Tell No Tales

They say dead men tell no tales, but what if somebody gave them a voice? A brand new queer paranormal audio drama with new episodes every Monday.

Email: [email protected]


Written and produced by Leanne Egan
Art by Ana Balaci
Theme song by Lumehill


MAIN CAST

  • LEO QUINN - Leanne Egan

  • RILEY MATKINS - Phil Thompson

  • JULIA WILDE - Shannon Kelly

  • FRANK WILLIAMSON - Asher Amor-Train

SUPPORTING CAST

  • STEPHEN PRITCHARD - Cameron Gergett

  • KARA - Chris Caserini

  • EDNA MILLER - Asher Amor-Train

  • JACKIE WILLIAMS - Sophia Leggett

  • MARY BARKER - Jess Kadow

  • HARRIET SUMMERS - Ann Yu Engebretsen

  • LAYLA OWENS - Michaela Hook

  • MICKEY HART - Michaela Hook

  • WINONA HAIG - Josie Thomas

  • JEREMY BAXTER - Asher Amor-Train

  • PATRICK BRYANT - Will Pryce

  • JOSH FRASER - Samuel Johnston

  • MIRUNA VULPE - Ana Balaci

  • LILIAN DANIELS - Courtney Levin

  • FR. MATTHEW - Will Pryce

Season One Transcripts

Transcript: Concept Teaser

[SFX: Radio static plays, scanning through various channels]
[Heartfelt corporate music plays]
Speaker one:
Embarrassed about the icy chill that lingers in the guestroom? Anxious about the noisy Poltergeist in the attic? At Better Place, we know how isolating a haunting can be. Don't let your ghost be the only guest in your home. Reclaim your space with Better Place. (Much faster) Terms and conditions apply, costs vary with spirit severity. The term 'better place' is used metaphorically and the existence of an afterlife cannot be guaranteed.
[SFX: Radio static plays, scanning through various channels]
[Upbeat corporate music plays]
Speaker two:
Having pest problems? You wouldn't put up with a house infested with mice or cockroaches. So why should you have to put up with a ghost? If cleaning the blood out the walls is taking too much of your time, or if replacing the shattered light bulbs is costing too much, Better Place can help. Stop paying through the nose to fix the symptoms and go right to the source with Better Place. A one-off payment will get rid of your ghost for good. Visit our website or call us now on–
[SFX: Radio static plays, scanning through various channels]
[Tell No Tales intro theme begins]
Leanne:
Tell No Tales is a serialized fiction podcast about ghosts, the people who hunt them, and finding out who the real villains are. Coming to this feed spring 2022.

Transcript: Episode One - Not For Long

Opening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode One: Not For Long
Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins]Leo:
Testing, I guess? Wow. That sounds professional. Not even sure why I'm whispering. I know the office is empty. I made sure of it. Oh, here's an idea. What if I...
[SFX: Typing, then mouse click. Classical music begins playing]Amazing. This way? Not even the empty office can hear me talk to myself. Okay. Let's try this again.Audio diary of Leo Quinn, assistant to Frank Williamson, director of Better Place. Hopefully soon to be ex-assistant. I'm sure you've heard of us. Better Place Ghost Removal, moving them onto a better place so that your home can be a better place too. Ugh. You can't go anywhere without hearing or seeing an ad. They're on the tube, they're at the start of every other podcast I listen to. I don't think there's been a single day in the last seven years of me working here that I haven't had that god awful jingle stuck in my head. Catchy jingles are, I suppose, how you become the world leader in ghost removal. Not for long though. Not if my plan works. Because the thing is, I mean, we hunt them, right? The ghosts. We remove them from their homes, from our homes, because they're inconvenient. Because we don't like the icy feeling of being watched, or I don't know, sometimes they throw knives or whatever, but isn't it their home too? Shouldn't we at least be asking consent or something? I know they're dead, but, well, they're still human, so don't they still have human rights?So to help figure it out, I've been working on something. Something really, really cool. Riley keeps telling me that I have a tendency to go off on one a bit when I talk about one of my projects. But. Hey, if these notes are just for my own reference, then screw it. Let's go off on one. At a basic level. It's kind of like a digital audio recorder with a built-in EMF detector. If all goes well, it should be able to pick up the voices of ghosts. I know it all sounds a bit "who you gonna call?" But I seriously think I'm getting somewhere. It's super high quality, see? Like unbelievably sensitive, to the point where on its own, the mic would be picking up ridiculous amounts of background noise and feedback. But if I gather enough EMF data, I should be able to train it to tune directly into the ghost's voice, and nothing else. But that's proving to be something of an issue. To train the recorder to recognize a ghost's voice. I need to gather a ton of data on how the EMF reacts when ghosts are actually speaking, except... pretty much everything a ghost does creates readings on an EMF meter. So it's hard to tell which EMF spikes correlate to verbalizations without being able to hear them speak, you know? I assume. I've never actually been out in the field. That's the dispatcher's job. I'm just an admin assistant, but I'm not going to let that stop me. I have my own EMF meter, and I have a best friend who works in the research department, so I can go find some ghosts on my own.I mean, I have to. This feels too important not to. When I get this recorder working, I'll be able to gather firsthand statements of our... victims. Woah, victims, I don't think I've ever called them that out loud before, but that's kind of what they are, isn't it? Because I mean, most of the time they're not even hurting anyone.If I can gather statements from the spirits directly, then I can prove that. I can use it to stop what we do. I mean, it's not like they can help it. They didn't ask to stay behind, and they certainly didn't ask for us to send them away. I'm not even certain that we do send them away. Not in the way that we advertise at least. I don't know where we send them, actually, the dispatchers capture the spirits, but then they get sent to the warehouse. It's heavily implied that they get destroyed, but nobody's quite sure how. Trade secrets, I suppose. Makes it easier to buy out the competition. All we need to know is that the satisfied customer is willing to pay a lot to have us de-haunt their house. Which, you know, when profit is your main motivator, your intentions can't possibly be anything but noble, right? So all the more reason to try and gather statements. Get some concrete evidence that Better Place is doing something wrong. And since I can't start doing that until the recorder is up and running, I have a plan. I may have been pilfering old case files from time to time trying to find some that might be helpful for gathering EMF data.I've been waiting weeks for an empty office. And today Frank's out all day conducting interviews for new dispatchers. So...[SFX: Drawer opens, paper is lifted out]case BL#1923, category two, case status: unresolved, reported by Jennifer Lyons via email. Initial report: "to whom it may concern. There's a ghost living in my house. I think she hates me. I'm pretty certain. She's a she, anyway, I've done some research. A woman died in this house. It doesn't surprise me really. It's an old two bedroom in Walthamstow, really old building I think. Statistically, the odds of someone having died here are high I'm sure. But this woman's death was... let's just say fairly violent and leave it at that. The article I found said her name was Caitlyn Brooks and she was murdered by her own aunt 12 years ago. I asked the landlord and he said all the previous tenants since then have left as soon as their one year minimum contract was up. So he lowered the rent. I'd like to stay. It's really the only way I can afford to keep living in London, and even then, money's tight, but the longer I stay, the more insistent she becomes. It started off small, slammed doors and flickering lights I could blame on drafts and faulty fuses. But there's been more since. I found a bloodstain on the rug a few months ago, it didn't come out. It didn't even fade in the wash, not even a little bit. If anything, it grew. So I bought a new rug. The bloodstain has appeared on that one too. Last week I came home from work and my living room was just covered in maggots. They were everywhere. I had to stay with a friend while the place got fumigated and the landlord won't pay for it because he thinks it's down to my own negligence. I heard your ad on the radio and I need your help."She ends by giving us her address. Customer services sent her a reply with a quote for potential removal of the ghost, and she didn't get back to us for another month. In that time, the research department had already started digging into the murder of Caitlyn Brooks. It wasn't the most violent attack I've heard of, but it was... it was pretty grim. Yeah. Caitlin had moved in with her elderly aunt to look after her, but the old woman had just snapped, I guess, stabbed her four times in the chest after Caitlyn had fallen asleep in the armchair in the living room. Then just walked out. Caitlin was left to rot and wasn't found until her aunt had been spotted several weeks later. The research team is always pretty thorough. There are photos here from the crime scene but... Oh God. Okay. Nope. Choosing not to look at those for the time being.Jennifer, though, got back to us to say she couldn't afford the quoted cost of removal and that was that. The case was dropped, categorized as unresolved, and no dispatchers were ever sent out. A little digging of my own shows that the house has been unoccupied since Jennifer moved out three years ago. So I'm going to break in. I mean, if the one thing standing between me and bringing down this company is a lack of data, then not going out and collecting that data would make me a coward. And I'm not a coward. Am I?No, no, no, I'm not. I'm going to go there tonight after work. Wish me luck![SFX: Recording Ends]
[SFX: Recording Begins]
[Ambience: Sounds of traffic]Leo:(Breathing heavily) I am not a coward. I am not. A coward... Christ, that was scary though. I'm okay. I'm fine. I'm out. Okay. Nope. Scientific notes. Just laying out the events. I broke into the house in Walthamstow. It was surprisingly easy. Just jimmied open a ground floor window from the back. If anybody saw me, nobody did anything about it. London am I right? Okay. So I got into the ground floor and, well, it was already pretty creepy.[Ambience: traffic sounds fade out, spooky music fades in]The rustling of what was probably a rat scurrying away at my entrance, the dust hanging in long thick strands from the cobwebs, and that something in the air. Beyond the musty stillness and the smell of lingering damp, that something that so many of our customers described feeling as the first sign of a presence, a kind of static feeling whispering over your skin, like fingertips brushing just a hair's breadth from touching you.The room was almost empty of furniture, except for that bloodstained rug. And maybe it was the darkness that seemed to swell as my eyes adjusted, but it, it seemed to grow to pool out as I watched it. "Caitlyn?" I called out. "Caitlyn Brooks?" The only answer was a wriggling heap of maggots that seem to pour from the dark stain in the rug.I fumbled with the EMF detector, scrambling out the way of the swarming mass of maggots as it buzzed alive with lights. "Caitlyn, I'm not here to disturb you," I tried to say with confidence, but in the name of scientific honesty, it was just a bit... um, wobbly. "I'll leave you soon, but I'm here to listen. Say your piece." The EMF meter fell still for a moment, and then it lit up in a way I've never seen before. Rising and falling in this rhythmic pulsing way. The cadence of her speech, as it grew and built to a shout, the lights holding strong and steady. I wish I could have heard what she was saying. I stood that way, just listening, for a long time until a different sound shook me out with my reverie. An awful sound, a low wet crawling whisper. She was still speaking. I think, as I looked over back towards the rug where the maggots had spilled out. The EMF meter, still shone with her words as I watched the pool of maggots writhe and climb over each other and the buzzing of it continued even as I realized, in horror, that the maggots were forming a shape. A clear and distinct shape of a person. But wrong, so wrong, shifting and pulsating with the erratic movements of the individual insects. And I tried not to be afraid. I did. I really tried. This might be a deeply unpleasant way of showing it, but it was just a spirit of a voiceless woman trying to be heard, trying to be seen. I just wish I hadn't had to see the way the maggots parted as one in what I could only guess was the approximation of a mouth, or, a kind of gaping hole where the mouth should have been on this caricature of a person.And when it opened, I only had a second to register the change in the EMF meter. The lights swelled and tapered, like they'd been doing all along, until all of a sudden the whole thing lit up strong and bright and solid. And I heard, as if from inside my very skull, a screeching. The maggots was screaming. The person, that shape of a person that they formed, they were screaming.I couldn't hear Caitlyn. Nobody heard her screams, not when she died and not any day since. So she showed me her pain through her manifestations. She showed me what her screaming would have sounded like if I could hear her. I hunched over, I nearly dropped the EMF meter as I clutched at my head. Every part of me wanted to run. Every instinct flooded me with adrenaline and roared at me to leave. Whatever she'd been saying, she was done. She was finished talking, but I was worried she might never be finished screaming. But as I stumbled back towards the open window, pushing past the figure, feeling the maggots spill over my shoes and my hands and my hair, feeling the bile rise in my throat, at their touch, I felt, I felt guilty. A sense of... I mean, I was the first person to listen to her in years, the first person to call her by name, to acknowledge her. and here I was running as soon as things got scary. I came to a stop with one foot already on the ledge of the open window, frozen on my way out, "Caitlyn!" I cried out eyes, clamped shut against the pain of the screeching in my head. "Caitlyn, you're hurting me, please stop."And... and she did. The screaming stopped, an echoing ringing in my head filling the sudden quiet as the figure, still reforming from when I'd pushed past it, closed the gap where his mouth had been. And I swear, I saw its head tilt, just slightly, in curiosity. "I hear you. I do," I told her. "I'm sorry this happened to you. I'm sorry you've been stuck here like this. I want to help. And you telling me your story has helped me get it started, okay? It won't be like this forever. Let me go, let me leave. And I will come back. I will come back and I'll record your story for others to hear. And I swear someday I'll find a way to help spirits like you. Help you move on or, or help you to carry on with something as close to a life as possible, whichever you choose, but it will be your choice, okay?" And I watched, holding my breath, as the figure gave one short nod. Then collapsed, the maggots dissolving back into the rug.I'd like to say, I left calmly then, but I didn't, I... didn't. I fell back out of the window and ran, just ran into the darkness until the sound of my blood pounding in my ears drowned out the ringing still echoing around in my head.[Ambience: Spooky music fades out, traffic sounds fade in]So that's how I'm here at a Walthamstow bus stop. Waiting for the night bus, talking into my phone. But it's okay. It's okay. I'm okay. And I definitely got something. The readings from the EMF meter are saved locally, and if I can get enough readings like this stored into a database, it'll help me build the recorder. I've got more to work with, now. I will get this thing built. And when I do, I will take this company- Ugh. Ugh, is that...? Oh my god a maggot, fu-[SFX: Mic fumbling, recording ends_]Closing theme begins
Leanne: Episode One of Tell No Tales, Not For Long, was written and performed by Leanne Egan.
If you enjoyed this episode, the best way to support the show is to spread the word. Leaving us a rating and review in your listening app of choice is a huge help, or you can follow us on Twitter or Tumblr @tellnotalespodLinks and information about transcripts can be found in the show notes.Tell No Tales is distributed by Wasting Company Time Productions, under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike 4.0 international license. Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite
Closing theme ends

Transcript: Episode Two - Close Call

Opening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode Two: Close Call
Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins]
[SFX: Mouse clicks, classical music begins playing]
Leo:
Audio diary of Leo Quinn, assis-(YAWNS) assistant to Frank Williamson, director of Better Place. I got back from Walthamstow pretty late last night, and after showering three whole times and still not being quite free of the feeling of those maggots on me, I couldn’t resist staying up a bit later to take a look at the data I’d collected. Honestly I’d be tempted to call it a solid night’s work and take a little nap at my desk right now, but Frank is out all day again interviewing for that Dispatcher position and I can’t afford to waste a whole Frank­-free day. Being assistant to the Big Boss definitely has its pros and cons. Pro: having direct access to Frank’s schedule so that I can know exactly when I won’t be caught. Con: being so busy all the time managing said schedule to have much time to do anything worth catching. So, yknow, swings and roundabouts and all that, it’s- (YAWNS AGAIN) It’s fine. God I need a coffee. I’ve got a new case file to check out, and just my luck it’s a category three. I’m going to need my wits about me. But, like I said, I can't throw away this chance to work a case, and Riley dropped this file on my desk personally this morning. Which they could definitely get into trouble for doing. But that's Riley. We might be different brands of nerd, but they’ve dedicated their whole life to research. They can understand a little scientific curiosity. Only problem is, I can't tell them exactly why I need these files, not without putting them in even more trouble. Which means I can’t tell them exactly what kinds of files I need. They think I'm just doing desk research, but to gather enough EMF data to get my recorder up and running, I need cases which are unsolved or still active, cases where I can go and collect data from the spirits before the dispatchers remove them. This one though, well this one is a bit of a time crunch. A category three in a public building is kind of a priority for the dispatchers. But if Riley compiled the research on this case, that means they were the first person to have access to it ­so that makes me the second. The dispatchers will have to have a whole meeting where they go over the file, the spirit’s history, personal details, then they’ll need to have a tactical meeting and request gear and tech, it’ll take them a while. I think, if I go check it out on my lunch break, I can be in and out before they even leave the office. Which leaves me just enough time to make some audio notes on the file before I go.
Case RM#2223, Category 3, Case status-­active. Reported by Richard Blackwell via email, initial report:
Dear Better Place Customer Service Department, I represent Regent’s Care Private Maternity Hospital, and I am contacting you regarding a disturbance we require assistance with. Approximately seventeen years ago we began receiving reports from staff and patients alike of unpleasant associations with a particular wing of the hospital. Patients recalled strange and unsettling dreams, and staff discussed a sensation like that of being watched. These concerns were initially dismissed, however they increased in quantity over the next decade, until we began experiencing leaks of unusual substances from no discernible source, and several electrical faults that were, of course, unacceptable for a hospital. We closed the wing to locate the issues, but when none were found, construction was halted for several years. We have recently begun work on renovations in the wing for a planned re­opening late next year. However we have discovered a more alarming development. Construction crews have reported progress being torn down overnight, tools being thrown at workers, etc. I look forward to receiving an estimated quote as soon as possible, as we cannot resume construction until this problem is resolved.
I’m sorry, just... Who writes like that? Like, “Oh you know, just chucking tools at people, that kind of thing. Standard stuff like that.” Sorry, I shouldn't laugh. I should be scared. A normal person would be scared. Though, honestly? Like, look I know I’m not a dispatcher. I’m just an amateur scientist who didn’t have the formal qualifications for the tech department and ended up in admin, nobody’s asking me. But if someone were to ask me... I mean, I get why people think category threes are scary, I do, but I’m pretty sure they only think that way because they’re operating on the assumption that all spirits are malicious. If that were true, then fair enough, I can see why a ghost that can pick up a hammer and launch it at you is, generally speaking, considered something of a danger. But the way I see it, just because a ghost can throw a punch doesn’t mean it’ll want to. Everyone I work with can throw a punch, but I’ve never gotten a black eye in the office. And maybe I'm biased, but a category two doing things like, oh I don’t know, spawning a human­ shaped mass of maggots sounds... and correct me if I'm wrong here... Way worse than throwing a punch, right? Category twos can manifest a myriad of horrifying ways to mess you up without ever having to lay a finger on you. So, I’ll be fine. I was fine last night, I’ll be fine today. Plus, I'm well prepared. Riley and their team are brilliant. This is the most thoroughly researched case file I've ever seen. It’s usually quite hard to pinpoint the identity of a spirit in a hospital, for obvious reasons, but Riley traced the phenomena to one room they believe the spirit died in, which helped them narrow it down to one patient ­­ Lisa Henry, who died of complications from a C-­Section only a few days after giving birth to her daughter. There are a lot of reasons a spirit might stay behind. Sometimes because of violent deaths, sometimes because of untimely deaths, sometimes because they just have too much to hang on to. A newborn daughter would, I’m pretty sure, fall under that last group. There is some information included on the daughter. She’s just received a conditional offer from Durham University to study literature, and there’s even a school photo included, smiling in a stiff blazer and neatly pinned back hair. This is Riley’s touch, definitely. They always delve just a bit deeper than most into the personal. It’s the kind of thing the dispatchers always overlook, but Riley gets it. These ghosts have sometimes spent decades, sometimes centuries without being acknowledged. They’re people, you know? They’re dead, but they’re people. I might not be able to save Lisa Henry. But I’m damn well going to acknowledge her before the dispatchers get there. More when I get back, I guess.[SFX: Recording Ends]
[SFX: Recording Begins]
Leo:
So... that wasn’t great! Didn’t, er, didn’t go exactly to plan. I’ve had the tube journey back to calm down but, er, yeah. Nothing about that was... ideal. I’ll start from the beginning.
[SFX: Mouse clicks, classical music begins playing]There wasn’t much security on the disused wing, to be honest. I went in through the main building, told the receptionist I was from Better Place and she went completely pale. Just handed me the keys to the side entrance and pointed me in the right general direction. Didn’t ask for my name or anything, thank God, all things considered. I left the door unlocked when I got there. Something about the place made me feel like maybe having a quick exit as an option wasn’t such a bad idea. It was icy cold in there. Far colder than it had been outside. My breath clung to the still air in a thick fog, and though it was light out, in the part­ demolished building, the tarps and plastic sheeting that hung between that place and the sun gave the whole building an eerie, dream­like feeling.[Ambience: Classical music fades out, ambient spooky music fades in]I felt my own fingers trembling as I reached for the EMF meter, no matter how hard I tried to convince myself I wasn’t scared. Some of the rooms still had numbers, so I found myself counting the doors in soft whispered rhythms. 101, 102, 103. That was the one. The door opened before I even touched it. An invitation, maybe? Or a warning? I tried to take a deep breath but the air shuddered in my lungs. When I stepped inside, the room was littered with abandoned tools. One wall was partially brought down, another had what looked to be deep, frantic scratches from fingernails. The EMF meter blinked alive, and my skin lit up with static as all around me, the abandoned tools and materials began to quake. Rumbling, first, where they sat on the ground, a terrible cacophony of plastic and metal and wood shuddering against the concrete flooring, until all at once the sounds stopped and everything around me rose. It was a sickening feeling, like the floor was falling out beneath me. This ghost was more powerful than I expected. The ability to touch, I had assumed, meant she’d be limited only to what her hands could reach. But no, every one of those tools, all across the room, sat suspended, trembling, poised in the air. The realisation that I had gotten it wrong, that there was more to these spirits than I’d known, it overwhelmed me, so much so that in my awe, for just a second I forgot to be afraid. I forgot that every object that hung in the air, a brief stasis before inevitable flurry, seemed to be pointed at me. “Lisa!” I called out in frantic panic as my anxiety crashed back into me just a heartbeat before, I’m sure, the tools would have. “Lisa, I’m not here to disturb you, I want to help, please hear me out.” The objects twitched, a small but deliberate threat, and I swallowed back a new wave of terror at just how quickly and horrifically this spirit could end my life if it chose to. But the twitch was all that came. So I pressed on. “There are people on their way to help you move on. I can’t stop them from coming. But I think I can help. If you’ll let me, before you go, I can tell you about your daughter.” The stillness in the long moment after I spoke seemed to press down on me, stifling and awful. And when it broke, it broke into chaos. Everything came crashing down all at once. Around, near, but not at me, though I flinched as if it might. And amidst it all, I watch the lights on the EMF meter sway and flicker, once again mirroring what I knew from last time was the cadence of speech. I tried not to focus on that too hard, though. Tried to focus instead on the single hammer in front of me, now the only raised object. Not hovering exactly, not like the others had been, but transfixed at an odd angle. That was her, I realised. She was standing there, holding that hammer in her own hands. A person. A person making threats, I’m sure ­­ between the hammer and the ongoing rhythm
of her speech ­­ but a person, still. I waited for her to finish speaking before I continued. “I can’t hear you,
I’m sorry.” I told her. “I can see when you’re speaking, but I can’t hear what you’re saying. But...” I reached, slowly, deliberately, for the photo in my pocket. “Here.” I held out the photo in unsteady hands. “This is your daughter. She’s eighteen now. She’s going to Durham University in September, to study literature. She’s named after you. Lisa Henry. Though her friends call her Liza, apparently. She seems happy. She’s doing well in school. I even have her medical records for some reason. Just one broken bone, when she was seven. She fell off her bike.” I watched the hammer advance, though it seemed to droop slightly as it did, and I tried not to gasp as the photo was taken from my hand. Tried not to gawp too openly as the photo lingered in the air for a long moment until the soft thud of a tear fell hard on the paper. A person. She’s a person. Lisa Henry is a person who loves the daughter she never got to meet. The daughter that could never have known she was trapped here, in this hospital, all these years. I watched as the lights on the EMF reader quivered, a soft burst of light, until suddenly it all spilled out, those lights rising and falling in a rush of emotions as my breath caught in my chest and I listened. I couldn’t hear her, but I could listen. She deserved that. At least. I was crying, I think, when the sound shocked us both into sudden, numb stillness. The sound of a door thudding open, the sound of footsteps,­­ multiple sets of footsteps, ­­hurried but sure across the plastic sheets on the floor. I like to think I’m a lot of things, but good in a pinch isn’t necessarily one of them. I froze for a beat too long, knowing that if any one of these dispatchers recognised me then everything could be over for me. I was not supposed to be here. I didn’t have any kind of reasonable explanation for being here. I could lose my job. Riley could lose their job just for giving me the file. By the time it all set in, the fear enough to propel rather than stun, it was almost too late. I kind of collided with a dispatcher on my way out down the corridor. I didn’t see who it was, just kept my head low in the hood of my raincoat, I just barrelled past, ignoring the confused shouts behind me. I kept running until I reached the tube station. Then I emptied my pockets and shoved the coat in the bin. A sky­ blue rain coat could be recognisable enough to give me away back at the office.
[Ambience: Spooky music fades out, classical music fades in]So, yeah. Like I said. Not ideal. Not ideal at all. I think I’m going to have to be more careful in future. I might have just gotten away with it this time, but it was a close call. I think next time, I’ll pr-[SFX: Office phone rings]Oh crap.[SFX: Phone receiver is picked up]Leo:
Riley, hey! W- er, what’s up?
Riley (through phone):
(INAUDIBLE ANGRY BUZZING)
Leo:
Oh? Wild, I, er, the file said the wing was closed down, I wonder why someone would-
Riley (through phone):
(MORE INAUDIBLE ANGRY BUZZING)
Leo:
Well, blue raincoats are actually pretty common. I got it from Next you know, big seller over there.
Riley (through phone):
(INAUDIBLE ANGRY BUZZING INTENSIFIES)
Leo:
Ginger people are… Actually far more
common than we’re led to believe?
Riley (through phone):
(ANGRIEST INAUDIBLE BUZZING YET)
Leo:
(DEFEATED) If I told you it was for data collection is
that something you’d be able to just, take at face
value and ask no more questions about?
Riley (through phone):
(BRIEF, BUT DEFIANT, INAUDIBLE BUZZING)
[SFX: Dial tone through phone receiver]Leo:
Yep, that’s what I thought.
[SFX: Phone receiver being hung up]They’re coming up to my office. I’d better, er...
(SIGHS)
[SFX: Recording ends]Closing theme begins
Leanne: Episode Two of Tell No Tales, Close Call, was written and performed by Leanne Egan.
You also, just barely, heard the voice of Phil Thompson as Riley Matkins.If you enjoyed this episode, the best way to support the show is to spread the word. Leaving us a rating and review in your listening app of choice is a huge help, or you can follow us on Twitter or Tumblr @tellnotalespodLinks and information about transcripts can be found in the show notes.Tell No Tales is distributed by Wasting Company Time Productions, under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike 4.0 international license. Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite
Closing theme ends

Transcript: Episode Three - Part of the Family

Opening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode Three: Part of the Family
Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins]Leo:
Audio diary of Leo Quinn, assistant to Frank Williamson, and terrible, terrible friend to Riley Matkins. (GROANS) I had to tell them part of the truth in the end. Not enough to explain exactly what I’m working on or why, just that I’m working on something techy and that I need to gather as much EMF data as possible to get it to work. It still felt like a lie though. And despite it all, when I got into the office this morning there was a file on my desk, part-hidden beneath my keyboard and mouse pad, with a little sticky note on it that just said this one won’t get you caught. I’d like it stated for the scientific record that Riley Matkins is a better person than I’ll ever be. My platonic soulmate. My one true bestie. God, I really hope these notes don’t ever have to go up as evidence in a formal court or anything. If they do, Riley’s definitely getting the transcripts somehow. That’d be very them. And how embarrassing would that be? We don't say nice things to each other. Our love language is 'eat glass and die, bitch,' said with a smile. Just in case though, thank you for the gift of files and friendship, Riley, if you’re reading this illegally obtained transcript from a court of law. Hopefully my plan’s worked and we’ve gone freelance together on some ghost outreach program or something by now. Ugh, nope, no, Leo, stop. One step at a time. Let’s take a look at this case file.
[SFX: Pages Turning]Huh. Weird. Case NA#1704, Category 3 (unconfirmed), Case status­-Report received. This is a strange one. Three individual tips submitted over the last few years, starting in 2017. The first is from a plumber who visited the home to fix a burst pipe, he reported sightings of knocked over tools, floating pens, and clattering from unknown sources while he worked. The second was a delivery guy, says the door opened by itself before the food was taken from him by unseen hands, hovered for a moment, then was promptly dropped, just in time for a woman to come rushing out of the bathroom in a towel, scooping up the food with frantic apologies before she ushered him away and closed the door. The third, well, the third is unusual. I’ll just read the transcript of the call.Better Place Customer Services, how can I help?Hi, hello, do you take anonymous tips?What is this regarding?My, well, the thing you need to understand is that my daughter is a very respectable woman. But her, well, her life ­partner is a bit odd. She calls herself a witch. And she messes around with all of those things, you know, the cards and the weejee boards and, well, it’s important you know this before I begin. This is likely her fault. But, well, I think their home ­­— they moved in a few years ago with my grandkids, a lovely little maisonette in Islington, shouldn’t have been within their budget but Lynne told me it was an absolute steal which, in hindsight it makes sense now ­­— but, essentially, I believe they’re living with a poltergeist. My grand­daughter, their eldest, she’s getting too old for imaginary friends now, almost ten, but she often talks about a man called Stephen. I think possibly she forgets herself, doesn't mean to mention him, as when I press her on the subject, she goes quiet. I don’t visit often, usually Lynne comes to visit me, but the few times that I’ve dropped by the house there have been... incidents. A lamp toppling over in an empty corner of the room, a table shuddering like it’s been bumped into. And I swear, the one time I dropped by unexpectedly, Kara ­­ my daughter’s partner ­­was playing chess alone, and the pieces were moving of their own accord. I’m willing to pay whatever it takes, just please get rid of this whatever it is.Ma’am, I’m afraid if you aren’t the owner of the property you aren’t able to authorise us to send
dispatchers. All we can do is attempt to reach out to the homeowner. If they are willing to grant us access, then we can be in touch with you regarding billing, but­­—
No, no, you don’t understand, this is the problem. They won’t hear it. It’s Kara, with all of her, you know, her interests. She’s gotten in their heads.I’m sorry, ma’am but once again, all we’re able to do at this stage is reach out­­—This is ridiculous, my grand­children are in danger here, do you have a manager I can speak to? Or a complaints department?Er, so there’s more to the transcript. But it’s actually kind of painful to read? It's mostly just poor Beth from the complaints team making comforting sounds and explaining the same thing back to her. Customer services did try to follow up with the two women who own the house but they were apparently told not to contact them again. I could get into a lot of trouble for this, if anyone finds out I’ve taken the info from this file, but... God, it just seems worth the risk doesn’t it? He was playing chess. He’s just so... Adjusted. Not a chance in hell I’m passing this up. Frank’s in a meeting right now in the conference room down the hall, but he’ll be back soon. So I’ve got to go. But I’ll be going to check this out straight after work.[SFX: Recording Ends]
[SFX: Recording Begins]
[SFX: Classical Music Begins Playing]Leo:
Holy crap. Last night, after leaving Kara and Lynne's, I forgot to even take notes. I just went straight home and stayed up late going through the data I managed to collect. There was so much of it. Holy crap ok. ok. (CLEARS THROAT) Ok. Let me start at the beginning.
So, I went to Islington after work, and I didn’t really have a game plan. Which, in hindsight, yeah, a bit daft, but whatever. I knocked, and a tall blonde woman in one of those badass power-­suit getups answered. And she just looked at me like, hello? can I help you? And, I’ll admit. I blanked. Just kind of blurted out, hi, my name’s Leo, and she just kept looking at me, and, okay, look, I panicked, okay, and I told her I work for Better Place. And of course she just went instantly hostile. “I thought we told you people to leave us alone,” she hissed, before craning her neck back into the house and shouting for Kara. A smaller woman, with short lilac hair appeared down the hall, smiling a little in confusion, until the taller woman —­­ Lynne, I assumed —­­ turned to her, nodded her head at me, and said through gritted teeth ‘Better Place.’ The pleasant look on Kara’s face was gone too, then. I hurried to save the situation. “Sorry, no, listen please, I’ve er, I’ve gone a bit rogue, actually.” That didn’t do much to make them look any more welcoming if I’m honest. So I pressed on. “I think, I­ sorry, I think we’re on the same side. The report we received said you and your partner­“ “Wife,” Lynne corrected. “Oh, god, sorry, of course. Well the report said you live with a category three, it kind of sounded like you live... in harmony with it, him I mean. Stephen, was it? Look I’m not here to try to get rid of him. I’m working on­“ “What report?” Kara asked suddenly. Which. My bad. Really just working my way through a checklist of GDPR rules to break here. “Who else?” Lynne rolled her eyes. “My mother of course. She called Kara my life­-partner, right?” “I, er, I really shouldn’t say.” I admitted. “I kind of... shouldn’t have had access to the file in the first place.” “Why are you here?” Kara asked then, and for the first time I saw curiosity just starting to battle with suspicion. I took a deep breath, and I tried again. “I don’t think we, Better Place or anybody, have a right to remove ghosts the way we do. I don’t think all ghosts are dangerous. And I’m working on a device that will allow me to record the statements of spirits, so that I can prove it. I think Stephen can help me get some of the data I need­­“ I caught the disgust in Kara’s eyes just in time to claw myself back from it. “No, no not like, testing or anything. I just need him to speak to me.” I showed her the EMF reader. “My recorder works, or, will work, using data from this. If I can get enough information about how vocalisations from spirits affect the readings on this, I think I can get the recorder to actually pick up Stephen’s voice someday. Someday soon. Sooner if I can talk to him now?” Kara hesitated, exchanging a glance with Lynne. That kind of glance, you know the one? With someone you love. Someone you know as well as you know yourself. You lock eyes and you can have a whole conversation with only the slightest crease of the brows, and the smallest widening of the eyes. “It would be nice to hear his voice, yeah.” Lynne sighed. And they still looked wary, but they let me in.There were two kids in the living room, a little girl, and a younger boy. Lynne hurried off to shepherd them out of the room and away from the stranger they’d just let into their home, which, fair enough. And Kara hovered in the living room, waving me in. “Stephen?” She called out. “It’s safe, this­- sorry, what’s your name?” “Leo, Leo Quinn.” “Leo’s here to help, can you let us know you’re here?” There was a whiteboard hung on the wall near the couch, I’d barely noticed it before, but then the pen stuck to the side of it detached, held by invisible hands, and wrote in a neat old­-fashioned cursive, "Hi, Leo. I’m Stephen." I’m not sure what my face was doing, but Kara cracked up at it. “Yeah. Me too,” she said. “You get used to it.” As she spoke, the writing on the board was being wiped away, and the pen was raised to scrawl new words ­­ "I’ve been told I’m an acquired taste." A delirious laugh bubbled past my lips. “Sorry, just not used to the spirits I speak to being, so, er...” I fumbled for the word for a moment. “Civilised?” Kara offered, a skeptical look returning to her face. “Maybe you should try treating them like people then.” “I- I do!” I scrambled to defend myself. “I’m not a dispatcher, I’m just in admin, I’ve only spoken to two spirits so far, or at least only two on the job, and I’ve been nice enough, considering all the maggots and the hammers and whatnot!” “And where exactly is the bar for treating them like people, over at Better Place?” She asked. “Not killing them on site?”Before I could answer we both shuddered, that now familiar static feeling whispering over my skin. I instinctively looked over to the whiteboard, which now read “Less of that, please." I was in shock. Because, I mean. Did he do that on purpose? That icy cold feeling in the air, was that like, Stephen’s version of calling out to us? “He doesn’t do that very often,” Kara sighed. “He doesn’t like to draw attention to himself.” So, okay, note to self: try not to completely lose it at this entirely new information that centuries of paranormal academia hasn’t unveiled, that the creepy ghost feeling is an intentional choice. it’s f i n e, I was f i n e. I like to think I kept my cool, or, y’know, what little cool I had to begin with, while I explained to Stephen ­— who, by the way, was sitting in an arm chair with a cushion on it embroidered with the words “Stephen’s chair” and I could only tell he was sitting in it because the little cushion was squashed down by his weight which was just about the coolest thing I’ve ever­ seen — (CLEARS THROAT) anyway, I kept it together while I explained what I was trying to build, I sat on the couch next to him, Kara perching nearby with watchful eyes as I
took out the EMF reader and explained what I needed to collect to get the recorder working. When I
finished explaining, he spoke. The EMF reader lit up, and it’s tempting to say the patterns were the same as those I’d seen from the last two spirits but that wouldn’t quite be right. It’s more like, with the last two ghosts, the lights on the EMF reader were weak imitations of what I watched in that house in Islington. This was a symphony of colour, the lights —­ I swear —­ glowing brighter than the cheap bulbs I bought for it should ever have been able to glow. The lights fluttered and sang and didn’t for a moment hold steady or flicker out entirely, they just kept on rising and falling in that beautiful erratic rhythm. He talked for a long time. It’s hard to imagine, really. A different kind of isolation to the others. He’s here, he’s part of the family in every way, but he can never be heard. Never be truly seen. I just watched and waited while he spoke, and when the lights tapered away, we all just let the silence settle over us for a moment. Kara brushed a hand over her cheek a couple of times when she thought I wasn’t looking. I think I get it. Even without being able to hear him speak, just seeing the evidence there, knowing that he is speaking, in the moment, it’s... well it’s not nothing.
In the stillness, a framed photo caught my eye, beside the whiteboard on the wall. “Is that you, Stephen?” I asked, nodding at the photo, a black and white image of two smiling young men, both looking very dapper in tuxedos, raising champagne flutes but looking only at each other. The pen rose again to the whiteboard. “On the left, yes.” It read. “Arthur is on the right.” Kara cleared her throat “We found it online from a digitised archive of an old newspaper,” she said. “Stephen’s obituary from the seventies, that’s him and his...” She hesitated, before Stephen drew a little smiley face on the board, and she laughed. “Stephen and his partner, Arthur. The photo was taken at some high society fundraiser in the fifties. Arthur outlived him by a few years, and Stephen thinks that’s why he’s stuck here. He couldn’t leave Arthur behind.” I was beginning to feel my own eyes swim with tears, which felt distinctly unscientific, but I couldn’t see myself putting a stop to it any time soon, so I stood, faster than necessary, I thanked Stephen for talking to me, and Kara gave me her number so that I can call her when I get the recorder working, and I went straight home and absolutely pored over the data. The data didn’t make me cry, at least. The data didn’t have a tragic lifelong love only to be trapped for nearly five decades in a house alone with only the memory of that love. The data didn’t finally find happiness in the form of two women who love each other and their kids, a found family willing to accept the data, queer solidarity for the data who loved a man in the fifties who now gets to see how much the world has changed for people like us, but doesn’t get to live in that world with the man the... data... loved. You know? The data just... needed inputting. So I did that last night, instead of thinking too hard about all that other stuff. There was a lot, at least. I really think it’s a huge step in­­—[SFX: KNOCKING, THEN DOOR OPENS]Leo:
Jesus Riley, I thought you were Frank, you scared the life out of me.
Riley:
Oooh, should I be complimented or offended? It would be nice to radiate menacing Director Daddy vibes
Leo:
Never say the word daddy in relation to Frank every again I'm begging you. Or at all, preferably.
Riley:
He's not.... is he?
Leo:
No, he's out, gone for the day.
Riley:
Oh, excellent then, time for you to skive off early, we're going to that cocktail bar down the road, come with us.
Leo:
Depends who we includes.
Riley:
Well, me, plus a bunch of people you don't know because you have all the social skills of… Oh, you know one of those shaky little rescue chihuahuas that hates men and loud noises? Yeah, we're taking the new girl for drinks.
Leo:
(OVERLAPPING) I­— that's­— I take—­ (SIGHS) No, that's pretty accurate actually. Wait, the new girl?
Riley:
Yup, new dispatcher, Hannah's replacement.
Leo:
I'm sure Frank was still doing interviews like, yesterday.
Riley:
(MAKES I DUNNO SOUND) She started today, did all the onboarding stuff, I gave her a little tour of research. Her name's Julia.
Leo:
Huh. I had no idea she'd started already.
Riley:
Well maybe if you got our of your fancy private office every now and then...
Leo:
Alright, alright, point made, let me just...
[SFX: Recording Ends]

Closing theme begins
Leanne: Episode Three of Tell No Tales, Part of the Family, was written and performed by Leanne Egan. You also heard the voice of Phil Thompson as Riley Matkins.
If you enjoyed this episode, the best way to support the show is to spread the word. Leaving us a rating and review in your listening app of choice is a huge help, or you can follow us on Twitter or Tumblr @tellnotalespodLinks and information about transcripts can be found in the show notes.Tell No Tales is distributed by Wasting Company Time Productions, under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike 4.0 international license. Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite
Closing theme ends

