29: Quietus

QUIETUS: final settlement (as of a debt). "Glacial Lake Iroquois was a prehistoric proglacial lake that existed at the end of the last ice age approximately 13,000 years ago. The lake was essentially an enlargement of the present Lake Ontario that formed because the St. Lawrence River downstream from the lake was blocked by the ice sheet near the present Thousand Islands. The level of the lake was approximately 30 m (~100 ft) above the present level of Lake Ontario. The subsequent melting of the ice dam resulted in a sudden lowering of the lake to its present level [...]. Two ancient shorelines in the Toronto area mark the existence of former glacial lakes. About 2 km inland from the shore, a ridge known as the Iroquois Shoreline can be discerned. The old shoreline runs west-east, running roughly parallel to Davenport Road just south of St. Clair Avenue West. Further east, the Scarborough Bluffs also formed part of the shoreline of the ancient lake." (Wikipedia) Remember your past. Walk until your legs give out, head out to where the shore used to be and wait by the edge. Watch the city lights under darkness. Think about what is to come. Remember where the water once was. How do you prepare for the end?
CONTENT WARNINGS: Ghosts/the occult, alcohol, violence (described), death

QUIETUS: final settlement (as of a debt). 

[SFX: beep. Owen’s room in the house]

OWEN: Can’t sleep?

JUDITH: Nope. Can I come in?

OWEN: Yep. [SFX: she comes in, he closes the door]

JUDITH: Did I wake you up?

OWEN: No, just been lying here. I was trying to read, but I can’t concentrate. 

JUDITH: Yeah. I was listening to a podcast and then I started to zone out and I realized I’d missed most of what was happening and had no idea what was going on. My head feels somehow both too empty and too full. Scooch over. [SFX: she sits on the bed]

OWEN: Where’s Claire?

JUDITH: She’s asleep. I don’t know how, although I think she took a sleeping pill.

OWEN: Ah. 

JUDITH: What are you thinking about?

OWEN: … a lot of stuff? I know I should say something like “my mortality” or “my family” or something like that, and I am, but for the last 15 minutes I’ve been thinking about how I might never get to try that Filipino place on St. Clair that I’ve been putting off visiting.

JUDITH: Yeah. That place is good.

OWEN: I’m both incredibly hungry now thinking about it and also the idea of eating makes me want to barf. 

JUDITH: What do you want to do when this is over? Other than eating bangsilog. 

OWEN: You think we’re going to survive?

JUDITH: I have to pretend like we will. I have to have… some sort of optimism that I won’t be burned alive.

OWEN: I get that.

JUDITH: Do you think we’re going to make it?

OWEN: I… I don’t know. I hope so! If we do-

JUDITH: When we do.

OWEN: When we do, I think… I don’t know. I’ll definitely want to sleep in. I’m pretty exhausted all the time. 

JUDITH: God, yeah. You know what I want to do?

OWEN: What?

JUDITH: I want to go on a road trip. I want to pile a bunch of shit and a ton of snacks into a car, and I just want to drive to… I don’t know, the Maritimes? I want to go to the Maritimes, I want to go to some tiny little town on a rocky cliff, and I want to sit there, in the quiet, and eat seafood. And then probably cry for like, 2 straight hours because all the feelings I’m burying will EXPLODE out of me, but at least I’ll be eating mussels at the same time.

OWEN: Sobbing on a cliff face and pounding shellfish, I like that.

JUDITH: You want to come with?

OWEN: You know what? That sounds nice. Just put a bunch of audiobooks on one of our phones, listen to those on the way, and get out of Toronto for a few weeks. 

JUDITH: Let’s just tell work we’re dead, and then surprise! We’ve been resurrected. I’m a god now, give me a raise.

OWEN: Can we go to Labrador? I know nothing about it other than it exists. I don’t know how to get there either. 

JUDITH: Yes. Let’s go to Labrador. Let’s just do the whole Maritimes. PEI is tiny. We could cross it in like, a couple hours. Ok, let’s do this. Road trip to the east coast. 

OWEN: I’m looking forward to it.

JUDITH: Me too. All we have to do is survive.And no driving after dark.

OWEN: Nope.

JUDITH: No way.

OWEN: Not a chance.

JUDITH: No spooky hotels, no midnight wanders, just Holiday Inns and whatever fun roadside attractions we can find. 

OWEN: Can we go to Magnetic Hill?

JUDITH: Yes, we can.

OWEN: Sweet. 

JUDITH: I want to go to the town of Dildo and buy a shirt.

