Feb. 25, 2021

Part 8: The Caves

THE CAVES

 

Static

 

Arthur grunting, footsteps squeaking on ladder

 

(Out of breath) How long is this ladder?

 

Arthur, you’ll need to stop asking questions that are either too obvious or have no answer that I can give you.

 

Sorry.

 

Arthur panting, footsteps squeaking

 

There, the bottom rung is here.

 

Gravel crunching

 

(Out of breath) Well.

 

Well indeed. This is most definitely a cave system, however… the walls are black with the burning of flames; sconces held torches long ago and the ground is well-trodden.

 

Gravel crunching

 

What does that mean? Why on Earth…

 

There is a single pathway forward... it’s fairly narrow, however.

 

Lantern swinging, metal squeaking

 

This… this is manmade?

 

Well, not the cave, but this is definitely all intentional.

 

Who was this widow? To have built such a… what on Earth-

 

What did I just say about asking questions? Forward is the only way that will begin to shed light on any of this.

 

Right, right. Forward, forward.

 

Gravel crunching, lantern swinging

 

It’s an odd feeling, not being able to control my hands…

 

Melancholy piano score begins to play

 

Hm.

 

Even though I’ve lived my whole life being in control of my body, something about how quickly I’ve forgotten it… it scares me.

 

Arthur, you know that I am not…

 

No, I- I know. Or at least I believe you when you say you’re not contributing to this, but-

 

But I’m still the one gaining parts of you.

 

Melancholy piano score ends

 

[Sigh] Yes. Still, I have to say I’m performing miraculously well for having lost my sight. [Laughter]

 

I have no frame of reference, but I’m sure you’re doing very well given the circumstances.

 

Yes, the circumstances... which at this moment are closer to dire than flush with easy options.

 

We may not have a way off the island but this is where we wanted to be. This is, as you said it, the culmination of our work.

 

Yes, but how does it all fit together? The widow moved here to be close to her husband, and… she built this place, this- this cavernous, well-trodden path deep within the cave with her own hands?

 

Supposedly, however, the lighthouse keeper said she was not alone. Remember, he also said that some claimed she stayed with the lighthouse keeper of that time. A much more likely possibility is that he helped her with all of this.

 

[Sigh] I’m not sure what he meant by that but… this would be an immeasurable amount of work for just one person, even one motivated by love.

 

Arthur…

 

Eerie tone begins to build

 

Yes?

 

I’m not sure it was love that kept her close to her husband’s body…

 

Why?

 

The cavern has opened up again… we are in a large room, the ceiling of which is covered in large, empty rectangular plots.

 

What?

 

This room is littered with open coffins. We’re under the graveyard, Arthur...the coffins were removed from below.

 

Why?

 

Arthur, nothing about this seems like she acted alone.

 

But then who?

 

There’s no way she could have done all of this-

 

Eerie tone cuts off, creature shrieks, growls lowly

 

Long silence

 

...John?

 

Arthur…

 

Something is down here with us…

 

Quiet footsteps on gravel

 

Yes.

 

Bang

 

Amanda traveled through here, she-

 

Had the safety of the lighthouse keeping everything at bay.

 

Right… L-let’s just keep moving, quietly. Is there anything here? Anything of importance?

 

Lantern creaking

 

Symbols.

 

Which?

 

There… there is the symbol that was on my book, it’s carved into the wall here.

 

On the wall? How it it-

 

This place is more… ornate; almost ceremonial.

 

What the hell is going on here? Does this area look used?

 

Not for a while, I think.

 

(Whispering fiercely) What do we do?

 

We keep moving, low and slow, and we find what Amanda uncovered.

 

Alright.

 

There’s an exit to this room, along the back wall, another passage.

 

Footsteps crunching on gravel

 

It’s opened up here to a hallway, however, it’s built… crafted even. The walls are no longer natural stone but cut, carved, and placed. The floor is no longer dirt, either, it’s instead laid with stone. The sconces no longer look to hold torches but candles.

 

Candles? What on Earth-

 

There are a number of doorways leading off of this room, they look to be made of thick oak wood, and then it continues on.

