20: Take Care

Where do you turn when there’s no way out?
CONTENT WARNINGS: confinement, the occult, violence, knives, blood, fire, the paranormal

[SFX: beep. They’re jammed in a trunk]

OWEN: Just put it in your pocket.

JUDITH: Well, I guess we can… record. I’m still annoyed that she took my phone, didn’t even back it up that recently. Gonna lose a lot of good photos.

OWEN: [sigh]

JUDITH: Let me have this. But yeah, I’ll keep the spare recorder running. It’s still uploading to the cloud. It’ll be stored there so if… if we… I don’t even want to think about it.I’m scared, Owen.

OWEN: Me too. [SFX: car stops, parks. They’re in a garage]

JUDITH: God, please. [jams recorder further in pocket].

TABITHA: So, do you want to walk in or would you prefer to be dragged kicking and screaming?

JUDITH: What kind of choice is that?

OWEN: I’m ok with staying here.

TABITHA: You can cool your heels a little longer, maybe massage your calf muscles a bit. I’m sure they’re stiff.

OWEN: Bite me.

TABITHA: No thanks, I’m a vegetarian. I stay away from animals.

OWEN: Ha ha, that’s funny, I try to stay away from stupid assholes, and yet look at you, you’re still here.

TABITHA: Whatever. At least I’m not the one stuck in a trunk. Alright, you, get up. Claire wants to have a little chat.

JUDITH: About what?

TABITHA: Not my problem. Come on.

JUDITH: Ok, ok, jesus, you don’t have to pull! Owen?

OWEN: Judith?

JUDITH: See you soon, I hope.

TABITHA: Shut up.

[SFX: beep. Basement.]

ADAM: Honey, this looks amazing. Look at this place!

CLAIRE: I know, right? It just feels so alive in here.

ADAM: The skulls were a lovely touch.

CLAIRE: Really? They were a bit last minute, but I think I made them work.

ADAM: Goat?

CLAIRE: Mostly.The black velvet throw though, that’s what ties it together for me. Why just toss a bunch of bones around slapdash when you can make it feel luxurious?

ADAM: You have such a good eye.

CLAIRE: For interior design or men?

ADAM: Both.

CLAIRE: Well, you ready for the fireworks? The cameras are up and running so we can start whenever.

ADAM: Fantastic! Oh, and by the way, I ironed our robes. Wanted us to look our best for such an occasion.

CLAIRE: I do appreciate your attention to aesthetics, darling. [SFX: scuffling from the floor above]Oh good, sounds like the guests of honour are here! Should I put a few canapés in the cellar for them?

ADAM: Nah, I think they’ll be fine. Besides, I doubt they’ll have a chance to enjoy them.

CLAIRE: You’re right. Can you excuse me for a moment? I want to have a few words with Judith.

[SFX: beep. Basement room.]

JUDITH: Ok, ok! BACK OFF. Claire, what the hell is going on?

LYDIA: You’re so mouthy when you’re cranky.

JUDITH: Oh my God, ok, you know what, Lydia? I do not need this shit right now!

CLAIRE: Hey, hey, ok, let’s all just take a deeeep breath, [breathes in, breathes out] and let all the tension just flooooow out of us. Ahhh, feels good. Just push negative feelings out. Now, Judith, I know this has been a bit of an unorthodox day-


CLAIRE: -but I think it’s time that we all let our grievances out and take a moment to better understand each other and grow together, ok? Here’s what I’m seeing. Lydia, it sounds like you feel like Judith wasn’t supportive enough of you in your relationship, and never really prioritized you. Oof, I’ve been there too, I understand. That can cause a lot of strain and I’m really sorry that you had to deal with that. Judith, it sounds like you’re feeling pretty stressed, and I think you may be using that as an excuse, an excuse to remain emotionally unavailable to Lydia. And I understand that you might have… some reasonable discomfort with your… let’s say, non-consensual delivery here?

JUDITH: Is this really necessary?

