Oct. 19, 2020

Part 4: The Voices

THE VOICES

 

We’re going to spare her.

Really?

Yes.

What are you going to ask for?

Something simple. Something that I know she can do for us.

Right….

Alright, I can ask her something simple, right?

Yes.

Okay. I offer to free your soul in exchange for guidance towards the nearest town.

Interesting. Now cut the chair.

Wraith wails

Is she?

I see the direction she’s pointing. She has honored your offer.

Thank you.

Wraith disperses.

Is she?

Yes. We need to leave this place.

Agreed, that child needs warmth, sleep and most importantly something to eat. Let’s leave this place and never look back.

Exit house.

So, what’s the plan?

Find somewhere safe, give the child to the authorities maybe?

You think that will be easy? Remember you are wanted back in Arkham.

Yes, yes, I know. For now, the child’s life is most important. It we just wanted it to die we would’ve left that place an hour ago. Now, is there a road? You mentioned one leading away from the house?

Yes, the driveway. It’s overgrown but leads through the woods.

Well, I suppose there is only one way to go then.

Walking

This brings me back to the woods before the accident.

Yes.

We’ve been a bit preoccupied but… what was all that about? Why did the woman give us this child and what was in the woods?

There was something animal following us…. I’ve felt it since then.

Yes, and the typewriter in the basement?

The black goat comes.

Yes. Exactly. There is something larger going on here. Something that feels almost -

Unfinished.

Yes.

You don’t…. see anything, do you?

I promise you, Arthur, I’ll let you know the minute something begins to follow us.

No thank you, in fact this is one time I’d be happy to just walk blindly around.

The rain is letting up.

Thank god, feels like it’s been storming forever.

I think I see a main road.

Where the driveway leads out?

Yes, it’s overgrown – no wonder this place is abandoned. It’s near impossible to see.

This road?

It’s paved and, more importantly, I see lights. A fair distance, but a manageable walk away.

Thank god. Let’s just move.

It looks like a truck stop diner and gas. I’m not sure what you’d call it.

Let’s just call it a blessing.

God, I can practically taste the coffee now. Does it have large glass windows and a wraparound counter inside?

Yes… and a number of people.

Wonderful.

A woman, crying… she’s wrapped in a blanket.

Crying?

She looks ragged, cut up. There’s a police officer with her.

Wait. What?

Arthur, I think this might be a bad idea. There’s a phone booth to your right, let’s just wait a moment.

Well? What are they saying?

I don’t know Arthur I can’t read but she looks inconsolable.

Wait… you don’t think… the car that was pulled off to the side of the road….

The one we originally stopped for?

Yes. You don’t think that’s this child’s mother, do you?

She definitely looks like someone who has lost something of immeasurable value.

What is the police officer doing?

He’s just listening to her. Maybe consoling her. There’s another officer that’s just appeared from the back.

Damn.

There’s a truck pulling up to the diner. Looks like a man getting out, he’s left his engine on.

Why?

He’s pulled a case out of the back of the flatbed. He’s delivering something.

Right.

Arthur… his flatbed is empty, and the truck says Crawford Farm; Harper’s Hill.

Amanda Cummings lives in Harper’s Hill.

What do you want to do?

Even if this child doesn’t belong to that mother, maybe we should leave her with them…

You want to give them the baby?

That would lead to too many questions, but maybe we can leave her on the stoop of the diner and… get their attention.

Arthur, are you sure?

Yes. No… Yes. We’re in no condition to be taking care of another life and she’d be much safer with them. This may be our only chance to get to Harper’s Hill.

You want to ask him for a ride?

No…. Maybe, I don’t know. We could, or we could just climb into the back of his flatbed.

If he catches you….

Well, that could be bad, but if we just ask that could be worse.

Alright. Well, let’s cross that bridge when we get to it, for now - if you stay low there is a cement partition you can hide behind on your way to the front entrance.