 

Let’s move into one of the rooms.

 

Door opens

 

It’s a room. Small, dark-

 

Okay.

 

Footsteps, door closes

 

So?

 

[Gasp] Jesus!

 

What?

 

Nothing, it’s… this looks like someone’s living quarters- a table, chair, a bed… sort of.

 

So someone was living down here?

 

The widow, maybe.

 

Does this room look like her room?

 

Difficult to tell, I think not though. It’s more… simple. There’s the symbol again, on the table, and black robes in the corner on a mannequin… thus why I…

 

Ah, the fright, right.

 

Yes.

 

Does it seem… ceremonial to you?

 

Yes.

 

What about the other doorways off of the main hall?

 

Well let’s look.

 

Footsteps, door opens, closes

 

Shh!

 

Footsteps moving quietly. Door opens, closes

 

This is another room, similar to the last one but… just with slightly different things in it, nothing jumps out.

 

Another bedroom of sorts?

 

Yes.

 

This all seems like… an organization of some sort.

 

A cult.

 

Yes. All living here under the ground in this cave system.

 

If they are a cult… what or who are they worshipping?

 

Creature shrieks, growls

 

Something is coming! Hide!

 

Can the door lock?

 

Yes, but-

 

Let’s just lock the door!

 

Arthur there’s no time, climb under the bed and hide.

 

Fine!

 

Scuffling, Arthur moving under the bed

 

Arthur, douse the flame.

 

Lantern squeaks, footsteps approach, Arthur breathing nervously

 

Door squeaks open, creature growling, snarling and sniffing noises

 

Footsteps recede, door closes

 

(Whispering) Fucking- what the-

 

It looked like a woman. Her skin was sagging and old… ancient, even.

 

A woman?

 

Yes.

 

The widow?

 

No, it… well, I don’t know

 

Is she gone?

 

Yes.

 

Sigh of relief, scuffling as Arthur climbs out from under the bed

 

Light the flame again.

 

Lantern creaks, lighter flicks

 

What room are we- does it look like-

 

I think it might be her room. I only glanced around this room when we entered, it seemed to be similar but the closer I look… it looks as though a woman has lived here at one point.

 

How do you…

 

The other room had a robe for a man, this one has women’s clothing strewn about the floor.

 

Strewn about?

 

Yes, I thought it looked like the other room but this is in a much worse state.

 

How?

 

It’s difficult to see against the tint of the lamplight but… the colour of the bedspread, it- it’s stained a deep brown and torn, as if the insides of the mattress have been taken out. The bed itself is worn flat, nearly. The table has been knocked over and the walls… the walls have deep gouges in them.

 

As if someone were trying to escape, or?

 

As if someone were counting.

 

The Widow shrieks, Arthur gasps

 

Shh… nevermind.

 

(Whispering fiercely) What does all of this mean?

 

Compared to the other room this one looks well used, as if… someone spent a lot of time in here.

 

You said the gouges on the wall look as if someone was counting.

 

Yes.

 

Why?

 

They’re less haphazard, in a line, just… it looks that way.

 

Fair enough, but if someone was in this room for a long time… if she was in this room for a long time, maybe there is something here, other than the lines, to show how long.

 

Like what?

 

I don’t know, you’re the one with my eyes.

 

Lantern creaks

 

I see a dresser, the bed is… as I said, worn through… the table beside… has some papers sticking out of the open drawer.

 

Footsteps, papers rustling

 

These are drawings.

 

Of what?

 

Some portraits, like the one upstairs, the painting.

 

These are paintings?

 

No, sketches, but seemingly by the same hand.

 

The widow? Was that a self portrait upstairs?

 

Perhaps.

 

Paper rustling

 

What are the images of?

 

There’s one in fine lines, well done. It shows another sketch of her, the widow.

 

An alternate take on the portrait perhaps.

 

Yes, perhaps. Another angle, of sorts.

 

What else?

 

Paper rustling

 

More of her… some scenery… and… a man.

 

A man?

