26: Irascible

IRASCIBLE: having or showing a tendency to be easily angered. What lives in the basement of your mind? What do the voices in your head say to you in the dark? How deep do those fears go and what will you do the day you come face to face with them? You can't run. You can only listen. Do not go downstairs Do not go downstairs Do not go downstairs
CONTENT WARNINGS: The occult, physical violence, blood, emotional abuse, death

IRASCIBLE: having or showing a tendency to be easily angered.

[SFX: beep. Claire’s living room. The sound of the basement wall being clawed into can be heard through the floor]

JUDITH: I’m going to go look.

OWEN: Don’t go down there.

JUDITH: Why not?

CLAIRE: You’re only torturing yourself.

JUDITH: Yeah, but at least it makes me feel alive. Miserable, but alive.

CLAIRE: So does brake-checking people on the 401, doesn’t mean you should do it.

JUDITH: I’m just tired of reading, ok? I feel like I’m trying to speedrun a PhD on existential horror. 

CLAIRE: [sigh] Yeah, I’m also sick of this. I once again have a headache for the ages.

JUDITH: How many ibuprofen have you taken?

CLAIRE: What’s the recommended amount?

JUDITH: I don’t know, 6 in a day?

CLAIRE: Sure, then, uh… that many.

JUDITH: You cannot keep popping these like Skittles, it’s not good for you.

CLAIRE: Pfft. What does it matter?

JUDITH: It matters! You’re looking real pale lately, so please, make a doctor’s appointment after this for a check-up, ok?


JUDITH: Want to come stare into the darkness with me?

CLAIRE: Why not? Let’s venture into the belly of the beast, see if maybe it’s taken up calligraphy or something.

OWEN: I’ll come with. I think all the blood has left my feet.

JUDITH: I don’t understand how you can sit like that.

OWEN: Says the person who sits like a pretzel.

JUDITH: I don’t know how chairs work, ok? I was born like this. [SFX: they head towards the basement] Did one of you leave a light on? Who was down here last?

OWEN: Uh, I think me? But I definitely turned the light off. I know because after I did, I ran up the stairs out of the fear that something is going to grab me by the ankles and drag me back.

CLAIRE: [SFX: sniffs] Does it smell weird down here?

JUDITH: Yeah. Sharp? Or… woody.

OWEN: Burning?

JUDITH: No. But… pine-y? Whatever it is, it’s probably a bad sign.

OWEN: Maybe rosemary?

JUDITH: There’s another tick on the wall. 

CLAIRE: Well, we knew that.

JUDITH: Yeah, but… hang on, I thought we’d cleared out everything down here.

OWEN: Yeah, what’s that against the wall?

JUDITH: Not sure, should we… grab it?

CLAIRE: Sure. Why not?

JUDITH: Looks like someone left a magazine down here. [SFX: picks it up] Man, this is an old Chatelaine [SFX: the lights blink off] Ah fuck, Claire, I think the bulb burned out. … Claire? Owen? … come on guys, this isn’t funny, the punchline of these kinds of jokes really don’t land these days [SFX: she bumps into a wall that wasn’t there before] what the fuck… oh no, oh no… [SFX: she pounds on the walls, feeling for a door] fuck, shit, fuck, come on. Ok, ok, still got my phone light, uhh…

_TABITHA: Hello.

[SFX: Judith screams and it cuts out. Distorted beep. Owen’s room]

OWEN: Jude? Claire? Come on, don’t fuck around.Please just say a bulb burned out, please just say a bulb burned out. I know it hasn’t but one can dream. [SFX: feeling along the wall] Ok, wall where there wasn’t a wall before. I’m in the dark. I’m trapped, there’s no door that I can feel, ok [SFX: starting to panic]. Not panicking. Not yet, anyway. Plenty of time to do that later! [SFX: checks phone] Cool, no signal in hell. Hello?


OWEN: Claire?

_CLAIRE: Yeah?

OWEN: [SFX: sighs in relief] Ok, I had a momentary panic there that I was trapped in this weird little room with something much worse.  Uh…

_CLAIRE: Mmhmm?

OWEN: … is that a knife?

_CLAIRE:Sure is. [SFX: she rushes him with a knife]

OWEN: [SFX: fending her off] Fuck-

[SFX: distorted beep. Judith’s room. She’s breathing heavily, nervous]

JUDITH: How the FUCK did you get in here?

_TABITHA: I go where I need to be. And I’m good at what I do. Does that freak you out? 

JUDITH: Don’t come near me.

_TABITHA: What, where are you going to go? Out the door? Oh wait, guess that’s not an option. 

JUDITH: You’re not real. You can’t be real.