LYDIA: You just need to be more understanding.


CLAIRE: Please, Judith, we’re disciples of esoteric wisdom that focuses on divine purity through sacrifice and unwavering devotion. Blood is not the main tenant, nor is the fire — although both are important. But come now, I know you’re smarter than that.Ok, regardless, I just wanted to have a quick chit-chat with you. Come, sit down.

JUDITH: No thanks.

CLAIRE: [sigh] Fine then. Judith, I want you to understand why I’m doing this. In the grand scheme of things, it really is nothing personal. I just want to harness the power to show this world it’s true potential. Everyone’s! Mine, yours, and – just hear me out – if you’re willing to join me in that journey, this could work out so beautifully. That is all I’ve ever wanted. Just imagine it! It’ll be us, side by side, stripping away the weak and creating something new, something stronger and more powerful than ever before. I want to return the earth to fire, Judith, and watch it regrow. And we could that! We could do that together.

JUDITH: Claire, I… why?

CLAIRE: Have you ever had a purpose, Judith? Well, I guess you found one recently with your crusade to “save Claire and Adam.” It’s very sweet, it really is, but it’s so misguided. Let me ask you: why are you doing this, Judith?

JUDITH: I… you want to destroy the world! You hijacked my best friend’s body! Why wouldn’t I get involved?!

CLAIRE: So, you’re doing this for me?

JUDITH: I’m doing this for Claire!



CLAIRE: Are you… sure about that? How much of this are you doing for Claire?

JUDITH: What the hell are you talking about?

CLAIRE: You say you’re doing it for her, but really, it looks more like you’re trying to fix this to make yourself feel better. God, you are just marinating in your own guilt.

JUDITH: Don’t turn this around, I’m not the one who possessed her.

CLAIRE: Yes, but you let yourself be quietly consumed by your fear until it was too late, and then she was gone. So instead, you focused on someone else you could drag down into this morass with you. Poor Owen. He just wanted to be friends, have a little fun project to work on, and now look at what you’ve done. Look what you’ve done! So many lives ruined, and it’s your fault.

JUDITH: That’s not how this works.

CLAIRE: It just seems really selfish, Judith. You tell yourself you’re doing this for Claire, when really, it’s to assuage your own guilt. And now look at what you’ve done. You’ve doomed not only yourself, but what’s left of Claire too. And Adam. And Owen. Just imagine he has to die first, how would that feel? What if I bled him dry?

JUDITH: Don’t you fucking dare.

CLAIRE: Don’t look away, look at me, Judith. Look into the face of the person you failed. You were afraid, you were cowardly, and you lost her. You lost me. And then you found yourself plowing blindly forward, powered by guilt and, frankly, a stunning lack of self-preservation. This is your path, my dear. It’s the one that leads straight into the fires of hell, and it’s your fault.

JUDITH: Shut up!

CLAIRE: But who really has a path, I can imagine you asking? I know I didn’t. I struggled. I thought I could find it in work, in my relationships, in the house, but I never did. I was always trying to find something to give me purpose. But now, now I have one, the greatest purpose of all. I have a group of people who depend on me. I have a life that gives me new meaning. And I have a master that will reward me greatly for my dedication.

JUDITH: Look, I can atone for where I might have screwed up along the way, and I don’t fucking care if you think I don’t “have a path.”

CLAIRE: That’s because you’re gutless.That’s why you couldn’t handle what happened to Claire, that’s why you couldn’t admit what was staring you in the face.

JUDITH: No. I did what I could.

CLAIRE: And you FAILED. You LOST.Judith, sweetie, come on. Join me. Come with me. I can help you find your place in all of this. Think of what we could do together.


CLAIRE: [sigh] Fine. I had hoped that we could do this together, but I suppose I’ll just have to drag you along for the ride, as usual.

[SFX: Lydia grabs Judith, there’s a struggle. Judith gets ziptied to the ring on the wall]

JUDITH: What the HELL, Lydia? … Were you lying to me this whole time?

