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October 22, 2023 55 mins

All medication is administered by Registered Order of a Qualified Physician. Side effects, including but not limited to ██████████ must be Reported. Residents willfully consuming unregistered substances shall receive Correction per [P#4182§1.7].

TUNING OUT IS TUNING IN

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Written by Joe McCormick. Starring Natalie Morales, Ros Gentle, Blaire Chandler, Alex Boling, Jay Jones, Raphael Corkhill, and Wilbur Fitzgerald.

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
Hmm. Thirteen Days of Halloween Penance, a co production of
iHeart three D Audio Blumhouse Television and Grim and Mild
from Aaron Yankee Headphones recommended. Listener discretion advised. M hm.

Speaker 2 (00:37):
Hmmm. Well someone here soon as an expect.

Speaker 3 (00:44):
No time to waste on the examination table. There prepper
for treatment? Oh where am I?

Speaker 2 (00:58):
Where am I?

Speaker 1 (00:59):
Doctor?

Speaker 4 (01:00):
She's come to? Why can't I move?

Speaker 3 (01:02):
The application is already prepped. Am I in the hospital?

Speaker 4 (01:06):
The clinical make a fist for me?

Speaker 3 (01:07):
Why am I restrained? It's for your own safety, my safety.
You could hurt yourself or someone else. Why would I
do that?

Speaker 4 (01:16):
That's the single dose?

Speaker 3 (01:17):
What the fuck might be enough?

Speaker 4 (01:18):
Why did you just inject me?

Speaker 2 (01:24):
Huh?

Speaker 3 (01:28):
Why would you look at that? I believe she's already responding.

Speaker 4 (01:34):
Should it really be so fast acting?

Speaker 5 (01:36):
She probably hasn't aiden, But this one, too, is a
special case.

Speaker 4 (01:43):
What's happening?

Speaker 6 (01:45):
Well, missus Rodriga, that's not my name, that's not just
remain coin.

Speaker 5 (01:53):
Everything will be much easier if you are cold?

Speaker 3 (02:00):
Did you give me? Tell me? What are you seeing?
What are you here? I think it could be sick.

Speaker 4 (02:14):
Maybe we gave her too much?

Speaker 2 (02:16):
Well, no science is exact.

Speaker 3 (02:19):
Let's give you a beat. Seven, Gatherine, can you.

Speaker 4 (02:24):
Talk her through it?

Speaker 3 (02:27):
What am I just relaxed? Now? Talk to Catherine right
back to check on you.

Speaker 5 (02:38):
Would you imagine should be scheduled til next week?

Speaker 3 (02:59):
First time? Where are you just the next bed over?
How does it feel strange? I can't seem to focus. Yes,
it does give one a bit of a tumble. Well,

(03:20):
if you can listen to my voice while the worst
of it passes, you'll be right asway against soon, though
I suppose I should warn you I'm spectacularly tedious. Listen
to me too long and you may end up quite
literally bored to death. Who are you, oh, Catherine Sherwin?

(03:42):
I'm a scholar of medieval theology. Sounds dreadful, doesn't it.
I write books that no one reads, about books that
no one has read. My specialty is since Anselm of
Canterbury and the ontological argument? You familiar?

Speaker 4 (03:59):
Um?

Speaker 3 (04:00):
Why would you be? Anselm was a Catholic theologian of
the eleventh century, a thundering, black habited engineer of the
Arcanetus of God. Before he was my research subject, Anselm
was a homegrown obsession of my father's. Yes, Dad, it
was a bit of an amateur theologian himself. He spent
so many hours pouring over Anselm, Augustine and that whole

(04:24):
spectral faculty of god minded men from ages past. Of course,
when I was a girl, I had about as much
interest in all of that as I had in the
design of seward rains. But I suppose death does have
a way of rearranging one's engrossments. My father died when
I was in my first year at university. He was alone,

(04:48):
alone on one of his meditations, as he called them,
hiking the peak of a mountain in Scotland called khn Aran.
It was a heart attack, or so they assumed, But
would you guess this, He did make it to the top.
They found him there in the cold rocks, in the fog,

(05:10):
as high as the mountain goes. I always liked that
felled by his ambition, but he did make it all
the way up. After he was gone, I found myself
home for Christmas, reading through the books and papers in
his study. One story from a book on his desk

(05:30):
that arrested my attention was about Saint Anselm's childhood. Apparently,
as a young boy Anselm had met face to face
with God himself, or so he said. The encounter took
place on top of a mountain called Beccadinona, near his
home town of Aosta in Italy. After the young Anselmo

