Dec. 24, 2020

Part 6: The Hill





Arthur: You’re right. As of now we have no money, no weapon, no identification, nothing. It’s dangerous.


The Entity: More than dangerous, it’s short-sighted.


No, no you’re right.


We need to, at the very least, get you a gun.


Yes, and frankly I could use some food.


Well then, let’s leave this place and find a spot to eat something before getting some supplies.




Footsteps, door opens, closes. Footsteps climbing stairs


So what the hell was that… thing?


I don’t know Arthur, but it was something from the Dark World.


What do you mean?


It… it wasn’t part of this world. It moved like fractal patterns, alien and broken.


You said it moved like a hound?


Yes, but one that defies all explanation.


But it’s dead now, right?


I don’t know, Arthur. Things from that world, they don’t die the same way.


[Panting] Alright.


Anyway, we’re at the main floor.


Right. This is bound to be busier.


Yes, I imagine it’s almost morning now.


Just… just guide me to the exit, I’ll try to keep my head down.




Door opens, footsteps


The hallway turns left, I’ll tell you when to turn… now. Alright, the lobby is straight ahead. There are some people, just keep moving… The doors to the street are to your right slightly...yes-no, you overshot it. There. Okay hands out…


Door opens, birds chirping


[Sigh] I’ll be glad not to head into that place again.




So what are we looking at?


You’re in a small town, Arthur. There’s a massive lake a little ways away... Lake Crawford I believe.


How do you know that?


It’s been a month, Arthur. People have been talking around us, I picked up some things.


Anything of importance?


Nothing overwhelmingly valuable, no.


So do we need to taxi to-


Arthur, this town is better crossed with a bike.


Right, right.


Let’s just start walking towards the main street.






No, your right-


Oh, ah, yes...




When we touched Amanda…




You mentioned that you saw her put something under her bed.


A small book of some sort.


You think it’s a diary?


I do.


Me too. I can’t imagine someone hiding a regular book like that...


Regardless of what it turns out to be, I think we can correctly assume it is not a regular book.


Hmm.... So, why do you think she was killed?


We couldn’t even fathom, Arthur.


But couldn’t we? That man, that ‘Adam”... he wanted to know her name, he knew who we were.




That means, at least in my mind, that us reaching her would have helped in some way. Why else have her killed?


Maybe he sought her for the same reason we did.


For answers to the book? No. Besides, he didn’t even know her name. Remember, we found out about her by reading a simple news article back in Arkham… if he wanted her for the same reasons we did, couldn’t he have followed the same logic?


I don’t know.


You don’t know what?


(Frustrated) I don’t know any of this Arthur. Neither of us do. She could have been killed for any number of reasons.


Car passes


No, she couldn’t have. She was killed for a very specific reason, that’s what we need to find out. With her gone, our path forward is obscured, this is not incidental.


How would he have known what we were going to ask her?


Well that’s just it, he couldn’t have-




Something happened in that cave-






There’s a diner up ahead.


Ah, brilliant.


You’re sounding awfully positive.


I- I don’t know, yes, I guess… with all that’s happening I’m still… I’m enticed.




Yes, I’m… I’m invigorated! Look, I’ve lost a month, I want to move forward. I want to move forward.




Car passes




Door opens, closes. Background chatter and cutlery clinking


There’s a table right in front of you.


Chair being pulled out


You were saying something happened in that cave?


Yes. She learned something that killed her.


Why do you assume it was the cave, why not information on the symbol? Why not-


Well she was only one of two girls that escaped that place, everyone else was dead only... hidden behind a secret wall, a wall which she told no one about, why?




Fear, yes, maybe… but she also moved away. Maybe someone was alive when she left, someone who would have followed her.


She told her neighbour.




She told her neighbour that she was moving away, up to Harper’s Hill.


Right… right.


If you’re running away from someone or something who wants to kill you, you typically don’t tell people.


Yes, no you’re right. And the killer didn’t know her name so…


Footsteps approaching






Cutlery hitting table


 Uh, yes, plate please… tea instead of coffee.


Footsteps receding


She’s industrious.


So she wasn’t running away from someone who knew her… or that she was worried about finding her, she didn’t tell anybody about the secret cave…


So she wasn’t running away. She had information and she wasn’t afraid of anyone.