LYDIA: I’m not talking about this here. I know to separate work from play.

JUDITH: So, what, public bondage is a work thing for you?

CLAIRE: Oh, that’s just a precaution.

JUDITH: Let me go!


JUDITH: Let me go. And don’t you dare hurt Owen.


JUDITH: What is your problem?

LYDIA: You two were always so chummy, your devotion bugged me.

JUDITH: I cannot believe we’re having this discussion, AGAIN. We are friends. Anyway, real fuckin’ rich of you to get jealous right now.

CLAIRE: You know, you always have been the jealous type, Lydia. But enough of this, this is not important right now. I wanted to speak to you without him around anyway. Look, Judith, if you change your mind, I’m willing to talk, but time is running out.

JUDITH: You know my answer isn’t going to change.

CLAIRE: [sigh] Always so dedicated to the wrong cause.

JUDITH: Lydia, please.

LYDIA: I can’t help you, Judith. Actually, that’s not true. I won’t help you. Yourworld might be ending, but mine is just beginning.

JUDITH: Do you know how bananas you sound right now? Besides, do you even know what you’re doing? This whole Blessing of the Master thing? You’re just planning to destroy the world? Why not focus on something useful like… getting rid of white supremacists or something? They’re garbage people!

LYDIA: The beautiful searing light of Moloch will remove all the impurities. Including you.

JUDITH: So that’s it? … Did I mean nothing to you?

LYDIA: Not nothing, but this means more. I made my choice. I came home. I’m sorry that it has to be this way, but if you were just willing to join us in our ritual…

JUDITH: Yeah, not happening.

LYDIA: Then I guess this is it then. Hope you weren’t too attached to your blood. [SFX: leaves]

JUDITH: Fuck. She knows I need that to live.

CLAIRE: I’m sorry, I was really hoping you two could work things out. You’re cute together. You’re right, though, Lydia really does need to work on that jealousy issue of hers.

JUDITH: Sure, that was the problem. Not her boner for your plan to destroy the earth or whatever.

CLAIRE: Oh, that’s no way to approach what’s about to happen.

JUDITH: Go fuck yourself.

CLAIRE: You’re so mean to an old friend! Nastiness will give you crow’s feet.

JUDITH: You brainwashed these people!

CLAIRE: I didn’t brainwash anyone. I simply presented them with information, and they saw what they wanted to see. And then I gave them the tools to achieve their goals.

JUDITH: What, demonic jade rollers?

CLAIRE: The jade rollers were fine, I just jazzed up the post copy with some questionable science. Did you know that people will buy anything if you tell them that it’ll remove toxins?

JUDITH: You’re the WORST.

CLAIRE: Watch your mouth or I’ll cut that tongue out. [pause] Good. Good! You’re becoming a much faster learner.

JUDITH: Can I ask… one thing.

CLAIRE: Oh, just one?

JUDITH: Why? Why all the emotional torture and the taunting and the general… shittiness? Why even bother doing this to me and Owen? Does it make you stronger? Does it make the ritual better? Just WHY, what the FUCK?

CLAIRE: I mean, that’s more than one question, but… I will allow it. You want to know why, Judith? It’s simple. It was a joy to see the level of your dedication. How much you’d be willing to risk to get me back. And you know, have you ever wondered why children peel the wings off of flies? It’s because they’re curious. They want to see what’s going to happen. It’s entertainment. It’s fun. Once I realized that you two didn’t trust me, I decided to derive what enjoyment I could. It is fun making you squirm and make you realize that you’re helpless against the encroaching flames. You two can do your little searches online and read your little books, but in the end you both are nothing more than kindling. And you know what else is fun for me? It’s not just hurting you and Owen.

JUDITH: What the fuck are you talking about you PIECE OF SHIT-

CLAIRE: Hey, hey, Judith, honey, here, you should know how badly you failed. [her voice changes back to regular Claire, who is terrified] Jude? JUDE?