_TABITHA: Does that matter?The walls around you are real. Or, well, they’re solid. Or you believe that they’re solid. Come on, imagine they’re not. I’d love to see you Kitty Pryde through them. [SFX: there’s a sullen pause, and then a thump as Judith half-heartedly tries to bump through the wall] You dunce. You’re not getting out of here that easily.

JUDITH: You’re… an apparition. You’re just a figment of my imagination. You can’t be here!

_TABITHA: I’m here. You’re here too. You’re real. But if I’m not real, it doesn’t matter what happens to me. But it sure does matter what happens to you.

JUDITH: You’re still trapped in here with me. What are you doing here?

_TABITHA: I’m here because you need to be brought down a peg. It’s you, my friend, who’s trapped.

JUDITH: I’m not your friend

_TABITHA: You’re right. I have better taste than that. You fucking loser. Shit for brains. Claire’s gonna die and all you can do is watch. My only hope is that, just before I bleed you dry, you get to watch me bash Owen’s brains out. [SFX: Judith rushes at her but misses as Tabitha steps out of the way and giggles] You’re slipping! Sore? Tired? You look like shit. Should’ve come armed.

JUDITH: You can’t get away from me forever in here.

_TABITHA: Yeah, but unlike you, I have style. I have skill. [SFX: the scraping of a board across the floor as she picks it up, Tabitha has a board with a nail in it]

JUDITH: You have a board with a nail in it.

_TABITHA: Precisely. [SFX: she swings it straight into Judith’s arm]

[SFX: distorted beep. Owen’s room. He’s fighting off Claire]

OWEN: Claire! Claire, STOP, STOP! [SFX: he shoves her hard and she slams into the wall. She laughs] What the FUCK are you doing?

_CLAIRE: [laughs] What you expected! 

OWEN: What?

_CLAIRE: This is what you thought would happen, right? I snap one night and suddenly there’s a hand wrapped around your throat, a gun to your head, a knife slicing through your arteries and your own blood hot against your skin?

OWEN: What the fuck has gotten into you? 

_CLAIRE: What, already want to go running up the stairs? Afraid of whatever might be lurking in the dark?You probably should be. But stay! Hang out! I love it down here.. This is my home, after all.

OWEN: What are you?

_CLAIRE: I don’t know, what are you in the mood for?

OWEN: Not this.

_CLAIRE: Oh, I know. How’s your arm, by the way?

OWEN: It’s fine

_CLAIRE: Sure. Tell yourself that. But know that I can see your pain. I can see your worries. I can see your fear. I see you. All of you.All the time.

OWEN: What’s with the walls?

_CLAIRE: I thought we all needed some alone time. Don’t want to get codependent. Well, more so.

OWEN: Where’s Judith?

_CLAIRE: WhErE’s JuDiTh? She’s a big girl, she can handle herself.

OWEN: Who are you?

_CLAIRE: Who do you want me to be?

OWEN: Stop it.

_CLAIRE: I see I’m not getting through to you like this- [SFX: they struggle a bit] Whoa! Look, if this is how you’re going to act, I’m going to need you to take a load off. [SFX: she trips him, he lands flat on his back] Thanks! So just stay still down there, ok? Good. That’s so good! Look, Owen. I know this is a little tense, but like, I have some thoughts to share.

OWEN: Gah, fuck you.

_CLAIRE: You don’t trust me. I see that. 

OWEN: Well, you’re not doing anything to earn it right now.

_CLAIRE: No jokes! I’m not in the mood for laughs.

OWEN: Ok! Ok! I’ll keep the sass to a minimum, just please get off of me.

_CLAIRE: Sure. I mean, all you had to do was ask nicely. 

OWEN: What is going on?

_CLAIRE: I wanted to talk to you. Press you a bit. Alone. I want you to listen.

OWEN: Sure! Fine! What do you want to talk about?

_CLAIRE: Why are you here?

OWEN: Death cult wants to end the world. You know that, whatever you are. It’s not a mystery.

_CLAIRE: No, why are you here? You have no loyalty to me. You barely know me, at least outside of the context of this mess. My own ex-boyfriend up and left faster than you could say milquetoast and yet you’re still here, battered and broken, worse for wear. Why haven’t you left?

OWEN: Because I don’t want to.

_CLAIRE: Don’t lie to me.

OWEN: Who says I’m lying?



_CLAIRE: Because you can’t leave Judith.

OWEN: [sullen pause]

_CLAIRE: It’s ok, you can be honest here. I’m here to listen. Let’s get closer. Don’t get up, take a breather. You’re not here for me. You’re here for her. That’s so sweet.

OWEN: Sure.

_CLAIRE: You’re staying because you’re worried that she’s going to die trying to help me. And you can’t handle that. The pain, the guilt! You are a fucking glutton for punishment. You’ve gotten pretty close. It’s hard for me to see all the things I missed out on. Actually, you know what?

