13: The Hands We’re Given

Hello my darlings! I’m so glad you’re reading this. Today we’re going to discuss being positive when life doesn’t go our way. We try to stay positive here in our household. Life in the house is good, it’s so good. Everything is good, and if you say any differently, the only thing left for you to do is suffer.
CONTENT WARNINGS: The occult, cults, insects, self-harm

[SFX: beep. Restaurant, dinnertime]

CLAIRE: Yes, I’ll have the filet. Rare. Bleeding, even.

WAITER: Of course, miss.

REGGIE: Don’t think you can avoid discussing this. Your plan is outlandish. And just why would we continue to listen to you given your previous failures? And turn that thing off!

CLAIRE: Enunciate, Reggie. I’m documenting this for our archives. And for posterity, let me say: we both know your “retreat,” as you call it, is hanging on by a thread. I’ve had Bernadette look over the financials, and you and I both know that you’re focusing all of your attention on bringing in rich layabouts to keep that place afloat. What changed, Reginald? You were always so dedicated, and now this. We both know that our master has blessed me alone with a vision of a path forward. Are you saying that there are better leadership options? Some random youth? Or perhaps the old guard who barely even kept the blood in our shared veins pumping while I wasted away in unending silence?

REGGIE: We had better options for leadership who wouldn’t be spending their time with silly recruitment efforts, trying to win over sad-eyed college students. They have drive and ambition and would have begun the move towards the sacrifice much earlier.

CLAIRE: “Better options.” You mean your daughter? You can groom her all you want, but she will never be more than a bull-headed fool doing what she can to please you and your wife. I don’t need her energy around me.

REGGIE: My daughter would make a much more suitable vessel. At least she wishes to serve our master and keep the plan unsullied. You, on the other hand, seem to be lusting for personal power.

CLAIRE: No one enters into any plan unsullied. She will carry her own toxic baggage. Besides, you’ll want to be careful that your ego doesn’t become more trouble than you’re worth.

REGGIE: You don’t understand what it’s been like.

CLAIRE: You just want to set fire to everything like a simple-minded coward. I want to mold all of creation with our heat. When this is done, our Family will rule as gods.

REGGIE: Yeah, well… some people have been feeling disconcerted by your social media efforts.

CLAIRE: Money. Have you heard of it? How about influence? You don’t even need a dictionary to look it up nowadays, just type it in to that little handheld computer of yours. We need bodies, money, and influence to pull this off, Reggie. You know that. You may refuse to use the tools in front of us, but I am not so obtuse as to reject the opportunities afforded to me. You may not think highly of the younger, newer congregants, but they at least know that a well-respected personal brand can take one much further than sitting in a basement reading, chanting, and waiting.

REGGIE: It’s frivolous.

CLAIRE: Hmm, frivolous. Isn’t that rich? I see a way of harnessing the power of young women for our purposes, and he calls it “frivolous”! Dear, it isn’t frivolous. It’s resourceful. Are you saying that I’m going to fail? Is that really what you’re saying, Reggie?

REGGIE: Yes. Yes, I am.

CLAIRE: I’m hurt! What a thing to say to something who’s done nothing yet to warrant such a lack of faith.

REGGIE: I’m not alone in this.

CLAIRE: Hmm. I’m sure. Well, our meal will be here any minute, maybe we should take some time to discuss more appetizing things. Why don’t we go back to the house after dinner, Reggie, talk in private?We can have our desserts there. 

[SFX: beep. Claire’s living room]

ADAM: Camera’s running, and audio is live.

CLAIRE: People don’t have to say “speed” anymore, do they?

ADAM: I’m not sure. Modern technology is quite a delight in that sense.

CLAIRE: Can I say it, just for old time’s sake?

ADAM: If you like. Roll sound!