JUDITH: … Claire?

CLAIRE: Judith, oh my God, I’m so sorry, I can’t stop her, I’m trying, I’m trying but I can’t. Judith, it hurts

JUDITH: Claire, oh my God, Claire.

CLAIRE: Judith, I can’t stop her, I can see everything but I can’t control my body, even trying just makes me feel like I’m being torn apart. I can’t, I can’t do anything.

JUDITH: Please, please, you can fight this. Please, I know you can, please, Claire.

CLAIRE: I can’t, I can’t, it hurts so much, and I can’t stop her, I keep trying, nothing works, I feel like my brain is being shredded, I can’t stop her doing these things, I can’t even get my own limbs to work-

JUDITH: Claire, please, you can do this. Please, please, please. 

CLAIRE: Please, just kill me. This is, this is… agony.

JUDITH: Claire, I can’t. I can’t-

CLAIRE: You can’t stop her, please, Judith, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry for everything.

JUDITH: It’s ok, it’s ok.

CLAIRE: I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry— [SFX: Evil Claire returns] Wow, that was a real bummer. Just thought you two should have one last time together.


CLAIRE: Careful, don’t harm the vessel! Now, I have some things to attend to. Don’t go far!

[SFX: she leaves. Silence. Suddenly, there’s scuffling and shouting outside the door. The door swings open and multiple people come in. Lots of pushing and shoving.]

OWEN: Judith?

JUDITH: Owen? Where were you?

OWEN: Stuck in the trunk until now. Where were you?

JUDITH: Claire and Lydia wanted to have a little talk with me.

OWEN: Oh great. How did that go?

JUDITH: Uh, not good.What happened with your escort downstairs? You ok?

OWEN: I don’t think they wanted to take any chances and I do not want to be here, so it was a struggle the whole way down. Also, the driver got out and punched me a few times for good measure, but I think that was just because he’s an asshole. Are you ok?

JUDITH: I’m… fine. I got caught up in the scuffle when you came in and just started kicking because… seemed like the cool thing to do? Can you move?

OWEN: Not really, I’m zip-tied to the ring on the wall.

JUDITH: Same. What are these, construction grade?

OWEN: Yeah… yeah, these things are tight.

JUDITH: [long pause] Hey Owen?

OWEN: Yeah?

JUDITH: I’m sorry. I’m sorry I dragged you into this.

OWEN: Hey, look, it’s ok.

JUDITH: Actually?

OWEN: I mean, no, I’m terrified that we’re both about to be gutted in some sort of demonic ritual, and I’d really like not to be killed, but… this isn’t your fault.

JUDITH: I mean, I feel like it kind of is.

OWEN: Well… not intentionally. You thought Claire was having a breakdown and that something was wrong with this house. No one could predict that she was actually possessed by ghosts or demons or whatever back when this all started.

JUDITH: I guess. I’m sorry. I’m really, really sorry.

OWEN: Yeah… me too. What do you think is going to happen to us?

JUDITH: I don’t know. There’s that ritual, and there is a blood sacrifice.

OWEN: Oh, great. Whatever happens, I don’t think we’re going to be walking out of here in one piece. Or as ourselves. Or with all our limbs. Or walking at all.


OWEN: Yeah?

JUDITH: Shut up.

OWEN: Sorry, I’m just panicking a bit right now.

JUDITH: Yeah, right there with you. Owen?

OWEN: Yeah?

JUDITH: If we don’t make it out of here, I just want to say thanks. For everything. I would’ve been… very lost… without you. And you’ve been really great through this, through…  this whole fucking mess.

OWEN: Hey, you too, Jude, and, you know what- [SFX: door opens]

CLAIRE: Hey lovelies! How’s it going? Hope you’re not too uncomfortable.

OWEN: Oh, yeah, no, feeling great. So good.