Which means… she knew something she didn’t realize was dangerous…


She felt safe.


You said she opened the door without fear...without concern.


Then it makes sense.


Well if she didn’t realize she knew dangerous information it’s unlikely we’ll find out anything.


And yet he still killed her. Our questions might have shaken something loose.




What would you have asked her?


Probably… Her memory of the night, her friend’s name, the symbol-


The symbol on the book that I came from.


Yes. Learning about one of these things might have been important enough for-


(Angry) Arthur, learning about any of these could have been important! OR, maybe this thing just wants to fuck with us! There are too many unanswered questions, we don’t know enough.


Waitress delivers food


Thank you… I’m… I’m going to eat now.


[Sigh] Arthur, I understand why you want to ask these questions, they’re important… but as you’ve demonstrated, having ideas for the sake of ideas can only confuse us sometimes. Yes, we know that Amanda was killed, but we genuinely don’t know why.


(Chewing) Theorizing is important, John. The real problem is when we commit these assumptions to certainties, which we’re not doing. However I do think it is safe to assume that she did not realize she possessed dangerous information.


Or she thought that everyone who could hurt her was dead.


(Mouth full) Hmm…


She seemed frightened at the man, but… familiar with him.




I wonder if they caught him.


(Chewing) Right, who did they pin this on?


In my vision the man was… distorted, almost


(Swallows) How so?


He had odd features, and his fingers seemed to sink into her skin, but… it felt very different.


So you think that the man may look different?


No, but… what I saw felt like a caricature of reality.


Either way, I like what you’re thinking. We should find out who the police think did it, or if they have someone arrested.


You ate quick.


I haven’t had solid food in... a while.


Let’s go then, shall we?




Money rustling, bills left on table, chair pulls out


Footsteps, door opens, closes.


These questions are important to keep top of mind, we need to think on these so we don’t lose sight of what’s important.


Head to the right, there are some shops ahead.


So this may be worthwhile to follow up on.




The murderer.


We know who murdered her, it was this ‘Adam’.


No! As you just said, we don’t know for certain!


This shop right here, it looks like it sells guns.




Door rattling






It’s closed.


Damn! Well what are we-






There’s a newspaper stand here.




The newspaper, I- I think they’re talking about Amanda’s murderer.


Well, does it say anything?


It just says ‘Murderer Caught: Local homeless man Christopher Ryan Evans found standing over the body of local Amanda Cummings.”


Wait, local man?


That’s what it says.


I… That doesn’t… so it wasn’t Adam?


I don’t know.


Does it say where he is?




Well that makes things interesting.


Well… Arthur I still believe it makes sense to prepare ourselves, maybe even waiting until this store opens.


[Sigh] When could that be? I’m so tired of waiting.


Well, on the other hand we could head to Amanda’s.






Or we could seek out more information on this murderer.




Well… we have his name. The town is fairly small, we could head to the library maybe, or Town Hall… see if anybody could shed some light.


How do you suppose we do that without drawing questions from people?


We’ll be a reporter, maybe just… up from Arkham trying to find out more about the murder.


Hmm… not a terrible idea.


Look, whatever the case, something is amiss here. We have a murder, the victim, and the circumstances around it, we need to do more investigating.


You’re right. It’s your call, what do you want to do?


[Sigh] Let’s just wait.


Are you sure?


Look, we have leads but we have nothing. We’ve just been hunted by a creature from another world, we need to be smarter than this.




Car passes


We don’t have basic things: a flashlight, change, a way to force a lock.


Well I do think this store will cover most of that.


Right, but we need to wait. Is there anything else this newspaper says?


Nothing that seems… pertinent.


Okay, well… are there any other shops?


The one next door looks open.


Alright well… it’s something to do.


Footsteps, door opens, closes


What is this shop anyway?


It’s a music store.




They have guitars, a banjo, accordions… and large pianos on the floor.




You… play, right?


Yes, I- I do. When we first met you convinced me to play to calm me down. I was… spiralling a bit, remember?


Oh, I remember. Why don’t you play something again? There’s no one in here but us.


I don’t know… If I… I mean I’m not feeling like playing anything very jovial, I-


So what? Play something that suits your mood, then.