OWEN: Also a good idea. 

JUDITH: See? Now we have a reason to survive. Other than just like, dying would suck. We need to go to a weird tourist attraction and get shirts that say I VISITED DILDO, NEWFOUNDLAND AND ALL I GOT WAS A HILARIOUS SHIRT TELLING YOU THAT I VISITED DILDO, NEWFOUNDLAND, HOW QUAINT.

OWEN: That is… verbose.

JUDITH: It’s what the Maritimes are known for. 

OWEN: How about we just both… survive. For each other. And our families. And the chance to do this trip.

JUDITH: Yeah… I worry Claire’s just like… resigned herself to this being the end. I don’t know, I just… I’m worried she’s just going into this so ready to die that there’s no concern about surviving. But she’s not doing ok. She’s barely eating and she’s just living off painkillers and sleeping pills and I keep finding clumps of hair in the bed, and she lost another couple fingernails – and I know this because I stepped on one in the shower! – and… she’s just wasting away. She just doesn’t want to talk about it and she’s pushing forward in a way where I don’t… I don’t know, I don’t know.

OWEN: Can I be honest with you?

JUDITH: Always.

OWEN: I think you’re right that she’s… set in her plan, whatever it might be. Whatever she isn’t telling us.

JUDITH: Cool. I hate that.

OWEN: I don’t know how we’re going to do this, Jude. Our options are… limited.

JUDITH: I know. Fuck me, do I know. Claire is back, but… right now, she’s not Claire, she’s… well, she’s Claire, but she’s… sharp andweary in a way I’ve never seen before. And I know WHY, I didn’t expect that she’d return and be super ok and just back to normal, but… I don’t know what I expected, but I guess it just wasn’t this.

OWEN: There’s no way any of us could’ve predicted this.

JUDITH: I know. I just really, really want us to make it, because all I want to do is rebuild. And see her again, the Claire I remember. And I just miss so, so much, and I feel awful for saying that because she’s been through so much and of course that’s going to change her in ways I can’t even begin to understand, but… I’m a little worried that there’s a part of her that’s never coming back. Maybe… I don’t know, maybe this whole thing is just an exercise in futility. Do you think you’ll hate me after this?

OWEN: No? Of course not. I don’t think so. Did I… or whatever it was… say that in the basement?


OWEN: I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. I couldn’t.Would you?

JUDITH: Hate you? I couldn’t. You’re the only person who understands what we’ve been through.

OWEN: Just checking.

JUDITH: I just… I’m so worried, Owen.

OWEN: We can do this.

JUDITH: I don’t know if we can. But I really, really hope so.

[SFX: beep. Kitchen. There is a weird sound coming from the basement, like someone crying]

JUDITH: Have you gone down there today?

CLAIRE: God no.

JUDITH: Should we… check that?

CLAIRE: I… guess.

JUDITH: Ooook, alright. Owen? 

OWEN: I don’t want to. I want to eat my eggs. [SFX: the weird muffled crying sound happens again]

CLAIRE: That’s…

OWEN: That’s new. I don’t like new.

JUDITH: It sounds like someone crying, so like, right there with you, buddy.


JUDITH: Let me make my jokey-joke. Owen, are you bringing the kitchen knife with you?

OWEN: Are you considering going down there without a weapon?

JUDITH: … good point. None of us are ever going to be able to react normally to things again, are we?


JUDITH: Great. [SFX: they head downstairs. It’s silent. They quietly walk around] She’s moving fast. [SFX: another tally mark] Really fast, jesus christ.

CLAIRE: They have to be ready to do this before the new moon passes.

JUDITH: A touch cliché, but ok.

CLAIRE: Do you see what could be making that sound?

OWEN: No, I don’t… guys? Is that…

JUDITH: Is that a fucking ghost?

GHOST: you failed us


JUDITH: [SFX: they all run up the stairs] Oh FUCK.

GHOST: you killed us, you killed us

JUDITH: Holy FUCK they can leave the basement now, oh god.

CLAIRE: I didn’t kill you.

GHOST: you left us to die, we suffered for you

CLAIRE: I didn’t kill you!



OWEN: Do you know who that is?

CLAIRE: I… I do.


CLAIRE: He was a follower.

JUDITH: Like recent or historical?

CLAIRE: Recent.

OWEN: Wait, he’s not some freaky old ghost, he’s a freaky new ghost?

CLAIRE: His name was Andrew. He came around a lot. Big supporter. I assume Lydia got to him.

