28: Caliginous

CALIGINOUS: misty, dim; obscure, dark. Starting anything with, "Webster's Dictionary defines..." is always a bad move, so I'll just say this: Family is whatever you need it to be. You can be born into it or you can build it. You can weave threads between yourself and others to create a web that holds you all within its strands. Family can be born and family can be broken, and family can leave you with more questions than answers. What do you need? Who does this make you? How thick is the blood that pumps through your veins, Claire?
CONTENT WARNINGS: Physical violence, the occult, fire, death

CALIGINOUS: misty, dim; obscure, dark.

[SFX: beep. Claire’s bedroom, early morning]

CLAIRE: I keep dreaming about blood. Not injuries or periods, but just… blood, waves of it crashing at my feet. It reminds me of the scene in The Shining when the elevator doors open. This… unrelenting wave of red. The blood never stops coming. And I know, somehow, that it’s not going to stop coming until we all drown.

JUDITH: … this is every night, huh?


JUDITH: Do you think the dreams mean anything?

CLAIRE: Yeah, I think that red will be the colour dominating Spring/Summer runways.

JUDITH: You know what I mean.

CLAIRE: I know. I don’t think they mean anything other than the fact that we’re screwed. Also, I got an email this morning.

JUDITH: What was in it?

CLAIRE: A video from last month.

JUDITH: Of what?

CLAIRE: [sigh] Here.

[SFX: CLAIRE BEEP. ???????]

S2!CLAIRE: Do you know why you’re here?

MAN: Because you’re a goddamn bitch, that’s why? Fuck you!

S2!CLAIRE: Oh, how rude. And you’ve bled all over my new rug. 

MAN: You’ll be dead before the waning gibbous! 

S2!CLAIRE: Tell me, do you know what “degloving” is? But I’m not wearing any gloves, Claire? I imagine you saying. But don’t worry, that won’t be an issue here.

MAN: No, no! [SFX: I don’t even want to think about it]

S2!CLAIRE: The best part of life is learning something new every day. Like, yesterday I didn’t know you could just strip pieces of someone’s flesh from their bones like that, but here we are!-

[SFX: CLAIRE BEEP/beep. Bedroom]

JUDITH: Wow, that was… graphic.


JUDITH: Can you just give me a moment. [SFX: puts head down, takes a few deep breaths]

CLAIRE: You ok?

JUDITH: Just a lot of gore at 7 AM! Makes me feel a little lightheaded!

CLAIRE: Ok, come on, let’s get up. I think I can hear Owen puttering around. Tea might help.

JUDITH: Yep. … what happened to that guy in the end?

CLAIRE: Oh, I sent him home. But he’s probably dead by now, if Lydia has had her way.

JUDITH: Ok. Was there more on that video?

CLAIRE: Oh, no, just some dead air.

JUDITH: Honestly, I don’t think I could’ve handled more.

OWEN: [SFX: from downstairs] You guys want bacon?


OWEN: [SFX: from downstairs] Ok.

JUDITH: Alright, let’s get up and face the hellscape.

[SFX: beep. ?????????]

S2!CLAIRE: Oh, is that still on? Ok, I might as well do this now while the gear is up. Is there any blood on my face? Ah, whatever. Judith, sweetie. I’m putting this together in case I can’t catch you before the big event. If you’re seeing this, it means you found Owen! And you probably dug him up all by yourself. That’s very brave of you. Was it a good arm workout? I’m hoping to come see you in person but since I can’t, it’s not because I don’t care. Frankly, I care too much. I need you so much. I’m just making sure everything is ready for tonight. You’re going to love it! Or, I don’t know, you’ll hate it, but whatever, that’s not important. The important thing is you’re here, and we’ll be together soon. Hope you and Owen can have some time together, that chance to share in a moment is so precious, I could never take it away from you two. Love you. [SFX: someone mumbles something off camera] Oh, that’s all set up already? Good, I can head down to see Judith and Owen off in person. Can you put this gear away? Thanks. This is just so much fun!

[SFX: beep. Leaving a Shoppers Drug Mart, heading out onto the street]

JUDITH: [on phone] Yeah, I got band-aids. Our first aid cabinet is fully stocked again after the whole… Valerian nightmare. Out of habit, I bought shampoo because I’m running low, is that nuts? … Well like, if we all die, it’s not like it’ll make a difference. … I’ll be back in like, 10. … Sounds good. Bye.