Alright, yes…. Yeah, I suppose I could, yeah.


Sits down, piano score plays


Footsteps thudding softly


Scottish Man: That was a lovely piece.


(startled) Oh… uh, [chuckle] thank you.


What d’you call it?


Um.. I don’t uh… [deep breath] erm… Faroe’s Song.






It’s lovely.


Thank you.


Piano bench creaks, Arthur stands






John: Yes…. That was… very well done.


We should leave, see what…


Yes, next door might be open now.




Door opens, closes. Car passes.


Footsteps, door opens, closes. Radio playing softly


Alright, there’s a man behind the counter, I’m sure he can help get everything for us.


Good morning! I’m looking for a .45 Automatic, and some bullets to go along, a flashlight, maybe some matches… and maybe some way to force a lock.


Clerk: Sure.


Footsteps recede


John: He seems... amused in a small way.




I don’t know.


Clattering, footsteps return


Clerk: Alright, is that everything you wanted?


Yes! ...yes.






I need some identification.


John: Fuck.


Right… uh, well see, I- well, I don’t have any, actually.


It looks as though he’s studying you.


Clerk: You wanna do this off the book, eh?


Perhaps, yes…


You lost your ID?




John: He’s looking around.


Clerk: You wanna buy another one?


Oh, um… Yes, I suppose so. How much?


60 dollars.




I can’t sell a pistol to someone who doesn’t have an ID.


Alright, fair enough, um... I’ll buy it.


Alright. Wait a moment, please.


Footsteps recede


What other options do we have? We need some form of identification.


Door opens, closes


John: You’re not wrong.


After all, we may need it for a number of other things…




Including buying tickets out of this place-




Or perhaps-






Someone has entered the shop.




It’s a police officer.


(Quietly) Fuck!


He’s looking around, just stay still. Maybe say good morning.




He nodded back but he’s eyeing you.


Clerk returns


Here’s your ID back, sir- oh, mornin’ Officer Barns, I’ll be with you in a second, just checking this customer out… Will that be everything?


Uh… yes, yes.


That’ll be 54 dollars plus the ah… administration fee we talked about.


Yes, of course.


John: Arthur the cop is walking up next to you.




Two banknotes, no-yes, that one, yes, and another-yes.




Clerk: Is there an issue, Officer?


John: Arthur he’s grabbed your ID off the counter.


Officer: Are you buying a weapon, sir?


John: He’s looking at the ID.


Uh… yes, of course, yes.


Officer: Any reason for that?


Ah… can’t be too careful these days, you know?


John: He’s looking at us


Officer: Alright.


John: He’s putting it back down.


Officer: Martin, I thought I told you to get that down… that sign out front.


Clerk: I will. Just need some help, you know?


Thank you.


Clerk: Take care.


Footsteps, door opens, closes


[Relieved sigh]


Head down the street, quickly.


Damn! [Relieved panting]


That was close.


Oh, that was close. What does this ID even say? What’s the name on it?


Laurence Holder.


Right. Well, we’ll have to introduce ourselves as that from now on, especially since that police officer has seen it.




[Sigh] So where to now?


Well either we should head to Amanda’s or find out more about this murderer, as you suggested.


Amanda’s. We’ve put it off for long enough.


You’re nervous about going?


I’m nervous about finding out what exactly is happening to me.


Don’t worry, I’m sure this will only lead to more questions anyway.


[Small laugh] Well at least we’re better equipped. Anyway, do you remember the address?


Yes. Head down this street to the main intersection.


Uh, this way?








We’re not very far from it are we?


This town is small, we’re not far from anything.


Right… So if they’ve caught the murderer, what does that mean?


It means they’ve caught the wrong person.




That thing I saw was not a man. It was… something else entirely.


But, Amanda’s body…




It didn’t look like it had been… how did you put it? Like his fingers were bending into her flesh.




So how did it look?


I don’t know. Her neck looked bruised.


Like she had been choked?




Could we have been tricked? Could we have seen-


No. What I saw was real.




Maybe what others saw wasn’t.


What do you mean?


I’m not sure yet, but we’re here at the apartment building. It’s a short brownstone with dark, weathered bricks. It faces the lake behind us. It’s not run-down but it has seen better days.