CLAIRE: Aww, don’t worry, you won’t be here for much longer. We got some great activities for you both. See? I’ve got it here in my day planner.

JUDITH: … the glittery sticker that says TIME TO DIE? Was that a custom order?

OWEN: It’s a bit on the nose, don’t you think?

CLAIRE: No need to be so negative! It’s bad for your complexion. Although, I guess that doesn’t matter now. Anyway, we’re hoping to get started soon, just have to make sure that all our energies are aligned. Do you want some celery juice? Nut mylk?

OWEN: Oh god, don’t call it that.

JUDITH: Why are we HERE?

OWEN: And why are we’re chained to the wall?!

CLAIRE: Well, technically you’re zip-tied. Turns out it’s pretty hard to find decent manacles these days. Not a lot of options out there, I guess unless you’re just looking for fetish wear. I thought it might be a little too unbecoming to put you down here in padded leather cuffs.

OWEN: And that was your concern?

CLAIRE: Well, I don’t want you to feel undignified.


CLAIRE: Judith, oh my sweet, dear Judith. It’s time. The weak and stupid and greedy have been allowed to suckle away at the earth for too long. Soon I will have the power to release the beautiful devastation of Moloch on this horrible world and bring about the Age of Fire. Soon my master will reward my dedication. And, well, we can’t do it without you.

JUDITH: What the fuck does that mean?

CLAIRE: My master offers a blessing to his most devoted. But he demands a sacrifice in return. A sacrifice of someone who is devoted… to me.

JUDITH: Claire, please, please don’t.

CLAIRE: Shhh, it’s ok. I know you love Claire, and she loves you, Judith. She really does. That bond is so strong. Hell, I’ve even started to like you a bit. Y’know, thank you for never giving up on her. Thank you for your devotion. Soon your blood will be spilled, and my master will be so pleased.

JUDITH: Claire, please. Please fight this.

CLAIRE: You said you’d do anything to help me.

JUDITH: Please, please don’t do this.

OWEN: Hey, wait! Why am I here then? I’m just a work friend!

CLAIRE: You’d be amazed at how much blood these sacrifices need.

OWEN: Oh, come on.

CLAIRE: Ok, I will see you in a bit! I just need to get some hair oil for these fly-aways. Ugh, it is so damp down here. So rest up. We have a big night ahead of us! [SFX: footsteps, door closes]

JUDITH: I… guess your theory was right.

OWEN: Shit. Shit shit shit shit fuck SHIT. We are so fucked.

JUDITH: I don’t want to die here. I don’t want to die in general but at this point I kind of wish I was already dead.

OWEN: Hey, at least you’re here for a reason other than “back-up blood bag.”

JUDITH: I don’t think that’s much consolation.

OWEN: Sorry. … do you think we can stop this?

JUDITH: I don’t know. I thought we could prevent it from even getting this far, but… I don’t know, I have this horrible, creeping feeling that we are completely and utterly, in a word, doomed.

OWEN: Yeah. Yeah…

JUDITH: Are you scared?

OWEN: Uh huh. More than I ever thought possible.

JUDITH: Yeah. Me too.

OWEN: I don’t know how much time we have.

JUDITH: Not long, I’m gonna guess?

OWEN: Do… do you by any chance have a plan?

JUDITH: You know those little vials that Lydia gave us?

OWEN: … yes. Oh shit, you have them?

JUDITH: I mean, I kind of just kept them on me all the time. Like, what if I got the chance to use it? What good is it going to serve me sitting in a drawer at home? It’s not like you can schedule a de-possession.

OWEN: I just… I know our options are limited, but… Lydia kind of betrayed us, Jude. This seems like another trap to me.

JUDITH: [sighs] I know, I know. But… I got nothing else. We are outnumbered. We’re weaponless. That is… literally all we’ve got. Worst outcome, it backfires and we die. Best outcome, it works and we still probably die. So… either way, I’ve got them hidden away in my bra.

OWEN: Well hopefully it doesn’t break while it’s there.

