S&L Postcard 5: Beat the Meetles















Music Bed







Opening greeting:











STEVE



Hello, and thanks for joining us on the Steve…







LUCY



and Lucy…







STEVE



…audio postcard.







So, once again, welcome to Butchers Hill…







LUCY



It’s been…







[HALF BEAT]







…an interesting
month.







STEVE



That’s right! You’ve had some excitement at work!





LUCY



You’ve had some work…







STEVE



[DOWNBEAT]



Yeah…





[BEAT]







LUCY



[MOLLIFYING]



And you’ve made some progress on your little history project…







STEVE



[MORE UP-BEAT]



Oh… I have, haven’t I?







[¼ BEAT]







And… we got the Old Man’s condition resolved!







[BEAT]







LUCY



The Shaman got the issue resolved. We took the Old
Man to the Shaman.







STEVE



Delegation of duty. Ultimately, the responsibility was ours,
therefore, we “did”.







[¼ BEAT]







So, turns out… it was an issue of digestion.







LUCY



[DISTRACTED]



The Shaman was an interesting character…







STEVE



Prior to moving here… to Butchers Hill, we lived in a much more
urban environment, and the Old Man was primarily an indoor cat.
Since arriving here, though, he’s been getting outside more
frequently, and seems to really enjoy the broadened horizons.







LUCY



[DISTRACTED]



Her office was really quite interesting.







STEVE



In addition to, or rather, by virtue of those broadened
horizons, his diet… um… expanded a little bit.







LUCY



[DISTRACTED]



I wonder if everything on the walls was functional.







[¼ BEAT]







STEVE



That is, the Old Man has become somewhat predatory. Wilding about,
as it were… and while everyone knows that souls are an excellent
source of the eidolic-glycerol that give animals that healthy, shiny
coat, there are some critters that are E-G intolerant. It’s rare,
but our Old Man seems to be one… of…







[BEAT]







So, the… um, the soul… is consumed…



[DISTRACTED BY LUCY’S DISTRACTEDNESS]







…but the, uh… the body doesn’t process it properly.







[HALF-BEAT]







Right hon?







LUCY



Mm?







[¼ BEAT]







Oh, right. The body tries to subsume the elements that the
congenital defect won’t process, and the product emits out the tear
ducts.







[DOUBLE BEAT]







STEVE



You seem… distracted.







LUCY



What? No… just… thinking…







[HALF-BEAT]







So, Steve… do you want to tell the Friends & Family about your
little excursion into the land of gainful employment?







STEVE



Ehh…







[BEAT]







Later?







LUCY



No… I think now.







[DOUBLE BEAT]







STEVE



Hmm.







[BEAT]







  1. uh. So,
    yeah. Ok– Mountain High Deliveries, they gave me a job driving a
    truck.








[BEAT]







I started last Wednesday… and, uh…







[HALF-BEAT]







…things didn’t go especially well.







LUCY



Please elaborate… for Friends & Family.







[BEAT]







STEVE



So… first I forgot my wallet!







LUCY



[MOCK SINCERE]



That’s terrible!







STEVE



I know, right? On the first day! So, I was stressing about that.
I got the package and paperwork, and loaded the truck…







LUCY



Just one stop?







STEVE



Yeah… apparently it was something really important… or really
rare… or some kind of…







[¼ BEAT]







…yeah– I… I’m not sure. But they wanted it to go directly to
the destination. No deviations.







LUCY



Mmm.







STEVE



Anyway… I took a detour home to get my wallet… and that way was
backed up from a cattle spill. I found an alternate route. That was
backed up too. The third alternate wasn’t so bad. I got home; wallet
retrieved…







LUCY



[MOCK ENTHUSIASM, BREATHY]



So, disaster averted!







STEVE



Not… as such.







[BEAT]







Wait– are you…







[¼ BEAT]







Are you mocking me?







LUCY



Never







[¼ BEAT]







STEVE



So, as you know, I wasn’t able to get back out on to the main road
because the cattle spill had spread… weird the way that responds to
tidal shifts, right? Anyway… I tried the back way…







LUCY



[SUGGESTIVE]



Oh. The back way…







[¼ BEAT]







STEVE



…but came upon…



[LUCY STIFLES A SNORT OFF-MIC]



…a slow moving truck.