Right. Which floor?


The third, I think.




Footsteps, door opens, closes


The stairs are deep brown but well worn, there’s a desk here that may have, at one point, had someone to welcome, but it’s long since used. This place looks… rough.




They’re to your right.


Footsteps going up stairs


First floor.


(panting) Right.






You’ve just about run into an elderly woman, just apologize.


Oh… Oh! I’m sorry... so sorry, my apologies.


She’s in a wheelchair, she’s just staring at us.


Well I- I’m sorry again, ma’am.


She’s still staring… intently… with a smile.




Her face is thick with wrinkles, the lines in her face are deep and she has pale eyes, her hair is loose, as if falling from her scalp.


Is everything okay?


Arthur, just leave her.




[Eerie laugher]


Arthur, leave. Something is wrong with her.




Poor woman.


Arthur there was something odd about her.


She’s just old, she-


No! She reminded me of…




That woman in the woods… the one that gave us the baby.


She looked like her?


No. No… but she had the same dreary… almost madness in her eyes.


Hold on, what does that mean?


It means we shouldn’t linger.


Climbing stairs, Arthur panting


You’re at the third floor.




Keep heading down the hallway.


Right. We want to be unheard, and unseen as much as possible.




Yes, we don’t need anyone saying they saw us here, especially if we plan on taking something from the scene.


Alright, we’re here.


Doorknob rattles








What are you doing?


We are going to pick it.




I’m glad we waited for supplies. He said he gave us a way to force the lock, and I thought I felt… Yes, here.


You know how to do this?


Many times, friend.




Lock clicking




Doorknob rattling


Ah, there.


Door opening


There. Anybody watching?




Perfect, let’s move.


Door closes


Alright, tell me what I see.


This is a small bachelor apartment. The short hallway from the door leads to a sitting room. There’s a small radio on a glass table, and in the corner... a small bed. The window against the back is draped in dark green and the carpet is weathered brown. This place makes me feel… cold, Arthur. To the left of us is a kitchen, a small single table there, and to the right of us is a closet. The bathroom must be in the hallway outside.


So let’s do a quick look around, then.






[Sigh] Do you see anything of importance?


Not really. This tells the story of a simple, quiet life.


Anything about where she may have worked, or…


Nothing that jumps out. Though… is that what we’re looking for?


No, not really. So where did she die, exactly?


Where we entered… right in the front hall.


Are you okay?


I… I’m fine.


Alright well, let’s just grab this diary.


The bed is near the back… there.


Fabric rustling


[Deep breath] Alright, what does it say?


It’s not a diary.




No. It’s just a book.


What book?


The Magic Mountain, by Thomas Mann.


[Sigh] Well.


Well… have you read it?


No, I don’t know anything about it.


Why did she leave it?


I don’t know.


Why did she hide it?


I don’t know.


(Frustrated) Why did she-


I promise you John, my answer will be “I don’t know”.




Just let me think for a moment… Does this place look like it was tossed?


Not really, no.


Is there anything in the book?


Pages rustling


Not… wait!




Yes! She’s written something on the inside.




It reads like this: I’ve seen the creature, it’s long hard body, straight as an arrow yet moves like a serpent. I’ve watched it drive into the dark holes in the stone. The lives it takes are none the wiser as it screeches into the night. And then she’s written three numbers… 31-55-78.


What the hell does that mean?


[Chuckle] I don’t know. Perhaps there’s…






It’s a riddle!


Well. What’s the answer then?


It’s a train.


A train?


Yes, the riddle! The long hard body, straight as an arrow but moves like a serpent… it’s-


A train.




Alright then, so we find a train.


The station, she must mean for us to head there.


And you think it makes more sense to head there than to find out more about her killer?


She knew someone was following her. She knew enough to hide this for whomever is to follow… she not only feared for her life but… she wanted us to see something, or- or find something.


Right. Fair enough.


Let’s head to the train station.


The numbers?


Must be a combination of sorts. Perhaps there are lockers there.




Let’s move.


Footsteps, door opens, closes.


What do you suppose she has in the locker?


Something that she wants us to find. Or others like us.




Most definitely.