(05:52):
climbed the cliffs and scrambled over the ice and rocks
to the summit, he was found by a wandering angel
and ushered into the secret mansion of the Lord, where
they welcomed him with a meal the bread of God.
Now when I read this, I couldn't help but wonder

(06:13):
if Daddy's solitary mountaintop journeys were all in the vain
hope that he would one day stumble into the garden
of a secret manner and be welcomed inside by a
seraphic majordomo and taste the bread of God himself. After
I uncovered this window into my father's obsession, I had

(06:33):
to learn more about Anselm. It was in this that
I first crossed paths with my life's work and sent
Anselm's most favorite invention, the ontological argument for the existence
of God. Are you ready for me to prove it
to you?

Speaker 4 (06:53):
The existence of God?

Speaker 3 (06:55):
Anselm says, if God exists. He is the great conceivable being.
No being greater could be imagined. Now, I ask, would
the greatest conceivable being be greater if it existed only
in your mind? Or if it existed both in your
mind and in reality. Surely if the being were real,

(07:18):
it would be greater than if it were only imaginary. Therefore,
the imaginary one is not the greatest. The real one is. Therefore,
by definition, the greatest conceivable being must and does exist,
not just in here but out there. Ah, I take it,

(07:41):
you're not convinced. Some say the same form can be
used to prove the existence of any silly thing, the
most perfect island or the most perfect cup of laps
and tea. But that first night, when I read the proof,
I was flawed. It was late in the evening, and

(08:02):
I was alone in his study, and everything was quiet
except for the crackle of snow falling outside the window.
I walked out into the night and let the snow
fall on my face and melt on my skin. Every
sensation was rapturous. The air around me was bursting with
the life force of the presence previously unknown. I knew

(08:27):
there was a God. I had absolute proof, and that
knowledge meant I would one day see my father again.
I slept fitfully that night, dreaming about strange clouds that
gathered round a mountain top. When I woke in the morning,

(08:48):
I ran to my father's study and read the ontological
argument again. But something was wrong. The words were the same,
but they lacked the force of certainty they had the
night previous. To my horror, I was no longer persuaded.
Instead of absolute proof, I was left with a humiliating

(09:10):
sense of the hollowness of it all, like the whole
thing had been a mere word game, some kind of
clever trick of grammar. I couldn't say what was wrong
with Anselm's argument, but it just didn't feel right at all.
And that's where I stayed. For thirty years. I became

(09:32):
a scholar of Saint Anselm. I under a professorship at Oxford, married,
had children, sent them off to university to foster their
own obsessions. I wrote several books about Anselm, dozens of
articles on the subject of the ontological argument, its modern proponents,
and so on and so on, bloody, bloody blah. But
as many in my profession know, though they dare not

(09:55):
confess expertise has diminishing returns. In all all those years
and through all that study, I never once again found
what I was searching for that moment that night, where
I knew in my bones the ontological argument was sound,
and I knew he or it was out there. This

(10:23):
rather boring life of flapping dust jackets and compiling endnotes
went on until one day, at an academic conference, I
was approached by another professor, not of theology or medieval studies,
but of biochemistry. I'd just given a presentation on modern
challenges on the ontological argument, and she met me afterwards

(10:46):
to see if I would like to chat over a
cup of tea. Her name was Professor Raymond. She was
a dashing woman with long black hair and livid eyes,
and her attention was dangerously exciting. I could hardly say no.

(11:06):
Raymard led me to a secluded corner in the college's library.
Once we were snuggled away in our little den, to
my astonishment, she narrated that she had one night long
ago become absolutely convinced that the ontological argument had force,
only to find upon waking the next morning that she

(11:26):
was once again doubtful. But she had never been able
to shake the memory of the catharsis, the almost psychedelic
arising to a second substance of life that came from
that one night when it seemed true. Since then, she
had thought about the argument every day, but with a

(11:49):
different sort of lens than I had. Raymond asked me,
suppose that the argument is at bottom correct, and that
it does prove the greatest conceivable being must exist in
reality out there?

Speaker 7 (12:03):
Why are we so quick to assume we know what
the other qualities of the greatest conceivable being are? Might
not our idea of greatness be an illusion, a biological
contingency based on our ancestral environment. For example, we believe
the greatest conceivable being to be the biggest because it
is cooked into our animal brains that bigger beasts win

(12:26):
over smaller ones in a fight. But sweet aside the
preferences of timorous Homo sapiens and ask, from the perspective
of say, an atom of hydrogen, what are the qualities
of the greatest conceivable being? Might bound cell be proving

(12:47):
the existence of a different kind of being altogether? And
if so, what are those qualities that are the greatest
as conceivable by the universe, the true superlatives, if you will.