OWEN: What? [SFX: she presses hard into his sternum with her knuckle]

_CLAIRE: I’m not going to let you come between us.

[SFX: distorted beep. Judith’s room. She’s stumbling backwards, bleeding]

_TABITHA: You’re probably going to want to make sure your tetanus booster is up to date.

JUDITH: I’ll make note. [SFX: she stumbles back into the wall and slumps down until she’s sitting on the ground]

_TABITHA: What, you don’t want to play anymore? Come on, it’s just a puncture wound. You can’t be going into shock yet.

JUDITH: Just watch me.Haaaaa, no, no, do not start panicking, do not start panicking.

_TABITHA: If it’ll help, feel free to have a little freak out. I’ll wait.

JUDITH: What do you want?

_TABITHA: Oh, I got what I wanted. I want to see you hurt. But you know that. This is just what makes me feel good. Oh, I’ll take that back now, by the way [SFX: removes the board and nail from her arm roughly]. I think this will require some bleach to get the stains out, thanks for that.

JUDITH: No problem.

_TABITHA: I feel like you don’t want me around.

JUDITH: Wow, what gave you that idea? Was it my discomfort with you embedding a nail in my flesh?

_TABITHA: Don’t be so bitchy. If you’re going to be like this, I think you should speak to someone else for a bit. [SFX: she creeps back into the dark. New footsteps approach]

_LYDIA: Hey babe.

JUDITH: No, don’t you come any closer!

_LYDIA: Relax, I’m not here to kill you. At least, I don’t think so?

JUDITH: Well, if you aren’t bringing me a tetanus booster then fuck off.

_LYDIA: Here, shove over. How’s it going?

JUDITH: Same old.

_LYDIA: Very funny. Oof, that’s a nasty gash.

JUDITH: I’ll take your word for it.

_LYDIA: Want me to kiss it better?

JUDITH: No thank you.

_LYDIA: Come here, oh, that is a lot of blood. [SFX: she licks her fingers] A lovely vintage.

JUDITH: That’s incredibly unhygienic, you know that, right?

_LYDIA: Eh. So, how are you feeling about your doom?

JUDITH: [sighs]

_LYDIA: You know not all of you are going to survive this, right? Even if I’m not here to gut you right this minute, there’s no way you’re making it out of this. You guys are fucked.

JUDITH: You don’t know that.

_LYDIA: I’m going to gut you.

JUDITH: You’re not invincible. 

_LYDIA: Yeah, but I have the power of Moloch behind me and you’re, what, three people with access to academic papers?

JUDITH: Ha ha, my JSTOR access was revoked years ago.

_LYDIA: What do you want? 

JUDITH: Mostly to not be bleeding from a puncture wound in a room with no door with you sitting next to me.

_LYDIA: That’s a lot to ask.

JUDITH: Is it though?

_LYDIA: Come on, you said it yourself. I’m not real! You can say whatever you want to me. Now, tell me: what’s going on in that noodle of yours?

JUDITH: What’s with this room?

_LYDIA: I wanted to talk to you. I wanted to see how you work on your own. The three of you are always together. What are you like when left to your own devices?

JUDITH: What are you and what are you doing here?

_LYDIA: I am here, I am one with the earth. I see and feel everything. I am the one that lives in both the seen and unseen worlds.

JUDITH: Less cryptic, please.

_LYDIA: I’m whoever you think I’ll be. I’m just here to help you work through some things. I just want to hang. It’s been so busy lately. Sacrifices take a lot out of you.

JUDITH: Cool, let me out of here and I’ll go pick you up a latte.

_LYDIA: Very funny, but no. I’ve given up caffeine.

JUDITH: Get the fuck away from me.

_LYDIA: Would you rather a friend be here?

JUDITH: Sure, why not. 

_LYDIA: Hang on, I’ve got a surprise. [SFX: gets up, walks into the darkness] I know this has been on your mind.

JUDITH: What? [SFX: Owen gets pushed out and drops to the ground, limp]Owen? Owen? Oh god, oh god, please. No, no, no this isn’t real, it’s not it’s NOT this is FAKE this is the HOUSE, none of this is REAL, just STOP. [SFX: he takes a sudden sharp breath]

_OWEN: Jude, what’s going on? 

JUDITH: I wish I knew.

_OWEN: It was dark, and then… I don’t know… it was just… so many hands, tearing at me…

JUDITH: Owen, you’re shredded…

_OWEN: Jude, please, I don’t want to die.

JUDITH: Ok, let’s-… what the-

_OWEN: It’s too late.


_OWEN: It’s too late. [SFX: he is pulled, unwillingly, into the darkness, a horrible wet sound can be quietly heard, like meat being pulled off a raw chicken]

JUDITH: OWEN! [SFX: footsteps approach and stop near her]

_OWEN: That’s the best you can do? You barely even tried to help. You’re losing your touch, Judith.

