S&L Postcard 1.6 The Abysmal Pool

MUSIC BED Opening greeting:

Steve…

STEVE
Hello, and welcome to the

LUCY and Lucy…

STEVE …audio postcard.

Once again, Greetings from Butchers Hill! Thanks for joining us… it has

been such an exciting week! [BEAT]

[MILDLY DISTRACTED] A little… too exciting, perhaps.

LUCY

[IN PASSING]

Steve lost another job.

STEVE [MIMICS TONE] It wasn’t my fault.

[HALF-BEA T]

We… learned a little more about the cult church across town. We tried a restaurant we are quite taken with. It [has the best pork rub in town…]

LUCY
You know… I feel like you’re

burying the lead here.

STEVE
I don’t think so. I’m quite fond

of a good pork rub.

[BEAT]

LUCY Suit yourself.

[BEAT]

STEVE
…and we also learned about the

Harvest Festival, which is an exciting event our town holds every autumn.

[OFF MIC]

Is that what you were talking about?

LUCY

[OFF MIC]

No. That’s not what I was talking about. [1⁄4 BEAT]

STEVE
Because, you know… the

Harvest Festival… sounds like a lot of fun. [DOUBLE BEAT]

Right! So, last week, Lucy and I had a most amazing dinner at the Body Politic up on Main Street.

LUCY
Hm. I’ll admit… I was initially

reluctant. I’m not one for a community environment, as this proposed to be… but the food and atmosphere were rather compelling.

[BEAT]

STEVE
I thought we agreed that the

atmosphere was a little… off?

it.

LUCY
Right. That’s what I liked about

[DOUBLE BEAT] STEVE

So, the Body Politic has won the Old Town Gazette’s best BBQ for… well, as

long as that particular award has been issued. And [it is no wonder… The brisket is…]

LUCY 23 years.

STEVE
And it’s no wonder! The brisket

is moist and flavorful… it just about melts in your mouth! The ribs… a little thin on the meat, but sooo tender! And again, whatever voodoo they season them with, it- is- scrumdidiliu[mcious…]

LUCY
[OFF MIC, SEVERE AND SHORT]

Don’t!

STEVE
[A LITTLE FLAT]

The ribs were really good. [BEAT]

LUCY
They also had these… flesh

…nuggets; ¿they called burnt ends? They were, for lack of better description, meat candy.

[BEAT]

The texture… and the flavor… of… whatever that was…?

[PURRS] [BEAT]

STEVE
And the pulled pork [was also

very good, to the degree that…]

LUCY [DREAMY STATE]

Transcends by far the mere requirements of foodstuffs; rather, those burnt

[offerings achieve…]

STEVE

Ends. Burnt… ends…

LUCY [CONT. DREAMY STATE]

Burnt ends achieve that perfect synthesis of requirement and want, in equal

measure.

[DOUBLE BEAT]

STEVE
I thought the pulled pork was

really pretty good.
[BEAT]

And for dessert, we had the lady fingers. [BEAT]

I was really surprised. They were much better than expected: flaky, creamy… almost with a meringue like texture. And yet, still with a savory character…

[BEAT]
…though the tapered ends were perhaps… a

little… kera-tiney. [THOUGHTFUL] Mm.[BEAT]

Now, I know that… regarding some of the food establishments in the area, I

may have been going on… LUCY

[QUICK-ON] Ad nauseam

STEVE
…about the diversity and quality

of the amazing restaurants and cafés we have… and some of you have asked about us doing a live event!

LUCY What.

STEVE

idea!

Which I think is an fantastic

LUCY What.

STEVE
So, hopefully, we will be

bringing that culinary postcard, that epicurean epistle, that…

LUCY Gastronomic gasbag.

STEVE
…to you… sometime… in the

very near future. I, for one, am looking forward to it.

LUCY
I’m only doing this if one of the

locations is a whisky bar. [BEAT]

However… as you’ve brought up the Friends & Family…

Yes?

STEVE Yes?

[HALF-BEA T]

LUCY
This does dovetail nicely into a

letter that I received from Frank. [HALF-BEA T]

STEVE
Frank? Do I know him?

LUCY Her.

[BEAT]

about?

STEVE
And what has Frank written in

LUCY
She’s asking… what’s up with the

job Steve had in Baltimore, and why has he had such a difficult time finding and holding onto work.

[BEAT]

STEVE You know…

[BEAT] Really? This time wasn’t my fault!