Speaker 3 (13:02):
This stirred something both thrilling and frightening in me. I
remembered for the first time in years, the dream I
had about the clouds round the mountain top. Anyway, Raymond
had a theory about our mutual obsession with Anselm's argument
that to truly grasp the proof through ontology requires not

(13:24):
just an intellectual understanding, but an experience. To use the
analogy of an alien life form from the burning, sulfurous planet,
who could never understand the wetness of water, no matter
how many papers it read on the chemical properties of
H two O. The wetness must be seen with the eyes,

(13:45):
and felt with the skin, and tasted with the tongue.
And whom you've had the experience of a damp cloth
wrung out and dripping on your toes, you don't understand
what water is. After all, didn't Anselm himself taste of
the bread of God. This seemed true enough to me.

(14:08):
I'd spent years trying to recreate the experience of that
night in my father's study, and I didn't know anything
that could conjure it again. Well, she did, Remard had
in her laboratory happened to isolate a compound called seven
methyl ionamine. This molecule was an enzymatic byproduct of a

(14:33):
species of alpine lichen that grew on rocks above the
tree line in certain mountain ranges. It just so happened.
She noticed that this molecule was similar in structure to
a number of other molecules that are known as ensogens,
those used in religious ceremonies to bring messages from the gods.

(14:54):
She said that she had, on more than one occasion
happened to ingest a significant amount of this compound, and
she believed it had given her profound insights into the
ontological argument and the being to which it pointed naturally.
I asked what these insights were. She said that they

(15:15):
were difficult to put into words. She said, I would
need to see for myself. I would need to wring
the cloth to understand what it meant for water to
be wet. So I took what she offered me. It
was a white powder in a small plastic bag. She

(15:36):
gave me a dosy'ge advisory said she'd be in touch.
I mulled over it for a while. I'd never taken
drugs of any sort, not even a puff of grass.
In my school years, I only drank wine at Christmas time,
but I felt I owed it to myself, or perhaps
to Daddy, to understand what Raymard was hinting at. It

(16:01):
was a night my husband was away on some silly
mission of his, collecting fossils in Devon or some such
so I had the house to myself. I dipped candles.
Isn't that humorous? Why did I like candles? It just
seemed the thing to do. But I only had half
a dozen or so in the house. So there they were,

(16:23):
my six candles, melting on the sofa table while I
waited for the drug to take effect. I didn't know
what to expect, and for a long time nothing happened.
I rubbed my toes on the carpet and took deep
breaths and waited to feel something. I confess after some

(16:47):
time I grew rather bored. I began to wonder if
the powder had lost its potency, or if Reymard had
been pulling some kind of prank. For a while, I
became convinced this must be the case, and that I
had just swallowed several grams of baby powder. Dissolved in
a cup of tea. I was so embarrassed, what a
stupid thing to even try. But then, while I was

(17:11):
sitting there, feeling sorry for myself, I witnessed something quite
strange in my border. I'd flicked on the television, which
was showing a football match, but at some point, without
me noticing, everyone had stopped playing. No one was running
or kicking, no line up for a penalty, and they
weren't leaving the pitch either. They were just standing there,

(17:34):
all of them, stock still on the green. The crowd
in the stands had fallen silent, and one by one,
all of the players began looking up up into the
sky at what. I had no idea. I suppose at
the camera hovering over the pitch, because our eyes met

(17:57):
I was looking at them, and they were looking to me.
No one moved. For what seemed like ages, they gazed
into my eyes. I said to myself, now that is
rather odd. Then one of the football announcers answered me.
He said, scarcely ever happens. And I said, what makes

(18:19):
them do that? And the man at the microphone said,
they're showing respect for the arrival of an important guest.
I said, well, I suppose I'm flattered, and he said,
I'm not talking about you. The hare stood up on
the back of my neck. I felt jets of cold

(18:41):
water rushing over my bones. I swirled round to look
behind me, but saw nothing except the blank wall. However,
I knew there was someone in the house with me.
I didn't know who it was. I said, I'm afraid,
but the announcer wouldn't reply again. The football players all