CLAIRE: Speed! Hello darlings! Gosh, it’s good to be home. I wasn’t able to enjoy it until now, but it really is the place where I feel the strongest. I feel invincible. There’s just so much history here. It is truly my hearth, and sometimes I almost feel as though it’s an extension of myself. I’m so happy to be able to share this with you, even if it’s virtually. And for people within the Inner Circle locally, I have really exciting news. Now that renovations are complete, I’ll be running meetings and classes from right here! Space is limited, so get in touch as soon as possible! This is a really exciting time in our journey together — but before we get to that, I want to do a review of this fantastic body scrub made with-[SFX: She clears her throat] It’s a really good- [SFX: clears throat again] It’s a … really… good … you know what? I’ll film that bit later. [deep breath] This is a really exciting time in our journey together, and I can’t wait for us to experience this as a little family. So, darlings, reach out. Connect with the Inner Circle, and learn how to not just find yourself, but how to create yourself.

ADAM: And cut. Excellent work, my love. I’ll edit and upload this later for subscribers. Do you want to shoot the chickpea salad recipe?

CLAIRE: Later. I don’t think it’s in me to espouse the benefits of ginger on the immune system this evening.

ADAM: Anything bothering you?

CLAIRE: I’m weary. This body is tiring. And the dissenters truly want to see us fail. There is such frailty inherent within their flesh. The things we have done to get us here, they will never understand. But we will silence them. They will submit to our leadership, or they will be punished.

ADAM: Soon, soon. We’re building up a good, solid income from sponsors and patrons. And our reach is truly unparalleled.

CLAIRE: We will not fail our master.

ADAM: The fire burns so brightly within you, my love. It is a wonder to behold.

CLAIRE: And your oxygen stokes my flames, darling.

ADAM: It will all be worth it. I cannot wait to teach the others the true meaning of sacrifice.

[SFX: beep. Owen’s bedroom]

OWEN: Jude?

JUDITH: [other room] Yeah?

OWEN: Do you hear something?

JUDITH: [other room, pause] No? I don’t think so.

OWEN: Come here?

JUDITH: What is i-

OWEN: Shh. [SFX: there is the sound of someone breathing very quietly, but it keeps getting louder.]

JUDITH: Where the fuck is that coming fr-

[SFX: beep. Claire’s kitchen]

CLAIRE: Hello Darlings,

I want to start this off with a little bit of poetry, by yours truly:

Have you ever seen the dying light

Of a star

Shifting fire, indigo and cold

Wrapped like shawls around

Endless time.

I’ve been thinking about relationships. Have you ever been disappointed by someone you loved? Have you ever been disappointed by another’s failure to live up to your expectations, no matter how reasonable? I have. My friends, the hurt of betrayal is insidious. Not only do you lose your trust for another, but you lose your trust in yourself. When people you care about don’t believe in you, it eats away at your very soul. You torture yourself, thinking that if only you’d been a little smarter, you could have seen earlier their inability to give you want you needed.

I’m here to tell you that you are not to blame for the deficiency of others. Their betrayal? It is evidence of their failure, not yours. With our fire, let’s finally cauterize those wounds. They have given you a gift. As they burn away, you can be forged anew. It is through our pain and our sacrifice that we transform ourselves and the world. Your sacrifice will be the way to open the door, to a place where we are in control.

Those who are truly important to you, those who mean the most, they are the ones who will help you achieve that final step towards greatness.

Hm, I may want to edit that speech to add more about the importance of sacrifice. What do you think, my love? Sacrifice is your teacher? Sacrifice will be your teacher?

ADAM: Sacrifice is a divine teacher? Divine sacrifice is your teacher?

CLAIRE: [SFX: her arm shoots over and slams into some things on the table and knocks them over] Well, that’s odd. My hand normally doesn’t have a mind of its own. [SFX: her hand starts clawing at the table] No no no, you are not going to ruin your nails like that, this isn’t an option. [SFX: her left hand is trying to choke her] Strangle me, and you strangle yourself, child. You really think this is a way out? STUPID CHILD. [SFX: slams the hand down] My love, hand me that knife. No, no, the paring knife, not the butcher knife. Now remember, this is going to hurt you a lot more than it will hurt me. [SFX: Claire starts to cut at herself, she breathes heavily while doing so] Now look what you made me do to the poor kitchen table. And your skin! It’s a mess, these wounds will take time to heal, time better spent worrying about more important things. Did you enjoy your little tantrum? Did it make you feel better?