[DOUBLE BEAT] When the monster attacked [me, I had no

recourse in the…]

LUCY
That’s it. There’s the lead.

[1⁄4 BEAT]

STEVE
It’s not a safe work

environment… that’s all I’m saying. [HALF-BEA T]

LUCY
You realize, of course, that

Friends & Family have no clue regarding the topic… upon which you speak.

STEVE
[OFF MIC] You know it’s Ok to dangle a

preposition, right?

LUCY
A pedant to the end. So! Steve.

Would you care to elucidate to our listeners… STEVE

[UNDERBREA TH] Frensenfamly

LUCY
…exactly what transpired at your

most recent place of employment? [BEAT]

Unless, of course… you’d rather share your experiences back in [Baltimore… we can do that]

ATMOSPHERIC MUSIC COMES UP…

STEVE
SO you know how the Church of

the Lotus is just up the way… and they were advertising for a janitor. I thought that would be a convenient location and a stop-gap job, until I found something more in my…

LUCY Chosen occupation?

STEVE
Milieu. So I applied. I got the

job, and I was working. [BEAT]

LUCY Until…

[DOUBLE BEAT]

STEVE
It was on the schedule to wipe-

down the baptismal pool. AMBIENT MUSIC BEGINS TO FADE DOWN

[BEAT]

So I went down the steps into the well… I had the ceremonial towel and ecclesiastic squeegee…

[BEAT]

…the way the light was flickering about… it was eerie. The pool was lit from within… but the water was inky black.

[BEAT]

I slipped my feet in… the water was warm. So warm.

THE MUSIC HAS FADED TO ZERO

Inviting, really. Any anxieties I had were sluiced away by that beguiling ichor.

[BEAT]

I breathed deep, eyes closed as I swabbed away at the mossy substance that coated the well. The heat of the pool… it soothed me in a way that…

AND THEN OH MY FUCKING GOD [CHAIR KNOCKS OVER]

LUCY

[WAY OFF MIC]

God damnit!

STEVE
THERE’S SOMETHING ON

MY LEG! IT’S WRAPPED AROUND MY LEG AND IT’S PULLING ME DOWN!

[SOUND OF CHAIR BEING RIGHTED] [SOUNDS OF STRANGLING]

LUCY
STEVE! There’s nothing

around your leg! You can breathe! [STEVE BREATHS HEAVILY]

[DOUBLE BEAT]

STEVE Sorry about that.

[BEAT]

LUCY
So, to clarify, Steve was

attacked [by something in the pool…]

STEVE
I’m calling it the Creature from

the Blacktismal Pool.
LUCY

…by something in the [baptismalSTEVE

Lagoon. LUCY

…pool. And apparently this… STEVE

Creature.

LUCY
…has prehensile limbs.

STEVE
I’m leaning toward tentacles.

[BEAT]

LUCY
So… octopus? Squid?

STEVE
I don’t know… do squid or

octopi have wings?

LUCY Not traditionally.

STEVE Then, no.

[BEAT]
I’m not sure what it was… beyond peckish.

LUCY
And how did you get away?

pool, and…]

thing…

[BEAT]

STEVE
Umm… I’m not really sure.

[HALF-BEA T]

I passed out during the attack and woke up in the cloak room.

LUCY
And you’re quite positive you

didn’t imagine this event? You didn’t get the ceremonial towel wrapped around your leg somehow?

[HALF-BEA T]

STEVE
I don’t think… I mean, NO! It

was a thing! A beast! It was definitely a monster.

LUCY Mm.

[BEAT]

And did you bring this up with the administration of the church? Will you be receiving hazard pay now?

[DOUBLE BEAT]

STEVE Not… as such.

[BEAT]
They let me go. For sleeping on the job.

[DOUBLE BEAT]

LUCY
I told you they [were a

suspicious group of…]

STEVE

Yep. Yes– you said that. [BEAT]

LUCY
Just out of curiosity… did you

ever find out what god they worship?

STEVE
Oh sure. I had to; it was part of

my orientation.

LUCY Orientation?

[HALF-BEA T] You didn’t eat anything…

Steve?

[TRIPLE BEAT]

[DOUBLE BEAT]

STEVE They had cookies.

[BEAT]

LUCY

[OFF MIC, AND SEVERE]

We talked about this!

STEVE [OFF MIC]

But, cookies!

LUCY

[OFF MIC]

I’ve told you… random cookies are always a trap!