JUDITH: So why is he appearing here?

CLAIRE: Some sort of resonance with the house? He liked being here. He gave herself to the cause. Maybe he didn’t want to die. I don’t know. But I can feel him in my bones. He died scared. God, he died terrified.

OWEN: Claire, I know these people are sacrifices, but how many of them actually wanted to give themselves for the cause?

CLAIRE: I don’t know. There were plenty who said that they were ready to embrace the light of Moloch but I guess some of them would’ve gotten scared at the last minute. So many of them… did horrible things: to each other, to themselves, to those who tried to leave. I did horrible things. But they’re still lost, brainwashed people.

JUDITH: But why now? Why are we getting this?

CLAIRE: We’re getting close. Reality frays bit by bit, like the hem of a shirt slowly unravelling.

OWEN: Why’s he blaming you?

CLAIRE: I don’t know. Because I’m here?

OWEN: Right.

CLAIRE: We can’t focus on this. We have to plow ahead. Jude, you ready to go?

[SFX: beep. A door opens tentatively, and they slowly enter into Judith’s living room]

JUDITH: No sign of any slime monsters?

CLAIRE: Nothing.

JUDITH: Great. So just… anything?


JUDITH: Right. I have to have something of Lydia’s around here. A hair elastic, a toothbrush, something…

CLAIRE: Do you have a Kleenex?

JUDITH: Yeah, on the table over there- oh my god.

CLAIRE: Is it bad?

JUDITH: Claire, your lip has totally split, what happened?

CLAIRE: It just… went. I didn’t even feel it.

JUDITH: How? It’s pouring blood.

CLAIRE: Ah, shit.

JUDITH: Please promise me you’ll go see a doctor.

CLAIRE: I… yeah.

JUDITH: Please. Please. For me, if nothing else.

CLAIRE: I will. After this, I will go.

JUDITH: Claire, what is going on?

CLAIRE: I’m falling apart.

JUDITH: I mean, I know you’re a little worse for wear, we all are-

CLAIRE: No, like I’m literally just… decaying. Look at my feet. [SFX: pulls down sock]

JUDITH: Oh my god, how have you lost that many toenails? Why are your feet so red?

CLAIRE: I don’t know! Having someone else take over your body really takes it out of you. And maybe, someday, if we all make it, I’ll feel better, or find a way to fix this, but right now I’m wasting away and I don’t know what to do, Jude.

JUDITH: I mean, we’ll get you set up with some doctor appointments, maybe my family doctor is taking new people-

CLAIRE: Honestly, I don’t think that’s going to help. I don’t know what they could offer.

JUDITH: Something, ok? Something, anything! You have to fight this. Please. Please. I… I can’t just watch you waste away.

CLAIRE: I… I’ll try. I promise, I’ll try. I know I’ve been… distant. I’ve been… tough to be around. But I don’t want to stay this person. I want to finish this, I want to be better, and I want to move on. And I want you to be there too, if you’ll still have me. I love you, Jude.

JUDITH: I love you too. I always will. [SFX: one of Claire’s teeth falls out and clatters onto the counter] … is that one of your teeth?


JUDITH: … Alright, I’ll make a note to call the dentist as well.

CLAIRE: My skin feels like paper.

JUDITH: Also maybe we’ll get you a better moisturizer. Oh! Oh oh oh, yes! [SFX: she runs down the hall, comes back] Lydia left her face stuff here.

CLAIRE: Wow, really? That is an expensive oil to abandon.

JUDITH: I may have used a little bit of it. But yeah, it’s like, $120 a bottle. Which is too pricey for me, but uh, would this work?

CLAIRE: I guess. We’ll have to try. Is there anything else?

JUDITH: Hmm. Oh, there’s a candle of hers she brought over. Smells nice, shame to waste it.

CLAIRE: Bring it. [SFX: a recorder turns on, breathing starts on a recording, strained]

JUDITH: What’s making that noise?

CLAIRE: … there’s a recorder on the table.

JUDITH: That’s… no, no. That’s the…

CLAIRE: That’s the one that was with Owen when…

JUDITH: When I found him in the earth. That’s his breathing.

CLAIRE: That recorder is broken. Why is it here?

JUDITH: I don’t know, Claire. [SFX: the breathing weakens, and stops. There’s a beep, then another. The door of the box opens]

S2!CLAIRE: [on recording] Sorry, did I not tell you that there was a time limit for finding him? Whoops.

_JUDITH: [on recording] No, no!