TABITHA: I hope that shampoo doesn’t have parabens in it.

JUDITH: Jesus Christ, Tabitha. Do you even know what parabens are?

TABITHA: No, I just avoid trash.

JUDITH: Why are you even here?

TABITHA: I just got back from a little work trip. I needed to pick a few things up. Like you’re the only one who performs ablutions.

JUDITH: Well either kill me here on the street or fuck right off.

TABITHA: Hang on- [SFX: Judith tries to brush past but Tabitha grabs her arm, right on the nail wound. Judith let’s out a small pained noise]Oh, does that hurt? [SFX: she squeezes her arm] Ooh, I hate to say it, but your stigmata’s in the wrong place for such a martyr.

JUDITH: I will make a scene, so-

TABITHA: If you cry out, I’ll drag you inside that bakery over there and burn the whole place down with you and everyone else in it.

JUDITH: Fine, what do you want?

TABITHA: Let’s go for a little walk. [SFX: they walk down the street] It’s nice out, right? A little cool, but that’ll be fixed soon enough.

JUDITH: Let go.

TABITHA: Isn’t this whole thing a blast?

JUDITH: Absolute rollercoaster. Let go.

TABITHA: Sure, just hang on a second. [SFX: she pulls her over into an alleyway] Soporo. [SFX: the pocket dimension returns] Ugh, take your blood back, gross.

JUDITH: Oh come on, don’t use my shirt. That’s incredibly unhygienic.

TABITHA: You’re the nasty one. Blood should be inside your body until it’s needed.

JUDITH: Where are we? What is this?

TABITHA: Just a little space I go to when I need some privacy.

JUDITH: I didn’t know you had access to this kind of power.

TABITHA: I’ve been loyal. I’ve been good. I’ve proven my worth. It comes with perks.

JUDITH: Do you get dental as well?

TABITHA: Shut up. I know I’m supposed to wait, but honestly, seeing you out alone, it’s just too tempting to get the ball rolling. While the world is frozen, I can finally have some fun. Come here.



JUDITH: Fuck, fuck, ahhh.

TABITHA: You cannot believe how much I’m going to enjoy this.


JUDITH: What the…

TABITHA: She’s here, right now! Give me this satisfaction!


TABITHA: Give this to me!



LYDIA: MINE [SFX: the real-world returns]

JUDITH: Looks like you pissed off your boss. Shouldn’t have touched her stuff, clearly.

TABITHA: You’re running on borrowed time, you stupid piece of shit.

JUDITH: Aren’t we all? Better go back for your quarterly review or whatever, I bet Lydia’s real forgiving of people messing with her plans.

TABITHA: Fuck you.

JUDITH: Give me my stuff and get out of my way.

[SFX: beep. Living room. Judith enters through the front door]

OWEN: That took longer than expected.

JUDITH: Uh, well, I can confirm that Tabitha’s Lydia’s right hand. Guess they could bond over how much they hate us.

OWEN: Seriously?

JUDITH: Yeah. Oh, also, do we have anymore gauze?

OWEN: Oh man, what happened?

JUDITH: Tabitha’s feeling a little antsy, I guess. Y’know, there’s something just… so annoying about the fact that she kind of caused this injury, but not actually, and then she made it worse by grabbing my arm.

OWEN: I think it’s just reopened a bit. I’ll rebandage it.

JUDITH: Thanks. Where’s Claire?

OWEN: Upstairs, working. She ran up with a stack of books.

JUDITH: Hmm. Hopefully she’s got a lead because I don’t know what to do next. Plus, some upsetting news, Tabitha wanted to shred me right there, but apparently “the wait will be worth it.” I don’t know what that means, but it’s… not good.

OWEN: Did she say that?

JUDITH: No, Lydia made a little appearance as well.

OWEN: Yeah, definitely not good.

JUDITH: Yeah. Can I be a little gossipy?

OWEN: Go for it.

JUDITH: I looked up Adam’s socials to see how he’s doing, because… I’m curious.

OWEN: Nosy.

JUDITH: Same thing. Anyway, a couple days ago, his place burned down. He’s fine, but…

OWEN: Oh boy.

JUDITH: I don’t think you can outrun it. He tried, but…

OWEN: Yeah.