Now, as I was saying…

Remember, I’m offering a $250 2-day course for recovering from heartbreak or betrayal and manifesting the life you deserve — the price includes a one-on-one video coaching session with me. Great, I think that works.

[SFX: beep. Judith’s apartment]

OWEN: [phone] Well howdy.

JUDITH: Owen… I just got a weird text and I’m freaking out.

OWEN: [phone] Does a Duke need you to wire you some bitcoin while he flees to the Champagne region of France and he’ll regroup with you once he gets to Spain? Because I got that one too.

JUDITH: No, that’s- ok, phishing scams are getting really involved these days. But no, I got an message from Claire, and it just said “help Jude, owls,” which, ok, it actually says “help jud” but whatever, I know that sounds crazy, but it’s this weird code that we made up in high school when she went on an exchange to Barcelona. Claire’s always had this irrational hatred of owls, like don’t even ask, so in case her host family was like, super awful and she needed me to contact the consulate or something she would contact me and ask me to protect her from the owls in the attic, and like, I’m seeing some flaws with our plan from 2004, but that’s not the point-

OWEN: [phone] Ok, alright, so, the message said she needs help? Did it say anything else?

JUDITH: There was an audio file attached.

OWEN: [phone] Should I head over?

JUDITH: Yeah, if that’s ok? I haven’t listened yet… I’m kind of afraid to, and I think you should be here. If that’s ok?

OWEN: [phone] Already got my coat, I’ll see you soon.

JUDITH: See you.

[SFX: beep. Claire’s living room]

CLAIRE: Alright, lavalier microphone is on, camera is on… [SFX: There’s a thump from the basement] What now?

ADAM: Seems our guest wishes to file a complaint about his lodgings.

CLAIRE: Damn harvest moons. There’s always trouble. I’ll be right back. [SFX: she unlocks the padlock, opens the door, and heads down the stairs. There’s a thumping noise from behind a door. She stops, then opens it and goes in] Are you quite done?

REGGIE: Please. Please, I’m sorry, just let me out of here.

CLAIRE: You will be released when I feel like you can be trusted.

REGGIE: I swear, I didn’t mean-

CLAIRE: How long have we known each other, now? You must know that I can’t allow this kind of insubordination to fester.

REGGIE: I swear, I am loyal! Just let me out! It’s so cold down here.

CLAIRE: WOULD YOU RATHER THE HEAT? God, you’re pathetic. You’ll stay down here until you are deemed fit to return to the fire. If you are ever deemed fit to return.

REGGIE: Please, there are so many bugs! Don’t leave me here!

CLAIRE: I will speak to you again in the morning. Good night. [SFX: the person begins to shout as the sound of thousands of house centipedes fills the air. Claire closes the door and walks away]

[SFX: beep. Judith’s apartment]

CLAIRE: [SFX: on recording] –let me go, please. NO, NO NO NO You little shit. Stop trying to recording this- [SFX: a struggle, the recording ends violently]


OWEN: What the fuck.

JUDITH: Claire, REAL Claire, is… is she in there, Owen?

OWEN: I… uh… I mean… I think she is. That was her voice both times, but…

JUDITH: It’s wasn’t just her, that was her but it wasn’t her and… fuck… fuck fuck fuck… whoever or whatever is possessing her, she’s… I… I don’t know… If it is her. I- I don’t understand. What do I DO with this? I don’t know what to do!

OWEN: I- I don’t know either, Jude. But… at least we know that somewhere in there, somehow, Claire is still in there. There has to be something we can do.  