 

Yes, he wears clothes... similar to that of the lighthouse keeper. It’s a different man though, much older, more… dignified, almost.

 

Dignified?

 

Regal, maybe? He looks almost like a scholar.

 

A scholar…

 

There’s another here, he’s in a much more… romanticized pose.

 

Oh…

 

Truthfully, based on this I would gather they had a relationship.

 

Really? I- I guess she needed comfort after all.

 

Yes, the images tell a story of sorts. She… seems to draw him timidly at first, poses like him sitting on the dock, then slightly more intimate.

 

Well.

 

There’s a portrait of his face, his eyes… they look… cold. She’s penned his name here, ‘Antoine’.

 

Antoine? Hm… Are there more?

 

Yes, only…

 

Only what?

 

They get… darker?

 

Darker? How so?

 

The images, they’re less fine, more bizarre. More pictures of the tunnels and the caves.

 

They moved down here?

 

Her drawings, they look more like impressions now… less than even- oh…

 

What?

 

They… they’re no longer of anything I can discern, just scribbles.

 

What does that mean?

 

I don’t know.

 

Huh.

 

Lantern creaks, footsteps

 

I believed the lighthouse keeper when he said she came here for her husband, but obviously at some point she became intimate with this ‘Antoine’.

 

How does that explain all of this? These caves?

 

He must have known about them… seduced her for whatever nefarious purpose to join this cult below the island…

 

The Widow shrieks, Arthur gasps

 

Arthur we should move.

 

Yes.

 

Footsteps, door opens

 

The Widow grunting

 

It sounds like she’s down towards the underside of the graveyard.

 

Then we move deeper in.

 

Footsteps crunching

 

Let’s move quieter here, the ground is softer… more likely to reveal our position.

 

Right…

 

The tunnel splits here, left or right?

 

God… left?

 

Footsteps

 

This… looks like it might be a dead end…

 

Just a dead end? There isn’t-

 

Wait, no.

 

What?

 

Well, this is a dead end but… the dirt here is soft, as if something had been buried recently.

 

Or something had been recently unearthed…

 

Dirt skittering, squelching

 

Arthur, this… this looks like a nest. We need to leave, now!

 

Lantern squeaking, hurried footsteps, Arthur panting

 

(Out of breath) So… when the lighthouse died…

 

Whatever was buried must have awoken.

 

The widow we think, right?

 

Perhaps. I have no idea what this cult worshipped, let alone their burial practices. Suffice to say this is not where Amanda was spending her time.

 

Let’s go right this time, shall we?

 

Footsteps

 

More rooms. There’s a large hallway here and more doorways leading off. I think we can slip inside one and stay relatively quiet.

 

Right, which one?

 

Let me see, take a few steps forward.

 

Footsteps, door creaking open

 

Hmm, this one looks like a dining area. Continue.

 

Footsteps, door creaks open

 

We should-

 

This one!

 

You sound certain.

 

Yes.

 

Alright.

 

Footsteps, door closes

 

I think it’s safe to lock the door this time.

 

Lock clicks shut

 

I think this was where Amanda was.

 

Oh! What room is it?

 

A library. There’s a table here, with books on it. It’s clear this room has been recently used, there’s even a bedroll in the corner.

 

She slept down here?

 

Move to the table, let’s look there first.

 

Right…

 

Footsteps, lantern creaking

 

The table has a number of volumes laid out, most of them seem to be translation based but… there are two right in front of where she sat. One has the symbol that was on the bottom of her note, the other… has the symbol on the book that I came from.

 

Wha… is it the same one?

 

The book looks different… less worn, for one.

 

Well. This could answer so many questions about you and- and where you came from! I mean on the other hand…

 

(Angry) What other hand, Arthur? This is why we came here! All of this is for finding out why I am attached to you.

 

Yes, but she didn’t draw your symbol on the bottom of the note, and she alluded to being wrong…

 

(Angry) It doesn’t matter, Arthur!

 

It might, who knows how much time we have here before-

 

Arthur, read the book with my symbol on it.

 

Look, I don’t care what you think! Amanda drew that symbol in the bottom of her letter, which means at the very least it’s what she came to learn about, and that is why we are here.