(19:04):
stood there, looking right at me, not smiling, saying nothing,
just watching what I was going to do. Suddenly, they
all raised their arms and pointed upward to the sky.
Without warning, the telly switched off. Then all the lights
began to grow dim. The lamp bulbs faded to gray,

(19:28):
and even the flames on my half dozen candles shrunk
down to mruborn pinpricks of light. I stood and they
all snuffed out completely. The only light left was what
I could see up the staircase from the second story.
It was as if the tide of darkness were rising

(19:51):
through the house. In that darkness, there were things. I
could hear them, soft squeaks and shuffling on the wood
of the floor, like little infants crawling towards me to play.
But without laughter or even breath, I lunged for the

(20:12):
staircase and climbed it into the safety of the light.
But no sooner had I come into the upper hall
than the lamps there began to fade as well. The
dark flood was rising ever more, driving me up and up.
I heard the crawling of the creatures. Now upon the stairs.
How could I go any higher? Then I looked to

(20:33):
the ceiling and saw, yes, in the little crack around
the door to the loft, there was a glow of
yellow light. I snatched the chain, leave it down the door,
and scurried up the ladder as fast as I could.

(20:54):
The loft was lit with a single yellow light bulb.
The shadows were throbbing, and there in the just within
reach of the light, there it was the stack of
things from Daddy's office. I tore open the boxes and
began paging moniately through the papers inside. These were not

(21:16):
my father's books, which were now part of my own library,
but his notes and his diaries. I blazed through the pages,
searching for something that would make sense of it all.
I said, out loud, what is it you want to
show me? And then a voice speaking from a darkened

(21:36):
corner of the loft, whispered, you know what shood dear.
At that moment, the tattered notebook in my hand fell
open to a page where my father had made a
long diary entry about plans for one of his meditations,
a mountain hike at Ben Lower's. He noted his transportation,

(22:01):
his packing list, the books he would take with him,
et cetera, et cetera. But after his return from the mountain,
the entry was only two words, written with such force
his pen had cut through the page. It said most ancient.

(22:25):
After this, I have very little memory of that night.
I know there was something else. The man in my
house told me something important, but I couldn't recall beyond that,
only faint sensations of fibers, like soft hair brushing against
my skin and hearing a melody ah. When I woke

(23:27):
the next morning, I was in a rather strange position,
blank curled on the floor of my son's bedroom, with
a vague sense of discomfort in my mouth and a
taste of salt on my tongue. When I went to
wash up, I discovered the source of the taste in
my mouth, which was an unexpected gap in the molars
on the lower left side of my jaw. I searched

(23:49):
around the house for the missing tooth to no avail,
but no sense wailing about a lost tooth here and there.
I was exhilarated about what had been revealed to me
the most Ancient. I tried to call Raymond on the
telephone that very morning. Could it be that most ancient

(24:12):
was one of her true superlatives? Had I and Daddy
before me somehow discovered one of the objective properties of
the greatest conceivable being. It's hard to express how true
and how important this discovery felt. I was tingling all over,
but alas Raymond's telephone rang and rang and rang without answers,

(24:35):
so I couldn't share what I'd found. It was, I
think the loneliest I had ever been ah, but I
was ravenous to learn more. A few nights later, I
fabricated a story to feed my husband about an overnight
trip to visit relatives on my side. Instead, I set

(24:56):
out to have another meeting with the presents. This time,
I wanted to learn as much as I possibly could,
so I ignored Raymard's dosage instructions and took the rest
of what she had given me. In one go. I
had landed at the ruins of an abbey in the
East Country, thinking this setting would aid in perceiving the

(25:19):
qualities of Anselm's God. Of course, I had to do
a bit of fence jumping, since the grounds were closed
to tourists after sunset, but I didn't think much of it.
Little was left but a broken wall on the southern
face and a row of stone archways, all of it
now covered in moss so green it seemed to glow
in the dark. I took the powder and waited, writing

(25:44):
meanwhile in my journal, which I had brought along so
I could record my experience despite my previous encounter. It
took long enough that I began to wonder, if you
may laugh at me for this, But so be it.
I wondered if it had ever done anything in the
first place, and the source of my previous experience had

(26:05):
been nothing but my own mind, perhaps in the effort
of arriving at some form of madness. Oh but as
I put all this down to paper, I began to
hear voices singing a quiet melody. It was unlike any

(26:27):
chance I'd ever heard before. I tried to sing along,
and then I was somewhere else. Entirely the abbey was gone.