Whatever she saw, or experienced in that house all those years ago… has stayed with her. She must have uncovered more about it, this is what must have prompted a lot of what has transpired.


How so?


The person who broke into Ackerman’s bookshop back in Arkham, they were motivated to find the book.




So something started all of this, and I think Amanda knew as well.


Retching noises








Retching noises


What is that?


This is the floor the lady was on, the one in the wheelchair.




We could help her.


Just… leave it. Let’s keep going.




This is a dim hallway, the apartments look abandoned.


Retching, coughing


I can hear her…




Where is she?


[Sigh] There’s a door slightly open to your right.


Retching, coughing


It sounds like she’s inside, we should make sure she’s okay…


Door creaking




Oh God, Arthur, this place is disgusting.


Fuck, that smell…


It’s vile. There’s stuff everywhere.


What do you mean?


Stacks of newspapers, refuse, clothes… this place is packed with garbage.


Coughing, retching, sobbing


She sounds hurt.


Arthur, we should leave.




Oh, that smell!


It looks like she’s used this place as a bathroom as well.


I can barely navigate… what is this?


Flies buzzing


It’s a dresser, piled high with used dishes covered in rotting food.


Ugh, God. I can barely breathe… where is she?


I don’t see her.


(Calling out) Miss? Ma’am? Are you okay? ...ugh, fuck.


I see where she sleeps.


Her bed?


No, it’s just a pile of rags on the floor. Her wheelchair is here.




She is not.


Where could she be?


Leave this place. Now!


Alright, yes. Let’s.


Loud bang, eerie laughter






Arthur, she's on the floor! She’s crawling towards us!


God damn it!


Just go. She’s trying to claw at your feet.


Fuck! What the fuck is wrong with her?


I don’t know, Arthur. Something is off.


You’re telling me.


Just go.


Eerie laughter, door creaks open, Arthur leaves the room


I mean something is off with all of this.


In too many ways.


The people we keep meeting…


Yes… yes.


I’ve mentioned it before, but… they’re all… twisted.


Our luck is ah…


I don’t think it is just a matter of luck Arthur.


What do you mean?


Something is doing this.




We’re in the lobby.


Door opens, closes. Traffic noise


Oh, God. The air out here is so much better. I can still feel her stench on my tongue. [Deep breath] What do you mean something is doing this?


I mean the lady in the woods, Kellin, Eddie, this woman-




Yes. The man you killed back in Arkham.


Yes, I- I know who Eddie is, I mean to say, you think he was of the same mindset?


Arthur, he tried to attack us. He tried to kill us.


It does seem telling, yes.


More than telling- turn right… More than telling, it seems planned, as if we’re meant to run into these people, or… as if they’re searching for us.


I guess, I… maybe. That’s a tough leap for me, John.


We’ll just keep it in mind, then. We’re almost there.


This town really isn’t very big, is it?




Footsteps on wood




You mentioned lockers?


Yes, I think these numbers that you said, they- it could be a combination.


Right. There… it looks like there are a bank of them to your left.








Which one?


Well how many are there? Are they numbered?


Yes. There are about 30 of them, they’re small. All numbered 70 to 730


Hmm… How many pages are in the book? It felt thick.


Pages turning


Seven hundred and twenty.


Well then.


Alright, take your time here.


Combination lock spinning


There, stop!


Lock spinning


Wait...there, okay, there.


Lock spinning


Slow. Almost there… there! 78. That’s 31-55-78.


Lock clicks




Locker opens




There’s a piece of paper inside.


Paper rustling


A map.


A map? Of?


A lake. This lake, Lake Crawford.




And an island noted on the far side of it. She has it circled.


Well. I think this is where she wants us to head.


Then we should head there.


I think so. We’ve been on this road towards Amanda and her story for long enough.


Long enough for what?


Well… for answers.


You expect so much to be answered.






Right, well, let’s head there.


Head to your right and down the stairs again, the water isn’t far from us.


Locker closes


So this map, she hid it well.


Yes, she made efforts to hide the location, and didn’t offer any more as to our destination.




Meaning why an island? What is there?


I don’t know, but it is clearly important that we found it. I shudder to think what would have happened if whomever killed her found it first.