It was very slow.







[BEAT]







So, naturally, I tried to find an alternate… alternate-alternate.
I rerouted, and… in the act of turning the truck about…







[BEAT]







…tagged a mailbox.







LUCY



[PERKILY INQUISITIVE]



Tagged?







STEVE



Tore it right off. Stumped it clean at the ground.







[BEAT]







Then I got lost and had to ask for directions.







LUCY



And…







STEVE



And nothing. That’s where the story ends.







LUCY



No– that’s where your employment ended.







[HALF-BEAT]







To get directions, he pulled into a gas station. When he came out,
the truck was no longer extant. At least to the degree that anyone
could track it down.





STEVE



Yeah… turns out there’s a reason they put up those no parking
signs.







LUCY



He parked the truck in a known and clearly marked anomaly funnel.
Truly… it’s remarkable that Steve made it out of the vehicle
intact.







STEVE



I lost a shoe.







[BEAT]







LUCY



So… what was the cargo?







STEVE



I don’t know… some kind of prototype.







[HALF-BEAT]







A… perpetual… lotion machine? Perpetual notion machine?







[BEAT]







LUCY



Well… you’ve got it bracketed; would you like to go in for the
kill?







STEVE



What?







LUCY



While a perpetual motion machine defies the laws of
conventional physics, it is infinitely more likely than any of the
two things you just suggested.







[BEAT]







STEVE



Can we talk about what’s happening at SI? That’s pretty
interesting!







LUCY



Mm.







[BEAT]







Well…







[¼ BEAT]







…our marketing department works closely with the Division of
Espionage…



of course, part of what we do is keeping tabs on what our competitors
are developing… and evaluating if what they’re doing is a
marketable option, or merely a feint.







[BEAT]







OMNYS [ominous], our primary rival, appears to have discovered a way
to catalog behavior on both a personal and societal level…







[BEAT]







…simultaneously.







STEVE



Oh my!







[BEAT]







Wait. What?







[DOUBLE BEAT]







LUCY



If OMNYS can establish behavioral patterns on individual levels,
and cross-reference them with the mean social trends, then they will
not only be able to predict where people will be, and what they will
do, and with whom they’ll do it…







[BEAT]







…but they will know it before we do!







[DOUBLE BEAT]







STEVE



But… you… SI has the symbiotic… kinetic[…
rye…]







LUCY



Don’t you understand? If they can predict the actions? Our
network is basically watching what they already know! That makes us
passive observers.







[HALF-BEAT]







We may have to initiate the self-destruct.







[BEAT]







STEVE



[WEAK]



What?







LUCY



I mean, after we establish that OMNYS actually has this
technology.







[DOUBLE BEAT]







STEVE



I…



…had McDougalls the other day.







LUCY



Oh… I wouldn’t worry about it.







[HALF-BEAT]







STEVE BREATHS A SIGH OF RELIEF







[BEAT]







LUCY



No… I mean, I wouldn’t worry about it. If you had fries,
you should definitely be concerned.







[HALF-BEAT]







Wait– I know. Wrap
yourself in blankets.







STEVE



Do you think it will help?







LUCY



¿The carpets and walls? Definitely.







[HALF-BEAT]







Oh… you know what? On second thought, maybe go outside.







STEVE



I don’t feel so good.







LUCY



Relax. The team is still working on it. Remember? It could… be
a corporate bluff.







[BEAT]







Why don’t you bring us up to date with your research on the history
of Butchers Hill?







STEVE



Oh?







[BEAT]







Oh!







[¼ BEAT]



[ATTITUDE RESTORED!]



So you know how there was a gap in time between Patterson’s Knob, and
when the town became Butchers Hill?







LUCY



I don’t think you’ve addressed that…







[BEAT]







STEVE



In fact… you did.







[HALF-BEAT]







You brought it up a while ago.







LUCY



Did I? Must not have been paying attention.