 

(Angry) We’re here for answers about my book, the one you left back on the road a month ago, remember?

 

(Angry) Now listen to me! I have much more to lose if we don’t find a way to separate us!

 

[Angry growl]

 

[Calming breath] Look, I understand more than anyone what it means to find answers to why you’re here, but Amanda understood this world better than you and I therefore I am putting my faith in the fact that she discovered something that will hopefully make sense of what we’ve experienced thus far. Alright?

 

[Angry sigh]

 

John… I need you with me on this. You’ve asked many times for me to believe you, and I am asking you to believe me now. I believe this is the right course of action.

 

(Begrudgingly) Fine.

 

Thank you. Now let’s look at that book.

 

Lantern squeaks, Arthur takes a step forward

 

As I said, it looks similar to the other one; it’s binding is slightly darker. The pages within seem to be a bit less uniform in their size, the texture on the top and the bottom seems a little more haphazard.

 

What do you mean?

 

Comparatively this book seems less professional… as odd as that sounds to say about books of this nature.

 

Right, and what of the symbol? What does it actually look like?

 

It’s very difficult to explain, but the symbol somewhat resembles a… coiled body, or… serpentine lines, with two others twisting and turning upwards.

 

Interesting…

 

Yes, they’re almost like… it’s as if two tentacles were branching upward.

 

Tentacles?

 

Yes, like that of an octopus.

 

And you’ve never seen this symbol before?

 

Not that I recall.

 

Not even in the Dark World?

 

Gentle piano score begins to play

 

I’ve been pleasantly forgetting about that place.

 

You described it so vividly when we first met, I-

 

Yes Arthur, but I’m thankful to say that for whatever reason it seems to slip through my mind now. I don’t know whether it’s being in this world once again or…

 

Once again?

 

Yes, once again. I just mean to say that part of me feels like I was alive once before.

 

Really?

 

Yes, I assumed that was obvious to you.

 

I don’t know John, there’s still a lot we don’t know.

 

Well perhaps this book will provide the first of many answers that we will receive.

 

Right.

 

Piano score ends

 

Pages flipping

 

This book is written in the same language as the other.

 

You read the language though? You read the other book, didn’t you?

 

I could, but… not make sense of it.

 

Well how does that add up?

 

I don’t have an easy answer for you Arthur, suffice to say that I can read this without understanding what it means.

 

Well then there’s no sense in trying to read it here…

 

Luckily we don’t have to, it looks like Amanda has made some notes here.

 

Brilliant! What does it say?

 

She talks about certain passages, outlines a few of them here in her notes. She hasn’t written in the book but rather slotted pieces of paper folded within. A few of the larger sections seem to be summarized; points that she’s uncovered.

 

Does any of it seem important?

 

Pages rustling, flipping

 

She writes here about a mask, a pallid mask.

 

A pallid mask?

 

Yes. She’s directly translated something here, “Song of my soul, my voice is dead, die thou, unsung as tears unshed.”

 

It sounds like poetry of some sort…

 

She’s also drawn the sign again under this page and underlined something.

 

What did she underline?

 

(Deep and guttural) The King in Yellow.

 

Distortion, audio snaps, hospital intercom chimes,  unintelligible announcement

 

John?

 

Announcement continues, John breathing deeply

 

John, are you okay?

 

Breathing and distorted audio

 

John.

 

John begins chanting quietly, growing louder

 

John! John, what the fuck?

 

Chanting continues, static

 

JOHN!

 

Static pops, ends, John comes back to himself

 

[Gasp]

 

The Widow screeches, Arthur gasps, scrambles with the book

 

Growling, footsteps

 

Door opens, The Widow enters, growling and snarling

 

(Disoriented) ....Where…

 

The Widow’s growling recedes, Arthur panting

 

(Panicked) John! What the fuck just happened, where did you go!?

 

(Confused, disoriented) Go?

 

(Panicked) You weren’t answering, I couldn’t see… and that thing…

 

I… I was somewhere else…

 

Are you here now?

