voices gets echo-y.
EULALIE: I might’ve just hit my head, but I know I’m not imagining this. (Mildly panicking) Where’s free-bourbon-ghost-whispering-doctor-lady when you need her? And what did she say? To ask it to leave? (Snorts).(Yells a little, half-joking) Hey, ghost. I don’t know if you realize this, but you’re kind of scaring me. Can you please go somewhere else?
SFX: ghost crying
FRANKIE: (still not quite her normal speaking voice, sort of strained and angry and panicked.) Remember me.
SFX: Scary sound.
EULALIE: (whispering, fiercely) Nope. Didn’t think so. Let’s just fall back to square one. This isn’t real. It can’t be real. I just need to snap out of it.
FRANKIE: Remember. (PAUSE) Me. (Faster and faster) Remember me. Remember me. Remember me. Remember ME. Remember ME. REMEMBER ME. REMEMBER ME.
EULALIE: (at the same time as Frankie; shouting) NO. THIS ISN’T REAL. GHOSTS AREN’T REAL. YOU AREN’T REAL. (Crying) This isn’t real. It isn’t real. It’s not real. It’s not. It’s not. It’s not.
SFX: (at the same time as Frankie and Eulalie) cupboards bang, glass breaks, ominous house sounds build to a breaking point. Then, everything stops.
SFX: A ghostly soundscape of crows cawing, cicadas and frogs singing, and an occasional thunderclap fades in; sound of narrator filing and then blowing on her fingernails.
NARRATOR: If I had a nickel for every time I had to say “I told you so,” I’d be able to afford a manicure right now. Not that I’d have any place to get one, but it’s the principle of the thing. Eulalie managed to ignore or reason away every single warning sign, and it caught up with her hard. It usually does, with humans. Not that it was her fault, really.
Humans are such fragile things. So fixated on what’s “real” according to their own biased little rules. So unable to contemplate raw possibility that they wound themselves in the effort to shield their meaty little brains. As if possibility isn’t something to revel in, like a torrential downpour. Try to protect yourself with an umbrella in that kind of rain, and, well, all you get is a broken umbrella and a good soaking. But if you put your umbrella away––or better yet, never take it out in the first place––and dance your way through the puddles. You’re still soaked, in the end, but you’re better for it. Richer. Fuller. Do you see what I mean?
SFX: Ghostly soundscape fades out.
SFX: Faint sound of a heartbeat under music (Doctor Turtle’s “Dead From the Beginning, Alive Till the End”) in headphones…
EULALIE: That’s better. These noise cancelling headphones are the best thing anyone’s ever given me. If only Parker knew…Shit. Parker. I promised to text. How long has it been?
SFX: Eulalie tapping on her phone.
EULALIE: Two hours. Dammit. She’ll be worried.
SFX: Eulalie taps on her phone. The music stops and the phone starts to ring.
PARKER: Hey! I was beginning to think you weren’t going to remember.
SFX: As Parker says “remember,” Frankie’s voice from the recording repeats “remember.”
PARKER: Uh, either that or that you were dead.
SFX: As Parker says “dead,” Frankie’s recorded voice echoes with the word “sad.”
EULALIE: (internal monologue) Keep it together, E. It isn’t real. You aren’t really hearing anything, It’s probably just anxiety or something.
PARKER: You there?
EULALIE: Yeah. Sorry, I ate too much and fell right to sleep.
PARKER: Eulalie! You could’ve had a concussion!
EULALIE: Hey, I didn’t fall that hard. And I’m calling now. I’m fine. I’m just still pretty tired. (Takes a breath.) Honestly, I think I’m going to stay in bed for the rest of the day and sleep it off. It’s been a long week.
PARKER: Okay, okay good. That… that sounds like a nice plan. (PAUSE) Um. Are. Are you…sure it’s not a hangover courtesy of your new-lady-doctor friend?
EULALIE: (snorts) Shut up.
PARKER: Make me. (Giggles)
EULALIE: Maybe I will. (Giggles)
PARKER: Do you… Do you want me to stay on the line with you for awhile?
EULALIE: (quiet) Yeah, that would be nice.
SFX: Theme music (simple guitar with spectral oohs and ohs and occasional cymbal crashes) fades in
COURTNEY: (V.O.) This episode of The Way We Haunt Now is written, directed, and produced by Courtney Floyd with voice acting (in order of appearance) by:
COURTNEY: Courtney Floyd as Eulalie
MARNIE: Marnie Warner as Parker
KIRA: Kira Apple as the Narrator
ELEANOR: Eleanor Grey as Frankie
COURTNEY: Whether you’re new to the spirit world or simply a ghost in need of some entertainment, you can visit www.hauntnowpod.com for more episodes as well as information about our cast and crew, content warnings, transcripts, and links to our social media.
SFX: Theme music fades out
COURTNEY: Remember to haunt responsibly!
Resource: Christina Rossetti’s “Remember”