Nov. 25, 2021

Part 17: The Fall

THE FALL

 

Creature snarls, Arthur breathing nervously, heavy footsteps

W-what-

Arthur, kill the light!

Lighter flicks

Heavy footsteps draw closer

Get down.

Heavy footsteps, creature snarls

Heavy footsteps, creature regurgitates, snarls and sniffs

Footsteps fade

[Whispering] What was that?

I have no idea. We need to figure out how to get out of here.

Our bag? Our things?

We need to find them. Move slow and stay low - I don’t know how well this thing can see in the dark.

Arthur shifts, muted footsteps

Creature growls

Stop.

Silence

Stay low.

Footsteps, Arthur breathing nervously

Arthur!

Vomit squelches

[Whisperig] Fuck!

You broke through something in this pile.

Arthur struggling

[Grunt] I can’t get it out! My foot’s stuck!

Creature growls

Faster, Arthur!

Vomit squelches, foot pulls free

Footsteps, Arthur breathing nervously

I can’t see anything.

Are we even going in the right direction?

We have no direction to go.

John, if-

Creature growls

Fuck. [Sigh] We can’t keep going like this. We need to use the lighter.

And if that thing sees us?

If I can’t see we could be heading straight for it!

[Sigh] Alright.

Lighter flicks

Yeah… I think…We’re nearer to the left wall than the right.

You think?

I can’t tell. I think so.

Fine, fine.

Footsteps

Stop! The bag is here - it’s by our feet.

Thank God, thank God, thank God… [Rummaging through bag] Anything missing?

Bag rustling

Not that I can see - just the lantern, since we were holding it.

Of course. Fuck.

Creature approaches, heavy footsteps

Down! Lighter!

Lighter flicks off.

Creature breathing, strange whispering, heavy footsteps move away

Arthur breathing nervously

We need to keep heading to the wall. [Lighter flicks on] We must be able to feel for it… the side of the chasm we fell from.

We can’t use the lighter.

I tried to, I-

I know, I know. Keep it lit for a moment. Turn, turn… there! If we head in this direction as the crow flies, we should hit the wall. [Lighter flicks off] For now, I’m as blind as you.

And how does that feel?

I am terrified.

Muffled footsteps

Quietly, now.

Footsteps, creature growls distantly

What the hell is it doing?

I have no idea, Arthur.

[Gasp] I can feel it! I can feel the wall… here. I feel it. It’s-it’s damp, c-cold, but… but it’s stone.

Follow it. To the left - we’ll skirt along the outside until we find an opening and leave.

[Pained grunt]

You’re having trouble keeping weight on your leg?

Yes.

Just favour it for now, we may need to run…

If there’s a way out…

There’s a way out. There has to be.

Muffled footsteps, hand scraping along wall

I feel like we’re getting closer to it…

Just keep moving along the wall.

Vomit squelches

Fuck. What are these piles?

I don’t know. It sounded like the creature vomited earlier… perhaps it is discarded waste from whatever it is eating.

What is it eating?

Flame ignites

What? Light!

What?

Light!

From where?

Coming from everywhere… It’s filling the cavern.

[Panicked] Wh-What?

We’re exposed, Arthur!

Creature growls

Jesus Christ, Arthur this thing lit up braziers to…

To hunt us.

We need to run.

We need to hide, with my leg…

Where?

I don’t know, inside the piles of… discarded-

You’re kidding!

I don’t know!

Whatever we do we need to do it NOW!

Arthur breathing nervously

Hide… we’re hiding…

There’s a pile to our right. Hurry!

Creature approaching, Arthur moves, vomit squelching

Ugh… Oh, God.

Heavy footsteps approach, slow, Arthur gagging

Don’t move.

I can’t... the stench is…

Creature growling

Heavy footsteps approach

Don’t. Move.

Heavy footsteps, creature speaking

Creature [Growling]: O fea oe? Ou te iloa ua e sau iinei

It’s speaking…

Ominous violins

Heavy footsteps

Creature: E te leʻi alu… aua semanu ou te maua oe i le taimi nei… O fea la oe?

I… I can understand it.

What?

It’s asking where we are.

How can you…?

Creature: Ou te manogi i lou fefe

“I smell your fear.”

Oh god…

Ou te lagonaina le tata o lou fatu

“I feel your heartbeat.”

Ou te lagona o outou mafaufauga [laughs]

“I sense your… thoughts…”

Our thoughts?