JUDITH: What the fuck can we even do at this point?!-

[SFX: beep. Judith’s living room]

CLAIRE: Hello my friend!

JUDITH: Hey, thanks for coming over.

CLAIRE: No problem. How’ve you been?

JUDITH: I’m fine. Holding up.

CLAIRE: That’s good. I’ve been doing really well, I mean, not that you asked, but things have been a little hectic.

JUDITH: I was… about to ask. Wait, what happened to your hand?

CLAIRE: Aw, aren’t you sweet, fussing over little old me. No need to worry, I just… wasn’t paying attention and I slipped up, just a little cut. Anyway, what’s up? You were kind of weird on the phone.

JUDITH: Just… take a seat. I’m going to make some tea. Do you want some?

CLAIRE: Do you have cinnamon rooibos?

JUDITH: No, that’s… very specific.

CLAIRE: Just water with lemon, then. Filtered, preferably.

JUDITH: [sighs] Claire, I wanted to talk to you about Barcelona.

CLAIRE: Barcelona? Why, are you looking for us to have a little getaway together? Oh my gosh, I bet Adam would love to join.

JUDITH: No, not that, I want to talk about the time you spent there, and I’m just wondering… do you remember owls?

CLAIRE: I’m not sure what you mean. 

JUDITH: Come on Claire, think. Before you went abroad that one semester, we went to that 24-hour diner after that terrible high school performance of Grease that we were in. You remember, right? We went to celebrate after the final show with all the obnoxious theater kids, and we talked about how you were leaving me for six months to go do some fancy exchange in Barcelona so you could learn to speak Spanish. And like, internally I was kind of mad at you, but like, not really, because in the end, I was just sort of… jealous. Like really 16-year-old energy of me. But I was worried that something would happen or that you’d like it better there and never come back, or that your host family would be psychos. I don’t know. I’ve always worried about you, I guess. And we talked about owls that night, Claire. Do you remember that?

CLAIRE: Judith, of course I rememberthose days, what a time we had… you know … I’m not really in the mood to talk about… YOU KNOW, I DON’T WANT TO Jude?

JUDITH: Claire?

CLAIRE: Oh Judith, I love going down memory lane with you.

JUDITH: No, no, this is now how we’re going to do this.

CLAIRE: I forgot how nice it is to be around you. You smell so good.

JUDITH: Let go. Please, stop. Let go!

CLAIRE: What do you mean? You’re not… scared of me, are you?I was just giving my best friend a hug.

JUDITH: Don’t you even start-

CLAIRE: What was that?

JUDITH: What the fuck did you do to Claire?

CLAIRE: Claire’s right here, baby girl.Oh, and she likes you.

JUDITH: Stop doing this, give her back.

CLAIRE: I don’t understand why you’re acting so irrationally, Judith. Are you ok? Do you want to lie down?

JUDITH: Whatever you are, stop. Leave her alone.

CLAIRE: You know, you really should come spend some more time with my group. You’ve got a lot of healing to do. I think it might help you come to accept how our relationship has changed. For the better. All for the better. But I still need you, my sweet Judith. Sweet silly Judith.

JUDITH: No thanks. Not like this.

CLAIRE: Oh, well, that’s too bad. I think you might find that things are better for you when we’re friends. But, I’m just glad to know that you still love me enough to care. That’s all that matters, I know you’d do anything for me.


CLAIRE: Just me. Same old Claire-bear.

JUDITH: Not at all. Not in the slightest.

CLAIRE: Well, if this is how you’re going to act, then I’m going to cut our visit short. I don’t need these kinds of baseless accusations from you, it’s very hurtful. Take care of yourself, ok? Don’t be a stranger, stranger.

[SFX: beep. Owen’s apartment]

JUDITH: So, yeah, clearly it didn’t go well.

OWEN: Yeah, that’s not surprising. Why the heck didn’t you ask me to stick around? That was so reckless.