(26:54):
I was floating up, as if clutching to a trail
of steam rising in the sky. But I wasn't simply
rising up. I was rising backwards, backwards in time. I
saw the earth below my feet, with civilization retreating, every

(27:16):
road fading to grass, and then grass fading to stone,
and then stone to icy waters, and then icy waters
to entrails of flame, a landscape of illimitable, writhing worms
made of molten rock. The earth glowed like a forge,
and I was silent. And then he was there with me,

(27:43):
the presence from the shadows in my loft, the one
who would show me the way. I asked him, Are
you going to welcome me into the mansion of God?
The voice said, the sterile earth burned below us. I

(28:07):
asked what we were looking at? He said rest. I
gathered my wits and remembered why I had come. I
asked him of the ontological argument. I asked him what
it was I had understood the night in my father's
study that I could no longer see now, And damn

(28:31):
it to hill as I tell it, I can't explain
precisely what he said. He did whisper something to me
from just behind my ears, so that I could feel
his breadth through my hair, something so so not words,
more like a melody, a melody that somehow in itself

(28:52):
carried a logic. And I knew, I knew in some
sense it contained a hidden premise that made the ontological
argument irrefutable. I could almost put it into words. It
was right behind the veil, in the back of my mind.
How I felt around for my notebook, so I would

(29:13):
be ready to write it down as soon as I
worked it out. But then then below, as the earth
opened its mouth a chasm of unimaginable heat and darkness,
I asked, Must I go in there? He whispered. A

(29:38):
change came over me, the beginning of an unfolding of
sensation into impossible dimensions of strangeness and understanding and pain,
thought without meaning, sight without light. There was an infinite more,
but I could not remember it. I came to the

(30:05):
next morning with a policeman gruptly shaking me awake. Had
slept in the grass at the crest of the hill,
somewhere beyond the abbey. I dealt with the policeman quickly
as I could, and darted off to my car leave me.
Through the pages of my journal, I'd left several indecipherable illustrations,
along with scribbled notes from the part of the night

(30:27):
I could not recall. One note said the terrible Angel
the Majordomo. Another said the bread of God. It is
of God, but it is not bread. And finally, at
the end of my notes I had written with such

(30:47):
force that my pen tore through the pages most secret.
Upon reading this, my heart raised, could this be another
of the true SUPERLITYI of the greatest conceivable being? It
must be, though it made less sense than the last.

(31:08):
It was hard to reconcile the evangelical message of Christ
with the idea that God's greatness could be a secret.
But nevertheless, I knew this insight had to be correct.
I would make sense of it somehow next time I
would understand. In this excitement, I knew immediately I had

(31:31):
to get more of the powder. I called and called
for Professor Raymond dozens of times, but you never answered
the telephone. Eventually, I became so desperate I booked a
plane ticket and made my way to her university. After
a bit of asking around, I came to the correct building.

(31:53):
I found her office locked, with parcels overflowing her mailbox.
So I went to the office next door, where I
met a small, timid looking man, framed with a bald
head and neatly trimmed beard. He was friendly at first,
asked if I needed help. I told him I was
looking for Raymond. He said that she'd recently gone on
sabbatical and he didn't know when she would be back.

(32:16):
He asked who I was. I said I was a
research partner, and that we were considering authoring a book
chapter together. The little man frowned. My deception must have
been rather obvious and really not good at lying. He
asked what we were writing about, and in a panic
for what to say, I blurted out A compound, A

(32:39):
compound called seven metal. I ownA mine. He stiffened, rose
from his chair and took a step backward, as if
suddenly afraid of me. He looked me up and down.
His voice became very quiet. You're not one of them,
he said, Did they send you? I asked who he meant?

(33:02):
With evident terror, he whispered thus, I said I didn't
know what he was talking about, but that I had
been given some of the compound by raymart and I
needed more. Could he get it for me? He said
no and told me to go away. I explained I
was desperate. I told him I would pay anything for it.

(33:24):
He began shouting, shouting for me to leave his office
and never come back. Not knowing what to do, I
hid in a laboratory stall down the hall until later
that night, when every one had left and the building
was locked up. With a bit of a jimmy, I

(33:46):
broke into Raymard's laboratory and began looking around. I ransacked
the cupboards and the sample drawers and the file cabinets. Nothing.
There was no powder anywhere. But then something caught my attention.