S2!CLAIRE: [on recording] I mean, this was kind of a waste on my part, but whatever. I still got what I needed.

_JUDITH: [on recording] Owen, please, please wake up, please.

S2!CLAIRE: [on recording] Not how this works. Get her out of here. I’ll see you in a bit, baby girl.Every choice you make is another path. But there is no clear way forward. Every option leads to a different outcome. Every mistake is death. Do you trust yourself? Do you trust your friends?

_JUDITH: That was… another path.


JUDITH: Would you have let him die?

CLAIRE: Me? No. Her? Yeah.

_JUDITH: [on recording] Give me this power, let me join you. Claire, let me come with you. Please, please don’t leave me.

JUDITH:Enough. These are false narratives. We choose our way forward. Let’s go.

[SFX: beep. Phone message]

JUDITH: [voicemail] Hey, it’s Judith, leave me a message and I’ll get back to you. Thanks!

LYDIA: You there? You want to meet up? That’d be fun, right? RIGHT? My skin feels like it’s crawling all the time, I smell sulfur, there are bugs under my skin and I don’t sleep anyone, I can’t close my eyes, they hurt all the time. You did this, you did this. I’ll see you soon, ok?

[SFX: beep. Living room]

CLAIRE: I’ve figured it out. I know where she’ll be.

OWEN: Where?


JUDITH: Ontario Place?

OWEN: Actually?


OWEN: Is there a significance to that, or is she just trying to get IMAX tickets?

CLAIRE: It’s where the coordinates work out to – mapping the sun and the moon angles, some ley-line bullcrap, whatever. I did a lot of math.

JUDITH: Yeah, goddamn there’s a lot of math.

CLAIRE: Honestly, I think they picked it for the drama. There were plans to have this happen in the… late 1970s, in the 1980s, so it would’ve been an attention-getter. And very picturesque. The water glowing red and vaporizing into steam as everyone is sucked into the abyss.

OWEN: Idyllic.

JUDITH: So… what’s the plan?

CLAIRE: I’ve… dug through everything I could find. Here’s our best plan of attack: we can’t hurt her with normal weapons, but we can with the more…

JUDITH: Magical?

CLAIRE: Sorcerous? Sorcerous tools at hand. The knives, the bat… Owen, you did put those iron nails in the bat, right?

OWEN: Yeah, and I have the splinters to show for it.

CLAIRE: Fantastic. We need to get close to her and kill her. That’s our only option. Bring the weapons, get her incapacitated, and finally cleanse her with this.

JUDITH: It smells like a salad.

CLAIRE: There’s a lot of basil oil in here.

JUDITH: It’s like… the cleaner version of what Lydia gave me, back before the… conflagration… at yours.

OWEN: I see you’ve been reading my word-a-day calendar.

JUDITH: It’s enlightening.

CLAIRE: But yeah. We need to get her, hurt her, and then get this onto her.

JUDITH: Do you just have that little jar?

CLAIRE: It’s not just basil oil, Jude. That’s the easy option. The rest is… I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just go with the fact that I can only do this once.

OWEN: I can’t tell if that’s gross or scary.

JUDITH: Will it be like at yours? Will she just… be herself again?

CLAIRE: I’m going to be honest, I don’t know how much of her is going to be left. At this stage, she’s just going to… ash away. But this is important. We need to get her with what’s in this jar, or else she’ll just… keep going. And we have to do it as quickly as possible, because if she kills any of us, it’ll only make her stronger. Keep this safe, and if any of us get the chance, just like… take her down.

OWEN: Great.

JUDITH: Yeah… do you know when?

CLAIRE: Tomorrow evening.

JUDITH: Wow, that is… specific?

OWEN: Did you calculate that too?

CLAIRE: No, we’re going to call her out.

JUDITH: Oh, the…

CLAIRE: Scouring.

JUDITH: Right.

OWEN: Have you done it yet?

CLAIRE: No, but I’m going to now, if you two want to help me.


OWEN: Might as well. Looks like you’re about to have a relaxing spa day. I’m guessing the circle of herbs is important and not just for decoration.

CLAIRE: You got it. You want to light that candle?

OWEN: Smells fancy.

JUDITH: Lots of oud.