Wait…

What.

Just, do me a favour first and describe her to me.

The child?

Yes, I won’t get to see her but… maybe just let me know what she looks like so I can try to remember.

Sigh. She has warm eyes, soft blue… and a curling smile, through thin lips as if she knows more about the world than she’s letting on. Her eyebrows are thick and curious… and her fingers are chubby but long – a piano player for sure one day.

Thank you for that.

N-no… of course.

Alright, here we go. Shh Shh, it’s alright. Hope to see you soon, little one.

They haven’t seen you, let’s go.

Arthur, Keep your head down.

I want to watch, to make sure they see her.

Sigh. Alright.

Do they see her yet?

Yes, they’ve seen her. They’re panicked. The woman… she’s… crying. Arthur, I think this is her mother.

Well.     

Well.                     

I mean, we did pull over to see if we could help. I suppose we did. Okay, where’s the truck?

Back along the partition.

Stop. Right here. Okay, what’s your plan? 

 

I’m going to just… ask them for a ride. 

What? Why?

Because let’s be bold. There’s no sense in dancing around it. We know they’re going to Harper’s Hill

Exactly, why bother interacting with someone…

We’re… I’m doing it. Is he in the truck?

He’s heading to it now but…

Alright…

Arthur! Arthur, stop! Listen to me!

Excuse me, sir… I’m so sorry to bother you but I was wondering if I could get a ride.

Arthur, you went to the wrong truck. This one just pulled up. It doesn’t have any signs on it.

Sure.

He’s waving you over to the passenger’s side.

Thank you!

Of course. No sense leaving you out here alone.

You could have.

Arthur this man is wearing a gas mask. I can’t see his face, but his head seems to be fixated on the road ahead of you.

I… thank you… I appreciate it. I was heading to Harper’s Hill.

It’s all good.

My name’s Arthur.

Kellin.

Nice to meet you.

You’re wondering about the mask.

No, I’m just thankful for the ride. I appreciate it.

I was in the great war. My lungs…. They didn’t do so well with the chemicals.

Right.

I try to be more careful is all.

That’s completely fine. Thank you for the explanation.

I didn’t need to.

Sorry?

I didn’t need to tell you.

Right.

I wanted to.

Thank you for that. I appreciated it.

Arthur, need I remind you that you’re still, most likely, wanted by the police? You’ve been in an accident; you’ve just dropped the missing child off at the diner where this man was. This is a bad idea. We shouldn’t be…

Quiet.

What?

Nothing. Sorry, did I say that out loud? It’s been a long day.

Pause.

Do you know how to sing?

Sorry?

I…. it took me a second to realize what was going on.

That’s alright. Thank you again for the ride.

Of course. Could use the company really, and after all I’m done my day.

Names Kellin, Kellin Holeman….

Yes… you mentioned.

It’s Gaelic. Y’know what it means?

No… not Gaelic, I’m…

It means Slender. Thin. Like timber in a forest that’s been cleared.

You don’t say… .and why do you think your parents named you that?

Don’t know, but I’ve heard it before, you know?

Heard what?

Slender.

Yes… umm me too.

You have heard it? So, you know how to sing?

No… not really ummm...

The radio’s out.

Ah, right. I was wondering what you meant.

Yes. Mind if I sing?

N-no.

I don’t care if it rains or freezes. As long as I’ve got, my plastic Jesus sitting on the dashboard of my car. Comes in colours pink and pleasant. Glows in the dark cause it’s iridescent. With my plastic Jesus… I’ll do far.

Arthur something is wrong with this guy…. We need to get out of the car.

I… appreciate the ride. How far is Harper’s Hill?

Shhhh.

Sorry?

Shhhhhh.

Right… well I think maybe I should get out now, do you mind?

Why?

Well…. I don’t want to intrude on your evening.

It didn’t stop you in the first place from asking for a ride.

I’m sure you have -

Already told you I was done. You don’t like my singing?