JUDITH: I don’t know what’s a worse idea, trying to run away or facing it head on. [SFX: Owen tightens the bandage] Ow!

OWEN: Sorry. I know things are tough but… I’m still… glad he’s not here.

JUDITH: Yeah, might as well try to look on the bright side. Haha, just kidding, it’s flames!

OWEN: Well, your arm is patched up again. Don’t mess with it.

JUDITH: I wasn’t planning to. Everyone else though… that’s a different story.

CLAIRE: [SFX: comes downstairs] Did I overhear correctly that Tabitha accosted you?


CLAIRE: Lydia’s not going to like that.

JUDITH: Well that sounds like a them problem. Please tell me you have good news.

CLAIRE: I have… news. Options for us, most of them bad.

JUDITH: Ok, you’re going to have to explain this. So you’ve found… ok, this ritual here would involve submerging Lydia in holy water…

CLAIRE: Yeah, but not holy water as we know it, it would have to be blessed by a priest from a sect that doesn’t exist anymore.

JUDITH: Alright, that’s useless, although it would’ve been pretty funny if we could’ve tricked her into a dunk tank. Ok, this one is… no, that involves the blood from many horseshoe crabs, that’s like… the most expensive liquid on earth. This one involves bewitching hundreds of birds to tear her apart.

CLAIRE: I mean, it’s cool but I don’t think we could pull it off.

JUDITH: And these ones?

CLAIRE: All at best an unlikely maybe.

JUDITH: So we’ve got… magic knives, uh… this one that’s marked that involves something in a jar? Is that what you have on the stove?

CLAIRE: Yeah, I’m cooking something up that might at least weaken her further. Or just make her really greasy, we’ll see. I also have found some references that say that we can stop her with iron, so there’s a box of nails in the garage and I think some of them are iron. Why don’t we load up that bat and just start swinging.

OWEN: I want that one.


JUDITH: And the post-it note? I see that’s back. “Blood of the first” one.

CLAIRE: It’s… kind of confusing.

JUDITH: “The first to knock can close.” So like, Minnie, I guess?

CLAIRE: The blood that began things, in a sense. The idea is that the first person to lead you on this road is the one who can stop this whole process but… it’s a tough one. It’s a sacrifice. The first gives themselves over to stop what they began.

JUDITH: Ok, but… problem, she’s real dead. Like even if we found her corpse, it’s going to be pretty bloodless. I think most of it ended up in those jars.

CLAIRE: She was cremated. But yeah. I don’t know how that would work. It also doesn’t specify what “first” even means, So what is “first blood”? It could mean several different things.

JUDITH: Such as?

CLAIRE: Lydia, maybe? I guess… Dana? … Me?

JUDITH: Bad, dead, and not offering you up for that, thanks.

CLAIRE: Jude, you have to be ready for some options that aren’t ideal.

JUDITH: Literally no options are ideal right now.

CLAIRE: Ok, fine. But if I can stop this somehow… I’m going to stop it.

JUDITH: It won’t come to that.

CLAIRE: It might.

JUDITH: It won’t, Claire. It can’t.

CLAIRE: It’s not about what you or I want, or what any of us want. This thing is so much bigger than us. This is about the world turning to fire. This is literally about preventing the coming of a demonic age of hell on earth. If there’s a chance that I can stop this somehow, I have to take it. We do, ok? Even if that means my blood is the one that spills. I love you Jude, and I want you to be ok. Why can’t you see that?

JUDITH: I see that, of course I do, but you just… Claire, this is your life, Claire. As far as I know, you only get one, non-consensual possession notwithstanding.Is this a manifestation of your… guilt? Is it really so unreasonable of me to not want to see you get hurt? Or killed?

CLAIRE: We’ve both already been hurt over, and over and over again. Do I feel guilty? Yes, of course I do. It honestly eats away at me piece by piece but that’s neither here nor there right now. I just… I want this to be done. I want to escape from this.

JUDITH: I do too, I just… I just don’t know how to handle your newfound death wish. I just wish there was a way that we could get in front of Lydia and face her and just end this shit.

CLAIRE: Give me your phone.


CLAIRE: You have a number I need. [SFX: searches, makes a call] Hey Lydia, it’s Claire.

JUDITH: CLAIRE, NO- [SFX: tries to grab the phone from her] GIMME THAT-

CLAIRE: What are you waiting for? Come find us, you pitiful, second-rate brat. You couldn’t take us on if you had a guidebook.