Transcript: Episode Four - Mortui Non Morden

Opening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode Four: Mortui Non Morden
Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins, Classical Music Playing]Leo:
Audio diary of Leo Quinn, assistant to Frank Williamson, director of Better Place. (TOO LONG PAUSE) Nope, sorry, I've got nothing. Frank goes out, right? He’s got a meeting, so I think, hey, time to do some science. Except I’ve got rum coming out my pores and I think probably like an entire bag of sand in my head? Ugh. This isn't even my fault. The new girl, Julia? She is criminally beautiful. Like, it is definitely illegal to be that pretty, I’m fairly sure nobody gave her the right to be that pretty. I don’t think there’s any kind of power qualified to give someone the right to be that pretty. And she kept offering me drinks! I’m not going to say no am I? Like, oh sorry, most beautiful woman I’ve ever met, I’m actually something of a lightweight, so please, no more strawberry daiquiris? It’s almost enough to make me forget that she’s a dispatcher. Almost. Ugh, a hot ghost cop. That’s just the worst. Why is it never a beautiful scientist plying me with cocktails? Never a gorgeous ghost rights activist. Noooo, it’s got to be the hot ghost cop buying the drinks hasn’t it? Batting her eyelashes at me after her first day of capturing innocent spirits. They probably just go wandering into her open arms too, looking all criminally beautiful and whatnot. But, whatever, point is, the fact that I’m like this isn’t even my fault, it’s Julia’s. And now I have a whole Frank-Free hour and I’m too hungover to do anything about it. Ugh. No. Come on. Pretty girls and strawberry dacquiris will NOT be my downfall.
[SFX: Drawer Opening, Papers being rifled through]What do we have... something nice and easy... something like, okay here. A category one. That should be chill. I don’t know if a category one even has a strong enough manifestation to talk but hey, I won’t know until I science about it. And I much prefer the idea of kicking back with some goosebumps to, like, questioning an angry category three while trying not to puke. So, this guy it is.
Case JC#9403. Oh, this case is old. Category 1, Case status-unresolved. Interesting. Looks like this case was reported back in ‘94, but after some budgeting debates it was dropped. For... Well, looks like they decided they quite liked having it around. Huh. Okay, there's a copy of the letter that was sent in for the initial report.
Mr. Williamson, I assume it is not too much of an imposition that I write to you directly. There remains too much history between my own organisation and yours to waste time on something so mundane as customer service departments. I write regarding your predecessor, the esteemed Mr. Montgomery Whitley, and his grave here at Highgate Cemetery. There appears to be a haunting at the site of his grave. It is at the early stages of manifestation currently, only a lingering feeling of malintent. Something, perhaps, to handle before it becomes problematic. However, with, as I’m sure you are aware, Highgate Cemetery being run as a non-profit, budgeting remains a complicated issue. Considering the close relationship between our organisations I was hoping we could come to some arrangement. As Director of Better Place you are of course, as with your predecessors, guaranteed a burial plot in our cemetery. Perhaps we could come to some arrangement regarding some upgrades or discounts to your plot. I’m sure you understand the predicament we are in, and I look forward to your correspondence on the matter. Warmest regards, Dr. Samuel Hawkins, PhD. There’s no record of Frank’s — or, no, it must be his dad, or something? The case was logged in '94, so Frank must surely have been too young to be the director, he can’t be older than, what, his mid-forties now? Anyway, there’s no record of the response, only Dr. Hawkins’s next letter, a little over a week later, sounding, uh, pretty outraged actually. There’s a bit... Where is it, oh here, look “With regards to your refusal of my offer, your hubris, Mr. Williamson, must surely not be so great as to allow you to make such declarations. I will assume, with some generosity on my part, that this was a misguided negotiation tactic and speak no more of it.” Which, you know, big yikes. Again, we don’t have the response on file but we have another letter several months later from Dr. Hawkins that is somehow even more coldly formal, just stating that actually, it turns out a mild haunting is quite good for business at a world-famous graveyard, and as it doesn’t seem to be getting much worse, they’re happy to let the spirit remain. In these cases we usually send out regular emails and calls to whoever reported the haunting, just to make sure the spirit hasn’t progressed into a higher category, but there’s nothing like that on file. So, uh, fingers crossed that it’s still a category one? It’s probably fine, right? It’ll be a chill evening at the cemetery. Right now, though, I’m going to curl up in a ball and hope nobody calls for Frank.[SFX: Recording Ends][SFX: Recording Begins]Leo:
(WHISPERING) I... think, everyone's gone? I didn’t have the energy for any breaking and entering today, so I just paid for a tour and snuck over to hide behind a mausoleum until they locked up. Suppose that means I’ll have to break and exit but that feels easier. Anyway, since this is going to be a chill one, I’ve decided to make my audio notes as I go. I have a feeling I’ll want to go straight to bed when I’m done here. Let me just...
[SFX: Foliage rustling, footsteps](AT A NORMAL VOLUME) Yeah, I think I’m good. Nobody around that I can see. Cool, so, it only took a little bit of research — mostly on Riley’s part, I won’t lie — to find that Better Place basically has its own mausoleum somewhere on the West Cemetery, where all the previous directors since the founder have been buried. Which, whatever, to each their own. I don’t think I like the idea of a promotion to director coming with a pre-selected company owned plot to be buried in. sounds a bit cult-like if you ask me, but nobody’s asking me sooo... Oh. Yeah. That’ll be... That’s got to be it, right?[SFX: Footsteps stop]
Yep. Mortui Non Morden. Huge letters, engraved over the white stone archway. I’ve always liked that phrase. The literal translation is ‘the dead don’t bite.’ It’s kind of the original sentiment behind ‘dead men tell no tales,’ in that it kinda advocates for, 'someone causing you problems? Why not try killing them about it!' but I like to read it more like a statement about the benevolence of most ghosts. 'The dead don't bite.' Feels kind of fitting to my own work, I think. We stopped using it in the actual public branding around the seventies though, around the time the whole company underwent a huge shift in business model. Out with the old, nineteenth century gothic grandeur, and in with the commerciality of trademarked company name, catchy jingles and mass advertising. Honestly, I hope whoever it was who had the idea for the overhaul got a raise or something. It worked. Better Place lowered its prices and stopped being the kind of agency that caters to a handful of incredibly wealthy clients in their manor houses, and became this huge corporation, removing — last I checked — thousands of ghosts each year. We’re now just a household name, another pest removal company. You see a mouse in your kitchen, you think, oh geez, better make a call to Rentokill. Walls start oozing blood, you think, well, let’s hope the boiler doesn’t break this month, we’re making a payment to Better Place. And yes, before you ask, future me who’s listening back to these notes. I am stalling. I’m getting bad vibes from this place.
[SFX: Footsteps resume, heavy door opening, footsteps become echoey]There are a lot of empty plots here. Do you think Frank visits sometimes and contemplates his own mortality? Or, well, I guess if his dad was director, he’d buried here. Though... Nope, I can’t see a Williamson. Either he's still alive or he's just not buried here. Wonder if that’s why Dr. Hawkins was so pissed in his second letter, if Mr. Williamson sr. decided not to be buried here. I wonder if Frank’s made the same decision. That makes him slightly less sinister in my estimation, actually. Good for you Frank, going against the creepy morbid grain.[SFX: Whooshing sound]Oh. Oh no, okay, creepy and morbid are back on the menu. Uh...[SFX: Bag opening, EMF reader being taken out and turned on](WHISPERING) I don’t know how else to explain it, I feel… watched. Like, there’s a chill in the air, and everywhere the icy feeling touches me, it imparts a feeling of... well, of resentment. Uh, Mr.-Mr. Whitley? Are you here? (SHUDDERS) Yep, okay, thanks, you’re definitely here. Okay, I see your grave here yeah. Damn, you died in 1937. Why are you the last director to be buried here since then? Even if your successor was pretty young when they were appointed director, they'd still definitely be dead now, right? Like, over a hundred years old roughly?[SFX: EMF Reader buzzing]Sorry, disclaimer, I can’t actually hear you. But, okay, hear me out. If you answer my questions now, I’ll come back soon. And I’ll have an actual device that’ll let me hear your voice, okay? So if there’s something you need to say, I promise, you’ll be heard soon.[SFX: More buzzing]Yeah. Right. So, you worked for Better Place when it was still Mortui Non Morden, right? Before it went corporate?[SFX: Angrier buzzing]Oh, wow. okay. For a category one, those were some strong readings. Sorry if I, uh, touched a nerve.[SFX: Slow footsteps]Woah, Better Place is old. I mean, I knew that, like, I did my research before my interview, I knew in theory it was founded in 1801, but... there are six graves here, not including the empty plots. Six whole generations of people including you, and, sorry if this is offensive Mr. Whitley but you’re no spring chicken yourself.[SFX: Gentle buzzing]Why are you here, though? I mean, you were in this line of work, you know the sitch. Ghosts don’t actually tend to hang out in cemeteries very often, right? So why here, what’s keeping you here?[SFX: Much louder buzzing]Holy... (SHUDDERS) look, sorry, but could you maybe cool it with the goosebumps?[SFX: Wooshing, then dripping sounds]Ugh… Mr. Whitley. Are... Are you doing this? Well, I mean, yeah, of course you are but... Christ, how? The empty plots are bleeding. That’s... You just... I mean, no judgement, every ghost develops at their own pace or whatever, but you’ve been a category one for nearly a century, and you choose now to progress to a category two, so that you can make the empty plots bleed. Why?[SFX: Angriest buzzing yet](UNDER THEIR BREATH) I am not a coward, I am not a coward, I am not... Actually, no screw this, I might be a coward but I'm done being meek, listen here, Mr. Whitley, I see you making the words Mortui Non Morden glow nice and ominous over your grave but if you think it's a fun and not at all terrifying way to communicate that you don't want to harm me, then, my good dude, you sure as hell are sending some mixed signals with the blood you're spewing out of the empty plots so if you'd be so kind could you just... stop? (LONG PAUSE)[SFX: Dripping sound stops]Thank you. I'm sure you're just as eager as I am for you to have some less horrifying ways to communicate your feelings but I feel like maybe if you just used your imagination a little bit we could at least make it a bit less The Shining up in here. Okay? Okay. And I'm sorry about calling you my good dude. I got nervous and it just came out. So. Here's how we're going to do this. You can't communicate much of anything right now, not anything of any real meaning at least. So I'll be back as soon as I can, okay? Just try not to do anything too unhinged that'll get them to call Better Place back out here and get you removed in the meantime, okay? I said, okay?[SFX: single, low buzz](PITCHILY) Okay then! Thank you. I promise I'll come back.[SFX: Slow footsteps on marble, then much faster on the foliage](SLIGHTLY BREATHLESSLY) How'd I do back there? Did I sound confident, authoritative? Because I felt like I was about to wet myself, so there's that. God, nearly a century as a category one and he turns now? It's hard to describe but I felt the change happen. Felt the air shift. Nobody knows for sure what exactly happens when a ghost progresses through the categories, but I can tell you something, it's no small thing. It felt like he was pulling on the space around him, and then a feeling like... Like when an airplane takes off and the pressure builds and just when the pain pushing against your temples feels like it's about to become unbearable, your ears pop and it isn't nice but it's at least a relief. I can't explain how, but it felt like that's what happened to the room back in that mausoleum. What did he have to tell me that was so important? Something important enough to make him tear through such a... violent process so suddenly, after a century of apparently not caring? No point agonizing over it just yet, I suppose. But... ugh, no, I’m calling it for tonight. Going to try and hop a fence then straight to bed. Maybe tomorrow, after a good night's sleep, I'll actually be able to devote some brainpower to this.[SFX: Recording Ends]Closing theme begins
Leanne: Episode Four of Tell No Tales, Mortui Non Morden, was written and performed by Leanne Egan.
If you enjoyed this episode, the best way to support the show is to spread the word. Leaving us a rating and review in your listening app of choice is a huge help, or you can follow us on Twitter or Tumblr @tellnotalespodLinks and information about transcripts can be found in the show notes.Tell No Tales is distributed by Wasting Company Time Productions, under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike 4.0 international license. Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite
Closing theme ends

Transcript: Episode Five - Eat the Rich

Opening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode Five: Eat the Rich
Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins, Classical Music Playing]Leo:
Audio diary of Leo Quinn, assistant to Frank Williamson, director of Better Place. It’s, er, it’s been a while since my last set of notes. What was it, Highgate cemetery right? Right, yeah, a couple of weeks ago. Things just got mental here at the office. I’ve been spending some time at home fine-tuning the recorder and sifting through old data but I haven’t had any in-office Frank-free time until today. Plus I’ve been working on the whole social life thing a bit. Or, more like, I now have someone other than Riley who invites me places? Julia keeps suggesting group drinks after work or lunches at fancy central London business hangouts, and like, that’s all well and good, but aside from me being flat broke already, I now have to work around the significant amount of distraction Julia poses. Because, I mean, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this but she’s excessively gorgeous. Like, sure, Julia, I’ll go grab some overpriced sushi with you at lunch, then I’ll just go back to the office and spend the remainder of the workday thinking about that dimple, and the way your hair always seems to fall just right even when you’ve just run your hands through it, yeah that sounds like a sensible idea for someone who’s swamped with work. God, there was even a close call a while back where Riley, ever the wing-person, tried to get me talking about my mystery tech project, and I swear I’ve never started sweating so quickly and so profusely in my life. All Julia needs to do is look at me long enough and I’ll spill every secret I have. I’m not even sure how I got out of that conversation to be honest. I think I blacked out for a minute. Christ, I have got to get normaler. Buuuuttt, I won’t. Instead I will use the brief time I have with no work to make more work for myself. We’ve got a category two fresh in today that won’t be handled until Monday, so that seems a good place to start.
Case RM#2228, Category 2, Case status-active. Reported via email by a... (POINTEDLY) Mrs. Barrington-Wright. hm. Initial report: To Whom it May Concern, I am writing regarding a potential haunting at my family home in Hampstead. The home had been standing empty for some time since the passing of my father, but after the birth of my youngest, my husband and I made the decision to move in last year. In that time, what I mistook for a feeling of unsettled grief during my brief visits since my father’s passing has progressed into something more ominous. It began with flickering lights, strange gusts of wind within the rooms, small fires starting with no discernible source that we have thankfully been able to put out in time. The most recent was a horrible infestation of spiders. We’ve moved out of the house temporarily into our second home in Cornwall, and once payment is agreed upon I’ll be happy to disclose the location of the spare key and authorise you to access the property to resolve the problem. I do not believe this is the spirit of my father, as it seemed far too malicious and my father and I were very close, so I have no qualms regarding your swift removal of whomever it is by any means necessary. Many thanks, Patricia Barrington-Wright... Mmhmm, I’m sure Mrs. Barrington-Wright doesn’t have any qualms at all about the removal of some stranger from her house, not from the comfort of her second home in Cornwall, yeah, uh-uh. Not that I, in this scientific capacity, am trying to pass judgement or anything (COUGHS)eattherich(COUGHS) who said that? She did get one thing right though, the spirit almost certainly isn’t her father. He only died about four years ago, and a spirit usually takes at least a few years to manifest at all, let alone progress to a category two. Riley was the head researcher on this case, and they found that the spirit likely belongs to Mrs. Barrington-Wright’s grandfather, a Charles Barrington. They also found that there was some dispute with his will. He had, apparently, written his eldest son — our client’s father — out of the will, but the son in question had appealed it as an oversight, and won, inheriting the house that Charles apparently did not want him to inherit. Riley thinks it’s potentially a case of late manifestation -- the spirit of Charles Barrington stayed behind to settle whatever issue he had with his son, but by the time he was manifested strongly enough to be noticed, his son had passed and he had all this anger that could only be taken out on his granddaughter and her family. So, you know, some people stay behind because of the love of their lives, some people stay behind because of their violent murders, and others, I guess, stay behind because they’re bitter about who inherited their obscene wealth? Yeah, screw no judgement. Come on man, have better reasons. Make better choices. On the plus side, if he’s like any other rich man I’ve ever met, I won’t have any trouble getting to him to talk about himself. Heh. Er, anyway, wish me luck![SFX: Recording Ends][SFX: Recording Begins, Mouse clicks, classical music begins playing]Leo:
Well. That went... I mean, it certainly went. I was right at least, he definitely seemed comfortable monologuing about himself. He also felt very comfortable turning on all the horrifying paranormal security measures to keep the proles off his property. Not that I’m bitter or anything but that house had seven bathrooms. Seven. In London. Anyway. I found the spare key, and used that to get in. It was unsettlingly still. Not just in the sense that the house was empty and quiet, but like the house itself was holding its breath. My first mistake was opening my mouth. I just called out. “Mr. Charles Barrington, are you here?” And everything came alive. I don’t know if I just alerted him to my presence or he heard the hints of Scouse in my accent and it put him on edge. But either way he didn’t seem happy.
[Ambience: Classical music fades out, spooky music fades in]The lights in the house flared up for a moment, every light I could see, for just a moment, before fading a little, continuing to flicker faintly with a low, twitching hum. I had my EMF reader at the ready, and it had already begun to buzz, picking up readings from apparently everywhere. The high ceilinged rooms seemed to be filled with static air. I decided to walk further into the house, trying to find where the readings might be strongest. It was the strangest feeling, like I knew that I wanted to go further in, but there was a tugging feeling somewhere in the back of my mind telling me not to. Like when you know there’s something you should be anxious about but you’ve forgotten what it is. I pressed on though. I wasn’t about to be bullied by some ghost whose whole afterlife was devoted to keeping people out of his 5-million-pound house... Roughly, I looked up the other houses in the area for reference, not the point. I made my way upstairs, and as the readings got stronger, so did the thick static feeling in the air, that and... something else... was that? Yep, smoke. It was definitely smoke. I followed it to one of the bedrooms, where a small fire had started in the centre of the bed. There was nothing that could have caused it nearby, just a sprawling double bed with flames eating away at the duvet. I only panicked for a second, before grabbing the edges of the duvet and balling it up around the flames to snuff them out. I stayed that way for a long time, clutching the material tight against itself, until I unfurled it slowly to make sure it was out. There were some blackened marks where the fire had burned, though no actual damage, like the fire had only been near the material, not on it. And in the centre of the dark smudge sat... A spider. Like. A pretty standard-looking spider. Or it would be standard-looking if it hadn’t seemed to have been born forth from the flames. And, look, I don’t know much about spiders. I generally try to not look too hard at them if I can help it. But this one looked like it was ready to pounce. I just bundled the duvet back up around it, something inside me snapping. “Alright Chuck, buddy, listen here. I know you want me and everyone else out this house, but the sooner you talk to me, the sooner I’ll go.” There were some readings on the EMF meter, but they weren’t as strong as they should have been, so I stormed out of that bedroom and down the hall, peeking my head into each of the rooms that I passed. Of course it was the master bedroom that the readings really picked up. “Alright Charles, no getting rid of me that easy,” I called out. “Tell me about your arsehole son.” That worked. A bit too well, actually. The EMF reader went wild, and in the same rhythm as the pulsing lights, the chandelier — yes, you heard me right, there was a whole entire chandelier — began to sway and shudder. I eyed it cautiously as he spoke, wanting to tell him to stop but unwilling to interrupt now that I’d gotten him going. When he was finished, the static feeling in the air had only increased, and I started to worry that the whole place might ignite. Which, yeah, I know, the sensible thing to do after having that thought is to get out, but my logic was, the sooner I could get enough data, the faster I could leave. So, I spoke again. “Did you know that your son lived a full life, and died of a stroke as an old man four years ago? You’re late. No, er, no pun intended. The family who lives here now belongs to his daughter, what grudge do you have against the granddaughter you never met?” For the first time since I started doing this, I felt suddenly glad that I couldn’t hear what he’d been saying when the readings picked up steam again. They built to a roar, the lights growing brighter and steadier, and when they reached the limits of the cheap EMF reader’s bulbs, I felt the effects in the quaking of the room, the rattling of the chandelier, the faint smell of burning that seemed to fill the whole room. Then everything kind of happened at once. The chandelier finally broke, crashing down in front of me, the glass and metal and shattered bulbs spilling out across the room as I scrambled backwards towards the door, and in the moment of its impact, there was a whooshing of air as something in the room ignited. The flames didn’t seem to catch on anything at all, just that the air filled with them, and they were everywhere. The room thick with smoke and heat and something else, and I couldn’t see the door any more, I couldn’t see anything but the flames that should have been burning me but were just choking me, consuming me in some other way, and I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t do anything, but I used the last of the air in my lungs to scream. Not a scream of terror but more of anger. Maybe I was just growing immune to spooky ghost crap, maybe it was just the class-rage. But I think it surprised him. Enough for the flames to falter just briefly, long enough for me to find the door, stumble towards it, falling back into the hallway and running at full speed downstairs and out the house, seeing the smoke billowing from the window as I tore down the gravel driveway.[Ambience: Spooky music fades out, classical music fades back in]I did call 999. I didn’t think the fire would actually do any damage — It wasn’t really burning me, it was all heat and no bite — But, I thought it best to play it safe. I told the operator to send fire fighters, and that I was a concerned neighbour who happened to know the house was standing empty while they awaited a visit from Better Place, so at least the fire department would know what they were getting themselves into when they came. I didn’t wait around to see them arrive though. At least he gave me enough data to keep me busy for a while. Who knows when I’ll next get a chance to work another case. Frank’s just been here all the time. And when he has gone away, whatever he’s been doing hasn’t been in his schedule so I can’t know how long I have before he comes back. I miss that brief but wonderful time when he was away interviewing all the time. Though, it’s weird... The timing of that doesn’t quite add up. He was interviewing for a full week, then literally the next day, Julia started. Even if she didn’t have any kind of notice period — come to think about it, I don’t think she’s mentioned where she used to work — but even still, it’d surely take longer than a day to get the paperwork through, HR is notoriously slow, and they definitely do not work out of office hours. It’s just weird. I dunno, maybe I’ve just got Julia on the brain. No normal person would be looking this deeply into it. It’s fine, I’ll just plug along tinkering with the recorder after work and hope another chance to work a case comes up soon. Until next time, audio diary.[SFX: Recording Ends]Closing theme begins
Leanne: Episode Five of Tell No Tales, Eat the Rich, was written and performed by Leanne Egan.
If you enjoyed this episode, the best way to support the show is to spread the word. Leaving us a rating and review in your listening app of choice is a huge help, or you can follow us on Twitter or Tumblr @tellnotalespodLinks and information about transcripts can be found in the show notes.Tell No Tales is distributed by Wasting Company Time Productions, under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike 4.0 international license. Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite
Closing theme ends

Transcript: Episode Six - A Visiting

Opening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode Six: A Visiting
Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins]Leo:
Audio diary of Leo Quinn, assistant to Frank Williamson, director of Better Place. Can you believe this? I haven’t had a moment of peace for almost three weeks. And then Riley drops this one on my desk. They say it’s because it’ll give me a much needed break. Get me out of the city for a while. But, I mean, really? Look at this.
Case RM#2233, Category 2, case status-active. Reported by Liverpool City Council, initial report: Dear Ms. Hayworth, Further to our conversation on the phone, I am providing my report in writing as discussed. Regarding the haunting reported in Sefton Park, we received, some time ago, complaints of strange climate phenomena in the section of the park known as the ‘fairy glen,’ in addition to a feeling of being observed, the latter of which we initially took to be an issue with trespassers, though we were unable to locate the purported trespassers. In the last few months this has progressed to reports of strange manifestations in the waterfall which — while I do not have all the details — seem to have sufficiently frightened passersby. Please let me know if you need any further information, but if not, please do send a full invoice for the cost of removal as soon as possible. I’m sure you’re aware the process for funding services like these can be a long and bureaucratic process, so we’re eager to get started right away. Thanks for your help, Meabh Slater, Assistant at the Parks and Greenspaces department.Right so, yeah. Riley thinks it’d be a great idea for me to go up to Liverpool this weekend. Back to the ol’ hometown, see the parents, get out of cold, hostile London for a couple of days. I’m sure they had my best interests at heart but honestly, not sounding like my idea of a break. I do love Liverpool, don’t get me wrong. It’s just... You know how families can be. Especially since Noah... Well, just things have been rough recently. But it’s been so hard to get time to work a case file recently, this is the perfect file. A solid category two, local government bureaucracy providing a perfect window of opportunity, it’s not like I can pass it up. Alright. Okay. I’m doing this. Time to text mum and book some train tickets. See you on the other side.[SFX: Recording Ends]
[SFX: Recording Begins]
[SFX: Nightime ambience, footsteps on gravel]Leo:
(GRUMBLING) Sure, Leo, it’s not that we don’t think your dreams are worth following, only that, you know, we wish you had better dreams. Oh, Leo, it’s just concerning that you moved all the way to London for a science role at your dream company, and now you’re almost thirty, stuck in admin, and they’re still making you work weekends? Why do you have to be in London for an admin job you could do anywhere, Leo? Why not move back home, so you can still be almost-thirty working in admin, but now you can do it while also living with your parents? Because that’d be a step up for sure! Don’t tell, but somehow it’s actually a relief that I’m wandering through an empty park at night in search of a possibly angry spirit. At least here I can make my audio notes in peace. If I waited until afterwards, I’d be trying to make them in my childhood bedroom, with constant interruptions and even more criticism of “they don’t pay you enough to be doing work on a Saturday night!” Which, yeah, true, but I can’t exactly tell them I’m going rogue. This might not be the dream job my parents expected when I told them I was moving to London, but if they’re proud of me for anything, it’s the fact that I’ve been in comfortable, stable employment for seven years. I’m not about to go around telling them I’m putting that on the line on purpose.
(SIGH) It’s fine. Once I get this recorder working, I’ll make a name for myself. Me, and my work, and my invention, will… Go down in history? Which, no, is not the point. The point is to help bring justice to Better Place’s victims. But if a Nobel Prize happens to be a nice little side-effect of that, well, I know I’m not turning my nose up at it. Ugh. Definitely going to have to delete that part if these notes ever do get submitted as any kind of formal evidence against Better Place. Alright, back on track. I’m not far from the fairy glen, which is basically just a little wooded enclosure with a small waterfall in it. Riley couldn’t find anyone who had died in the fairy glen, but they gave me a list of names that their research team dug up, of people who died in about the right time frame and may have had some emotional attachment to the glen. God knows how they managed it. That seems like info you can’t exactly get using key word searches, but hey. Riley’s good at a lot of stuff, but if they’re an expert in anything, it’s digging far too deep into people’s personal lives. So.Er, I think this is it, er, yeah here we are, let me just...[SFX: Footsteps pause while a bag is rummaged through, the EMF reader is pulled out and switched on. Footsteps continue and a rushing waterfall becomes audible]Hey there, spirit. Sorry, I don’t know your name yet, but are you there?[SFX: Buzzing from the EMF reader]Sound. Er. Okay so, here’s how we’ll do it. I’m gonna run through a few names ok? Can you do me a favour and speak only if it’s your name? (LONG PAUSE) I mean, you can speak now to confirm...[SFX: Gentle buzzing]Cool. So, er, Laura Rose? (PAUSE) Roger Sutherland? (PAUSE) Hannah Doherty? (PAUSE) god, sorry, I feel like a teacher. Er... Okay, wait, hang on. This bench, the name looks familiar-- er[SFX: Pages turning]Yes! Matheson![SFX: Louder buzzing]Right! So, you’re Brian Matheson, of course, and the bench... In loving memory of Anne Matheson. Oh. She... She died before you did?[SFX: Buzzing]Did you come here a lot, after she died?[SFX: More buzzing]Do you mind, if I sit?[SFX: Gentle buzzing, Leo sitting on the bench]Just so you know, I work for Better Place. I’m not sure how much I’ve trusted them recently, but if they really do what they promise, they should come soon, and help you move on. I don’t know if there’s... Something, after this in-between, but if there is, you’ll be together again, right?[SFX: Gentle buzzing]I can’t offer much more than that, sorry, but I can sit and chat for a bit, if you like? I don’t want to be presumptuous, just sounds like it might be a bit lonely out here.[SFX: A single, quiet buzz]Yeah. No judgement, I get it. You know I grew up here? But I live in London now. I miss my family, even if they can be... A lot. I miss my old friends. But I love London, and I’ve built a life there, and I sometimes wonder if I’m always going to feel a bit split in two, like half from one place, half from another. Like, take my accent right? I heard myself switch, even just talking to a Scouse ghost. It’s like, when I’m in London, I don’t mean to but I hide it. And I’ll still always be too northern for the likes of some of my coworkers. And then, I’m up here, and my accent comes back but I’ve lost enough of it that I’m still an outsider here. Which, I mean, didn’t mean to make that about me but just to say — I get it. Missing people, being stuck in between, untethered. I don’t like, get it, completely, like obviously your situation is harder than mine just that I (GROANS) I... sympathise.[SFX: Whooshing sound, small buzz](GASPS, THEN CHOKED UP) Oh, wow. This is what you’ve been doing since you progressed to a category two? This is what scared people enough to lodge multiple complaints? It’s... God, it’s beautiful. I’ve never seen a spirit manifest something so... wholesome. Nothing’s bleeding, nothing’s crawling, or burning. You’ve just... The waterfall, it’s glowing. It’s gorgeous. And in the brook, are they... Whatever they are, pale silver, moving around just below the surface, you’ve made this place beautiful, Brian. You’re just here. In the place you came to mourn your wife. Maybe, the place you used to come with your wife, I’m guessing?[SFX: Buzzing]Right, you’re hurting nobody. You’re just existing, peacefully, you’ve made this place better, god, what is wrong with people? For the first time, the fairy glen has actual magic in it. And people are complaining about that?[SFX: Quiet buzzing]Brian, I don’t know you. I don’t know if you need to hear this. But just in case you do, your afterlife, the time you’ve spent here in this glen, it means something. It’ll stay with me forever, at least. So there’s that.[SFX: More quiet buzzing]Hey... Er, this might be a bit of a strange question, especially since I can’t actually hear you. But what’s that like? Loving someone so much. So much that, even after her death, your spirit is still tied to this place, this memory of her?[SFX: Lengthy buzzing, then after a moment, the sound of a text being sent]Sorry (SNIFFLES) god, that must have looked so rude, sorry. I was just... Texting someone. A girl I know. Nothing... No, don’t give me those goosebumps, nothing grand or declarative, just a hi, something to let her know I’m, I dunno, thinking about her or whatever, shut up, it’s nothing. (SNIFFLES AGAIN) Uh, so... Y’know, Brian, while you’ve got me here. A captive audience who isn’t going to run screaming to the council about the scary ghost, is there anything else you wanted to show me? Like, anything else you can do here?[SFX: Small buzzing, then whooshing sound](BREATHLESS) Oh. Oh, wow. I... Were they even rosebuds, originally? Or have you made all of these bloom from nothing? Know what, actually, it doesn’t matter. Either way, they’re... They’re magnificent. Really. Did roses have some kind of significance, for you and Anne?[SFX: Buzzing]Hey, Brian? Why don’t you tell me about her, for a while? I’ve talked so much about myself. I know I can’t hear you, but I can listen. Tell me about your life together. Tell me about what you’ll say to her, when you see her again, wherever it is you go after this. In fact, I know it doesn’t make much of a difference, but I’m going to stop recording my notes, too. I think... I think I want to give you a little privacy to just talk, ok?[SFX: Recording Ends][SFX: Recording Begins][SFX: Nighttime ambience, footsteps on gravel]Leo:
He... He had a lot, to say, did our Brian. It’s... Oh, yikes, it’s nearly three am, okay. I think it was worth it though. Not just for the EMF readings either. Just. I think he needed that. I spend so much time monologuing into these damn audio diaries that I forget how important it is, sometimes, to just have someone listen, you know? (SIGHS) I do feel... I feel like maybe I’ve lied to him though. Like, I’ve led him to believe that Better Place are really on their way to help him. And I don’t know if they are. I don’t know what they do to the spirits once the dispatchers take them to the warehouse. Do they just get destroyed? I... I was raised catholic, but I don’t really have much faith of my own. I don’t know if Brian does. But, I mean, it’s objective fact that something lingers after death, right? Centuries of scientists have studied and proven the existence of, if not souls exactly, something similar. Once a body is burned or buried, there’s something else which can become a ghost. There’s also scientific proof that the place ghosts exist is kind of a — like a different plane, right? Like, this kind of in-between spirit world. It always went a bit over my head, I never was great at the theoretical science stuff, but I mean, the point is it exists. So, there’s probably somewhere like that where the spirits who don’t stay behind go, surely? So, the million dollar question: Do Better Place actually send spirits there? Or do we just destroy them. Because what if, somewhere out there, Anne Matheson’s spirit is just waiting patiently for her husband to join her and he never will because as soon as the council can arrange the payment, Better Place are going to permanently destroy him? I hate this. I hate this job, I hate this company. I hate that people like Frank have enough of a god-complex to think it’s totally chill and cool to just mess around with people’s eternal... like... souls or whatever. Ugh. And I hate that to do anything about it, I have to stay complicit, just a bit longer.
The only thing that’s helping is that tonight, the data I collected, it’s going to help in the end. I know it is. It’s... a means to an... no, no I don’t like that... I just mean, it’ll help. Eventually, the work I’m doing right now... Eventually. Not tonight, though. No. Tonight, I’m going home. Or, my parents’ home. I’m going to hug my mum and dad and apologise for not calling enough, and I’m going to text Riley and thank them for pushing me to come here and I’m going to not check my phone to see if Julia’s texted me back. Yeah, that sounds like a plan for now. At least until tomorrow night when I get on the train back to my other home and can start working on applying these data to the recorder. Yeah. That’s enough for now.[SFX: Recording Ends]Closing theme begins
Leanne: Episode Six of Tell No Tales, A Visiting, was written and performed by Leanne Egan.
If you enjoyed this episode, the best way to support the show is to spread the word. Leaving us a rating and review in your listening app of choice is a huge help, or you can follow us on Twitter or Tumblr @tellnotalespodLinks and information about transcripts can be found in the show notes.Tell No Tales is distributed by Wasting Company Time Productions, under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike 4.0 international license. Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite
Closing theme ends

Transcript: Episode Seven - Reliving

Leanne: Please note that the following episode of Tell No Tales contains instances of body horror, depictions of a violent physical attack, and the character’s resultant experience of trauma - please proceed with caution if you may be affected by any of these issues. Links to the transcript can be found in the show notes if you would like to scan ahead. Take care, listeners.Opening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode Seven: Reliving
Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins]
[SFX: Classical music playing]
Leo:
Audio diary of Leo Quinn, assistant to Frank Williamson, director of Better Place. I’m close. I’m so ridiculously close to having this recorder working. I’m pretty sure a good amount of data from one more category three should do it. Just one solid conversation. Problem is, these days, we just don’t get a lot of category threes. Guess Better Place is too good at its job, because we keep removing the category twos before they can progress, which like, good for Better Place or whatever, but sucks for me. I... kinda... hounded Riley for a case and eventually they passed along this one, it’s the talk of the research department apparently, and er... Well, they were very adamant that I do not go and actually seek this one out. “This is just for desk research, right Leo? You’re not going to put yourself in danger by going to visit this very volatile spirit, are you Leo?” Yes Riley. Exactly, Riley. Of course not, I wouldn’t dream of it. And they never have to find out otherwise. Okay?
[Ambience: Classical music fades out, ominous atmospheric music fades in]Case BL#2225, Category 3, Case Status - Active. Report passed on by City of London Police, victim anonymised for data protection. Transcript of victim's report: Fro- From the beginning? Sorry, I... It’s all a bit muddled, I... Could I get another tea? Thanks. Well. Okay, so I was walking home. I’d just walked my girlfriend back to her place. I live in Whitechapel, which isn’t the safest area, but she’s always talking about how I don’t really get how scary it is for a woman to be walking around by my place after dark, which is fair enough, I suppose, so sometimes when she can’t spend the night I walk her back. Normally I’m fine making the walk back alone, I don’t bring my wallet or anything, just my keys, and I always figure, what’s the worst somebody could do? Mug me? In which case, I’ve got nothing on me worth mugging. B-but, I mean. I didn’t- I wasn’t- There was no reason... Sorry, right, yes. From the beginning. So I was cutting through a side-street, I’d been that way tons of times, but this time, he was... Well maybe not a he... that’s quite... God my girlfriend’s gotten in my head, this isn’t the point. I’d never met a ghost before, but I know people who have, and it felt how they described. Goosebumps, and this horrible feeling, everywhere, in the air, inside my gut, and everything got darker. The streetlights went out, and then... It was like the city went out, the moon went out, it went unnaturally dark, total pitch black, and everything just kind of fell away, like the ground beneath me was swallowed up by the blackness, and all I could feel was a hand closing tight against my throat and... Sorry. Just, was that my tea? Thanks. Um, yeah, so, he- it- had me by the throat, holding me in the air, and I felt it cut into me. I felt the knife... Go... All the way down, from the tip of my scalp, felt the blood spilling over into my eyes and my mouth, then spilling down my collarbone as the- the knife followed, and as it hit my chest it went (CLEARS THROAT) sorry. It went... Deeper. I felt. I felt my lungs... I don’t know, I can’t... It was like they... Just, burst. I felt m-my, my, um. My guts. I heard them fall I- sorry, is there... bathroom, a bin or-(STEADYING BREATHS) I don’t think I’m going to read any more of that transcript. Actually.[Ambience: Atmospheric music fades out, classical music fades in]Maybe Riley wasn’t messing around when they said this was just for desk research. I mean, the guy was fine. Physically. The police report says there wasn’t a scratch on him. Except for some bruising around his neck. Clear finger marks. But, no cuts or anything. The category three held him up by his throat but the rest was all illusion, a manifestation of... Apparently of the spirit’s own murder. It’s not like the original spirit was hard to find. Don’t get too many people who are killed by... Well, not hanged, drawn, and quartered exactly. But whatever the slower, more sadistic version of that is. The coroner’s file of the original murder was more clinical than the transcript of this victim's report, but it looks like the knife was drawn in a kind of cross, from the original victim’s forehead to stomach, then across his chest. Hardly surprising he got stuck behind. It actually sounds kinda rough, for the ghost I mean. He just has to, what, spend eternity reliving his own death? And he seems to be recreating his murder without doing any actual long-term physical harm, at least. Just an apparently quite believable illusion. I’ll be okay, I won’t go too far into the side street. I’ll go on my lunch break, so it’s still daylight. It’s just an illusion. And he’s the only category three we’ve gotten for ages. I really, really think one more category three is all I need to get this recorder working. Sure, I could wait for the next one to come around, but how long will that take? And, in the meantime, how many Brian Mathesons are going to be destroyed just for existing peacefully as spirits? No. I can’t wait. If I have the power to do something, then waiting around just because I don’t want to face some spooky illusion is... inherently unethical. Frank’s away on some workshop thing, it’s unclear exactly what it is from his schedule, but he’s out all day. Which means I can report back after my lunch break. I’ll be fine. Really. I will.[SFX: Recording Ends]
[SFX: Recording Begins]
Leo:(SOBBING, GASPING FOR BREATH, FAILING, SOBBING AGAIN) Sorry. Sorry. Sorry I, thought… I thought I could... (SOBS) No, no, no I can’t[SFX: Recording Ends]
[SFX: Recording Begins]
Leo:
Try again. I’m fine. I’m (FAILS TO SUPPRESS ANOTHER SOB). Physically, I’m fine. I’m okay. (SLIGHTLY STEADIER BREATH) Going in the daytime didn’t help. I just hovered for a while, on the edge of the cordoned-off side street, but the readings on the EMF meter were so faint, I thought, maybe it... it couldn’t hurt to take a few more steps. But it was just like in the police report. As soon as I was properly in the alley, it was as if the sun just went out, the whole place just fell away, the ground beneath my feet, all of it. Everything went dark. And not like any kind of darkness I'd ever known. Not the kind of darkness your eyes can adjust to. Just total blackness. I was just, kind of, suspended, in this void, and the only things anchoring me were the EMF reader in my hand and the... The f-fingers, closed around my throat. I think it was worse, knowing what was coming. I felt the skin split over m-my forehead, and I mean, everyone knows what forehead wounds are like, I felt the rush of the blood, all- all that blood, and my first thought was that, ok, I’m going to die from this. But my second thought was that I knew I wouldn’t. That I’d survive it all, every last second, right the way down to- Well, I’d read the police report. I never rea- I never really expected to live to know how it feels when skin and-and organs just... just give way like... Oh, god. The only thing keeping me steady... the only thing keeping me sane was the, the EMF reader in my hand. Reminding me it wasn’t real, just the manifestations of a spirit. A spirit that, if nothing else, did seem to be... I guess... monologuing? While he... Er... Worked. So there’s that, at least right? There’s a silver lining? Which maybe doesn’t completely make up for how it felt for my... For my... my stomach to... open and (NEVER MIND, THEY'RE BACK TO SOBBING)
[SFX: Knock on door, then door opening}Riley:
So I was thinki- Leo?
Leo:
(STILL SOBBING) hi
[SFX: Door closes, footsteps as Riley approaches quickly]Riley:
Hey, hey, what’s the- Oh shit, Leo, who did that to your neck?
Leo:
So, er, remember the case file you gave me? The- the category three?
Riley:
Leo, no.
[SFX: Riley pulling out a chair and sitting]Leo:
Leo, yes. If ever you’ve got ‘told you so’ rights, now is-
Riley:
Oh, come on, what kind of monster do you think I am, let me look at you, what did it do to you? Right, come on, get your things, I’m taking you to the hospital, now.
Leo:
I- no, really, just my neck. It's just some bruising where it- where he- held me up.
Riley:
Jesus, Leo. Did he-
Leo:
Yeah, the whole thing. It- yeah. Exactly like in the case file. Except it didn't hurt. The knife. They never mentioned that in the file. It didn't hurt. I- Why didn't he mention that, in his report?
Riley:
It didn't sound like the pain was the main problem.
Leo:
No. No it wasn't. Even if it had hurt, it wouldn't have been... God, I'm an idiot. I'm an idiot. The whole point of this was to prove that they're human. That they're people. And I forgot what that meant. I just let myself believe that every single spirit was good or kind or harmless and I got so lost in the tragic backstories and the romances and the powerlessness of spirits I've spoken to that I forgot that the whole point is that humans are flawed and sometimes they're evil and sometimes they're messed up and I forgot, I forgot that humans can hurt people I was such an idiot Riley, such a naive, ridiculous idi-
Riley:
Oi, shut it. Only I get to call you an idiot. And you're not. You're not, Leo, seriously, you get like one instance of total sincerity from me every ten years or so, so pay attention. I have no idea what's going on, I don't know what you're talking about or why you went to see this ghost in person, but I know you're not an idiot. Seriously. You're like, disgustingly intelligent. You’ve got no common sense, to be fair, sure. But you've always had that mind for science, even in school, god it was annoying. You're not an idiot, you're just... You’re an Aries moon.
Leo:
(SMALL TEARY LAUGH) I don't know what that means
Riley:
It means... You're a bit impulsive, but you always go after what you want. It means of course you were going to run headfirst into danger, if you had good reasons. You... had good reasons, right? (LONG PAUSE) What’s the etiquette here, do I have to wait until you’re not hyperventilating to ask what those reasons are, or?
Leo:
You should, but you wouldn’t
Riley:
Accurate
Leo:
Ugh, okay, give me a second to- (SNIFFS, BREATHES, PULLS THEMSELVES TOGETHER). So. The research I’ve been doing
Riley:
The mystery research
Leo:
Yes, that. Well it’s not just, theoretical. I’m working on a device that will let me record the voices of ghosts.
Riley:
(GENTLE GASP) ghost album! Sorry, no, carry on
Leo:
Well, the end goal is to be able to take the statements of the ghosts we capture, and use them to build a case against Better Place
Riley:
Ooooh corporate takedown, this just got exciting. Wait, why?
Leo:
(OUTRAGED) Bec- Because Better Place has no right to decide when to end a life. Whether it’s an afterlife or not. And spirits are still human, so shouldn’t be exempt from human rights, especially in the pursuit of profit for one comp...
Riley:
(OVERLAPPING)... agreed
Leo:
Wait, what?
Riley:
Agreed. It means I agree. I’m on board, what can I do to help?
Leo:
You... Really? it was that easy to convince you to take down the company paying both our salaries?
Riley:
Well, yeah. I work as a researcher, remember. It’s literally my entire job to dig up the humanity of these spirits. Every time we send dispatchers off to dispose of a ghost, I’m the one finding out everything from their middle name to their worst fear. I love research, don’t get me wrong. I love the challenge. I love being given an approximate date of death and a location and being told, ‘here you go, now give us everything you can about who this person was!’ But after a while it takes its toll, having a file full of research that you dug up, feeling like you know this person inside out, then handing that file over knowing it’s going to be used against them.
Leo:
Good point. Guess I didn’t think about it that way
Riley:
Plus your Aries Moon nonsense clearly needs some help from my Virgo Moon
Leo:
I... thought I was a cancer?
Riley:
Keep up, Cancer is your sun sign. Moon signs are different. It’s like you don’t even listen when I tell you things.
Leo:
I listen. You’re a Gemini.
Riley:
That one was easy, I mention it all the time. So. Want to talk about it?
Leo:
You... being a gemini? (LONG PAUSE)... Oh.
Riley:
Yeah, oh.
Leo:
Not that much to tell. I'm just being dramatic, because how can I be so messed up over something that didn't even hurt? It's just... God it's ridiculous but I feel kind of betrayed. Like I was so trusting that I was doing something... good, and that the spirits would know that, that they wouldn't hurt me. Like I said, it was my own stupidity. For forgetting that they're human, that they have the capability to be... awful. God, it was so awful. I won't ever forget how it feels for my stomach to just.. To feel everything just... (SOBBING AGAIN)
[SFX: Fabric rustle as Riley moves closer to comfort Leo]Riley:
Hey, hey, you’re okay. You’re... Recording this?
Leo:
Oh.
[SFX: Recording Ends]Closing theme begins
Leanne: Episode Seven of Tell No Tales, Reliving, was written and performed by Leanne Egan. You also heard the voice of Phil Thompson as Riley Matkins.
If you enjoyed this episode, the best way to support the show is to spread the word. Leaving us a rating and review in your listening app of choice is a huge help, or you can follow us on Twitter or Tumblr @tellnotalespodLinks and information about transcripts can be found in the show notes.Tell No Tales is distributed by Wasting Company Time Productions, under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike 4.0 international license. Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite. Until, of course, they do.
Closing theme ends