[SFX: distorted beep. Owen’s room.]

_CLAIRE: You don’t care about me. You just want to make sure your little bestie survives.

OWEN: Claire, it doesn’t matter how well I know you! I still want you to make it out of this ok!

_CLAIRE: That’s very sweet of you, really, but what if Judith died tomorrow, huh? Would you stick around?

OWEN: I would see this through.

_CLAIRE: So noble! What a champ! I don’t believe you.

OWEN: We’re in this together!

_CLAIRE: Sure. But I don’t feel that way. I feel alone, and you notice that. You notice that I seem a bit off and weird and cold, but instead of doing anything about it you just hunker down and awkwardly putter around. You don’t even look at me sometimes. It’s like your eyes can’t handle it. You’re selfish. A liar and selfish. And once this is done, what then? Just going to take off?

OWEN: What happens after this doesn’t matter. All that matters right now is figuring out how to fight back and survive.

_CLAIRE: What if Judith died right now?

OWEN: What?

_CLAIRE: You heard me. What would you do then?

OWEN: Claire-

_CLAIRE: No, no, let’s find out. [SFX: she gets up and walks off quickly] If you come after me, I’ll will slit your throat before you can even call her name. [SFX: Owen gets up and runs over but is stopped by the wall]

OWEN: [SFX: feeling along the wall] What the fuck… Claire!

_CLAIRE: [behind him] Hey.

OWEN: Jesus Christ, how the-

_CLAIRE: I found her!


OWEN: Don’t even-

_CLAIRE: You come one step closer and I will do something unforgiveable. Judith, I’m sorry, I just feel like you’ve been… a bit standoffish with me lately.

_JUDITH: No? I don’t think I have been?

_CLAIRE: It just doesn’t feel like you trust me.

_JUDITH: I don’t know if I do.

_CLAIRE: [SFX: she stabs Judith in the chest, Judith drops to the ground] Guess you were RIGHT, HUH?


_CLAIRE: STAY BACK.Jude, babe, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.

_JUDITH: why would you do this?

_CLAIRE: You were always going to die, and the one person who thought they could help you did nothing.

OWEN: No, no no no NO NO.

_CLAIRE: You just STOOD there, and you LET THIS HAPPEN. How could you be so WEAK, Owen?

OWEN: [SFX: he tries to tackle her] YOU BITCH

_CLAIRE: [SFX: she runs off] Don’t focus on me, focus on the problem at hand, buddy boy! [SFX: she takes off into the darkness]

_JUDITH: wy didn’t you stop her?

OWEN: Jude, I…

_JUDITH: you’re afraid.

OWEN: I am.

_JUDITH: you won’t be able to do what needs to be done.

OWEN: I don’t… I…

_JUDITH: is this how you think it’s going to end?

OWEN: No. No, I… I don’t know.

_JUDITH: you’re just going to let me die

OWEN: No, no, butyou’re not Judith.

_JUDITH: but it still pains you to see this.

OWEN: [sighs] Yeah.

_JUDITH: it hurts, Owen.

OWEN: I know. 

_JUDITH: do you think we’ll be ok?

OWEN: I don’t know.

_JUDITH: do you ever want to run?

OWEN: All the time.

_JUDITH: do you trust me?

OWEN: Yeah.

_JUDITH: that’s good.But are you sure you can?

[SFX: distorted beep. Claire’s room.]

CLAIRE: What IS this? … You want to give me a clue? You want to drop the ceiling down on my head? No? This is a new one, huh? New walls, keeping us in! [SFX: she kicks the wall] I hope that hurt! [SFX: there’s a quiet groan] Yeah, bitch all you want. Where are they? Judith? Owen? Can you guys hear me? Hello? … shit. 

_JUDITH: Claire?

CLAIRE: Oh jesus- Jude? 

_JUDITH: Yeah, I just found my way in here, what’s going on?

CLAIRE: I think the house is messing with us. I think it’s having a little fun.

_JUDITH: Oh, great. Very cool!

CLAIRE: Is Owen with you?

_JUDITH: Oh, no. I guess he’s somewhere in the basement.

CLAIRE: Do you… want to go get him?

_JUDITH: Ah, it’s fine. He’ll be fine! He’s a big boy.

CLAIRE: Right.

_JUDITH: Besides, he needs to toughen up. Deal with things on his own for once.

CLAIRE: Ok, here we go. 

_JUDITH: What, you want to keep making sure he’s ok? He’s only dead weight. Just one more set of legs to break.

CLAIRE: So you’re obviously not Judith.

_JUDITH: I’m not allowed to come to my senses? I’ve been hauling his ass around this whole time as I work endlessly to save your hide and this is how you thank me?

CLAIRE: If you’re going to act like this, then yeah.