 

Yes… yes.

 

She came back.

 

Yes, she… she came back? The Widow?

 

Yes, I shouted for you, I- I must have stirred her, I feel like a fucking idiot!

 

You’re… in Amanda’s cot, in the corner.

 

Am I? Yes, I suppose. I just ran to the corner and hid, I… are you okay?

 

Yes, Arthur. There’s a lot I don’t understand about what’s going on… I’m sorry.

 

Sorry? No, it’s- it’s alright. [Light chuckle]

 

Her bed… she has some things here.

 

Like what?

 

A letter.

 

A proper letter?

 

Letter rustling

 

Yes, in a sealed envelope with ‘Anna’ written on it.

 

That must be who she wrote, our ‘A’. What does it-

 

The Widow screeches

 

(Whispering) Oh, fuck. We should move.

 

Agreed, if she moves back into this room and finds you I don’t see a way out.

 

Okay.

 

Cot creaks, footsteps

 

Wait.

 

What?

 

Grab the books.

 

Right.

 

Footsteps, lantern creaks, books rustling

 

Footsteps, lantern creaks

 

I don’t see her… wait.

 

She’s there?

 

Yes. She’s pawing around in the darkness as if looking for us.

 

Can we slip out? Back to the entrance? I think we’re done down here.

 

It would be past her, she could see us. Do you really think you could move quiet enough?

 

Well, I- I mean maybe. It would be a gamble but staying here would be a gamble just as much.

 

Or..

 

Or what?

 

Or we could move further in. The hallway continues on, deeper into the caves.

 

We have what we came here for…

 

Yes, but the only way out is past her, I don’t know how quiet you can be, Arthur. Maybe there’s another way out deeper in.

 

Fuck!

 

Either way you need to choose now; try to sneak past her to the entrance or hope that there’s another exit deeper down…

 

Then further down we go.

 

Yes?

 

Yes, there is no way I’ll be able to sneak past her undetected, especially not being able to see my way forward… even then it would be a jog back to the hatch that led us down here.

 

And you believe there to be an exit?

 

I don’t know, but we’ll figure that out when we’re away from her.

 

Right, stay low and keep your hand on the left wall.

 

Arthur grunts, footsteps, soft scraping

 

The passage here moves downward rather steeply; the walls are smoothed stone… as if hands have run across them for centuries.

 

Footsteps, lantern creaking

 

The passageway is opening up here- Oh…

 

What?

 

Arthur, this is a huge room… a temple of sorts, a place of worship. There’s an altar and a stone floor raised slightly to give an elevated feel to the circle around the centre of this room. The walls are all dark stone, sconces sit above piles of melted wax. Ceremonies of some sort were performed here; blood stains the stone slab in the centre of the room, and there are at least two passageways out.

 

God…

 

Footsteps

 

I can’t really tell what- Oh my God…

 

What?

 

The ceiling, it’s… there is a massive sculpted image of a creature, like the one we saw in the house back in Arkham.

 

Shub-Niggurath.

 

Yes… they’ve used the stalactites as trees, almost… carved his visage into the stonework above. It’s unnerving to say the least.

 

Jesus, what… we need to read this.

 

Paper rustles

 

The letter?

 

Yes. We need to understand what Amanda found exactly, her note upstairs was vague at best. I understand now that she wanted to protect all this from getting out, from… from getting into the wrong hands but… we need context and it’s clear that she spent a lot of time down here, before…

 

Before The Widow woke?

 

Before she died.

 

Letter rustling

 

Alright, what does it say?

 

[Sigh] “My dear friend Anna,

 

I miss you. I hope things are well with you. I don’t know if you’ll come find me, this letter may go unread for centuries, perhaps it will never be found. Buried within the rock and stone beneath the island, in the library I now write this from. Or, perhaps I will return, grab the letter myself and find the answers I know we both desperately seek… perhaps I’m being too dire. 

 

As I’m sure you must be able to understand; I never left that basement. The events that happened ten years ago; the stone slabs, the cavernous walls, Antoine’s final plan, the portal and Henry’s sacrifice… all of it stayed with me. I’ve carried it for these 10 years.