CLAIRE: It fits with the theme, definitely feels… witchy. Alright. Face oil. Jude, take my hand? And Owen, take hers? [SFX: she takes a deep breath, then picks up the glass jar of face oil and taps the table three times. There’s a moment of silence, and then static starts to slowly build on the recording. Claire knocks the jar on the table three more times, this time a little harder. The static builds more. She knocks three more times, and then as the static builds to a crescendo, there’s a responding knock – WHAM WHAM WHAM – on the table, shaking everything. The face oil jar breaks. The static recedes. There’s silence. Then the land line rings]

JUDITH: Did you ever end up plugging that phone in?


OWEN: Who’s going to answer.

CLAIRE: I knocked. [SFX: she answers the phone] Hello?

LYDIA: I see you’re trying to find me.

CLAIRE: Well you’re the one too chicken to come find us.

LYDIA: Me? You hide in that house like children cowering under a blanket

CLAIRE: What do you want, Lydia? Why haven’t you just finished? You know you could?

LYDIA: I want the satisfaction of gutting you the way you gutted me.

CLAIRE: Cliché. I would’ve gone with something less expected.

LYDIA: ENOUGH. SHUT UP. This ends under the light of the dark moon. Your essence will spill on the rocks.

CLAIRE: Would it kill you to take a speechwriting class? Maybe think of something less overwrought?


CLAIRE: I am the one who knocks. I choose where this ends. Where the water meets, wher-


CLAIRE: Oh, oh no.


CLAIRE: Well, uh… we should head down there tomorrow evening. [SFX: text tone on all three phones] Ah, she sent an invite.

OWEN: I don’t want to know how she got my number.

JUDITH: Well, that means she wants us all there. That’s cool.

CLAIRE: We have to keep preparing. That’s all we can do now.

[SFX: beep. Voicemail]

CLAIRE: Hey Adam. Uh… not really sure what to say. Just… listen, I know that you don’t want anything to do with me and that’s ok. I don’t want anything to do with myself either. Just… uh, I guess let me know how you’re doing? When you can? I still… I still care about you, Adam. I want you to know that. But I think things are going to get a lot worse before they get any better. I just want to talk about it. I know that’s selfish, but… um… never mind. Judith’s been helping me with all of this, and she’s, uh… yeah. And Owen’s, uh… he’s fine. He’s alive. Uh… yeah. Ok. I’m sorry. Good bye.

[SFX: beep. Grocery store]

CLAIRE: Do we have everything?

JUDITH: I think so. Did you put this in here?

CLAIRE: I wanted to try it before it was too late.

JUDITH: You’ve never had a smoked cheddar before?

TABITHA: Cheese is bad for your cholesterol.

CLAIRE: Hello Tabitha.

JUDITH: What do you want? Are you going to slit my throat in a fucking No Frills?

CLAIRE: Why are you here?

TABITHA: Why are you? You look like shit.

JUDITH: You look like shit. How’s Lydia? Spoke to her earlier today, she sounds normal and totally not unhinged.

TABITHA: She’s great.

CLAIRE: You’re missing a patch of skin on the back of your neck.

JUDITH: Holy shit, you are!

TABITHA: I’m fine.

JUDITH: That is clean, jesus. Were you covering tiles in hunks of skin like some sort of interior design Leatherface or something?

TABITHA: None of your business.

CLAIRE: What did you do to make her mad?

TABITHA: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

CLAIRE: Punishment for insubordination – flaying, peel back the skin until a patch is free, tan the hide and keep it on display. Make a quilt of liars and fools. It might look like a weird sunburn but I know what that is.

TABITHA: Of course you would, you psycho.

JUDITH: Shut the fuck up.

CLAIRE: What did you do?

TABITHA: What does it matter to you?

CLAIRE: I’m just curious. How erratic is she?

TABITHA: She’s fine.

CLAIRE: I know that’s a lie as much as you do.

TABITHA: Does it really matter? We’re on a path to victory and you’re, what, buying cheese?

CLAIRE: You’re buying kombucha and an ice pack. What did you do?

TABITHA: None of your beeswax.

JUDITH: Was it our little run-in?

TABITHA: It was not.

JUDITH: Damn. Did you spill something on her laundry?

TABITHA: Goodbye-

CLAIRE: Tell me, or I shall remove the rest.

JUDITH: Claire, what the hell-

TABITHA: I stopped her from killing a man.

JUDITH: You did?

CLAIRE: Who was he?

TABITHA: Just a guy.

CLAIRE: No, he had to have meant something.

TABITHA: I thought better of her plan. She didn’t appreciate that.

CLAIRE: It was someone close to you that you had to burn away. Those are the tenets. You couldn’t let go. Who was it?

JUDITH: It was your ex-boyfriend.

