Click for Content Warnings
- Background sounds and music
- Stereo audio (audio will sound different in right and left speakers/headphones)
- Mentions of death and murder
- Mentions of cults/high control groups
- Mentions of cannibalism
- Implications of emotional manipulation
- Implied threats of violence
- Sounds of panic and distress (heavy breathing, raised voices)
- Descriptions of a murder victim killed (brief, detailed, no weaponsn involved)
- Mentions of blood
- Breaking glass
- Suicidal ideation (brief, one instance, literally the phrase ‘I want to die’)
- Characters in emotional distress
You made your bed, well done, later when you come back to it it’ll feel lovely to lie in. Welcome back to Spirit Box Radio.
Hello Faithful Listeners! Thank you so much for all of your insights on my conversation with Julius. It certainly was enlightening, wasn’t it? Maybe I have made the show my own after all. I don’t know. There are few things in particular I wanted to touch on, actually.
Karl the Cheese Witch had a lot to say about the traditional practice of arcanism, and in particular the way secrecy is such a priority. It said a lot so I won’t read the whole thread, I’ll just summarise. Apparently, Julius’ comments rang very true for it, because it saw its parents practising arcanism, but their practises seemed very distinct and separate. This always struck Karl as odd. Its parents were close in so many other ways, but this thing which was apparently so important to them, they didn’t share with one another.
Both of them would teach Karl bits and pieces, fragments of how to read augury, and its father taught it how to divine with cheese, but it wasn’t until Karl’s parents were both dead when it realised that each parent’s practise was so distinct. Looking through their notes, each parent had huge gaps in their conceptual understanding of arcanism, and the margins were crammed with reams and reams of notes trying to parse things together. The answers to those questions that they were both spending so many hours trying to work out the answers for? The answers were only down the hallway in a lot of cases, in the other person’s books. If they’d spoken with one another, then they’d have learned so much. It’s really sad, the whole thing, and certainly supports what I understood of arcanism until now.
I keep thinking, I wish M had left me more. But there was more, there, in the studio. It’s gone now. It’s all gone. And her office in the house at Banemouth Road the one I just glimpsed when we found… what was left. There must have been answers there, too, but now I just have scraps. I have these few notebooks, of course. The accounts of the Impossible Children, but I feel like I’m not getting anywhere with any of it, except that the Scarcemongers think at least some of the Impossible Children are Heir Apparents, and Jay thinks M might have been one, Julius thinks she was something and pretty much everyone seems to think that Impossible Children seem to come from deals with the Man in the Flat Cap, only. I don’t know.
The funny thing about that, in particular, is this idea that the Impossible Children are made by people wishing for children, for progeny, I don’t know. Which is what makes me more interesting, I guess, because I’m the ‘gift and the price’ or whatever. Madame Marie? She didn’t want me, she wanted power, and it just so happened it came along with this whole other person who she was suddenly saddled with, and I know it’s more complicated because she was looking for the Impossible Children because of the prophecy she’d have a child who could best the One Who walks Here and There but that’s not wanting a child, is it? It’s wanting… I don’t know. Salvation.
I can’t do salvation! I can’t even do laundry without messing it up.
But the problem is, none of these people has the full picture. They only have pieces. They’re not speaking to each other. The story is just… scribbles in the margins, like in Karl’s parents’ books.
Madame Marie was interested in the mechanics of prophecy. The mechanics. How it works, how they come to be. I keep thinking about what Julius said, how even if a prophecy comes true because it’s self fulfilling, it has still come true. Anna and Kitty. That’s what M was doing there, really, trying to fulfil a prophecy by force. But really, when it came to it, when it came to me…?
I can’t make scraps of what I know come together in a way that makes sense. But that’s the point, isn’t it? Scourge. He shows up when I get too close to learning something I’m not supposed to know, with that infuriating ‘in time, not yet’ nonsense, I can’t stand it. And then with Oliver, like? What is that about? They want me to take him as a Major Arcana. Scourge told me what happened when Oliver took his deal because I was supposed to know, I’m sure about that, but. Why? What about it is important?
The prophecy? ‘in his heart is the doom of the world’? What’s that supposed to mean, how does it help? Because Scourge must know I don’t care about the rest of it! I know what Oliver is, I decided I don’t care. So what? It has to be the prophecy. But I can’t work out what it’s supposed to mean.