No of course not.

No?

No I mean, of course I do and I appreciate the ride.

You keep saying that.

Because it’s true.

Then why do you keep trying to leave. (chuffed) you’re just like all the others.

All the others?

Arthur!

Yes. You won’t sing but you’ve heard my name just the same. Through my trials and tribulations, and my travels through the nations. With my plastic Jesus I'll go far. You do have the lord. SHHH. Quiet. You do have the lord, hm?

Arthur, open the fucking door and roll out! This man is unstable.

SHHHH! Quit talking so loud!

I’m not saying anything…

Not you. Sorry. They sing so fucking loud, you know. Is it your turn again?

For what?

For singing, Arthur! Is it your turn?

Yes, if you’d like.

Then sing!

Okay…. I can’t forget the night I met you. It’s all I’m thinking of. But now you call it…uh... But I call it -

No. No. No. No. You’re missing a word. You skipped the word madness. Why, Arthur? What makes you nervous to say madness?

I forgot the lyrics. I just forgot what the word was. That’s all.

It’s because of me, isn’t it?

No.

You think…

I don’t think anything. I just want to get out. If you could just pull over to the side.

It’s because I hear voices in my head. Because they sing songs that I’m mad. I offered you a ride. That’s not very nice of you, Arthur. I need to think.

Arthur, he’s slowing down to the side of the road. When he stops, get out of the car and run!

Truck stops.

Arthur. I need –

Arthur, run!

Arthur. I just need a moment to consider how you’ve hurt my feelings. Just sit right there.

Arthur, get out of the car and run!

 

And if you move, I will fucking kill you. Thanks.

Arthur? You’re not going to run, are you? Coward.

I lost my temper there, didn’t I? It’s not going to be okay. Let me just bring him back to the place and then we’ll talk. I can’t do this without you. Okay! Okay! Say you’re sorry.

I… I’m sorry.

I forgive you.

Truck starts again.

Arthur, what is your plan here? You missed our chance to run so now what… we’re at the mercy of this man?

I’m really sorry, Kellin. I didn’t mean to offend you.

Offend.

Yes. So… How far did you say it was to Harper’s Hill? 

I didn’t.

Arthur, I think we are turning off the main road.

Kellin, I…

I get sick somedays. In the summer. You ever get that?

Some days?

It used to drive my sister wild. I would cough till my lungs felt like broken glass, but only some days in the summer. It was like the breeze that made me sick.

Arthur, we’re heading down a long, thin, dirt road.

You mean like hay fever?

Yes! That. Yes. That was the name of it. Animals can get it too, did you know that?

No I didn’t.

You think I’m lying.

No of course not.

My cat had that, but not for the summer. She’d cough and wheeze whenever we touched her. She was always trying to pull herself away from me.

Truck stops.

You think she was sick from me?

No of course not.

My mother did.

Arthur, this isn’t a house… or maybe it will be. It’s just a series of small buildings in the forest. Some piles of wood. Most of the buildings are just framing without walls – it’s far off from the main road.

I would hold her, tight. She would cough and wheeze, but I didn’t let her go. If I let go, she would just run away, you know?

Yes.

Thank you for not running away. Let’s go.

Arthur, he’s reaching for the glovebox. There’s a gun inside, Arthur. He’s just grabbed it.

Door opens then shuts.

He’s left the car. Arthur, what are you going to do?

I…I don’t know…

He’s waiting for you.

Just tell me everything you see and we’ll…

He’s pointing the gun.

Alright.

Exits truck.

I want to show you what I’ve been working on.

Arthur, his back to you. You could attack him. Take his gun.

No. No I can’t.

What?

Nothing! Sorry…no.

Are you mocking me?

No, Kellin. I’m very interested in what you’ve been working on.

Have you been watching me?

No, God no.

I’ve been building this all, piece by piece, bringing parts in from town. Do you know the hardest part for far?