JUDITH: Yeah, if my tits explode, at least you’ll know why though.

OWEN: I have… such a bad feeling about this.

JUDITH: Same. [SFX: door opens]

LYDIA: Hey, I don’t have much time-

JUDITH: Lydia what the FUCK-

LYDIA: Shhh! Look, I’m sorry, I know your head is spinning, but I had to say those things in there so that Claire wouldn’t be suspicious.

OWEN: Yeah, well, we’re still trapped down here and are going to be slit open anytime now so you could’ve helped way sooner.

LYDIA: I had to keep the charade up! I was trying to figure out what happened with my dad so I needed to get back on the inside. I couldn’t tell you that because then Claire might find out. I’m sorry it happened like this, I tried to talk Tabitha out of it, but without any sort of power, I’m a nobody around here. Things were moving too fast and before I knew it this was happening and there wasn’t enough time to warn you.

JUDITH: You know what? I have to say, if I survive, I still don’t see this relationship working out.

LYDIA: That’s fine. But look, do you have the vials?

JUDITH: What good would they serve me even if I did?

LYDIA: Look, if you have the vials, this is your chance. This is probably the best time too, as they’ll be so focused on the ritual that it’ll catch them off guard. They’ll be at their strongest but their energy won’t be focused on you. Use what’s in the vials to cleanse them.

OWEN: Why don’t you just do it?

LYDIA: Because. They’re going to notice if I try to run up to them and smash shit on the floor in front of them. If I’m correct, you’ll be much closer.

OWEN: How close are we talking? [SFX: door opens again]

MAN: You done with these two?

LYDIA: Yeah, they know what’s coming.

MAN: Alright, both of you, time to go.

OWEN: No thanks.

MAN: Not much of a choice, come on. [SFX: they get dragged off]

[SFX: beep. Main basement area]

CLAIRE: My family! The time has come!

ADAM: The Ustor has been anointed!

CLAIRE: We shall spill this blood in the name of Moloch. [aside] Judith, Owen, I just want to say thanks again, this really means a lot to me.

JUDITH: Eat shit.

CLAIRE: I know you don’t mean that.

JUDITH: I really, really do right now.

CLAIRE: I stand, willing to sacrifice the devoted, to release myself from the bondage of love in the name of Master, in the name of Moloch.

JUDITH: Claire, please. Please don’t do this, you can fight back.

CLAIRE: I gave you an out, Judith. You had your chance.

JUDITH: What would you have done if I had said yes?

CLAIRE: Why do you think I really kept Owen around?

OWEN: Wait, what?

JUDITH: Fuck you.

CLAIRE: Aww, temper temper, my dear.

JUDITH: No, no, I’m DONE with trying to keep my cool.

CLAIRE: Whatever. Family, we have come here today to begin the process of the tearing open of this world. With the Blessing of the Master, we will ready ourselves for the cleansing and scouring of this twisted land. We shall let the earth rend itself anew like a freshly born lamb. We shall tear open the world and open it’s wound! Our master shall awaken! Blessed be the fire!

JUDITH: Stop mixing metaphors!

CLAIRE: Quiet! With this first sacrifice, we shall begin the process! Is the feed still running?

ADAM: It’s up and it looks like everyone’s raring to go.

OWEN: This is a goddamn livestream?

CLAIRE: Only for top tier Patreon subscribers. Let’s get this show on the road.

JUDITH: Please, please stop.

CLAIRE: Nope! Oh, and Owen-

OWEN: Nope.

CLAIRE: -thank you so much for being here. You know, we’ve been thinking about it, and you really should have more of a role. I don’t want you to just sit here and feel like a third wheel. So, Adam and I talked it over, and we would appreciate it if you would let us bleed you. We really are going to need a lot of blood for this and I only have so much on hand. It would mean a lot to us.

OWEN: How many ways can I say no?

CLAIRE: However many you want, honestly, it won’t make a difference though. Adam, want to get us started?