OWEN: Claire, what the HELL are you doing?

CLAIRE: Show your face, loser. Ok byeeee! [SFX: hangs up]

JUDITH: What was THAT?

CLAIRE: We need her to move, we need her to get in front of us sooner rather than later. We need her to slip up. [SFX: phone rings]

JUDITH: Oh god, is she calling back?

CLAIRE: No, that’s mine. Excuse me. Hello? Yeah, hi. Could you? Ok, uh, great-…

OWEN: Did you see who was calling?

JUDITH: Unlisted.

OWEN: Hmm. Right.

[SFX: glitch beep. ????????]

OPERATOR: toO lEave a Message Pr-


[SFX: beep. Living room]

JUDITH: Hey, what’s up?

CLAIRE: Hey, we need to go on an errand. 

JUDITH: What for?

CLAIRE: Get your shoes on, I’ve got a couple notebooks-

JUDITH: Uh, yeah, want to explain what’s happening-

CLAIRE: Can I explain in the car? 

JUDITH: I’m not getting in the car until you tell me what’s up.

CLAIRE: So you know how I found all that family history stuff that Minnie had put together?


CLAIRE: I think I found my birth mom. Minnie and Hugh found her at one point. And she’s still out there.

JUDITH: What? How?

CLAIRE: They tracked her down. They just kept scouring hospitals in the area, I think. There were enough people in their network that unless Dana got out of the country, she was always going to get found out. When she went into labour, they tracked her down, but she ran off with me before they could get to her. It seems like she’d taken a bus north and made it up to Thunder Bay.

JUDITH: Oh my god. Did they find her again?

CLAIRE: Yeah, Minnie must have found her again at some point, there was a phone number written down. She clearly called it and took notes about where Dana was, but after that Dana went off the grid. Never spoke to them again, as far as I know. I’m guessing they never told the authorities because they were able to have her declared dead. Don’t know exactly what went down but clearly, Dana convinced them that I was either gone or dead or whatever because, at least for a while, they let both of us go.

JUDITH: So how’d you find her?

CLAIRE: I found a name that she was using at one point: Barrett. I started digging around for Dana Barretts, and I came across one that felt right. She moved back to Southern Ontario not long ago. I guess she felt safe enough to do so.

JUDITH: Maybe she knew her parents were dead, or dying, or that they wouldn’t bother her.So… I guess it’s time to go say hi?


JUDITH: Ok. Where is she?

CLAIRE: Jordan. It’s near Balls Falls.

JUDITH: There’s nice hiking in the area. And wineries. Is there a chance that we could go for a wine tasting afterwards?


JUDITH: Ah, right. Stupid to even ask. Ok, uh, I guess it’s time to take a little road trip.

CLAIRE: Good, because I don’t want to do it alone.

JUDITH: Yeah, obviously. You sure it’s her?

CLAIRE: Pretty sure.

JUDITH: … alright, let’s do this. [yelling up the stairs] Owen?

OWEN: [from upstairs] What?

JUDITH: Get your coat, we’re going on a mission. Things are getting weird. 

OWEN: [from upstairs] It literally cannot get any weirder unless more people start coming back from the dead.

JUDITH: Yeah, you say that…

[SFX: beep. The car pulls up on a gravel driveway]

JUDITH: So… are we going in?

CLAIRE: Yeah, just give me a second.

JUDITH: Ok. So I guess the plan is you go up there and knock and if she’s home be like, “Hi, I’m your daughter, can we talk to you about your blood?”

CLAIRE: What? No, I called ahead. She knows we’re coming.

JUDITH: Oh! Oh, uh, ok. 

CLAIRE: What am I, a maniac? Owen, don’t you dare say anything.

OWEN: Lips are zipped.

CLAIRE: But yes, we had a short phone call. But… I guess I still have to come face to face with her. 

JUDITH: How do you feel?

CLAIRE: I don’t know. I think if this was happening at a more normal point in my life, I’d have this… wave of emotion pouring over me, but right now everything is so bizarre that this just feels like I’m running an errand. Except I guess I’m meeting my birth mom. I know I could’ve just… grilled her on the phone, but… I needed to see her. Ask her these things in person. I don’t know. Maybe the emotions will hit me later. I don’t really need them right now anyway.