It’s not impossible.


What do you mean?


We took the map, they may not have. They may have found the book, solved the riddle, come here and…


Let’s not think that many steps ahead. I think it’s rather unlikely.


Agreed… but not impossible.


[Sigh] So… what’s our plan in terms of getting there?


This is your show, Arthur.


Right, well I suppose I could just pay someone to bring us.


That worked so well last time.


What do you mean?




Right… right.


Car passes


You had the choice to ask for a ride or to-


Yes, I remember. It may have been a month ago for you but it’s still fresh for me.


Let’s be more mindful this time… it’s always wiser to go it alone.


As I’m starting to realize.


Waves splashing




Are we here?


We’re just outside the harbour but there is a lake map.




Yes, it shows the docks and the lake… it’s rather large.


Great! What’s the name of the island? Did her map say?


No, her map had the island hand drawn, and this one… this doesn’t seem to show the island at all.


What? How?


What do you mean ‘how’?


I- I just mean… why would they omit an island from the map here?


I don’t know.


Is it possible that she… that Amanda’s wrong? Maybe there’s nothing here… how far out is it, anyway?


I don’t know, Arthur. It could be an hours ride by boat.


Wow, so the lake is very large then?








Look, there’s no sense in second-guessing ourselves now. Amanda went through a lot of work to get that map to us.


Did she?


Well, yes… well, to whomever came after her.


What if she wanted someone else to find it?


Look, we can’t question every step of this. We’re going to commit to seeing this thing through. We left Arkham to find Amanda, and this map, this drawing that she left, it’s the last piece of the puzzle. We need to head there, at the very least.




Let’s go.


Waves splashing, Arthur walking on the dock


There are a few boats tied up here, a large schooner, a few smaller rowboats similar to…


To the one we took from Kellin’s?




Is there anyone around?


There’s a man near the end of the dock, yes. He’s actually standing next to the schooner.


Well, let’s ask him for a ride then.


You’re sure?


We don’t have to accept it. Look, the mistake I made last time was not listening to you when you felt off about it, I see that now. It won’t hurt to ask.


Footsteps on the dock


He’s a gruff, older looking man. His skin looks well worn, his hat is a faded grey. He has a scraggly beard, and he’s coiling a rope. Be careful, Arthur.


Excuse me!


He’s looked up towards us.


I was wondering if I could pay you for a ride… uh, across the lake.


Gruff Scottish Man: Why?


Why? To, ah… I’m visiting someone.


There’s no one that lives across that lake, son.


No, but… there’s an island that my friend owns.


John: He looks serious. He’s studying you Arthur, gazing behind us every once in a while.


Gruff man: What’s your name?


John: Don’t give him your name.


Laurence, Laurence Holder.




Gruff man: There’s no island that you’d want to head to, son.


I… no, I do need to, though.


Listen, son. You best head back. There’s nothing out on that lake for you, not anymore. No one will give you a ride out, so best leave it.


John: Arthur, I think he is serious.


Okay, alright. Thank you.




You… you listened to me…


It was a mistake I made last time when I didn’t, figured I… have to learn sometime.


Well, thank you.


[Sigh] What now?


I don’t know.


Birds squawking


I do. We’re taking a boat.




I’m not coming this far just to give up.


You’re going to steal a boat?


Yes. It’s what I should have done last time, we don’t need to rely on anyone else, and frankly we shouldn’t.


(Excited) Alright, I like this. There’s a rowboat tied to one of the docks we’re heading to. The man is still watching us, though.


I don’t care.




Here, there’s a knot, just… yes, just pull-no, that one, yes.




Alright, let’s head out.


Sounds of Arthur getting into the boat, rowing


It’s misty out here, like there’s a fog rolling in. It reminds me of…


This is different, I’m not bleeding out… and there’s no severed head this time. [Chuckle]


No, there isn’t.


You never told me what you really did with it.


I did, I left it behind.








Well, this might be a bit of a trip then, eh?


How do we pass the time?


[Sigh] (singing) I can’t forget the night I met you, that’s all I’m dreaming of… now you call it madness, but I call it love


Singing fades out, waves splashing




Transcribed by Eggsy39, thank you so much for their time and commitment to making this all possible.