I was thinking about all of this earlier, and I remembered there was a letter. It was in one of the bags of stuff Kitty and Oliver brought here whilst I was sleeping. I’d almost forgotten about it. I was actually about to share it with you guys right before Kitty and Rhytidia showed up with the Sins, and then. Kitty. You know. So it just slipped my mind, I was busy, um. Thinking. Figuring it out, you know. What I was going to do. About Kitty. Ehem. Anyway, I don’t think the letter is very important, and it barely seems like a letter at all, to be honest. It’s really short. I’ll share it with you now;
Mr Enfield I am writing because I need to warn you of the creature you have allowed in your home. The animal. He came to me in the night, threatened to rip my heart right out of my chest if I did not do as I had been commanded by the One. I was supposed to speak about him to others, in terms they would accept. Find arcanists, explain him to them in a way that might pique their interest. Such a thing is not easy, though, and I met someone. My wife, Gloriana. That’s the thing. I could have accepted the threat to my life, to my physical heart, but not my love, not my real heart, my soul, my life. Gloriana. He said if I did not comply he would take Gloriana and I would live my days plagued by grief, knowing every moment it was my fault that she was gone. So you should know, that thing you think you love, he knows nothing of the word. He knows only cruelty and unrelenting grief. Heed my words, Mr Enfield. You will rue the day you met Oliver Boleyn.
Yeah so like. I don’t know. Obviously, I know he was an agent for the Man in the Flat Cap. I know that means he’s been… you know. Violent. I don’t need warning about it. I know what he is. He’s not a monster. And I. I don’t know. When I first read it, like I said, it didn’t– it didn’t matter because I already decided, you know, when I decided I loved Oliver, I knew I was taking that too. His past, you know? It’s not his present, though. It’s who he was, not what he is, I don’t know.
The thing is, that idea. That he doesn’t know grief. It’s funny, because since I’ve been able to see the Arcane I can… I can see Oliver. When it just snaps on the way it does, I still can’t control it. It’s more clear than it was through the Seeing Glass. It’s a very focused view through there but it’s not very broad, and Oliver? He shines so brightly, and there are all these threads between us already, like, they’re already there, and they don’t all come from me, they come from him, too.
I know it’s complicated, I know that for whatever reason, Scourge and the others, they want me to take Oliver’s deal, that he and I, somehow, we’re ‘meant to be’. Not in that big romantic sense but in the weirder arcane one. But aren’t those things the same, really?
SAM: No, you’re right, I suppose being part of the master plan of some arcane being and feeling like fate brought you together are pretty different, aren’t they?
SAM: Thanks Revel. I can always count on you to keep me grounded. Right. We should probably move on so, I’ll —-
SAM: Oh, hi Oliver, love, I—
OLIVER: No, there’s no time, you have to do something for me.
SAM: Of– of course.
OLIVER: Just– I know you’ve got. I know you’re reluctant but. I know. That if you just said the word, you’d take my deal. I’ve already given it you as far as I’m concerned, you just need to accept. Just accept.
SAM: No, Oliver. No. I can’t. I won’t. You know I won’t do this.
OLIVER: Sam, please, you don’t understand. This needs to happen and it needs to happen NOW.
SAM: [WITH POWER IN HIS VOICE] Do not yell at me. What’s going on? You’re scaring me.
OLIVER: I am begging you. Begging you. Take my deal.
SAM: No! I won’t! I can’t!
SAM: and to be honest, I don’t really– Oliver?
OLIVER: Tell me not to go.
OLIVER: TELL ME TO STAY! TELL ME I CAN’T LEAVE.
SAM: I— what are you talking abou—
OLIVER: JUST SAY IT! SAY I CAN’T GO!
SAM: You can’t—
SAM: Oliver? Oliver.
[SAM GRABS SOMETHING, WRENCHES OPEN THE DOOR. HE RUNS OUTSIDE]
SAM: OLIVER. OLIVER WHERE ARE YOU?
[THUNDER CRACKS OVERHEAD]
[SAM BREATHES HEAVILY]
[THE PHONE RINGS]
[SAM RUNS BACK INSIDE, THE SOUND OF RAIN GETTING QUIETER]
[SAM WRENCHES THE PHONE OFF THE RECEIVER]
DONNY: Oops, wrong again.
SAM: YOU. You took him. You made him– what did you do?!
DONNY: If you won’t make a move, you forfeit your turn.
SAM: I– what?
DONNY: Whatever else, the Unrelenting is nominally still in my hand, Samael. Do you want to trade cards?
SAM: I can’t. I won’t.
DONNY: Don’t you think, if the roles were reversed, he’d do the same for you?
SAM: Maybe I’m a coward.
DONNY: Oh, I don’t think so. Any new plans to raise people from the dead?
SAM: I know what you’re doing with Maria Gillespie! I know I’m not the only one!
DONNY: Is that the hand you’re going to play? Really?
SAM: We’re going to stop them, and the Redistribution will never happen and—
DONNY: Very well, the die is cast, Samael. It’s my move now.
SAM: What? What do you mean?
DONNY: Tick tock, Heir Apparent. Tick tock.
SAM: What are–
[SAM THROWS THE PHONE. MAGIC HUMS]
SAM: SHIT! OLIVER. OLIVER! OLIVER COME HERE!