JUDITH: Good point.

OWEN: Shall we do this?

CLAIRE: Yep. Let’s go. [SFX: they exit the car and walk up the path to the house]

OWEN: Cute place.

CLAIRE: It’s quiet around here. Guess she didn’t want neighbours. 

JUDITH: Maybe you could inherit this house? Seems a lot more peaceful.

CLAIRE: I don’t think she’d appreciate that joke. Ok. [SFX: she knocks on the door. You can hear someone inside approach and open the door] Hello.

DANA: You’re Claire.

CLAIRE: Yeah. That’s me.

DANA: It’s odd, it’s like seeing my younger self standing in front of me. Uncanny. Who’re the other two?

CLAIRE: Oh, uh, these are friends of mine. Judith and Owen. They’re helping with… what I mentioned on the phone.

JUDITH: Yeah, uh, hi, it’s nice to meet you.

OWEN: Hi, nice to meet you.

DANA: You two, your injuries. Is that their doing?

OWEN: Yeah.


DANA: Hm. You learn anatomy early and well in a cult focusing on sacrifice. If that hadn’t been staunched somehow, you would have bled out in approximately eight minutes.

JUDITH: Yeah well, I got him out in 5 and a half, and everything was on fire so I get extra points for pulling that off. 

DANA: Congratulations. You better come in. Weather looks like it’s going to take a turn. [SFX: they head inside]

CLAIRE: Thanks for letting us come by. I thought it would be useful to speak in person and also… y’know… I wanted to meet you.

DANA: I assumed you have questions, but I feel like there are some pressing matters we should get to first before the tearful reunion or what have you.

CLAIRE: … so, uh, I guess can I… ask you a few things about your… past?

DANA: That’s why you’re here, isn’t it? Take a seat. Water? Tea? Wine? I don’t have much else to offer.

CLAIRE: I think a wine is in order.

JUDITH: I’m good.

OWEN: I’m driving again, aren’t I?


OWEN: None for me, thanks.

DANA: I do some work for a winery nearby. Midday drinks aren’t a normal thing for me, but, well, this isn’t a normal day.

CLAIRE: Yeah. I don’t think anything has been normal since I, uh…

DANA: Set foot in the house?


DANA: It has that effect. Lots of other effects as well. Headaches? Bad dreams? Violent urges? Inky discharge from tear ducts?

CLAIRE: Yes to the first two, no to the last two.

DANA: Ah, be grateful. Those are unpleasant.

JUDITH: Maybe us sharing a bed was a bad idea.

DANA: You get used to it. So why don’t we get to the heart of why you’re here? You said the Family is active again?

CLAIRE: They’re back, in full force. And they’re making a final play to manifest Moloch.

DANA: Wouldn’t be the first time. How far along are they? If you keep them out of the house, then it shouldn’t be a problem.

CLAIRE: Yeah, about that.

JUDITH: We’re past feeling like they aren’t a threat and are now at DEFCOM 2.

DANA: Have they attempted the opening? The anointing?


DANA: And?

CLAIRE: Uh, they succeeded.

DANA: With who? If it’s not you, then who? Did you let them into the house to do that? Did you listen to them? Do you support their cause?

CLAIRE: No, no! of course not. I… uh… I don’t know how to explain this.



JUDITH: Alright, uh, so… Minnie manipulated and then possessed Claire through some sort of blood magic and then, in her new body, used Claire to gain more followers through social media and wellness culture and maybe some sort of horrifying mind control juice? I don’t know. And she started the ritual to open the gate but another member jumped in at the last minute to disrupt the whole thing and took it upon herself to gain the power to bring Moloch to this plane of existence, and now she’s on a full-on murder-spree. Does that make sense?

DANA: Yes, although you could stand to work on your run-on sentences.

JUDITH: Sure, ok.

DANA: Either way, that’s… less than ideal. How far along is she? Has she begun the sacrificial rite?

CLAIRE: She’s almost completed it.

OWEN: Like we got maybe a day or two left.

DANA: Right. I can’t help you.

JUDITH: Goddamnit.

CLAIRE: Please. Please, you must know something.

DANA: I walked away years ago. I am done with this, and now you bring this to my door.

CLAIRE: So that’s it? You’re just going to leave us high and dry?

DANA: My advice to you is perhaps you should go spend some time with your loved ones, because there may not be much left.