Viscera being torn apart

Jesus!

ARTHUR!

Impact, Arthur is hit and knocked across the tunnel

Agh! [Pained cries]

Jesus Christ!

O le a oe, lenei tamai anufe?

Creature approaches

Arthur… it walks on two feet, both with razor sharp talons. Its massive body is covered in greasy black fur… it stands maybe sixteen feet tall. Its pink eyes-

LATER, JOHN!

There’s a tunnel to the right…

Arthur panting

Run, goddamnit!

Running, creature moving

There’s a small crack in the cavern wall. It’s tight - maybe three feet.

Okay!

Arthur struggling

Quickly!

I’m trying!  I’m trying!

Slam, creature growls

Jesus Christ… [Panicked breathing]

Stop.

Heavy footsteps. Violins fade.

Lighter! Lighter!

Lighter flicks on

Okay. This will work.

Where are we?

I don’t know… a small offshoot of the cavern. It’s a dead end, but… it doesn’t look like he would fit in here.

And it doesn’t look like we can get out? Not without…

Creature growls

No.

What the fuck is that? You understood it?

Yes.

How?

I don’t know. The two pink eyes, they…they shone with an intelligence unbefitting of its monstrous form. [Creature growling] Its head was… bisected vertically, with great yellow fangs that ran from the top to the bottom. The eyes jutted two inches from either side, covered in coarse hairs.

Okay… okay... Okay…

Arthur, I…

Shut up! Just let me think…

I don’t think we can...

You know this thing.

No, I don’t. I...

You do, you… you know it’s language. John…you are part of this world!

Not anymore, I…

Shut up and listen! [melancholy piano starts]  This isn’t passive playtime; this is active survival. This thing is hunting us. It’s not going to let up just because we want it to. What do you remember?

I don’t, Arthur! If I didn’t remember being the fucking King in Yellow, do you really think I’d remember a creature like that?

It didn’t sound unforgettable!

Creature: o le a le mea o loʻo e talanoa ai iina?

Oh…Oh my god…

Creature laughs

It said, “What are you talking about in there?”

Heavy footstep, Arthur slumps against the wall

No… not trapped in a corner like some fucking rat. [Grunt]

What?

We’re not going out this way.

Piano main theme begins to play

What are you doing? What are you looking for? [Rummaging through the bag] Arthur, you can’t see. What are you…

[Grunt] This.

The book?

Is this the one that we read from?

No, this is the other one - the one with the symbol from the book that I came from.

Good.

Why? What are you…

Answers, for fuck’s sake John, answers! This book, you said it has the symbol like the book you came from did?

Wait.

What?

No… it doesn’t…

What doesn’t? What do you mean?

The symbol on this book… it is the one from the book I came from, but it’s not the only symbol on it. There are three on the front, the other two are faded… I don’t recognize them… And there are three unique ones on the back side as well.

What the hell does that mean?

I don’t know.

Well…

Opens book

It’s filled with many different chapters… headings with words I don’t know… Names, maybe?

Like a ledger?

No, not entirely. These are handwritten, but with… descriptors, like… ‘habitat’.

Habitat?

“The Buopoth enjoys warm tropical forests.”

These… this…

“A minion of Karakal is native to the dark dimension…” A lot of this is half written.

It’s a bestiary.

A what?

A bestiary, from the Middle Ages… illustrated volumes that described animals and rocks, only…

Only this isn’t a bestiary from our world.

Piano fades

Vertical mouth? Talons?

And from its black furred arms sprout two forepaws.

Alright...

Here! There isn’t much… no name, just a description, habitat...

Dark caves?

The Underworld. Superstitious of Ghouls.

Ghouls? They’re a child’s legend, er, a cemetery dweller.

Don’t draw a line in the sand between what’s real and what’s imaginary now, Arthur.

Right… okay, okay… so it’s superstitious.

“Some say cursed by the Great Ones.”

[Sigh] Any of that make any sense to you?

No.

Eerie violins begin

If we try to fight that thing, we’re dead...

It’s very clever - too clever to sneak past.

Unless we distract it or… or… obfuscate our path. There must be-

Up!

Up?

Above us. This crack in the cavern wall - it ascends. It’d be difficult but we could make it higher.

Does it exit?

I don’t know, but where we are now has only one option.

Or we could wait… find out more about these “ghouls.” If they’re superstitious of them, maybe we can exploit that in some way. I feel like there are answers in this book.