[DOUBLE BEAT]







STEVE



So, between 1895 and the 1930s, there’s a tremendous gulf in the
records. It seems, in fact, that this area was pretty much a ghost
town.







LUCY



Not uncommon amongst boomtowns, so I’m led to believe.







STEVE



That is so… however, this area was close enough to the growing
metropolis of Denver to be considered attractive, or so you’d think.







LUCY



Would I? I’m more
inclined away from population densities…







STEVE



As such, this would still suit you; it was far enough away from the
bustling hub to be considered quite rural, while close enough to be
within a days ride. Work with me here…







[HALF-BEAT]






…call it near Denver, but close to the mountains.







[BEAT]







Anyway! The point I was trying to make… is that, while territory
around the perimeter was blossoming… our little burg was the
sterile area… the barren zone… the…







LUCY



Fetid patch?







[BEAT]







STEVE



No one settled here.







[HALF-BEAT]







But no one knows why.







LUCY



Because it was fetid?







STEVE



No one kno… [hem & haw]… fine. It was fetid.







[BEAT]







Anyway, the point is, the area
stayed unpopulated, and that seems… curious?







[¼ BEAT]







I pretty much exhausted the
library’s book section… the Historical Society was even less
help… I tried the city council to see if they had anything, and
they referred me to the… uh, Historical Society…







[¼ BEAT]







As such, I returned to the
library, and asked them for help. They’re really nice there! I know
librarians get a bad reputation, but I found them so helpful!
Anyway, one of them led me down to the basement where they keep the

fiche files, and I did a deep-dive.







[BEAT]







And it seems… there have been some things that our chamber of
commerce may have been glossing over.







LUCY



Mm.







STEVE



I know! So, I dug up some newspaper reports… …out of
town papers, in fact… and Pattersons Knob [doesn’t
come up
very often, but…]







LUCY



Wha[t’s your source?]







STEVE



The Cheyenne Eagle, May 1898. And Pattersons Knob doesn’t come up
very frequently… but when it does, the association is always…
[TRAILS OFF]







[BEAT]





LUCY



Yes? Word? Guilt by? American Automobile? The sixties
California pop band?







[¼ BEAT]







STEVE



Suspicious.







[HALF-BEAT]







I found one article… you’re not going to make me cite the byline,
are you?







LUCY



Proceed.







STEVE



This article… it’s just fascinating, really… and I just love
reading chronicles of the past… you know, the different styles and
sensibilities… the quaint [vocabulary
an expression of…]







LUCY



The article?







STEVE



Right! So, it goes on to report that in addition to the town’s
abandonment, the last twelve or so residents were never seen or heard
from again.







LUCY



Not unreasonable.







STEVE



Except for Patterson… and there’s the strong suggestion that he
came to a foul end.







[BEAT]







LUCY



Elaborate, please.







STEVE



Well… you know how I said that none of the other residents were
ever seen again? Patterson, uh… was.







[HALF-BEAT]







In the stables.







[HALF-BEAT]







LUCY



I fail to see how [that’s
suggestive…]







STEVE



And down the well.







LUCY



Oh. Alright then, I [can
certainly…]







STEVE



…and the saloon…



…specifically, in the, uh…



…cuspidor.







[DOUBLE BEAT]







LUCY



Are you [finished?]







STEVE



And in the brothel.







[HALF-BEAT]







Yep… that’s it.







[BEAT]







LUCY



Are you sure?







STEVE



Those were all I could… or, rather, all they could find.





LUCY



I’d ask who “they” were, but quite frankly, I don’t care. I
would, however, like to know how they could be certain that
the body parts all belonged to Patterson.







STEVE



The gold tooth in his jaw was pretty compelling evidence…







LUCY



Down the well, no doubt.







STEVE



No– that was in the cuspidor.



His upper torso was in the well…







[¼ BEAT]







…most of it, anyway, and the authorities were pretty sure it was
Patterson because the bones bore marks consistent with known
injuries.







[BEAT]







LUCY



Perhaps a little conflicting
with the altruistic self-sacrifice depicted in the mural at the
[hehfaced-us] Hephaestus.







