Click to Show Content Warnings
- Background sounds and music
- Panning effects (sounds will be different in right and left headphones)
- Mention of absence seizures
- Raised voices (brief, not notably louder than the rest of the audio)
- Complicated family dynamics stemming from childhood neglect
- Dehumanisation of a main character
- Voice altering effects; reverberation and echo effects (used sparingly)
If there are two wolves inside of you, I sincerely hope you’re either deceased or a possessed wolf enclosure. Welcome back to Spirit Box Radio.
Hello, faithful listeners! I hope those of you in the Northern Hemisphere are enjoying the time of the Winter Solstice, and those of you in the Southern Hemisphere are enjoying the height of summer! Aren’t seasons weird?
Anyway. This is an obligatory reminder that pentagrams should be removed from the tops of trees before burning. If you’ve brought a real fir or pine tree into your home for this festive period and you’ve been experiencing any arcane disturbances, try making a salt ring around the base of the tree! Any old table salt will do, just make sure you don’t leave any gaps!
If you have pets, like I do, it can be challenging to keep salt lines unbroken, so a good tip is to drizzle a line of PVA glue on the ground in a circle, and pour the salt on that. Pets might still be interested, and consuming a lot of salt can be bad for them, so you’ll still need to be vigilant. And also, pouring PVA glue onto hardwood or carpet is probably going to permanently damage your floors. You could try making a ring of paper around the base of the tree, and pouring the salt on that! The good thing about this method is that it’s reusable! Just fold it up and store it away with the rest of your decorations.
A more advanced version of this would be to make a tree skirt out of a piece of fabric. Make your skirt out of a length twice the width of what you need, and fold it over to make a sort of giant scrunchie looking thing? Pour in enough salt that it settles at the bottom of the tree skirt in an unbroken ring, and sew closed! Make sure you arrange your tree skirt so that the salt falls in an even circle around the tree, though. You’ll have to watch out for the salt shifting by adjusting the skirt every few hours, as unlike with other methods, this salt line is completely hidden.
Thank you for all of your solstice well wishes on the forums, everyone! Kitty is away for Christmas this year, and Anna is spending the day with her fiance, but don’t worry, I won’t be alone! Oliver is coming over to spend the day with me and the cats. [AS A SIGH] It’s going to be lovely!
I actually have my sister, Anna, with me today! Thanks for being here, Anna.
ANNA: I have no clue how you managed to talk me into this.
SAM: Me neither. But I’m glad you’re here.
ANNA: Well. Thanks. What do you even want me to do?
SAM: I thought we could talk about the Impossible House.
ANNA: Absolutely not.
ANNA: It’s not that I don’t want to.
SAM: Then what?
ANNA: I don’t want to say the wrong thing.
SAM: What d’you mean?
ANNA: A lot happened that night and I’m not sure how to talk about any of it. What do I say? Where do I start? How could I possibly?
SAM: Well. From the discussion on the forums, it seems like you and Kitty were walking around for a while before you found me. And you said you’d been looking for me for hours.
ANNA: That’s because we had been. I— Sam. I want to help you, I really do.
SAM: This will help me.
ANNA: Now? Like this?
SAM: What do you mean?
ANNA: On air?
SAM: Yeah! I. I don’t know where to start, explaining it all, you know? But basically it’s like, I think that the Faithful Listeners, they’re a sort of… it’s like they can help spot things when I don’t spot them. It’s more than that, I think, but I don’t know how to explain it. I feel more together, when I’m broadcasting. I can’t think as clearly when I’m not.
ANNA: I’m worried about you.
SAM: I know. I’m worried about me too.
ANNA: [LAUGHS FONDLY] Well that’s a start, I suppose.
SAM: I worry about you too.
ANNA: Whatever for?
SAM: I don’t know, it’s just. Everyone else. Me, Kitty, Oliver. We all believed before we got trapped in that house. But you.
ANNA: I’m the resident sceptic.
ANNA: Well, I’m fine.
SAM: Are you?
SAM: You don’t seem fine.
ANNA: Well, I suppose I’m not. Not really. But it’s manageable, and that’s fine.
SAM: Well. If I can help.
ANNA: It’s fine, Sam.
SAM: Okay. Well. I’m here if you want to talk about it.
ANNA: I used to talk to you all the time, you know.
ANNA: Yes, when you were asleep all those years. I’d… go and sit with you and just… talk. Kitty’s not the greatest conversationalist and talking to M was trying to get blood from a stone. And, well. Maybe this is insensitive to say but, it wasn’t like you could interrupt or walk away mid-conversation. So I’d just sit, and I’d talk to you.
SAM: I never knew that.
ANNA: [SIGH] No? I wondered if a part of you remembered. You talk so freely with me, still. Even though we have our– uh. Disagreements.