We don’t have time, Arthur! I think we should climb. 

No, we need to understand it - we may not get another chance.

Dammit, Arthur!

Trust me, John. Knowledge is without comparison. The things we learn-

Are useless if we don’t survive the next few minutes! We’re trapped in a corner like a fucking rat! [Creature snarls (laughs?)]  If we don’t-

If we don’t take this opportunity to learn what we’re up against, we can’t hope to survive once we’re out of here.

That is a flawed logic. Your pursuit for answers has clouded your mind. Fuck, Arthur! [piano theme resumes] This world, it is not meant to be understood.

I know, I know-

No, you don’t! The nature of this place is not Arkham. It is not run with the same rules and logic of a place like that.

I understand. I’m not trying-

No, you don’t understand! You’re still trying to treat this like an investigation, which is all well and good when we are trying to survive, but this is not survival.

The fuck it is! We are trying to survive! We are learning about our enemy and it’s weaknesses; we are leveling the playing field, we are… navigating the sea at night, using the stars to carve our way forward. You cannot navigate without first learning their patterns.

You cannot navigate with stars that move.

I’m… I’m not, you… You’re just frustrated at-

I’m telling you that trying to learn the rules of this world isn’t going to work.

Well, it isn’t going to hurt, either.

Book opens

You’re wrong.

Read it. Ghouls: I need to know everything about them.

Pages flipping

There, stop. “Primarily feeding on carrion, able to eat fresher fare. Dwell in burrows, red eyes, bony claws… highly intelligent. Knowledge of human society and psychology…”

Eerie violins play

Okay, what else?

The description continues, but… other than “canine features,” nothing stands out.

I… I don’t understand.

What don’t you understand?

I… They’re superstitious of them, why isn’t there-

What the fuck were you expecting?

I don’t know! I don’t know, a-a solution, an answer-

Why?

Because, I-

Rock falling

ARTHUR!

Arthur cries out in pain

Arthur!

Fuck! What the fuck just happened?

A rock…! Arthur, the creature is above us! [Rocks breaking - the creature laughs] It’s throwing rocks down!

Ugh… It feels broken…

Move!

Jesus Christ!

Move, Arthur!

My god…!

Creature growling

Jesus Christ... [Scraping against stone] Oh my god… my arm is wet with blood… My shoulder...

Shut up! We need to move. Keep moving!

Footsteps

Where…? why…?

There must be a way out!

I, ah…It climbed above us… it knew...

It heard… or understood, or…

It figured out the same thing we did. We should’ve climbed - we could’ve gotten out before it…

It doesn’t matter now; just move.

Violins cut out

Where are we?

We’re in a winding hall - the walls are dark. I can only barely make out the passageway thanks to the light from the main room.

We’re in an offshoot?

Yes. I don’t know how large this place is.

Footsteps

What does it look like? What place is this that this creature occupies?

I don’t know. The walls are…they’re stone, but old, well worn - it looks… it looks almost like a crypt.

Creature growling

Just keep moving.

To where?

I don’t know!

Footsteps

We’re coming up to a T junction.

Right or left?

Left - no… right.

Which way is the light coming from?

The left, and we need to stay in the darkness.

But-

It lit the braziers because it couldn’t see us. You said you didn’t want us to die like this, now snap out of it!

Right! Right. Darkness is our friend - th-the darker the better. 

Keep your hand on the wall so we don’t get lost.

Okay, yes-

Wait.

What?

There’s a… the floor here is covered in... blood. There’s a a hole here, at the intersection.

What kind of hole?

I don’t know; it looks like it goes up.

Footsteps.

I think it’s a chute.

A chute? What on earth… What do you…?

I don’t know - it's streaked in blood.

Streaked?

I don’t know but we need to move, now! Go right.

Footsteps

It’s getting darker; there’s almost no light.

What is that… what are we walking in is it…?

I think it’s just mud.

Mud? Is there…

Water trickling

Water… or, I hope at least. There’s a small stream of water coming from the wall. Move to it, quickly!

Footsteps as the sound of water running grows louder

Here?

Yes. I think… Arthur, this is a pool of water.

Water sloshing

If there’s fresh water flowing in there must be a way out. The water doesn’t-

[Urgently] The water - get in!

Walking through water

[Arthur reacts to the water being cold] It’s nearly up to our chest.

Arthur, clear your mind. We need to be silent. Get down, just keep your nose above water. NOW!