I thought coming here, to Harper’s Hill would give me the tools to start again and maybe it would have had I not seen him. Antoine. Not alive but in a photo. He was the same – like he hadn’t aged a day and yet the photo I saw, in the book called ‘History of Harper's Hill’, was from almost a hundred years ago. He was the lighthouse keeper. I knew I couldn’t run from this anymore. I mean this man, this monster who ruined our lives, who ruined Emily’s life, he was staring back at me from the pages of a book. 

I sought to find the island and discovered what was beneath it... this cavernous hideout. I spent weeks poring over rooms, over pages, texts, diaries, to form what I think brought Antoine here. The promise to a dying master of his from… far too long ago, to summon Shub-Niggurath and bring about the end of the world. A task that could only be completed by finding those who were connected by blood to those who first started the ceremony 600 years prior. Obviously as you and I know, it failed.

But something didn’t add up. I didn’t understand how ‘he’ fit into this story. Not Antoine, or the creature that Henry killed, the abomination that Antoine tried to bring to this world, no… the one that came out of the gateway after – you know who I’m talking about. The one who wore yellow.

With Antoine’s story tied into a neat bow, I looked through other texts he had here, other tomes that seemed to reveal more of this other world and then I found it...

“The King in Yellow”

The King has nothing to do with Antoine, Anna, nor his plans. He simply used the portal because it was there. An opportunist who chose to enter our world. It sent a chill up my spine. Then, I saw his eyes in town. I don’t know how but he found me, he is active still. I knew that it was only a matter of time, so I learned all I could.

Anna, this temple is not dedicated to him, it is here to serve Antoine’s machinations; to fulfill his original goal in summoning Shub-Niggurath. He spent hundreds of years between here and the lighthouse, waiting… but all of that had ended now. The King in Yellow is the real threat and he seeks to find me. There is an order that may still exist, those who worship the King, in a town north of here called Leerie.

You and I were young… younger, I understand why we didn’t see the form that emerged as something different but he is here and he will find you just as he found me.

The only two who know he exists in the world.

Good luck Anna, may you find answers in Leerie.

Your friend, Sarah

 

I… so… so these girls were the ones in the house. This ‘Antoine’ was the original owner… or the one who conducted whatever ceremony transpired in that secret basement. He opened a gateway for Shub-Niggurath…

 

But something else came out of the portal before it closed.

 

The King in Yellow...

 

The Widow screeches, Arthur gasps

 

Arthur, she’s coming this way!

 

We need to move from this room.

 

Left or-

 

Left. There’s no time to debate.

 

Footsteps, Arthur panting

 

So none of this has to do with Shub-Niggurath?

 

No, that must have been what Amanda- er, Sarah had meant when she said that they were wrong.

 

And this temple is… is but a dead shrine to a being that no longer… what, exists?

 

She didn’t say, but I didn’t get the impression they were around anymore. Whatever happened with Antoine in that basement ended it.

 

Right.

 

The Widow shrieks, Arthur gasps

 

What’s down here?

 

Nothing. It’s a dead end.

 

What?!

 

Arthur…

(Whispering) Fuck

 

She’s coming this way.

 

There must be something, what is in this room?

 

Slapping footsteps approach

 

Boxes, crates, maybe supplies

 

Can we move any? [Grunt]

 

Crate scraping against floor, The Widow growling, getting closer

 

(Frantic) Is there anything-

 

Wait.

 

What?

 

Do you hear that?

 

Water splashing

 

Running water…

 

There must be something. Move that box- no, that one.

 

Crate scraping, Arthur grunting

 

Yes… there’s a very small space at the bottom, a trickle of water sounding behind it.

 

How small?

 

It would be a tight squeeze. Get down on your belly.

 

Right.

 

Scrambling, scraping, water trickling

 

(Echoing) God, I can’t even…

 

We have to try. Turn your head to the right.

 

(Echoing) I can barely move.

 

Arthur, move forward.

 

(Echoing) Does it open?

 

I don’t know, Arthur, keep moving.