SAM: I don’t know. Maybe it’s subconscious?
SAM: Hey, I’m not asleep now, look. I’m here, I’m alive, and awake and everything.
ANNA: [SADLY] Yes, indeed.
ANNA: What, what?
SAM: You’re looking at the scars again.
SAM: It’s fine, they’re pretty eye catching.
ANNA: You can say that again.
[THERE’S A BRIEF PAUSE]
SAM: For me, I fell, landed on the ground, found the microphone, and moments later, you wandered past the door.
[A MAGIC HUM RISES, AND WHEN SAM SPEAKS NEXT, HIS VOICE REVERBERATES JUST A LITTLE]
So, before you found me, what happened?
ANNA: Oh, I. I don’t remember falling, actually. I must have fainted or something, because for me, we were in the basement studio, everything was swirling around us, and you, you were chanting or something and I couldn’t understand what you were saying, and then there was this awful sound, like metal rending, and then–
I woke up quite gently, surprisingly, because as soon as I moved small pieces of rubble fell off me. It was strange, the texture of it, like dry concrete sand mixed with ash, gritty on my fingers, but leaving a chalky dust behind.
I got up, and knew pretty much immediately that I was in the bathroom of our old house. Or, well. The Impossible House. Of course, I’d seen it collapse before my eyes, so at first I thought I must have been dreaming. Except it wasn’t a dream, because when I said it aloud, I knew, I knew that was wrong, except it wasn’t wholly wrong. It was really happening, but it wasn’t wholly real, it was–
SAM: It was arcane.
ANNA: Yes, exactly. And the moment I realised that it was like. This intense pain, right in my temples. I think it was because… well. I don’t know, really. It was hard to think clearly. It was like the whole house, in some way, was lying.
ANNA: I know it makes no sense—
SAM: Doesn’t it? Because to me it makes a lot of sense. That’s the arcane, right? It’s unknowable. That’s the whole deal. So it makes sense that your mojo would be off… you’re all about truths … and quantifiable—
ANNA: [FRUSTRATED AND SPEAKING FAST] I didn’t see any of it happen with my own eyes! I didn’t! All I saw was you and– and! You come out and you’ve got this gash in your throat, and you shouldn’t have been standing, you were drenched in blood. But there you were, waffling away, and the scar has been growing and growing—
SAM: It seems to have stopped now. Hasn’t changed for a few weeks. Well. Four weeks, actually. Since I got the show back on the air—
ANNA: I don’t care if it’s stopped, it shouldn’t have been doing that at all.
SAM: so you thought, what?
ANNA: I don’t know what you are!
ANNA: Well, I don’t! You’re my brother. I love you to death. But I have no idea what’s happening with you, and you don’t know either.
SAM: I’m trying to figure it out.
ANNA: I know. I know you are. It’s just. It’s just.
SAM: Well! I’m alive, and still suffering from absence seizures. And I still can’t remember anything except the stuff directly to do with Madame Marie’s arcane maze, and that’s weird because I shouldn’t know that at all because I’m certain she never bloody told me about it, and it’s even weirder, because I don’t even know about all of it.
I’m still me. Except now I’ve got some kick-ass scars.
ANNA: You– you’re still having seizures.
SAM: Oh. I mean. I take my medication. But from time to time. It happens. Stress, you know. Everything is made of stress. Why do you look relieved? The amount of times I’ve dropped an entire cup of tea or just– not got on the bus? Its a pain in the arse.
ANNA: You are brave, you know?
SAM: Not really. This is just my life, Anna? It’s yours too. And I don’t even remember half of it. Or. Well. Most of it.
ANNA: It all came out wrong. I’m sorry.
SAM: It’s fine. But you can talk to me about this stuff, you know?
ANNA: About most things, yes! But you? How can I talk to you about you?
SAM: By asking questions!! How much less worried could you have been if you’d asked me questions.
ANNA: You’re right. I — I know your right.
SAM: But you don’t like it.
ANNA: I do. I do. It’s just— oh. Oh I completely forgot, the show is still airing isn’t it?
SAM: Yeah? You agreed to come on.
ANNA: I know I did, but that was to talk about the house, not [FRUSTRATED PAUSE] All this shit!!
SAM: I know, I’m sorry.
ANNA: I don’t run my mouth off like this usually. Not when we’re just having a conversation, but this! It’s ridiculous! I can’t bloody shut up. I should go, probably.
[CHAIR LEGS SCRAPE]
SAM: But, we’ve hardly started talking, the Faithful Listeners–
ANNA: I know! I know. And I’ll talk to you about it, when they’re not there. They’re your listeners, Sam. Not mine. And I don’t want to do this on the air. I don’t like it.
SAM: I’m sorry.