Heavy footsteps. The creature growling and talking unintelligibly. It moves on.

Arthur resurfaces, gasping.

It couldn’t hear us.

It couldn’t sense us.

What the fuck do we do now?

That T junction had a chute.

Why? What was that?

I think it’s being fed.

Fed?

Think about it. [Arthur climbs out of the water as John talks] Those piles and piles of viscera, they’re not just from hunting. There’s no way it has near that many creatures down here to hunt.

You’re saying something is feeding it through that chute? Couldn’t it be eating beings who fell like we did?

You think that many creatures fell?

I-I don’t know… y-you have a better scope of how many…

Hundreds, Arthur. Those piles we made of hundreds.

Okay… well… what are you proposing?

All I’m saying is we could stay down here and try to find a way out…

Or we could, what, climb the chute? You’re mad! There is a way out down here and we’ll find it.

Consider the possibility that if this thing is being fed, it may be trapped down here. Food? Water? It almost seems like a prisoner.

And?

There may not be an exit.

I don’t believe that.

What do you believe?

I believe that I genuinely don’t know which to be more fearful of: the creature down here or whatever could be feeding it.

Whatever you decide, we can’t linger.

I know, I know. Let’s try the chute. So far it’s the only way out, and I’d rather chance the possibility of escape over the certainty of death.

Alright, but the climb won’t be easy, especially now. Your leg?

The leg is sore but it’s my arm that’s fucked. I can barely move it. Dammit, if we…

Let’s just look... Pull out the lighter.

Are you sure?

If we move quickly - just let me look. 

Lighter flicks

Oh, there’s a lot of blood. There’s a deep cut on the bicep but for now it seems to have stopped bleeding. However, your shoulder is… out of place.

Lighter flicks closed

Dislocated?

I think so. Have you ever…?

No.

I think you’ll have to set it back.

I have no idea how.

I don’t either, but if we have any chance at leaving we need to fix it.

Jesus… okay, fuck!

Get against the wall. [Arthur does so] It looks… like the joint is above, maybe. Extend your arm and move it upward…

You’re kidding!

Arthur, if we can’t use our arm, we can’t leave this place! I’m not ready to die here and neither are you. We’ve been through worse. You can do this.

Okay.

Shifting

Extend your arm. Up, reach up!

Arthur groans

Okay…

Fuck! Fuck…

Slowly lean against the wall. I think with enough pressure you can get it back in.

Arthur groans, whimpers.

Ah! [Panting] Oh, Jesus Christ… fucking hell…

Better?

It’s still sore, but… I can move it… ugh... With some effort.

That’ll have to do. Let’s move.

Okay… okay...

Left. Quietly now.

Footsteps. The creature growls in the distance.

Here - stop. The light from the main room reaches here so we’ll have to be quiet.

Can you see inside the chute?

Only just. Move closer.

Footsteps

Should we get the lighter?

Yes, briefly.

Lighter flicks

Look inside.

Footsteps.

Well?

A slight breeze seems to come from the darkness. It looks like the chute moves up into an abyssal black.

Is there any…blood?

Quiet, eerie violins

Staining the stone all the way down and on the bottom here. There’s a flat, five foot stone piece before the chute moves up.

Just a flat surface?

Yes. I don’t know why. It looks like a flat piece of carved stone. I can even see the edges where it’s separate from the chute.

Does it look like it… drops? 

What do you mean?

I don’t want to climb in for the piece to give way and drop us deeper.

I understand. We’d need to put some weight on it.

Okay, well… the chute just moves up then?

I can’t see where it ends - it moves into absolute blackness. 

Well, anywhere is better than here.

Move forward, then - carefully.

Arthur grunts and climbs. A lound, mechanical clunking sound  

What on earth is that?

It’s sounding from beneath the plate. Get off it!

Jesus it’s so loud!

Arthur climbs off and the clunks stops

It’s like a-

An alarm.

The creature growls

Are you fucking kidding me!

Run Arthur! This way! Straight!

Arthur panting and running

Right hand on the wall. Move!

Running - Creature growling

Arthur, stop.

What?

The wall, it feels…not as smooth, as if…

As if what?

Climb!

What?

Climb up, quickly!

Oh for fuck’s sake!

The creature is behind us - move.

Okay!

Arthur groans as he climbs

Quietly, Arthur!

The creature grumbles as Arthur climbs.