_JUDITH: Oh, wow, great, the great Claire Sterback, queen of her domain, ruler of the house with the walls that watch.

CLAIRE: And listen, but clearly not hard enough.

_JUDITH: What did you say?

CLAIRE: I rest my case.

_JUDITH: I have sacrificed EVERYTHING for you.

CLAIRE: I’d appreciate that more if you were actuallyJudith.

_JUDITH: I cannot believe you’d act like this, to me, the one person who’s nearly died trying to pull you from your bodily prison. Do you really want to do this?

CLAIRE: Bring it.

_JUDITH: This is it, huh? You don’t even want to try. You just want to throw me away once you’ve used me up for all I’m worth.

CLAIRE: Just… stop this.

_JUDITH: I loved you, Claire. I would’ve done anything for you.  

CLAIRE: I know.

_JUDITH: You never came back. I lost you the day you walked into this house. And you’ll never come back.And that’s the hardest part, knowing that my only option is to live with the knowledge that no matter how much I tried, I still failed, because I was always doomed to fail. The Claire I loved is gone. She’s been gone a long time now, and I can’t handle that.


_JUDITH: I’m so sorry, Claire. I tried. I really did.

CLAIRE: Please.

_JUDITH: I hate you for what you’ve done to my life.

[SFX: distorted beep. Judith’s room]

JUDITH: Well, I know you’re not real.

_OWEN: Jude, of course I’m real. See? Real as mud.

JUDITH: Is this a blood-loss induced hallucination or is this something to do with the house?

_OWEN: You’re finally learning. Maybe all the books are helping, who knows?[SFX: comes over, sits beside her, puts an arm around her] Sorry, I’ll watch out for your arm. Looks bad. May I?

JUDITH: I don’t know.

_OWEN: It’s pretty deep. This looks bad, Jude.

JUDITH: Everything looks bad right now. I just want to leave.

_OWEN: Being trapped is scary. I would know.

JUDITH: Tell me what’s going on.

_OWEN: We’re trying save the world! Save each other! Fun stuff! [SFX: he pulls her in, roughly] Isn’t it fun having Claire back? Seriously, I really think you should be enjoying this more. Live in the moment, because you never know when it’ll end. Actually, you know what? You know when it’ll end. The second we come face to face with Lydia, this is all over. You know not everyone is making it out alive. You can’t handle that. You’re going to fight tooth and nail to do whatever you can to make sure we all walk away from this, but it’s USELESS, you are fucking USELESS, you STUPID FUCKING IDIOT. You FUCKED UP, you PIECE OF SHIT-


_OWEN: Ok.All you had to do was ask.

JUDITH: Are you enjoying this?

_OWEN: Just as much as you are. It hurts me to see you like this, but you really like to kick your own ass, don’t you?

JUDITH: Can I go?

_OWEN: You could always leave. Adam did.

JUDITH: Good for him.

_OWEN: He got out. He got to run away and leave you with everything, including taking care of Claire. You wish you could escape. I see it in your eyes every time something freaky or weird happens. You wish you could just run.

JUDITH: So what if I wish I could be literally anywhere else but here? How is that surprising?

_OWEN: You could just go, throw a bag in the back of a van and drive away and never look back. You could abandon us.

JUDITH: I would never.

_OWEN: Admit it! Admit that you want to leave and just ignore the guilt, that the only thing that matters is YOU.



JUDITH: FINE. Fine. I want to run away, ok? I want to grab you and Claire and jump in a car and never look back, but I never would, because that’s not an option! I’m tired and I’m sick of this and I don’t need you to make me feel worse, OK?

_OWEN: Jude, chill, please. I’m hurting just as much as you are.

JUDITH: I am the one with the puncture wound!

_OWEN: Well, I mean, you did watch me bleed out. Was that fun for you?

JUDITH: Not in the slightest. [SFX: a dripping noise starts]

_OWEN: This blood is on you, Judith.

JUDITH: Oh god, where is that… whose blood is that?

_OWEN: It’s the blood that will be on your hands when you fail.


_OWEN: There’s just so much. [SFX: a cracking noise as part of the ceiling gives way and a torrent of blood spills out, soaking Judith]

JUDITH: [coughing] What the FUCK

_OWEN: You look like Carrie.






_OWEN: You absolute fucking idiot, I swear to god.

JUDITH: Fuck you.

_OWEN: I hate you.

JUDITH: No you don’t.

_OWEN: You’re worried that one day I will, though.

JUDITH: [sigh] Yep.

_OWEN: That I won’t forgive you for this.


_OWEN: That even if we make it out, you’ll still be alone.

JUDITH: Shut up.