ANNA: It’s— it’s fine, it’s just– it. Oh it doesn’t matter. I’ll speak to you on… Saturday? We could have lunch?
SAM: [SADLY] I don’t want to have lunch, Anna. I want to understand what’s happening. Don’t you want to understand?
ANNA: I’m sorry. I’m trying.
SAM: [SIGHING] Okay. Lunch on Saturday.
[ANNA WALKS TO THE DOOR. IT OPENS, AND FALLS SHUT]
SAM: She’s very bloody trying.
Uuuugh, I’m not being fair. Neither’s she, but. Ugh. Siblings. Anyway. It’s her birthday pretty soon, I should think about… [GASP]
What I’m gonna get… for her.
Hang on a minute. Birthdates! That’s it that’s what they are, birthdates! The logs in the journals, that’s what they’ve been!
[SAM LEAFS THROUGH THE JOURNAL’S PAGES]
The people the birthdays belong to. That entry I read to you all, the first week I was back on air, that was about a ‘confirmed Impossible Child’. A couple of the other stories or anecdotes or whatever, they mention Impossible Boys, Impossible Girls, Impossible Children. Jinghua. Her friend, Ellen. The Impossible Children who don’t age or grow. And there was that letter about Maria Gillespie, the girl who had been seven years old for decades.
Oliver said the Impossible Children were similar to what happened to him, but not exactly. He said he was the way he is because of his hubris; he made a deal. All the Major Arcana did. But the Impossible Children aren’t Major Arcana. They crop up here and there in Arcanist text; they don’t age but they can die; there are a couple of accounts of them being burnt as witches, actually. It’s really sad.
SAM: So. The journals are some sort of log of Impossible Children. Maybe Madame Marie was looking for Impossible Children, and her grandmother was, too. But. Why? I suppose it could just be about the Man in the Flat Cap’s deals, to try and understand them, but surely you’d go for the Major Arcana first?
Maybe they did. Maybe there were other journals about that which we didn’t find. Still, it seems weird, you know.
Well. That’s Arcanism, I suppose.
Maybe… last week when I asked the True Arcanist Tarot about the journals. Blank card, echo. The man in the flat cap. What did that mean? It doesn’t seem to make sense. How does ‘dates’ help ups work this out?
What if the order we drew the cards was important? Like when you do a tarot spread, the location of each card in the spread gives it a different sort of meaning. In some three card tarot spreads, the cards represent past, present and future, but not all of them. And I still don’t exactly know what each card here is supposed to represent. An echo’s like a faulty repeat, or warped mirror. Like when I was talking into the crystal ball and it kept saying what I said back, just a little bit different.
And the man in the flat cap.
So starts with nothing, the blank card, and then an echo and then the man in the flat cap.
SAM: Yes, thanks for your help, Revel darling. Maybe I wasn’t specific enough in my question, and that’s why this answer doesn’t make sense? What was it I asked? ‘What are these journals?’
[SAM PULLS THE CARDS ACROSS THE TABLE]
[CARDS SHUFFLE, AND THEN ARE SPREAD ACROSS THE TABLE]
Okay. Um. Connect with the cards, connect.
[SAM TAKES A DEEP BREATH AND A MAGIC HUM BEGINS TO RISE]
Specific question. Specific question. Umm, umm, uhhhh….
[SAM’S VOICE REVERBERATES]
Why was Madame Marie using this journals to look for the Impossible Children?
Oh, uh. Blank card.
The Man in the Flat Cap’s card.
Another blank card, and…
Another metal card. The skull, in a crown of roses. And.
Oh, okay, well, now the whole deck is glowing.
Wait. No. The whole deck apart from the Man in the Flat Cap.
Great, well. That was unhelpful.
[SAM CLICKS THE SEEING GLASS SHUT]
[THE MAGIC HUM DROPS AWAY]
I may as well have not asked at all.
[SAM SLIDES THE DECK BACK TOGETHER]
I suppose I’ll ask Oliver, but. I don’t like to bother him with questions like this. Recently he’s seemed… I don’t know. He seems happier, I think? Sometimes I wake up and he’s making breakfast, humming a little tune. He sleeps curled up like a cat.
But. Sometimes. I catch him looking off into the distance, and it’s like he’s not really there, and I can feel this… I don’t know. This deep, branching sadness. He tries to keep it from me, but he’s not very good at it, and I worry.
There’s so much he can’t say. I don’t want to add to any burdens he’s already carrying. I want this, us, to be as good for him as it is for me, because I–
[SAM CUTS THEMSELF OFF]
One day at a time, I suppose.
I think that’s all we have time for, Faithful Listeners. I shall speak to you again next week, on the eve of New Year’s Eve! Thanks for tuning in, and I bid you a restful night.