TABITHA: How do you-

JUDITH: It was, wasn’t it? You probably told her that he’d be a good target but once you saw him face to face you couldn’t. I bet you panicked.

TABITHA: How the fuck would you even know that?

JUDITH: I didn’t, but you told me about your ex back at Valerian. You don’t strike me as someone who has a lot of connections. He may have been your last one outside of the cult.

TABITHA: Fuck you.

CLAIRE: You’re getting soft, Tabitha. Surprising.

TABITHA: I wouldn’t make too many comments about that, Claire, you’re looking practically hollow lately.

CLAIRE: I get by.

TABITHA: How’re the headaches, hmm? The stomach pains? Do you even sleep properly anymore? Yeah, that’s what I thought. That’s what you get for giving up power. If you excuse me, I have plans.


TABITHA: What, are you going to kill me right here in the Organics aisle?

JUDITH: Get the fuck out of here.

TABITHA: See you sooner, rather than later, I’m sure.

CLAIRE: I think she just left without paying for that kombucha.

JUDITH: I think that’s the least of her crimes lately.

[SFX: beep. Living room]

ANNE: [phone] Hey.


ANNE: [phone] Got a minute to talk? I want to discuss bridesmaid dress pickups.

JUDITH: Yep. Yep. Uh, when?

ANNE: [phone] You can head over to the shop between the 21st and the 29th, your dress will be ready by then. Will you have time, or should I come into town and grab it for you?

JUDITH: Uh, yeah. Yep. 

ANNE: [phone] Great. Also I’ll need you to come along with me to the florists to help pick bouquets. Are you around not this weekend but the weekend coming? FYI, I’m leaning towards yellows and navy but I might be tempted by some brighter blues mixed in.

JUDITH: Yeah. Uh, what day?

ANNE: [phone] Come on, not this Saturday but the one following. Are you not sleeping again? You sound weird.

JUDITH: I’m good. I’m fine. I’ll be there to pick things up.

ANNE: [phone] Pick out flowers, Judith.I mean, areyou sure you’re ok? I was talking to mom earlier this week and she was a little worried. She said you’ve been sounding distant?

JUDITH: I… things have been weird lately. Work is stressful, life is stressful, just a lot going on.

ANNE: [phone] Do you want to talk about it?

JUDITH: Not right now. 

ANNE: [phone] Do you want me to come by?

JUDITH: I’m actually over at Claire’s right now.

ANNE: [phone] Oh! I thought you two were having a tiff.

JUDITH: We’ve worked things out.

ANNE: [phone] That’s good, I’m glad to hear that. One less thing to stress about, at least.


ANNE: [phone] Well, you should come over soon for dinner. Are you still seeing someone?

JUDITH: It didn’t work out.

ANNE: [phone] I’m sorry.

JUDITH: It’s fine.

ANNE: [phone] Well, keep in touch. I miss hearing a smile in your voice.

JUDITH: I’ll be ok, Anne. 

ANNE: [phone] I am holding you to that. Can you call mom when you get the chance? It would make her feel better. It really bums her out when you don’t answer her calls.

JUDITH: Yeah, I’ll call her tonight.

ANNE: [phone] Great, and- ugh, sorry, I’ve got to run, I’ve got to run, my guests are already here, like 20 minutes early? Who does that? I’ll see you next week?


ANNE: [phone] Go get some sleep, ok? You sound exhausted.

JUDITH: I will.

ANNE: [phone] I’ll talk to you later. 

JUDITH: Yep. Love you.

ANNE: Love you too.


ANNE: [phone] Bye.

[SFX: beep. Outside, in a park, at night]

OWEN: Is this safe?


CLAIRE: Yes. Well, maybe. Whatever. If this is when it ends, this is when it ends.

JUDITH: I just wanted one last chance to look out over the city.

OWEN: I’ll admit, this is nice.


OWEN: You brought champagne?

JUDITH: I have never had nice champagne before, only like… shitty sparkling wine. So fuck it, nice bottle.

CLAIRE: Most of this city is so flat. I always forget there’s this hill once you get past Dupont.

JUDITH: This used to be where Lake Iroquois was, before there was a Lake Ontario. All of downtown would’ve been underwater, before the receding ice sheets.

OWEN: That would be cool to see, the whole core underwater, the CN Tower poking out like a lighthouse.

JUDITH: Yeah. It’s weird to think about, but it really would be. I don’t know what tomorrow brings, but for now, we can walk out to where the lake once was and remember what was here.