No.

Guess.

I… I couldn’t.

Guess.

I… Don’t.

Fucking guess, Arthur.

I… maybe the…. maybe just getting it here? Getting all the pieces and…

You think I’m weak.

What? No!

Do I look like I’m not strong enough to carry wood?

No. I meant -

Arthur, stop. He’s just going to take it wrong.

Quiet! I knew what you meant, I’m not an idiot. No that’s not the hardest part. The hardest part was this.

He’s leading you into the large half-finished building. It looks like the main house maybe. The door is only a tarp, but the walls are all here. Some of the framing in here isn’t finished, but for the most part this house is functional. There is a cot to your right and some other things.

This way.

You need to slow down if you want me to notice things.

Walking.

We’re in a room at the back of the house. There’s no roof over this part.

It’s very impressive.

This wasn’t the hard part.

No, of course, I just mean the work you’ve done here.

I did it all myself.

This room is a simple room. There’s an oil drum in here but… – wait… no there is a metal sheet lying on the floor as well. He’s bending down to it.

Metal slides.

Come.

Arthur… there is a basement. He had the stairs covered by that metal sheet.  You can’t go down there. You need to stop now.

We have to. He has the keys. We have no way out.

Arthur, for fuck’s sake!

Walking.

Just ask him. You want me to ask him? Okay fine! I’ll just ask him.

This is a stone-walled cellar. It looks like he’s dug it by hand.

Why did you come here?

I…I’m not sure what you mean, Kellin. You brought me here.

Arthur, I think…

Shhh. Quiet.

He’s trying to -

I said quiet! You came to me. You said you’ve heard my name, you said you liked my singing. You like my house.

Of course, Kellin but you brought me here maybe you just –

I’m just trying to find out if I am here to save you. Or if you are here to save me.

No one needs saving. There’s nothing –

Yes, we do! How?! How do you get it to listen to you?!

What? What do I get to listen to me?

That voice inside your head. The one that keeps telling you things.

Arthur…

Wait. You can…?

Of course, I hear him. The voices in my head won’t shut up unless I -

Arthur don’t tell him about me. He’s lying. He’s bluffing. He’s crazy. He’s just talking about his conscience. He doesn’t understand.

Tell me. Don’t lie to me. Do you hear a voice inside your head as well?

 

Yes. I do.

Arthur, you…

I do hear a voice inside my head.

You’re lying to me.

No…. no, I’m not.

Why?

Why what?

Why are you lying?

I’m not, Kellin. I do hear a voice as well. It… it tells me what I see.

What you see?

Yes. It… it has control of my eyes. I can’t see anything.

How do you stop it?

You don’t. You start listening to it. 

Arthur, you fucking idiot. He can’t hear me. Hey, Kellin, your mother was a whore.

Well then, I know what I have to do. 

You don’t need to do anything.

Walks away.

Arthur, you’ve just told a man who hears voices to listen to them. He’s heading back upstairs… You fucking idiot.

I… I don’t know what you want from me. I…

You really thought he could hear me?

Yes… No… I don’t know…

Well, what now?

Let’s get the fuck out of here, maybe he…

Wait. Arthur, there is a makeshift bed in the corner.

What?

It looks like someone was sleeping down here. 

What?

So? He sleeps down here.

No, there was a cot upstairs that he was clearly using.

Right so you think…

Arthur, there is also a chain down on the ground.

Do you think…

I don’t think we’re the first person he’s brought back here.

We need to get the fuck out of this basement now.

Arthur, we have entertained this man enough, we don’t just need to leave the basement we need to take his truck and leave this place. 

But his keys

Are in his pocket, we have to get them.

Alright.

Walking upstairs.

Where is he?

I don’t know. I don’t see him.

The truck?

Still here.

Well then where did he go. Where was his cot again?

By the front door. No, your… yes.

Is there anything here of substance?

No… a couple articles… a photo.