The music cut out

You’ve made it to the top. Climb over.

Arthur straining and panting

Quietly.

What was it saying?

It said it wants us to run.

Arthur’s frightened breathing

Where are we? Where is this then? Is this where the - the chute, maybe…?

No, that was far behind us and much longer to climb. I don’t know what this is - another level.

If we use the lighter, we can-

No, I can see, but only a bit… There’s still light coming from the braziers below. It’s a large, flat area that is above the maze-like caverns we’ve been moving through. This is where the creature was when it…

Threw a rock down on us.

Yes. This is where we would’ve come out… had we climbed.

We can access everywhere from here?

More or less. We’d have to jump over some cracks, areas we’d run through below… but we can access the main hall, the chute… the room with the water. I feel like…

What?

I feel like this… this is a game.

How?

This thing, it’s almost… hunting us for pleasure. The braziers, the maze-like corridors below and this... this plateau that allows whatever’s up here to look down over everything. 

Like the minotaur.

The minotaur?

It’s a Greek mythological figure… it’s a - it’s a bulls head with the body of-

I know what a minotaur is Arthur; I’m asking why you’re bringing it up.

Solemn piano begins - Arthur groans as he gets up

Theseus is why. There’s an ancient Greek myth. The queen of Crete supposedly slept with a bull sent by Zeus and gave birth to a minotaur. The creature then [gruting] hid in a labyrinth at the palace of Knossos.

[Dismissive] Wonderful. Arthur, move to your right.

O...okay. This way?

Yes.

[Straining] Anyway, the king would then send his enemies to the labyrinth to feed the creature which hunted its prey in the darkness. It was a maze so complex no one ever found the exit.

Piano fades

If you’re trying to inspire hope, you’re failing. Stop! Arthur, I want you to take a leap forward.

A… leap?

It won’t be hard, the gap is small, but I want to make sure we clear it.

Okay.

Running footsteps - a leap, the landing

Arthur pants

Brilliant. Move slowly now.

Same way?

Yes.

Piano resumes

So then who is Theseus?

Oh, um…Theseus, who had fallen in love with the king’s daughter, was the only one to have ever found his way out of the labyrinth.

On your stomach, Arthur - creep to the edge.

Arthur crawling

Where are we?

Above the chute. I see it - stop.

What are we doing?

Watching. Waiting for our chance to move. We’re going to make it up that chute if it kills us.

The minute we enter that chute, it’s just going to make that sound again.

Yes, I suppose so. It knows we want to escape, and it’s not going to let us.

Arthur grunts, sits up

So then how did Theseus escape the labyrinth, Arthur?

Well, he had a thread the King’s daughter had given him. He tied it to the entrance and brought it with him. It allowed him to find the exit.

And what of the minotaur?

He found it in the furthest corner of the Labyrinth… and killed it.

Eerie violins gradually overtake the piano

How?

Some say a sword, a club - others say his bare hands.

What about a giant rock?

Violins intensify

What do you…

Arthur, we’re not going to get out of here without killing that thing.

You can’t-

It’s hunting us. Maybe even toying with us. It’s leaving us alone because it knows that chute has a dinner bell on it. It’s not worried about us leaving this place because it knows we can’t.

So?

Arthur grunts, sits up

So… There’s a giant rock here near the edge. If we could get it below us we could drop it on its fucking head.

That’s a big if. Trying to aim that, time that, that’s-

What’s your idea?

How high up is this plateau?

A couple dozen feet. Why?

A fall to kill?

Maybe. If it was a good fall.

We know it climbs up here. We could lure it back up, and… and push it off.

You think that will be easier than a rock on it’s head?

I don’t know! It’s an option.

Look, I don’t care whether we drop a rock, or push this creature off; we’re not leaving unless we kill it. We can’t dance around it anymore - every encounter has left you weaker. We need to act.

You’re right.

So. [Music cuts out] How do we want to kill it?

We’re going to drop a rock on its fucking head.

Yes Arthur.

And we’re going to kill it.

Yes.

Arthur getting up

Alright.

We need a way to lure it below, something that would keep It occupied. Something to draw it, or…

Distract it.

Sure.

Well… perhaps a body from one of the discarded piles could-

The piles it presumably treats as waste?

Yes, well… right.

Fuck.

Let’s just take this one step at a time. Where is the rock that we can push off?

To our right. It’s on the far side but we can get there.

Alright, let’s just go check it out. Quietly.

