Click for Content Warnings
- Background sounds and music
- Stereo audio (audio will sound different in right and left speakers/headphones)
- Distorted audio (vocal distortion, used sparingly)
- Discussions of death
- Implied threat of violence from a domestic partner
- Sounds of panic and distress (heavy breathing, squeaks, one quiet scream)
- Description of a romantic relationship involving emotionally abusing behaviour (isolating someone from family members)
- Angry, raised voices (not significantly louder than the rest of the dialogue but with angry tones)
- Self-deprecation from a character other than Sam
In my experience, dead men certainly do tell tales. Welcome back to Spirit Box Radio.
Hello Faithful Listeners! Another week, another Enlightenment Segment! A couple of people on the forums have noticed that I have sounded a little bit different since we came back from after my, um. Rest period. I actually started taking testosterone just before Kitty, um. You know. Not much had happened before I went to sleep, but when I woke up, boom! It’s like something’s different every day. So don’t worry, Faithful Listeners, you aren’t imagining things.
Anyway. I have an Augury Forecast for you this week, so that seems like an excellent place to start! I’ll share it with you now.
If your name begins with K, watch out for pots boiling over this week, be they literal or metaphorical.
Three birds on the fence in Covent Garden sang in C Major; the sunrise will be bloody tomorrow
If you carry a satchel—
[PHONE CONTINUES TO RING]
Jay: Is that Sam Enfield?
SAM: Yes? You are live on—
Jay: You’re the only son of Madame Marie, you’re prophetised to best the One Who Walks Here and There, and you’re trying to—
SAM: Who is this!?
Jay: My name is Jay Magnum. We need to talk.
SAM: Uh– oh—okay! Sure. When? Where?!
Jay: It’s not safe right now. But as soon as we can meet I’ll send you a message with a time and a place.
SAM: How will you reach me? How will I be sure it’s you and not someone pretending?
Jay: You’ll just have to know.
SAM: Hello? Bloody hell you’d think they could have at least said ‘goodbye’, for crying out loud. Ugh. Okay, where was I?
SAM: Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you, Revel darling, I just. Gods I wish I could control when this happens, I don’t need to see the arcane right now, but everything is shining and— oh gods this is unpleasant. I’m just gonna sit and wait for it pass.
Okay– wait, hang on a minute, what’s that?
There’s a thread, from the tupperware Anna brought our lunch over with. No, it’s not the box itself it’s… the note. There’s a note here. Her shopping list.
Oh hang on, there’s another thread—
[SAM GETS UP AND WALKS SLOWLY ACROSS THE ROOM]
Oliver’s bookcase? What’s this? ‘Of Magiyck’.
Spectre. ‘Of all thinges arcane a spectre is perhaps one of the moste fascinating being that it is goode at mimicking the appearance of a selfe but in fact possesses naught but the will of its caster’.
The will of it’s caster.
[SOMETHING IS RATTLING]
Do you hear that, faithful listeners?
It’s coming from the box where I keep the True Arcanist Tarot Deck and the Seeing Glass.
[THE RATTLING STOPS]
It stopped when I touched it.
[THE BOX OPENS. PAPER FLUTTERS]
The Spectre card. And the Man in the Flat Cap’s grinning face, they just fell out, what?
Another thread, and it leads back to… Anna’s shopping list.
Hang on, this doesn’t actually look like Anna’s handwriting, which means it must be… Guy’s.
[SAM RUSHES BACK TO THE TABLE, GRABBING THE PHONE WITH A CLATTER]
[DIAL TONE HUMS AS SAM PUNCHES THE KEYS]
Answer the phone, Anna, damn it!!!!
SAM: You need to get out of the house! There’s something there with you, I– you’re in danger.
ANNA: What are you talking about, it’s, ugh, it’s three in the morning, I’m in bed.
SAM: Oh no. Oh gods. Anna. Is Guy with you?
ANNA: Yes, I… you remembered his name.
SAM: Anna, listen to me, listen really carefully! You need to get out of the house and come here right away.
ANNA: What is going on, Sam!? Are you okay?
SAM: I’m fine, but you’re not. You’re in danger!
ANNA: Sam, I’m in bed what could possibly be dangerous?
SAM: Look at Guy.