JUDITH: I was just… real angry, and as soon as you left, I felt like my vision was tunneling, I needed to just talk to her NOW, I want to know what’s going on, and I can’t keep waiting. [sigh] You know, she called herself Claire-bear?

OWEN: What?

JUDITH: I know we have way bigger problems, but she HATED whenever anyone would call her that, and- uh, changing subjects, I don’t mean to be rude, but there’s no polite way to ask this: why are you so greasy?

OWEN: I dropped a 2 litre bottle of olive oil.

JUDITH: Oooooh.

OWEN: Yeah, it was a glass one too. I had just finished cleaning up when you got here.

JUDITH: Yikes. Is that why this place smells like a salad?

OWEN: I think that’s me. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take a quick shower, because I’m real nasty.

JUDITH: I mean, you said it, not me.

OWEN: Hah! [SFX: walks off down the hallway. Judith sits down on the couch, starts typing on her computer. You can hear a shower start up from down the hall, muffled behind a door]

JUDITH: Ok, let’s see… I know she’s in there, ugh, I don’t want to listen to this again-

CLAIRE: [on recording] Hey Judith. How are you doing? What? Don’t want to talk to your best friend.

JUDITH: Oh shit.

CLAIRE: [on recording] Claire loves you so much. When you’re not around, it hurts her. It hurts me. Don’t you care about me? Don’t you want to take care of me? Why would you give up so easily?

JUDITH: Fuck off.

CLAIRE: [on recording] If you walk away from me, I will make you watch as Claire’s face is split open and the bones of the Master rip her and Adam’s bodies apart. I will peel Owen. The heat of the widening maw of the earth with envelop those you care about and there will be nothing you can do as their flesh is rendered into liquid straight off their bones.

JUDITH: God, why does protools crash now-


JUDITH: [SFX: in the background, Owen starts screaming] Oh god, Owen! Fuck, Owen! [SFX: she runs down the hall, opens the door] Are you ok- oh jeez, sorry, sorry sorry sorry!


JUDITH: Ok! I’m not looking!


JUDITH: What happened?

OWEN: The water just got so hot out of nowhere. Not bad plumbing-hot, like boiling water-hot.

JUDITH: Oh God, your back…

OWEN: I don’t know what happened.

JUDITH: I think I do, but let me get you an ice pack first.

[SFX: beep. Owen’s living room]

JUDITH: I played the recording again while you were in the shower. The one of Claire from today. But everything was different this time. It had all changed, which is not surprising, but I don’t know how she did this.

OWEN: [makes a noise of discomfort because he’s got some burns, yeeouch] Alright, I think we need to set some ground rules. We have to be ultra-careful around Claire and Adam. This is getting unpredictable real fast, and after this I don’t want to think about how your meeting with her could’ve gone.

JUDITH: Yeah. I’ll… try. And we should only listen to recordings together.

OWEN: And let’s make sure I’m fully clothed as well. This is not how I expected to spend my evening.

JUDITH: Uh, yeah, you and me both. But… I tried to get through to her, and for a second, just a second, I think I did. She pulled me in close, and… I was so scared. And she felt cruel. And Claire is a lot of things but she was never cruel. But whatever is going on… is stronger than either us expected. [sighs] Do you want a new compress?

OWEN: Yes please. Be careful in there- [SFX: she slips and slams into the ground] … the floor is still a bit greasy.

JUDITH: I’m blaming evil Claire for this as well.

OWEN: Fair enough.

20:10 AD BREAK

[SFX: beep. Owen’s apartment]

JUDITH: How’s your back?

OWEN: Feels like I have a wicked sunburn.

JUDITH: Looks like it too, yikes. Owen, I hate this.

OWEN: I’ll put a shirt on soon, I swear.

JUDITH: Not that. I hate how we can’t… escape her. Like, I don’t want to run away, I know we can’t, I need to fix this, but I don’t feel safe… anywhere. I really don’t feel safe in my own place anymore. I think because I spent so much time there before with her that it feels… really weird. 