Transcript: Episode Eight - Back on the Horse

Opening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode Eight: Back on the Horse
Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins, Classical Music Playing]Leo:
Audio diary of Leo Quinn, assistant to Frank Williamson, dir- nope. No. I can’t do this. There are so many reasons I can’t do this.
Riley:
Come onnn, Leo, yes you can, keep going, this is fun for me.
Leo:
Yeah, that’s one of the reasons. I talk into this recorder alone. It’s the only reason it isn’t mortifying. Like, sure, someone some day might listen to it, but not to my face.
Riley:
You talk shit to me all the time, what difference does a recorder make?
[SFX: Something being thrown, Riley rolling their chair out of the way before laughing evilly]Riley:
Come on, you can do it. It’s been a month, I know the first time back out there is going to be hard, but it’s time to get back on the horse!
Leo:
Was that a pun?
Riley:
(TEASING) Why would that be a pun?
Leo:
Because the case is about a haunting at a stables
Riley:
So you did read the file
Leo:
Reading the file wasn’t the hard part, Riley, it’s the going that’s the problem
Riley:
But reading it shows you’re curious. And I know you. The second your curiosity is piqued, you’re done for. Go on, read out the case. I’ve listened to your old audio diaries now. I know how this goes. First you read the initial report. Or, actually no, first you complain about Frank. Or talk about me. Or swoon over Julia. Oh, we could defo swoon over Julia first if that’ll help.
Leo:
I’ve decided that instead of doing any of that I will simply be passing away, thanks.
Riley:
Audio diary of Leo Quinn, assistant to Frank Williamson, director of Better Place. Sigh. Did you see Julia’s dress last week? I did. She only wore it for about ten minutes after she changed out of her uniform at the end of the work day, but I noticed, because I’m Leo Quinn and I notice everything Julia does because Julia’s a magnificent goddess whom I would lay down my life for in a heartbeat if she asked...
Leo:
(OVERLAPPING)... Okay, Case RM#2245 - Can’t believe you’ve already worked 45 cases this year by the way, nice one.
Riley:
Flattery will get you everywhere, please continue.
Leo:
Uh, Category two, case status-active... Are you sure a category two is the way forward? I mean, shouldn’t I be starting with a category one after last time?
Riley:
Yes, you should. But. You said it yourself, you think the recorder is ready. Which makes sense because you’ve spent the last month doing nothing but tinker with it instead of taking on any new cases—
Leo:
Wasn’t asking for a personal attack but whatever—
Riley:
—And, as you also said yourself, if you test it out on a category one and it doesn’t work, it’ll be pointless because you won’t know if the problem is with the recorder, or if it just doesn’t work on category ones. In fact, we both know that the ideal first trial for your brand spanking new recorder would be a category three, but nobody’s asking you to do that. So. Category two it is.
Leo:
I don’t like it when you’re right
Riley:
I love it, though :)
Leo:
And you’re sure you’re okay to come with me?
Riley:
If you decide to go investigate this spirit, I will be there. If anyone’s getting hanged drawn and quartered this time, I promise it’ll be me... too soon?
Leo:
Definitely... (LONG SILENCE). Alright, fine (CLEARS THROAT) Report made by Hanna Ober via email, initial report:
Hi Alison, Many thanks for your timely response to my email, I am happy to provide the details requested. The property in question is my mum’s old stables in Gloucestershire, a plot of land she used to use to run her business as a riding and dressage instructor. She found, however, about ten years ago, that the horses were becoming very easily spooked, strangely twitchy and unsettled. My mum is a very superstitious woman, and wasted no time moving to a different site. She was never able to sell the land, most prospective buyers passed after being shown the stables, and I remember a couple of them saying that it just had a bad feeling about it. But I’ve recently just gotten into my mum’s line of work, and wanted to fix up the old stables to use myself. A recent visit to the plot, though, alerted me to a new development. I’d brushed it off, at first, as my mum’s superstition, but it’s a bit harder to ignore now. I can confirm it’s definitely a haunting — The first time I went over there, just to assess any damage and weathering over the years, I found myself caught in the middle of a snowstorm in August. It wasn’t just a freak weather incident either, it was only over the stables, the rest of the land was fine. Still I brushed it off, came back again with a contractor, and we were both startled by the sound of screaming. I’ve spent enough time around horses to know the sound of a horse in pain when I hear it, and there were definitely no horses nearby to be making that noise so... near to us. The sound seemed to be coming from inside the stables with us. It isn’t an enormous inconvenience at the moment, we were able to survey the stables despite the screaming and, barring any supernatural snowstorms, we should still be able to make some headway on the reconstruction of the place, but any help you can offer would be appreciated. Best wishes, Hanna Ober
(SLOW CLAP FROM RILEY)Leo:
Can you not?
Riley:
No, I love it. I see why you were always cast as the narrator in school plays, excellent reading voice.
Leo:
I’m not above murdering you.
Riley:
I’d haunt you. And not in five to ten business years either, I’d come right back to annoy you, like, immediately.
Leo:
As long as you’ll still do in-depth ghost-research for me from beyond the grave.
Riley:
Ooh, yeah, good point, read the rest of my file, my beautiful beautiful research.
Leo:
(BIG SIGH) so Riley found that the spirit was likely a teenager who used the stables a little while before Hanna’s mum started using the land. Her name was Anya Rotherham, and she died after coming out to the stables after a fight with her parents, taking one of the horses without proper equipment, and riding out in a snowstorm. The horse got hurt, and so did she, and she wasn’t able to get to a phone to let anybody know where she was. She died of hypothermia the following night. It’d certainly explain the manifestations. She doesn’t seem... violent, at least.
Riley:
No, just scared.
Leo:
Yeah. Thanks for this, by the way. Not just coming along on this one but, being the kind of person who gets it. Who’s willing to put your job on the line to save some ghosts.
Riley:
I’m honestly kind of offended that this was ever in question
Leo:
Yeah. That was daft of me, sorry. Alright. Enough of this, let’s go.
Riley:
Really? We're going?
Leo:
Well, no, we’re not going to Gloucestershire right now, it's low-priority, right? So we've got time, we can go on the weekend, I just mean, it’s nearly six. You really want to be that person still in the office after six?
Riley:
Oh, right, yeah, oh hey maybe we could see if Juuuulliiaaaa is free to go for some after-work drinks tonight...
Leo:
(OVERLAPPING)...Passing away now!
[SFX: Recording Ends]
[SFX: Recording Begins]
Riley:
So are you gonna do the thing?
Leo:
The... thing?
Riley:
You know, when you talk about what happened when you went there, and you get all lyrical and shit.
Leo:
I do not get all... lyrical, and whatever.
Riley:
You do! It’s not a bad thing, it’s nice, feels like I’m there.
Leo:
You were there this time.
Riley:
Humour me. I’ll even get you started — so we went to Gloucestershire over the weekend...
Leo:
(GROANS) okay, fine, yeah we went to the stables. I mean, it’s already winter so when we got there and the temperature dropped, it didn’t feel as menacing as it would have if it had been August, but when we got closer, it got... much, much colder. Colder than I think I’ve ever been in the UK.
Riley:
That’s because you’ve never spent all night in the snow in the UK. According to my research, she was lying in about a foot of snow for almost eighteen hours before she died. The manifested cold probably wasn’t the actual air temperature from the night she died, but something closer to the cold she felt that night.
Leo:
Right. Yeah. Dark. Think I preferred not knowing that actually.
Riley:
It’s literally my job to know that stuff. Hence the willingness to team up against the evil corporation. So, carry on taking down the evil corporation...
Leo:
I mean, not much more to say really, it was cold, then the feeling, y’know, the goosebumps, then the horse screaming, then I asked her questions and tried to record her answers.
Riley:
Wow that’s all you’ve got?
Leo:
That’s all I got.
Riley:
Where’s the lyricism? The drama? In your old recordings there was no “so yeah, there was some blood and maggots and screaming and yeah, then I left.” No! It was all, “and the floorboard creaked beneath my foot, heavy with the sound of the mourning spirit”
Leo:
I have never said those words in my life
Riley:
I’m paraphrasing
Leo:
Yeah, well, maybe I’m just not up for... Not in the mood to- I mean, I’m just impatient to see if it worked, can we just listen to the recording?
Riley:
Fine, fine, go ahead, can you play it here?
Leo:
I think so, the thing doesn’t have audio output, only input — I didn’t think about that, actually, when I was building it, gotta look into adding something like that, but It’s got an external memory storage for the recordings so I can just...
[SFX: Memory storage being unplugged from the recorder and plugged into the laptop, typing and clicking]…cool, yeah, so I can convert it to something that’ll play on my laptopRiley:
Do you always bring your personal laptop into the office with you?
Leo:
Yeah, I’m not going to keep my anti-Better-Place notes on a Better Place company computer am I?
Riley:
Smart. Oh, but this way you still get to waste company time by making your notes during office hours. Love it. It's the small rebellions that count.
Leo:
Exactly. Here, okay. (DEEP BREATH)
[SFX: Mouse clicks, then playback begins. It is vaguely recognisable as speech, but mostly an incomprehensible garbled mess]Leo:
No no no no, hold on
[SFX: Clicks, playback stops then starts again from a different point, still garbled]Leo:
(VOICE THICK) no no no, it can’t not work, it can’t (CRYING)
Riley:
Hey, hey, it’s okay, Leo, we knew it might not, this was a first trial, we’ve got time.
Leo:
No, I know I. I just thought... Ugh. I just hoped that last time would be... Like if it had worked this time it’d be...
Riley:
You hoped that you’d never have to do it again?
Leo:
No not that, I’d still have to interview new spirits with the recorder. It’s (SNIFFS) I just... God it’s stupid. I’d hoped maybe, if last time, Whitechapel, had been the one that got me enough data to get it working that… It’d make it... I don’t know, worth it?
Riley:
Oh, Leo.
Leo:
(LAUGH CRY) Told you it was stupid
Riley:
Not stupid, just... Going through that is never worth it, it’s just... it wasn’t a waste. This is a step by step thing, right? Every bit of research gets you closer. It all adds up. Maybe that wasn’t the tipping point, but now, because of that one, you’re one step closer.
Leo:
Yeah. God, just... It didn’t even hurt, y’know? I don’t know why I’m this...
Riley:
Those bruises around your neck begged to differ
Leo:
You know what I mean. The knife. It didn’t actually hurt.
Riley:
You’re still allowed to be traumatised. Intestines usually stay on the inside.
Leo:
(LONG SILENCE, THEN LEO STARTS TO LAUGH) Yeah. Yeah, I suppose they do, don’t they?
Riley:
Leo, you know I was only so pushy with this case because I thought it was what you wanted. I thought you wanted to get back out there, so I tried to help push you to do that. But if I got it wrong, if it's not what you want, nobody would think any less of you for calling it quits. Whether that's forever, or just for a little while—
Leo:
No, no, you were right, I needed it. It'll get better. Like, exposure therapy, right? I can't go around being afraid of every ghost I meet. Doing this is still too important to me.
Riley:
You haven't talked much about it. Y’know. Since that day.
Leo:
No. No I haven't.
Riley:
Don't you think it would help?
Leo:
Yeah, it probably would.
Riley:
Do you want to?
Leo:
Not really.
Riley:
Okay. Frank’s not coming back today, right? He’s gone for the afternoon?
Leo:
Yeah, he’s gone.
Riley:
Let’s go waste some company time at the pub instead then.
Leo:
(DEEP BREATH) Yeah. Yeah, sounds good.
[SFX: Recording Ends]Closing theme begins
Leanne: Episode Eight of Tell No Tales, Back on the Horse, was written and performed by Leanne Egan. You also heard the voice of Phil Thompson as Riley, with additional voice work by Sophia Leggett.
If you enjoyed this episode, the best way to support the show is to spread the word. Leaving us a rating and review in your listening app of choice is a huge help, or you can follow us on Twitter or Tumblr @tellnotalespodLinks and information about transcripts can be found in the show notes.Tell No Tales is distributed by Wasting Company Time Productions, under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike 4.0 international license. Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite.Closing theme ends

Transcript: Episode Nine - Make Peace

Opening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode Nine: Make Peace
Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins, Classical Music Playing]Leo:
Audio diary of Leo Quinn, assistant to Frank Williamson, director of Better Place. Just me today. Riley’s been an angel but... I need to do this on my own. Or, I need to know that I’m able to do this on my own. I think it’s the only way it’s going to get easier. Just, keep going until it isn’t scary any more. Even Frank’s been acting all concerned. And uh, I cannot stress this enough, I have never seen Frank express an emotion in my life. So if I’m doing such a bad job of hiding the sleepless nights that even Director-Droid is asking me if I’m “quite well” then, something’s gonna have to change. So that’s what this case is for. Riley sent it over because the spirit is confirmed to be... gentle. Which helps. Really, it does.
(CLEARS THROAT) Case AH#2197, Category 3, Case status-Unresolved. Uh, looks like the initial report was pretty standard, transcript of a phone call talking about a haunting at St. Joseph’s church in Muswell Hill. The priest talks about the usual stuff in the call, all the normal category one feelings, which then progress into strange category two manifestations. That’s not the weird part though, the weird part is the follow-up email we’ve got on file, sent shortly before the dispatchers were meant to arrive.Dear Louisa, Many thanks for your kind assistance regarding the arrangement of dispatchers to be sent to the church. While I’m grateful for your help, I’m afraid we no longer wish to move forward with the removal of the spirit. It may seem strange, but we have reason to believe that the spirit belongs to a long-cherished member of our parish, one Mrs. Lilian Daniels. Further, we suspect that her presence at the church is a welcome one, on behalf of both the churchgoers, and Mrs. Daniels herself. We do not wish to be too hasty with her removal, and will trust instead in God’s plan. If we have faith that He does not make mistakes, then we must accept that Mrs. Daniels’s spirit has remained in our world for a reason. Thanks again for your help, Fr. Matthew Richardson.So, yeah, I can see why Riley thought that would intrigue me. I’ve contacted the priest. Again, probably a bad idea to be using contact info from these files — all it takes is one client to take offense and lodge an official complaint — but, I mean, it’s fine, he seemed grateful someone was willing to help communicate with her. He’s going to let me in tomorrow evening, keeping the church empty to give me a chance to interview her with the recorder. Which, I’ve tweaked. I’ve tweaked a lot. I don’t want to get my hopes up again, but it’s undergone a lot of improvements to the way it picks up sound since the last failed attempt. Either it’ll work or it won’t, I’m... going to deal with it either way, but, statistically, it has a much better chance of working than last time. So that’s something. At least. Uh, more after I visit the church, I suppose.[SFX: Recording Ends][SFX: Recording Begins, Mouse clicks and classical Music begins playing]Leo:
So that was... I don’t wanna say revelatory? That feels like a bit much. But it was intense that's for sure. Even just the smell of a Catholic Church is a lot for me though. Smells like childhood masses and school assemblies. That wasn’t my main concern though, you know? I er, I may have had my issues with the Catholic Church as a teenager but I’ve made my peace with that by now. It’s what was waiting inside for me that was the main issue. Father Matthew found me outside, sat on the ground, having a whole entire panic attack, about twenty minutes after we agreed I’d show, which, not ideal. But he just sat down next to me. And I won’t lie, it all got a bit “forgive me father” which felt ridiculous but it... kind of helped. I'm not sure he was acting as a conduit for God or anything in that moment, especially since I'm not sure it actually counts if you're sitting with your backs against the outside wall of the church instead of being inside it. So no, I didn't chat with God through him but he was a person who wanted to help, to listen. And that's what I needed I think. He asked me what was wrong, and he let me tell him, in my own time, why I didn’t feel like I could face Mrs. Daniels. So, side note, think I’m going to have to start saving to go back to therapy because that right there? Magnificent. Delicious. Finally some good serotonin. It’s almost as if working through trauma instead of repressing it can... help? Anyway, saving that breakthrough for my actual therapist when I get back in touch with her.
So yeah, after I talked to him, he talked to me. He told me about Mrs. Daniels, who she had been in life, how devoted she’d been to the church for about 65 years, since she moved to the area after marrying her husband at twenty years old. All stuff the research team had found, but it felt different hearing it from somebody who knew her.[SFX:Classical music fades out, heartfelt atmospheric music fades in]After her husband died, her daughter grown up and living in Australia, she became even more devoted to the church and the community. That was only a few years after Fr. Matthew took over, and she had basically become his mentor, introduced him to the parishioners, organised all the fundraising, the community events. Her funeral was the biggest turnout the parish has seen. It took a few years for her spirit to manifest as a category one, he told me. They didn’t notice it right away, because she didn’t manifest in a way that screams ghost. Or at least in a way that would pull up the answer of ghost after googling it. Sure there was that feeling of... something, but it was warmer, less a feeling of being watched and more a feeling of being... Well he described it as feeling seen. They reported her when she started manifesting as a category two almost ten years later. It started with small things, gusts of wind, the light coming through the stained glass strangely and unnaturally, and then... so, apparently a few too many parishioners started having the same religious experience during mass. The same bright light appearing from no apparent source, the same hymns being played by the organ without anyone there to play them. That was when they realised who she was, that she was harmless, as much part of the community as any living soul in there. So they’ve decided to let her stay, at least until she manifests to a strong enough category three to make her own feelings on the subject known. It helped a bit, hearing about the woman on the other side of the door. The kind, helpful, beloved woman who no longer has a voice. The exact kind of spirit that I’m fighting to help here. And after a while he helped me stand — which felt ridiculous because he’s gotta be at least eighty and he was offering me a hand up — and we went inside.I felt it right away. That strange feeling. So similar to all the other ghosts but just off enough to feel... uncanny. Like the difference between a smirk and a genuine smile. Same thing on paper but... it’s a feeling. He offered to stay while I talked to her, but that felt kinda like... Missing the point of trying to find out if I could do it on my own, so he stepped out for a bit while I settled into the pews. “Hi, Mrs. Daniels,” I called out, and I felt that warmth embrace me as if in answer and it felt like it should have been impossible to feel afraid in that moment but I did. I really, really did. But I didn’t seem to be about to have another panic attack, so I pushed on. “Your community really loves you, you know. I’ve only ever seen one other spirit with an after-life support network, and he’s able to write witty notes to them. You don’t even have that advantage so I’d say you’re kind killing it on that front.” There was a sound from the organ, a shuddering of strange, gentle notes. I think it was laughter. Or the closest approximation she had to audible laughter. “So I have this recorder,” I told her, holding it up for her to see, even though I didn’t really know where she was. Nobody’s actually 100% sure whether category ones and twos are, anywhere, really, or just kind of everywhere. But I held it up for her, just in case. “If you’re willing to talk to me, I think it could capture your voice. Which could help Father Matthews understand if you’d like to stay, or if you’d prefer for Better Place to come and help you...” I struggled for a second. I didn’t want to say ‘move on.’ Didn’t want to imply to a religious woman that dispatchers would get her into heaven. It felt like too much of a lie, even without knowing for sure. “Help you leave,” I settled on. A small light burst forth from the ceiling, which — a bit too on the nose if you ask me but, I took it as a yes, turned my recorder on, and let her talk. The built in EMF meter still gives out digital real-time readings, so even though I couldn’t play it back right away, I knew when she was speaking and when she wasn’t. We stayed there for a long time, her talking, me listening, breathing in that smell, that old familiar smell, letting my breaths grow steadier and steadier. I will get over this. One ghost at a time. When she was done, I went back to speak to Father Matthew, thanked them both for their time, and collapsed right into bed.[SFX: Atmospheric music fades out, classical music fades back in]I don’t know if you’ve ever had a panic attack but it’s kind of knackering, yknow? Knackering enough that I didn't even have the energy to stop and see if it worked. But I've got an empty office again now and I’ve transferred the file over, time to see if it worked.[SFX: Mouse clicks and classical music stops]I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna press play. I swear I am. I’m gonna do it.... Any second now. (DEEP BREATH) Christ’s sake pull it together Leo, okay. Okay.[SFX: Mouse clicks, then playback starts to run. Less garbled than last time, but still mostly undecipherable. Mouse clicks again, and the recording stops]Okay, not the end of the world. Not the end of the world, right? It sounds better than last time at least, so that’s... Let me just see if it’s the same the whole way through…[SFX: Multiple clicks, as playback starts up in a different position each time, plays briefly, then stops, a number of times]Lillian (On recording):
(Just barely audible) I haven’t lost my faith…. My purpose to be here, to keep helping…. Made peace with that.
[SFX: Mouse click, playback stops]Leo:
(LONG EXHALE) Holy... those were words, right? Words!!! Actual words!!! Right??
[SFX: Mouse click, playback starts again]Lillian (On recording):
(Just barely audible) I haven’t lost my faith…. My purpose to be here, to keep helping…. Made peace with that.
[SFX: Mouse click, playback stops]Leo:
(SQUEALS) Oh my god. Oh my... Okay. Right. I can work with this. I can, uh, I can run it through some editing software maybe, see if I can clean up the audio a little, and... Actually, maybe that will help me figure out what’s making it so distorted, I can build in something to the recorder to clean up the audio in real time. I could... Woah. This could work. I’m gonna. Yeah, er... The workday is almost over, but I’m going to take my laptop home tonight and work on this for as long as it takes. (SQUEALS AGAIN) this could really work! Wish me luck!
[SFX: Recording Ends]
[SFX: Recording Begins]
Leo:
(SLEEPILY) Uh, post-script. It’s about three am. I’ve been working on this for a while. It’s coming together, I just. I remembered something. St. Joseph’s church. That’s where Mrs. Daniels was. I knew it was familiar. I’d almost forgotten. But there’s a part of the audio, it’s still barely audible but I realised I knew what she was saying because... I know it by heart. It’s the prayer to St. Joseph. Mum got really into praying to him directly during the last few... When Noah started getting really bad. It’s long, I won’t bore you with the whole thing, but the end I remember pretty vividly. “Saint Joseph, Patron of departed souls – pray for him.” Or, pray for me, I think it was supposed to be. Mum always said him. (SIGH THAT TURNS INTO A TIRED LAUGH). Ugh, it just... the universe has a sense of humour sometimes you know? Or... At least, a sense of, I dunno, symmetry? I wonder what Noah would think of this whole thing. I should get some sleep. I will. Er, soon. I’m just going to work on this a little bit longer...
[SFX: Recording Ends]Closing theme begins
Leanne: Episode Nine of Tell No Tales, Make Peace, was written and performed by Leanne Egan. You also heard the voice of Courtney Levin as Lilian Daniels.
If you enjoyed this episode, the best way to support the show is to spread the word. Leaving us a rating and review in your listening app of choice is a huge help, or you can follow us on Twitter or Tumblr @tellnotalespodLinks and information about transcripts can be found in the show notes.Tell No Tales is distributed by Wasting Company Time Productions, under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike 4.0 international license. Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite.Closing theme ends

Transcript: Episode Ten - A Tale to Tell

Opening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode Ten: A Tale to Tell
Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins, sounds of traffic and hurried footsteps]Leo:
Hi, hello, it works. Er, I mean, audio diary of Leo Quinn, assistant to Frank Williamson, etcetera, it works! I think. I’m mostly sure. I spent all night a while back cleaning up the audio of Mrs. Daniels’s interview, and it was so close to being right. There are snippets that are really clear, and some parts that still aren’t audible, but that’s okay. That was last week. I spent all weekend working on the recorder itself, running through ways to tweak the way it picks up sound but also trying to implement some real-time audio-cleanup so that there’s less, I suppose it’d be called post-production? Makes it sound way less nerdy when I call it that. Like I’m in Hollywood or something. Anyway, uh, I’m on my way to Stephen’s house, well, Kara and Lynne’s house. I’m holding my phone like I’m on a call — I mean it’s London I don’t think anyone would exactly care if they saw me talking to myself, but anyway — I’m just so... I kind of rushed here, as soon as I was done. I want Stephen to be the first voice I capture on this recorder, or at least, I mean, the first voice I capture... Properly, y’know? Now that I'm confident it works. His statement could mean everything in this fight. Hell, if I can eventually get this thing to record and playback in real time then we could even make a case for Stephen going up against Better Place in court, how cool would that- oh! This one, I think, uh...
[SFX: Doorbell rings, after a moment, footsteps rush closer and door opens]Kara:
Leo! Uh, hi? Why...
Leo:
Hi, Kara! Sorry, crap I should have called. Sorry. Just, it works I think. I mean it’s ready. The recorder. For... Stephen?
Kara:
Yeah, yeah, I remember- Really? It’s ready? We could hear his voice?
Leo:
Yep. Not right away obviously, It’ll probably need some editing after, it’s not... it’s not perfect yet but it’s... it works. Can I come in?
Kara:
Oh, yeah, of course.
[SFX: Footsteps, door closes, traffic fades away]Kara:
Lynne’s out with the kids at tennis, yeah, it uh, it keeps their energy down which god knows we need every now and then, hang on... Stephen, you still there?… Leo? You... Okay?
Leo:
Yep. Yeah, I'm. I'm alright. Sorry. Had a bit of a bad experience recently. But Stephen... I know Stephen. And he doesn't... You know, the feeling? The goosebumps feeling? He doesn't do that—
[SFX: Sounds of a marker writing on a whiteboard]Leo:
(LAUGHING NERVOUSLY) Thanks, Stephen, I appreciate it. And it's good to see you too.
Kara:
They’ve got the recorder working, apparently, you ready?
[SFX: More writing on the whiteboard]Leo:
I mean, you can’t just tell us you’ve been singing to warm up your vocal chords then not tell us what you’ve been singing
Kara:
(SCOFFS) I’m willing to bet it’s Frozen if his choices on film night are anything to go by. Every single time he gets to choose — no, Stephen, don’t even try to defend yourself —every single time, he always sides with the kids. Some tie-breaker he is.
Leo:
Well, if we get this working properly, like real-time playback someday, then you’re going to have to find some other musicals to watch as a family because you’re all gonna get real sick of hearing Stephen singing Let it Go 24/7
Kara:
Worth it
Leo:
Ok Stephen, let’s sit.
[SFX: Sounds of everyone sitting on the couch]Leo:
So, I’ve got some questions I’m going to ask. I won’t be able to hear you right away, but I’ll be able to see when you’ve stopped talking, so just, if you’re ready for the next question, just a good long pause should do it ok? And- and don’t worry if there’s anything you don’t get to say this time around, there’ll be more conversations. This isn’t a one-time thing, okay? Okay, let’s get— oh, wait, I should turn this off— just in case, feedback or something…
[SFX: Recording Ends][SFX: Recording Begins, office phone making an outgoing call]Kara (Over phone):
Hello?
Leo:
Kara! It worked. It, I mean, it’s not perfect but it worked, I’ve been editing it like non-stop since yesterday and it’s ready.
Kara (Over phone):
Fuuuck me — Oh, Lucy, do not repeat what mama just said. Lynne! Get in here and tell Lucy to not repeat what mama just said! I’m stepping outside! (WHISPERED) holy shit, really?
Leo:
(LAUGHING) Yep, really really. I’ve cleaned up the audio, and I’ve added a voice over to include the questions I asked him, so that there’s more, y’know, context for his answers. I can send it, right now, does email work?
Kara (Over phone):
Yeah, yeah, sure please do! I’ll, uh, I’ll text you my email
Leo:
Great, it’s an MP3, so it’ll just play on your laptop or anything else, so you can listen right away
Kara (Over phone):
That’s perfect, everyone’s home so we can listen right now, that’s... Thanks, Leo. Thank you.
Leo:
Nah, don’t thank me. You’re the one who made Stephen feel safe. You gave him a voice I just... y’know, caught it on tape.
Kara (Over phone):
(SNIFFS) o-kay, cheesy, what are you trying to keep a record going of making me cry every time we speak?
Leo:
(LAUGHS) sorry, sorry, I’ll go, I’ll send it right over. But I’ll keep in touch, ok? This isn’t the last you’ll hear of him, or me.
Kara (Over phone):
Holding you to that. Speak soon, Leo
Leo:
Yeah, speak soon.
[SFX: Phone being hung up]Leo:
Okay, let me play it back for the scientific record.
Leo (On recording):
(ON RECORDING) So, Stephen, can you tell me a bit about yourself? Just the basics for now, full name, date of birth, just to confirm your identity?
Stephen (On recording):
Of course, my name is Stephen Pritchard, I was born on the 5th of March, 1934. I inherited my father’s accounting company, but sold off my shares and invested them instead of working. There was too much risk of losing my job if anybody found out about my partner, Arthur. I died here, in this home in Islington, with Arthur by my side in 1979, at 45 years old. My heart, I believe. My father had passed away fairly young due to heart problems of his own.
Leo (On recording):
Okay, and can you tell me a little about your after-life, before you met the family you currently live with?
Stephen (On recording):
Yes, I, um... Excuse me. I haven’t had any reason to talk about this for a while. I haven’t had any reason to talk at all for a while. I believe my soul was tethered to this home because Arthur remained here, after I died. He lived alone here for another thirty years. Or, not alone. He was never alone. I think he knew, I think he could feel my... I don’t know what to call it, presence? He would speak to me sometimes. Uncertainly, like he wasn’t completely sure I was there, but like he was trusting that I’d hear him either way. I spoke back, but he never heard me. That was okay. As long as he trusted that I was listening. I could feel myself... Getting stronger, I suppose is the best way to explain it. Over those years with him.
It wasn’t until a few years after he died, though, that I became able to touch things, knock things over. Almost like a person again. That was the moment I accepted that this is what I am now. After Arthur passed, I kept waiting to move on too. Like I would simply fade from existence without him there to anchor me. To dissolve into nothingness, or, preferably, wherever Arthur’s soul was. But that was, well, concrete proof, I suppose, that I was not going to do anything of the sort. I was becoming more alive, not less. The house was bought by a landlord who spent some time redecorating before he finally found tenants, and I tried so hard to make myself small when they moved in. I couldn’t leave the house, and it isn’t big -- despite our parents’ wealth, we were hardly flush with cash ourselves, two men living together in our day, it didn’t exactly invite confidence from employers or investors.
We lived modestly to make sure that what we did have was enough to keep us in comfort for the rest of our lives. But that meant that after, there was nowhere to hide. I would spend every day trying to keep silent and unnoticed, moving out of the way of tenants, but... Well, I’m a little clumsy. It would always end the same way. I’d knock something over, bump into something or someone in my haste to move away, and they’d get frightened. Horrified. I became something horrifying.
For two decades, the only words that ever passed my lips were the mumbled apologies that would slip out instinctively whenever something went wrong. Always unheard. A few tried to get the landlord to cover the cost of a visit from Better Place, but those that did usually spent a few weeks complaining about the reluctant response they received before eventually moving on. Nobody ever stayed longer than a year. Most were students, young professionals, a year long contract before they changed jobs, left university, fell out with old friends and housemates and moved in with new ones elsewhere. Until Kara and Lynne. Apparently the landlord had reduced the rent in order to encourage the next tenants to sign a lengthier contract. I suppose that worked well for us all.
Leo (On recording):
So, when Kara and Lynne moved in, can you tell me about how you became part of their family?
Stephen (On recording):
Kara and Lynne... It took less than a day before they changed my life. Or, after-life I suppose. I knocked over a lot of boxes on moving day, scared the kids. Kara just took it all in stride, consoled poor, crying Mikey by telling him that I was nothing to be afraid of. That I just lived here and that they should all try and be nice guests in my home. Course they didn’t know it was me yet. But it was still nice to hear, nice to be faced with kindness instead of fear or derision. That night, after everyone had gone to bed, she took out a... (LAUGHS) a ouija board. We got as far as my name before I gave up and spelled out the word ‘pen’ instead. It went against every instinct I’d cultivated over the last twenty years to pick up the pen she handed me. Every part of me that worked so hard to stay quiet, small and apologetic. We stayed up late, and she asked me questions, and I wrote my answers down, her eyes watching the movement of the pen like she was seeing a miracle happen. I made her laugh. I got bold, and witty, things I hadn’t even really been in life. Arthur was all of those things, but I felt him with me that night. “There are no awards for subtlety, Stephen,” he used to say. I felt the truth of that that night. Lynne took a little longer to win over, but her trust, once earned, is worth having. They built me into their lives, piece by piece. A whiteboard in every room, so that I can communicate wherever I am. An armchair just for me so that nobody has to double-check if I’m already sitting on the couch before they sit. Or, more like, nobody can forget to double-check. Always awkward, when that happens. The kids show me their drawings, come rushing home from school to tell me about their days, Lynne will come to me to talk about her manager at work, or chat to me while she cooks. Kara looks up information on my life. Shares with me what she can, tells me about the people I knew, what happened to them, their kids now, grandkids. They can’t hear or see me, but I feel seen, and heard. That’s what counts. That’s... Yes, that’s what counts.
Leo (On recording):
Thanks, Stephen. Just, one last question. Do you have anything you’d like to say, about Better Place and their removal of ghosts?
Stephen (On recording):
Well, it’s strange. A few years ago, I would have welcomed Better Place. Regardless of what happened to me after. My existence was... at times I almost believed that I was in hell, after all. So many years of isolation. There were times I thought that perhaps Better Place might not really take me to where Arthur was, but I didn’t care. As long as I was gone. I’m so glad they didn’t. I never told anybody this but there were moments, many moments, actually, in life, where I felt the same way. Had somebody offered to resolve the issue during my lifetime it would have been called murder. Regardless of how nicely I asked. In life, things got better when I met Arthur. Not all the way, but mostly. In my after-life, Kara and Lynne were the ones who brought happiness back to me. Everyone deserves the chance to live long enough to see the other side. If you’ll... forgive the pun.
Leo (On recording):
And, just before I go, is there anything else you’d like to say?
Stephen (On recording):
Just... Thank you. To all of you. To Kara, and Lynne, and little Lucy and Mikey. For the kindness. For the armchair reserved just for me, for the framed photo of Arthur on the wall. For playing chess with me and setting books aside for me and for asking my opinion on film nights. For letting me become part of your family. I know you know it. I know I write it often. But I’d like you to hear it from me. For you to know the extent of my gratitude. And to you Leo. I don’t know why you’ve worked so hard to allow me to speak to my family, but I’m grateful to you for that too. Thank you.
Leo:
(NO LONGER ON RECORDING). Oh god, now I’m going to cry again. I can’t believe this. I. This. This is... It changes everything. Not just for Stephen. But... Everything. This can help people. Holy shit this can really help people. I just listened to a ghost thank me for my work in his own voice. A voice of a man that died fifty years ago. He’s been dead fifty years and I had a conversation with him and heard what he had to say! Holy shit! I’ve got to... I don’t know I’ve got to do... something, maybe find another—
[SFX: Mobile phone ringing](LONG PAUSE) That’s... Julia? Why is Julia calling me? Oh. Crap. I need to answer I... Er...[SFX: Recording Ends]Closing theme begins
Leanne: Episode Ten of Tell No Tales, A Tale to Tell, was written and performed by Leanne Egan. You also heard the voices of Chris Caserini as Kara, and Cameron Gergett as Stephen.
If you enjoyed this episode, the best way to support the show is to spread the word. Leaving us a rating and review in your listening app of choice is a huge help, or you can follow us on Twitter or Tumblr @tellnotalespodLinks and information about transcripts can be found in the show notes.Tell No Tales is distributed by Wasting Company Time Productions, under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike 4.0 international license. Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite.Closing theme ends

Transcript: Episode Eleven - A Dozen or So Cats

Opening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode Eleven: A Dozen or so Cats
Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins, mouse clicks and classical music begins playing]Leo:
Audio diary of Leo Quinn...
[SFX: Door Opening]Riley:
(OVERLAPPING) ...Leo. Quinn. What new plane of idiocy have you transcended to today?
Leo:
I see you got my text
Riley:
You mean your idiot text that you typed with your little idiot hands controlled by your smooth smooth idiot brain? Yeah I got that one
[SFX: Office chair being rolled out and Riley sitting down]Leo:
It’s not- I think I’m being quite sensible actually, I’ve--
Riley:
The girl you’ve been pining over for like, three months has finally asked you on a date and you think deciding not to go is sensible? In what universe?
Leo:
I haven’t been-- I’m not-- it’s not a date. She doesn’t like me like that, she just... I think she’s been trying to get something from me?
Riley:
Do you want me to offer some suggestions of what she’s been trying to get from you?
Leo:
NO! I- didn’t mean-- not-- I mean like, I think... She’s been weird, the last few times we spoke, I think she wants... information from me?
Riley:
Information? Like, oh, I don’t know, where you grew up? Your favourite colour? Or whether or not you’re a dessert person?
Leo:
No like, about Frank. About my job and what I’ve been working on.
Riley:
Oh so like, what you do for a living and what your hobbies are?
Leo:
No shut up, you know what I mean
Riley:
I absolutely promise you I do not
Leo:
I think she’s... Ugh, it’s gonna sound so paranoid, but I think she’s maybe... investigating me or something? It explains why she’s been so interested in me...
Riley:
She LIKES you!
Leo:
AND ever since you mentioned I’ve been working on a project, she’s been relentless
Riley:
She’s flirting! Teasing you about your mystery project, she probably thinks you’re flirting back by being coy about it
Leo:
Or, she already has an idea of what it is and is trying to get more information to (INCREASINGLY MUMBLY) Dunno, tell Frank or something
Riley:
(LONG PAUSE, THEN LAUGHTER) You’re willing to believe that Julia, sweet, pretty, dorky Julia, is working for Frank, before you’d believe that she has a crush on you? Nope, Nuh-uh, give me your phone
[SFX: Sounds of a Scuffle]Leo:
H-Hey! No! Stop! I’ll bite you...
Riley:
(VOICE CLOSER THAN BEFORE) Are you recording this?
Leo:
I was recording a diary entry, then this interrupted
Riley:
(TONGUE PULLING NOISE. YOU KNOW THE ONE)
Leo:
Really, sticking your tongue out at me?
Riley:
I’ll leave you to your notes, but call her back, tell her you’re free. Don’t be a pussy!
Leo:
Don’t be a bitch!
[SFX: Door Closing]Leo:
Ugh. Anyway. (READING THROUGH GRITTED TEETH) So, Case NA#1806, Category two (unconfirmed), Case status-Report received. Initial report made via email by a Miss Lacey Warner.
Hi, I hope this is the right email address. I’m a volunteer at Edna’s Cat Sanctuary in Watford, and I’m writing about a haunting at the sanctuary. I’m not sure I have the authority to initiate any action, but I don’t know what the long-term effects of a haunting are for the animals we take in, so it feels like I have a kind of duty to at least report it. It started with the smallest thing, cats all staring at the same spot, turning suddenly spooked, hackles coming up out of nowhere, but we all dismissed it. That’s what cats do, right? Their whole thing, like a running joke that cats are always the first to see ghosts. It isn’t true, they just have much sharper senses than us, they see insects that we don’t, feel drafts, hear sounds, that kind of thing. But then, we started to feel it too. Like something would catch our eye but there’d be nothing there. Strange chills and shivers. A feeling like we were being watched, though that’s not unusual in a cat sanctuary. Then... it got weirder, the food bowls kept refilling themselves, toys started spinning and moving on their own, lights flickering whenever a cat would get angry or stressed. I’ve been volunteering here since I was a teenager, but the older ladies who founded the place are really tight-lipped about it if anyone mentions it. They’re normally so chatty and lovely, but if anyone so much as draws attention to the self-feeding food bowls or any of the other bizarro stuff happening, they just turn ice cold. They’re devoted to the place, so I’m sure they’ve got the best interests of the sanctuary at heart, but I thought it best to just send in a report. You can reach out to them using the sanctuary’s number or email address I’ve pasted at the end of the email, just please don’t mention my name if you do. Let me know if you need any more info. Best, Lacey.Urgh. Okay, so I can’t be too mad at Riley, since they’re the one who forwarded me this. It’s kind of perfect, sounds like it could be another Stephen-style scenario. Customer services reached out but were turned away by the two women who run the place. And pit’s erfect timing too. Frank’s AWOL again, with his schedule just blocked out for the afternoon with some vague workshop thing, so I’m gonna leave work a bit early, and I’m gonna approach these ‘older ladies’ with hopefully a bit more tact than I approached Lynne and Kara with. Here’s hoping we get a second statement by tomorrow. It’ll give me something to work on editing tonight while not calling Julia back. Ugh, okay, bye.[SFX: Recording Ends][SFX: Recording Begins]Leo:
I’m not sure I’ll ever be over this. Like, how many successful recordings before I stop thinking “this is so cool this is so cool this is so cool” the whole time I’m cleaning up the audio? Because I can tell you, it’s not two, that’s for sure. I don’t think it’ll be three, or four either. God, this is just so frickin’ cool.
[Ambience: Heartfelt atmospheric music fades in]So, a little context first, I decided to call them before I made the trip out to Watford. I didn’t tell them I was from Better Place this time, though. I told them I was a PhD student, preparing a thesis on human rights law, and I was building an argument that spirits deserved to be protected under the Human Rights Act. Then I asked them, confident as anything, if there was a convenient time for me to come and communicate directly with the spirit residing in their property. Which, if I do say so myself, was smooth as hell of me. Like, I just said it with such confidence, the fact that they had a ghost wasn’t even in question, they didn’t even try to deny it, they only asked how I’d communicate with her. So. “Her.” That was something. I told them about the recorder, and they invited me over that evening. When I got there, I was plied with tea and biscuits from Rita and Peggy right away, the two sweetest and most foul-mouthed little old ladies I have ever met. I swear, they dropped the f-bomb about as often as they said the words “love” and “sweetheart,” I’m obsessed with them. Anyway, they told be about their best friend, Edna, the sanctuary’s namesake, who died about ten years ago, when they were all in their mid-sixties. Rita and Peggy had husbands at the time, but Edna didn’t. Edna didn’t need a man, Edna had, oh, about a dozen or so cats. And counting. When she got sick, she’d been so worried about who would look after her cats, and Rita and Peggy said they would. But when Edna passed, their grief was enormous. They’d met in school. Best friends for almost fifty years. How do you move past that? So they wanted to honour her life by setting up a shelter, not just looking after her cats, but any cats who needed it. When her spirit manifested, it manifested here, and they knew it was her. The way she cared for the cats, they told me, it made sense that she’d stay to make sure they were being looked after. They took me in to see the cats after that, and I felt her presence instantly, that chill down to my bones that ever since Whitechapel still makes my chest feel tight and my skin feel clammy and cold. But Rita squeezed my shoulder and told me they’d both like to stay, and I nodded, and I was able to take a deep breath, and then another, and then I took out the recorder and explained to Edna why I was there. She didn't need much coaxing to get chatting. I’ll, uh, I’ll just play the recording.Leo (on recording):
Okay, Edna, can you tell me a little bit about who you are?
Edna(on recording):
Oh, I’m just Edna. Edna Miller, born and bred here in Watford. A lady never reveals her age, but I’m sure those old gossips have already told you my date of birth. We met in secondary school, first day, eleven years old. We did everything together, they married their husbands within a month of each other. We all moved into the same street. They were godmothers to my cats, and I was godmother to all of their beautiful children. And the ugly ones (CHUCKLES). I liked Eastenders, and bingo, and don’t tell but a little bit of the wacky baccy to help with my arthritis. That’s about it for the basic biography.
Leo:
And can you tell me why you think your soul has stayed behind here in the sanctuary?
Edna:
Well why else? The loves of my life. They think it’s the cats, the daft bints. And I did love my cats, I’m so happy that they honoured me with this sanctuary, but it wasn’t the cats that kept me here. It was my best friends. They’re both widows now. My cats have them, but they only have each other. I never married, never needed anybody but my best friends and my cats, already had enough love in my life, but for them it’s more difficult to accept that kind of untraditional love without their husbands. When I came back, I was disoriented, apparently quite some time had passed between my death and when I became, let’s say, conscious enough to understand what was going on. But I saw them grieving not only me, but their husbands, and I wanted to help. So that’s what I do now. I feed the cats, play with them, because they dedicated this sanctuary for me, and I could ask for nothing better than to spend my afterlife playing with cats and making my best friends’ lives just a bit easier.
Leo:
And I hear Rita and Peggy have received contact from Better Place but turned them away. I’d like to know what your thoughts on Better Place’s business practices are?
Edna:
If you’re asking me if I’d like to die for good, then I’d tell Better Place, as Peggy would say, to stick that offer so far up their arsehole they could snorkel with it. I’m happy here. Happy with my friends, happy taking care of the cats. Why would I want to leave? Maybe once Peggy and Rita are gone, but even then, only if I could be sure I’d be following them wherever they go. I’ve had a glimpse of the afterlife, and it isn’t half bad. Maybe what’s waiting for me after this is oblivion, maybe it’s hell, maybe it’s heaven. But a one third chance at success doesn’t sound so good when I’m already living a nice cushy after-life as-is, thank you very much.
Leo:
Thanks, Edna. And just before I go, would you be happy with me sending this recording to Rita and Peggy? And if so, is there anything you’d like to tell them?
Edna:
Would I be happy? My dear, if you don’t send this recording to them I’ll consider it such a great personal offense that, well, I’m not so sure I can leave this sanctuary but to haunt you, my love, I’d bloody well give it a try. So, yes, please do. Rita, please stop with the sweets. I know your blood sugar is far too high and I’d like you to be around for a good long while. Peggy, I see you flirting with that young man who volunteers. He is younger than your son and you should be ashamed of yourself. And, I love you both. I’ve spent my entire life with you barmy old slags, and I’d spend an eternity with you too. Thank you for everything.
Leo (No longer on recording):
I think those three are my heroes. Like. My actual heroes. Who I want to be when I grow up. In all seriousness, I really admire Edna's outlook on life. Edna didn’t die alone. She said it herself, she had so much love in her life. She didn’t need romantic love. God I wish that were me. Instead I'm here still pining over a girl who has actually asked me out because I don't believe she asked for the right reasons. Christ, I'm an idiot aren't I. Okay. Okay, yes. Fine. It can't hurt. If nothing else, one little date will at least either confirm or deny my suspicions. And if I get to have drinks with a beautiful woman in the meantime then what's the problem?
[SFX: Typing on phone, text being sent. Short pause, before an incoming text arrives. Leo sighs, then places the phone back down]Right. It was that easy I guess. I’m going on a date with Julia tomorrow. Dinner and drinks. Uhhhh okay, not now, anxiety. Save it for the scary ghosts ok? Just going to not think about it until I have to. Right now, I’m gonna send that interview over to Rita and Peggy. And that’s all I’m gonna think about. And.. Maybe I’ll go see Riley. Admit defeat. And call them a barmy old slag. Think that could be a new pet name we share, don’t you?[SFX: Recording Ends]Closing theme begins
Leanne: Episode Eleven of Tell No Tales, A Dozen or So Cats, was written and performed by Leanne Egan. You also heard the voices of Phil Thompson as Riley, and Asher Amor-Train as Edna Miller
If you enjoyed this episode, the best way to support the show is to spread the word. Leaving us a rating and review in your listening app of choice is a huge help, or you can follow us on Twitter or Tumblr @tellnotalespodLinks and information about transcripts can be found in the show notes.Tell No Tales is distributed by Wasting Company Time Productions, under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike 4.0 international license. Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite.Closing theme ends