STEVE



Another odd thing…







[¼ BEAT]







They also found markings on the bone consistent with… that… of
teeth?







[BEAT]







STEVE



But
what I found
really
interesting was in this article from the Chicago Herald arguing for
better security in the almshouse, suggesting the need for separate
facilities to house the mad.







[¼ BEAT]







What?
Their
words.







LUCY



And that relates, how?






STEVE



The article cited one
particular attack on a nurse that left her disfigured and near
crippled… the… subject…





[BEAT]



[SFX: PAPERS SHUFFLE]



…wait… I have it here:



So, the patient was near
catatonic. He’d rock back and forth a little, and mumble, but he was
Mostly Harmless. And then the existential unravel occurred.



The patient hadn’t been eating
and was clearly wasting away. A nurse… Fletcher? Yes–
Fletcher… took a special interest in the man and tried to coax him
to take some food.







LUCY



A special interest was
required for the staff to keep a man alive?







STEVE



Late
19
th
century conditions.







LUCY



Touché







STEVE



She
had applesauce. Everyone likes applesauce, right? She leaned in,
eyes large with concern,

like one of those
Margaret
Keene
[paintings… you
know, the ones with the anime…]







LUCY



Objection. Council is
leading with conjecture. Saccharine conjecture, at that.







[HALF-BEAT]







STEVE



Well… that’s just how I see
it.







[BEAT]







Anyway…



[OFF MIC,
SNIDE]
Captain Buzz Kill



[SOFT
VOICE, TAPERING DOWN]



The nurse leaned towards him in
an effort to feed the patient. He grabbed her by the uniform. His
words were…



[THIS IS
DISPASSIONATE, BASED ON THE OBJECTION.]



“Your face… I need your
face.”



[BUT AS
THE DIALOGUE PROGRESSES, STEVE GETS FURTHER INTO CHARACTER]



“He’ll
find me… I need to hide; I need to
hide



GIVE ME YOUR FACE!”







[SFX: CHAIR KNOCKS OVER]







LUCY



[WAY
OFF MIC]



If
you
ever…
do
that
again…







[OFF
MIC]







I will wear your intestines as
garters…







[SFX: CHAIR RESTORED]







[BEAT]







[BACK ON
MIC]







…and have your liver
as a wallet.







[STEVE
SNIFFS, RECOVERS A BIT… MAYBE UNDERSTANDS THAT HE WAS A BIT
UNHINGED…]







STEVE



…and that’s what he was
screaming when he tried to peel the nurse’s face off with his jagged
fingernails.







[DOUBLE BEAT]







LUCY



Why… are you telling us this?







STEVE



Oh– the patient, one Cletus McGee?







[BEAT]







LUCY



[SOUNDS TIRED]



Yes?







STEVE



Well…





[BEAT]







He was one of the last known residents of Pattersons Knob; one
amongst the group that’s said to have witnessed Smyth’s demise.







[HALF-BEAT]







LUCY



That was the point of your story?







[HALF-BEAT]







STEVE



Oh! No– the point was…







[BEAT]







…what was the… oh! That… well…







[BEAT]







…the dates… coincide. That is… Pattersons Knob is thought to
have… disincorporated, such as it was, in 1895, and the Cletus
McGee incident occurred early1896…







[HALF-BEAT]







…and apparently… he kept going on… about…







[BEAT]







…the horror!







[¼ BEAT]







He probably meant the self-immolation of Patterson,
right?







[TRIPLE BEAT]



LUCY



I’m glad you had McDougalls.







STEVE



What?







LUCY



No– I’m joking. Mostly.







[BEAT]



[FLAT]



But really… take this blanket.



[SFX: BLANKET SHIFTING]







[HALF-BEAT]







I feel like we should visit the Shaman again.







STEVE



Why? What? Are the cats not well?







[BEAT]







LUCY



What?







[HALF-BEAT]







Well… the fat one seems to be generating shadow tentacles… but
it’s working for him. He can grab food off the counter without
having to jump up there. Anything that keeps their feet off where I
put my food works for me.