CLAIRE: Please, anything you tell us could help.  

DANA: I’ve done my best to put all of this – my past, the Family – far, far behind me. Any information I have will be decades out of date, but…I can… try. I don’t know if I have much to offer, though. Nothing you’ll want to hear, anyway. To start, tell me more about this person, the one who took on the Master’s blessing.

CLAIRE: Her name is Lydia. She’s the daughter of a now deceased member of the cult. She’s angry because he was killed, and she seems to be taking this as… an opportunity for revenge.

DANA: Was she the Family’s original choice?


DANA: Who was?

CLAIRE: I guess me… but, uh, I was still… possessed at the time. So… possessed me?

DANA: Do you know where this Lydia is?

CLAIRE: No, she’s been in hiding.

DANA: Has she established a right hand?


DANA: You’ve let this go too far. I don’t see many options forward.

JUDITH: We’ve been trying.

DANA: Not hard enough.

JUDITH: I’m sorry, so all you can offer is “so long, good luck”?

CLAIRE: Judith.

JUDITH: If you’re not going to help us, we can just go.

DANA: Have you attempted a scouring ritual?

CLAIRE: What’s that?

DANA: A scouring can be used as a kind of summoning. If you can find something, anything of hers, you perform a ritual to draw her out of hiding and to a particular place. I have texts that can help you. [SFX: Gets up to get a book, puts it on the table] You can take them with you. Do you have access to a stillo knife?

CLAIRE: I don’t think so.

DANA: Horse blood?

CLAIRE: Not handy?

DANA: Hemlock?

JUDITH: Can you even buy that legally?

CLAIRE: We have silver knives sealed with our blood, if that helps.

DANA: It does, but your options are limited and your window to act is short. Find her, get a blade to her neck, and hope you pull this off in time. Brute force is your best option. You don’t seem too adept with the lore.

JUDITH: I assure you, we have no idea what we’re doing.

CLAIRE: Ok. Anything other advice?

DANA: I don’t know. Do you have any other questions for me?

JUDITH: So… what else have you been up to? 

DANA: I drifted. Got a university degree. Fell in love. Married. Worked in horticulture. Fell out of love. Divorced. Tried to move on. Realized I had made a mistake. Moved on anyway. Returned to Ontario, got into wine making. And now here I am.I live a small life, but it’s mine, and mine alone.

CLAIRE: Uh, yeah. Do you… know anything about my biological father?

DANA: We met when we were young. He was handsome, seemed kind. My parents approved. His name was Brian, but I’m sorry, I don’t remember his last name. He moved away before I could tell him I was pregnant. Or perhaps he was taken away. With the Family, you can never be sure. Either way, I never saw him again.

CLAIRE: Do I have any siblings or anything?

DANA: No. I don’t particularly care for children. 

JUDITH: So you were never the “fun” friend aunt or anything, huh?

DANA: I was not.

JUDITH: Did you ever talk to your parents again?

DANA: Minnie called me once. It was while I was in Winnipeg for a brief time in the early 90s. I left for the Northwest Territories soon afterwards. It was a lot easier to hide in those days. I heard she had me declared legally dead. I was never the daughter she wanted, so I’m sure she relished killing me on paper. And I let her. I… foraged myself a new life.

CLAIRE: Did you uh…

DANA: Yes?

CLAIRE: Did you ever look for me?

DANA: Claire, you don’t want me to answer that.

CLAIRE: I guess I don’t.

DANA: I’ve thought about this moment for a long time. I need you to understand that I was young, and I was scared. I ran and I hid, tried to get as far away as I could with what little I had. I did what I had to in order to survive. I see the ways in which I’ve failed you, and I’m sorry for that. But I can’t apologize for doing what I thought was right. I never wanted this for you. When it came to you, my onlypriority was getting both of us away from them. I could barely protect myself, never mind a tiny baby. All I could offer you was the chance to leave the nightmare that awaited us both. But I failed, and for that I am sorry. I thought I could outrun it, but you can’t outrun a fire, not one like this.

CLAIRE: I understand, I do, but… I wish I had known something, anything, about this. I was completely ignorant, and if I had just known, I never would have set foot in that house.

DANA: Are you sure about that? Would you have believed me if I had found you one day and told you this fantastical story?