Transcript: Episode Twelve - Nothing Left

Opening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode Twelve: Nothing Left
Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins, Classical music playing]Leo:
Audio diary of—
[SFX: Incoming Text]Leo Quinn, Assis—[SFX: Incoming Text](CHUCKLING) Assistant to—[SFX: Incoming Text]To Frank Williamson, director of—[SFX: Multiple incoming texts]Christ, Riley, no, I will not tell you every intimate detail of my date.[SFX: Typing, outgoing text is sent]Er... right yeah, Frank Williamson, director of Better Place[SFX: A frankly absurd number or incoming texts]Alright! Enough of that thank you, you’re going on do not disturb and in the drawer.[SFX: Drawer opens, clattering, then paper rustling]And you, case file, are coming out the drawer because you, sweet sweet case file,[SFX: Drawer closes]are not going to interrogate me for every embarrassing detail from last night. You are not going to ask me if we kissed, and you are absolutely not going to ask me if there’s going to be a second date. Because you, case file, are polite like that. Right, so. Case JH#20106, Category one, case status-Unresolved. Reported by David Lowell via email, initial report:To Whom it May Concern, I'm writing to report a haunting on some property I have just acquired. I bought a plot of rural land as part of an upcoming business venture at a highly discounted rate due to there being an old defunct railway track running through part of it. My plan was to tear up the old tracks to build on the land, but it appears there is a stretch of it that we are unable to remove. Construction workers have removed as much of it as they can, but for this specific stretch, they report a feeling of... Well, it sounds utterly ridiculous when I try to put it into words. But they described a feeling of melancholy, too strong to continue working. And you have to understand that these are very, let's say, stoic working class men. I do believe the situation would have to be somewhat extreme to warrant a complete refusal to go anywhere near the tracks again. Please let me know if there's anything I can do to help to speed this process up, and do get back to me with a quote as soon as possible so that I can re-work the construction budget around this new cost. Kind Regards, David Lowell
Okay, so, classism and toxic masculinity aside.... I mean, yeah, sounds like the perfect case for me right now. Remember Montgomery Whitley, buried in the Better Place Mausoleum in Highgate Cemetery? Well, remember how I promised to come back to him once I got the recorder working? Yeah, I still haven't done that yet. Mostly because he was a category one, or at least he was until he went absolutely bonkers and somehow spilled over into category two territory while I was speaking with him. But either way, if he's a brand-new category two, I don't know what kind of effect that'll have on the recorder. The quality was noticeably better with Stephen than with Edna. So, maybe it's not up to scratch for Mr. Whitley yet. And, I really need it to be up to scratch. Whatever he had to tell me, it was a big enough deal to push him over the edge after about a century of sitting quietly as a category one. So, I'm not taking this recorder to him until I'm sure it works. And the only way to know is to try it out on some category ones. And this one, well, this one has the added bonus of sounding an awful lot like the kind of ghost that needs a chance to have their voice heard. Josh was the lead on this case, looks like he found a handful of suicides that took place on this track over the course of the nineteenth century when this train line was active. But once it was narrowed down to the very specific part of the track that can't be removed, it looks like there's just one spirit it could be, a Mary Barker, in 1858. There's not much else on her except the record of her death. Looks like she was a relatively poor unmarried woman, so, no surprise there, I don't think the nineteenth century was exactly kind to any women who weren't already wealthy. Seems the case was dropped by David Lowell a few months after he made the initial report. Keeping the construction crews on standby had been costing too much, so he dismissed them, then couldn't find room in the budget for the dispatchers to come out, so put the whole thing on hold while he regrouped. It doesn't seem to have been reopened since, so seems as good a time as any for me to go. It is a fair distance outside London, but Frank's calendar is once again blocked off all day with this mysterious workshop, and answerphones exist. Plus, it'll give me something to do this afternoon other than sit in the office and stress out about the date and field Riley's calls. I'll hopefully report back from home tonight. See you on the other side!
[SFX: Recording Ends][SFX: Recording Begins, Classical music playing]Leo:
Well. That. Went. It went, for sure. I have been... Trying to process it all night. I listened back to the recording, edited it as best I could, and just couldn't bring myself to make my notes on it until today. So I'm back in the office, Frank's in a meeting, and I'm going to try to just start from the beginning.
It all started off pretty standard. I took a train over to the nearest town, then a smaller train over to the nearest village, then took a long walk into the countryside to find the lot that David Lowell bought back in 2019. It really was in the middle of nowhere. Thankfully, knowing that he's kind of abandoned his work on it meant there was less risk of being done for trespassing, so I wasn't in any rush. It was kind of nice being out of the city, anyway. I just wandered around for a while until I found the old railway line.[Atmospheric: Classical Music fades out, Melancholy atmospheric music fades in]The tracks had been torn up, but the ground was still untouched, still a clear path of pale, sickly dirt through the surrounding fields. Cleared of gravel and wood and metal but not quite yet able to bounce back from a century of pressure. It took a long time to follow that trail, but I didn't mind so much. It was a clear, warm afternoon, and it had been a while since I went on a good long walk. Walking always helps me, you know? I don't know if it's the sun or the exercise, but I always feel lighter after a walk. Which is why it was so obvious, I think, when I started getting closer to the spirit. All that lightness fell away. A heaviness started to sit on my chest. And at first I thought it was just me getting back in my own head, but the closer I got the more it grew, and it became overpowering, a darker feeling than I've known for... Well for years, not since... Well, it was bad. Not something I ever wanted to experience again. But I knew this was her, Mary Barker. And I won't lie, the feeling was kind of comforting, in a horrible kind of way. It made panic impossible. Maybe it helped that she was a category one, but I felt the presence of a ghost and for the first time since Whitechapel, I didn't feel my heart race. I didn't feel anything but gut-wrenching misery. And I couldn't help but think that maybe, after nearly two centuries of being alone out here, feeling this awful awful desperate feeling, what she needs is someone who won't run from it. Looking back, now that I've heard the recording, I don't think I was wrong exactly. It sounds like she hasn't spoken to another person for a very long time. Maybe it did help, but... I don't know. It was weird. I can't even explain, you know what, I'll just play it back.Leo (On recording):
Hi, Mary -- Miss Barker, sorry? You here? I understand you've been trapped here for a while, I... I feel your grief. I know there were some construction workers her a couple of years ago who felt it too. I'm... Not going to run from it though. You feel whatever you need to feel, and I'll feel it with you. Just, in the meantime, if there's anything you'd like to get off your chest, I have a recorder that can capture your voice. Could you start with some basic details first?
Mary (On recording):
So... Far away. So... Far apart. it has been so long, so empty... alone. I don't know, I don't remember. So out in the open, my mind over there, my thoughts over here. Who I was out of reach, who I am too far away. Don't know. Can't remember. Not... not a person.
Leo:
Great, thank you. And normally here I'd ask why you believe you might be tethered here, but I understand that this is where you died, is that right?
Mary:
Is it? Yes, yes it is. I died here. I don't remember living, but I do remember that. The dying. Twice. Dying twice. The first, under the train. The second, when I lost it. Lost the.... What was it. The hold. The power. It went away. I died again. No, not died. Dispersed. Faded. Drifted. Too big a feeling for words. Not... Concrete enough. I am not concrete enough. I am not enough. Not alive enough. Not... enough.
Leo:
And can you tell me a little about your afterlife so far?
Mary:
No life... Not for a long time. For a while, yes. Dead, but alive. Gone, but here. Present. Over years. Decades maybe, clawing back together. So far apart but getting closer. Becoming.... Stronger? Becoming me again. But it went away. The hold I had. it slipped. I slipped. Not growing together any more, falling apart. Falling away. Nothing to draw on, all gone. No power. Nothing left.
Leo:
Thank you for sharing this with me, Miss. Barker. There's a company called Better Place - you might have known them as Mortui Non Morden during your lifetime. They remove ghosts, I wanted to ask if this is something you'd consent to, this removal?
Mary:
Please. Please, take me away, all of me if you can. Rather be... gone than... here but apart. Rather be gone entirely, no thoughts... better than thoughts just out of reach.
Leo:
Okay, and before I go, I know that a lot of time has passed, and it's unlikely there's anyone left for me to pass any messages on to, but is there anything else at all you'd like to say?
Mary:
No... Please... Just... Help me
Leo (No longer on recording):
So, for one thing I've really got to find a way to get this recording to play back in real time. There's me just nattering on about "thanks for sharing, got anything to add?" and she's going full tortured soul. And for another thing, what in the ever-loving hell was that? I can't tell you how long I've pored over this recording. From what I can tell, this has something to do with the spirit's progression between categories. This bit, right? "clawing back together. So far apart but getting closer." That fits the current theory of how the progression works, kind of condensing, their consciousness and power becoming more concentrated as they reform over the years to more of a human shape. Which, okay, yes, this could be absolutely groundbreaking if that's the case, right? Because it's actual confirmation from a real spirit that the current theory is correct. Which is more than we've ever been able to get. But I mean, what does the rest of it mean? Like, if she's describing the process of coming together, of becoming stronger, becoming a category two, then what was all that about the hold "slipping"? Something about "falling apart, nothing to draw on?" I have never heard of that happening. The progression to category two should be a straight line, not something that you can just lose a grip on. I know I wanted a distraction but this feels like, maybe, too much. I just wanted to prove that ghosts have feelings, I didn't--
[SFX: Door Opens]Leo:
Knock much?
Riley:
Yeah, well you’ve been ignoring my texts for two days, thought if I knocked you’d end up hiding under your desk. Like a coward
Leo:
Not a bad idea, actually. Thanks, I’ll bear it in mind for next time.
[SFX: Chair rolling out, Riley sitting down]Riley:
So....
Leo:
So?
Riley:
Come onnnnnn, don’t be like that. Give me something, anything. Any indication. Good date, bad date? Are you betrothed or ready to quit your jobs to get away from each other?
Leo:
(GROANS, THEN SIGHS) I had a good time. I think I embarrassed myself a few times, but no surprise there. And I honestly... still kind of think she wasn’t there because she likes me
Riley:
Not this shit again--
Leo:
No really, she was like, really pressing for information on Frank and what he does all day and what I’ve been working on. And sure, she seemed flirty on the surface but... I don’t know there were a few times where, when I didn’t give her anything, she seemed really frustrated
Riley:
Yeah, I know the feeling
Leo:
I just... God she’s so gorgeous Riley, there’s no way she... I can’t let myself... You really think she’s genuine?
Riley:
Leo, hun. You’re hardly CIA. How is it possible you have such low self esteem and such an inflated ego at the same goddamn time? Consider that maybe you’re worthy of love but also not nearly cool or important enough to be investigated.
Leo:
(STAMMERING)
Riley:
Hey, do me a favour will you? When you see her for a second date, ask her what her big three are
Leo:
Her… big three?
Riley:
Yeah. Sun, moon, and rising. I’m getting Scorpio energy which isn’t ideal but maybe if she’s a Scorpio rising I could look past it.
Leo:
(SOUNDING, IN FACT, INCREDIBLY UNSURE)...Sure
Riley:
Soooo, think she’ll say yes?
Leo:
To... telling me about her big three?
Riley:
To a second date, you dickhead.
Leo:
Oh, er, I don’t know. Paranoia aside, I don’t know if I... did I mention that she’s really pretty?
Riley:
No I don’t think that’s actually come up before.
Leo:
Yeah, well, I mean... I’m not... I’m not exactly smooth, am I?
Riley:
(LAUGHING) I mean, so? She knew that going in. We went out for drinks her first day and when I said “Julia, this is my friend Leo,” you just blurted out “Hi, Leo?” then put out a hand for her to shake. And she still asked you out, so she’s clearly into weird. It’ll be that Scorpio rising, probably.
Leo:
Must be, yeah, er, that thing for sure. You know I was working a case file when you came in here, can I like, get back to it?
Riley:
Go ahead, I’m not even here.
Leo:
I meant... Nevermind. The category one didn’t work anyway, not really. It was... weird. I was going to go through the audio, clean it up a bit, but I don’t want to use it on Mr. Whitley until I’m sure it’s ready anyway.
Riley:
He’s been a category two for a couple of months now though right?
Leo:
Yeah I just... He seemed like he had something really important to say. I don't want to go there, have him answer all my questions, only to find out it didn’t take.
Riley:
A refreshingly risk-averse take, Leo, is this... growth?
Leo:
You’re funny
Riley:
I am. Speaking of growth, you gonna call Julia?
Leo:
I hate you
Riley:
Love you too! Don't throw things at me, I'm leaving.
[SFX: Office chair rolling out, footsteps as Riley’s voice becomes more distant]Riley:
Have fun cleaning up audio or whatever. Call her!
[SFX: Door opens then closes]Leo:
(SIGHS)
[SFX: Recording Ends]Closing theme begins
Leanne: Episode Twelve of Tell No Tales, Nothing Left, was written and performed by Leanne Egan. You also heard the voices of Jess Kadow as Mary Barker, and Phil Thompson as Riley.
If you enjoyed this episode, the best way to support the show is to spread the word. Leaving us a rating and review in your listening app of choice is a huge help, or you can follow us on Twitter or Tumblr @tellnotalespodLinks and information about transcripts can be found in the show notes.Tell No Tales is distributed by Wasting Company Time Productions, under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike 4.0 international license. Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite.Closing theme ends

Transcript: Episode Thirteen - Little Sea-Monster

Opening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode Thirteen: Little Sea-Monster
Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins, Classical music playing]Leo:
Audio diary of Leo Quinn, assistant to Frank Williamson, director of Better Place. Okay, so, plugging forward with the next category one. No distractions. No thinking about whether or not Julia’s going to call me back after that god-awful voice mail I left her asking her out. Nope, not thinking about that. Only thinking about the case file that Riley gave me. A case file that's going to help me in so many ways. It's going to help me finally make sure the recorder is ready for Mr. Whitley, and as an added bonus it's going to help me not wonder what it means that it's been over a day since the voice mail disaster and she still hasn't called me back, but that's beside the point because I'm supposed to be not thinking about that. So. Case RM#2251, Category one, case status-active. Reported by Luke Murray via phone call, transcript of initial report:
Better Place Customer Services how can I help you?Oh, hi there, I’m calling on behalf of Edgeware Leisure centre, we’re having an issue with, um, a haunting? Just a... y’know, a mild one.A mild haunting? Can you tell me a little more about it?Ah, well, it’s in the pool. Staff have mentioned it, a weird chill, like a draft has hit them wrong, and a feeling like they’re not alone, even when they’re locking up and the place is empty. It’s apparently worse during the, er, the swimming lessons, for the kids? So, I mean, like I said it’s not causing any harm right now but, that’s a bit concerning right? That it’s more intense during the kids’ swimming lessons? We have a, you know, a duty of care.Of course, well, we’ll put our research team right on it. They may be in touch if they need any further information, and in the meantime, we’ll work on drawing up a quote for the estimated cost of removal and will aim to have that to you within five working days.Oh, okay yeah thanks. Just, yeah as soon as you can, thanks for your help.Right so, yeah, this guy’s right, it seems a bit iffy at first glance, but Riley was the research lead on this case, and Riley is exceptionally good at digging way too deep to get the information they want, which, despite being a massive headache for me 90% of the time, I suppose occasionally works out in my favour. So they searched through the lists of all the attendees who were signed up for swimming, and they found an Abigail Walker. She’s a young girl who had been taking swimming lessons once a week, but stopped for a few years when her mum, Jackie, passed away. She came back after a while, finished her classes, and kept coming back. She got really into it, swims competitively at school, and by now she’s a teenager, who volunteers as a teacher at the Saturday morning junior classes. Further digging from Riley found that Abigail Walker’s mum, the one who passed away while she was taking lessons, had been divorced from her wife for a couple of years before she died. In terms of custody, Jackie only weekends with her daughter. So it makes sense that those Saturday mornings with her daughter meant a lot to her. Enough for her spirit to stay behind there. So, I'll head out there today. Frank will be back by three today, so if I take an early-ish lunch break that’ll give me plenty of time to go over there, get the recording, and hopefully edit the audio and make some more notes. So. I’m going to get all my work done quick as I can, then head off for my lunch break as early as possible. See you on the other side![SFX: Recording Ends][SFX: Recording Begins, Classical music playing]Leo:
Right, so! That wasn’t nothing! We’re getting somewhere, finally! I mean it wasn’t perfect, but I think with a few more tweaks, especially since Mr. Whitley moved over to a category two recently. I mean, there’s also the added issue of the pool having terrible acoustics. Don’t know exactly how that effects Ghost Voices but I mean, I doubt it’s helpful.. So a bit of context, I went down to the pool, gave them a fake name and told them I was from Better Place taking an initial evaluation of the area, so they closed the pool off for me for a little while.
[Atmospheric: Classical music fades out, heartfelt atmospheric music fades in]It was strange, the feeling I got, you know, the staticky presence feeling, it didn’t feel quite so terrifying. I think it was because, at the exact moment it happened, small ripples disturbed the stillness of the empty pool. I think it tricked my brain into mistaking it for an oddly icy breeze or something. Not sure I fully understand the psychology of it, but for once, that tightening in my chest, it was almost something that I could ignore. She just wanted to help her daughter learn to swim, spend her Saturday mornings with her. She didn’t want to maim anyone, least of all me. Even if she could. So I sat, cross-legged on the side of the pool, watching the surface ripple and flutter, wondering if that meant that she was close to becoming a category two her. I spoke to her for a little while before I asked my questions. I told her who I was, why I was there. Told her what I knew of her daughter, what I’d found on her online, showed her her instagram on my phone. I’m not sure how well she could see it — again, still a little hazy on how the positioning and point of view works with category ones — but the goosebumps on my forearms faded away the more I talked. I still got the feeling I wasn’t alone, but it felt warmer, less hostile. More like Mrs. Daniels had felt at St. Joseph’s church. That was when I asked her my usual questions. I’ve cleaned the audio up as best I can, and I’ve spliced it together with an added voice over of my questions, same as the last few spirits, just... Here, listen for yourself.Leo (On Recording):
Alright Ms. Williams, so to start, can you tell me a bit about yourself for the record?
Jackie (On Recording):
(DISTANTLY, A LITTLE TOO MUCH REVERB) Well, it sounds like you know most of it already. My name is Jackie Williams. When I met my now ex-wife Claire, she was already pregnant with Abigail, who was born on the 8th of January 2005. Abigail was my whole life, really, after that. I suppose that’s all you really need to know. I had hobbies and such, but they all feel somewhat unimportant now. Oh, I died in 2012, when Abigail was seven. Car crash. Nothing dramatic, just a broken traffic light and a blink of an eye. Then I was here, and a few years had passed.
Leo:
Can you tell me why you believe your spirit remained here, specifically?
Jackie:
Like I said, my daughter. She was everything to me in life, it’s unsurprising that my afterlife kept me connected to her in some way. When Abigail was five, her mother Claire and I split. No one reason why, we split mostly cordially, until custody became an issue. No affairs or hurt, just a slow realisation that we we’d grown into people who were no longer perfect for each other. Claire got custody, except weekends. We didn't want anything too disruptive, so it hurt, to only get her on the weekend, but it was what was best for her. I wanted something special, to mark the weekends I got her. I didn’t just want her to come to my place and do her homework and watch cartoons. So I signed her up for swimming lessons. She took to them brilliantly, loved the water, it made her so happy, and it made me so happy to see her that way. Every other Saturday, I’d come here, I’d sit on the sidelines with the other parents and cheer her on, take her for ice cream afterwards, get her extra toppings whenever she got a certificate for being able to float on her back for ten seconds, or one of those milestone patches to sew onto her swimming costume. She got one near every week. I paid for a lot of extra toppings.
Leo:
And what has it been like, your after-life here?
Jackie:
It’s been unusual, that much is certain. When I first became aware of my surroundings I had no idea how much time had passed. I didn’t even fully understand what had happened, my death had been so sudden, part of me wondered for a while if maybe I was in a coma, dreaming of Saturday mornings with my little girl. But my little girl wasn’t there any more. Then, after a while, she was. A young girl that I almost didn’t recognise right away, I hadn’t been expecting her to have grown so much. She was almost nine. And I watched, unseen, unheard, as her mum spoke to the swimming instructor. Explained that she’d stopped taking her classes due to bereavement, that it had been a long time but she wanted some help to get back into it. That was when it hit me. That was when I knew I had died. But it was also when I realised that my daughter valued our Saturdays together as much as I did. She came back, every other Saturday, and when she got her certificate, she came just to do laps. And I worked as hard as I could to make sure she felt my presence here. I think she did, sometimes. A strange look, a small smile. I can’t be sure, but it got me through the endless weeks, looking forward to seeing her again, cheering her on in my own way. When she got older, faster, better, she began volunteering at the same classes I used to take her to. She’s great with the kids. Tells them the same thing I used to tell her, “look at you go, little sea-monster. One more certificate and you’ll be putting the fish out of a job.” It’s like she’s letting me know she remembers me. Like she’s showing me she knows I’m still here.
Leo:
I’m sorry to tell you, Better Place have been called to initiate your removal. I don’t think it’s something I can stop, but I have to ask, is this something you consent to?
Jackie:
Oh. Oh that’s... I’m not sure. I don’t think I want to spend eternity haunting a swimming pool. Especially since Abigail won’t keep coming here forever, I know that. But I don’t think I’m ready to let go yet. I want to see her grow up for as long as I can. Even if that means endless stretches of days between each visit. It’s better than the alternative. Better than never seeing her again.
Leo:
Thanks for answering my questions, Jackie. Just before I go, would you like me to find a way to get this recording to your daughter? And if so, is there anything you’d like to tell her?
Jackie:
Oh. I... Yes, please, if you could. I wasn’t ready for this, didn’t think I’d ever get to speak to her again. If you could... Let her know that I’ve been here, please? Let her know that I love her, that I’ve been looking out for her, cheering her on, and that... Well, if I’m gone soon, let her know that she’ll be okay, she’ll do great things. And... I mean, if you know when Better Place are due to come, could you let her know that too? So that, if she’d like to, she can come and see me one last time, now that she knows I’m here? That way, if there’s anything she’d like to say to me... we both get closure.
Leo (No longer on recording):
So, yeah. It’s not the clearest, but it’s clear enough. Definitely clear enough to be utterly heartbreaking.
[SFX: Mouse clicks, classical music continues]I’m going to send Abigail the recording, but without my voice. I’ll send it under a private account with a false name, and just a list of the questions I asked to give her some context. I don’t want... I don’t know her, you know? She’s a teenager, and she could tell her friends, and if it gets out that someone’s recording the voices of ghosts, and that gets traced back to me somehow... Yeah. I can’t risk that. But I can’t do nothing. I already feel so helpless, going to these places, talking to these spirits, hearing their voices and knowing that in a few days they’re going to be removed, whether they like it or not. And I haven’t even started being able to research what actually happens to the spirits once they’re sent to the warehouse. But one mystery at a time. I'll put the Mr. Whitley thing to rest first before I start digging up any more unanswerable questions. I’ll have to head down to Highgate Cemetery as soon as possible, maybe even tonight? No, not tonight, tomorrow after work. I’ll have to see if Riley wants to...[SFX: Distant muffled footsteps, getting closer]Leo:
(HUSHED) Is that...? Oh, crap it’s three o’clock already, that’s...
[SFX: Door opens, office chair rolling as Leo jumps up]Leo:
(LOUDLY) Hi, Mr. Williamson!
Frank:
(WARMLY) Leonardo, is everything well on the home front? Nothing burned down while I’ve been out?
Leo:
(FORCED LAUGHTER) No, sir. Just, er, a few messages. And a couple of scheduling issues, are you free for me to come discuss them in your office?
Frank:
I always have a free moment for my dutiful assistant, come on in. Where would I be without you, Leonardo?
[SFX: Frank’s office door opens]Leo:
(STRAINED) mhmm!
[SFX: Footsteps as they both leave, and the door closes again. After a brief pause, in which the classical music continues playing, Leo’s office door opens slowly. Quiet rummaging through papers and drawers can be heard]Mystery spy:
What are you hiding Leo?
[SFX: More Rummaging]Mystery spy:
Hold on, this isn’t a work laptop. What have you got here, huh? Oh, now that’s interesting, why are you recording lil buddy? Wonder what else you’ve been recording...
[SFX: Recording Ends]Closing theme begins
Leanne: Episode Thirteen of Tell No Tales, Little Sea-Monster, was written and performed by Leanne Egan. You also heard the voices of Sophia Leggett as Jackie Williams, Asher Amor-Train as Frank Williamson, and a mystery cast-member as the un-named spy.
If you enjoyed this episode, the best way to support the show is to spread the word. Leaving us a rating and review in your listening app of choice is a huge help, or you can follow us on Twitter or Tumblr @tellnotalespodLinks and information about transcripts can be found in the show notes.Tell No Tales is distributed by Wasting Company Time Productions, under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike 4.0 international license. Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite.Closing theme ends

Transcript: Episode Fourteen - Grave Consequences

Transcript: Episode Fourteen -­ Grave ConsequencesOpening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode Fourteen: Grave Consequences
Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins, Classical music playing]Riley:
Audio diary of Leo Quinn and Riley Matkins, assistant to Frank Williamson, and team leader in the Research department of Better Place, respectively.
Leo:
Happy now?
Riley:
So happy
Leo:
(SARCASTICALLY) Wanna take the lead here?
Riley:
Nah, I'm good, keep going, I'm just along for the ride
Leo:
I still find it weird doing these notes in front of you
Riley:
Well get used to it, pal, I'm in it now. Keep going, go on, off you go.
Leo:
Well, uh, there's no case file to run through this time. Not a new one, at least. After work we're going back to Highgate Cemetery to interview Montgomery Whitley.
Riley:
Which, I listened to the audio notes of the first time you went to see him, by the way. The man's got something big to tell you.
Leo:
Exactly, I'm... I'm almost certain the recorder is going to be able to pick up his voice now, so—
Riley:
Oh yeah, now you're certain
Leo:
I... Wait, what does that mean?
Riley:
It means, he was already a category two when you spoke to him last time. You already knew the recorder would work on a category two when you spoke to Edna Miller at the cat sanctuary. If you ask me—
Leo:
Which I didn't
Riley:
You literally just did when you said (MOCKINGLY) “what does that mean?” So, if you ask me, I'd say you got spooked. You had a feeling that whatever Mr. Whitley had to say was going to be important, and that scared the shit out of you, you didn't want to get it wrong, or you didn't know what you were going to have to do with that information, so you put it off. It's okay, don't look so defensive, it happens to the best of us.
Leo:
Alright, well, if we're done with the therapy
Riley:
What therapy? If this was therapy I'd be getting paid right now
Leo:
Well it is still office-hours, so technically...
Riley:
Oh, ok, guess I'll just go back to work then, shall I?
Leo:
I didn't mean—
Riley:
No, no, there's still half an hour left till home-time, you've probably got some boots to lick so I'll just--
Leo:
(LAUGHING) Oh, I'm the bootlicker? Says the person who just broke the company record for most research cases completed last year.
Riley:
Hey! It is not my fault that I'm good at my job thank you very much
Leo:
Eh. At least one of us should be
Riley:
Are you talking about your official job or your unofficial job?
Leo:
Both. Y'know last time I recorded case notes I lost track of time, and when Frank came in I panicked and must have like, deleted the whole file or something, because it was gone when I got back. So definitely both
Riley:
Frank's not about to walk in now, is he?
Leo:
No, no he's definitely already left for the day
Riley:
Then why are we even still here? I'm a manager and your manager's out, which means we can go get food before our... graveyard shift
Leo:
Can you stop using my love of puns against me please?
Riley:
Never
[SFX: Recording Ends][SFX: Recording Begins, quiet outdoor ambience, and food wrappers crinkling]Riley:
Well, I for one think we should all say "Thank you Riley, for suggesting we get food before spending literally all evening hiding in some shrubbery while we wait for them to lock up the bloody cemetery
Leo:
I did tell you we'd be here a while
Riley:
Think we're good to go, now?
Leo:
Should be, I haven't heard anyone pass by for a while. Hey, stick the food wrappers in my bag will you, I'll go check.
[SFX: Food wrappers being collected and stuffed in a bag, Leo’s footsteps becoming distant]Leo:
(DISTANTLY) Yeah, we're good, come on
[SFX: Two sets of footsteps in grass]Leo:
This is it
Riley:
How dramatic. Imagine some small victorian child, little Timmy, say, son of one of the previous directors, being taken here on a day out "Look, son, one day you'll go in the little corpse house too"
Leo:
But at least the dead don't bite! Most of them anyway
Riley:
And of course little Timmy would know that, because he's rich! And all the rich Victorian children read Latin. "Hey Timmy, can you say mama? No? How about Mortui Non Morden?"
Leo:
(LAUGHS)
[SFX: Footsteps continue, a heavy door opens, then footsteps turn echoey, before faltering]Riley:
Uhhh Leo?
Leo:
(QUIETLY) I know
Riley:
I hate to break it to you but....
Leo:
I know. I feel it too. Or... don't feel it. How, though? Can you grab the EMF meter out my backpack, just to make sure?
[SFX: Bag unzips, some rummaging]Leo:
thanks
[SFX: EMF switch is flipped, but there is no buzzing]Leo:
How is this even.... possible? He's not here, how is he not here? He's a ghost how far could he have even gone?
Riley:
He must have been removed. No other way for a ghost to just disappear like that.
Leo:
They've left him alone for so long, though. The report was made in the nineties. Why now? Shit. Shit, Riley, what if this happened last night? Or the night before? What if I had the means to come and take Mr. Whitley's statement and I missed it because I was being a coward and now we're missing some vital piece of information because of me and my bad deci-
Riley:
Hey, hey, you had no way of knowing he'd be gone. It's like you said, there's no reason why they should have removed him out of nowhere, right? There hasn't been any new case file I've seen about it.
[SFX: Phone being unlocked, typing sounds]Riley:
What are you doing?
[SFX: Faint outgoing ringing]Leo:
Calling the guy from Friends of Highgate Cemetery—
[SFX: Faint answering machine message]Leo:
—The one who made the report in the nineties— Hi! Dr. Hawkins, sorry to call so late. I'm calling from Better Place, about the removal of a ghost you requested from the Better Place mausoleum. Could you call me back on this number whenever you get a chance? It seems we're missing some information from our records about the updated request for the removal of Mr. Whitley, just need a few details. Thanks a lot, bye now!
Riley:
Remind me to mock you for for phone voice when we're in a less stressful situation
Leo:
I can't believe this. I can't believe.... We're in a cemetery, there's got to be some ghost somewhere that saw this happen.
Riley:
Leo, you know that's not how ghosts work
Leo:
Sometimes it is! Mr. Whitley haunted his own grave! Sometimes people haunt the graves of loved ones or- or, if their tether is an object instead of a place, right? This cemetery is full of rich people, rich people love to be buried with their belongings!
Riley:
You really think we're likely to just stumble across a ghost that was nearby enough to see whoever came and removed—
[SFX: Footstepts hurrying away]Riley:
oh, okay, guess we're going to try anyway
[SFX: Riley’s footsteps following]Riley:
(SHOUTING) Leo! (WHISPERED) Jesus, Leo, don't make me shout after you when we're trespassing. Okay, think I'm gonna turn this thing off while they go around waving their EMF meter at random tombstones and hoping for the best. Maybe I'll turn it back on if they ever actually find anything.
[SFX: Recording Ends][SFX: Recording Begins]Riley:
Show 'em what you got, Leo. Go on. We're sat on your living room floor, it's three in the morning. We're both deliriously tired, and the one thing standing between us and putting the events of tonight behind us is this last stretch of audio note-taking so. Go on. Show your future listeners, the future judge and jury or whoever listens to these audio diaries, what we've been up all night trying to get.
Leo:
I'd rather not, actually.
Riley:
I think it's in your best interest, actually. Because I'm sleeping on your couch tonight and we have to be up for work in, oh, a couple hours, so you wanna get this over and done with as quickly as possible because you know what I'm like with no sleep.
Leo:
(SIGHS) Fine
Riley:
Great, I'll even provide helpful audio supplementation in the form of your end of the conversation
Leo (On recording):
Here! Look, there's someone here. Who- er, the gravestone says a Harriet Summers. Harriet, Harriet, hi, I need your help, have you seen anyone, recently, come through here in a Better Place uniform heading, er, that way, down towards the mausoleum with Mortui Non Morden carved across the top. It's... It's just out of sight, but it's down that way, have you seen anyone suspicious heading that way at all?
Riley:
Now your turn, Leo. Show us what good ol' Harriet had to say.
Leo (No longer on recording):
No need to be so smug about it.
Riley:
It is three am, who's smug? I am tired.
Leo:
(GROANS)
[SFX: Mouse clicks]Harriet (On recording):
Oh. My god. You can, like, hear me? Also what kind of a question is that. Don't you need a warrant or something to interrogate me like that? Get that thing out of my face, wow. You're like, the first person to talk to me in literal years and you're just going to lead with that? How the hell am I even supposed to know what you're talking about, Mortoy-non-what, Morden? Like the tube stop? I'm literally trapped here, that's so insensitive, surely you know I can't see anything outside of this area, right? Don't you have anything to say for yourself? Oh my god, you can't even hear me can you? What is even the point of asking if you're not even going to be able to hear me? Is this all just some kind of joke for you? Did I not already mention the part about being trapped here on this patch of dirt for literal years? Because it is not fun, do you know how much I used to travel when I was alive? I did my gap year in Sri Lanka. A few years before I died I went inter-railing. In Europe. And now, what, just eternity here? I just, don't get it, right? Because I'm here, in this stupid graveyard, for no good reason. And why? Like, literally what even is there to do. I'd have been better off dead, at least then I wouldn't have to listen to the tourists and the tour guides be obsessing about Karl Marx or like, whatever. It's like, I'm being taunted, right? Like, all these people walking past, and some of them are so hot and everything, and I can't even flirt or anything, because I'm just some stupid ghost. Like, I really cannot stress enough just how boring it is just sitting, every single day, in this stupid gravey-
[SFX: Mouse clicks]Leo:
I don't think we need to listen to the whole thing
Riley:
And for the listeners, Leo, did the ghost of Harriet Summers know anything about the removal of Mr. Whitley?
Leo:
(THROUGH GRITTED TEETH) If she did, it's certainly not mentioned anywhere in the forty minute-long monologue.
Riley:
Okay, so say it with me now, Riley, you were right
Leo:
I couldn't not try! I couldn't! What if Mr. Whitley had something really important to tell and it's my fault he couldn't. And- and, what about why he was removed? Because if this was an unofficial case, then does that mean Frank arranged it himself? Because if that's the case, why? And how did he know to do it? Does he know about what I'm doing, does he know that I was about to go talk to Mr. Whitley again? Because if he did that would mean he'd know about the recorder and he'd know I got it working, but how would he know any of that?
Riley:
Alright, I'm hearing a shit-load of conjecture right now and not an awful lot of anything based in what we absolutely know to be true.
Leo:
Oh, and what is it, Riley, that we absolutely know to be true?
Riley:
Well next to fucking nothing, to be honest. Which is why we shouldn't be taking wild guesses right now. We know Mr. Whitley was removed some time between a couple of months ago, when you spoke to him, and now. We are fairly sure, but not entirely so, that it wasn't an officially logged case. That's it. That's all we know. And it's all we can know, until tomorrow at least. So the best thing we can do now, is take a deep breath, get some sleep, and do some digging tomorrow. Okay?
Leo:
(LONG PAUSE)... Yeah. Yeah, okay. Sorry. You were right. About Harriet. I shouldn't have dragged you around the cemetery like that for so long trying to find her. Sorry.
Riley:
It's fine. I mean, it's not. But I get it.
Leo:
Let's, er, let's try and get some sleep.
Riley:
There will be absolutely no try for me. Only pass the fuck out.
Leo:
You... You take my bed. I'll take the couch. I'd offer to share but—
Riley:
Yeah, the night terrors. Best not to share a bed while those are still happening. Okay, I'll happily take your bed, and we'll call it even, ok? No more apologising.
Leo:
(WEAK LAUGH) Sounds like a fair deal. Night
Riley:
G'night, dickhead
[SFX: Riley stands, leaving, the door opening and closing behind them. After a moment, Leo stands, turns off a light switch, then sits heavily on the couch, sighing][SFX: Recording Ends]Closing theme begins
Leanne: Episode Fourteen of Tell No Tales, Grave Consequences, was written and performed by Leanne Egan. You also heard the voices of Phil Thompson as Riley, and Ann Yu Engebretsen as Harriet Summers
If you enjoyed this episode, the best way to support the show is to spread the word. Leaving us a rating and review in your listening app of choice is a huge help, or you can follow us on Twitter or Tumblr @tellnotalespodLinks and information about transcripts can be found in the show notes.Tell No Tales is distributed by Wasting Company Time Productions, under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike 4.0 international license. Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite.Closing theme ends

Transcript: Episode Fifteen - Keep Learning

Transcript: Episode Fifteen -­ Keep LearningOpening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode Fifteen: Keep Learning
Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins, mouse clicks, then classical music begins playing]Leo:
Audio diary of Leo Quinn, assistant to Frank Williamson, director of Better Place. Yesterday was a complete write-off. We were both so exhausted after the cemetery that we got basically nothing done. For our official jobs or otherwise. I think Riley must have gotten roughly the same amount done in the workday as a normal human person, and I just relied on the phone ringing loud enough to wake me up in time to answer it. Riley's doing some digging into the removal of Mr. Whitley today though, they're gonna figure out if an official case was logged and if not, where the order to go remove him came from. In the meantime, they sent me a new case file to look into, not one of theirs but they said they saw another team leader working on it and thought I might like it. I don't know if they sent it to keep me off their back, or just to try to keep me from my own anxiety, but either way, I'm grateful for it.
CaseJT#2236, Category 2, Case Status-active. Reported via email by a Dr. Meiko McLaughlan, a lecturer in eighteenth century literature at City, University of London. Initial report: Dear Eliza, Thanks so much for getting in touch so quickly. When the university said they'd send an enquiry about costs, I assumed it would be a much longer process. You've asked for my account of the haunting, but I'm not sure what the university has told you, so I suppose I'll start from the beginning. I believe the spirit belongs to a former student of mine, a Ms. Layla Owens. She passed a few years ago, towards the end of her Masters year. She really loved it here. It's amazing, the attachment some students can have after less than a full year studying here. The friendships you form, the intensity of the course, it all has a lasting impression. Layla was a great student. She told me she'd had some mental health issues in the past. She graduated from her bachelor's with a good enough grade but she confided in me that she struggled through most of it. She took a few years out before she did her Master's and really found her stride here. She was the first to speak in seminars, always contributing something to the discussion, fast friends with her coursemates, excellent marks in her assignments. She told me once that even just a semester in, she was already having the happiest year of her life. She died the following summer, during the drafting of her dissertation. There were no lectures during that time but I was her dissertation supervisor, so we were still in touch. It was sudden, a car crash I believe. She was mourned, by everyone. She was so well-loved. But time passed, the next cohort of students arrived, only myself and the other staff from the English department who had taught her remembered her. By the time it started, though, most had forgotten her. Sure, if you mentioned her by name to some of the other lecturers they'd remember her, after a moment. Her death had been big news at the time. But she had confided in me more than most, for some reason, and I think I still grieved for a young woman who'd had so much ahead of her, so I thought of her immediately when my seminar room began to feel... Strange. At first I noticed students begin to shiver during seminars, just small shudders that became more common. I felt it too, goosebumps regardless of the temperature. After another few years, it progressed. Students would find their laptops -- always laptops these days, never textbooks or notepads -- they would find their laptops glitching. There are always some classes in which people just won't speak. Like drawing blood from a stone, either nobody's done the reading, or it's a particularly shy cohort, it just happens sometimes. In those instances, they found their laptops giving them... hints. Words would appear in their notes, talking points, that kind of thing. Or they would find that the PDFs of the assigned reading would have relevant lines highlighted. It's kind of sweet, actually. Or, it would be if my students weren't quickly learning that they don't always have to do the work. I like having her here with me, she's not a bother, really. I just hate to think of her trapped here for eternity, or however long a ghost would stay around naturally. I'm hoping Better Place can help with that. Please let me know if you need any more information, Thanks again, Dr. Meiko McLaughlanOkay, so, I'm gonna call the university and ask if I can go into the classroom after teaching hours tonight. It's been working for me so far, just telling them I'm from Better Place, assessing the situation. So hopefully by tonight I'll have one more statement to prov-[SFX: Incoming text, phone being picked up and unlocked]It's Riley they... Confirmed no official case was opened for Mr. Whitley[SFX: Another incoming text]But there's no immediate info on any other leads yet[SFX: Another incoming text]Oh, nice. They're going to check the armoury's logs to find which dispatchers took out field equipment and when, and then check it against the official cases, see if any don't match up. Genius. It will take forever though, especially since we don't know when exactly Mr. Whitley was removed.[SFX: Typing sounds]Just letting them know they can send some of it my way. Sifting through endless amounts of data is kinda my whole thing.[SFX: Outgoing text, phone being locked]Okay! We're getting somewhere. I'll go call the university, hopefully more later![SFX: Recording Ends][SFX: Recording Begins]Leo:
Right, so, we’ve been busy. I went to interview Layla Owens at City University last night, then when I got back I had to edit the footage, then I stayed up a bit later working through some of the logs Riley sent me. I haven’t asked how they got comprehensive logs of every piece of equipment requested from the armoury. I'm not sure it’s in my best interests to know, if I’m honest. But, I mean, it’s a lot, but I think speaking to Layla last night helped, you know? Like, okay, I felt on the verge of something big with Mr. Whitley, but that was never the goal here, right? The goal was to build a case that the spirits we remove should have a right to refuse removal. So speaking to Layla was kind of like, a reminder of why I'm doing this. I won't lie it was already kind of comforting, just being back in a university. I don't think it'll come as a surprise to literally anyone who ends up listening to these notes that despite my total lack of common sense, I kinda thrived in an academic setting. But when I had to drop out because of... Well, then the workforce happened to me and it all a little bit went downhill from there. So going into the university, through the gorgeous little courtyard out front, past the library, past endless lecture halls and computer labs, settling into Meiko McLaughlan's empty seminar room... it was nice. It was peaceful. The quiet of a university after dark, the bustling of the students pulling all-nighters in the library just far enough away to let the room feel still and calm. But when I felt her presence, the anxiety was almost instinctual. An automatic response to a feeling I still associate with the worst... Yeah. Um, I'm working on it. But I didn't have a panic attack. I knew enough about her to know, through the immediate impulse to be afraid, that she wouldn't hurt me. She just wanted to learn. That, I could get behind. I pulled up a chair in the little u-shaped row of desks that seemed designed to facilitate discussion. When I was at uni I did inter-planar physics, which was more lecture based than anything, they weren't so big on seminars there, so this setup was new to me. I pulled out a chair next to me too, just in case she was able to sit. You never know, right? And I'll just play the recording back.
[SFX: Mouse clicks]Leo (On recording):
Heey, Layla, right? Sorry to disturb. Er, Dr. McLaughlan sent me. Well, no, she sent the people I work for. She's been in touch with Better Place, she's worried about you, she doesn't want you to feel trapped here. Problem is, she wasn't able to ask you to see if that's something you wanted. But I've got this recorder, right here, that'll pick up your voice, if you're willing to talk to me? If you are, how'd you feel about starting with some basic info for the record? Name, date of birth, that kind of thing.
Layla (On recording):
Hi... Um, sure, yeah, sorry, it's been a while since anyone but Meiko talked to me. Been even longer since I've been able to, you know, talk back. So, er, right, okay. I'm Layla Owens, born 19th July 1989, and I uh, died in a car crash when I was twenty-three, while I was studying for my Master's in Literature here at City.
Leo:
Thanks, Layla. And, can you tell me a bit about why you think you came here, specifically, when your spirit manifested?
Layla:
I mean, I love it here. Loved it. No, no I love it here. It was like, my second chance, you know? I didn't do so well in undergrad. Don’t get me wrong I always adored learning. and I loved literature, I really thrived off of the discussion. I mean, all the sociological interpretations of literature, how class and race and gender intersect and influence a text. But as an undergrad, I didn't get the experience I knew I should have, because I rarely went to lectures. I rarely even got out of bed. I don't even remember much of it. I had a couple of close friends and we all clung to each other, every one of us just wading through constant debilitating depression. Looking back over those three years all I remember are just long stretches of the three of us in our flat, in our pyjamas, watching anime and taking regular naps. There are flashes, you know, of going out and getting absolutely trashed every now and then, and a vivid memory of all-nighters in libraries, black sludge coffee at four am as we crack out a semester's worth of forgotten deadlines in time to just make the one-week extension we'd been given. I do remember those. And you know I should have loved uni so much but depression stole that from me. But then, here, I thrived. I- I don't know what did it, I mean I took a couple of years out after uni, got a job, got on new medication, maybe that helped, maybe it was the intensity of the course -- missing class just wasn't an option. But either way, I was doing so well. I enjoyed every seminar, had every assignment done ahead of time. I was on track for a distinction, actually. I still had my dissertation to do of course, but Meiko was my supervisor and she thought I was in for a really good chance of getting that distinction overall. And look, I know it's stupid, to be so attached to a place after less than a year. But it reignited my love of learning, which, isn't... it's not a small thing, right? I mean I was going to get my PhD, try and get into lecturing. It finally felt like my future was going somewhere, like I might have a future to be excited about, like I could go to bed and hope that I'd wake up in the morning. Of course the universe waited until I finally wanted to live to let me die.
Leo:
Can you tell me a little about your afterlife so far? How it's been here for you?
Layla:
It's not so bad. Bit shitty, being dead and all. Like, it’s… It’s actually harder to keep going knowing that nothing will ever really change, you know? Not for me anyway. I'm not going to graduate, move to new places, get new jobs, date new people. I'm just going to stay in here forever, watching other students on the cusp of doing all those things I didn’t get to do. But I do get to keep on doing what I love. I get to keep learning, I even get to kind of participate a bit, which is cool. I sometimes find those kids who are out of it, like, hungover or really burnt out, they’re just not engaging at all, and I prompt them when I can. You know, just a little nudge in the right direction. Also uh, I’m not depressed any more. Like I get sad sometimes, but I'm not like... I don't think I have brain chemistry any more? In fact I’m pretty sure I don't have a brain. I'm not so sure how I have emotions and stuff really, guess I never really wrapped my head around a lot of the science of ghosts back in school. But it's not a bad life. Um, afterlife. I'm enjoying it, for now. That's the good thing about literature, is that there's always a new angle. Imagine if I'd been stuck in a maths classroom or something, learning the same equation, for all eternity? That would suck. But, hey, heated debate about Mary Wollestonecraft's feminist writings? That never gets old. If there can still be new takes on it being published over two centuries later, I don't see the topic being exhausted any time soon.
Leo:
Okay, so, I mentioned that Dr. McLaughlan had been in touch with Better Place, can you tell me what your thoughts are on this? Is removal by Better Place something you consent to?
Layla:
Do I... do I get to consent? I suppose I didn't think about it like that. Meiko told me she'd called. She talks to me sometimes, when there's nobody around. But I didn't even consider that I'd have a choice in it. Like I said, I don't want to be here for eternity, but I'm... I'd like to stay, for now. I'm not ready to die. I wasn't ready to die. I just... I was, for so long. I wanted it all to end so badly. But this feels like my second second chance. I don't want to throw it all away just yet.
Leo:
Thanks, Layla. And before I go, is there anything you want me to pass on to anyone still living?
Layla:
Sure, uh, thank Meiko for me, will you? For having my back. Both before and after. And, er, I don't know if you could, but if you could find my parents? Grace and Mark Owens? And let them know I'm here, that I'm doing okay? That I love them and miss them and I want to thank them for helping me through my depression? Also just... Just in case there's any doubt in their minds. I didn't want to die. The accident was really just an accident. Thanks, Leo.
[SFX: Mouse clicks, classical music resumes]Leo (No longer on recording):
So, I sent that to Meiko already, and she said she's going to cancel the case with Better Place. Which feels amazing, right? Like I'm already helping someone! And Meiko's in touch with Layla's parents, so she's going to forward the message on, and also get in touch with some of the alumni from Layla's cohort, so that some of them could come and visit her. I really feel like I'm making headway here. Genuinely doing a good thing, bit by bit. And maybe I—
[SFX: Office phone rings, then is picked up]Leo:
Hey, hey yeah I can talk, Frank's out. I'm recording notes, actually, let me put you on speaker.
[SFX: Click of a button before receiver is put down]Riley:
(THROUGH PHONE) Okay, so, do you have the logs to hand?
Leo:
Uh, yeah they're just... in my drawer
[SFX: Drawer opening, papers rustling]Yep, got em here. I've been working my way up from the earliest dates, like you askedRiley:
Right, yeah, well I've been working my way down from the most recent dates. Take a look at, uh, page five, the day before we went out to Highgate Cemetery. See that last entry? At about nine pm, just one person taking out dispatch equipment, solo. Doesn't match any official case, nobody should ever be going out on a call alone. See the name?
Leo:
Oh. Oh no.
Riley:
Yup.
Leo:
Well, shit.
Riley:
Exactly. Never thought I'd be catching myself saying this voluntarily, but... I think you might have been right about Julia.
Leo:
I've gotta.... Can I call you back? I need a minute.
Riley:
Yeah, see you later.
[SFX: Phone is hung up, long pause][SFX: Recording Ends]