Footsteps

What are the chances that this…actually works?

You know I don’t know that.

I think we need a contingency plan.

Such as?

If we miss or… or fail in killing it… we bolt for the chute.

That’s not much of a plan, that’s just running. Are you sure you didn’t hit your head?

What?

I’m joking, Arthur.

[Scoff] You’re suddenly very funny.

Why not. We may not make it out of this one.

You really think that?

Yes. I think that’s where the betting kind would put their money. 

I’ll bet on us, thank you.

Sure. It’s only money.

Creature snarls in the distance

Ominous piano music starts

When we fell… I thought it was over. All of it. I felt like… I-I had slipped away. Completely. Into a nightmare.

We did. I wouldn’t call this anything but a nightmare. 

No, I… I mean a nightmare… one that I have.

You have nightmares?

I have a nightmare, reoccurring. Ever since... Faroe.

What of?

The night she died.

Arthur. What happened?

I failed her.

How?

Piano fades

[Deep breath] Where is this rock?

[Sigh] About fifteen steps ahead. The ceiling is low - be careful.

Oh.

Arthur grunts

This, here? [pats the rock]

Yes.

Water gurgling. Arthur strains, and the rock shifts

Yes, we can push this. Alright, where does it fall?

It’s difficult to see, but… I think it’s by the water? Yes - almost directly above the pool.

If it were drinking, and we pushed…

No, it would have to be in the water.

That water wasn’t deep, either, was it? Fuck!

How do you expect to lure it into the water?

Rummaging - liquid sloshing

With fire.

What?

The flask - it had strong alcohol in it. Remember?

And?

It burns, it’s flammable. If we-

If we pour it onto the creature and-

Drop the lighter, it should go up!

That’s a difficult task, Arthur. By the time you wet the creature it’ll have moved.

Yes, well…

Trying to then strike the lighter and drop it while compensating for its movement.

Arthur sighs

I’m sorry. It’s a good idea but you’d need to find a way to do both - douse it in alcohol and light it at the same time.

Wait, is this made of? This flask?

Glass. Why?

I-I don’t know, I have an… idea.

Okay.

If we could find a way to attach fire to this flask, in a way that would stay lit… I could throw it and - and break the glass on the creature, covering it with the burning alcohol.

You think that would work? 

Possibly, yes! Again I would have to throw it with a great deal of force.

How would you keep it lit while throwing it? You can’t attach the lighter.

We have… some paper bills left over - if we wet them with a bit of the alcohol, then have them sticking out the flask, we can light one end and throw it! The glass will smash on impact and should cover the creature in fire.

And while it’s putting out the fire in the water…

We’ll drop the rock on its fucking head.

You’re sure about this?

No. But do you have any better ideas?

None.

Alright then. Let’s find this thing.

We’re going to need to be right above it.

Where are we heading?

I don’t know - we’ll need to find where it is. Head back the way we came.

Perhaps it’s smarter to find a common path and just wait for it to pass.

Alright. I think I know where - keep moving. [Footsteps] Left. Little more… There, that way!

Footsteps

You know… it could use other ways to extinguish the flame.

I know. This is a gamble.

Creature growls in the distance

It’s close. Stay low, and to your left.

Move to the edge, on your stomach. [Arthur grunting as he crawls] Stay low, let me look. It’s not here yet. This is a good vantage point, though - it’s near the chute and the water is directly to our right. I think this is our best spot to throw the flask onto it.

Alright, then we wait. In the meantime…

Flask open. Papers rustling.

We have one shot at this. You’ll have to light the wick, as it were, and throw it down with enough force to break the glass.

Thankfully if I can get it to break, being exact is less important. It should spread wide. Hopefully.

Alright.

Are you ready for this?

Lighter flicks

No, are you?

No.

Which way is the rock again?

Straight to our right. We’ll have to move fast.

I know.

We can do this, Arthur. You and I, we’ve been through it. [melancholy piano starts] We’ve faced the darkness, the abyssal black void… and we fell in. But we did not let it take us. We will not let it take us. I believe in us, Arthur. I believe that we can do this. Together.

A long silence. Piano fades.

Arthur?