CLAIRE: Well, maybe not, but-

OWEN: Not to bring this back to the doom at hand, but we need to figure this out sooner rather than later. I’m really sorry, I know this is a reunion of sorts but, we got to go.

DANA: I understand. The sentimentalities can wait. Can I speak to Claire for a moment? Alone?

JUDITH: Uh, sure. Owen?

OWEN: Yep, yep. [SFX: they leave the room]

DANA: What do they know?

CLAIRE: About as much as I do.

DANA: You’re lying.


DANA: You’re hiding something. There’s a note on your book that speaks of the blood of the first, do you know what that is?

CLAIRE: Not really, but I keep hearing it, why does everyone keep talking about that?

DANA: It’s a failsafe. It’s a way to cancel out what is happening. Only the one who knocks can close the door.

CLAIRE: Yeah, but I wasn’t the one who knocked.

DANA: Your friend said it herself, you may not have been in control of your body but it was the one doing the work. And you carry the blood in you.

CLAIRE: Blood blood blood, it’s always fucking blood!

DANA: Yes. It’s a little overdone, but that’s unimportant. All of these things – the prose, the poetry, the fiery rage – it’s window dressing. In the end, you could achieve the same outcomes… humming nursery rhymes and writing slam poetry about the moon. It’s all in the strength of the belief. And the problem is that these people believe, they believe in it so deeply and so hard that there’s no escape. So much of this is nothing more than fashion, a way to make the rituals feel bigger, grander, more dangerous. You don’t need robes or skulls, you could do this all in your living room. But the Family has always loved theatricality. The art of performing a rite. It’s like it makes it worth it. It’s all very trite, truly. But it gives the uncreative a focal point. And in turn, because they have something to focus on, that’s what give it power. It’s circular. They believe in the blood, therefore it is strong. So much of this family, this bloodline, yours and mine, is tied to this. In the end, you – the person in front of me, the body itself – doesn’t matter. It’s just the blood in your veins. You could be anyone. But my mother, she started us on this path. She sent me down and now she has sent you down it, and that means that we are all tainted by it, and it will live inside of us. The blood of the first is a blessing and a burden. It marks you. Most unfortunately, you carry that blood in you. This is your burden now, Claire.

CLAIRE: Hang on, you carry this blood too, you could help.

DANA: You have taken this fight on, Claire, not me. I’ve made peace with my past.

CLAIRE: Why can’t we just stop Lydia? Rip her head off and be done with this?

DANA: Because the fire will live on. It’ll live on in you and it will come back. It is endless. To truly stop things, the blood must spill. That is the closing of the door. The bloodline ends, the door slams shut.


DANA: I’m sorry Claire, I truly am.

CLAIRE: Please, anything you can do to help.

DANA: I don’t know what I can offer you, but I can’t go back. I’ve spent my whole life running, and I can’t return to that place. I’m so sorry.

CLAIRE: Dana, I-Wait, what smells like rosemary?

JUDITH: [SFX: comes back in with Owen] Hey, uh… I think something weird is happening- [SFX: the kettle on the stove starts to boil, whistle, it gets more violent, and then it cracks and bursts]

DANA: Damnit.

JUDITH: Was the stove even on?


JUDITH: Oh, oh no.

DANA: Did you bring them here, Claire? Are you that careless?

CLAIRE: No, no! Someone must’ve followed us, or… fuck!

DANA: Foolish, foolish! Sooner or later, the Family always comes for its own. It’s odd… I wonder why they’ve let you live this long.

OWEN: Hey, the Family hasn’t “let us” do anything. And we’ve still made it this far.

JUDITH: They are “saving us for last.”

DANA: That’s a very bad sign.

OWEN: No shit. [SFX: windows break]

DANA: Come, this way. [SFX: they move towards the back of the house]

CLAIRE: You don’t need to protect us, Dana.

DANA: I’m not. I’m offering you a way out. I can’t protect you, Claire. I would never claim to. Many years ago I tried to and clearly, that was all for naught. I’m sorry. I wish I could have been more for you.

CLAIRE: I’m sorry too.

JUDITH: I can’t see them out the window, but… [SFX: window smashes]

DANA: I had hoped that by leaving you behind I would be safe, but I should’ve known that you’d find your way home.


DANA: And now I get to pay for my mistakes.

CLAIRE: Come with us. There’s still time to run.