ANNA: He’s asleep.
SAM: No, no, NO, look at him, look like you do when you hear someone lying. Look with more than your eyes.
ANNA: What on earth are you talking about.
SAM: Anna, I am deadly serious, please listen to me, Guy is not who you think he is. Anna?
ANNA: Oh no.
GUY: [AWFUL, STATIC-Y VOICE] Anna?
ANNA: Oh gods.
SAM: Sh, shhh!!!
GUY: [AWFUL, STATIC-Y VOICE] What’s going on?
GUY: [AWFUL, STATIC-Y VOICE] What’s wrong?
ANNA: [MUTTERING, UNDER SAM’S NEXT LINE] Fucking gods, I can’t believe this, of course it had to happen to me—
SAM: Uh, UH! OH, INDI! INDI COME HERE!
ANNA: Oh my god!!
[ON THE PHONE] GUY: [BARELY AUDIBLE] What’s wrong, darling?
INDI: Heir Apparent. What do you want?
SAM: Anna is in danger!
SAM: So!? Go help her! Bring her here with the zappy thing!
INDI: Ugh, fine.
[INDI’S STATIC FIZZES TWICE, ONCE BESIDE SAM, ONCE ON THE PHONE]
ANNA: WHAT THE FUCK
INDI: Calm down, princess.
GUY: Anna, darling.
INDI: Oooh, hold up. What the hell is that thing!?
ANNA: It’s my fiance!
INDI: Oof, yikes. Right then, lets get out of here.
[INDI’S STATIC NEXT TO SAM AGAIN]
[ANNA DOES A LITTLE SCREAM]
ANNA: I’m going to be sick.
INDI: Could have warned me they were in the middle of hanky panky.
ANNA: I WAS SLEEPING.
INDI: Next to that thing?
SAM: Just— ugh!!! What, why, why couldn’t she see it?
ANNA: YOU’RE PLAYING CARDS NOW!?
SAM: No, I– I–
SAM: Screw this.
[CARDS FALL TO THE FLOOR, FLUTTERING]
SAM: Why couldn’t Anna see?
ANNA: What in the name of–
INDI: Let him do it.
ANNA: I don’t see what–
SAM: Anna, shut up. I need to—
[HUM RISES INTENTLY]
SAM: Here, this one. The Star… hope. Inverted.
INDI: Oh, I get it.
ANNA: You get what?!
SAM: Hopefulness; that’s why you couldn’t see it.
INDI: Sort of thing the One likes. He’ll use your best against you.
ANNA: I’m sorry, what?
SAM: You couldn’t see Guy for what he was because he was protected by an illusion which fed off your hopefulness. The more you wanted it to work the more real he was.
ANNA: WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT.
SAM: Why are you shouting!?
ANNA: BECAUSE I AM VERY CONFUSED.
SAM: Okay! Okay! I know! I’m sorry! Uh, I… Uh. This thread, I think it’s me. I think it’s to do with me? But I can’t tell if that’s the illusion, or what, or…
INDI: The One Who Walks Here and There likes to take the good and twist it. Invert it.
SAM: Like. There’s a meaning to something, right? But you can flip it, like a tarot card, invert the meaning.
INDI: Something tells me your dear old sister doesn’t have the faintest—
ANNA: I can read tarot perfectly well, thank you, what I don’t understand is how this relates to anything to do with my– FIANCE. Who is apparently. A. THING. I don’t KNOW.
SAM: It’s alright! It’s going to be alright!
ANNA: I’VE BEEN ENGAGED TO HIM FOR FIVE YEARS.
SAM: Anna! It’s going to be okay!
ANNA: Would you stop!
SAM: Sorry, sorry.
ANNA: Let me get this straight. Guy is— something not human. And I didn’t notice because I was… hopeful he was human.
SAM: He’s a spectre, specifically, I think.
ANNA: Define spectre.
[A BOOK RUSTLES AS SAM HANDS IT OVER]
ANNA: ‘Naught but the will of its caster’, and that would be—
INDI: The One Who Walks Here and There.
SAM: The Man in the Flat Cap.
ANNA: Your father.
ANNA: So Guy… he wasn’t. He’s not a person.