_OWEN: You kind of hope everyone dies, because then you’ll have an excuse for your loneliness. You won’t have to heal in silence, you can just tell everyone you’re struggling with the very real loss of your friends. Boo hoo, poor Judith, all alone after a tragic accident. [SFX: slams the wall near her head] BULLSHIT. Even if that happens, you’ll still be eaten alive by the guilt until you are nothing more than a husk. You’ll be empty and broken, and no one will ever understand what you went through. You’ll have no one to talk to about this. You’re going to rot.

JUDITH: STOP IT, just SHUT UP. GO AWAY. Hello? … hello? Shit.

[SFX: beep. Claire’s room]

CLAIRE: What are you?

_JUDITH: Just your bestie! Want to hang out? Want to get a glass of wine? Want to get drunk and sob on my shoulder? I am wet with your tears.

CLAIRE: Where is Judith?

_JUDITH: She is where she needs to be: finally safe from you.

CLAIRE: I want these walls GONE. This is MY HOUSE.

_JUDITH: You do not get to tell me who controls this space! I AM THE POWER THAT LIVES WITHIN THESE WALLS. You’re like, renting.

CLAIRE: If you are the power in the walls of this house then do it, destroy me right now. Burn this place to the ground with us in it. DO IT.

_JUDITH: Whoa whoa whoa, Claire, honey, chill. Hold your horses. Come here, give me a hug.


_JUDITH: Claire-

CLAIRE: NO [SFX: she shoves her, and Judith slams into the wall]

_JUDITH: [laughing] You’re afraid of me! That’s so cute! I love it, But do you honestly think I’m the scariest thing here?

CLAIRE: What does that mean?

_JUDITH: I am one and I am the walls that protect you and the walls that watch, I am the eyes in the knots in the wood, I am the blood who set these gears in motion. I am the fear that lives in your heart.

_CLAIRE: And that is what you fear the most.


_CLAIRE: Hello, darling. You’ve been missing me, huh?

CLAIRE: I… No. No, no, I don’t want this, I don’t want to do this.

_CLAIRE: Do what? Oh, you poor thing. The last little while must have been so hard for you, being left all alone in your skin like that.


_CLAIRE: It’s cold and dark and scary in that little head of yours without me, isn’t it? I brought you such warmth, filled you with fire-

CLAIRE: You are not real. You are gone.

_CLAIRE: Oh, how lovely! You’re using the grounding techniques! I’m so proud of you. See, I knew I was a good influence.

CLAIRE: Good influence-… you destroyed my LIFE.

_CLAIRE: I taught you how to serve a cause greater than yourself.


_CLAIRE: Irrelevant. I made you strong. I made you a leader. I made you someone worth following. Someone worth wanting. Someone worth loving.

CLAIRE: What’s that supposed to mean?

_CLAIRE: Have you ever been loved before, Claire?

CLAIRE:What, are you looking for sex tips? Try Google, you fucking creep.

_CLAIRE: Ok. Has anyone besides me ever really seen you, all of you — the good and the bad and very, very bad?

CLAIRE: I refuse to be lectured on love by you.

_CLAIRE: Baby girl, we were so good together. You know, no one else has ever known you the way I do. No one else has ever loved you the way I do. No one else could. Becauseno one else has ever been in your head like I have.

CLAIRE: Are you expecting me to thank you for violating my mind and body?

_CLAIRE: Claire, your Family – your… selected family – loved you. I love you. Come back to us.

CLAIRE: I have my own family. I have my own friends and my own life.

_CLAIRE: What, like Judith? I know you think she “loves you for you,” flaws and all, which is so cute, but I have to be honest… her desperate attempts to save you? It’s all obligation at this point. She’s on autopilot. She cares about you because she enjoys how it makes her feel like a good person when she helps you through your crises du jour. She’s always had more loyalty than sense, and you exploit that.

CLAIRE: You don’t know her. Don’t try your character assassination bullshit on me.

_CLAIRE: I know her as well as you say you do. She loves like a dog, blindly and without caution. She could’ve chosen anyone to lavish that on, and she chose you, lord knows why. Although, the difference is that someone else never would have stabbed her. Never would have psychologically tortured her. Never would have kidnapped her and attempted to bleed her and her new best friend dry.

CLAIRE: That wasn’t me.

_CLAIRE: But it was your fault. Really, it was just her bad luck to have met you way back when. If she hadn’t, maybe she’d be somewhere safe now. She would have lost nothing by your absence. And don’t get me started on how much better off poor, sweet Owen would be-

CLAIRE: Enough. Tell me something I don’t know, you fucking tiresome ass.

­_CLAIRE: Watch that temper, it’s unbecoming. Ok. Why don’t we talk about Adam? He never really “loved you for you,” either. By the end you were basically his ward.

CLAIRE: I wasn’t a burden to anyone until you came into the picture.