(34:06):
A large photograph lying in the heap among all the
papers from the file cabinets, A photograph of a rock
covered in splotches of gray, green, and yellow. I knelt
and picked up the picture. It was a patch of lichen.
The photo was dated from several years before, and it

(34:27):
was labeled source of sample north face of khn Iron.
I felt something grip inside my gut. I'd heard that
name before, long before. Khn Iron was the mountain of
Daddy's last meditation, where they found him at the top.

(34:49):
Without returning home, I booked another ticket and made my
way to Aberdeen. There I rented a car. I was delirious,
no telling how long I had gone without proper sleep.
I drove up a long, lonely road through the highland
glen to the foot of khan Aran. The peak of

(35:14):
the mountain was ringed with gray fog when it came
into view, and the rocks along the path were slick
from the morning's rain. I began to hike up the slope,
clutching the photograph of the Lichen. I made my way
up through the corner of the forest, then on a

(35:36):
steep incline over a ridge like the spine of a
great beast. I looked all around for the Lichen, venturing
far off the hiking trail, turning over rocks and checking
their undersides like a child collecting insects. And finally, at
long last I found it on the upturned face of

(35:58):
a huge flat boulder. The lichen was a papery mass
of pale green and yellow substance that somehow looked almost delicious.
I assure you it was not. It was poisonously bitter,
with the texture of old rope. But I choked down

(36:21):
as much as I could. I managed quite a bit.
I waited and waited for what seemed like hours on end,
but I felt nothing save for an increasingly vicious stirring
of nausea. Eventually I had to be sick in the
weeds beside the boulder. Had I lost my mind? I

(36:47):
didn't even know if it would work this way? Did
Raymond have to do some sort of chemistry to isolate
something within the lichen? Was I even sure I'd found
the right organism? It was a miserable defeat. I sat
on the boulder, ill and exhausted, and sulked in self
pity as clouds gathered their gray bulk. Evermore overhead, the

(37:12):
sun went down, and the shadow of the mountains swept
over the valley to the east at a racing clip.
As I thought about it, I realized Daddy may well
have looked out over the same gloomy view his last
day on Earth. Did he sit on the same boulder
and rest half way up the mountain? Was he surrounded

(37:35):
by pale pink frogs just like these? Would he have
noticed the way their skin looked like rare veal, leaking
juices under the pressure of the carving fork. I tried
to ask the rosy froglets if they had any memory
of him, but they were not especially talkative. Instead, they

(37:57):
began to leave my side all at once, in a
frenzy up the mountain slope. Hum how strange, I thought,
it was almost as if they were fleeing in terror.
So I turned back to look down at the valley,
and I saw what it was, the water line of darkness.

(38:18):
I had felt just the edges of it in my
house a few nights before. Now I saw it complete
in its awful majesty, stretching as far as an ocean
would have. A mist of moonless blackness rose from the
valley and ascended the mountain side, And hidden in the
darkness came the things creatures of a chilling primeval innocence,

(38:45):
the silent Cambrian infants crawling on hands and knees. My
mind was seized with flashes of what could happen if
the little children overtook me. They did not laugh or
shout that they would play. My heart contracted with terror.
I scrambled from the boulder and ran as fast as
I could up the mountain path. Up above me were

(39:10):
the silhouettes of several men, whose skin seemed to glitter
with dull reflections in the gray light. When I came close,
I saw they were man shaped things, made not a flesh,
but of thousands of little metal objects, safety pins, batteries
and fish hawks, all held together by a sort of

(39:30):
animate magnetism. They were slow moving. They begged me for
help in their rattling language, but I couldn't stop. I
ran past and left them behind to be played with.
The path steepened, and I climbed with a ferocity of

(39:52):
which I wouldn't have thought myself capable. I was driven
now not only by the fear of what rose from below,
but by a del delirious ecstasy of what lay above.
Stone shattered under my toes like globes of glass, and
the soil gave off the aroma of bread crust. The

(40:12):
boulders that lined the path bloomed with the sacred lichen
in shapes of naked bodies, humming with pleasure, and splitting
up masses of oysters and offal that fell at my
feet as I passed this. This was their way of
showing respect. Meanwhile, all around black habitat, monks stood guard

(40:36):
underneath prisoners who were hoisted up to the sky upon
Catherine wheels, my namesake, I thought. The men and women
blashed on the wheels sang together. Yes, it was all
starting to make sense. I understood that the prisoners on

(40:56):
the wheels were not being punished. They were in the shines,
machines for generating a kind of power, like the turbines
in a down The monks standing guard under the wheels
of torture all raised their arms when they saw me,
all pointing in the same direction to the top, just

(41:20):
over the last ridge of rock. As I climbed above,
finally I felt him, the presence the major domo In.
He was looming just behind me, breathing on my neck.