[DOUBLE BEAT] [BACK ON MIC]

LUCY

So… the god? [HALF-BEA T]

STEVE
Well, the people there are really

chummy… they generally refer to it as Old Bog… but the liturgical name is Ineffable Bog the Abominate.

LUCY Seems contrived.

STEVE
He’s one of the old gods, but

not, obviously, from the recognized pantheon. Honestly, I don’t think anyone outside the congregation thinks he exists.

[BEAT]
There is evidence found in some old texts…

LUCY
Are there any other kind?

STEVE
…though these are considered

anathema by most scholars. [BEAT]

Kind of weird though… [BEAT]

You know how most religious texts are written on skin?

LUCY Anything valid, sure.

STEVE
Well, this one is written on…

hate and fear.

[BEAT]
I know… it doesn’t make any sense… and boy, it

is so weird to look at.

[HALF-BEA T]

But… the text suggests that Old Bog actually predates any of the more mainstream deities…

LUCY
Do they have an expiration date

for the planet?

[1⁄4 BEAT]

STEVE Yes.

[BEAT]

Well… more like a goal-date. Like there’s a deadline they’re trying to meet. Weird, right?

[BEAT]

LUCY
Let’s say I’m going to retain a

healthy skepticism on their ability to follow through… but I might see if SI has any people on that.

[BEAT]

STEVE
They have words written on base

emotions. How much skepticism do you need? [BEAT]

So… speaking of extinction level

events…

[HALF-BEA T] …any word on the, uh… SKRYnet thing?

[BEAT]

LUCY What?

[HALF-BEA T] Oh. That’s been scuttled.

STEVE What?

[SFX: BLANKET ACROSS FLOOR] LUCY

No, it’s Ok… put the blanket down. There won’t be a self-destruct.

[1⁄4 BEAT]

Apparently, the stress of the network was scrambling the wetware and R&D decided to abort.

STEVE Huh.

[BEAT]
Lucky I didn’t suffer any damage, right!?

[1⁄4 BEAT]

LUCY Hm.

[DOUBLE BEAT]

STEVE
Oh! Hey… you know what else

LUCY
Ascend the Bastille free-solo?

[BEAT]

STEVE
No… that… that was you…

[1⁄4 BEAT]

[BEAT]

we’ve done?

not ‘we’.

“We”… went to St Peter’s Basilisk, to see Hot Disaster Coffee.

LUCY
I do enjoy a venue with a nice

[BEAT]

STEVE And…

[BEAT]

LUCY
I might also enjoy 50’s style

death ballads.

[1⁄4 BEAT] STEVE

You danced. LUCY

I did no such thing.

STEVE
You moved in a rhythmic

fashion in time to the music.

LUCY I was agitated.

[1⁄4 BEAT]

STEVE
In time with the beat.

LUCY
You know… I can reinstate the

SKRYnet program. I do [have that authority…]

STEVE
Right! So, St Peter’s Basilisk is

a venue in downtown Denver, just east of Eldritch Garden. It’s a really swell place… it has all the elephants [of traditional gothic…]

buttress.

LUCY

Elements.

STEVE
…of traditional gothic

architecture… the pointed arches, vaulted ceilings… gargoyles– you have to watch out for those; they can really pack a wallop…

[1⁄4 BEAT]

…and the stone construction makes for great acoustics!

I’ve also heard… there are catacombs beneath the structure… you just have to find the right door to get down to them.

[HALF-BEA T]

LUCY Why?

STEVE
Because it would be much easier

than trying to go through the floor. Masonry work, and all that. Also, I think there [

]

LUCY
No– why would anyone want to

go into the catacombs? [BEAT]

STEVE Because… I don’t know…

[BEAT]

[MAKES TREMULATING OoOoOoooh NOISE]

[DOUBLE BEAT]

LUCY
It was fun, the venue was nice,

and you got a t-shirt.

[HALF-BEA T]

may be

some issues with property destruction…

You know… the only thing worse than having to look at photos of a concert you didn’t go to? Is listening to someone try to describe a concert you didn’t go to.

about…

[HALF-BEA T]

STEVE
You… you’re saying don’t talk

[HALF-BEA T]

And we got a key made for the door to the portal to Hell! So that’s nice.

[HALF-BEA T]

LUCY
It was essential is what it was.

The laundry detergent was starting to boil. It’s worthless after that happens.