Closing theme begins
Leanne: Episode Fifteen of Tell No Tales, Keep Learning, was written and performed by Leanne Egan. You also heard the voices of Michaela Hook as Layla Owens, and Phil Thompson as Riley Matkins.
Tell No Tales will be taking a two week break but we’ll be back to our regular schedule on the 29th August for the last ten episodes of the season. In the meantime, stick around after the credits for a trailer for Mx. Bad Luck, a non-binary led audio drama that we love, and we think you’ll love too.Tell No Tales is distributed by Wasting Company Time Productions, under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike 4.0 international license. Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite.Closing theme ends‘’BAD LUCK’’ BY SEBASTIAN VALENZUELA FADE OUT[SFX: CAT PURRING]MICAH:
What could go wrong in a month. 31 days. 744 hours. Less than that if you have a decent sleep schedule but i've yet to meet anyone who does, so im gonna assume you all to be insomniacs or solar powered robots until proven otherwise. Does anyone actually leave their house before 8 pm anymore? I'm not leaving beforehand to check so that can remain a mystery for now. I’d argue 8 pm is a world known time to collect energy drinks and any source of caffeine before settling down and pretending to do those papers due last month. But that's beside the point.
[SFX: FOOTSTEPS, DOOR OPENS]SALEM:
Talking to the cat doesn't count as therapy y’know?
MICAH:
No, but he’s a good listener
SALEM:
I don't blame you, it's been a long month. Are you ready to put an end to it micah?
MICAH:
As ready as i’ll ever be
SALEM:
Then lead the way mx.bad luck, we’ve got a curse to stop- what's the worst that could happen?
MICAH:
Famous last words salem, famous last words
BAILEY:
Hurry up guys or I'm leaving without you!
SALEM:
Times up, lets go before bailey starts messing with things he shouldn't
[SFX: FOOTSTEPS]MICAH:
What could go wrong in a month? Spoiler alert, the answer’s a lot. Like a lot a lot.
‘’GOOD LUCK’’ BY SEBASTIAN VALENZUELA FADE INStream mx bad luck wherever you listen to podcasts and join us on our journey to find good luck amongst the bad.

Transcript: Episode Sixteen - Happy Place

Leanne:
Happy Monday everyone, Leanne here. I know it’s been a couple of weeks, but before we start the episode, we just wanna showcase a trailer for a show that we love: The Vesta Clinic. We absolutely adore The Vesta Clinic in this house, and if you enjoy the format of Tell No Tales, I’m pretty confident you’ll enjoy The Vesta Clinic too. Instead of ghosts, you’ll meet patients from all kinds of alien planets, getting snapshots of their lives, their problems, their cultures, alongside Dr. Underwood’s own relationships and problems. It’s equal parts heartwarming and fascinating, so we really recommend giving them a listen. Look them up wherever you’re currently listening, or see our show notes for a link their website. We’ll go ahead and run the trailer now, and then dive straight back into Tell No Tales. And, thanks again, everyone, for listening.
The Vesta Clinic Trailer BeginsFaye Underwood:
Patient: Ikogrisk, Ceresaur and ex-captain of the Fourteenth Guard of the Belt.  Patient: 'Maya', DPCC ID 0185505. Human.Patient: Do'oo'too, TroglodanPatient: Orik Orikosint, Calibuman
It says here that you're called 'Vesta Clinic Secretary Bot AX736 Model 3.0'? That’s a bit of a mouthful.
[SFX: computer typing]Sec? You want me to call you Sec?[Sec: Affirmative ping]Uh, for the record, I’m not including Mr ZyQ in that list, he was actually sick and couldn’t really help where he aimed his pus.We're in the Vessel Launcher.[Sec: Questioning ping]Stop - stop it![Sec: Typing on screen, then questioning ping]Well, because we're about to be launched into a vessel!
Dakarai Solari:
Alright! Who’s catching the sharp end of this pipette?
Faye Underwood:
Oh, you are scathing when you want to be! I'll use my doctor words when I remember what they are, okay?!
The Professor:
I never programmed you to be so . . .
[Sec: Typing on screen, questioning ping, typing on screen]Oh, stop it.[Sec: Negative ping]Dakarai Solari:
Xael, is everything okay, honey?
Xaelest Adra:
Yes! I'm just - I'm trying to revise. So if you could both keep imminent threats to the clinic to a minimum?
Dakarai Solari:
Yes, boss!
AMC (Creator):The Vesta Clinic is a science fiction audio drama about patients and their doctors . . . in Space! Episodes will be released every two weeks on Thursdays starting on Thursday 12th May. You can find the show in your local pharmacist or . . . wherever you get your podcasts. Can’t wait? Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss us. We’re on most social media sites at @vestaclinicpod. We can’t wait to share these stories with you!The Vesta Clinic Trailer EndsTNT Opening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode Sixteen: Happy Place
TNT Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins, mouse clicks, then classical music begins playing]Leo:Audio diary of Leo Quinn, assistant to Frank Williamson, director of Better Place. And I knew it. I Goddamn knew it. I'm just saying, sometimes, sometimes, trust issues are a good thing. There I was, trying to set up a second date with Julia, but she's too busy going on secret little missions for Frank. Probably. Okay, the details are unconfirmed but the evidence we do have is damning. Once they spotted Julia on the log, Riley did a little digging. The armoury requires an authorisation code for dispatchers to take out equipment. Normally, they’ll have one related to the case they’re working on, but on the rare occasion that there isn’t a case, you need authorisation from someone high up enough in the company to have their own code. Julia took out equipment for a solo mission out of hours last week using Frank Williamson’s very own unique code. Which begs the question.... Actually no, scratch that, it begs so many questions. It begs ALL the questions. First: how did Frank know to remove Mr Whitley just as I was about to interview him? Did he know about the recorder? In which case, why hasn’t he made any moves to stop me before now? And that’s just the Frank side of things. What about Julia? If she's doing Frank's dirty work does that mean she’s working with him? How much does she know? And how long has she known it? Is that why she was asking me so many questions about Frank and my work? And look, I know, I know this is unimportant in the grand scheme of things, I know okay? But I mean... Is that why she never called me back about that second date? (GROANS) Why am I like this?[SFX: Knock on door, then door opens]Leo:
Is there literally any point in reminding you that it's
customary to wait for an answer after knocking?
Riley:
I think we're long past that point babe.
[SFX: Case file landing on desk, office chair being pulled out and Riley sitting]Here.Leo:
What's this?
Riley:
It's the results of the DNA test. Just as we suspected, you're my biological child! What does it look like, dickhead? It's a new case.
Leo:
You're funny
Riley:
I know
Leo:
I can't work another case right now, Riley, this is all too much.
Riley:
Look, what can we even do about Julia right now? All we can do is try to find out as much as we can, but that's not going to happen overnight. In the meantime, you might as well get on with what you set out to do in the first place. You managed to go out and interview ghosts while you were mooning over Julia. I don't see why you can't still carry on now that you're stressing over her instead.
Leo:
Will you stop? God, I can't believe I was going to go on a second date with the double-agent ghost cop.
Riley:
We don't know that she's a double agent. She never actually claimed to be on our side. She might be working for Frank but she might not know that it's against you. Plus, hear me out, I still think you should go on that second date.
Leo:
(SPLUTTERING INDIGNANTLY) Even if- I mean, even if she ever actually called me back, which she hasn't, what makes you think-- why would I even
Riley:
Jesus, take a breath Leo. I'm not suggesting you two continue to like, actually date. I'm suggesting it could be a way to get more info, especially if she doesn't know how much we know yet.
Leo:
Oh, yeah, because that's an easy thing to work into conversation at the pub. "Hey Julia, been on any rogue operations for my boss recently?"
Riley:
Sure it is! “boy I sure do hate having to go to work every day, thanks capitalism. Oh, you know who hated capitalism? Karl Marx! Where was it he’s buried again, Highgate Cemetery right? Have you ever been?” Don’t you roll your eyes at me that was magnificently done.
Leo:
Doesn't change the fact that she still hasn't called me back. So it's a moot point anyway.
Riley:
All the more reason to get back to work on interviewing ghosts then. Keep building the case against Better Place, as planned. Don't you worry your pretty little head about Julia. I'm gonna handle it.
Leo:
What does that mean? You're--
[SFX: Chair being pushed back, Riley walking away]Riley:
I'm handling it! Get back to work, slacker.
Leo:
But--
Riley:
I'm handling it!
[SFX: Door opens, then closes]Leo:
(BIG SIGH)
[SFX: Case file being opened]Case NA#1806, Category 2, Case status-Report received. Hm, looks like another collection of
anonymous tips. In.... (LAUGHS) Oh, of course you did Riley. So this ghost just happens to haunt my favourite place in all of London? In a case file that's over four years old? And it's a total coincidence that they've given me this file just as I'm feeling a touch betrayed? Sure, Riley, you might pretend to be an ice cold prick but I see that secret softie.
[SFX: Pages being turned]So here we have a collection of reports of spirit activity in Kensington Gardens. Specifically in that one spot where the green parakeets hang out. You know, those bright green ring-necked parakeets that nobody can be 100% sure how they became native to London? Well, there's a spot in Kensington Gardens where if you go there, all you need to do is hold up an apple, and you'll find yourself absolutely covered in parakeets in approximately three seconds. Maximum. Unless there's about twelve tourists nearby holding up slightly tastier apples. Which, there usually is when I go. Looks like the reports came in as phone calls, I won't bother reading out all the transcripts, they were all pretty standard reports of park goers who felt watched, strange chills, and... Strange roosting habits of the parakeets. That's all the information they gave, really. Because the report never came through any official or actionable channels, the case was never assigned to a research team, so we know basically nothing about who this spirit could belong to. Which is... not ideal. Downright terrifying, actually. I mean, they might have progressed to a category three since 2018, and I am absolutely not ready to face a category three yet, but I do think it helps that they've been hanging out in a very public place for years and there's been no reports of anyone being hurt. Alright. Fine, you win this one Riley. I'll do my best to put Julia and Frank's rogue out-of-hours expeditions out of my mind, and go talk to a ghost, because -- and only because -- I get to be covered in parakeets while I do.[SFX: Recording Ends]
[SFX: Recording Begins]
Leo:Well, that was... Okay fine that was really nice thank you Riley, but don't you dare make me say it to your face. I did have, oh just, a mild anxiety attack, as soon as I felt her presence. Which, y'know. Standard. Just me, sitting on the grass alone in Kensington gardens, still cold and dewy because it was like, 6am, clutching a bag of apples to my chest while I hyperventilated. But... Honestly, I think she... I think she saw, and understood that she was the cause somehow. I kind of felt her retreat. That helped a lot. Cleared my mind enough to remind myself that a spirit polite enough to back off probably isn't going to try to hurt me. So when I got my breath back, I stood, just me and her in the clearing, and I called out to her to let her know it was okay. I'll just... play back both sides of the conversation.Leo (On recording):
Hi, you here? Sorry for coming so early, I had to get here while it was still empty so I
didn't look like I was talking to myself. But it looks like I'm too early for the parakeets. My name's Leo, I'm sorry, I don't know who you are, but I know you're a ghost. And, er, if you're willing, I've got a recorder that can capture your voice if you'll agree to share your story.
[SFX: Squawking, gradually becoming louder]Oh. Oh wow, nicely done. Did you, like, call them here? That's a pretty nice after-life gig. The almighty caller of parakeets. I'm going to take that as a yes, then? Okay, can you tell me who you are? Some identifiable details if you're willing.Mickey:(LAUGHING) Yes, that's a yes. You have no idea how hard it is to communicate when you can't be seen, heard, or touched. So I’m glad I got the message across. My name's Mickey Hart. I was born 12th September, 1973. I moved to the UK in 1991 for university, Oxford, but as soon as I graduated I moved right to London. I mean, who wouldn’t. It’s my favourite city in the world. And then I died when I was thirty-five, gas explosion. Wasn't pretty. But thankfully I wasn't there to see much of it. A lot of light, lot of noise, flash of pain, then... Here. Years later, going off the changing hair and fashion. Back in my happy place.Leo:
Can you tell me why you think your spirit was tethered here?
Mickey:
Come on, what a question. I mean, you see those birds, right? You get it, you brought apples, you've been here before. Don't waste those, by the way. No need. Look, uh, okay, lemme see if I can do this without hitting you on the head. Okay, if I make the apple grow on that branch right... there... when it drops down it should... Ha! Perfect. (LAUGHS) Okay, sorry, looks like you need a sec to process that. It's okay, it's a lot to get used to, I know. I'll keep talking while you figure out if it's safe to pick the apple up or not. Don’t worry, I didn’t poison it. To answer your question, I used to come here all the time. Whenever I'd had a bad day, when I was stressed, or there was mild inconvenience, or unbearable grief, it all brought me here. These parakeets squawk like a bitch but after a while it becomes soothing, don't you think? Drowns everything out. And I’m not gonna lie, they kinda remind me of home. Plus they're just beautiful to look at. (LAUGHS) Look there you go, you're getting it. Looks like you've got a couple friends there, too.
Leo:
Okay and- and- hey, lil buddy. (CLEARS THROAT) Can you, er, can you tell me a bit about your afterlife so far? Oh, come on pal, you can share the apple no need to be a (CLEARS THROAT). Sorry. Go ahead.
Mickey:
No need to apologise, Leo. I get it, it's not your fault, the little buggers can be very demanding of your attention once they catch sight of an apple. My afterlife has been, pretty much, this. I love it. I have some kind of weird ghostly connection with the birds? And I can't really touch anything but I can do stuff like making that apple grow from that very specific branch. I have fun. Like, for example, take this. A few weeks back, right? there was this little boy, Bawling his eyes out, terrified of the birds. And his mum kept trying to coax him to hold up an apple, but he was screaming so loud they wouldn't come anywhere near him. But I reached out to one of the parakeets, I'm not really sure how, just kind of... Thought at it, and it approached, tentative and gentle like, giving the boy time to get used to it. By the end, his parents had to drag him away, and only managed it when they promised they'd come back the next weekend. It's little moments like that. Like you said, it’s honestly a pretty sweet gig.
Leo:
And I wanted to ask-- I'm currently building a case that spirits should have the right to give or withhold consent with regards to removal by Better Place. Do you have any thoughts on the subject?
Mickey:
Hmm. Well, I consider myself to be a peaceful person. And I've never tried to use this connection I have with the parakeets for anything other than good. But, with that in mind, if Better Place ever tried to end my afterlife, let's just say I'd probably be able to figure out a way to sic a squalling green army onto them.
Leo:
Great. Thanks for talking to me, and for the apple. Just before I go, is there anyone you'd like me to pass a message on to? Or, just, anything else you'd like to say?
Mickey:
Nope, not really. Nobody left in this world for me any more. That's okay don’t worry, but, hey, maybe come visit me sometime? For one thing it'd be nice to have someone who knows who I am, that I'm here. And for another, I'm not gonna lie, it looks like you could use a happy place right about now, Leo. Hope that's not overstepping.
Leo (No longer on recording):
So, yeah, aside from being a little bit read for filth by a ghost I’ve known for all of ten minutes... That wasn't bad. I'll probably take her up on that offer, actually. She wasn't wrong. And I can see the appeal. I do love it there. And honestly, if that was my afterlife, I'd want to stay for eternity too. Especially when there’s so many unknowns. Is there an afterlife once a spirit is removed? And if there is, does Better Place even move the spirits over to it? Yeah, I'd take the certainty of apples, and parakeets, and happy tourists any day.
[SFX: Knock on door, then door opens]Leo:
You know, at this point why do you even bother knocki-- Riley, you alright?
[SFX: Office chair being pulled out and Riley sitting]Riley:
Yeah, so remember how I was handling it?
Leo:
I do.....
Riley:
Yeah. Um. Once again I find myself in the uncomfortable position of… hear me out… admitting I was wrong.
Leo:
Ok-aay. Somehow I don't feel satisfied, just concerned. Wanna tell me what's going on?

Riley:
Might have snooped through Julia's locker. Don't give me that look, I get results. Anyway, I found this notebook, right? Kinda tucked away, wrapped up in some clothes like she didn't want anyone to see it. Which, in my defence, is an invitation for me to see it. Anyway I took some pictures. Have a look at these.
[SFX: Phone being unlocked and passed over]Leo:
(LETS OUT A LONG BREATH) Jesus. And I thought I was paranoid.
Riley:
Looks like you were right to be.
Leo:
But this- this is full blown, red-string, I want to believe, depths of reddit crap. What's she even
investigating here?
Riley:
Kinda looks like... I dunno, everything? See, look, you're in here. But so's Frank. And there's... It's kind of an indecipherable mess but I see the word warehouse in there a lot. So maybe she's investigating Better Place, but maybe she's also investigating you?
Leo:
So... This doesn't actually tell us anything except that Julia's investigating something.
Riley:
Right. If there are sides, if it's us vs. Frank, or us vs. Better Place, it's... hard to tell from this which side she's actually on.
Leo:
Great. Love that for us.
Riley:
Well, we've got photos of it now. We'll figure it out. But not right now. Look at you, you need a nap or something.
Leo:
Or something. But yeah, you're right. Let's... Let's rest, and regroup.
[SFX: Recording ends]Closing theme begins
Leanne: Episode Sixteen of Tell No Tales, Happy Place, was written and performed by Leanne Egan. You also heard the voices of Phil Thompson as Riley Matkins, and Michaela Hook as Mickey Hart.
If you enjoyed this episode, the best way to support the show is to spread the word. Leaving us a rating and review in your listening app of choice is a huge help, or you can follow us on Twitter or Tumblr @tellnotalespodLinks and information about transcripts can be found in the show notes.Tell No Tales is distributed by Wasting Company Time Productions, under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike 4.0 international license. Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite.Closing theme ends

Transcript: Episode Seventeen - Leave Me Be

TNT Opening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode Seventeen: Leave Me Be
TNT Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins, classical music playing]Leo:
Audio diary of Leo Quinn, assistant to Frank Williamson, director of Better Place. And, well, according to Julia, "a possible bad egg"
Riley:
No way, it actually says that?
[SFX: Phone is unlocked and passed over]Leo:
Yeah, see, just kind of scrawled in the corner there.
Riley:
God, how can you read her writing?
Leo:
Frank's assistant, three question marks, a possible bad egg? hiding something, secret project.
Riley:
Yike.
Leo:
Yup.
Riley:
I mean, maybe it's a positive sign that it's scribbled in the corner. Not in block caps in the center of the page, like FRANK, SUSS AS ALL HELL. Now that I can read.
Leo:
Would it kill her to be a little bit more meticulous in her notes?
Riley:
It's probably intentional. I mean, if she's paranoid about it being seen. It wouldn't hurt you to be a little less meticulous with your notes. If someone found your audio diaries, they'd know everything.
Leo:
Not a chance. I keep them on my personal laptop, not backed up to any cloud, and I basically never let this thing out of my sight.
Riley:
Yeah, well, you're paranoid in your own special way. Maybe you two are perfect for each other after all?
Leo:
(GROANS) Don't
Riley:
I won't, but not because I'm feeling nice, only because I'm gonna go find out what I can about the warehouse. Julia apparently knows enough to think it worth investigating. And I'm not really in the business of knowing less than other people.
Leo:
And I love you for it. You need help, or...?
Riley:
Nah, you keep working on getting interviews. This little mystery doesn't make our original goal any less important. You still got that case file I sent over?
Leo:
Yeah, plant lady?
Riley:
That's the one. Right,
[SFX: Chair pulling back, footsteps to door]I'll report back later then, try not to have a meltdown while I'm gone?Leo:
No promises
[SFX: Door opens then closes, case file pulled from drawer]Leo:
Case RM#2253, Category 2, Case status-Active. Reported via email by a Mr. Matthew Richmond. Initial report:
Dear Better Place customer service, I am writing regarding one of the properties I own in Elephant and Castle, and a potential presence I would like to be investigated. I've had several tenants lodge complaints, and the last has asked for a reduction on their rent if I am not able to deal with the problem myself. I don't think the matter particularly urgent, as it seems to be nothing more than the vaguely reported 'bad feeling' at the moment. However, if you could begin a case and send me confirmation of it, that should be enough to satisfy my tenant for now. Many thanks, Matthew Richmond.So it looks like this was kept as a low-priority case for a while, but then a couple of days ago we received a follow-up email from the tenant himself:Dear Alison, many thanks for confirming the case has been logged by my landlord. However, the issue has progressed and I'm afraid I have to ask you to prioritise the removal of the spirit as a matter of urgency. I've never been much of a house-plant person, but I had a couple of little potted plants given to me as house warming gifts. The spirit seems to have taken the care of these plants into its own hands, and now, somehow, my whole bedroom is overgrown. I know it doesn't sound like the worst thing a ghost could do, but I no longer have use of my bedroom, and I'm having to stay in a hotel at the moment, which is costing me a fortune. If you could send someone over as soon as possible, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks, Ben Sloan.So Riley found the identity of the ghost fairly easily by the looks of it. There was a woman called Winona Haig who owned the property up until about seven years ago when she passed away, peacefully, in her sleep. In the bedroom where her spirit is tethered. She was apparently a bit of a homebody, there are medical records of anti-anxiety medications prescribed for a diagnosis of extreme agoraphobia, and she made up for it by tending to an incredibly elaborate home-garden. Her plants were, apparently, her biggest hobby, her best friends. Didn't look like she really had anyone else. When she passed she had no will, and that was when the flat was bought up by the current landlord. Riley's been working to fast-track the research, but they've passed the case over to me before forwarding it on to the dispatchers. I mean, it's perfect, an empty flat, the landlord's left a spare key for us, a chance to be in and out before the dispatchers even know about it. But I do have to act quickly, because the longer Riley keeps the file from the dispatchers, the more trouble they'll be in for taking too long to process a priority case. So, I'll probably head over on my lunch break again. I'd do it after work, but I could really use an evening off tonight. Burnout is a real and ever-present threat, for sure. (SIGH). Yeah, I'll head over on lunch. Maybe pick up a Greggs on my way back as a treat. Yeah. I'll do that. More later.[SFX: Recording ends][SFX: Recording begins, classical music playing]Leo:
(PITCHILY) One day of peace, you know? That's all I ask! Just one day of nothing weird or horrifying happening, one day with no new information or unpleasant surprises? I don't think that's asking too much. I'm going to walk you through what happened from the start. And then, then. And only then. I will wholly and completely lose my cool. Okay? Okay. So. (DEEP BREATH).
[Ambience: Classical music fades to dreamy atmospheric music]Getting into the flat itself was easy. The landlord left the spare key under the welcome mat, and I just slipped in. The flat was quiet, and still, but it didn't take me long to figure out which was the bedroom door. It was the one that I had to shove open with my shoulder because there was a weight on the other side, a weight that creaked and rustled when I disturbed it. When I finally forced it open, it gave too suddenly, and I fell forward, knocking branches and leaves out of the way. There was a clamouring, not just the sound of me tumbling to the ground, but a shifting and scurrying somewhere else in the room. It was bizarre in there, in a kind of beautiful way. I could only see two pots, like Ben had said in his email, but somehow there was a whole botanical garden's worth of different plants, climbing over the furniture, stalks twisting across the room, heavy wooden branches pressing against the windows. Every movement I made sent the whole room twitching, an interconnected nervous system of plants, every step and shudder from me sending a pulse through every corner of the room. And I could feel the spirit's annoyance at my disturbances, which was completely not conducive to me not having a panic attack, so I hurried to defend my presence. And, well, you'll see.[SFX: Mouse click]Leo (ON RECORDING):
Hi, Winona, my name's Leo. I'm sorry, I don't want to disturb you, but it's kind of urgent. Better Place have been called to remove your spirit --
[SFX: Creaking and Rustling]I know, I know, please call the branches off, I don't like it either. Look, I'm on your side here, I promise. Will you just hear me out please? Thank you. I have this recorder, it can pick up your voice. I don't think it's fair that Better Place can remove spirits without their consent, so I'm working on building a case that people like you should be able to provide or withhold that consent. But to do that I need you to talk to me, okay? Can you tell me a little about yourself?Winona Haig:
Look, I believe you when you say you're here on my side. But I just want to be left alone. It's all I ever wanted in life, and it's all I want right now. So can we just cut to the chase here and I'll tell you that you don't have my consent to remove me? This is my home. I have legal ownership of this property. I may have been gone for a while but I'm here now, and I did not give permission for some greedy landlord to buy up my home. All I ever wanted was to stay here and be at peace. I never hurt anyone, here, tending to my garden. But you'd think I was, the way people took offence. Everyone wanting to fix me, nobody stopping to consider that maybe I was happy here, happy alone, and I'll continue to be happy here for the rest of my afterlife provided people like you do what nobody could ever do in life and Leave. Me. Be. And I'm not sure I appreciate your whole 'you can talk to me,' bit, I'm sure it would sound plenty sincere, if not for the Better Place agent hiding out in the wardrobe. Though, come to think of it, you may not be aware yourself. Some operation you're running. Here, look.
Leo (NO LONGER ON RECORDING):
And that's it. That is the full extent of what I get out of my interview with Winona Haig because at that moment, that's when one of the vines curls around the handle of the wardrobe and tugs. And out comes, (DEEP BREATH) Julia. Yes. That Julia. Julia Wilde, Better Place's newest dispatcher. The criminally beautiful one that goes on rogue missions and keeps cryptic notebooks that mention me and Frank and mysterious warehouse secrets. That Julia. Tumbling out of the wardrobe. And she just stares at me, both of us frozen for a few seconds too long. Until she just tears out of there, knocking me down on her way past, pelting out of the room. And I... I didn't know what to do. I felt like I should chase after her but even if I caught up to her, what then? Would she even have told me what she was doing there? Would she have told me the truth? And this is the part where I start to lose my cool because (VOICE BREAKING) What if... I mean if she's working for Frank, she heard everything I said to Winona. Which means she's one phone call to Frank away from costing me my job. And Riley's too. And... No, okay. Riley said no meltdowns. And if their job is at risk, they deserve to know too.
[SFX: Buttons being dialled on office phone, faint dial-tone, then receiver hung up as the dial-tone switches to speaker]Riley:
Riley Matkins, Research Team leader, how can I help?
Leo:
Riley, it's Leo. Can you talk? About... Not work?
Riley:
Not exactly, the office is fairly busy at the moment
Leo:
Okay, can you listen?
Riley:
Of course, how can I help?
Leo:
Okay so I went to speak to Winona Haig, you know, plant lady?
Riley:
Oh yeah, I'm familiar with the case, carry on.
Leo:
So I'm mid-interview, right? Welcome to the Leo Quinn Talk Show, except today, no today, we're not interviewing a ghost, nooo, today we have a special surprise guest. Three guesses who the secret celebrity hiding in the wardrobe is?
Riley:
....Has this case been passed on to dispatchers already?
Leo:
Ding ding ding, right on the first guess! Hiding behind curtain number one, Julia Wilde!
Riley:
That... Certainly puts a spanner in the works.
Leo:
Yes. Yes it does and I'm freaking out because what if she talks to Frank, and—
[SFX: Knocking on door]Leo:
Shit, Riley. Someone’s—
Julia:
(MUFFLED) Leo? You there?
Leo:
It's Julia, I'll call you back
[SFX: Button is pushed to end call](PITCHILY) Yep! Hi, er, come... in?[SFX: Door opening slowly, tentative footsteps]Julia:
Hi.
Leo:
Julia. Hi. Again.
Julia:
Yeah, I... May have some explaining to do. Mind if I sit?
[SFX: Chair being pulled out]Leo:
Sure you want to risk that? What with me being a possible bad egg and all?
Julia:
What do you— oh. Okay. Right. That's fair, you went through my locker, found my notebook. I went through your laptop, found your audio diaries. Now we're even.
Leo:
You what. How?
Julia:
...brokeintoyouroffice
Leo:
What
Julia:
Broke into your office. Couple of weeks ago. I had good reasons, though, I swear.
Leo:
I'm going to need you to start telling me those reasons right away.
Julia:
Uh, here?
Leo:
Yes, right here, right now, because you've been pulling some shady shit Julia and I-
Julia:
Look, Leo, I know, I get it. But not here. (WHISPERING) Frank asked me to remove Montgomery Whitley. He asked me to remove Montgomery Whitley the day before your recorder was ready for him. How do you think he did that, huh?
Leo:
You... You're saying the office is bugged?
Julia:
I'm saying we can't rule it out.
Leo:
And you know this because...
Julia:
I don't know it, not for sure, it's just. Listen. We've both been suspicious of each other for the same reasons, okay?
Leo:
That why you were spying on me earlier?
Julia:
Actually, no. That's why I was snooping through your laptop. The spying was mostly just that I wanted to see you in action.
[SFX: Fabric rustle, muffled thump]Leo? You... Good?Leo:
(MUFFLED) Yup. Completely fine.
Julia:
I'm trying to tell you we're on the same side. But for anything deeper than that, you're going to have to trust me just long enough to go somewhere else to talk about this.
Leo:
(LONG PAUSE) Okay. Okay, yeah. My place.
Julia:
Actually, I think my place might be best. There's someone you should meet that might help you trust me.
Leo:
God help me. Fine. But in case you're thinking of trying anything, Riley has my Find My Friends.
[SFX: Recording ends]Closing theme beginsLeanne: Episode Seventeen of Tell No Tales, Leave Me Be, was written and performed by Leanne Egan. You also heard the voices of Phil Thompson as Riley Matkins, Josie Thomas as Winona Haig, and Shannon Kelly as Julia Wilde, who you may recognise from earlier in the season as our mystery spy.If you enjoyed this episode, the best way to support the show is to spread the word. Leaving us a rating and review in your listening app of choice is a huge help, or you can follow us on Twitter or Tumblr @tellnotalespodLinks and information about transcripts can be found in the show notes.Tell No Tales is distributed by Wasting Company Time Productions, under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike 4.0 international license. Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite.Closing theme ends

Transcript: Episode Eighteen - Promises

TNT Opening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode Eighteen: Promises
TNT Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins, keys turn in a door and the door is opened, followed by footsteps]Julia:
Sorry, it's a bit of a mess. Wasn't expecting guests. Don't worry about the uh, leaning tower of pizza boxes over there. Heh. Would you believe me if I told you I've only kept them specifically to make that pun?
Leo:
Just so you know, I'm recording this. In case you're thinking of trying anything.
Julia:
Tough crowd. Here, come into the living room. Hopefully this'll prove... Woah, Leo? You doing alright over there?
Leo:
(TAKING SHAKY, SHALLOW BREATHS) Uh. Julia there's... You can feel that, right? You can...
Julia:
Shit. Shit shit, of course, I'm an idiot, I should have warned you. It's okay, he won't hurt us. Sit down, you need to breathe.
[SFX: Sitting down, fabric rustle]Okay, here, put your fingers on my wrist, just there, feel my pulse. Breathe with me.Leo:
(GASPING, EVENTUALLY BREATHING SLOWS A BIT)
Julia:
Oh God, come on Julia, we don't just spring spirits on people with PTSD. I'm sorry. I didn't think. I knew you'd been in contact with spirits since... I mean, you'd been doing so well! But of course you'd need warning. Shit. I'm sorry. He's okay, though. His name's Jeremy! He makes tea! And he's a friend. A new friend. I. Uh. I stole him. From a job.
Leo:
(STILL BREATHING HEAVILY) You. What.
Julia:
I mean, I stole his tether. I kinda... Rescued him. He's, it's unusual, but not unheard of, right, for a ghost to haunt an object? His tether is a ring. Which made him the only spirit I could save, on the job.
Leo:
Jesus, Julia. What did— Wait. How did you know about my PTSD?
Julia:
Audio diaries, remember?
Leo:
Oh, god. All of them?
Julia:
Just the first... thirteen or so? Including one that was still recording when I found it.
Leo:
Oh god. Oh god. You heard everything.
Julia:
It's okay! That's what I'm trying to tell you, we want the same things!
Leo:
The same... Oh. Oh, you mean, about Better Place.
Julia:
Yeah, that's what Jeremy was supposed to prove! Before the part where I fucked up and you had a panic attack. Look, just... Treat it like any old case file, right? Case number... Oh, it was Becca's case so BG22, something. Category 2, case status, well, active at the time, but now officially unresolved. His name is Jeremy Baxter, and he died in 2002 from a stroke. That's pretty much all I remember from the case file actually. Sorry. My bad. But, uh, okay, how's this, I can tell you about how we met? He was one of my first jobs, like, literally brand new shiny dispatcher, maybe day two or three of actual field work, but I was already starting to feel... Icky about it. But it's not like I could just up and refuse to remove spirits, right? Because that would only get me fired, and I was no good to anybody fired.
Leo:
That's a dilemma I'm familiar with
Julia:
Exactly! But I am a firm believer that any job worth not doing is worth doing badly. Then Jeremy came along. And it was just so easy. Standard haunted house, we split up, took a room each, so I was alone when I felt him in the living room. I felt his presence, and then that pull, toward the ring. I hadn't even known the ring existed, but I felt drawn to it. I'd studied the phenomenon a lot, during my masters — it's a big topic in paranormal theology, how a tether, whether it's a place or an object, affects the physical space the spirit is able to take up, how the spirit interacts with that space — but I mean, yeah, sorry, I just mean, I knew what to look out for. So I dug into the couch and found the ring down the side, but I knew I didn't have long before the others came back. I could feel him, waiting to see what I'd do, so I just acted on instinct. Was all, "I'm with Better Place, if you don't want us to destroy you, give me a sign" and the biggest chill I'd ever felt went through me. Like I'd been doused with ice water from the inside. Which was good enough for me, so I lobbed it out the window.
Leo:
You just—
Julia:
Yep, just chucked the bastard. Right into the hedges. We regrouped, did one last sweep of the house, no spirit activity reported. So we left. Wrote it off as a false report, and I snuck back in the night and found the ring in the hedges. Brought him back here. And you can verify that story with him.
Leo:
(MUTTERED) Just one day of peace. (AT A NORMAL VOLUME) Okay. Yeah. I'll interview him. Just, er. Can I... You're still holding my hand.
Julia:
Oh. Yep. You can have that back.
[SFX: Fabric rustle][SFX: Recording ends][SFX: Recording begins, classical music playing]Julia:
That was so fucking cool
Leo:
You haven't even heard it played back yet
Julia:
I know but, even just seeing the evidence of him speaking on the EMF Meter, he was just there, chatting to you, how do you ever get used to that? That was so fucking cool!
Leo:
(SMALL LAUGH) Yeah, yeah it is. I don't know when I started to get used to it, actually. It’s ready though, do you wanna listen?
Julia:
Fuck yeah
[SFX: Mouse click]Leo (ON RECORDING):
Okay, so, Jeremy, I guess. (SLIGHTLY HYSTERICALLY) Jeremy. Jeremy, before we get to the bit about you haunting this particular corner of my friend's living room—
Julia (ON RECORDING):
Awh, you consider me a friend?
Leo (ON RECORDING):
I— That is so not the— I mean, er. Right then. Jeremy. Can you, er, start by just telling me a bit about yourself? The basics, name, date of birth?
Jeremy:
Aye, well, seems like Julia already knew the sum of it. Jeremy Baxter, I was born on the 7th April, 1956, lived in Glasgow most of my life but from what I can tell, my ring was lost down the side of a couch after I died, must have made its way down to London somehow but I wasn't around for any of that, just wakey wakey, you're a ghost now, and you're surrounded by the bloody english. And Londoners no less. Dunnae get much worse than that.
Leo:
Okay, thanks, and can you tell me a bit about your life, or your after-life, up until you met Julia?
Jeremy:
Oh, a simple life really, not all so much to tell. I had a bit of a sordid youth, if I may say so myself, a young man in the seventies, now those would be some stories if I could actually remember half of them (CHUCKLING). But once I met my Alice, we both calmed down a bit. Madly in love we were. Never got hitched, neither of us one for adhering to institutions of the law. It was from her, though, my ring. A gift, a cheap little thing that she got me from the street market when we'd only been seeing each other a couple months. I got her one to match. When we'd been together about, oh, must have been about fifteen years by then, we had them both cast in gold. I died not long after that, actually. If you ask me — and I know I'm no expert sure, but, if you were asking me — I’d say that's what did it. I've had plenty of time to sit and think about it, mind. I reckon I'd just made this commitment, this symbol, right? We'd solidified our rings, made them stronger, more permanent. Promised each other the rest of our lives, then mine ended, and she was still kickin' about, and that ring represented all the promises I failed on delivering. So it kept me here. Well, no it kept me in some fella's couch for a few years, then here.
Leo:
And Julia mentioned that she took your tether from the scene after you gave her a sign that you didn't consent to removal by Better Place. Can you expand on that?
Jeremy:
Aye well being thrown clean out the window wasn't quite how I was expecting my day to go when I met her. But when she told me what she was there to do, what the others were there to do, asked me to give her a sign and I didn't know how, I just... I felt myself go cold through with this, oh I don't know, I suppose with this feeling of being out of time. I didn't want to go, or die, or whatever ghosts do. I still had shit to get done. Still had to find out what happened to my Alice. And I guess that panic must have done something, something external, because I saw her shudder. She's one of the good ones, is our Julia. In — from what she's told me — an otherwise rotten institution. I try to show her my thanks but it's been... a bit tough. Poor lass wants to help but I cannae communicate with her really. All I can do is manifest a good strong cup of tea in any empty mug nearby, which, sure, is a neat enough trick but it's hardly a conversation now is it.
Leo:
Okay, thanks for speaking to me Jeremy. Before I turn the recorder off, is there anything you'd like me to pass on to anyone still living? Or just anything more you'd like to say?
Jeremy:
Well, for starters, if you could, I wonder if you could do some research into my partner, my Alice. Alice Turner. Born 24th July 1953. Probably still in Glasgow. We always said we'd never leave. If you can find her, if she's still about, tell her how much I love her. If not, just anything you can find, about her life after I left, I'd appreciate it. And to you, Julia, it's been nice to be the one doing the talking for once. (CHUCKLING) I don't know what she's like at work, but back here even if I did have a voice I couldn't get a word in edgeways. I'm joking, of course, mostly. You've been keeping me sane, little lass, thank you for that. Oh, and I told you so. You didn't hear me, but I still told you so. That you had friends at your new job. All those hours complaining that sure, a few people invited you for drinks here and there but nobody you could really call a friend, but here, I knew there were people, people you weren't seeing just then. And this is the little lamb that's been stressing you out so much, aye? I can sort of see it, I suppose. Bit too weedy for my taste but I can see you're the kind to go for that whole mad scientist bit. Doesn't surprise me that you're—
[SFX: Fumbling, playback ends with a mouse click]Julia:
You know, maybe we don't need to hear any more of that. (GRUMBLING) Snitches get stitches, Jeremy
Leo:
Oh, you're really going to sit here and silence a ghost who hasn't had a voice for almost twenty years? Shame on you, Julia. Shame on y—
Julia:
Don't you still want an explanation, for the rest of it?
Leo:
.... Okay you got me there, go ahead.
Julia:
So, just to be clear, I didn't set out to be a, what did you call me, a ghost cop. Gross. I mentioned I have my masters in paranormal theology, didn't I?
Leo:
Constantly.
Julia:
So, I've been working on my PhD. I want to focus on the physical space of the spirit plane. Whether it functions in a similar way, dimensionally, to our plane. Finding out how exactly ghosts take up space, how spirit forms work, and, what happens if, say, two category ones end up tethered to the same place.
Leo:
That... Sorry, but, that sounds like you’re describing inter-planar physics, not paranormal theology.
Julia:
Ugh. It's an outdated term. Anything that isn't about finding new and profitable ways to access the spirits, anything that's just about understanding the spirit plane for understanding's sake? It's shoved under the blanket term of paranormal theology. But that's the point, right? I'm trying to do research in a field that's hugely underfunded because all the big money is being funneled into projects that directly benefit Better Place. So. It made sense to me to, you know, follow that money. Better Place is pretty guarded with its information, so I thought, I'd get inside, start my research there. But the only job available was the dispatcher job. Which I never thought I'd get in a million years, I was not qualified, I mean you've met those other dispatchers, they've all got backgrounds in law enforcement, they're all hench, but I thought I'd do the straight white man thing and go for it anyway. I'd at least get my CV in and maybe they'd put it on retainer for the next, more suitable job that came up. But, no, Frank interviewed me himself, said he's always been (FRANK VOICE) inclined to trust those with inquisitive minds and unique perspectives on the current scientific theories.
Leo:
So Frank took a special interest in you from the start?
Julia:
No! Ew, you make it sound like I was his weird little protege or something. I mean, he hired me, but after that, I reported directly to HR and to my line manager, we didn't interact again, at first. But he, er... Well I think he noticed that I was asking too many questions. I couldn't help it! My first day we had this onboarding seminar, all day getting fed all the corporate rhetoric on why Better Place was the best thing that's ever happened to this country, and I noticed they were always really vague and euphemistic whenever they mentioned what actually happens to the spirits once we remove them, so I asked, like any normal person would, right? But they were SO cagey about it. So of course then I was even more curious. And every time I asked they got more hostile. And I couldn't believe nobody was digging into this already. It was such a glaring mystery. Like they'd hung up a neon sign flashing with the words "hey, here's something we're being unnecessarily secretive about, don't worry about it, nothing to see here!" Of course I was going to do some research. But after a while, I got Frank's attention. Wasted absolutely no time in reminding me that he can snatch this job from me as easily as he gave it to me. And that he could ruin my academic career too. By exposing the real reason I went for the job in the first place, reporting me for unethical research practices. God knows how he knew that, but, I mean. He's Frank Williamson. He knows everything he needs to, I suppose. Anyway he gave me the whole pitch, which was basically, I hold your future in my hands like a tiny baby bird, and then asked me to do a small job for him. To remove one category two from Highgate Cemetery. And to tell absolutely nobody. Then I knew something was up. I did, I'm not an idiot. And I had a gut feeling that it all added up to you.
Leo:
Why? Why me? I mean, you were right, but how did it even cross your mind that I was involved?
Julia:
My first day. We went out for drinks. I flirted. You absolutely did not flirt back, it was hilarious, kinda cute. And Riley was clearly trying to be your wing-person. So when they found out I was an academic, they mentioned this project you were working on, some research thing outside of work, to give us some common ground. But when I mentioned it to you, you clammed up. Got that same look on your face that I'd been getting all day, every time I asked a question that someone didn't want to answer. I knew you were Frank's assistant, so I put two and two together.
Leo:
Yeah, you put two and two together and got seventy-eight.
Julia:
Well, yeah, I know that now. But you see my logic, right? You're his assistant. If anyone was going to be his weird little protege, it was going to be you. So when he asked me to do the job for him at the cemetery, I panicked. Asked if I could think about it. He gave me until the end of the day, then went back up to his office. I followed. I didn't have to wait long, you went right into his office with him, leaving your desk free for me to find the audio files.
Leo:
(GROANS)
Julia:
I don't get why you're so embarrassed. All it did was prove to me that you're one of the good ones. I wanted to side with you. I didn't know what beef Frank had with Montgomery Whitley but I knew that if there were two sides here, yours was the one I wanted to be on. But I still couldn't say no to Frank, could I? So I decided I'd do it. I'd do it, if nothing else, to investigate further. Frank sent me out that night, gave me instructions to remove Mr. Whitley and take him straight to the warehouse. And I thought, maybe, that there was an opportunity there. It was the middle of the night, the warehouse would be empty, maybe I'd be able to stash him somewhere for you to question later. But Frank was there waiting for me when I arrived. I just had to... hand him over. But I promise, it wasn't something I intended

to do, you have to believe that. I want to help you. I think what you're doing is a really good thing, Leo. I want in. Please, trust me.Leo:
Against all my better judgment, I think I do trust you Julia.
[SFX: Recording ends]Closing theme beginsLeanne: Episode Eighteen of Tell No Tales, Promises, was written and performed by Leanne Egan. You also heard the voices of Shannon Kelly as Julia Wilde, and Asher Amor-Train as Jeremy Baxter.If you enjoyed this episode, the best way to support the show is to spread the word. Leaving us a rating and review in your listening app of choice is a huge help, or you can follow us on Twitter or Tumblr @tellnotalespodLinks and information about transcripts can be found in the show notes.Tell No Tales is distributed by Wasting Company Time Productions, under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike 4.0 international license. Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite.Closing theme ends