 

Arthur grunting, scraping against passage walls, water trickling

 

Keep shimmying, the space is barely big enough for you, you need to slide on your stomach.

 

Arthur grunting, breathing quickly

 

(Echoing) John, I feel very claustrophobic right now… I’m really… I’m feeling a bit scared, I-

 

Hundreds of feet below the ground in a tight stone hole, moving down into the dark with a creature behind you, why do you feel scared?

 

(Echoing) John, this is not-

 

Relax, you have this. Keep inching forward.

 

(Echoing) I feel like it’s…

 

Moving downwards, yes.

 

[Shuddering breath] I can feel the blood rushing to my head.

 

Scraping, water trickling

 

Arthur, just breathe.

 

(Echoing) I can’t! I can barely move my chest, the passage, it’s- it’s so tight. John, I can’t breathe, the hole it’s too small to fit through, I-

 

Breathe out, all the way, so your lungs are empty, and then squeeze through to the end.

 

(Echoing) I won’t have any air, I-

 

(Frustrated) Then move quickly.

 

(Echoing) God…

 

Now!

 

Sharp exhale, scraping, grunting

 

Scrambling, Arthur falls out of the passageway

 

(Relieved) God.

 

Arthur.

 

Yes?

 

Well done… but she is climbing through the hole behind us!

 

Growling, scraping

 

(Panicked) Oh, Go- what? Fuck!

 

We need to move!

 

Is there a rock, ah… something I can-

 

To your right, on the ground!

 

Rocks clacking

 

What are you…

 

I’m going to smash her fucking brains in when she climbs out of the hole behind me!

 

Are you sure?

 

Scraping, growling

 

Yes, I’m sure!

 

Growling gets louder, Arthur grunts, rock hitting The Widow’s skull repeatedly

 

Arthur… she’s dead.

 

Arthur continues hitting her

 

Arthur!

 

Arthur hits her again

 

Jesus, Arthur, she’s dead!

 

Arthur hits her one last time, rock clatters to the ground

 

(Out of breath) I’m so done with things trying to fight us.

 

Was she?

 

(Out of breath) What? Of- of course… she was… how can you even…?

 

Arthur, the… she didn’t seem like… I don’t know. She seemed like someone who might have been taken advantage of.

 

(Angry) How? She was a cultist, John. She-

 

She was a widow who moved out here to be with her husband.

 

Who joined up with an insane cult. She’s… she’s a monster, for fuck’s sake! How can you-

 

Her drawings! I don’t know, didn’t it feel like she might have been coerced? Maybe by the promise of her husband's return? I-

 

Then she deserves this for being so eagerly duped. [Sigh] I never would have let myself-

 

(Angry) I think you give yourself too much credit.

 

Fuck you, John.

 

(Angry) Fuck me!? Fuck your eyes!?

 

Fine. I’ll do it myself.

 

Scrambling over rocks, Arthur panting

 

You think I need you? I don’t need you. I can feel… there, there. [Laugher] The passage...

 

Arthur grunting, scraping

 

(Angry) I’ve had nothing but… fucking trouble since I met you, you fucking prick. Okay… okay, okay.

 

Scraping, Arthur grunting

 

There, I feel… fresh air.

 

Scraping

 

You fucking-

 

Scraping, emerging from the passage

 

[Laughing softly] And… stone… not cave stone, but carved stone. Pieces, slabs… yes… on the walls it- it goes around…

 

Footsteps

 

Okay, this… goes around here… a… I know where this is, this… this is below the- this is the lighthouse basement. [Laughter] Fuck you! And there should be a...

 

Footsteps

 

Ladder! Yes. Yes.

 

Climbing ladder, panting

 

You think I need you? I don’t need you.

 

Climbing ladder, panting

 

There’s a hatch… here.

 

Click, hatch squeaks open, thuds against floor

 

Fuck you, John.

 

Arthur grunts, thudding and scraping

 

[Laughter] Back in the lighthouse.

 

Arthur stands, footsteps

 

I’ll find a boat, I’ll get off this island… and then I will find-

 

Arthur trips, falls

 

(Quietly) Fuck.