SAM: I mean. These kinds of things, these cards, this suit, it’s all like, ghosts and things. Ghost is its own card but I don’t know—
INDI: Minor Arcana, that’s what the Arcanist term is.
SAM: Did you interrupt the Man in the Flat Cap all the time, too, or is that something special you reserve just for me?
INDI: Never thought about it, doesn’t matter. Ghosts, spectres, echoes; they’re minor arcana. The bits of the arcane energy of a person or creature left behind after they’re dead, except rather than returning to the arcane, dispersing all around us, they’re stuck. It can happen naturally or on purpose, as Heir Apparent here has made pretty clear.
SAM: Don’t call me that.
INDI: Do you prefer ‘my lord’?
SAM: Just ‘Sam’ will do.
SAM: You know you can just leave any time.
INDI: Great, thanks.
INDI: You said I could, not that I—
INDI: Fine, shoulda called Ingra, they love this shit…
ANNA: [BROKENLY] How did I not see? Am I really so stupid?
SAM: No, Anna, no. It’s not you.
ANNA: It’s him!? Well, that’s pretty obvious, isn’t it!? He’s not even human.
SAM: Not anymore. But he was, once. I– I’m not sure what happened, I’ll… show me what happened to guy.
[MAGIC HUM, A BRIGHT, TINKLING SOUND]
SAM: The Emperor, the Tower, the Seven of Cups, the Nine of Cups. Rigidity and order, loss and new knowledge, wish fulfilment, dreams come true… hmmm.
ANNA: How is this helping?
SAM: You and the Man in the Flat Cap as the Emperor card… interesting. You do love rules, but… he plays with them. That’s interesting. The tower. It’s kind of about loss, but in this context. I think it’s more about fear of loss, fear you won’t get what the next cards can represent. You see the Seven of Cups can mean opportunity and new options but, not here. Here it’s about wish fulfilment and illusion, which makes sense.
ANNA: How do you know that?
SAM: I just do.
ANNA: [SOURLY] That’s very reassuring.
SAM: The Nine of Cups, too, that can be about satisfaction and gratitude but here I think it’s…. settling.
ANNA: [APPALLED] Settling?
ANNA: You think I couldn’t see what Guy was because I was settling?!
SAM: No, it’s not—
ANNA: Have you any idea what I’ve been through?! Do you know what– do you even know me!?
ANNA: No, no, no, don’t! Just don’t! I can’t. I won’t hear it. You have no idea what you’re talking about. Guy was good. He understood me.
[MAGIC HUM, BRIGHT TINKLING]
SAM: Oh… The Hanged Man.
ANNA: You– you mean. They. Killed him.
SAM: I– I don’t know, Anna.
ANNA: When? Why?
SAM: You said you’ve been engaged for five years.
ANNA: We have.
SAM: But you were dating before then?
ANNA: Well. Yes. We were, for about a year and a half.
SAM: And you got engaged when I was… eighteen?
SAM: That’s around the point where I started being able to remember. I was awake before then, I know, you’ve told me. But I don’t remember. So I started being able to make new memories, and then a while after, you and Guy got engaged.
ANNA: Those things aren’t related.
SAM: Who proposed.
ANNA: I– well. He did.
SAM: Was it… planned? Did it come out of the blue?
ANNA: Yes. We hadn’t even talked about that kind of thing yet, except in very vague terms. He knew I wanted to get married and have kids, but I did say I wanted to focus on my career first. He said he agreed. But I— I thought it was romantic. I thought, well. We can have a long engagement, and it…
ANNA: It was a commitment. And I wanted that more than anything.
SAM: I think he did too. Or, well. The Man in the Flat Cap did. Anna, I… this isn’t your fault. It’s not.
ANNA: He’s been dead for years, hasn’t he.
ANNA: I thought he loved me.
SAM: You deserve to be loved, not shrugged off.
ANNA: I thought I believed that. I thought I hoped for that. That’s what’s infuriating! He wasn’t even that good of a partner! Sure there were things I loved about him. He had a great sense of humour. I loved movie nights. I loved that he was as interested in the law as I was. What have I been doing? I. God, you know, I was thinking of calling off the wedding. I felt like something was missing, but every time I thought that, I’d cut myself off. On paper, he was perfectly fine. Just fine! Is that all I was hoping for!?