Main piano theme starts

I had hired help. A woman named Tess. She… she would look after Faroe while I worked… writing pieces and such. I-I was so damned self-involved, I.... I am so damn self-involved. Tess had asked weeks prior if she could… have the evening off. I-I said yes. And I forgot. No, that’s not - I-I didn’t even forget, I… I ignored it. That evening Tess herself came to me. She… She knocked on the door to my study as I wrote and she told me. She told me that she had started the bath for Faroe. She reminded me to check on her in a - ih a few minutes, that her… Tess’s carriage had arrived and... and that she needed to go. And I-I answered her. I told her, yes. I told her I heard what she said - I told Tess to have a good night. And - and as she left the house… as Faroe sat in the bath, waiting for her dad… to - to arrive, to turn off the water... I wrote.

[Deep breath - becoming emotional] I wrote a piece of music, and… and thought of nothing else. I thought of nothing else as my daughter, Faroe, drowned.

Arthur pauses, emotional

I don’t deserve your belief, John. I…I don’t deserve your trust. What I deserve... [Arthur’s voice hardens again as the piano fades out] What I deserve wanders the darkness below us.

Jesus, Arthur. I’m…

Sorry? Don’t be. I deserve many things, but I don’t deserve sympathy for this. I failed that day.

You won’t fail again. I won’t let you.

Creature snarls in the distance

It’s coming.

Arthur gasps

Don’t lose it now, Arthur. Get ready! When I say, light the wick. [Heavy footsteps approach]  Now. [Papers catching] Okay, get ready to throw it. We have one chance at this…

Footsteps approach. Arthur breathing fast.

 Wait… [stomp] Wait… [stomp] And… [stomp] NOW! 

Glass shatters - the creature roars as it bursts into flames

RUN!

Running footsteps - Arthur panting. The creature screaming and stomping.

Left! [Running] Jump, Arthur! [Arthur jumps - lands]

We’re almost there. [Running] Stop!

Creature roaring

It’s screaming… it’s almost here! Arthur, it’s running into the water. Push, NOW!

Arthur goans - the rock shifts and then falls. A great CRUNCH and a splash.

Did I…?

I don’t know, but we are running for the chute either way.

Alright!

Quickly, now. Arthur, the-

Arthur slips

[Gasp]

Splash! Arthur’s hearing is covered by water - he resurfaces, gasping

Jesus Christ, Arthur.

[Gasping] Where is it? Where is it - is it dead? Is it-

I don’t know! Stay quiet and swim to the edge.

Oh fuck, oh fuck…

Swimming

No! That way. Quiet!

Swimming

It’s dead. I can see it’s skull cracked open.

Jesus.

We did it, Arthur.

I… I can’t believe it.

I can.

Arthur climbing out of the pool

Thank you, John. For.. for what you said earlier.

Thank you, as well, for… telling me.

Of course. Now… let’s get the fuck out of here.

Absolutely.

Footsteps

To the right, here. Keep your hand on the wall, and we’ll reach the chute in a few moments.

[sigh] Brilliant.

Footsteps

Here! Here it is. This won’t be easy, especially because of your arm, and your leg.

Anything to get out of this fucking place.

Arthur gunts. The clanking starts and then shuts off as he climbs.

[Straining] It’s…it’s very tight in here. I don’t like it - makes me uncomfortable. I don’t - I don’t like this.

It’s all right, Arthur. Relax. Take a deep breath.

Arthur takes a deep breath, climbs. Hits something.

What is this? What is this - a ceiling? I can’t go any further.

There’s a ceiling here that closes the chute - give it a push!

Arthur grunts

[Panicking] It’s not budging! Oh god-

Relax! Try pulling.

Arthur grunts

There! It’s opening. We can climb out.

Metal creaks.

Oh! Oh, thank god…

Arthur climbs out, breathing heavily.

Oh… That was hell. Where the fuck are we?

We’re in a large cavern. The rocks in the walls here are faintly glowing blue; a moss seems to be illuminating this place. We did it. [Sighs]

So what was this chute for?

I don’t know; it’s very well hidden… and just beyond it lay a glowing object. I don’t…

It’s a trap.

Jesus!

This thing, it… it rigged up a trap to lure people towards whatever that glowing object is… to - to trap them. [Sighs] I feel like I could sleep for a year.

Get up, Arthur. We have promises to keep, and many miles to go before we sleep.

[Laughs] Well you have me there.

Arthur takes a deep breath, climbs upright.

Alright. And miles to go before I sleep.

Arthur’s footsteps fade into the distance

Tape recorder stops.

Static.

 

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Transcribed by the amazing Croik! My absolute appreciation to them for their effort and patience in making this.