(41:42):
But I knew it would be terribly bad manners to
turn and look. Without a word, he guided me through
the fog until the jagged rocks of the peak gave
way to a smooth, paved pathway of flagstones and mortar,
surrounded by crisp green hedges on either side. It was

(42:05):
a secret garden path leading me to a mansion with
its windows bleeding yellow light. My voice trembling I asked
the Major d'amo, will you ah take me inside? The
Major d'omo whispered perhaps, but not yet. I understood there

(42:33):
was something I had to do first. I had to
meet some one. There was a lanky human shadow on
the path just ahead. When I saw the figure, my
heart leapt into my throat. I thought, Daddy. But as
I ran to meet him, with tears gathering in my eyes,

(42:54):
the shape that came into focus was all wrong. It
was not my father. It was Raymard, standing athwart the path,
wearing a cheshire cat grin. I asked her what she
was doing here, and she leaned in to embrace me, whispering, Catherine,

(43:15):
I have the most wonderful news. I have been given
a research grant by God Almighty, and you are to
be my assistant. I was flummoxed to say the least.
I said, but his house is right there. Can't I
go inside and learn what he is like? Raymard said,

(43:40):
you will, but you are not ready yet. First you
must learn the secret, the oldest secret. She then stepped
back and unbuttoned her glass, and her skin was not skin,

(44:05):
but a sort of plate thronged with legs. Hundreds thousands
of dancing, undulating, articulated legs like the underside of a
horseshoe crab. A tear of blue blood leaped from the
corner of her eye. She came in close to embrace

(44:27):
me again. In horror, I tried my best to recoil,
but now the Majordomo stood behind to hold me in place.
Raymond's breath smelled like copper. The legs wriggled and flexed,
close enough to tickle my stomach. I screamed, no, no,
this is not what I wanted. Raymond leaned to my

(44:51):
ear and said, hard, let us be here, instru that
my memory stops there. I woke the next morning, lying

(45:14):
on the cold rocks of the mountain top, parched stiff
as a plank. There was a man dressed in a
black habit, kneeling beside me, touching my arm. He said, good, Heavens,
are you all right? He must have seen me looking
at his clothes, and answered, without my asking, I'm one
of the brothers of the monastery here at carm Aron.

(45:36):
You look like you've taken a fall. Would you like
me to get some help? I told him not to bother,
and I rose to go on my way, limping on
a leg I had injured somehow in the night. But
as I was walking away, he said, were you invited in?
I stopped. I asked in where? He said, beyond the

(46:02):
secret garden, into his house. I rushed back to the
monk's side. What do you know about it? I asked.
The monk smiled, he said, are you seeking to believe
in order that you may understand? Or seeking to understand
in order that you may believe? I felt a hopeless

(46:27):
despair come over me. I didn't know. In truth, I
feared I'd lost track of what it was I was
trying to prove and whom I was trying to prove
it too. But I was in his presence, I said,
nearly in his mansion, I see, said the monk, the
greatest conceivable being, I said. He smiled placidly, as if

(46:50):
to humor me, the god who called out to Abraham,
I said. But then the monk's expression changed. He looked
amute boos, oh him, you think down here on this
bleak mountain top with us. I didn't know what to
make of that. The monk said to me, if there

(47:12):
were two beings, both infinitely beyond your understanding, and both
claimed to be the greatest. How would you tell them apart?
I had no answer. I asked, will I ever understand
what he is? The monk said, well, now, if you

(47:33):
wish to be welcomed into his manner and taste of
his bread, I suggest you make yourself a courteous house guest.
I said, how would one do that? He said, for
one thing, when a courteous house guest comes to visit,
she always brings a gift. I asked, well, what should

(47:57):
she bring? I laid a gentle hand on my shoulder
and said, what is most precious? Looking back, I realized
the sheer hubris of my initial endeavor. Though I find
myself in good company with the likes of Daddy and

(48:20):
Saint Anselm himself, I know now that the mysteries of
totality are too much for one mind alone, and with
alacrity I settled for just a glimpse. So I turned
myself over to Doctor Raymard's care, in which I have
been ever since. Ever said, what do you mean? Will

(48:46):
call me a test case? An experiment in the long
term effects of seven metal ie on mine on human consciousness?
How can you big if you like, but one of
many labrat likes to have company in her cage.

Speaker 4 (49:07):
You're saying, you're saying they drugged me too.