ADAM: With pleasure. Just relax and try to keep your heartrate down. I’d recommend not moving too much, arterial spray is so messy. Don’t want to cause too much of a fuss, I just got this place looking nice.

OWEN: Fuck off.

ADAM: Nah. Ok, just going to open an artery…


ADAM: Perfect. Don’t worry man, you should go into hypovolemic shock… soon enough? It’s fine. And I’ll move this collection jar riiiight here… Claire, this is a lovely jar, you’ll have to tag who made it for anyone who’s interested in getting their own.

CLAIRE: You’re doing great, honey.

ADAM: Family! It is time! Judith, if you could just hold still… [sigh] could you hold her? Thanks, just need to get some of your blood as well to get things going. [SFX: cuts her]Perfect!


The fire within us, burn

The fire within us, grow

GROUP: Ustulo!

CLAIRE:The wretched God to which we speak

The flames upon this earth we sow

GROUP: Ustulo!

ADAM: From the barest ground, the scorchéd plain

The feeble, rotten, and fragile world dies

GROUP: Ustulo!

CLAIRE: Bring unto us the inferno, your light

MOLOCH we sacrifice these devoted in your name!-

JUDITH: [SFX: struggling against person holding her] WAIT! Sorry, one second, can I say something?

CLAIRE: This isn’t a public execution, you don’t get to “say” your last words or whatever, you just get to die.

JUDITH: That’s fine, I’m just wondering, do you trust me, Claire?


JUDITH: Do you trust me?

CLAIRE: Is this a joke?

JUDITH: Sort of. I didn’t really have time to prepare a speech. But I do have this [SFX: scuffling, struggling sound, Judith breaks free].




JUDITH: Rookie mistake, should’ve killed me at the start!

ADAM: You disgusting bitch! You will die in this place!

JUDITH: I’m not done! [SFX: second bottle smashes]You have to fight, Claire! Adam! Please!



CLAIRE: [anguished yell]


CLAIRE: I can… I can do this- I don’t want this!




CLAIRE: [regular Claire] Oh my God, wh-… Lydia, what are you doing?


CLAIRE: Lydia, no!

LYDIA: You are PATHETIC. My parents gave their lives for this and you squandered your chances, all so you could RULE. You cared more about yourself and creating a cult of personality than the plan! When did our morals get so mixed up?! This power was meant to be mine! But you and your family’s foolishness ruined that! We have been the ones pushing forward, you have been caught up in your own PATHETICNESS. You destroyed my family? I WILL DESTROY YOU, AND TAKE THIS WORLD WITH ME.

CLAIRE: This has to stop!

LYDIA: It won’t. But your time here is done.




CLAIRE: Lydia, don’t!





[SFX: everything comes crashing back in]

CLAIRE: Lydia!Oh my God, my whole body feels like it’s throwing up.

JUDITH: [coughing] Oh my God, uggh-Claire? CLAIRE?

CLAIRE: Judith! What is going on?!

JUDITH: We have to get out of here NOW before we all choke to death on this smoke. People were running and knocking over the candles and this place is going to go UP-

CLAIRE: Where… where’s Adam, where’s Adam?

JUDITH: I don’t know! I… I can’t… Adam!



JUDITH: Fuck. Claire, look for Adam! I can barely see anything. I’ve got to find Owen. Owen? Oh jeez oh jeez oh jeez… [coughing] Owen?

OWEN:                I’m here

JUDITH: Oh, Jesus, ok, ok, come on bud, keep talking, let’s get you out of here…

OWEN:  hey,  I’ve been better

am I bleeding?             I think I’m bleeding.

JUDITH: Oh, oh God, yeah, yeah, you are…

CLAIRE: Jude, come on!

JUDITH: Go! I’ll catch up!

CLAIRE: Judith!

JUDITH: Take Adam and get out of here! Owen, oh jeez… come on.