 

John laughs cruelly

 

Fuck you. What… oh, right… the lighthouse keeper, he ah- it doesn’t matter, I’m done with this place.

 

Footsteps

 

I’m gonna go back down to-

 

American Man: ‘Scuse me! Can you stop right there please.

 

What...? Who-

 

Don’t move.

 

Who are-

 

We’re looking for a Laurence Holder, is that you?

 

No, that’s not me.

 

Nah, that ain’t you? Mitchell, can you go see who else is in that lighthouse. Sir, whose blood do you have all over you?

 

Footsteps travelling away

 

Answer me. What’s your name?

 

My name is Arthur.

 

Yeah? Do you have ID to confirm that?

 

Yes- no… I… oh.

 

Footsteps approaching

 

Anybody in there?

 

Irish Man: Collin, there’s a body here, he’s fuckin’ uh… Jesus Christ…

 

Collin: What? Spit it out.

 

Mitchell: His skin is- it looks… it looks like he’s been… he’s fuckin’ dead.

 

Collin: What the fuck? Sir, I need you to turn around.

 

No, I-

 

Scuffling, handcuffs clicking

 

Mitchell: (Muttering quietly) You should have seen him, he was fuckin’- chunks of his skin were pulled out and he-

 

Collin: Hey, Caldwell, take a breath, it’s okay.

 

Mitchell: Right, right…

 

Footsteps, Arthur panting, rustling

 

Collin: Oh, so you do have ID. Laurence Holder, what a surprise.

 

Mitchell muttering to himself, unintelligible

 

Collin: Hey, are you okay?

 

Mitchell: Yeah-no, yeah… I’m alright, yeah.

 

Collin: Hey, it’s okay. We got him.

 

Mitchell: You’re right, you’re right, you’re right...

 

Footsteps travel away

 

John… this is-

 

Collin: You need to shut up right now.

 

John laughing cruelly

 

Collin: Alright, can you take him back or you want me to?

 

Mitchell: I, uh… maybe you could take him back.

 

Collin: Yeah, don’t worry about it, relax.

 

Gravel crunching, scraping

 

I… I’m not who you think I-

 

Collin: I don’t fuckin’ care, you’re lucky I didn’t shoot you on the spot.

 

Arthur groaning, footsteps

 

Collin: I don’t fuckin’ get you man, you tell a man your name back in Harper’s Hill on the docks, you ask to use his boat, he says no- [grunt] come on- then you steal one in broad daylight and think no one is gonna come after you.

 

I-

 

Collin: Ah, shut up.

 

Thud, impact, Arthur groans in pain

 

Collin: And then you come here to what… kill some guy? You fuckin’ psycho.

 

Waves splashing, footsteps on wood

 

John…

 

Collin: It’s Officer Burkhart to you, now you sit down, and you shut the fuck up. You sit still until we’re done.

 

Waves splashing, footsteps receding

 

Melancholy piano score begins

 

John… you selfish prick. You could have told me they were there; you could’ve done anything… and instead you let me, you let us… Fuck you, John. This is all your fault. All of it. Every bad choice we’ve ever made, every moment that’s fucked us is because of you. I was- I had a life until I met you. [Shaky breath] Now look at me… I’m nothing. I’ve lost everything I ever cared about… because of you. Fuck you.

 

Piano distorts, audio snaps

 

John: I killed your partner.

 

What?

 

(Cruelly) I killed your fucking partner.

 

W-was it…

 

An accident? No. I did it because I wanted to kill him.

 

I…

 

Now sit here, shut up, and let me watch these men fuck your life up.

 

[Breathing shakily]

 

Footsteps approach

 

Collin: No, that’s fair, but ultimately [inaudible] because we’re gonna have to send him back for the body. Let’s go.

 

Footsteps on wood, scuffling, Arthur grunting

 

Mitchell: This sick fuck-

 

Collin: Don’t look at him, just… let’s get out of here. He’s gonna be locked up for a long time.

 

Boat motor starts, revs and drives away

 

Water splashing

 

Static

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