SAM: Come here, you daft thing.
SAM: I’m so sorry.
ANNA: I’m so angry. I hated the way he talked about you and Kitty, like you were just extensions of Madame Marie and all of her ridiculousness. I wanted to get you out of there, Sam. Kitty, too. That’s why I pushed myself so hard to get one of the highest paying jobs I could think of. I wanted to support both of you. I wanted to look after you. But Guy. He always agreed when I said how awful Madame Marie was, he was so eager for me to cut her out of my life, and, well. So was I! And I knew my judgement on that was sound, so maybe he was right and I was just being sentimental about the two of you.
In the beginning, he was kinder. He understood, you know, that the situation was complicated. But. It changed. Why didn’t I say something? I suppose it made sense, in a way, he was right; you weren’t helpless children. You could make your own decisions, couldn’t you? I worry about you so much, and I know that can cloud my judgement, so I thought. Well. Maybe he was right? Maybe you needed space. Maybe I needed space. And it never raised any red flags because it wasn’t like he was ever trying to talk me out of seeing my friends or going places by myself or doing anything else. It was just you two, my siblings. And so. I worked really hard to keep you at arm’s length.
SAM: I— I think. I think his job was to keep you away from us. He didn’t want you too close to us.
ANNA: But, why?
SAM: Anna! You can tell what’s true and what’s a lie just by listening to people talk! That’s not nothing, Anna. And. I think they’ve been trying to dictate what I learn and when I learn it. Whatever they’re planning, I think it’s important that I only understand things at certain times.
ANNA: What are you talk ing about?
SAM: I wish I knew. But it’s just what I’ve been piecing together. The whole thing is a mess. It’s chaos. I don’t understand how all the pieces fit because I’m missing so much of the puzzle, and I think that’s the point. I’m only supposed to get a little at a time.
ANNA: And they killed boyfriend for it.
SAM: Yes. I’m sorry.
ANNA: I’m beginning to reevaluate the ethics of murder.
SAM: You can’t kill the Man in the Flat Cap, I don’t think.
SAM: I don’t think he’s alive. I think I was wrong, before. I thought there were three arcane things; Scourge, Strife and Scarcity. They’re not Major Arcana but they’re not ghost things either. They’re something else. I think… more than anything I think they’re more like the arcane itself. It’s not just a part of them, it’s all of them, I think. I don’t know for sure.
ANNA: Well. I can tell you for sure that what you just said wasn’t a lie.
SAM: But was is only not a lie because I said ‘I think’?
ANNA: I don’t know how it works. Try it without the qualifiers.
SAM: Scourge, Scarcity and Strife are made of the arcane itself.
ANNA: Still not a lie.
SAM: Yeah. Okay. Good.
ANNA: What were you wrong about, though?
SAM: Hmm? Oh. That there were three of them.
SAM: I don’t know. It seems obvious now. The Man in the Flat Cap is one of them.
ANNA: I– oh.
ANNA: I can’t— tell.
SAM: You can’t tell what?
ANNA: If that’s a lie. It’s like. It is and it isn’t at once?
SAM: Rhytidia was right.
ANNA: About what?
SAM: Absolutely rancid vibes.
ANNA: Can I stay here tonight?
SAM: Of course! You do know Oliver will be coming back though, right? He’s just down in the shop working on some things. He does live here.
ANNA: Yes, I’m aware this is his flat. I can leave if you want.
SAM: No, stay. Oliver won’t mind. I just wanted to make sure–
ANNA: All things considered I don’t think I’m in a position to judge anyone’s choice of romantic partner.
SAM: There’s a chaise lounge in the study, Kitty’s sleeping bag and stuff is under there, I can–
ANNA: I’ll sort it out myself, thanks.
[SHE STORMS OUT]
SAM: Should I be following her?
[DOOR SLAMS SHUT]
Well. That’s a solid no.
So, they wanted to keep Anna out of the equation, these things.
ANNA: [DISTANT] We’d just decided on the flower arrangements and the napkin colours, oh my GOD I’m going to have to cancel everything!
SAM: Okay, yeah, I’m just going to go in case she wants to talk about it after all. And to try and save some of Oliver’s belongings. Thanks for your support through all of this. Goodnight Faithful Listeners.