[BEAT]







But, no. I meant for my own purposes.







[¼ BEAT]







I suppose, out of courtesy, I should ask about the Old Man?







STEVE



Oh… thank you! It’s so nice that you care!



[IF YOU COULD HEAR EYES ROLL]



[BEAT]







So… funny thing… generally, souls without sin, as, one would
imagine, the sort of prey the Old Man would consume… cause clear
issue… it’s the tainted souls that would give the Old Man those
nasty tar-like emissions… what do you think he could have been
eating?





[BEAT]







LUCY



What? I don’t… know? Care? Pick one.







STEVE



So, we put the Old Man on a strict diet of Meetles, a pet food
formulated to facilitate the processing of ethereal-glycerol, and
keep the weepies and crusties out of the tear ducts. As their slogan
goes, ‘You can’t beat the Meetles!’







LUCY



Where’s she from?







[BEAT]







STEVE



What?







LUCY



The Shaman. She’s not from around here, clearly. I mean, a local
shaman would’ve tried to rub him with crystals and smoke him in a
rosemary infused sauna.







[BEAT]







STEVE



From Louisiana. The southern region, I think. Terrabonne Parish,
if I recall correctly…







[BEAT]







… specifically, upper [HOEmah] Houma… near Bayou Gauche. 1715
Jaffe Cake– Street.
Ha. Jaffe… Jaffe St.







LUCY



So, Louisiana.







STEVE



On Jaffe St.







LUCY



Background in voodoo?







STEVE



Amongst other things… she’s trained in divination… alchemy…
according to her ad, she can identify any hex by its root magic and
can assign a cure that will not only remove it, but will act as a
future preventative… so… that’s useful.



And while she says she doesn’t practice necromancy, she is
familiar with its ways and means. And she knows the director of the
administrating body of Necromancy at Miskatonik Uni.







[DOUBLE BEAT]







LUCY



You certainly did your research.







STEVE



We’re not going to take the preciouses to some common charlatan or
street-side mountebank.







LUCY



Mmm.







[BEAT]







STEVE



So… I have been, in my spare time, doing a bit of wandering…



…a walk-about, if you will.







[DOUBLE BEAT]







LUCY



I’m sorry– did that… require a response? Was it a question?







STEVE



And in my travels, I encountered…







[HALF-BEAT]







…a street sign that I found quite interesting…







[¼ BEAT]







Do we know what an “o’cove” is?







[BEAT]







LUCY



O’cove?







STEVE



Yes. I saw a street sign that read Flaming O’cove. I thought it
sounded quite dramatic.







LUCY



Flaming O’cove.







STEVE



I know, right? What does it mean?







[DOUBLE BEAT]







LUCY



This Flaming O’cove… was it followed by the Dov E’cove? Or,
perhaps the Quai L’cove?







[DOUBLE BEAT]







STEVE







          1. didn’t
            notice.












[BEAT]







[SFX: TAPS ON KEYBOARD]







LUCY



These… are streets. They’re… three blocks north of us. What
you saw was a street sign. For Flamingo… Cove.







[BEAT]







There’s a Quail Cove… an Oriole Cove… a Meadowlark Lemon… a
Cardinal Cove… they are all streets.







[HALF-BEAT]







No “o’cove”. Not a thing.







[HALF-BEAT]







We can edit this out if you want…







[BEAT]







STEVE



What about Scar Ave? That’s kind of morbid. Right?







[DOUBLE BEAT]







LUCY



South. South Carr.







[DOUBLE BEAT]






STEVE



And it looks like that’s the end…







END MUSIC CUTS IN ABRUBTLY; NO FADE







…of this postcard, so thanks everyone for joining in!







[HALF-BEAT]







Please subscribe… rate us on iTunes… and, uh… join us next
month, where we’ll…. catch you up on…







[INDRAWN SIGH]







…on what we’re doing, what’s going…







… and we’ll see you next month… or something. Ok, thanks.







[HALF-BEAT]







LUCY



Really? That’s what it took to put you off? A misread sign?







[OFF MIC]



In this town?







END











Music, credits…