[MAGIC HUMS VERY LOUDLY]
[SAM PANTS, THE MAGIC FADES AWAY]
[AS SAM YELLS, THE ARCANE SHIMMERS, AND FAINT STATIC BUZZES]
SAM: [BREATHLESS, CONFUSED] Where. What…?
[SOUNDS OF MOVEMENT]
SAM: I know this place, it’s the building where we came to meet Jay Magnum.
[SAM TAKES A COUPLE OF SLOW STEPS, AND SLIPS]
SAM: There’s something on the floor… it’s too dark, is that? Is it blood?
[A LIGHT OVERHEAD BUZZES ELECTRICALLY]
SAM: Yeah. It’s blood.
[SAM WALKS SLOWLY UP THE CORRIDOR, THE LIGHTS BUZZING ABOVE HIM]
SAM: Flat 359. Jay’s flat. The door is open, there’s blood, on the handle.
[THE DOOR CREAKS]
SAM: Gods, Micah! Micah? [PAUSE] They’re… dead. What is– [SAM GASPS IN HORROR] a heart. Their heaa—heart. Their heart. It. It’s been torn out.
[SAM STANDS UP]
SAM: I need more light.
[MAGIC HUMS; ELECTRICITY BUZZES]
SAM: They’re dead. All of them. Micah, Micky, Mikayla. Jay.
STRIFE: I thought we were just saying names aloud and I was feeling a little left out.
SAM: You. I’ve… I’ve dreamed of you. You’re like Scourge, aren’t you?
STRIFE: Yes and no. It’s all a matter of perspective.
SAM: You did this.
[ELECTRIC FIZZES, MAGIC HUM RISES]
STRIFE: My my, aren’t you a live wire? Strictly speaking, it was and wasn’t me. I had a little help and I was here to lend a hand to one who’s become a little reluctant to carry out his duties, shall we say?
STRIFE: Ah, the Unrelenting. What chaos we’ve wrought, side by side.
SAM: What have you done to him?
STRIFE: The real question is what did we do to them?
SAM: Oliver did this?
STRIFE: Some force of hand was required.
[AS SAM SPEAKS, ELECTRICITY FIZZES IN THE AIR, AND OBJECTS BEGIN TO SHAKE AROUND THEM]
SAM: I can see it, in the arcane. ‘Force of hand’? You pulled his threads and used him like a marionette. Ugh, I– you monster. You knot of arcane hatred and bile, I’ll kill you.
STRIFE: [SMIGLY] But I can’t die. I’ve never even lived.
SAM: I’ll find a way.
[STRIFE LAUGHS, AND IT FADES INTO NOTHING, AND YOU CAN HEAR THE RUSH OF WATER IN THE DISTANCE]
SAM: Slippery bastards.
[SAM SIGHS. THE SOUND OF MAGIC AND OBJECTS TREMBLING FADES AWAY]
Gods, Jay. I’m so sorry. This is my fault. I’m so sorry.
[OLIVER DISTANTLY MAKES A SOUND OF FRUSTRATION]
SAM: [RESOLVED] Oliver.
[SAM TAKES SLOW STEPS TOWARDS THE BATHROOM. AS HE DOES, THE SOUND OF OLIVER’S PANICKED BREATHING BECOMES DISTINCT FROM THE RUSH OF WATER]
SAM: [SOFTLY] Oliver?
OLIVER: No, NO, you can’t be here, get OUT of here, GO.
SAM: Are you hurt? You’re covered in—-
[OLIVER LAUGHS BREATHLESSLY]
OLIVER: It’s not— [HE LAUGHS] It’s not my blood.
[GHOSTLY, DISTANT HOLLOW SCREAMS]
[THE LIGHT BUZZES]
SAM: Oh, love.
OLIVER: He made me, he made me do this, these people, they were helping you, and I– and he made me.
SAM: I’m so sorry.
[OLIVER GOES BACK TO THE TAP, VIOLENTLY TRYING TO WASH THE BLOOD FROM HIS SKIN, THEN STOPS]
[THE TAP KEEPS RUNNING INTO THE SILENCE]
OLIVER: You understand NOTHING.
[SAM KNOCKS INTO THE DOOR]
SAM: Oliver STOP. [MAGIC HUMS]
[OLIVER HITS THE MIRROR AND IT SHATTERS]
SAM: [HORRIFIED] Oliver. Your hand.
Hey. It’s alright. Okay, I’m just gonna get this cloth, your hand is bleeding quite a lot.
[A FEW FOOT STEPS, SHIFTING GLASS]
[SAM SPLASHES THE CLOTH UNDER THE TAP, THEN TURNS IT OFF, THE HANDLE SQUEAKING]
There, see? It’s alright.
OLIVER: Why are you helping me?
SAM: I love you.
OLIVER: Don’t you understand? I killed those people.