CLAIRE: It feels weird to be waiting for the end.

JUDITH: I don’t know if it will be, and I hope it isn’t, but… it really does feel like it.

OWEN: [SFX: pops the cork]Well, it’s been an honour serving with you both.

JUDITH: Y’know, I’d say I wouldn’t change a thing, but honestly, I’d change literally everything aside from getting to spend time with you two. The rest of it… ehhhhh.

CLAIRE: It’s a beautiful sunset.


CLAIRE: I don’t want it to end.

JUDITH: It’s not our last.

OWEN: I’ll toast to that. [SFX: they toast]

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

LYDIA: I just need this to be done, I need this to be over, it hurts, it HURTS, I need this to be finished-

[SFX: Beep. The porch at night]

OWEN: Oh, hey, sorry, didn’t realize you were out here.

CLAIRE: Yeah, just needed some air.

OWEN: Are you smoking?


OWEN: Huh. That’s surprising. 

CLAIRE: Is it? Seems like the right time to bring back bad habits. Want one?

OWEN: … yeah, sure.

CLAIRE: How’re you feeling?

OWEN: Oh, uh… I mean, things are… bad. They’re bad. I feel like shit. I want to say something positive, but I can’t. Everything fucking sucks.

CLAIRE: Yeah, yeah it does.

OWEN: How’re you?

CLAIRE: Everything sucks. I feel… hollow. Like… someone took a melon-baller to my soul and dished out my insides on a platter.

OWEN: Hmm.

CLAIRE: But… yeah. I mean, it’s just nice to be myself again. whatever that means. When I smoke, it’s me smoking and ruining my lungs.

OWEN: Well, that’s good to hear.

CLAIRE: Hm. Is Judith asleep?

OWEN: Oh, yeah, she’s passed out on the couch. She’s got a death grip on that blanket. 

CLAIRE: Hah, she does that. You cannot move her once she’s out. But I’m… I’m glad she’s here. I still don’t understand why she sticks around after… everything, but I’m glad she has.

OWEN: As if she’d bail. She never gave up on you, Claire. Not even for a second.

CLAIRE: Yeah… Owen, I’m going to die.

OWEN: Uh… I mean… technically we’re all going to die-

CLAIRE: I don’t mean eventually, I mean soon. Owen, I’m going to die. I’m not going to make it out of this alive. I know Judith is searching for answers and making plans and looking at doctors, but… I already know the answer. Tomorrow is going to be the hardest thing in the world, and I honestly don’t see us just… getting a couple cuts in and getting close enough to chuck that stupid oil on her. For this to end, I need to do something that that I’m pretty sure I won’t be walking away from. And don’t say that it could be any of us, because I’m not letting that happening. There is no way I’m letting either you or Judith try and take on this burden.

OWEN: Claire, there’s got to be-

CLAIRE: I’m already running on borrowed time. I’m rotting, Owen. I really, really wish that I could just find some answer or plan or whatever where I get to walk away, but… if things don’t work exactly how we want them too, I think there’s only one road that has chance of working, and if I go down it, I die. 

OWEN: No, there has to be an option-

CLAIRE: No, there isn’t! Over and over again, the blood of the first, the blood of the first, I see you reading my writing, you know what that means? I’ve been digging, I’ve been reading, and it means I have the only way to stop the process once it starts, and it is blood, just blood everywhere, my stupid goddamn blood. My stupid family and their stupid blood that runs in my veins. It can slam that door shut, but it’s not a couple drops, it’s going to just be everything and I’m absolutely terrified, but… Owen, how the fuck am I supposed to do anything else? What else can I do? And don’t make a comment about trolley problems because I will put this cigarette out on you.

OWEN: We’ve got a plan-

CLAIRE: We’ve got NOTHING, Owen. I’m sorry, I have been living in this body for months, watching and listening and doing all of these awful things that I never wanted to even have to think about, and after all that, I’m making my peace.

OWEN: Ok but-

CLAIRE: No, no, don’t start, please, just listen. I need you to listen, Owen. I am standing on the edge of a void. It’s going to consume me, and I’ll deserve it. Judith thinks I have a death wish, but I don’t really. I just know now what needs to be done, and I feel like… I’m ok it with. Or I’m telling myself I am, I don’t know. Either way, I’m not going to last much longer. My body hurts, and I can tell it’s just shutting down. I have to concentrate so intensely on every little thing, I worry at some point, I’ll forget to breathe. 

OWEN: I… I just… why are you telling me this?