Transcript: Episode Nineteen - Everyone's a Critic

TNT Opening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode Nineteen: Everyone’s a Critic
TNT Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins]Julia:
Oh go on. Say it. Go onn, for me? Say it say it say it.
Leo:
(GROANING) Only to shut you up. Audio diary of Leo Quinn, assistant to Fra—
[SFX: Doorbell rings]Leo:
Ha! I win
Julia:
For now. Go let them in, I'll make some tea while you catch them up.
[SFX: Doorbell rings again impatiently]Leo:
Er, yeah, thanks. Mugs are in the-
Julia:
(DISTANTLY) I'll figure it out!
Leo:
Course she will
[SFX: Doorbell rings again, even more impatiently, then the door is opened]Riley:
You've both got about three seconds to explain what exactly is going on.
Leo:
Riley, by all means, come on in
Riley:
She's just, what, hanging out in you kitchen now? All chill like nothing's happened?
Leo:
She's on our side, Riley. She's explained everything. She's... Well she's a bit unethical, maybe. Definitely enjoys snooping far too much. But she's on our side.
Riley:
And you believe her? After weeks of trying to convince me she can't be trusted?
Leo:
I... Don't know, Riley. She seems genuine. Genuine enough to hear her out, at least. She's the one who wouldn't tell me anything about what she's found on the warehouse until we could all be here. For your sake. She wants to help us. So, yeah, no I do. I do believe her.
Riley:
Ugh. Of course you do. I should have known your mushy little cancer self couldn't resist that scorpio nonsense.
Julia:
(CALLED OUT FROM A SHORT DISTANCE AWAY) Actually, I'm a Leo. I know, fitting, right? But you were close, scorpio rising. And sagittarius moon, for what it's worth. Milk and sugar?
Riley:
(GRUMBLING) Just because she knows astrology thinks she can get me to trust her.
Leo:
(LAUGHING) Uh, neither for me. Riley takes milk and one sugar.
Julia:
(VOICE GETTING MORE DISTANT) Okay, note to self, Leo's a monster.
Riley:
Oh, so you trust her with your darkest secrets but not enough to tell her you prefer coffee to tea?
Leo:
Shh! Just because we're working together doesn't change the fact that she's still terrifyingly gorgeous. Tea's drinkable if it's strong and black.
Riley:
God you're a loser
Leo:
Shhhh! Hey, thanks, Julia
[SFX: Mugs being placed down]Riley:
Yeah. Ta. So, pleasantries aside, ready to explain?
Julia:
Alright, straight down to business, I can respect that. So, Leo tells me you've been looking into the warehouse too, what did you find?
Riley:
I mean. That's not representative... It's only been about two days, and I've not had much time outside of work, so—
Julia:
That doesn't mean anything. You're Riley Fuckin' Matkins. If there had been anything worth finding, you'd have found it in two days, easy.
Riley:
Alright the brown-nosing is a bit much, but go on.
Julia:
Worth a shot. Plus, it's true, there's nothing to find. Nothing in writing, not in company policy, not in employee contracts, not anywhere, about what happens after spirits are stored in the warehouse. I only know what I know because I saw it.
Leo:
When you delivered Mr. Whitley to Frank?
Riley:
Of course, because that's a thing that she did. Just in case we forget about that.
Leo:
A thing that she's explained her reasons for already. Reasons I've already told you about over the phone.
Julia:
Nah, they're right. Doesn't make it okay. But maybe this might. Frank seems like a pretty careful guy, right? But for whatever reason, he let his guard down that night. Sure, he didn't know I was there, at first, but a man that paranoid, that secretive? He has to have known there was a possibility I'd be lurking. I mean, what did he expect me to do? I got there, and the whole place was completely dark and dead quiet. So obviously I started snooping. It was all fairly standard stuff really, at first. Nothing a few dozen warehouse staff haven't already seen. But I was mid-snoop when a door at the back opened, and Frank came out, seriously riled up. Like, punch a wall mad. Straight man on a first date and you've just told him that Quentin Tarantino's films just Aren't That Good mad. Practically growling in frustration. And the door wasn't wide open, but the room behind it was well-lit, easy to see from the gloom of the warehouse. And, well. There were more spirits. Stored in their stasis capsules. Looked like thousands and thousands of them. Walls lined with crates. Each crate big enough to take at least, what, maybe a hundred capsules? There's no way we're processing that many spirits regularly enough to justify them all just sitting there. And I think I gasped or something, because he just zeroed in on me. Slammed the door shut, turned the lights on. I handed over the capsule with Whitley in it and he made some vaguely menacing comment about how he doesn't need to remind me what will happen if I'm indiscreet, then just stood there, watching to make sure I left.
Riley:
So he's storing them. Indefinitely? Why, though?
Leo:
Is it... all just a scam? Maybe there isn't a way to move spirits on, or maybe Better Place has never known how to, so they just stash them away for as long as they can get away with it?
Julia:
I don't think so. Better Place has been going for centuries, surely they'd have found a way to destroy them by now, even if it was just launching them into space to hide the evidence or something. And why would Frank be hanging out back there if it was just super-secret storage space? I think he's doing something with them.
Riley:
So is this a Frank thing or a Better Place thing? How far does this thing even go back?
Leo:
I wonder if that's got something to do with what Mr. Whitley was trying to tell us.
Riley:
Shit. Yeah, well. Okay. Okay, we've got somewhere to work from now though. There's nothing to find about the warehouse, but...
[SFX: Rummaging in satchel, laptop pulled out and turned on, brief typing]I can look back into early Better Place practices, maybe see if something changed at some point, and when. Might give us some insight.Julia:
I'll help. I've still got access to the uni's digital library, I can dig into anything we find.
Leo:
What about me, can I help somehow?
Riley:
Yeah! Yeah, er…
[SFX: More rummaging, then paper set down]Riley:
Here. I snuck it out of work for you when you mentioned your office might not be safe
Leo:
I... A case file? Really? You're just giving me a toy to keep me busy while the grown-ups do the real work?
Riley:
Oh, come on. It's all real work Leo. We've said it before, this doesn't get any less important just because there's a new mystery to look into.
Julia:
They're right. If this is something... If we've got a case against Better Place here with the warehouse, that case becomes infinitely stronger with every shred of evidence that there's a real person suffering on the other end. It's shitty that we should even have to, but for anyone to care that they're storing these spirits, we've got to work the human angle. Remind people that these capsules aren't just stock in a warehouse. That they're people, with stories. You're so good at that.
Leo:
Fine, whatever, I'll just go over the case file in the bedroom shall I? So that I don't disturb you both.
Riley:
(ALREADY TYPING) yeah, sounds good
[SFX: Footsteps, door opens and closes, Leo sits down heavily on the bed]Leo:
(GRUMBLING UNDER BREATH) Sure, leave the experts to it, Leo. We've got the perfect trio, a researcher, an academic, and Leo... Well, Leo, they're good at all the mushy feelings stuff I guess. Fine.
[SFX: Case file opening]Case BL#2240, Category 1, case status-active. Reported by Aaron Jacobs via email, initial report:To whom it may concern, I work for Her Majesty’s Theatre, London, and I’m writing to report what we believe to be a potential haunting in the theatre. We have received complaints from actors during rehearsals, particularly during moments when things don’t exactly go to plan. Most often, it takes the form of actors who fumble their lines or slip up somehow finding themselves bothered by a strange malicious feeling, one of, in their words, “resentment” and “unease.” We have also had reports from audience members of somewhat different experiences, but equally unsettling nonetheless. They describe a feeling not necessarily of being watched, but of being watched through. It has taken the joint efforts of several complaints to be able to garner that specific phrasing, as most find it difficult to put to words exactly. I appreciate that such vague sensations might not be a priority to your organisation, but we’ve already been asked for refunds by several ticket-holders, so your swift assistance would be much appreciated. Kind regards, Aaron JacobsOkay, well, if this is just a distraction on Riley's part, at least they've picked an interesting one. Her Majesty's Theatre happens to be the home of the West End's long standing run of Phantom of the Opera. Reckon he managed to manifest there for the sheer irony of it? Though, I mean, he does actually have a reasonable reason for it. Looks like our spirit belongs to a Patrick Bryant, an actor whose first professional performance was on this stage, as the Auctioneer in one of the earlier casts of Phantom of the Opera. Seems to have been his last role in any big production too. (SIGHS) It's still early enough, I suppose I could slip into the theatre after tonight's showing. Unless...[SFX: Footsteps, door opening]Riley:
(DISTANTLY) Okay, what about 1839
Julia:
(DISTANTLY) When Hornsby took over?
Riley:
(DISTANTLY) Yeah, see if there was anything new published around then
[SFX: Door closes]Leo:
Yeah, they don't need me. I'll go tonight.
[SFX: Recording ends][SFX: Recording begins]Leo:
They're still going. I left, went to the theatre, and came back to find them in exactly the same position but with several cans of energy drinks around them. God knows where they've gotten them from, I don't keep any in the house. We're all exhausted. Doing this exclusively outside of work hours is going to be a lot. But part of me is glad to have something of my own to work on. I mean, they're right. I hate it but they're right. I wouldn't be much help to them out there.
[Ambience: Mellow, dreamy music fades in]But this is what I can do. Even if this particular spirit isn't the most... sympathetic case study I've got. Doesn't mean he deserves to, die, or, be locked in a warehouse for the rest of eternity. Maybe Julia's right. Maybe that's my role in all this. Show the person inside the stasis capsule. It's getting easier every time, at least. The last couple needed basically no editing bar a bit of noise reduction and splicing together the recordings of my end of the conversation. And it's getting easier in the other sense, too. With the notable exception of when I don't get any warning, but whatever. When I snuck into the theatre, when the place emptied out, lights turned off, staff leaving for the night, just me and him, I felt his presence. He was lurking, watching, and it wasn't a good feeling. There was no warmth in it. But it didn't break me. I just powered through. Pulse racing, sure, but breathing steady while I introduced myself and got him talking. Here.[SFX: Mouse click]Leo (ON RECORDING):
Okay, Patrick. Can you start by telling me some basic information to confirm your identity?
Patrick:
Well I wish I was surprised that you need confirmation of the details, but I was criminally unappreciated in my time. Were the world a fair place you'd be able to confirm all of this just by looking me up online. But it is not a fair place, and I was taken too soon to make a name for myself. Oh, Patrick Bryant, if you must know. Born 3rd of August 1979. Born and raised here in London, died here too. Only thirty-four years young.
Leo:
Great, thanks, and can you tell me a little bit about your life?
Patrick:
My life. (LAUGHS BITTERLY) My life was an exercise in futility. Ended by, of all things, oh it was a terrible bout of food poisoning. Oh I thought I'd had my big break here. The auctioneer. In Phantom. And not some pokey regional production either, but here. The second-longest West End run in history, after Les Mis of course. After years of taking part in my friend's shitty improv productions, performing in no-budget musicals to audiences of five people at the Fringe. I finally make it big. Or, big enough to get me seen. Get me out there. And it's taken away from me. After a year. Only one year. Do you know how pathetic that felt? They didn't even try to hide their contempt when they told me either. Made it impossible to get any new gigs. More so than before. Now I wasn't just unknown, I was known and ridiculed. The theatre world it’s small. It’s smaller than it seems, my friend, let me tell you. I was a pariah. All because I got too big for my boots. A visionary, I was. But nobody wanted to accept it coming from me, some rookie they'd never heard of. So they found it easier to mock me instead. Cast me aside. And my career never recovered in my lifetime.
Leo:
And can you tell me a bit about your afterlife here?
Patrick:
Well, it's been enlightening. It’s served to show me just how much better I truly was than any of my peers. And certainly than any of these lot. Absolutely incompetent I tell you. Running since 1986, and they still can't put any real emotion in it. I’ve heard this musical rehearsed and performed every night for almost decade, I know a fraud of an actor when I see one. But one thing I can say that has been nice, I seem to possess the ability to, in a sense, perceive the show through the audience member's eyes. Most times I berate the actors for their abysmal performances any way I can with my limited communication. But sometimes. Sometimes I see the show as if for the very first time through some stranger in the stalls. I feel that wonder, that total absorption into the beauty of the production — even if I have to see it through naive, uncritical eyes to feel it — and I get lost in it. Now that, that I'd spend an eternity doing. That's what it was always about.
Leo:
And I mentioned that Better Place was coming to remove you from the theatre. Can I ask what your opinion is on this?
Patrick:
I'd rather stay where I am, honestly. I'm happy here for now. Though, if this run ever ends, I’d like you to be in touch. It depends on what production comes next. If it’s Cats, I’ll hand myself into Better Place personally.
Leo:
Okay, thanks for speaking with me Patrick. Is there anything else you'd like to say, before I go? Anything you'd like me to pass on to someone still living?
Patrick:
Well actually, I have quite the extensive list of notes for the actors that I've acquired over the years I'd like you to pass on, if you can. First of all—
[SFX: Mouse click]Leo (ON RECORDING):
We don't need to bother listening to the rest of that. It goes on for a while. I took my mum and dad to see that production of Phantom of the Opera, actually. Last time they visited. Phenomenal doesn't even begin to cover it. So I wouldn't take Patrick's criticisms too seriously. Especially given the handful of scathing reviews I managed to find about him online. I don't think I trust his judgement. And I will absolutely not be passing on his critiques. But hey. Every spirit's account is progress, right? (LONG PAUSE). I think Riley and Julia have fallen asleep in front of their laptops in the living room. I should get some sleep myself. I'm not sure how sustainable this'll be, working these cases outside of the office. But I'll do what I can for now. At least until I burn out completely.
[SFX: Recording ends]

Closing theme beginsLeanne: Episode Nineteen of Tell No Tales, Everyone’s a Critic, was written and performed by Leanne Egan. You also heard the voices of Shannon Kelly as Julia, Phil Thompson as Riley, and Will Pryce as Patrick Bryant.If you enjoyed this episode, the best way to support the show is to spread the word. Leaving us a rating and review in your listening app of choice is a huge help, or you can follow us on Twitter or Tumblr @tellnotalespodLinks and information about transcripts can be found in the show notes.Tell No Tales is distributed by Wasting Company Time Productions, under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike 4.0 international license. Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite.Closing theme ends

Transcript: Episode Twenty - Eye of the Storm

TNT Opening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode Twenty: Eye of the Storm
TNT Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins][SFX: Mouse clicks, classical music begins playing]Leo:
Audio diary of Leo Quinn, assistant to Frank Williamson, director of Better Place. Nothing to report, just yet. Not for lack of trying. The only people in the whole Better Place building who look more worse for wear than me are Riley and Julia. If Frank hasn't been bugging my office already, he's got to be getting suspicious for sure now. We might not exactly be best buds but I mean, you employ someone for seven years you get to know then well enough. I doubt he's buying that these persistent bags under my eyes are just from one too many late nights at the pub. But, I'll keep plugging along. Because what else can I do? Riley's still managing to send case files my way at least, helping me smuggle copies out of the office. Even in spite of all the research they're doing with Julia out of hours. Which, hey, at least if there's any kind of silver lining to this, it's that nothing seems to have bonded those two quite like shared research. So that's something. Now it's kind of just... me being the third wheel now, I suppose. No. No, I'm being ridiculous. This isn't about me. It was never about me, it's about doing right by Better Place's victims. And if the best way to do that is to keep interviewing spirits while Julia and Riley research together then that's what I'll do. Yeah, I'll er…
[SFX: Case file being picked up, pages turning]Here's one I stole earlier. Looks like someone from Transport for London reached out about a haunting on one of the buses, so customer services got in touch with the bus driver for a proper account of the spirit activity.Case RM#2255, Category 2, case status-active. Reported by Amir Morales via email. Initial report:Dear Allison, thanks for getting in touch. Happy to tell you more about the issue. It seems to be isolated to the upper deck of the bus. I believe upper management gave the exact details of which bus in their earlier email. It started as just a feeling really. A handful of passengers mentioned it over the years. Which I know doesn't sound like much but it really does take a lot to get most Londoners to talk to their bus driver. Unless they're, y’know, shouting abuse at me. So a handful of people feeling it strongly enough to say something must have meant a lot more people staying quiet about it. It took a few years before it progressed to full-blown complaints though. Mostly the complaints were about people missing their stop, staying on the bus for much longer than they meant to. So, obviously they were dismissed. It happens sometimes, people zoning out on their commute, forgetting to press the stop button and somehow it's the driver's fault. Never mind that not making unnecessary stops is what gets you to your stop on time. Though, you work customer service, I'm sure I don't have to tell you about bizarre complaints. It wasn't until someone took the time to write in about it that we really flagged it as an issue. The passenger who wrote to us mentioned having had experience with a haunting before, and immediately recognised it. Apparently the chill, the feeling of being watched, it was all fairly textbook, though the feeling of zoning out and missing stops seems specific to this ghost. That was the only official complaint we've had, besides the occasional passenger shouting at me, so we've found no need to take the bus out of service, but if you think there might be any danger at all please do let me know and I'll put some pressure on management. Let me know if you need any more info, thanks, Amir.I mean, honestly, god bless Riley. Even with all the extra work they're doing outside of office hours, they still managed to fast-track their research so that they could get this case file to me before the dispatchers. And I truly believe nobody but Riley could have found this spirit. There were too many possibilities, too public a place, too many passengers on each route. But they managed it. They found that this exact bus was one often taken by a Josh Fraser. A relatively young consultant-something who chose a ninety-minute bus commute to and from his job in central London every day over a tube journey that would've only taken half an hour. He spent three hours of his day on this bus every single day. Three hours. That’s… Five days a week that's, what... fifteen hours a week? Shut up I know that shouldn't have taken me so long, I'm tired. But, it's weird, right? Like, I spend a hideous amount of my day commuting too but I doubt my eternal soul would stay behind there, you know? I'm not exactly attached to the central line at rush hour. In fact, pretty sure I'd take eternity in the warehouse over an eternity on the central line. Nope. No, too soon to joke about that. Anyway, maybe there's a good reason. Maybe he... I don't know, met the love of his life on that bus. Maybe that was where he got a life-changing phone call. I dunno, I'll be able to ask him soon enough, I suppose. But since TFL have been reluctant to take the bus out of... I don't know what you'd call it, active duty? It means it's going to be a lot harder for me to access. But Riley was provided with all the scheduling info as part of their research, so I know the route that the exact bus should be on tonight. All I've got to do is hunt it down. And then, you know, find a way to conduct an interview with enough subtlety that nobody tries to get the crazy person with an EMF recorder kicked off. Thankfully, rush-hour is well over by now. It'll be another late night for me, I think. Love that for me. Alright, wish me luck, I suppose.[SFX: Recording Ends][SFX: Recording Begins, classical music playing]Leo:
Huh. That was... Unusual. Not what I was expecting. Not at all. Though I guess that's the beauty of this kind of thing, you know? It's not just the sob stories that we need. Not just the spirits who want to watch their kids grow up or be near their partners. To prove a spirit deserves human rights, we have to prove they're human. In all of humanity's flawed glory. And this guy definitely fit into the category of flawed. It took me forever to find him. It was already getting late when I left, and then I had to get a tube to one of the stops on the route, and I spent almost an hour just hopping onto different buses, then getting off at the next stop when there was no sign of spirit activity. When I finally found him, it was a whole other thing working up the nerve to speak to him. I ended up waiting until the top deck emptied out completely. Because apparently I can speak to ghosts mid-panic attack but I'm completely incapable of holding a conversation with one if there's anyone nearby to think I'm talking to myself. Somehow though, it didn't feel so bad, waiting for the bus to empty out. It kind of felt like no time was passing at all. I think that was his effect. Josh Fraser's, I mean.
[Ambience: Classical music fades out, dreamlike atmospheric music fades in]The effect that makes people miss their stops and travel for far too long. Just sitting there, in the dim florescents, the seat rumbling beneath me, London passing by outside. Looking out at the dark street, it is so easy to forget that time's passing when it's only marked by the lights that flash by. The next streetlamp approaching inch by inch, until it speeds off behind you. A story of London in flashes of shadow and colour. The tall intricate limestone of Central settled and empty with the stillness of offices at night. The ever-present buzz of SoHo. Each car and bus just a glare of headlights, concealing the lives and thoughts of the people within. I felt more at peace on that bus than I have in... God. Forever. Which, I mean, now that I've had a chance to listen back to his interview, it makes perfect sense.[SFX: Mouse clicks]Leo (On Recording):
Uh, hi, Josh? Sorry about that, I came here to speak to you a while ago, but I think I got a bit... Lost in my thoughts. My name's Leo, I'm here because Better Place have been called to remove your spirit, but I'd like to get a bit more information about whether or not this is something you consent to. If you're willing to speak to me, I have this recorder, which will pick up your voice, though it can't play back in real time. Could you start with a few basic identifying details, name, date of birth?
Josh Fraser (On Recording):
'salright, I saw you get lost, I get it. The bus is an easy place to get lost in. It's why I like it. Basic details of my life, eh? Josh Fraser. My wife was Sarah Fraser, my kids were Jess and Millie Fraser. My date of birth was the eighteenth of Janurary 1978. I was only thirty-two, when I died. But I felt so, goddamn, old.
Leo:
And can you tell me a bit about your life? And why you think your spirit stayed on here?
Josh:
Where do I even start. Asking me to tell you about my life is like being at one of those god awful workplace seminar icebreaker things, "tell us your name and one interesting fact about yourself," there's just nothing of interest to report. My life was somehow both hideously chaotic and unbearably mundane. The same messy day, just one after the other. Screaming hectic mornings, the wife yelling at the girls, fighting for the bathroom, fighting to be out on time. Then eight hours of the same boring job. Then back to chaos again. Fights about what to have for dinner and what to put on the telly and when to go to bed. Rinse and repeat. But then there was my commute. an hour and a half of peace twice a day. Ninety minutes of stillness. Of music, or a podcast, or just the sounds of the city. A ninety minute long eye of the storm. Nothing to do. Nobody to fight with. Nobody wanting anything from me. This was my happy place. Maybe it sounds sad, or pathetic, or misanthropic or whatever. But I don't care. This was the only place I ever felt free of the crushing weight of my life. Of the days piling up one after the other and nothing to show for them. On this bus, in this in-between, none of it mattered.
Leo:
And what has your after-life been like, can you tell me a bit about that?
Josh:
Oh, my after-life has been a whole other story. I will never understand how the obscenely wealthy go crazy with boredom. If my life had been like this all the time, I would have been just the happiest man alive. The utter bliss of it. The absolute joy of having nothing to do. No responsibilities. Of course I do wish I'd been able to bring my phone along with me. Zoning out entirely is lovely but sometimes I do wish I had a podcast to listen to. I used to love listening to those contrarian interviewers, you know, the ones who would invite guests on just to start a fight. It was a refreshing change, like finally being able to witness the claws come out from a safe distance, not like the shouting and swearing back at home or from my boss. But I've got other things to occupy me, most times. People watching can be fun. Sometimes they fight, and sometimes it's entertaining. When it's not, it's just as much fun to watch them zone out, watch their expression change as it all falls away and the world narrows down completely to the next thing to flash by in the window.
Leo:
Do you have any thoughts about Better Place coming to remove you?
Josh:
Well, the best part of this place, this journey, is that it's just so... liminal, isn't it? So if it never ends, then maybe it loses its charm. So it will need to end eventually. I need to know it's going to end eventually. But that's... That doesn't mean I want it to end now. Just because you don't want to be immortal doesn't mean you're suicidal. And this really is the most perfect limbo I could have asked for. So no, I'd like to stay for now. For the first time in my adult life, I'm happy. I'd like to savour it.
Leo:
Okay, thanks for talking to me Josh. Before I go, is there anything else you'd like to say? Anything you'd like me to pass on to someone still living?
Josh:
Oh, God no. I never had anything to say in life, nothing's changed now. My family don't need to hear from me. And I don't want them to know I'm here. What's the use of this perfect stasis if they're always coming to visit me? Talking at me, expecting things from me? It wouldn't be my happy place any more.
Leo (No longer on recording):
So, yeah, big yikes. Not a pleasant man in life, I'm sure. He sounded miserable. He probably made the lives of those around him miserable too, but, well, at least he's happy now. For now. I wonder if... I wonder if they're conscious, once they've been removed? Once a spirit is condensed into a stasis capsule? Nobody's ever done research into it. Nobody's ever cared. Or, no, that's not fair. Nobody's ever been paid to care. As an underfunded academic herself, Julia likes to remind us of the difference often. I really hope they're not. Conscious, I mean. If it's true, if Better Place have been storing spirits indefinitely in those capsules, then... yeah, no, it does not sound quite as perfect, as far as limbo goes. But. That's what we're doing. That’s what we’re working to fight. We'll get there. Even if we're in a kind of limbo of our own right now. I hate this, feeling like there's so much to do, and not being able to help. But it's got to be worse for Riley and Julia. Doing everything they can and still not getting anywhere. (SIGH). Right. No point despairing about it now. It's almost 3am. And this isn't even the latest night I've had this week. Time to get some—
[SFX: Mobile phone ringing]Leo:
Julia, hey, everything okay?
Julia (on speakerphone):
Hi! Yes! I had a brainwave. You mentioned, ages ago, Frank's been spending time at workshops, right?
Leo:
Er, yeah, sometimes for days at a time. At least that's what it says on his calendar. Never much info on it.
Julia:
Right. Fab. Do you know if he's got any more of those coming up?
Leo:
Yes, tomorrow, I think? I have his google cal on my phone let me check
Julia:
Oh, hon, of course you do. Anyone ever tell you you need some boundaries?
Leo:
Ha, rich coming from you. What time is it Julia?
Julia:
Point made. Can you send me some screenshots?
Leo:
Yup, sure, sending them now. Why?
Julia:
Not sure yet. I'll call you if it turns into anything. And don't worry if I'm off sick tomorrow. I promise I'll tell you if my hunch pays off.
Leo:
Er, yeah, okay, I mean— Of course she's gone. Right. Well, maybe I'll have an update on whatever that was about in my next audio diary. Until then, I suppose.
[SFX: Recording Ends]Closing theme beginsLeanne: Episode Twenty of Tell No Tales, Eye of the Storm, was written and performed by Leanne Egan. You also heard the voice of Samuel Johnston as Josh Fraser, and Shannon Kelly as Julia Wilde.If you enjoyed this episode, the best way to support the show is to spread the word. Leaving us a rating and review in your listening app of choice is a huge help, or you can follow us on Twitter or Tumblr @tellnotalespodLinks and information about transcripts can be found in the show notes.Tell No Tales is distributed by Wasting Company Time Productions, under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike 4.0 international license. Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite.Closing theme ends

Transcript: Episode Twenty-one - Our Own Homes

TNT Opening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode Twenty-One: Our Own Homes
TNT Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins][SFX: Classical music playing]Leo:
Audio diary of Leo Quinn, assistant to Frank Williamson, director of Better Place. I haven't had a good night's sleep in days. Between trying to help out Riley and find time for another case file, and Julia's been off sick for three days, and she's been completely off the radar, which means I've had to fill in as Riley's research assistant. But I'm not great at it, so they've decided to plow ahead on their own tonight, which should mean a night of rest for me, but nope. It means a case file. Because it's been a couple days and I really should. Riley's working themselves to the bone, Julia's off god knows where putting herself in god knows what danger. I can quit being a lil bitch and do another late-night case file. Alright. Here we go.
Case MS#2241, Category- oh shit. Category three. Well. Erm. Okay, I mean. Hm. It doesn't hurt to read the file. It's the only case I've got. Maybe my last chance to take a case for a while. I could, uh. I mean, I'll read it. I might not take it, but I can read it. Er, yeah, category th-three, case status, active. Reported by Margaret Wilson via email, initial report:Dear Better Place Customer Service, I run the site maintenance team at Stanstead airport, and I'm writing to report a fairly alarming development with what we are confident, now, is a haunting. The issue started, we believe, with some passengers reporting an odd feeling when they would meet their friends and families at Arrivals. They reported, in one passenger's words, "a warm feeling. Like one of being loved. But not how it usually feels. More... unusual." Obviously these reports were few and dismissed, due to the assumed likelihood at the time that this was just the feeling of being reunited with a loved one. However, several years later some couples — always couples — would report the airport around them darkening when reunited, the whole place seemed to fall away around them leaving just the couple, standing in what seemed to be a spotlight in an empty stretch of blackness, ending only when they would step away from each other. Again, I'm sure you can understand why these were dismissed as a cliche, an over imaginative result of heightened emotions. However the reports continued over the years, all identical, which in itself was concerning, until last month we received reports of people's knocked over suitcases and dropped items being caught and returned to them by unseen hands. This more than anything has confirmed for us that the reports are connected to a particular ghost who is haunting the Arrivals area. We haven't shut the area at the moment, as this would cause enormous disruption, and the spirit appears to be harmless, but we may be able to for a short time if you give us plenty of advance notice of your visit. Kind Regards, Ms. Margaret Wilson, Stanstead Airport Maintenance.Okay. So. Fairly benevolent manifestations, at least. What else do we know about this spirit... Okay so Maya was the lead on this, she was thorough enough. She found that spirit is likely that of Miruna Vulpe, a Romanian woman who spent a lot of time in Stanstead airport visiting her long-distance girlfriend in London. The girlfriend, Ashley, actually tried to petition the airport to name the Arrivals area after Miruna after her passing, which is how Maya was able to find the connection so easily. Looks like Miruna died in 2003, cancer, only 35 years old. Oh, she relapsed quite suddenly, it looks like. Just a little before she was due to visit Ashley. She became too sick to fly and passed shortly after. Ashley was never able to say goodbye in person. So, okay, so she haunts the arrivals of Stanstead airport, because it's her happy place. The scene of all these happy reunions, and one she never got to have. And now she watches other happy couples reunite, makes them feel like the only two people in the world. As far as manifestations go that's pretty wholesome. Shouldn't be scary. Still is though. Scary, I mean. Terrifying, actually. But... God, if any category three is going to be perfect to ease myself back in, it's got to be Miruna, right? Right. Fuck it. I’ll head over now. Gives me less opportunity to chicken out.[SFX: Recording Ends][SFX: Recording Begins, classical music playing]JULIA
You want to recount it?
Leo:
I, er... I think... (BREATHING SHAKILY)
Julia:
Hey. Hey, you're okay. Breathe with me. I've got you. You're safe now, you're home, and I've got you.
Leo:
That's the thing. I was never not safe. I knew that, logically. God that was so stupid.
Julia:
I don't think that's how trauma works
Leo:
Yeah, well, trauma's stupid too
Julia:
(SOFT LAUGH) Yeah, fuck that guy.
[SFX: Phone buzzes, phone unlocked]Julia:
It's Riley, they've just seen your missed call, they're on their way.
Leo:
No, they don't have to—
Julia:
It's okay, looks like they've found something they want to share anyway. And so have I, actually. Don't look at me like that, it can wait until they get here. So, shall I make the notes about the airport?
Leo:
No, er... No, I'll do it. Let me sit up though, I... Thank you, but you don't have to... Hold me, like that, I'm okay.
[SFX: Fabric rustling]So, erm. I went to arrivals, it was strange, the first time I've had to do this in a busy place. With the last case, on the bus, I could wait for it to empty out, but there's never really a time when the airport isn't busy. I did try to be subtle with the EMF reader. Still got a few strange looks but, hey, what's new? Except, when I found her, I just... I choked. I knew that if I just talked to her. Sat with her for a while, I knew, I knew it would help. Remind me that she's just a person, no more or less likely to harm me than any other person in that airport. (INCREASINGLY FRANTIC) But I couldn't. I couldn't speak I couldn't breathe I couldn't even run I was just stuck there, stuck in that airport with the feeling of her all around me and I- I, I couldn’t—Julia:
Hey. Hey, you're okay. That's when you called me, right? Or Riley first, but they had their phone off while they worked.
Leo:
(DEEP BREATH) Right. And when you came, and sort of talked me off the ledge, we went to a quiet corner, then you took the EMF Meter to see where she was and spoke to Miruna on your own for a while and you asked her to follow you to where I was sitting. And when you brought her over you kind of... introduced us, I suppose. Like you would introduce two perfectly ordinary friends. And that helped, I think. Picturing her sitting there with us, cross-legged in a quiet corner of the airport. And I started to speak to her then, with the recorder. And it just started feeling... Routine, I suppose. Yeah, no it felt routine. Like I'd done it a thousand times. It was calming somehow. Like, okay here's what I know how to do. I might not know how to get a good complete lungful of air in that moment. I might not know how to get my hands to stop shaking. But I know how to conduct this interview. I know how to nod and listen attentively to words I can't hear as I press my palms against the cold tile I'm sitting on to ground me. I know how to show her I care while I count the distant conversations I can still hear, of families and couples and friends, to remind me that I'm not in that alley. That I'm safe.
Julia:
Shall we listen to the recording?
Leo:
Yeah, lemme just find the file. Here we go
[SFX: Mouse click]Leo (On Recording):
(ON RECORDING) (SHAKILY, BACKGROUND NOISE) Okay, so, Miruna, can you tell me a bit about yourself? The basic biographical info to start?
Miruna:
Oh sure, start with the boring stuff, why not? My name's Miruna Vulpe, date of birth 23rd March, 1968. That makes me an Aries, in case you're wondering. Died some time in, oh, I suppose the spring of 2003, it was all a bit of a blur. Also it was, I think, about twenty years ago? So forgive me if I’m a bit hazy on the details.
Leo:
And can you tell me a little bit about your life?
Miruna:
Oh, my life. My wonderful, wonderful life. My life was summer in London, winter in Bucharest, spring and fall spent between both, sometimes it was just a weekend in London, sometimes it was whole months. Always with Ashley. Being with Ashley and dreaming of being with Ashley were my two favourite things to do. I loved her, so much. But I loved Bucharest too, and she loved London. I was a tattoo artist, you know? Damn good at my work. I had a portfolio that would make a renaissance artist feel unproductive. I could have up and moved to London if I wanted, would have found the clients wherever I went. And Ashley was a doctor, she could have found a job anywhere too. Her Romanian was... Well it was okay, it was getting better. She could have come to Bucharest too. But the thing about home is, well, it doesn't always stay home when you spend too long away from it. But me and Ashley, we loved each other enough to know that time, distance, those things wouldn't be a problem. Difficult, of course, but nothing we couldn't handle. We meant the world to each other, but we were not each others' whole worlds. We had our own lives. Our own homes. And the fact that our lives were able to intertwine when we could manage it, that was a blessing of its own. And we both had brilliant lives, full of those kinds of blessings. The kind that you could, theoretically, live without but it wouldn't be nearly so fun. Or, I did. Had I mean. Past tense. Hopefully she still has. So, to sum up, in general my life was awesome. Does that answer your question?
Leo:
And can you tell me a bit about your after-life, being tethered here to the airport?
Miruna:
Hmm, yeah, the airport. Weird choice. I'm not actually sure I chose it. I suppose it's a case of the spirit wants what the spirit wants? It does make sense, a little. When I'd dream of being with Ashley, especially after spending much of the winter apart, I'd imagine the small things, being curled up together in bed, a hand reaching out, fingertips over hair across temples behind ears. Closed eyes and contended smiles. But when a visit was close, a trip booked, a flight coming up. That's when I'd picture here. This place. The moment I'd see her and she'd see me and her whole face would light up and we'd run, bags forgotten, crowds ignored, and it would just be us. It wasn't always perfect, of course. Two women in the nineties. Sometimes we got cat-called. Sometimes worse. Things seem different now. Not completely, but better. I see so many couples here, every day. Most times, nobody looks twice at the two women kissing, the two men, foreheads resting together, smiling. But just in case, I do what I can, to help them. To make them feel like the world isn't there any more. Most times they barely notice. I love it when that happens. They're so lost in each other they can't even tell that what's happening is paranormal. It's been about fifteen years, since I got here. And it's not the worst place to spend eternity. Lots of people watching. Lots to learn, too. I feel very old sometimes. The world has changed so much. But lucky for me, I have all the time in the world to keep up with it.
Leo:
Thanks, Miruna. I'm not sure if you're aware that Better Place has been called to remove your spirit from here. I'd like to know your feelings about this, if you don't mind
Miruna:
Ugh, my feelings are a big fat no, thank you. You're telling me I'm just now able to touch things, to interact with the world like a living person again, and now I'm going to have that taken away from me? Sure it isn't ideal that I'm trapped in an airport, but I can still have a life. I could set up my own little tattoo booth. Give out stick and pokes to bored people waiting for delayed flights.
Leo:
And, before I go, is there anything else you'd like to say? Anything you'd like to pass on to anyone living?
Miruna:
Not Ashley. Don't tell Ashley I'm here. I've seen her here, a couple of times, you know? But I don't want her to know. She deserves to move on. I do have a sister, back in Bucharest. If you could find her, I'd like that. But no, other than that, I said everything I needed to say in life with my art. That's all that matters.
Julia (Not on recording):
Hey, reckon if I brought my own stick and poke kit to the airport I could get her to--
[SFX: Doorbell ringing once]Leo:
I'm going to answer that before I think too hard about what you just asked
[SFX: Doorbell ringing more frantically, footsteps]Julia:
(CALLING AFTER THEM) What? She's a trained professional!
[SFX: Door opens]Leo:
Jesus, Riley, did you run here from the tube?
Riley:
(OUT OF BREATH) You okay?
Leo:
Yeah. Yeah, Julia's here, I'm fine, honestly.
[SFX: Door closes, footsteps]Riley:
Julia, are they lying?
Julia:
Eh, only a bit. It's been a rough night but they're handling it.
Leo:
Wow, loving this shift in dynamic between you two.
Julia:
Hey, a shared goal will do that to a person— Oh! I had news! I almost forgot, what with-
Leo:
Sorry
Julia:
You have nothing to apologise for
Riley:
(OVERLAPPING) don't you dare apologise
Leo:
I... Julia, your news?
Julia:
Right, yes, so I've been tailing Frank
Leo:
You've been what?
Riley:
(OVERLAPPING) Do you have a deathwish?
Julia:
Chill, I was fine, I did it for three days and he never saw me. (SMUGLY) I'm very sneaky. Anyway, so, those workshops he's been going to? Not workshops. He's been at the warehouse. Yup. Hours at a time. And most of the night, too. Usually stays until about one in the morning. So he's definitely doing something in there. He comes out all exhausted, usually looks pissed all the way off.
Riley:
I... Actually don't know how this connects, but I found something too. I've been looking into early records of Mortui Non Morden, which, there's still some stuff floating around, ledgers, some correspondence, a surprising amount considering it's a couple centuries ago. But then around the 1970s, a little while after it becomes Better Place and goes corporate, radio silence. Nothing at all. We know that Montgomery Whitley was succeeded by his son Edgar in 1936, and then Edgar's son Edward in 1970. So, we can just assume that Edward was probably still director for a while, but there's no information on when he retired, or who took over before Frank. Except this.
[SFX: Paper being unfolded and spread out, long pause as everyone gathers round to read]Julia:
I'm... lost
Leo:
Yeah, what are we supposed to be looking at?
Riley:
(SIGHS IN FRUSTRATION) This is an old archived copy of a local newspaper. A tiny village in Yorkshire, the kind of newspaper that, if a company was hiding form the press or public record, they might not think to check. See this article?
Leo:
Making Our Village a Better Place? Last Tuesday, tensions were stirred up when the ever-growing national company Better Place was called by the village council to remove the spirit affectionally known to some as Smoky Joe.
Riley:
Right, and then, here look. "Better Place is a London-based company, which was once a small operation, but seems to have plans for world domination, spear-headed by their new director Edward Whitley, pictured above."
Julia:
That can't be....
Riley:
No, it can't. But it's uncanny, right?
Leo:
I... Maybe it's... I mean the picture isn't the best quality, it's clearly just been snapped on his way out the building.
Julia:
Yeah, it's not the best picture but... I'm not crazy right? candid or not, that's definitely... I mean, you know him best, Leo, do you think?
Leo:
Yeah. That looks like Frank.
Julia:
But it can't be, surely? He looks the same age there, if he was roughly in his forties then, that'd make him, like....
Riley:
Old as balls? Yeah.
Julia:
Fuck
Riley:
Yeah