OWEN: Have you been seeing her?

JUDITH: Yeah. In the mirrors out of the corner of my eye. I can hear her. I feel like don’t know what’s a dream anymore and what isn’t.

OWEN: Yeah… sometimes I worry someone else is in here when I’m alone. I know there isn’t but… I just can’t shake the feeling anymore.

JUDITH: What does she want?

OWEN: What do you mean?

JUDITH: The first time, she said she wanted what was hers. What do we have?

OWEN: Nothing other than the books, but those aren’t hers, they’re just from the house.

JUDITH: I know but… they’re from the house…

OWEN: Jude?

JUDITH: Everything in that fucking house is tainted. The spirits… the walls, it’s imbued. It’s the writing on the walls, god, I feel so like an idiot. It’s like tea, steeping. And we can see with the recordings that these spirits can extend their reach beyond their physical bodies. Everything that goes in gets fucked up.

OWEN: And the house is… a source of power… I’m just spit-balling here. But what’s in the house is affected somehow…

JUDITH: Anything that stays in there too long, I don’t know, seems to be affected by the spirits and the house, so it messes with Claire, it poisons her, and… even the books…

OWEN: Shit.

JUDITH: Yeah, I guess we were right in the thought that this might have something to do with the books.

OWEN: Yeah, I think it’s time we return them. 

JUDITH: I hate to give these up, but I do not want to wait and see if Claire will escalate. Write down anything in them you haven’t made note of, take pictures, do whatever you need to.

OWEN: Yeah, for sure. Let’s be smart about this. We don’t want to go to that house while Adam or Claire is there. Alright, according to her Instagram she and Adam are giving a talk this weekend at some independent medical practitioner’s conference — God, she is so not qualified to be doing that — and it’s in Montreal, so they should be gone all of Saturday at least…

JUDITH: Then I guessSaturday is when we go to the house. Owen, I hate this.

OWEN: Me too. 

[SFX: beep. Outside Claire’s house]

JUDITH: [talking to herself] -turns out coming here late at night is an even worse idea now that the adrenaline has worn off.

OWEN: I don’t want these back in my place but I’m operating under the assumption that throwing these in the garbage will only result in worse things happening.

JUDITH: Yeah, and burning will probably make them happy. But… it can’t be a good idea to return them here. God, what are we doing? I am so TIRED.

OWEN: What option do we have? I was sleeping poorly enough before this and now it can come into our homes. It’s as good a guess as any that anything we took from the house has a connection to it. And if anything happens? We’ll just… I have a Swiss Army knife.

JUDITH: Yeah. Ok, we’ll just put these inside and my trusty Cub Scout will protect me.

OWEN: Full disclosure: I only made it to Beaver. Anyway, let’s just get this over with. [pause] Did… she plant a new garden.

JUDITH: I thought something looked different last time I was here. Yeah… she’s got… a herb garden? Not surprising.

OWEN: Parsley. Lots of it. It looks like there’s bushes of it growing all around the outside of the house.

JUDITH: When I was last here, she made parsley tea. Maybe she’s… really into tabouleh now? Let’s just get this over with. Good thing she didn’t ask for my key back. God, I never thought I could hate a place this much.

OWEN: Turns out the place hates us back, so I guess we’re even.

JUDITH: Where should we put these? I don’t want to just dump it on the kitchen table.

OWEN: Let’s stash it in a closet? That way it won’t be found until later. We can keep our… plausible deniability. [SFX: A thump from the basement] Goddamnit, what now?

JUDITH: If there’s anything I hate more than this house in general, it’s the basement in specific.

OWEN: I’m just going to put the notebooks behind this ancient-looking vacuum cleaner in the closet. Good riddance. [SFX: weird sound from the basement] Did you hear that?


OWEN: Should we… uh… go check that?

JUDITH: Maybe? Feels like a terrible ideam, but… Whoa.