CLAIRE: Because you have to prevent Judith from trying to stop me or save me. Promise me, Owen.

OWEN: Claire-

CLAIRE: Promise me! There’s no talking to her. There’s no reasoning with her. There is only stopping her when the time comes. I’m sorry, I know this is the hardest thing I could ever ask you to do, but you can’t tell her that this might be what it comes to. What it’s going to come to. Please, stop Judith from trying to save me if this is what comes to pass. I need you to protect her in the ways I never could. Please. Please, I need you to do this. Because if you don’t, we’re all fucked.


CLAIRE: Please, Owen.


CLAIRE: I’m sorry, Owen. I don’t know what else to say but I just… you have to do this for me.

OWEN: I… why are you asking me this?

CLAIRE: Because… because, at the end, you’re the only one who’ll let me go.

[SFX: beep. Front hall]

CLAIRE: Got everything?

JUDITH: Knives, weird oils, bat with nails in it-

OWEN: I put it in a bag with a pillow so no one looks at us weird.

CLAIRE: Thank you. I guess… we start walking?

JUDITH: What about leading a cult makes people so organized? If this had been you, I could’ve seen you also sending an invite to our untimely demise.

CLAIRE: Yeah, but I would’ve given it a better name, maybe something with a pun. Ok. Uh… house? You… take care of yourself. Thanks for not killing us, I guess.

JUDITH: I’m a little less grateful, but whatever.

CLAIRE: [SFX: they walk out and she locks the door] Ok.

OWEN: Yes, right. Let’s do this and ooook I do NOT want to do this.

JUDITH: Yep, also not super thrilled. My hands are shaking so hard right now. Alright, we’re all pep talked and ready to do this?


JUDITH: Yeah, this sucks. 

CLAIRE: Hey! I don’t want to do this either. I want to go home. I want to curl up in bed and forget the last like… year. But I can’t. We can’t. We’re going.

JUDITH: Yep, yep yep yep. Shit. [SFX: they start walking]

OWEN: This feels… off. 

JUDITH: I mean, yeah.

OWEN: No, like… this feels almost anticlimactic. I feel like the skies should be the colour of blood, or thunder booming off in the distance, or even… I don’t know, a strong breeze? 

JUDITH: Yeah, I guess I assumed there’d be some more theatre.

CLAIRE: Makes sense though.

JUDITH: Explain.

CLAIRE: Well, from a metaphorical standpoint it would be appropriate to have lightning arcing across the sky and the lake filling with viscera, but… it’s impractical. 

JUDITH: I guess if we’re talking about it from a conservation of energy perspective, sure.

CLAIRE: Theatricality is fun, but on such a grand scale? It’s wasteful. You can expend all that energy making the sky dark at 4 PM, or you could just pour that into burning the world down. Why spend time setting up a smoke machine in the yard to announce your arrival when you can just kick the door down? 

JUDITH: Huh, yeah. If you’ve already got the keys… why bother warning people that you’re coming in.

CLAIRE: All this to say, we’re probably fucked.

JUDITH: Probably.

[SFX: beep. Walking down Bathurst towards Ontario Place. An odd noise comes from one of the phones]

OWEN: Wait. Listen.

JUDITH: What the fuck. 

OWEN: I don’t even want to know how she’s doing this.

ANNCR: [through the phone] This is an alert. You are to return to your homes at once. 

OWEN: [freaked out] I guess there’s no going back now, huh? No matter what the… horrible voices on the phone say. 

ANNCR: [through the phone] Do not look back. Death is imminent. 

OWEN: Nope. Nope nope nope.

CLAIRE: I guess she needs a little theatricality.

JUDITH: What can we even expect when we get there?

CLAIRE: She wants the satisfaction of ripping us apart. Of knowing that we failed each other. Each one a sacrifice to tear open the earth and sky.

OWEN: We’re not part of the cult.

CLAIRE: Don’t think it matters at this stage. Does the death change you? Does your devotion go all the way to the end?


OWEN: Oh boy.

JUDITH: I just… I’m really trying to not picture her tearing one of you apart while she makes me watch but it’s just… taking over my brain right now.

OWEN: You and me both.

CLAIRE: We do this together, ok? Trust me.

JUDITH: I do, Claire. Owen?

OWEN: Jude?

JUDITH: Do you trust your friends?

OWEN: Cheeky. And yes.

CLAIRE: Alright. You guys ready?


OWEN: As much as we’re ever going to be.

CLAIRE: Good. Let’s do this.

[SFX: beep]