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

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 Fourteen of Tell No Tales, Grave Consequences, 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

Transcript: Episode Seventeen - Leave Me Be

Transcript: Episode Eighteen - Promises

Transcript: Episode Nineteen - Everyone's a Critic

Transcript: Episode Twenty - Eye of the Storm

Transcript: Episode Twenty-one - Our Own Homes

Transcript: Episode Twenty-two - Patron of Departed Souls

Transcript: Episode Twenty-three - The Warehouse

Transcript: Episode Twenty-four - We Suffer As One

Transcript: Episode Twenty-five - The Lonely Scientist