A photo? Who’s in the photo?

Two kids. A boy and a girl.

He and his sister perhaps?

Possibly, but he’s not wearing a mask, so I don’t know.

What do the articles say?

One headline reads missing girl.

Jesus.

Should we check the truck just in case?

No – let’s head out back. Wait. Hold on. There’s a rifle just tucked under his coat.

Oh, thank God.

Walking.

Alright.

Hmmm,

What?

Nothing just… this house. It looks like it’s been in a state of construction for years.

What do you mean?

The wood isn’t fresh, it’s dry and old. The floorboards don’t look new but instead well worn. It looks as though someone just gave up.

Do you suppose this is even his place originally?

I… I don’t know. There’s another tarp hiding the back yard.

Should we be quiet?

He left us alone in the basement, I think he knows exactly what he’s doing.

Slide tarp.

Hmmm, the trees open here quite a bit and… it looks like there is a lake just beyond. I see a light.

Alright.

The ground gets sandy here and… I see him. He’s on the end of a long dock that leads out onto the lake.

What is he doing?

He’s looking at the moon and he doesn’t have his gun.

Kellin?

She came to me. Did you know that?

Who?

She asked for my help.

Why?

Cause she knew I heard them too.

The voices?

Yes… only…

Only what?

Only hers weren’t like mine.

Kellin… I…

We had to shut her up… They keep telling me to check on her. I don’t want to.

You don’t have to.

You told me to listen. I’m listening.

Arthur he’s reaching down to something by his feet. There’s a chain, leading off the dock and into the water. He’s pulling it up.

What?

I don’t know Arthur. The chain is wet and covered in algae. It’s fairly long. Wait. He’s pulled up something. It looks like… a bird cage, but there’s something inside.

What??

Arthur, he has a human head in the cage.

Jesus fucking Christ.

Waterlogged and thick with rot and water.

What the fuck?

Hi.

Kellin, what the fuck is going on!

I’m sorry I ignored you for so long.

Arthur, he’s talking to it…

What do you need to tell me?                      

Arthur!

Arthur…. Tell that voice in your head that my mother was not a whore.

What?

I might not be able to hear him, but she can. She knows what’s inside of you, Arthur. She knows what it is.

How does she know?

Arthur, he’s -

She says…. What?! What do you mean?

Kellin?

Arthur, don’t!

No. No not you. You can’t do this to me!

Kellin… let me help you.

No not you!

You’re mine! You came to me. You’re mine!

Kellin… what is she saying?

She says she wants to be with you. To help you with that voice inside your head. She says she can hear it and she can make it stop. I’m not going to let that happen. She came to me. I’m going to cut your throat and let you bleed out on this dock.

Arthur! Would you, just for once, fucking listen to me! Take the rifle off your back and shoot this guy in the fucking head. Now!

 

I’m sorry Kellin.

Yes, Arthur, YES!

Click.

What?

What?

I don’t keep that rifle loaded, Arthur.

Fuck!

Ready or not. Here I come.

Run!

Jesus fucking Christ! Where?!

Run to your left.

Turn!

I can’t. I don’t know where…

There’s a large rock near the shore to your left.

This?

Yes! Wait…

What?

This isn’t a rock. It’s an overturned boat. Arthur, we can use this!

Where is -?

He’s coming closer. We need to move.

Where? The boat?

We’re too close to the dock still.

What do we do?

Just stay down.

Fuck.

We’re too close to the dock still. If we try to use the boat now, he’ll see us.

Fuck.

We need a distraction… something to keep him occupied…

What if we went to the truck and honked the horn?

No. That’ll only draw him. Not keep him busy. We need -

Fire.

What?

Fire, we’ll start a fire at his house.

Arthur, are you sure?

We have no choice.

Stay low and move quietly.

Walking.

Arthur, stop! Don’t move. He can’t see you right now. Wait… Wait… Go!

Walking.