SAM: I don’t think you’ve broken any fingers, but there’s glass in your knuckle, let me–
[MAGIC HUM RISES]
There. Okay. I’ll wrap it as tight as I can, but it might hurt a bit.
SAM: Stop it.
[SAM MOVES AND TIES THE TOWEL]
SAM: That’s the best I can do for now. You might need stitches or–
OLIVER: I want to die.
SAM: No. Look at me. Look at me, Oliver. Come back to me.
[A LONG PAUSE]
SAM: Hello, you.
OLIVER: Why are you even still here?
SAM: Do you see me? Do you see me looking at you?
SAM: Do you see it?
SAM: I see you. I know you. I love you.
SAM: You are not a monster.
OLIVER: I’m so sorry. So sorry.
SAM: Shhh. Listen, we need to go, alright? Can you do it? Can you get us out of here?
OLIVER: [SNIFFLES] Alright.
[OLIVER’S STATIC RISES AND FALLS]
[THE FAMILIAR SOUND OF THE KARPOS WITH ITS BIRDS AND BUGS]
SAM: There. Okay. Good. Good. You did good. It’s alright.
[SAM STEPS AWAY]
OLIVER: [EMPTILY] Yes.
SAM: Do you want some space?
OLIVER: You’re… leaving?
SAM: Then I can go, if you like.
[SAM TAKES A FEW STEPS]
OLIVER: You should go. [PAUSE] Magpie?
OLIVER: You’d stay. If I asked you to stay?
SAM: Of course.
SAM: Oliver. I know that— [SAM TAKES A SHARP BREATH] I know what you’ve been made to do. I know what you’ve been told you are. I know that sometimes you think that’s all there is to you.
SAM: I’ll do it.
[SAM KISSES OLIVER]
SAM: I’ll take your–
OLIVER: No! Don’t.
SAM: Oliver. I won’t– I won’t let him hurt you again.
OLIVER: I’m not hurt, magpie. Don’t do it. You’re right not to take my deal.
SAM: This is my fault, last week you told me it was too late!
OLIVER: I know, but I– I don’t know what I think. I hope I’m wrong. Maybe you’re right. I don’t know.
SAM: I’ll kill him for this.
OLIVER: Don’t say that.
SAM: Why not? I mean it.
OLIVER: Just. Don’t. Not you.
[SILENCE AND THE SOFT SINGING OF BIRDS]
SAM: I need to call Anna.
SAM: I’ll tell her what happened to Jay. She can call people, so that they’re found. So people know. So nobody is out there looking for them. I know what it’s like when someone is gone and you have no answers. I don’t– I don’t want to people who love them to be left like that.
SAM: Oliver, listen. What happened is not because of you. It’s not who you are. But it was… it was something else. You understand that, don’t you?
OLIVER: We can’t just— He’ll use me like this again.
SAM: This is my fault.
OLIVER: I’ve been preparing for this.
SAM: [SADLY] Why didn’t you say something?
OLIVER: I did. But you won’t listen.
SAM: [SIGHING] I’m sorry.
OLIVER: You have to stop me.
SAM: What are you asking me to do?
Every door and window. The runes and sigils are there, the seals are inlaid with silver. I’m not powerful enough to bind myself here, my magic is too tied up in my deal, I think. But you’re strong enough, especially when the show is airing. So don’t tell them to go yet. Bind me here. Tie me to this place. Make it so I can’t leave.
SAM: But I need you.
OLIVER: You’ll be fine. And I’ll be right here. That’s the whole point, after all.
SAM: I won’t make you my prisoner, Oliver.
OLIVER: I surrender myself willingly.
SAM: I won’t trap you here! What if it doesn’t work. What if something goes wrong and I need you and—
OLIVER: You mustn’t call for me. You can’t. You have the Sins to help you, and Kitty. You need to protect the people you love.
SAM: You’re a person I love!
OLIVER: And you’ll be protecting me. [PAUSE] It’s the only way Sam. I’ve thought about this.
SAM: Okay. Fine. What do I have to do?
OLIVER: Come here. Give me your hand. May I? It’ll only hurt for a moment.
SAM: Slice me open, maestro. Ow.
OLIVER: I’m sorry. Your other hand, here.
[SAM HISSES IN PAIN]
OLIVER: With two fingers paint your blood on the door, in the same sigil you used when you bound the Sins to that box, remember?
SAM: Yes. Okay.
OLiVER: And then just–
SAM: Hold him here, hold him safe. Let none take him from this place. None will pass these lines I’ve drawn. But he can leave, if he should want.
OLIVER: Oh, Sam.
[MAGIC HUMMING DIES OFF A LITTLE]
SAM: In case there’s a fire or– or.
OLIVER: You’re ridiculous.
SAM: Says you, Mr ‘Jane Austen was a riot at parties’.
OLIVER: Just, come here.