DANA: [SFX: smashing window] We’re out of time. Just point me towards your car and maybe we’ll get the chance to carry on this conversation. [SFX: there’s a cracking noise, like plaster] Claire, this is your inheritance. You were created to lead people to the fire.

CLAIRE: Please don’t say “destined”.

DANA: Not destined, just created. Is a piece of bread destined to be part of a sandwich? You have the pedigree, and you were born under the right sun. But I believe there is still choice. Make the right one.

CLAIRE: That doesn’t make me feel better.

DANA: It wasn’t meant to. You will survive, or you will burn. Those are your options!

OWEN: Claire! 


JUDITH: Claire, move it!

CLAIRE: Dana, I’m so sorry.

DANA: So am I.

OWEN: Wait! Why is it quiet now?

DANA: Silence is more dangerous than calamity with these people. [SFX: another window breaks, and a chanting can be heard outside, it builds and builds]

JUDITH: Ahh, what is that?! I think the calamity is just as bad, Dana!

DANA: The rite of chains, do you know how to break it?


DANA: Give me that knife! This is my only gift to you, use it well or else you… [SFX: she cuts her hand and slams it against the wall] THE BLOOD OF THE MOTHER IS THE WALL IN WHICH YOU CANNOT BREAK. [SFX: the chanting now sounds muffled, but there’s a slamming against the wall, like it’s going to fall over] Go! Go!

CLAIRE: You have to come with us!

DANA: Do you think if I pull my hand away from this wall that the counter-magic would work? This is all that’s holding them back. Blood wins out, Claire! I bore you into the hell and you returned it to me. This is my only gift to you: you can run. And my only ask is that you end this. [SFX: the muffled sounds outside are getting louder] You have mere MOMENTS! You have to RUN.


JUDITH: Claire, come on!

CLAIRE: Let me help!

DANA: It is too late!YOU ARE THE FIRST, WHO WILL BE THE LAST, THE CHILD OF THE FIRE. Your mother missed you, darling girl.

JUDITH: Oh fuck, oh fuck.

CLAIRE: No, no!

OWEN: This way, come on!

DANA: You bring these monsters to my home! Leave me to burn! You abandon a mother’s love! [SFX: back to normal] Why did you have to come here? I fought so hard to free you. NO. DON’T SEND ME BACK. Honey, come home, mother is waiting, let us burn together. [SFX: they all run as the house starts to violently erupt in flames around them]

CLAIRE: Oh, oh no, no no no.

JUDITH: Get away from her!



DANA: What is happening? What have you done? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? [SFX: the house collapses in a horrible scream. They run to the car and jump in, the chanting comes closer. Owen slams on the gas and peels out on the dirt driveway. The chanting fades into the background]

CLAIRE: [SFX: she punches the back of the seat hard] FUCK

[SFX: beep. Living room]

JUDITH: You ok?

OWEN: Nope. You?

JUDITH: Not one bit. I grabbed the book, though.

OWEN: What book?

JUDITH: The one Dana was talking about. With the instructions for the scouring or whatever.

OWEN: Cool.

JUDITH: Is this all we’re destined to do? Have people die around us while we read old books and desperately try to fix things that can’t be fixed?

OWEN: No, sometimes we cause people to die.

JUDITH: Don’t.

OWEN: What? If we hadn’t gone there then this wouldn’t have happened.

JUDITH: We needed to try every option and that was one!

OWEN: Yes, and we watched a woman burn to death!

JUDITH: I know! I know. Don’t make this worse.

OWEN: How could it possibly be any worse?

JUDITH: It just can. Maybe we’re dead. Maybe this is already hell.We have like, barely any time left, and we’re floundering. I don’t want to end them at each other’s throats. There’s enough other stuff that’ll be doing that.

OWEN: Yeah. Is Claire still upstairs?

JUDITH: Yeah, I think she’s still in the bath but… who knows. I don’t know how we’re supposed to keep doing this, Owen. [SFX: phone rings]

OWEN: We have to. We don’t have any other choice at this point, because if we don’t… we’re going to watch everyone we care about burn, Jude. Is that you?

JUDITH: Yeah. It’s… Lydia.

LYDIA: [SFX: voicemail] Heard you want to meet up? I tried to come find you, but you ran. Coward. COWARD. Thanks for the body though. Even the forgotten are still worth something to me. See you soon.

JUDITH: We are so screwed.

[SFX: beep]