OWEN:      ok

JUDITH: Fuck fuck fuck fuck, ok, ok, ok, you’re ok, you’re ok, ooooh man I really really hate this. Lydia! Lydia, you shithead!


JUDITH: God, I wish I had never said yes to that first date.


JUDITH: Whateve-Oh Christ, oh Christ, oh Christ. Alright, have it your way. Owen? Owen! Come on!

OWEN:      hey

JUDITH: Fuck, that’s so much blood-… Come on, let’s keep going, ok… you sticking with me? Owen, please, please.

OWEN:           i think so

JUDITH: Great, ok, let’s-

[SFX: beep. Outside Claire’s house]

FIREFIGHTER: Do you know what might have caused this?

JUDITH: Candles.


FIREFIGHTER: Uh huh. And the serious injury to… Mr. Hopkinson, do you know how he sustained that?

CLAIRE: We… were downstairs and in the panic to get out, a shelf fell on him.

JUDITH: Big shelf.

FIREFIGHTER: Huh. Ok. [SFX: indistinct radio chatter] Excuse me, miss.

CLAIRE: I think the basement is a write-off, at the very least.

JUDITH: Is that a bad thing?

CLAIRE: … no, probably not.

JUDITH: [long pause] How much of the last few months do you remember?

CLAIRE: … too much. … I’m so sorry.

JUDITH: Yeah… is Adam ok?

CLAIRE: Yeah, he’s just dealing with some smoke inhalation stuff, but he should be ok. How’s Owen?

JUDITH: They took him to the hospital. I don’t know. I…


JUDITH: I don’t know which hospital he went to. I should ask. I assume someone’s going to know?

CLAIRE: Maybe.

JUDITH: I should check, I should go ask someone.

CLAIRE: … Jude?


FIREFIGHTER: Miss Sterback?

CLAIRE: Oh, yeah. I’ll be back.

JUDITH: I hope so.

[SFX: beep. Hospital room.]

OWEN: [SFX: wakes up, thrashes around]

JUDITH: Whoa, whoa, hey, hey hey, it’s ok. You’ve got a lot of stitches so please do not do anything that will open those back up.

OWEN: What… what happened? The fire… Adam…

JUDITH: Hey, yeah, a fire started. You definitely still smell like it. A neighbour saw the smoke and called for help. You were… touch and go. Your brachial artery is a little worse for wear, to put it lightly.

OWEN: Fuck, right. … How’re you doing?

JUDITH: I’m… alive.

OWEN: Did he get you too?

JUDITH: Only a little?

OWEN: You’re covered in blood.

JUDITH: Oh, yeah. I think most of this is yours.

OWEN: Can I have it back?

JUDITH: Glad to see nearly dying didn’t kill your sense of humour.

OWEN: Ah, it’ll take more than that. Is that my brother out there?

JUDITH: Yeah, I called him. I used your phone. Sorry.

OWEN: Nah, that’s fine. That means he has to talk to our mom about what happened. I do not feel like explaining this to anyone. What did you tell him?

JUDITH: That a shelf fell on you.

OWEN: You are… so bad at coming up with excuses on the spot.

JUDITH: Yeah, well, I get a pass tonight. This has been the longest day of my entire life. We’ll come up with some sort of story together. Claire’s off dealing with doctors and Adam and her insurance and whatever, so… I just don’t know what to say to anyone.

OWEN: Yeah…

JUDITH: Oh, here.

OWEN: Gummies?

JUDITH: You had mentioned that you wanted some. I’m sorry, I think they’re a little squished.

OWEN: That’s fine.


OWEN: Thank you.


OWEN: So… what do we do now?

JUDITH: Heal. Sleep, I guess. Sweep up the ashes.

OWEN: What about Lydia?

JUDITH: That… I don’t know.


JUDITH: Let’s just… deal with what we can for now and the rest…

OWEN: Maybe it’ll just burn itself out.

JUDITH: [sigh] Yeah… one can hope.

[SFX: beep]