[DOUBLE BEAT] STEVE

How… why do you know that?

LUCY
And don’t gloss over this… it

was an involved process. The locksmith took one look at the door and excused himself from the premises.

STEVE
I think him asking to be excused

was because [he soiled his pants…]

LUCY
Because he soiled himself. Yes.

So it turns out that the door was not only locked, but also protected by glyphs, secured by spells, and cursed.

[HALF-BEA T]

That last one may come back to haunt us. Thanks Bailey.

STEVE
That’s Bailey Nichols [not

Quarters], our representative from Sur Reality. [1⁄4 BEAT]

So we ended up having to pay a little extra for a more comprehensive service…
But that gives us the extra coverage of the Istari guarantee… and that’s good for 90 days, so…

[HALF-BEA T]

I don’t know… I feel like a curse would probably have manifested by then… right?

And… I want to give [them a shout out…]LUCY

[OFF MIC] Don’t.

[HALF-BEA T]

STEVE
A nod of recognition. So– if

you go to Istari Lock & Key– say, “friend”, and enter… the promotional code “S&L Postcard”, you’ll receive 10 percent off your next emergency service.

[BEAT]

That said, yes. Fuck you Bailey. That was an ordeal. We are never going to get that smell out of the basement…

LUCY
We could replace the carpet.

That’s what’s holding the odor.

STEVE …and the keys?

[DOUBLE BEAT]

One of them is a foot. [BEAT]

LUCY
It wouldn’t be that expensive…

and I’m not really attached to the carpet that’s there.

STEVE
It’s a badger’s foot… but still…

it’s a body part! That shouldn’t be a means of ingress!

LUCY
We could refinish the concrete,

and put mats down…
[1⁄4 BEAT]

STEVE What?

LUCY Hm?

[1⁄4 BEAT]

Oh. No… my concern is the creeping doom that’s approaching from the south-east corner. That would be nice to obviate before it becomes structural.

[DOUBLE BEAT]

STEVE
The other… two… keys are

actually kind of neat. One is a heavy wrought iron Skelton key. The other is… a little more esoteric…

[1⁄4 BEAT]

…a series of elaborate hand movements. That I still haven’t got the hang of.

LUCY
That’s probably for the best.

Why do you want to get in there anyway? [BEAT]

STEVE Sauna time?

[DOUBLE BEAT]

LUCY
I feel like we might have lost

focus on this one.

[1⁄4 BEAT]

STEVE
What? More than usual?

[DOUBLE BEAT]

Anyway! The thing that I am most excited about…

[DOUBLE BEAT]

LUCY Yes? What?

STEVE

[OFF MIC]

I’m trying to build tension… [BEAT]

The Harvest Festival! [BEAT]

LUCY
You already mentioned that.

STEVE
But I didn’t say what it was!

The Harvest Festival is an event that Butchers Hill hosts at the end of every year; there’s a lottery– gosh– I hope it’s not too late for us to enter! And food! The whole of Old Town is laid out as an epic panoply of culinary and sensory delights!

[BEAT]

END MUSIC BEGINS

So I’ve been led to believe.
[1⁄4 BEAT]

LUCY You have no idea.

STEVE
I only know what I’ve been told.

LUCY
You are my beautiful idiot.

STEVE Awww…

I love you too!

[BEAT]
Ok! So, all the things about please rating us on

[ass tunes and liking us… ]

LUCY

[FLAT]

iTunes STEVE

…and liking us on [fuckbook…]

LUCY
[STEPS ON THAT- HARD] Face book. And

leave a review.

STEVE
And we’d love to hear from you,

so send us a letter to read! We’re at 79 Butchers Hill!

[1⁄4 BEAT] LUCY

The numbers 7, 9, Butchershill-

dot-com.
[OFF-MIC]

You know there’s a difference between a street address and a URL, right?

STEVE

[OFF MIC]

I love this town. I am so glad we moved here! [HALF-BEA T]

LUCY

[OFF MIC]

Have you been drinking? END

Closing credits

NARRA TOR
Steve & Lucy were voiced by

Steve & Lucy. You can follow Steve on Twitter at 79Butchers Hill. Music by Scott Brooks; you can find more of his work at Scott C Brooks dot com. If you liked this podcast, please consider giving us a 5-star rating and a review. If not, go to 79 Butchers Hill dot com, and let us know what we can do to make it better. Then go play in traffic.
And as always… thanks for the visit!