Julia:
I... So I've given this some thought, I swear. But this just solidifies it. We need to find out what Frank's up to. We need to break into the back room of the warehouse.
Leo:
Not a chance in hell
Riley:
(OVERLAPPING) Yes. We absolutely are doing that.
Leo:
(WHISPERED) This is too much. (NORMAL VOLUME) I think I need... A minute.
[SFX: Recording ends]Closing theme beginsLeanne: Episode Twenty-One of Tell No Tales, Our Own Homes, was written and performed by Leanne Egan. You also heard the voices of Shannon Kelly as Julia, Phil Thompson as Riley, and Ana Balaci as Miruna Vulpe. And if that last name sounds familiar, that’s because Ana does the cover art for our show, so everyone give it up to Ana for being multi-talentedIf you enjoyed this episode, the best way to support the show is to spread the word. Leaving us a rating and review in your listening app of choice is a huge help, or you can follow us on Twitter or Tumblr @tellnotalespodLinks and information about transcripts can be found in the show notes.Tell No Tales is distributed by Wasting Company Time Productions, under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike 4.0 international license. Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite.Closing theme ends

Transcript: Episode Twenty-two - Patron of Departed Souls

TNT Opening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode Twenty-Two: Patron of Departed Souls
TNT Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins][SFX: Classical music playing]Leo:
Audio diary of Leo Quinn, assistant to Frank Williamson, director of Better Place, and I am... Distracting myself. I am distracting myself, because it seems, against all my better judgment, against all my protestations, we are breaking into the warehouse tonight. Because Riley and Julia are apparently done fucking around, and now it's time to find out. And once we do, that’s— that's it. Julia's going to use Frank's access code to the armoury to get us some equipment that might help us out. And he might not find out right away, but he'll know at some point. And she says she'll take the fall, so me and Riley don't need to lose our jobs too, but a) we can't let her do that, and b) he'd figure it out, he'll know she took three sets of equipment, and he'll figure out that we worked together so no... this is it. Whatever we find, or don't find, in that warehouse, it's our last chance. That and these audio diaries are all we'll have to take Better Place down and then, I mean, then we'll have to figure out a way to explain all this on our CVs. (PITCHILY) So that'll be fun! So, yeah, this could pretty much be my last interview. I've got some time. Frank apparently stays in the warehouse most nights until about one in the morning, so Julia wants us to break in at two. Which means I've got tonight. I've got tonight to do one more case. I've got…
[SFX: Rifling through papers]I mean, I've got a few, I'd been stockpiling them, because I didn't know when I'd next be able to— how do I choose? How do I say, this file, this spirit, you get to have your voice heard, the rest of you, forget it, your case file didn't sell it well enough? (GROANS, THEN LONG PAUSE). No. No, not any of these cases. I'm not interviewing anyone new today. I know where I need to go. Not just for her but for... Yeah, no, I know who I need to speak to.[SFX: Recording Ends][SFX: Recording Begins]Leo:
(WHISPERING) Okay so, I'm just waiting for—
[SFX: Door opening, footsteps]Fr. Matthew:
Leo, thanks for waiting. I'm glad you called.
Leo:
Thank you, Father Matthew. I'm so sorry about this, about the short notice and the... Late hour
Fr. Matthew:
No apologies necessary, the church stays open to those who need it. And you're doing us a kindness too.
Leo:
Yeah, it's not much, but it's all I can do.
Fr. Matthew:
It's a lot to us. I know I mentioned last time that Lilian was an important part of this community, we all cared for her. To be able to hear her voice again, even just the small snippet you we able to give us last time, that's more than not much.
Leo:
Well, hopefully I can leave you with more than a snippet this time. Mind if I start? I brought my laptop, so once it's done I can probably just play it for you right away.
Fr. Matthew:
Of course, would you like me to stay, while you speak to her?
Leo:
I mean, you can, if you want. But you don't have to.
Fr. Matthew:
I think I'd like to. Even if we can't hear her right away, I find listening is a very important part of my job. Connecting. I think it's possible to do that, even if we can't hear what she's saying.
Leo:
(SMALL LAUGH) Yeah. I know exactly what you mean. Okay. Let me just get this set up.
[SFX: Recording Ends][SFX: Recording Begins]Leo:
Okay, okay I think... Yeah, all sorted. Thanks for waiting. I know it can be frustrating, the conversation being so... asynchronous, I guess?
Fr. Matthew:
Most conversations are, in my vocation
Leo:
Wh- you mean? Oh, like with, like, God, and stuff. I suppose, that makes- yeah, sorry, anyway, ready to hear it?
Fr. Matthew:
(CHUCKLING) Absolutely
[SFX: Mouse clicks]Leo (On Recording):
Hi, Mrs. Daniels, I'm not sure how well you remember me, I'm Leo, I work for… against… Better Place, I brought in a recorder last time I was here, to capture your voice, but it didn't work. Not very well, anyway. It only caught snippets, but I wanted to give you a real chance to have your voice heard, just in case... Just in case I don't get to again. So, could you start by telling me a bit about yourself, your basic details?
Lilian:
Please, love. Enough with the Mrs. Daniels nonsense, my name is Lilian and I insist on you using it. I insisted last time too, though I suppose you didn't hear that, so I'll let it slide. I was born the eighth of October, 1929. According to the plaque on that wall over there, I died in my sleep in August 2016, though that wasn't something that I'd have known, otherwise. You don't think to note the date, when you don't know anything's going to happen, do you?
Leo:
And can you tell me a bit about your life?
Lilian:
Oh, I had a lovely, full life. I'm sure so many people must say that at my age, but I really did. Nearly ninety years of happiness. I moved to this parish in, oh, 1951, it must have been? Not long after I married my Rupert. Could have been 1952. We were married in the winter see, and there were a few months before we moved. Either way, it was a long time ago, I can tell you that. I was only twenty-two years old. Young, never tired, nothing ever ached, and I'm sure neither you nor the Lord will mind my pride too much if I say, beautiful. You never feel beautiful do you, until years later you see an old photograph, and you think, "who is this? who is this beautiful young woman who couldn't possibly be me?" But I was. And I had a little over forty years with my husband. And I had my Sharon, my lovely daughter, happy and all grown up, if a bit too far away now for my tastes. Then grandkids, and great grandkids even, all in Australia but all in touch. All still in my heart. And when my Rupert passed and Sharon flew back to Australia after the funeral, there was pain, of course. There was unbearable grief and a life changed beyond comprehension and so, so much hurt. But never loneliness. I was never lonely. For two reasons, really. The first was my other family. My community. Father Matthew, who himself was only new by this point, but had already fit right in. There were my friends, a small but devoted parish, most of whom were widows themselves, and I was mother and grandmother to the younger ones. Those first weeks after Rupert passed I thought my life might be over. But it wasn't. A new life was beginning. A life where I became more involved in this church than ever, a life where there was never a dull moment, never a lonely moment, never a bored moment. Just pure, lovely chaos. And the second reason I was never lonely was God. I always knew he was listening. I knew he had my Rupert, that both were waiting for me. Turns out, He had other plans for me. But that's okay, too. I'm still happy. Still with my community, here. Still with my family. I have faith that I'll be reunited with Rupert some day, but for now, I'm serving my community still, as is His will.
Leo:
And what about your afterlife, what it's been like here at St. Joseph's?
Lilian:
It's been marvelous. I'm not sure if that's what you expected. Maybe I could lie and say there has been some hardship, some agonising and pining for my old vitality, but I feel more alive than I did in my aching eighty-year-old body. And, I've never felt closer to God. Truly. There was some confusion, of course, when I first became aware of what had happened. It was strange for a few years, I felt oddly distant from myself. My thoughts so scattered, like I filled the whole room but nothing of myself was quite in grasp, but even then, my faith guided me. I understood enough to know that whatever was happening, it was in His plan, and I was calm. Maybe calmer than any living human has been. A true serenity, of knowing that the rest of me was just out of reach but that it was okay. That in time, things would come together. Mthoughts, my God, and my community would all be there for me when I needed them. And they all were, eventually. I slowly began to feel stronger, less scattered. And I began to notice the presence of those around me and they began to notice me too. I did what I could to lift their spirits. Being a silent observer makes you very perceptive. I could see who was struggling, who felt alone. I could do everything in my power to impart the sense of love and belonging on them that I so often needed from my community in life. I'm told that in time, I'll grow even stronger. Eventually, Father Matthew — he's been on the Google — he says I'll be able to touch things. Move things. I'll be able to help out in a more practical sense again. And I'll be content in that, until the Lord decides my time here has come to an end. What is a few more decades, after all? In the scope of the eternal kingdom of Heaven?
Leo:
And I know Better Place was almost asked to remove you but Father Matthew cancelled the call-out when he realised who you were, can you confirm what your feelings are on this?
Lilian:
I will not be taken away by Better Place. I love it here, I love my family. I don't know what Better Place intend to do with my soul once they have it, but I don't expect them to handle the situation better than God would. When my time here comes to an end, it will be through His will and His alone.
Leo:
Thanks, Mrs. Daniels. Thanks for speaking to me again, I know it must be annoying to have to repeat so much of this. But, is there anything else you'd like to say before I turn the recorder off?
Lilian:
Only a thank you, to Father Matthew. A thank you, for your kindness, for being so welcoming to me, even in death. Pass on my love to the parish in your next sermon. Pass on my love to my daughter, when she visits, and all of my grandkids. But mostly, I don't need words. Most of the time, I find a warm presence does the job just fine.
Leo:
(NO LONGER ON RECORDING) I can send you that, if you like?
[Ambience: Somber music fades in]Fr. Matthew:
(VOICE THICK) Y- Yes, please, if you wouldn't mind. That would be lovely. I've been in contact with Sharon, who's coming to visit soon, I'd like to show her, and her daughters. I- Of course, Lilian, of course I'll pass on your love in the next sermon. But please don't thank me for my kindness. It's only the same kindness you paid me when I was young, new to the parish. An outsider left with the monumental task of filling the space left behind in Father Thomas's wake. Nothing I can do now can ever completely repay that.
[SFX: Whooshing sound]Fr. Matthew:
(GASPS)
Leo:
You felt that too?
Fr. Matthew:
Stronger than she's ever been.
Leo:
She'll be a category three soon, I think. I'm really glad she's settled here.
Fr. Matthew:
We are too.
Leo:
(LONG PAUSE). H-How does it work, Father? Your faith, and Lilian's spirit. She talks a lot about God's plan for her, but how can... If there's a heaven, how is she...
Fr. Matthew:
There's a lot we don't understand about spirits. God too, for that matter.
Leo:
When I was a kid they used to condemn ghosts in mass. The only spirit that mattered was the holy spirit. Anyone else must have done something terrible to wind up in purgatory.
Fr. Matthew:
The church… The church has come a long way since then.
Leo:
Has it, though? I mean, you're lovely, and I’m sure Mrs. Daniels- Lilian, I mean, is lovely. But the church you represent? The church that preaches guilt and hate? The one that taught me fire and brimstone when I was coming to terms with my identity. The one that tore our family apart when my brother… I’m sorry. It's just. With my job, it's hard to see any kind of bigger plan in what's happening to these spirits. And please, don't... with the footsteps in the sand and the God's plan is not for us to understand and… Ugh, god sorry, that was so rude, I just. I was raised Catholic, I've heard it all before.
Fr. Matthew:
I understand. I don't have to advise you, if that isn't what you need. I can listen. You must spend so much of your time listening to spirits. I wonder if you ever have anybody do the same for you?
Leo:
(CRYING SOFTLY, THEN VOICE BREAKING) I—
[SFX: Front door opening heavily, footsteps]Leo:
Riley? Sorry, father, this is my friend I didn't think they even— do you mind?
Fr. Matthew:
Of course, I'll leave you two for the time being.
Leo:
Thanks.
[SFX: Fr. Matthew’s footsteps leaving, door closing, Riley sitting down][Ambience: Heartfelt music fades in]Riley:
Thought I'd find you here
Leo:
How could you have possibly thought that?
Riley:
Hey, we've been friends for what, near twenty years now? Don't underestimate me. I was there, when Noah died, remember? I saw what your mum went through, after.
Leo:
St Joseph, Patron of departed souls, pray for him
Riley:
Exactly. And you showed me the audio diary of the first time you interviewed Mrs. Daniels. How is she, by the way?
Leo:
Good. She's good. She's living a life here, you know? She came so close to being... Whatever happens when Better Place take them away.
Riley:
Do you think he's still there?
Leo:
What do you mean?
Riley:
I know you've thought about it. It was one of the first things that crossed my mind when Julia told us they were storing the spirits indefinitely, I know it crossed your mind too.
Leo:
I... Yeah. No, it did. First thing I thought. And then I tried really hard to not think about it.
Riley:
Did it work?
Leo:
I'm here, aren't I?
Riley:
If he is, we'll do something about it. I promise. That's the point, isn't it? Bringing an end to whatever Better Place is doing.
Leo:
Maybe. There's a lot of ifs though.
Riley:
Yeah. Yeah, there is. And you don't have to get your hopes up or anything. Just. If Noah is in that warehouse, he won't suffer for much longer. Not if I can help it.
Leo:
Thanks, Riley. Thank you. I love you, you know that?
Riley:
I do. I love you too, dickhead.
Leo:
(SMALL LAUGH) What time is it?
Riley:
Half one. She's ready for us.
Leo:
Crap. Are you? Ready, I mean?
Riley:
No. But I'm going to do it anyway.
Leo:
Yeah. Yeah, I suppose I will too.
[SFX: Recording ends]Closing theme beginsLeanne: Episode Twenty-Two of Tell No Tales, Patron of Departed Souls, was written and performed by Leanne Egan. You also heard the voices of Will Pryce as Fr. Matthew, Courtney Levin as Lilian Daniels, and Phil Thompson as Riley.If you enjoyed this episode, the best way to support the show is to spread the word. Leaving us a rating and review in your listening app of choice is a huge help, or you can follow us on Twitter or Tumblr @tellnotalespodLinks and information about transcripts can be found in the show notes.Tell No Tales is distributed by Wasting Company Time Productions, under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike 4.0 international license. Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite.Closing theme ends

Transcript: Episode Twenty-three - The Warehouse

TNT Opening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode Twenty-Three: The Warehouse
TNT Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins]Leo:
You're sure we're good to just park here? Like, in full view, if he comes back?
Julia:
He won't come back, he's never here past two, and having the car is a good safety net if we do need to make a quick getaway
Leo:
Sure, that sounds not terrifying
Riley:
It's not, look at all our weaponry, Julia's got us all kitted out. Nothing to fear here.
[SFX: Car doors opening, then closing]Leo:
Yeah we're not gonna actually... Need all this stuff are we?
Julia:
Hopefully not. Most of it anyway. The walkie-talkies will definitely come in useful. The spirit proof vests are mostly just a precaution and also they kinda just look cool, right?
Leo:
And the... guns?
Julia:
It's not a gun, Leo, it's how we capture spirits. It shoots nanoparticles at a velocity that allows them to pierce the spirit plane, they latch onto a spirit then, when the stasis capsule is opened, the magnetic charge inside the capsule pulls the spirit into it along with the particles. Won't do much damage to a living person but if we need to, they make enough noise to scare someone off so we can make a break for it.
Leo:
Okay. Okay. That's.... slightly less terrifying.
Riley:
And what's the rest?
Julia:
(AUDIBLY SMILING) This is for the door.
Leo:
I don't like how happy that makes her
Riley:
I kinda do. Ar, come on, let's go Mystery Inc. Oooh, tag yourself, I’m Daphne.
[SFX: Footsteps]Riley:
(MUTTERED) Nope? Nothing? Okay, guess I’m scrappy then.
Julia:
There's basically no security on the outer door. Standard lock but I…
[SFX: Keys jangling]Julia:
Have the key.
Riley:
How-
Julia:
Got a copy made when Frank asked me to bring him Whitley.
Riley:
Christ, she's got even less self-preservation than you, Leo
[SFX: Door unlocking, then opening]Julia:
Gets the job done. After you.
[SFX: Footsteps that turn echoey][Ambience: Eerie music fades in]Riley:
Well, it's definitely a warehouse. Don't quite know what I was expecting.
Leo:
I always thought it'd be bigger.
Riley:
I mean, technically it is, that's the point.
Leo:
You know what I mean. I always forget how small the stasis capsules are. It just... doesn't compute that a whole human spirit can be stored in like, what, a six inch metal tube?
Julia:
Yeah it's fucked up. Theory is, if the spirit is compacted enough, it becomes... physical enough to be constrained by the capsule. Here's the door that Frank came out of, stay back okay?
Leo:
Do I want to know why?
Riley:
Probably not but we should absolutely do what the crazy lady says.
[SFX: Explosion, metal shrapnel clanging across the room]Riley:
Jesus f— Er, you good, Leo? Oh no, you're into this aren't you? Mark you down as scared and horny.
Leo:
(VOICE BREAKING) shut up
Julia:
You two coming or what?
Riley:
(LOUDLY) Oh, they're coming
Leo:
Shut up
[SFX: Hurried footsteps]Julia:
Huh. Just looks like an office. Small too.
Leo:
Didn't you say you saw huge amounts of storage space through the open door?
Julia:
Yeah, yeah I did. To see them from where I stood, they must have been... Here. But.
Leo:
That's just a wall
Julia:
Yes, I see that it's just a wall, thank you
Riley:
Oh come on. You're not fooled by that are you?
Julia:
What?
Riley:
When is a wall not a wall?
Leo:
I don't think that's a—
Riley:
When it's actually a super secret passage way.
Leo:
(LONG PAUSE) Did you think pulling on that book was going to make the super secret passageway open?
Riley:
Okay so the specific lever was an error in judgement but there's got to be something here, right? Julia saw a whole other warehouse beyond this room so...
[SFX: Rummaging]Riley:
Haha, look at that, here!
Julia:
Secret button under the framed art print, of course, wow Frank such a cliche.
Leo:
That's... Not a print.
Julia:
Oh, yep, no that's an original John William Waterhouse. Of course it is
[SFX: A door mechanism coming heavily away from the wall in which it was set]Julia:
(SLIGHTLY HYSTERICALLY) And of course the button opens a secret door to a secret warehouse, why the fuck not
Leo:
I wish I could say I was surprised but after seven years of working for Frank....
[SFX: Footsteps]Leo:
Woah.
Riley:
This has to be what you saw, right?
Julia:
Yep.
Leo:
This place is huge. Shelves and shelves of stasis capsules. I can't even fathom how many spirits must be stored here.
Julia:
(DISTANTLY) Uh, guys? There's a lift
Riley:
Fuck no
Leo:
You aren't seriously backing out now are you?
Riley:
Creepy lift that leads to god knows where, not a fucking chance.
Leo:
Nope, no. Get in there. We have come too far and put too much on the line to not find out what's on the other end of that lift.
Julia:
They're right, don't be a chicken Ri.
Leo:
Yeah, Ri, don't be a-
Riley:
You shut your mouth. Fine. Push the fucking button
[SFX: Metal doors open, then close lift rumbles into movement]Julia:
Are they...
Leo:
They have a thing with lifts it's okay. Hey, Riley, breathe with me?
Riley:
I'm fine. I'm fine, just—
[SFX: Doors open with a ding]Riley:
Oh look we're here, let's see what's in the creepy fucking basement shall we?
Leo:
That's... A lot of corridors.
Julia:
Yep, we've gotta--
Leo:
Do not suggest we split up right now
Julia:
What did you think the walkie talkies were for?
Leo:
Absolute emergencies?
Riley:
Nah, she’s right, we can cover more ground this way. Take some photos of whatever we find. Regroup after.
Julia:
Exactly. Leo, you go right, Riley, left, and I'll go forward. Never straight.
[SFX: Footsteps heading in three different directions]Leo:
(STEADYING BREATHS) Thinks she can just wink at me like that and it'll be totally fine that she's sending me off into a terrifying basement labyrinth alone.
Julia:
(ON WALKIE) Sound off gang, just want to make sure these are working, over
Riley:
(ON WALKIE) Roger Roger, all good on my end, over
[SFX: Walkie beeps]Leo:
Yeah, same here. Er. Over. Okay, let's see what's behind door number one. Oh. It's just... Filing cabinets? Sure. I'm okay with that.
[SFX: Drawer opens, paper rummaging]Leo:
Case files, looks like. Old ones. Really old ones. 19th century stuff.
[SFX: Drawer closes]Leo:
Okay, let's try some other rooms. Maybe this is all just case files that correspond to the spirits upstairs. That wouldn't be so bad.
[SFX: Footsteps, door opens, drawer opens, more rummaging]Leo:
Yep. Same again. Dated few decades later.
[SFX: Walkie beeps]Leo:
Hey, you guys finding anything interesting? I've mostly just got case files. Going to stash a few for evidence. Anything different on your ends? Oh, er, over.
Julia:
(ON WALKIE) Looks like.... A lot of tools and things down here. A few rooms all look like workspaces, like... he's building stuff? Techy stuff. It's not my area of expertise, don't really get what I'm looking at, but I'm getting photos. Over
[SFX: Long pause, then walkie beeps]Leo:
Riley?
[Ambience: Eerie music intensifies]Riley:
(ON WALKIE, SHAKILY). Uh, yeah, so, what does a ghost feel like again? Like a skin-crawling, goosebumps, shiver-up-your-spine, phantom eyes on your back kinda feeling right?
[SFX: Walkie beeps]Leo:
Y-yeah, that's it, why?
Julia:
(ON WALKIE) Riley? You good?
Riley:
So there's an appalling number of... looks like labs? Like the science labs in school but shinier and better funded. And... Every single one of them has had a spirit in- oh fucking shit nope no no what the fuck was that. Nope
Julia:
Riley!
Leo:
(OVERLAPPING) Riley- Christ Uh—
[SFX: Walkie beeps]Leo:
Riley, where are you
Riley:
(ON WALKIE) There's... there's no such thing as ectoplasm, right? Like, that's just a sci-fi thing, you've never heard of an actual ghost giving off ectoplasm have you?
Julia:
(ON WALKIE) Heading back to the lift now
[SFX: Walkie beeps]Leo:
No, Riley, I've never heard of that. I'm... Yeah, I'm heading back too, please just tell us where you are.
Riley:
(ON WALKIE, SHAKILY) Er, take a left at the lift and then I'm... shit. Shit I think there's something...
Leo:
Julia, let's...
Riley:
(DISTANT SCREAM)
Julia:
(NO LONGER ON WALKIE) Run? Yep
[SFX: Footsteps running down the corridor, clattering sounds getting closer][SFX: Wet, writhing movement, low whispering and growls]Julia:
What the fuck is that
Leo:
I... I think that's a...
Riley:
All due respect, Leo, pretty please don't have a panic attack right now, I know you don't exactly get a say in the matter but this thing kind of has me backed into a corner here and... Oh, fuck it doesn't look happy. I’m gonna die here. I can’t die here. What would Sarah Michelle Gellar do, what would Sarah Michelle Gellar do?
[SFX: Creature gives a low, rumbling growl][SFX: Fumbling, then clicking]Julia:
Is now really the time for the recorder?
Leo:
This is what I do. (LOUDER) Oi!
[SFX: Wet writhing movement pauses]Leo:
Yeah, yeah you, you. Leave my friend alone.
[SFX: Wet writhing movement redoubles, getting closer, along with a low growl]Leo:
Yeah? Yes, you. Okay. Keep looking at me, keep looking at me. Talk to me. What... Who are you? You're a spirit? Of some kind?
[SFX: Eerie whispers, low ghostly screeching and a rumbling growl]Julia:
Leo...
Leo:
I'm okay. How can I see you… How can I see you? If you're a spirit? And why do you look... Like that?
[SFX: Eerie whispers intensify, moderate ghostly screeching and another more intense growl]Riley:
Leo stop, this thing could really hurt you...
[SFX: Sorry, it’s even more wet writhing sounds as the thing turns its head]Leo:
Keep looking at me. What are you doing in this lab? What does Frank have to do with this?
[SFX: Furious growl, loud eerie whispers, and severe ghostly screeching]Julia:
Way to piss it off, Leo!
[SFX: Gunshot]Riley:
(CRIES OUT)
Leo:
Riley!
Julia:
Shit, Riley, you're hurt! Did I hit you?
Riley:
I'm okay, it's... Shooting it did something. I think it broke part of it off, it just, grazed me on the way out I think. I'm fine, keep shooting it. Us too, Leo, get your gun out.
[SFX: Multiple gunshots]Julia:
It's getting...
Leo:
Smaller. How is it getting smaller?
[SFX: Multiple gunshots]Julia:
These guns don't have many shots in them guys. They're designed for ghost removal, one shot normally does the trick.
Riley:
We keep going until we run out...
[SFX: Multiple gunshots]Riley:
And then we figure it out from there
Julia:
Mine's empty
[SFX: Single gunshot]Riley:
Yep, me too
Leo:
I think I've got one more. Riley. Can you get around it to the door if I keep its attention?
Riley:
I think so, but.
Leo:
Do it.
[Ambience: Intense music fades in]Riley:
Leo...
Leo:
It's smaller and slower now. I think... I can draw its attention long enough for you to run, then shoot it and run myself. Can... Julia, can you grab my recorder on your way out? I might not have time, it's just on the side there.
Julia:
Got it.
Leo:
Okay, run.
[SFX: Hurried footsteps, single gunshot, loud screech then more footsteps and a scramble to close the door, with a loud thump coming from the other side immediately afterwards. More footsteps as Leo catches up]Julia and Riley:
Leo!
Leo:
Keep running, I closed the door but...
Julia:
Got it
Riley:
Big fan of the running
[SFX: Lift doors open, then close, lift moves upwards]Riley:
Suddenly not hating this lift so much....
Leo:
(QUIETLY LAUGHING, SLOWLY BECOMING MORE HYSTERICAL)
Julia:
They're losing it
[SFX: Lift doors open]Riley:
Yeah.
Leo:
Sorry. Sorry. (LAUGHS AGAIN). Just. What the fuck was that. What was that? And could it have been a more horrifying manifestation of my personal trauma if it fucking tried? (STILL LAUGHING)
Julia:
(SMALL LAUGH). Yeah, they're losing it. But they have every right to. Leo you beautiful bastard. you were amazing down there.
Leo:
Oh that? That was just a Tuesday. Oh, the recorder! Did you get it?
Julia:
Yep, here, don't worry.
Leo:
Julia, you're the beautiful bastard
Julia:
You flatter me
Riley:
Okay, so I'll just bleed out while you two do some post-whatever-the-hell-that-was flirting, right? Shall I?
Leo:
Crap, Riley, you got hurt! Can I see?
Riley:
I'm (WINCES) I'm alright, I was kidding about the bleeding out part.
Leo:
That doesn't look great. Julia, can you...
Julia:
Yeah, that... I mean, you're right, you're not about to bleed out, but it's definitely... weird looking. Looks nasty
Riley:
Just my shoulder, can't be that bad, right?
Leo:
We should still get it patched up.
Julia:
Yeah, we have no idea what that thing was, we should at least disinfect it or something.
Frank:
(APPEARING OUT OF FUCKING NOWHERE) Yes, that would be wise
Julia:
Fucking hell
Riley:
(OVERLAPPING) Shit
Leo:
(OVERLAPPING) Jesus christ
Frank:
(CHEERILY) Oh, should I make some exclamation of surprise, too? After all, this is my building, only accessible through a door that I alone have the code to. Though, I suppose I got all my surprise out of the way when I saw that the door in question had been blown to pieces. You understand these kinds of things have security systems, yes? Seems like three intelligent people like yourselves might have worked that one out sooner and perhaps we'd all be a little less surprised right now.
Leo:
No. No way. (LOUDER, AND A BIT UNHINGED) Frank. I'm done. I'm done kissing up to you and being scared of you and managing your fucking calendar. You don't get to act all calm and collected right now when we've just seen whatever the hell it is you've been doing down there. What was that?!
Frank:
You'll have to be more specific than that, Leonardo
Leo:
The GIANT SLIME MONSTER, FRANK. The giant slime monster that felt like a spirit but that couldn't have possibly been a spirit, could it? Could it? Because spirits aren't ever visible. And they don't... produce... ectoplasm, or, scream while you tear them apart, right?
Frank:
You tore them apart?
Julia:
So incredibly not the point
Frank:
I think you'll find it's very much relevant, Ms. Wilde. Why don't you three go back to the office for a while. There is a fairly comprehensive first aid kit in my office, take a moment, regroup while I deal with whatever carnage you've left behind downstairs.
Julia:
And why would we do that?
Frank:
Because, once I'm done here, I'll answer your questions.
Leo:
and why would you do that?
Frank:
Because, Leonardo. You might be done with me, but I am not done with you. And I think you'll find we can both be very valuable to each other.
[SFX: Distant growling and crashing]Frank:
Though, for any more extensive an explanation, you are simply going to have to wait until I've dealt with that.
[SFX: Lift doors open, then close, lift moves downwards]Julia:
No way. I can see you considering it, Leo, and it's a bad idea.
Leo:
I know, I know it is okay? It's just— Riley. Riley, are you?
[SFX: Fabric rustle as Riley slumps]Julia:
Woah, woah, we've got you buddy. You're okay.
Leo:
(STRAINED) Julia?
Julia:
Okay. Okay, yeah, let's get them back to the office. Get them bandaged up and... And if we need to we can stick around long enough to hear Frank explain what it was that hurt them, and how to help them. But that's it.
Leo:
Okay. Okay, yeah. Let's go.
[SFX: Recording ends]

Closing theme beginsLeanne: Episode Twenty-Three of Tell No Tales, The Warehouse, was written and performed by Leanne Egan. You also heard the voices of Shannon Kelly as Julia, Phil Thompson as Riley, and Asher Amor-Train as Frank Williamson.If you enjoyed this episode, the best way to support the show is to spread the word. Leaving us a rating and review in your listening app of choice is a huge help, or you can follow us on Twitter or Tumblr @tellnotalespodLinks and information about transcripts can be found in the show notes.Tell No Tales is distributed by Wasting Company Time Productions, under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike 4.0 international license. Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite.Closing theme ends

Transcript: Episode Twenty-four - We Suffer As One

TNT Opening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode Twenty-Four: We Suffer as One
TNT Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins][SFX: Classical music playing][SFX: Tape pulling and bandages being applied]Leo:
(WHISPERED) Oh my god
Julia:
Okay, you're set. I'm not a doctor but my recommendation is... a metric fuckton of germolene and change the bandages regularly?
Riley:
How many Kilograms are there in a metrick fuckton?
Leo:
(WHISPERED) Holy crap. What the hell?
Julia:
Uhhh, more than in a shit ton but less than a fuckload? You good over there Leo?
Leo:
Huh?
[SFX: Mouse clicks, then headphones removed]Oh, yeah, Riley, how's the shoulder?Riley:
Bandaged. Julia does not have a healer's hands
Julia:
Even I can't be good at everything. I come close though. What's with the wide-eyed panic and the holy craps? The recorder pick up something good?
Leo:
It picked up... Something for sure. Good might be a stretch. Horrifying might be more accurate
Riley:
More horrors! That's what we need! Do press play, Leo, let's hear these lovely horrors.
Julia:
Shush, Leo, ignore them, I'm actually interested in whatever horrific thing you found with your recorder
Leo:
Yeah, well, whether you're being sarcastic or not, I don't think we've got a choice but to listen to it. Here. So this is where I asked that thing who it was, or. What it was. I don't know exactly, I haven't had time to splice the two recordings together but... Listen
[SFX: Mouse clicks, classical music stops playing. Mouse clicks again to signal recording playback]Multiple Voices (on recording):
(OVERLAPPING, QUIETLY THROUGHOUT) We suffer as one. We suffer as one. We suffer as one.
Voice Two:
What are we?
Voice One:
(OVERLAPPING) I don't remember. How do I not remember?
Voice Two:
(OVERLAPPING) We are all of us, we are each other.
Voice One:
(OVERLAPPING) Who I am, who I was, I should remember, shouldn't I?
Voice Four:
(OVERLAPPING) Raise your voice at us again, kid, try it. Try me.
Voice Three:
(OVERLAPPING) Stay back, please, some of us are so angry.
Voice Two:
(OVERLAPPING) I'm not me any more, I'm us. We're we.
Voice Four:
(OVERLAPPING) See what I can do. We've had everything taken from us. Everything. But we have this at least.
Voice Three:
(OVERLAPPING) Some of us want to hurt you just because you're someone to hurt. Someone they can hurt.
Voice Two:
(OVERLAPPING) We aren't a who any more though, you got that right, we're a what.
Voice Four:
(OVERLAPPING) We are strong now. We can tear you limb from fucking limb.
Voice One:
(OVERLAPPING) I haven't been me for so long.
Voice Three:
(OVERLAPPING) Please, run
[SFX: Mouse clicks]Riley:
Sorry, but… What the fuck?
Julia:
Seconded
Leo:
Exactly
Julia:
So it's... I mean it's hard to pick out one voice but that's... That's a ton of spirits, right?
Riley:
A metric fuckton, you might say.
Leo:
Yeah. They're all definitely spirits, or we would have heard this without the recorder.
Julia:
So... Oh shit, this is... This could mean... This is unheard of, Leo. This is new discovery territory. The implications! The spirits... they're... what, amalgamated in some way? And that, somehow makes them visible. Which is... Groundbreaking in itself. It implies that the essence of a spirit, its visibility as much as its tactility is influenced by its compactness. It would make sense, spinning out from the theory behind how we capture the spirits with the stasis capsules but the idea that this could be transferred to visibility wasn't even... I'd have been laughed out of the university just for hypothesising...
Leo:
Julia, Julia. Look as much as I love to see you soliloquise about science — and believe me, I do love to see it—
Riley:
Wow, adrenaline makes them bold, I see
Leo:
Despite that, I think you should hear the rest before you get too excited. I don't know if you remember, but the next thing I asked them was how we could see them, why they looked like...
Riley:
Like a giant goop monster that wanted to eat us alive?
Leo:
Yeah. That.
[SFX: Mouse clicks]Multiple Voices (on recording):
(OVERLAPPING, QUIETLY THROUGHOUT) We suffer as one. We suffer as one. We suffer as one.
Voice One:
You ask us how we look like this
Voice Two:
(OVERLAPPING) This isn't what I look like
Voice One:
(OVERLAPPING) Try asking him how you can see us at all.
Voice Two:
(OVERLAPPING) It's what we look like.
Voice Four:
(OVERLAPPING) It doesn't matter how we look, what matters is we're strong now.
Voice Three:
(OVERLAPPING) Stop looking at me, please, stop it stop it, stop it!
Voice Two:
(OVERLAPPING) I've got to be in here somewhere, surely?
Voice Four:
(OVERLAPPING) Together we have form. We can tear this world apart
Voice Two:
(OVERLAPPING) There's got to be some me left to separate, hasn't there?
Voice Four:
(OVERLAPPING) Why should we look pretty doing it?
Voice Three:
(OVERLAPPING) I'm disgusting we're disgusting hideous disgusting
Voice One:
(OVERLAPPING) We didn't ask to be seen, we didn't ask to become this.
Voice Three:
(OVERLAPPING) Look away look away before I do it for you
Multiple Voices:
(MOSTLY IN UNISON, THOUGH OCCASIONALLY SLIGHTLY OUT OF SYNC) We're an abomination. We should never have looked like this. I don't know where I end and the others begin. It aches, this hold, this bind. Like skin stretched taut over a skeleton too big, too wrong. Patchwork. A puzzle that doesn't fit.
[SFX: Mouse clicks]Julia:
Yikes
Leo:
Yeah, yikes about covers it
Riley:
Patchwork. A puzzle that doesn't fit... Do you reckon Frank was forcing them together somehow? Is that what he was doing in those labs?
Leo:
That's my best guess, but why?
Julia:
Who knows why that fucker does anything.
Leo:
(QUIETLY) We could. If we let him explain.
Riley:
Could we though? I mean who's to say he'll tell the truth?
Julia:
He wouldn't tell the truth, why would he? He'd spin some lie and give us an NDA to sign, some shady pay-off to go start new lives somewhere else if we're lucky
Leo:
I think we're way past NDAs. Whatever Frank's doing in those labs, in those workrooms, with those files... It goes beyond a few fucked up experiments. You're forgetting I asked the... amalgamation thing one last question.
Julia:
You asked it what it was doing in the lab, what Frank had to do with all this?
Riley:
Yeah, and whatever the answer was pissed it off no end
Leo:
Yep. Pissed off might be the understatement of the century. Here.
[SFX: Mouse clicks]Multiple Voices (on recording):
(OVERLAPPING, QUIETLY THROUGHOUT) We suffer as one. We suffer as one. We suffer as one.
Multiple Voices:
(MOSTLY IN UNISON, THOUGH OCCASIONALLY SLIGHTLY OUT OF SYNC) Frank? Frank Williamson, the thing who calls himself Frank. What do you see? A man? Maybe, once. Maybe to your eyes. Your pair of two living eyes. Limited by their number, by the plane they exist in. We see all of him. Every last inch. An abomination, just like us. A prettier abomination. More controlled. But a disgusting patchwork monster just like the one he turned us into. Maybe we'll rip him apart too when we're done with you.
[SFX: Mouse clicks, then again and classical music resumes]Leo:
So. Yeah. There's that.
Julia:
An abomination just like us.
Riley:
There's that word again. Patchwork. Like the spirits being bound together but, how can that relate to Frank?
Julia:
I don't know, disgusting monster sounds about right if I'm being honest.
Leo:
But he can't be anything other than... human, can he? He's... I mean he's physical. He speaks to us, he runs a company, he's shady, yes, he's doing some messed up stuff in the name of profit and maybe now, science, but he's... I've known him seven years, when Noah died he... He's got to be a person, right?
Riley:
Ghosts can be people too, Leo. You know that better than anyone.
Leo:
Yes but… You know it’s completely impossible, don't you? Ghosts can't... He's alive. He has a heartbeat. He... asks me how my day is and he intimidates people with eye contact and he— he held me. About six years ago, right here at this desk, when I got the call that my brother had died, he held me, he comforted me, he let me cry in his arms. ghosts can't do those things, he's alive.
Julia:
I would... normally agree. That it's impossible. But that amalgamation we saw tonight should have been impossible too. And they were saying that Frank is like them.
Riley:
It would explain the photo too
Leo:
The photo
Julia:
Shit. Yes. I'm not sure how yet but it's got to be linked. The photo of Frank, looking exactly the same age from that article in the 1970s.
Riley:
Frank's a ghost.
Julia:
Frank might actually be a ghost
Leo:
Frank is not a bloody ghost!
Frank:
As heartwarming as it is to hear you defend me so voraciously, Leonardo, unfortunately, your friends are in the right here. Though I like to think I'm a little more than just a ghost.
Leo:
Christ's sake Frank do you ever just think about making some noise when you approach?!
Riley:
(MUTTERED) How very ghost-like
Leo:
Shut up! Frank. Explain yourself.
Frank:
No need to get so riled up. I promised that I would. I intend to. Patience is a virtue, Leonardo.
Leo:
I am so, completely, fresh out of patience. And how many times do I have to tell you Leonardo is not my name! It's just Leo! It isn't short for anything!
Julia:
Didn't you choose your name because Leonardo DaVinci is like, your hero?
Leo:
Yes but I didn't actually officially change it to Leonardo, it's just Le- jesus christ this is so not the point, Frank, care to explain?
Frank:
Happy to. We'll go next door, into my office. Just you and I, Leonardo, one on one. I want to do this properly. An interview. Like the other spirits you've interviewed.
Leo:
(WEAKLY) other spirits
Julia:
Not a chance
Riley:
Yeah, you really think we're going to just let you take Leo into a private room alone right now? After everything? You’ll fucking kill them, you… you…
Julia:
Cuck!
Riley:
Yeah!
Frank:
(LONG PAUSE) Mx. Matkins I don't think you really have the authority to let me do anything. But I do appreciate this camaraderie. From both of you. Your protectiveness. Okay, I'll play. Three questions. You get three questions to determine whether I'm (CHUCKLES) Permitted to tell my tale to our trusted interviewer here.
Leo:
Does the trusted interviewer not get a say here?
Riley and Julia:
No
Julia:
Okay so first question. What do you do with the spirits in the warehouse?
Riley:
Oh, we're not even conferring? Sure.
Frank:
Many are just stored, for now. Some I use in my experiments. Inter-planar physics research. Drug trials, that sort of thing.
Julia:
Drug trials?
Frank:
Mostly though, I consume them.
Riley:
You what.
Frank:
Is that your second question?
Riley:
Obviously not, you unbelievable twat.
Frank:
(CHUCKLES)
Riley:
Okay, okay. Second question. This photo. From 1975. It says it's of Edward Whitley. But it's you, right? You're Edward Whitley?
Frank:
What an apallingly tedious question. I'm no more or less Edward Whitley than I am Frank Williamson. Try again.
Riley:
Try agai- It won't count as our third question, will it?
Frank:
(CHUCKLES) No. And neither will that, since I'm feeling generous.
Riley:
Okay. Okay. (UNDER BREATH) dickhead. Try again. You're not... Right. Right, so, who are you, really, then?
Frank:
Better. My name was Richard Whitley. The youngest son of Montgomery and Marianne Whitley. I was born on the 13th of November, 1903.
Leo:
For the love of god, say sike right now
Frank:
I beg your pardon?
Riley:
Leo, you can't quote memes at someone who's over a century old.
Leo:
Still processing that, thanks
Julia:
Wait, okay, so you're a hundred and eighteen years old. So when... No, no okay. How did—
Leo:
Wait. Julia, stop.
Julia:
But-
Leo:
No. If these questions are supposed to determine whether or not I'm comfortable going into Frank's office alone with him to interview him, then I get to ask this next one.
Riley:
That's... fair actually
Julia:
(GROANS) Okay. Okay, yeah, it's fair. Just... If you do go off to interview him I'm sending you off with a list, okay?
Frank:
As I've said, I do plan to be fairly comprehensive in my explanation
Riley:
I'm sure Frank thinks incredibly highly of his own storytelling prowess
Frank:
I am much too old for modesty, after all.
Leo:
Christ's sake— Frank. Back at the warehouse, you told me you weren't done with me. Something about us being... Valuable to each other. What does that mean, what could I possibly have to offer you?
Frank:
Oh, come now, Leonardo. You might be younger than me by a good long while, but you are certainly too old for modesty yourself. You have plenty to offer. You are intelligent. Inquisitive. You managed to build a device that no academic in a century of inter-planar physics research has even come close to building.
Leo:
Yeah, for lack of funding, not for lack of—
Frank:
I refuse to allow you to downplay your achievements. If nothing else it offends me, as the person who is currently in need of your help. I am exceptionally bright. What need could I ever have of your help if you were anything less than exceptionally bright yourself?
Leo:
Which you still haven't explained—
Frank:
The spirit plane is crumbling, Leonardo. Does that pique your interest?
Leo:
Sorry, what?
Frank:
That marks your final question, I'm afraid. Though I will tell you this. It is exactly as dire as it sounds. As a resident of that plane myself, I'm sure you understand it is a particular concern of mine. And I know you care too deeply about certain spirits to allow this to progress further. So. We are tied up in this together whether we like it or not. Are you willing to hear more?
Leo:
Guys...
Julia:
No.
[SFX: RoManTiC fabric rustle]Leo, no. Come on, you know this is a bad decision.Leo:
God, Julia, one day, do me a favour and hold my hand when I'm not on the verge of a breakdown? Because this is like the third time this has happened now and someday I'd like to actually be able to enjoy it.
Julia:
Walk away with me right now and I swear I'll never stop.
Leo:
(PAINED) I can't. I've got to hear him out. And you'll literally just be on the other side of this door, what harm could he actually do to me, even if he wanted to?
Riley:
Leo, how do you know you can trust him?
Frank:
Because as I've already mentioned, we still need each others' help. That puts Leonardo here in a very unique position of power that they do not often find themselves in. That, and, well. They said it themselves in their oh so lovely defense of my humanity. They know me. I might have done some things you do not approve of, some things most men are too weak to do, but Leonardo is sensible enough to know I'm still human. Human enough to grieve with them in their darkest moment.
Leo:
I... I don't know about all that, honestly. But Riley, I've got to. You really willing to just walk away right now with no answers?
Riley:
No but...
Leo:
Then this is what we've got to do.
[SFX: Door opens]Leo:
After you, Frank.
[SFX: Recording Ends]Closing theme beginsLeanne: Episode Twenty-Four of Tell No Tales, We Suffer as One, was written and performed by Leanne Egan. You also heard the voices of Shannon Kelly as Julia, Phil Thompson as Riley, and Asher Amor-Train as Frank. With additional ghost voices by Lauren Keller, Asher Amor-Train, and Josie Thomas.If you enjoyed this episode, the best way to support the show is to spread the word. Leaving us a rating and review in your listening app of choice is a huge help, or you can follow us on Twitter or Tumblr @tellnotalespod