OWEN: They did some redecorating, I see. Is that [sniffs] eucalyptus? 

JUDITH: Blue walls and padded floors. It’s… a yoga studio. They turned the basement of horrors into a goddamn yoga studio.

OWEN: I can’t tell if it’s the lighting or stress but this place is already giving me a pressure headache. That doesn’t make any sense. You heard a voice, didn’t you? We heard a voice-

JUDITH: I don’t know what I heard. This place… this place is fucking with us. Let’s just get the hell out of here. [SFX: A door in the basement starts rattling]

OWEN: That door is rattling but it’s not moving. Shouldn’t it be moving?

JUDITH: Basic physics would agree with that, but whatever’s in there, I don’t want to investigate.

OWEN: [SFX: going up the stairs] Come on, let’s get out of here. This just screams trap- [SFX: the door at the top slams forcefully as Owen exits, he yells from behind the door]

JUDITH: Oh shit, Owen! [SFX: a stair gives out, Judith slips and falls down the stairs and bangs into the door at the bottom, which opens a touch] Ah, fuck, god… I thought this floor was fucking padded… [SFX: touching the floor, it’s concrete] It was padded, it was, why is it stone? Oh god, oh GOD OH GOD JESUS SHIT [SFX: she stands up and looks in the room and screams. The sound of thousands of bugs fills the space. She slams the door and screams. Her phone rings]Owen?

CLAIRE: Hi Judith. What do you think of the new space? We worked hard on the renovations.

JUDITH: What the fuck?

CLAIRE: I just wanted to give you a little reminder. You can keep sneaking around if you like — but you won’t get anywhere.Give up. Just enjoy the ride. [SFX: The door at the top opens, Owen comes running down the stairs]

OWEN: Fuck, are you ok? I saw you fall and then the door slammed and stuck-

JUDITH: That room! That room! It’s full of bugs!

OWEN: What?

JUDITH: BUGS, BUGS, OWEN. It’s like a greenhouse from hell in there!

OWEN: No fucking way-

JUDITH: Don’t! The floor… it’s… yoga mats again, what the fuck. What the fuck…

OWEN: There’s… nothing in here?


OWEN: It’s empty. It’s the same as when we were down here last… god it’s so cold.

JUDITH: It was… hot… and… Owen, just get me the fuck out of here.

[SFX: beep]

CLAIRE: Alright… Hello darlings! Welcome to the Inner Circle. If you’re listening to this, you’re at a Golden Subscriber level. That means you’ll have access to personalized content, extra videos, and special recipes. I’m so glad to have you here.

You know that I believe in radical vulnerability, and that I love to get real, but this is a little bit personal, even for me. Some of the readings I’ve been doing have really helped me clarify- it’s… it’s helped me clar-… I’m… I’m Claire, I’m… Claire [the terror hits like a freight train] oh my God, oh my God, what’s going on? I’ve… I’ve got to go, I have to go, I need… No, no! Oh God, oh God, I… I can call-

ADAM: Hey! Hey, whoa, what’s going on?

CLAIRE: Adam! Adam, please help me, please, something’s wrong, something’s inside me, I need help, please-

ADAM: Hey, whoa, shhh, shhh, you gotta calm down.

CLAIRE: No, I’m not… I can’t… Adam! Please, help me!

ADAM: Claire, you don’t need help, you’re fine! Everything is ok!

CLAIRE: No! What’s going on? I have to… I need to call-

ADAM: You don’t need to call anyone.

CLAIRE: Please, please Adam.

ADAM: Shhh, shhhhhhh, look at me. Relax.

CLAIRE: I… please… Please don’t make me go back.

ADAM: It’s fine. This is for the best. This is why you’re here.


ADAM: Shh, shhh… you’re fine. You just need to relax. Feeling better?

CLAIRE: Yeah, I’m… I’m fine.

ADAM: Nothing you can’t handle.

CLAIRE: Just a moment of weakness.

[SFX: beep]