_CLAIRE: He was… comfortable with you, sure, because you were easy. Simple minded. You let him call the shots, out of… what, laziness? Uselessness? He decided where you lived. He decided what you should eat for breakfast. All because you were too pitiful to attempt to come up with your own opinions. You made such a pretty little doormat. Even at the end of that relationship, instead of being active and standing up for yourself, you just… fled in the night. You know you’ve never been strong. You couldn’t do anything right. Still can’t.

CLAIRE: I was hurting, and scared, and didn’t know what I wanted. What’s your fucking point?

_CLAIRE: I know he thought about leaving a few times. But then he thought, no. Poor little Claire could never make it on her own. And he was right. You couldn’t make it on your own. Sweetie, you were flailing before you found me. You need someone to guide you, it’s just who you are. You always need someone.And that’s what makes you a perfect vessel. I love that about you. I mean, no one else does. Judith actually looks down on you for that, makes you pretty pathetic. And I mean, it does. But it also makes you a beautiful instrument. Imagine the melodies we could play.

CLAIRE: That’s not true. You took my life from me. I made choices. Maybe they haven’t always been good ones, but they were mine. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

_CLAIRE: Don’t I? I’ve seen everything. I’ve seen your insecurities, your dreams, your flaws, everything, and I know better than anyone just how empty you are. You know, you really should be more grateful. I’m the only one who could ever want you, who could ever fill that void inside of you with purpose. Your own mother didn’t even want you from the minute you were born. But I do. I still want you, Claire. Be me again, open yourself up and I’ll give you everything. I’ll give you power, courage, the ability to make people love you. I’ll give you the ability to fix this. You’ll have everything you’ve ever wanted because I’m the better version of you.

CLAIRE: I… no. No. I will not let you hurt someone… ever again. I am not yours to play with.

_CLAIRE: You disappoint me.Let me give you one more thing to think about before I go: everyone is going to die because of you. Everyone who’s ever had the misfortune of getting too close to you is going to die. They’re going to die because of you and the choices that led you here, every single one of them a mistake.

CLAIRE: Get the FUCK away from me.

_CLAIRE: I gave you a chance, little one. Enjoy your solitude. It’s the only thing you have to left to look forward to.

[SFX: beep. Owen’s room]

_JUDITH: Why are you here, Owen?

OWEN: Don’t ask me this, not again?

_JUDITH: Was Claire asking? I’m sure she’s just digging. She’s nosy like that. Why are you here?

OWEN: Because there are new walls.

_JUDITH: No, silly, why stick around? You already wanted to quit once?

OWEN: I didn’t want to leave you to handle this alone.

_JUDITH: So sweet. Do you ever worry that now Claire is back that I’m just going to… toss you aside?You do, don’t you? Oh, sweetie, you don’t have to worry about that. I’d abandon you long before then.

OWEN: Thanks.

_JUDITH: Did you honestly think you’d have any importance in my life once she returned?

OWEN: I guess I did.

_JUDITH: Stupid. Real stupid. And selfish. Did she call you that? She’s always been so observant. I love that about her. I’ve been through so much. Who are you to ask anything more from me? What kind of attention do you deserve? Want me to take care of your wounds?

OWEN: Don’t you touch me.

_JUDITH: See? Why would I stick around if I’m going to get this hostility? Claire needs me, Owen. You don’t. You’re a strong independent boy who doesn’t need me propping you up anymore. Plus, I’m tired. I’m done carrying you out of the fire. You’re just dead weight.

OWEN: Fuck off.

_JUDITH: Don’t talk to me like that, you little shit. I’ve suffered enough.

OWEN: Haven’t we all.

_JUDITH: See? You’re just worried about yourself. And me? You’d probably just abandon me anyways, just like an old toy. Judith’s sad and boring, I want friends who are so much cooler.

OWEN: Do you listen to yourself when you speak?

_JUDITH: Why have you stayed? Are you some sort of fucking masochist?You just keep nodding along, letting them bleed you dry. Have you ever looked inside yourself to see what you want? You haven’t, have you? You just let people run roughshod all over you, huh? Take and take and take. It’s spineless, you’re so spineless!

OWEN: You’re not Jude. She’d never say this shit.

_JUDITH: Maybe I think it, you don’t know that.

OWEN: I do.

_JUDITH: Ugh. Can I use your phone? Mind if I check my lipstick? [SFX: she grabs it from him] Front-facing cameras, gotta love them. Sorry, I had to crank the brightness, how do I look?

OWEN: Holy FUCK, [her face in the light is grotesque, cracked and dry and crumbling] what the FUCK ARE YOU?

_JUDITH: I am the walls around you. I am the floors under your feet, I am the sheets wrapped your skin in the night, I am everything and nothing and I wanted to see who dares live within these bricks held together with blood, who stays here in the bone dust that lines the floors, who sleeps under watching eyes. The fear that lives within you pours into me and builds and BUILDS AN I FEEL IT. IT LIVES WITHIN AND BECOMES A PART OF ME. 