Speaker 3 (49:12):
Oh, I envie, you know, experiencing it all for the
first time. No, no, help, give me out, you need
let me out, you mean cat. No, you say, let me.

Speaker 4 (49:32):
Have her heart rate spike out?

Speaker 2 (49:34):
Track on the rejection.

Speaker 3 (49:35):
All of you get away from me. What's the course?
Gave me alone? It's a tranquilizer with one more dos seven.

Speaker 2 (49:41):
Mill stop stops. No said, look here not seeing me?
Was it?

Speaker 6 (50:00):
Where are you taking me?

Speaker 3 (50:06):
Where is this saying?

Speaker 4 (50:08):
Was on the ground? How much you listen? You? Why
are you carrying me because you wouldn't walk? Where are
my shoes? Your TV?

Speaker 7 (50:25):
There?

Speaker 3 (50:25):
You go.

Speaker 2 (50:27):
To leave it off, you go to the like.

Speaker 4 (50:40):
Mm hmm, Well look who's back?

Speaker 7 (50:47):
Frip.

Speaker 4 (50:48):
I wasn't sure you were still with us?

Speaker 3 (50:51):
Frip.

Speaker 4 (50:51):
I I sorry. Everything is so overwhelming. What happened to you?

Speaker 3 (51:01):
The door? I'm the dungeon and the doctor.

Speaker 4 (51:09):
Did you put you on a new course of treatment? Yes,
and I am.

Speaker 3 (51:17):
I don't know if I can take it?

Speaker 4 (51:19):
You can, it will run its course. How How do
I just relax?

Speaker 3 (51:26):
Okay, lay down? On the bed. Okay, okay.

Speaker 6 (51:34):
Now, imagine you are in a river right in the
middle where the current is strongest. You guess whom against it?

Speaker 3 (51:45):
Uh?

Speaker 2 (51:46):
You can't fight back, Nope, I can't.

Speaker 4 (51:49):
But you can float Okay, don't fight it.

Speaker 6 (51:55):
Okay, let the current move, You'll float down. Okay, Okay, Hey, frip, mysell.

Speaker 4 (52:06):
They didn't.

Speaker 3 (52:07):
They didn't give it away.

Speaker 4 (52:10):
Who would they have given it to?

Speaker 3 (52:12):
Frip? Have you seen anyone walk in the halls at night?

Speaker 4 (52:18):
You mean, besides the guards, the barefoot woman?

Speaker 3 (52:22):
Have you heard her singing?

Speaker 4 (52:23):
Quiet?

Speaker 2 (52:24):
Now?

Speaker 4 (52:25):
Okay, just flew okay down?

Speaker 3 (52:31):
Thank you? Frip Frip, frip.

Speaker 7 (52:40):
Frip.

Speaker 3 (53:00):
Oh YEA.

Speaker 1 (53:16):
Thirteen Days of Halloween pennance starring Natalie Morales, Episode four, Evaluation,
written by Joe McCormick, editing and sound design by Chandler Mays,
featuring the voices of Roz Gentel Blair, Chandler, Alex Bowling,
Jay Jones, Raphael Corkil, and Wilbur Fitzgerald, with music by

(53:36):
Noel Brown, directed by Alexander Williams. Executive producers Aaron Mankey,
Noah Feinberg, Chris Dicky, Matt Frederick and Alexander Williams. Supervising
producers Trevor Young and Josh Thain. Producers Jesse Funk, Rima Ilkali,
Noami Griffin, Chandler Mays, and Casby Bias. Script editing by

(53:57):
Lauren Vogelbaum. Story consultants Ben Bowley and Matthew Riddle. Casting
by Sunday Bowling CSA and Meg Mormon CSA. Production coordinator
Wayna Calderon. Production assistants Jenna Johnson and Winona Low. Theme
music by Rose Aserti with vocals by Anna Hummler, recorded
at This Is Sound Design Studios in Burbank, California. Engineered

(54:20):
by Ross aeronaut special thanks to Romelia Osorio, Nathan Rule,
Glen Nishida, and Rob Mosca. Thirteen Days of Halloween was
created by Matt Frederick and Alexander Williams and is a
production of iHeart Podcasts, Blumhouse Television, and Grim and Mild
from Aaron Makey. Learn more about the show at Grimandmild
dot com slash thirteen Days and find more podcasts from

(54:44):
iHeartRadio by visiting the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever
you listen to your favorite shows. Happy Halloween,
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