Links and information about transcripts can be found in the show notes.Tell No Tales is distributed by Wasting Company Time Productions, under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike 4.0 international license. Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite.Closing theme ends

Transcript: Episode Twenty-five - The Lonely Scientist

TNT Opening theme begins
Leanne: Wasting Company Time presents Tell No Tales, Episode Twenty-Five: The Lonely Scientist
TNT Opening theme ends
[SFX: Recording Begins]Leo:
So are you going to start with the whole the spirit plane is crumbling thing or?
Frank:
No. Aren't you going to start with your usual?
Leo:
My... Usual?
Frank:
(CLEARS THROAT) Audio diary of Leo Quinn—
Leo:
(SQUEAKS) y- you- sh- she was right then. You did have the office bugged?
Frank:
Of course. I thought you'd accepted this some time ago. Now.
[SFX: Mouse clicks, and classical music begins playing]Frank:
You usually begin with asking questions about who the spirit was in life, do you not? So why not start there.
Leo:
Sure, why not? (THROUGH GRITTED TEETH) Tell me about yourself, Frank
Frank:
Well, as you know, I'm... (AUDIBLY SMILING) Frank Williamson, Director of Better Place.
Leo:
(GROANS)
Frank:
But, as you also know, I was born with a different name. I was Richard Whitley, my father was the director of Mortui Non Morden until 1936. But, as the youngest of three sons, I had almost no hope of ever inheriting the title of director myself in my life-time. Which might have been devastating for some. Especially since, back then, inheriting the company was something of a badge of honour. Those who passed the company on to protégées or right-hand men did so either because they had no children, or as a public condemnation of their own. But with the fear of whether I might ever be found worthy of such an inheritance lifted by the existence of my two older brothers, I found myself in the somewhat luxurious situation of graduating from university with an almost obscene amount of wealth and next to nothing to occupy my time.
Leo:
(SCOFFS)
Frank:
Something to add, Leonardo?
Leo:
Nope. No. Mm-mm. Carry on.
Frank:
Quite. Well. I was a naive boy. Early twenties, future stretching out ahead of me. And next to no responsibilities. I was barely even recognised in society. My father took great pride in Edgar, the eldest. And Colin only two years younger was never far from Edgar's heels. But I did very well at going unnoticed, and after a while people began to expect very little of me. I'm not too proud to say I was a little... lonely, perhaps, back then. But it was that loneliness that allowed me to pursue my own interests. Science, Leonardo. The bold, noble endeavours of inter-planar physics. Or paranormal theology, as it was known then. Experiments and trials that so few had either the time or the funding to bother with, I was able to explore. I burned so brightly, Leonardo. Worked myself late into the night, isolated myself almost entirely, buzzed with the knowledge that I was so often on the cusp of some new discovery, some breakthrough or other. It was electrifying. And I was doing so much good. Not just for the purposes of my father's company, but for the whole scientific community. Knowledge, regardless of who finds it, benefits the whole world. And I believed that for a time. But I had been raised with the blood of Mortui Non Morden running through my veins. Fed profit margins at the dinner table and stories of company pride to help me grow big and strong. So, as I said, I was naive. Naive to think that I was just making new discoveries for discovery's sake. That I was somehow making the world a... (LAUGHS DRILY) A better place. I think a small part of me had hoped, somehow, that my scientific accomplishments might supersede age when it came to deciding which son would next inherit the title of director. I was, of course, wrong. When my father retired due to ill health in 1936, and Edgar, only four years older than myself, was made director, I knew that both myself and our middle-brother Colin would both be close to retirement ourselves by the time Edgar retired, and that the next director would likely be some future son of Edgar's. The realisation stung. The final acceptance that my years of loneliness, my hard work, my isolation, had given me nothing. Science had advanced, Mortui Non Morden had benefited, profited from my discoveries, but what had I gained from any of it? So, I began to put my attentions towards scientific endeavours that were perhaps less noble, but certainly more revolutionary than anything I had tried before. I began to harness the power of spirits. I found a way to control the uncontrollable. It was magnificent. A serum of sorts. Entirely unheard of. And, like any self-respecting scientist, I tested the formula out on none other than myself.
Leo:
Serum. ‘Cause that sounds totally above board and not at all super-villain-y. Go on, let me have it, what did the formula do, Frank?
Frank:
Well, the end goal was, of course, immortality. What else?
Leo:
(PITCHILY) Of course, what else?
Frank:
If our spirits can exist, in stasis, unmoved by the passing of time, for decades, centuries, then why not our bodies too, in life? Having access to spirits through my family's connection to Mortui Non Morden was a large contributor to my success. But the formula wasn't perfect. It slowed or halted the signs of ageing for a time, it was difficult to tell decisively which, but it wore off, eventually. And it is difficult to tell when one is ageing, what with it being such a gradual process. Several times the formula wore off, much more quickly than expected, and by the time my brothers were approaching their sixties, my body had, over time, aged to what I would hazard a guess at being roughly my mid-thirties. I knew that if I didn't act soon, I could reach old age so gradually that I wouldn't even notice it happening.
Leo:
Kinda like everyone else in the world does?
Frank:
Exactly. But I was not everyone else. You can raise your eyebrows at me all you like, call it conceited or egocentric, but you cannot call it untrue. Within a decade, I'd solved it. A permanent solution to the mortality problem. As with all permanent solutions, it was, perhaps, a little drastic, but I was hoping for fairly drastic results, so I expected nothing less from the process. Edgar was still director by then, though rumour was spreading of his becoming a little senile. Perhaps there was truth in it, but it didn't matter. Rumour was all it took, to lose the respect of his employees. We all knew he would retire soon. With no sons it was likely that he would pass the position on to his right-hand man, and if I were to avoid losing my claim to the Director position forever, I had to act before that happened. Meaning I had little time to dwell on qualms over drastic measures. It seems contradictory, but to put an end to my mortality, I would need to take my own life. In a controlled environment, of course. And with Edgar there to help. I believe the process was all the more effective for our shared genetics.
Leo:
You... You used your brother? To become...
Frank:
Yes. Him along with several other nameless spirits. I do not feel ashamed. They live on too, in a sense, through me.
Leo:
So when you said, back there, that you consume the spirits. Is that part of... That's... Oh of course. Like with the amalgamation in the warehouse. The fusing together of the spirits, concentrating them, makes them somehow more tactile, visible. So, consuming spirits through, I assume through something similar to your anti-ageing serum, it's what makes you able to function like a living person! It's what makes you so much more than just a ghost.
Frank:
Precisely, Leonardo. Precisely. A brilliant mind, just as I told you. After Edgar went missing, his adult son, calling himself Edward Whitley, arrived to oversee the investigation, then when he was presumed dead, to claim his inheritance. Any doubts of the lineage were quickly dispelled by the unmistakable resemblance between myself, and the man I claimed was my father. That and the birth certificate I successfully forged. The timing worked out. By all appearances I looked to be a young man in my early forties, Edgar would have been in his thirties at the time of my apparent birth, around the time he married his wife, who had already passed by the time Edgar disappeared. Though I can't take credit for those timings. That part was all just good fortune. I spun the tale that I had been away in Europe for most of my life. A science prodigy, studying in the best schools on the continent in preparation for this day. I was never recognised as myself. As the youngest son, I'd never been paid much attention by society, and in recent years I had taken to my studies too often to be particularly recognisable. So, you see, the character I played as Edward Whitley wasn't so far from my own truth. It was likely that which made it so believable.
Leo:
So you just step into the role of the Marvellous Mr. Corporate Casper, then? Wait a few years, gain everyone's trust, then facilitate the rebranding of Mortui Non Morden into Better Place. (TENTATIVELY, AS IF WORKING SOMETHING OUT) Bigger both in scale and in profits. More innocent spirits at your disposal to consume to keep your life extended, to keep yourself physical. And after a while the company got so big you had more than you could possibly eat, so you carried on with your twisted little experiments, to pass the time, because, after all, you've got eternity and nothing to fill it with. Is that it?
Frank:
(CHUCKLING) Surprisingly close, Leonardo. Though I do not like the judgment in your tone. My reasons, though, you have misinterpreted. My experiments, in recent years, have become vital. I've already informed you of the stakes.
Leo:
So we're finally getting to the juicy bit about the whole spirit plane apparently crumbling. Want to expand on that?
Frank:
Overpopulation, Leonardo. The world has changed. It has grown. When my father ran Mortui Non Morden, they handled a few hundred cases a year. Now Better Place removes thousands of spirits annually and growing every year. The spirit world is bursting at the seams.
Leo:
Because you store them all! Why not just get rid of them? Surely you don't need every single spirit for your experiments, getting rid of a chunk of these would be a start, right?
Frank:
Well I certainly won't be giving you every detail of the situation just yet, all great scientists must have their secrets.
Leo:
(UNDER THEIR BREATH) Guess nobody's told you about the great Open Science Movement of the 21st century yet
Frank:
But I can tell you that you've gotten to the crux of the issue. It isn't that simple. And it's why I need your help. Your technology, your mind. You've essentially thrown away your job as my assistant, for, I'm sure, a charming and noble cause, but it's time you come to your senses now and join the adults. Sign a new contract. A promotion. You won't be working in admin any more, you'll be my lead scientist. Finally working in a role you've always dreamed about. It may be your only chance.
[SFX: Classical music ends]Frank:
You dropped out of university, didn't you? When your brother first fell ill? But I can see past that. I know a formal education means nothing compared to raw intelligence, burning curiosity, a passion for discovery bordering on the reckless. You'd do great things for me, Leonardo. You'd live up to the greatness you have within you.
Leo:
I- No. No I- why would I do that? Why would I keep working for you? After everything you've— you're a monster
Frank:
I may present a cool and collected front Leonardo, but it is possible to hurt my feelings.
Leo:
Sorry, I just- wait no, I don't care! I shouldn't care! You're selfish! You consume spirits just extend your own life!
Frank:
Maybe so, but what I am asking you to do is not selfish. I'm asking you to work with me to save the spirit plane. If the lives of these spirits I consume are so important to you then this should be too. My reasons are selfish of course — my existence relies on the stability of this plane — but yours don't need to be. Though if you'd prefer, I can help to make your reasons selfish.
Leo:
What do you—
Frank:
Stephen Pritchard. His family in Islington. If the spirit plane collapses, oh how Kara and Lynne and the poor children will mourn.
Leo:
How dare—
Frank:
Edna Miller, in her cat sanctuary up in Watford. Whatever would Rita and Peggy do without her? You don't suspect that perhaps their spirits would like to stay behind with her when they pass too? You'd rob them of the chance at eternity together?
Leo:
Okay I get your poi—
Frank:
Lilian Daniels. Dear to not just a few people but a whole parish, a whole community who love her. What will that do to the parish at St. Joseph's if the plane crumbles and she's torn away from them? What will that do to their faith? Their understanding of their God, their souls?
Leo:
Okay, stop it, please—
Frank:
Noah Quinn. Sweet, sweet Noah Quinn. Too good, too young. His spirit has been sitting in my warehouse for only... What, a year?
Leo:
(LONG PAUSE, THEN THROUGH GRITTED TEETH) Ten months.
Frank:
Yes, of course. You never wanted this for him, did you? You wanted him to stay, but your mother, your dear mother couldn't handle it. After all of those prayers to St. Joseph, your brother's soul had not been guided to an afterlife but was stuck, in his childhood bedroom. You asked me to help only as a favour to her. And you hated yourself for it. I suspect it's the real reason you started this little project of yours. Or, if not the sole reason then at least the final push you needed. Not so selfless, after all. Oh, don't look at me like that, Leonardo, I would never have harmed him. I knew what he was to you. I kept him safe all these months. But you asked me to remove him and I made it happen, free of charge, because despite the fact that you were obviously lying, you told me it was what you wanted. I could hand him over, if you agreed. If you joined me in my work here. But if you didn't agree, if you left me to stop this alone, I couldn't possibly in good conscience reunite you with your brother only to watch you be ripped apart again when I'm unable to stop the collapse of the spirit plane alone—
Leo:
Stop it. Shut up. Stop it.
Frank:
Our goals align, here, Leonardo. I'm not asking anything of you that you wouldn't have done for noble reasons if you'd found out about this problem on your own.
Leo:
(BREATHING HEAVILY)
[SFX: Recording Ends]Frank:
(LONG PAUSE) That's interesting.
Leo:
What would the contract entail?
Frank:
You've stopped recording.
Leo:
Besides working with you, I mean.
Frank:
Why on earth would you stop recording?
Leo:
Damnit Frank listen to me! I know there's more to it than this. What would the contract ask of me?
Frank:
Well, primarily it would function the same as the standard promotional contract. It would dictate an amendment to your original employment terms, job description, salary, the like. It would give you access to my labs. The labs, the files, the workspaces, you barely touched the surface down there, Leonardo. The things you've achieved in your own front room, think what you could do with access to my resources—
Leo:
And the catch?
Frank:
Well, the catch, of course, is that the contract comes with a non-disclosure agreement. A fairly rigorous one, at that. You are unable to publicly disclose any information about your work, myself, or Better Place, to anybody outside of your immediate team.
Leo:
My audio diaries—
Frank:
Are included in that, yes. Any plans to take down Better Place would be in the past. But you would be working to save spirits. Wasn't that the goal all along? Mx. Matkins and Ms. Wilde will of course be offered similar contracts, meaning you would still be able to disclose—
Leo:
No.
Frank:
I beg your pardon?
Leo:
No. Don't offer them the contract. And don't tell them anything about this.

Frank:
I see. This is why you stopped recording, isn't it? You're ashamed. Ashamed to be giving up your principles? Very well, though you do understand that if they are not on your team, then you'll be unable to discuss any aspect of your work with them as per the non disclosu—
Leo:
And Noah?
Frank:
Your brother's stasis capsule will be given to you if you agree. You'll need to find a way to ensure his spirit stays stable outside of his tether, if you'd like to release him from the capsule, but you'll be free to research this alongside your work.
Leo:
And if I sign, if I agree, you'll stop being so vague? You've got more information about the problem with the spirit plane, you'll actually be upfront about it?
Frank:
Of course. You'll have access to all of my resources. That means my knowledge too. But this isn't something I feel comfortable discussing until—
Leo:
I'll do it.
Frank:
Good. And you're certain about your friends?
Leo:
Yes. I couldn't face them, and admit that I'm throwing away everything we've— yes. I'm certain.
Frank:
Very well. Let's get started then.
Closing theme beginsLeanne: Episode Twenty-Five of Tell No Tales, The Lonely Scientist, was written and performed by Leanne Egan. You also heard the voice of Asher Amor-Train as Frank WilliamsonSo we’ve reached the end of season one. Thank you so much to everyone who’s stuck with us for this season. Season two might take a while, but it is in the works. In the meantime, keep an eye on this feed for updates and bonus content, and stick around for a trailer for The Attic Monologues, another queer audio drama that I love, and is just perfect for the spooky season.For those listening to this on the day of release, happy Hallowe’en, and I hope to be speaking to you again soon with news for season two.Thank you for listening, and remember: the dead don’t bite.Closing theme ends

Transcript: Case LE#2201 (Q&A)

Leanne:
Hey everyone. Thanks for joining us for our Q&A session. Before we start, a little housekeeping, we had a lot of questions that overlapped, or some people sending in multiple questions. So instead of reading out names as we go, I'm gonna give a big shout out now to some of the people who wrote in.
Thank you to AMC who has been ceaselessly supportive of this show, and she did not let us down when the Q&A rolled around. AMC is the creator of the Vesta Clinic, a gorgeous, heartwarming show about doctors in space. I unofficially consider the Vesta Clinic our sister show. We started at around the same time, have a similar episode format, and I just really love their show. So if you haven't gone ahead and caught up with their first season yet, go ahead and do it. I promise you'll love it, and their finale is on its way very soon.We also got some questions from Melvis, who you might know is danielpowell on Tumblr. They also have an absolutely fantastic Tell no Tales playlist on Spotify called The Dead Don't Bite. So definitely look that up. I think it's amazing. Thanks so much, Mel.Thank you as well to Phoe, who is the creator of The Aberrant Report, a wonderfully queer show about the supernatural. Perfect for people who liked tell no tales but thought, huh I wish they all had fewer morals. Phoe has been absolutely lovely. They were the one to invite me to COLA podcasts, which is where all the cool kids hang out, and it's been absolutely amazing, everyone's so supportive. Seriously, go check out The Aberrant Report. It's such creepy, chaotic, queer fun, and you won't regret it.And finally, thank you to Lou Sutcliffe, the creator of the Pantaloon Society. Which, honestly is such a fresh and exciting show. It's got secret societies, supernaturally powerful clowns and eldritch horrors. The whole show just has this creepy, gothic circus vibe running through it and Lou’s performance throughout is phenomenal. I highly recommend.[SFX: Recording Ends]Okay, thanks for bearing with me everyone. Time for the Q&A.[SFX: Recording Begins]Leanne:
Yeah, no. Hi, I'm Leanne. I voice Leo and write and produce Tell No Tales.
Asher:
Hi, I'm Asher. Uh, I voice Frank, uh, internal Tales and also Edna and someone whose name I've embarrassingly forgotten, but he's really great and Scottish.
Shannon:
he was one of my favourites
Leanne:
He's also, um, his name's Jeremy Baxter and I realised afterwards that I named him in like the style of JK R*wling, naming Scottish people, um, which
Asher:
No it’s fine he’s not called like. Scott McHaggis or something.
(All Laugh)Shannon:
Uh, I'm Shannon. I voice Julia.
Leanne:
Cool. I, I will start with the, uh, the character questions because those are ones that are more easily done between everyone. Um, the first one is how much do the characters and their VAs have in common?
Shannon:
You wanna go with Leo first?
Asher:
Yeah
Leanne:
Sure. Uh, Leo is an accidental, massive self insert. Um, I've been informed this by, uh, my best friend of like 20 plus years, so it, I have to consider it true. Um, I do, however, I have given Leo a bunch of like, My worst qualities. Um, and then also made them a much nicer person in general. So I'm not sure how that kind of—
Shannon:
Disagree.
Asher:
Yeah, that is not true.
Leanne:
I've given them all my like really annoying sort of like, like they're a bit, they're a bit self-centered. They sort of have a tendency to like get too wrapped up in their project and like kind of forget that other people have lives and stuff. But I've also made them very like justice driven.
Shannon:
You are justice driven, you're also just very sleepy and that's okay. I'd say the, the biggest Leanne x Leo crossover is, uh, their sleeping patterns.
Leanne:
the, the difference there… I’ve given Leo like very minor tweaks to like not be me. They have a terrible sleeping pattern. But they also just don't sleep rather than what I do, which is I go to sleep at 6:00 AM and then I still sleep for like 12 hours. Whereas Leo just, if they go to sleep at 6:00 AM that's it. They're, they're up for another, you know, three days straight.
Shannon:
I guess the biggest similarity between Julia and Shannon is we're both. Incredibly beautiful, almost illegally so
Leanne:
That checks out. Yeah. Mm-hmm. I did, when casting Julia, I was like, A) who among my friends is a comfortable in front of a mic? Because Shannon has done a D&D livestream. Um, would you like a shout out for that, by the way? I can't tell if it's uh,
Shannon:
I mean it ended several years ago.
Leanne:
But, is it like still accessible? Are the old videos still out there for people to-
Shannon:
Oh yeah, they're all on YouTube. Please don't look them up.
Leanne:
Ok. I will not say the name then. That's OK.
(All laugh)Leanne:
Um, yeah. Who, who is like, comfortable in front of a mic already? And who is gonna be most at home playing like, flirty and basically just a Leo sun, like from the top.
Shannon:
Leanne’s talking star signs there and not like children of the main character of the podcast.
Asher:
Yeah it took me a moment. I was like that's a very interesting dynamic going into season two
Leanne:
yeah, yeah, yeah. No. Um, Leo conveniently is not a Leo, but uh, but Julia, a hundred percent is. It felt very important to her characterization.
Shannon:
She's also far, far, far more intelligent than me, though. She got the brains.
Leanne:
I, I disagree. I just think she turns her intelligence to more like academically acceptable endeavours rather than, for example, Mothman.
Shannon:
To be fair. Yeah. It's very Julia to make a presentation on Mothman
Leanne:
Exactly.
Asher:
Yeah. I I, I would like to think that there's not really that many similarities between me and Frank, but unfortunately I've done the quiz that you created, which is which Tell No Tales character you are, and I did get Frank, so there have to be some in there, and I can only think it's, it's about the melodrama and… The queer coding, um,
Leanne:
It's always about the queer coding.
Shannon:
You’re very suave as well
Asher:
well. . I, no, I, I'm so awkward. I am not at all as. Machiavellian and suave, uh, as Frank is, then maybe that's something I should be working towards. Not quite as evil maybe, but you know, that level of high camp
Leanne:
mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
Shannon:
I was about to say something very stupid. I was about to say well, you both have the same velvety voice. But obviously you do
(All laugh)Leanne:
I'm gonna, I'm gonna also answer on behalf of, uh, Phil. For Riley. I originally wrote Riley with no idea who was gonna play them. And then when Phil was like recording, he kept jumping in with like, I don't think Riley would say that. That's too boring. Um, we're gonna, we're gonna change this line because like, I would write lines that were just. Have no purpose other than like to forward the plot slightly. And Phil would be there to be like, mm-hmm. No, no, we need some flair to this. Uh, so Riley became increasingly Phil throughout the, uh, throughout the recording process and also because Phil is also a scouser. I just like, I think I peppered in a couple of lines about how Riley is, um, like they went to school together and they've known each other for like 10 plus years. So that's an overlap there between mine and Phil's, like being friends since I think like year nine.
Shannon:
the grossest year.
Leanne:
It really is. That was also the year that I, um, I dunno if Phil would appreciate me, uh, saying this online. So, um, we'll, we'll see if this gets cut out, but, uh, it's also the year that I got really, really sick with appendicitis. A month after I broke up with Phil because we dated for a little while. Um, and he didn't come and visit me in the hospital because he was scared of my dad.
Shannon: Hey, you broke your appendix, but you broke his heart. So.
(All laugh)Leanne:
Uh, the next one is if you could play any other character in the show who would it be.
Shannon:
I dunno. I'm really self obsessed I really like Julia . I think, I think, um, Frank would be the most fun to play.
Asher:
Frank is a hoot, not gonna lie.
Leanne:
I agree. Even just like recording lines with Asher during like, especially that finale episode, I was supposed to be recording my lines synchronously and I just, I had to go and record them separately because the whole time I was just too sort of focused on like, oh my God, this is so cool. They're doing this so well,
Asher:
It's just the excellent material I have to work with.
Shannon:
You do, do it so good though. Not to fangirl-ish over the Q&A but you just do such a good job
Asher:
Thank you, thank you
Leanne:
And I love as well, I have to add that when I was kind of like brainstorming and I was like talking to Asher because I was like, look, you're, you're a theatre kid. I know you've got this. Who do you wanna play? And immediately they were like the bad guy. I was like, great
Asher:
Villains are just so much fun. You don't, you just, they get all of the, the parts which are full of excess, full of drama. You know, they don't usually get the bits that are just like, oh, bumbling along, filling time kind of thing. Not that there really is much of that, but yeah, no, it's just, it's just great to be evil. So, I dunno, if I wasn't voicing Frank, I dunno, I'd want to give Leo a go. Leo is a, is a treat. Leo is such a great character and just gets to do so much fun things. Like, be really happy, but also have scenes where they're just totally miserable. And that just sounds like fun.
Leanne:
I think, I think I'd like to give, uh, Riley a try. Mm. I think I'd quite enjoy playing the, um, the best friend with all the common sense and also all the like, like the quips and stuff. Mm. That is the one that jumps in and is like, Hey, actually maybe, maybe we're being idiots and maybe we should fix that, rather than playing the idiot the whole time.
(All laugh)Leanne:
Okay, I'm interested in this one. Um, the, uh, the next question is for anyone who doesn't know how season two is gonna go, what's on your season two Bingo card.
Asher:
Okay. I want Frank to get slapped. Big time. Just I'd like, like it would be great if it was, if it would be Leo, because that that would show some real growth, but I don't think it's going to be, I think it would be Riley and Julia at the same time or one after another. Just right in the right in the chops.
Leanne:
I love that.
Shannon:
Is this, is this something we want to happen or something we think will happen?
Leanne:
Either both.
Shannon:
I mean, one is obviously. Let Julia say Cuck 2023.
Leanne:
That's in there. Let Julia say cuck made it into the second to last episode. I, uh, I, I censored a lot of stuff that we recorded during that session, but, um, the cuck stayed in
Shannon:
But I want one per season.
Leanne:
Okay. You know what? Fair enough. Yeah. No cuck is, uh, cuck is Julia's catchphrase now.
Shannon:
Thank you. Thank you. That's my big, uh… I also, something I would like is a, is a really scary ghost. Scary for no reason. Just scary. I want a real. A real. woo! Shiver me timbers episode
Asher:
Yeah, absolutely. Like a ghost to not because they were evil in life, but just now their dead is taking the opportunity to be spooky and scary as shit. Just for the laugh.
Leanne:
That checks out. Yeah. I, um, I did intend to start this show as a horror podcast. Um, I got two episodes in, made them vaguely creepy, and then was like, okay, what if instead. Hear me out? What if the ghosts just need a hug? Just an idea. ,
Shannon:
That maggot one was very creepy.
Leanne:
I've, I've, I've had lots of, uh, horrified messages about the maggot ghost, I'm quite proud of that. I think the next one we're gonna do, we can do like a rapid fire, the next handful because they're quite quick. Sort of what would your character's favourite X, y, z be? So what's your characters go to drink order? Um, and they specify like alcohol, coffee, or otherwise.

Shannon:
I think Julia loves a mimosa. I reckon she's, she's a high alcohol content, high not tasting alcohol drink kinda person.
Leanne:
I could see that.
Asher:
I think if Frank is around people doing the Frank act he orders something like really boring, like whiskey on the rocks. But I think if like, out and about. He's like, oh, it's time to take advantage of having lived to the new age and just gets like whatever drink involves the most, like most different components in, cause like this is living, tasting weird things and that kind of thing. This is, this is proof that I'm alive and I will continue to live and it ends up just being nasty and pink and probably like has some horrible energy drink or something in there.
Leanne:
I like the idea that that Frank seems very sort of uptight and like, I dunno, Frank-esque in modern day times, but I, I, I suspect that, you know, take him back a couple centuries and, uh, I think he'd have been a bit fruity in his day. Like, I just think, I think he'd have been a bit of a dandy, you know?
Asher:
I think he definitely thinks himself as the wild child, but is just what a wild child is, has grown around him.
Leanne:
Mm-hmm. Leo's is already Canon established as black coffee. Because they're boring and they just want caffeine into their system as quickly as possible. Um, however, I think for like alcohol order, I think they'll just get whatever anyone buys for them. I think they're too nervous to be like, oh, actually I'll have a… they'll be like, whatever you having, that's fine. Okay, next one is, um, the person who sent this said they were joking, but I'm choosing to ignore that part. Cats, dogs or birds?
Shannon:
Birds. Julia would like birds. They're smart. They can talk to you. She can teach them things. They can fly. They got beaks…
Leanne:
that sure is a description of a bird. I I do agree. Actually, I was, I was thinking the same thing for Riley, but I think Julia and Riley are probably the most similar in personality. So like, I was thinking that Riley would probably love birds on the basis of like playing pranks on people. Like I think they would get a parrot. And like teach it weird things just to like put it in people's houses. And when I say people, I mean Leo, specifically.
Asher:
I think Frank is birds as well. I think the more exotic and unethical to own, the better
Leanne:
That checks out. Yeah, I think, I think Leo says cats. Because they wanna think that they're super like independent, but I think really what they just want is a dog to love them.
Shannon and Asher:
Aw
Leanne:
Okay. Um, this one's a bit more abstract, but everyone's favourite colours.
Shannon:
Shannon’s favourite colour is orange. What's a real sciencey colour? What colour makes you guys think science?
Leanne:
Oh, you could go for like something obscure that you would have to explain every time
Shannon:
Is vermillion the colour that everybody thinks is a colour is actually a different colour? You know, there's this colour and it's like bright yellow, but it, everybody thinks it's blue.
Asher:
Yeah.
Leanne:
I didn't know about that.
Shannon:
You, do you know what I'm talking about?
Asher:
No, I know. I've heard it. I like, I know what you're talking about. I'm sure I've discussed it before, but I can't remember which one it is. I'm gonna Google vermillion
Shannon:
I’m googling it now. Just googling… random…
Asher:
What do you think chartreuse is? What does chartreuse bring up colour-wise?
Shannon:
I think that's the one I'm thinking of. The uh, the greeny yellow, that's it, that's Julie's favourite colour. Cause I think she'd be fascinated by the whole, like, why do our minds assume it's this? But really it's, you know?
Leanne:
I, yeah, no, I support that wholeheartedly. Thank you.
Shannon:
And also it's the colour of acid, like science.
Leanne:
Because as we know, all science is just pouring acid into beakers and going. Interesting.
Asher:
Exactly. I think Frank's favorite colour. Is black. I think that's like the majority of his wardrobe, and then he's got like a whole little evil little speech prepared when someone's like, actually that's a shade, not colour. He goes into like, well, what is a colour really? and all of that. He's had hundreds of years to perfect this pretentious little front that he's got going on.
Leanne:
I think Leo's would be, is it white? That's technically all of the colours? Yeah, that's, yeah. And they'd be like, oh, but you know, like it's not showy about it. Uh, I think, I think that would be Leo. I've also, this is, this is just a side note head canon for me. I've had kind of that Leo like dresses very boring just all the time. Mostly because I wear such like absurdly bright shirts and colours and stuff. I think Leo is like too embarrassed to do that, so I think they'd be like, oh yeah, like my favourite colour is white. ‘Cause it's, it's, it's all the colours, but I don't have to wear all the colours. The last one is, um, what is Leo's favourite animal? We've kind of done favourite animals, but I'm gonna, I'm gonna put it out there anyway, is like, what is everyone's favourite animal that you might not own as a pet?
Asher:
I think Frank really likes that one species of moth that technically dies in winter and then like comes back to life in spring. I think he's like, that's so me. I'm exactly like that horrible little moth.
(All laugh)
Leanne:
(vine voice) I do that.
Asher:
Yeah exactly.
Leanne:
That's, that's so on brand. I love that.
Shannon:
I think Julia would, uh, her favourite animal would probably be something quite conventional, like a quokka or something. But she'd like it for a weird reason that, I don’t know, cause I’m not-
Asher:
here’s a fucked up biological fact about them.
Shannon:
and also they're cute!
Leanne:
I'm a bit stuck on what Leo's would be. I feel like it would be like something kind of fragile.
Asher:
Do you think like Like a panda kind of thing?
Leanne:
Like Yeah, something. Something they can rally against, you know? Or… something they can rally towards.
(All laugh)Shannon:
Yeah, fuck pandas
Leanne:
Fuck the pandas!
Asher:
Were there any ghost ideas that didn't make it into the show, and can you share them with us?
Leanne:
Yes, and kind of no, um. So like there's a bunch of ghosts I still have ideas for, but there's still gonna be, I'm gonna still try and stick as much as possible to the, like the case file format, like one ghost per episode kind of thing for seasons two and hopefully three if that ever happens. So I'm hopefully gonna use most of them. But no, there's a ton because I just like collect them as I go. Just there's an entire notes app page of just things like I'll, I'll give the, some of them are, I can just give like the, the previews for, but there's just, some of them have like proper notes next to them of like, this is why they do it and this is who they are. And some of them are just, you know, bus ghost, amusement park, ghost Eurovision, ghost, things like that. that I have, like zero sort of, I was just like, that'd be fun to. Um, so yeah, there's gonna be a ton more.
Asher:
Is there anything that didn't make it into the show that you wish had?
Leanne:
Um, I have a very specific answer for this one, actually, which is a scene that is also in my notes app somewhere of, um, that was gonna take place like around the warehouse episode that, um, ended up not turning out this way because Frank didn't join until later in the episode, but it was gonna be Riley, Leo, Julia, and Frank all hiding out in like a cupboard to get away from the, uh, the, the amalgamation thing. Um, and it involved. Like basically a conversation of like, what's everyone gonna do when this is over? Um, and it turned into a conversation about like coming up with punny drag names and Julia and Riley's, um, suggestions were just getting increasingly dirty. And then Frank jumped in with one and I just, it was just like a super silly thing that I had so much fun writing. And I'm like, I still kind of wanna… still kind of wanna work that in somehow I'm not gonna lie, I just would've had so much fun watching everyone like perform the… Frank?! to varying degrees of like horror and respect.
Asher:
I dunno. My answer is now that I just want that. Um, but like in addition to that though, honestly, like it really feels like there's nothing that much missing from season one, I guess. So I dunno, there's not much that I'm like, ah, it would've been so good if, if this had happened or, or whatever. Cuz it. I just really like the podcast. I know I'm in it, but I really like it. Um, if you could go back and do any part of the process differently, what would you change?
Leanne:
For sure, how we did the recording. Um. Because I got, I've never done voice acting before and I got super nervous recording my lines in front of other people and would go back and record my lines separately after recording with as many people as we can at the time. Um, so I would want to like actually get over that and just learn to act in front of other people like most actors have to do. Um, and I would probably, uh, just. Be a better sound editor, um, which like, I can feel myself getting faster as like, over the course of the season, which I assume means I'm getting better. Um, but like there were some, like the first few episodes I ended up redoing before we even released because there were just things that I just didn't consider. Like the fact that if you introduce silence between, between words as just a way to increase the pause between words. The silence is noticeable as silence because room tone exists and there is always gonna be a little bit of white noise, and it just sounded really, really weird when the just, it just went to dead silence. And I had to go back and like copy and paste a ton of like room tone into the gaps that I'd made. And like there's just like little sort of like I'm by no means a sound editing expert. And I've probably learned it all wrong in the sense that like I've probably learned the more complicated work arounds to try and get the result that I want because I don't know like the correct way to do things. But I have learned a lot more than I did when I started. Because it was literally just, I had made a Magnus Archives fan episode, um, which I think I made Asher listen to. Um, it was, I was like, I'm gonna record a statement for the Magnus Archives. I'm gonna, I'm gonna write a statement just to test my, like horror writing ability. And then I was like, Hey, but what if I like write like a fluffy dialogue there afterwards? And what if when reading it out for Asha, I voice Tim and Martin and John. Um, and then what if I like add some sound effects and like pitch my voice up and down to play all the characters And then I was like, fuck it. What if I make a podcast? So like-
Shannon:
Is that how this was born?
Leanne:
Literally, Yeah. I was like, I had a lot of fun doing that. I might, uh, do some more of that, maybe like at least 25 episodes. But yeah, that like Magnus Archives fan episode was my only experience sounded it in up until like starting on episode one. So I would probably, uh, maybe spend a bit more time getting to know how to sound edit before I dove into a 25 episode season.
Asher:
How was the shift to recording with multiple people since a lot of the beginning was just you?
Leanne:
For me, it was like, it was so much fun, but a lot of the problem was that we only had two mics and they were also different brands of mic, um, which did make editing like a bit more difficult. Um, but yeah, like I had so much fun being in the room while other people were doing their lines, like the, the sessions, the, just like all evening sessions that we had with Shannon and Phil in that like blanket fort, with our pizza was like so much fun. Which you can tell from the fact that we just got increasingly giggly towards the end, um, which is how, uh, certain words ended up in the podcast that I ended up having to try and cut out in editing because I was like, no, no, I can't be a podcast that says jizz, I can't do it. But at the time, we were just like, we were just so giggly. We were having so much fun that like Phil was like, oh go on, I think Riley would say it. And eventually I was like, oh, okay. I'll allow it.
Shannon:
I way preferred recording with, with you two, like when you came over to like my house and we did just at my dining room table I just felt so awkward. Like, like I was doing an interview for someone that I wasn’t. But did feel very guilty at your house, in the blanket fort. Just Phil and I manically chanting jizz jizz jizz
Leanne:
Yeah. On the plus side, that makes up like 90% of the blooper reel as it currently stands, so there is that
Shannon:
in our defense, you can't put anyone of any age in a blanket fort, give them pizza and expect them to act like adults. It's not gonna happen.
(All laugh)
Leanne:
That's true.
Asher:
uh, I enjoyed the recording. Obviously for the people that you're recording with up at Newcastle, it was like a bit different. Yeah. I dunno, I didn't, I had no idea what it was gonna be like. I had no idea what was expected. And then it was just, it was just fun. Like, I think we, we had to do them fairly quickly, I think, to get them in whilst you were still up. So I expect a blanket fort next time, I suppose is what I'm saying, but, yeah, no, it was just, it was just a treat. It was so much fun.

Leanne:
The next one's really cute. I'm gonna read it word for word cos it's really sweet. The question is just, I really hope you've had a moment where you've realized that you've made something fantastic. When did that hit for you all?
Asher:
That is so cute. Yeah. I dunno who asked this question, but they are a sweetheart and I hope. They have all nice things in life.
Leanne:
Mm-hmm. I am almost certain… I have to go back and double check, but I'm almost certain that that was, uh, AMC, um, who is the creator of the Vesta Clinic and like I gave a shout out that I'll put at the start of the episode, but like, she has just been so nice. Like it's just every Sunday it's just us doing our audio drama Sunday threads just hyping each other up every time someone puts out a new episode. Yeah. No, I, I, I, I don't think I had a, a moment until I read that and I was like, that's really nice.
Asher:
I dunno. I think for me, like when I realized that I was like, Involved in something really cool was like, I think when I listened to the first episode, I don't know whether it was like, I can't remember if you sent it to me ahead of time or whether I, that was one of the ones I listened to, like when it came out. But it was just like, oh shit, this is just, this is a podcast that I would listen to and I'm going to be in it later on in the series. Like, that's, that's insane. That's really, really cool.
Shannon:
This, this might sound stupid. I don't think it hit for me for a while because I was just, like… Because Julia doesn't come into it for like quite a while. I was just listening to episodes being like, damn, this podcast really good. Without ever like clicking, I was like, wait, Leanne made this podcast, you know, I just was listening to it on my walk to Sainsbury’s to get my onions. Just totally forgetting that it’s a thing that you made because it just sounds so good and professional and it's just, so amazing. So, yeah, it didn't click, click until I was like, oh shit, wait, that's my voice. Why is my voice on this podcast?
Leanne:
Reading out that question was actually just a ruse to make you both say nice things about my show.
Asher:
Very smart.
Leanne:
So I'm just gonna, I'm gonna bunch the last two questions. In into one. Um, so the question is basically, what is your favorite and least favorite part of making the show? And for me, I'm, I'm gonna just dive right in there with dialogue editing. I do not, like, I'm not a very good director. Um, and I don't have very good like, mic etiquette, um, because I'm so new to voice acting and I've never directed before, so most of the dialogue editing process is just listening to parts of the recording that aren't actually takes and just sifting through those and then trying to spend ages, especially in ones with like episodes of multiple characters going through and lining them up exactly to make them sound like speech. Like I didn't hate it, but it just, it was like 90% of the work that went into it was just. Lining up something that Phil says, and then lining up something that I say and just trying to make them sound like two people having a conversation. Uh, and it's harder than you think. My favorite part was, uh, recording with everyone. Um, I, I know I've already said it, but like, it was just so much fun and it made it feel a lot less. Like I was just plowing through and making this thing that nobody cared about because like other people were reading the things that I wrote and people were reading them really well, and it just made me very happy and excited to start actually releasing it.
Shannon:
Aw shucks
Asher:
I think my, my least favourite part was definitely waiting for some of the episodes to come out. Um, specifically the ones that I was in. All of that time, and there was quite a long time, I think between recording and I'm in quite a lot of the later episodes of the season, so I had plenty of time to listen to other people do really well and be like, oh God, oh God, am I going to have messed it up? Also, specifically for Jeremy, I was like, Absolutely convinced that when I listened to it, it was going to be the worst Scottish accent that ever happened and that I was going to be just slaughtered by any Scottish person who had listened to the podcast. I no longer think that, at least not, not, not too much anyway.
Leanne:
honestly, like if it makes you feel better, some of my like favorite audio dramas, I'm not going to name any names, but some of my favorite audio dramas that are American based do what is quite obviously. Fake like RP British accent, and it doesn't put me off at all. I'm like, okay, this is fake. That's cool. There's lesbians in it. Let's go. Like. But like, no, I, I, I especially like, I wrote Jeremy for you because I remember watching you perform as Alan in Camp Camp, um, at, uh, at Newcastle University Drama fest, uh, where you were just your like campy Scottish accent was just so much fun.
Asher:
Thank you. Um, if anyone does come to murder me for accent, I'll, I'll, I'll direct them to you.
Leanne:
Yeah, no, I'll take, yeah, I'll accept that.
Shannon:
Maybe we should just get Julia to a load of accents so you could feel better about yours
Asher:
If you could, that would be lovely. Thank you. . . Um, I think my favorite part. Was, yeah, it was recording. It was so, it was a lot of fun, like being involved in doing audio dramas and that kind of thing is something that I've been like interested in for a while, but not to the, but in the kind of like, that's just something that people who aren't me do. Like that's, you know, that's just like, that's like being an actor. Nobody does that. And then actually getting to, to be involved in it and for it to be, for a podcast, like I said, that I would just listen to anyway. It was really awesome.
Leanne:
You were the one that got me into audio dramas. Actually. You are the one… I listened to the Bright Sessions-
Asher:
It was my fault
Leanne:
(laughs) I was just like, like I stumbled on the Bright Sessions because I found, um, the Infinite Noise audiobook and I was like, huh, this is related to a podcast. And I listened to it and I was like, that was nice. I'll never listen to another one of those again though. Uh, and then you were like, Hey, have you heard of the Magnus Archives?
Leanne:
Um, so yeah, this is entirely your fault.
Asher:
Excellent. I'll take that.
Shannon:
My least favourite part: hearing me. Not that I dislike hearing me, it's just I got so used to not hearing me. I was like, I'm not meant to be here. Go away, Shannon. Um, And then my favourite part, obviously recording. Uh, but I think also just because, dunno if you guys noticed, um, probably no one listening to this has, but like there was this like pandemic thing for like the last few years…
Leanne:
Oh that thing?
Shannon:
Yeah, remember that? And so to just getting to like, do something collaboratively with people. It's just so lovely. Leanne, you saved me from the pandemic
Leanne:
Finally, the last one is just, uh, asking for any ideas of when season two might be out, um, which I have like a, as of yet unofficial timeline for it, which please, nobody hold me to this because things might go wrong. But my idea is basically if all goes well, is to try and rowdfund in February, um, because I would like to put out a casting call for Season Two's ghosts so that I can afford to pay actors in a casting call because so far everyone has been very, very lovely working for free because you're all my friends and you've been really generous with your time and your skills. But I feel a lot less comfortable doing that when putting out a casting call. And so I just wanna make sure that everyone gets at least paid a little bit for the work they're gonna put into it. And February seems like the best time to do that because we're in a cost of living crisis and the holidays are coming up—
Shannon:
And it’ll be over by February
(Laughing through the pain)
Leanne:
Less that it'll be over by February, February and more that, uh, the combination of cost of living crisis and Christmas is probably not a good combination for people to go. Yeah, I've got a spare 20 quid, e’are, you can have that. Like, so I'm gonna, I'm gonna wait a little while, uh, for people to recover from December and hopefully be able to do that. And then the plan is if we can do a casting call like immediately afterwards and just dive straight in and have like it essentially ready to go by like a couple months later releasing around the same time that season one was this. That's the, that's the dream. Yeah. No, that's, uh, that's it. The last question.
Asher:
That is, that is, that is not it. I can see three more questions sitting on our little question document. Does Leo wear wigs?
Leanne:
No.
Asher:
Will Leo, wear wigs?
Leanne:
Maybe.
Asher:
When will Leo wear wigs?
(All laugh)
Leanne:
Does anyone have anything… burning that they would like to say before we all leave to go prepare for Bake-off?
Shannon:
Let Julia Say Cuck 2023
Asher:
(overlapping) I hope for season season two… YES
(All laugh)Shannon:
No no, you say your genuine thing!
Asher:
No no no, mine wasn’t genuine, I was just going to say that I hope in season two Frank gets to prove that ghost do in fact bite.
Leanne:
I'm already, I'm already pre-planning the, the slight change to the, to the end credits.
Leanne:
Thank you. Thank you so much everyone for joining for my silly little q and a. We have definitely A’d some Q’s.
Shannon:
Now let's all go watch Syabira win Bake-off.
Leanne:
Yeah.
Asher:
Woo.