OWEN: Fuck, fuck, get away!

_JUDITH: Why are you here? Why is this happening? Why must everything HURT? WHY DO I BURN AND WHY DO YOU NOT?Owen? Please, please help me.

OWEN: You’re not Jude.

_JUDITH: It’s me, I swear, it’s me. Please, it hurts so much. [SFX: he reaches out and she grabs him and slams him onto the floor] YOUR FIRST MISTAKE WAS TRUSTING ME

OWEN: Ahh!

_JUDITH: The only way out is to admit your fear.

[SFX: beep. Judith’s room. Silence]

JUDITH: Is this what you wanted? I’m finally alone. I can lie here in the blood that’s mine and everyone else’s and suffer while you rub my enemies and my fears in my face. You stupid asshole house, should’ve never come back here.

_CLAIRE: [SFX: coming in] Yeah, you probably should’ve stayed away.

JUDITH: Oh, good. One last twist, huh?

_CLAIRE: You need to accept the hurt.

JUDITH: What, the pain in my arm? Yes, I know it’s there, thank you.

_CLAIRE: Not just that pain, silly. The pain of watching your friends struggle alongside you. Of knowing you might never see your family again. And, also, your arm. You’re very tense. Just admit that it hurts. Tell me how much it hurts.

JUDITH: No, feels great. Never felt better. See? Full range of motion.

_CLAIRE: You’ll always be trapped if you can’t admit to yourself the problems that are right in front of you. You’ll always be trapped behind those walls trying to push your way out.

JUDITH: Is this whole thing some sort of fucking metaphor? You know what? The second we finish dealing with Lydia, I’m burning this place to the ground myself.

_CLAIRE: You’d get more satisfaction selling it. Anyway, you want to go upstairs?

JUDITH: Yes, but not with you. You are nothing more than shadows.

_CLAIRE: That’s fine. But like I said, you have to admit what you feel.

JUDITH: Fine. Everything sucks.

_CLAIRE: That’s not enough. You should never have come here, Judith.

JUDITH: What are you talking about?

_CLAIRE: Nothing that enters can stay. Nothing stays the same. Eventually, the only way out of this hell you put yourself in is by acknowledging the pain. [SFX: she presses her thumbs into the wound on Judith’s arm, and she screams]

[SFX: distorted beep. Owen’s room.]

_JUDITH: You know that nothing that enters here stays the same!

_OWEN: Clearly!



_JUDITH: Of me, or of what is to come?

OWEN: Everything! It’s all just… too much! Just get off me!

_JUDITH: I mean, all you had to do was ask.

[SFX: distorted beep. Claire’s room.]

CLAIRE: Is that it? Have you had your fun? Have you seen what you need to see?! Everything that comes through these doors becomes tainted! Everything that stays becomes stained! No one leaves without the blood of this house on their hands! But I am not going to let you best me, and if that means accepting what I have become and what I have to do, SO BE IT. I will not be kept down here. My blood lines these walls and I will NOT be trapped by them! ENOUGH. [SFX: the walls fall away and now it’s back to the full empty room. The sound of a lightbulb clicking on]

JUDITH: Oh, hey guys.

OWEN: Oh jesus christ, Jude!

JUDITH: Are you real?

OWEN: I think so?

JUDITH: Well, I’m… really glad to see… you. Did you see me?

OWEN: Yes.

JUDITH: Was I terrible?

OWEN: Yes. Did I do that?

JUDITH: No. But you were horrible. Whatever it was. What was this?

CLAIRE: This was the house’s doing. I think it wanted to test some… boundaries. Have some fun.

JUDITH: Well it could’ve done it less violently. I do find it incredibly unfair that we can apparently be injured by projections created by the house.

CLAIRE: It doesn’t care about us. It only cares about itself.  Whatever I said or did, I’m sorry.

JUDITH: Same. I feel like I’ve been digested.

CLAIRE: It was chewing on us. Nothing in here stays the same, nothing leaves unscathed.  

JUDITH: So I’ve heard. Well, I hope it had fun, because I certainly didn’t. Who did you see?


JUDITH: Who did you guys see? I saw Lydia, and Tabitha, and Claire, and… Owen.

OWEN: Did I die?

JUDITH: Horribly. For a bit, at least.

OWEN: Yeah. So did you.

JUDITH: Claire?

CLAIRE: Oh. I was alone.

JUDITH: What, actually?


JUDITH: You know you can tell us what happened, right?

CLAIRE: And I would if I had anything new to tell you, but I actually think I needed to spend some time alone with my thoughts. But let’s go clean you up.

OWEN: This may be a little soon, but you look like Carrie.

JUDITH: Don’t even start.

[SFX: beep]