Just past these trees. You’re almost at the house.

What am I looking for?

Quickly to his bed. I thought I saw a… yes! There! A lighter!

Do we need?

Wait… I hear him. He’s coming up behind us, you need to hide.

Where?!

Now quickly! Just – hug the wall. The other wall! Arthur, no! Not under his bed!

Little Pig, Little Pig, Let me come in….  Arthur, I know you’re here. You don’t understand. My sister… she’s… She’s everything I have. I can’t let her leave me. Which means, you can’t leave me either.

Tarp tears away!

Fine. You want to do it this way. You tried to shoot me. I think instead of just letting you bleed out… I’m going to cut your fucking head off and put it in the water right next to her so you can be together. Just like she wants… Here you are.

ARTHUR!

Fumbling.

Arthur!

I’ll huff…

Arthu, you dropped the lighter!

I fucking know! Where did I drop it? Where is it?

And I’ll puff…

Behind you, to your right… No, more to the left… No….

And I’ll blow your house down.

Yes, light the bed! It’s catching just wait. Hold the lighter! Another second…. Just hold it there…

Stab.

Arrrrgh. Fuck!

Arthur!

How do you like that?

Fire ignites.

No! The picture pictures!

Arthur, you need to move.

My stomach….

Is bleeding, a lot, but his back is too you.

The fire?

It’s spreading quickly… the wood is old, but Arthur you need to move!

Where is the boat?

You’re heading there just keep moving.

My whole waistline feels wet with -

Arthur you’re bleeding a lot.

Just…Just move. Keeping pushing. You can do it. The tree line is lit up behind you. I can see the light off the lake.

How does it look?

It looks fine, Arthur. Focus.

No, tell me….

It looks like a sunset… The boat! It’s here. Push it into the water and let’s go!

Pushing the boat.

Alright it’s in the water. Climb in.

How far is the dock?

What? Arthur just…

The dock?

You’re right next to it…

No, tell me. If I push the boat like this, will it?

Yes, it’ll be right next to the dock.

Good. We’re going back and getting the head.

What?!

We’re taking that head.

Are you insane?!

He said she wanted to help. He said she can hear you. Fuck you! We’re doing this.

It’s at the end of the dock. You need to move.

Where is the boat?

It’s gliding, very slowly here. You might need to swim for it.

Kellin attacks.

Arthur!

No!

Arthur, focus! You can do this. Keep your head above water and… Yes! Arthur, the knife. You can get it! Just keep pulling.

Splashing sounds.

Yes, Arthur. Do it. You have the knife. Run it across his throat. Slit his throat! Arthur, kill him!

Slice.

Arthur. Yes! You did it! He’s pulled away. He’s still moving. Arthur, he’s trying to crawl back up the dock. He’s leaving you alone. The boat is near you. Go! Let’s get out of here.

Not without the head.

Yes, the head is in the water. The chain is – Just get in the fucking boat first and then you can pull in the head. Yes there.

Pulling chain.

Arthur, the smoke from the fire is moving down towards the lake. It looks almost like a fog moving in.

We need to get out of here.

The head... It’s still attached to the dock.

No.

Wait… Kellin… he’s undoing the chain…

What?

I don’t know.

Is it?

He’s holding his neck closed. The blood is… He’s done for Arthur, but he unlocked the chain. He’s taken off his gas mask. He… I can’t see him anymore…. The smoke has surrounded him.

You need to start paddling. The fire is reaching the edge of the water. The smoke is too thick.

Paddling.

The smoke is everywhere, Arthur, and… fuck. Arthur, you’re losing too much blood.

How much is too much?

Fuck, Arthur.

Hmm…

Arthur, I…. fuck…

Hmmm?

If this is the end…. I’m sorry.

You and me both.

Ominous sound.

This too shall pass.

 

__________________________________________________

Transcribed by Carley McConnell, a sincere and heartfelt thanks to her and her amazing dedication.