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October 26, 2023 28 mins

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Written by Alesandra Jara Del Castillo and Alexander Williams. Starring Natalie Morales, Sandra Valladares, Rachel Rosenbloom, Wayne Bastrup, Raphael Corkhill, Jeff Bowser, Blaire Chandler, Morgan Brown, and Laura Schein.


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Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:04):
Thirteen Days of Halloween Penance, a co production of iHeart
three D Audio Blumhouse Television and Grim and Mild from
Aaron Nankey. Headphones recommended, Listener discretion advised.

Speaker 2 (00:25):
What is there to say about prison life that hasn't
been said a million times before? It is so boring,
likes up on your feet, the same shit every.

Speaker 3 (00:39):
Day you again, move along.

Speaker 2 (00:45):
I imagine some people thrive on that routine.

Speaker 3 (00:48):

Speaker 1 (00:49):
Not if I move here, checkmate, still know.

Speaker 2 (00:54):
And that it beats down those who fight back.

Speaker 4 (00:57):

Speaker 5 (00:58):
No, that's oh dark.

Speaker 2 (01:01):
They say. The pen gets everyone eventually, either by force
or attrition. What's nuke all? My question is what are
they after?

Speaker 1 (01:18):
It's your turn to share today, sireen.

Speaker 2 (01:20):
But I don't have anything to say.

Speaker 4 (01:22):
How does that make you feel?

Speaker 2 (01:26):
If they can keep us physically detained, I'm going if
they have ways to enter our minds. Any side effects
from the medication makes me sick to my stomach.

Speaker 1 (01:38):
Maybe time to up your dosage.

Speaker 2 (01:41):
What's left but the soul?

Speaker 6 (01:43):
Take and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will. All I have and all my
own you have given all to me.

Speaker 2 (01:56):
I swear no matter what, I refuse to submit choice.
But I also wonder how long can I hold out?
Already I'm starting to lose track of time, identical days
turning into identical weeks, filling identical months against a clock
and calendar that I have no reason to trust. I

wonder what is all this time doing to me? How
is it changing me?

Speaker 4 (02:22):
Has something changed about you?

Speaker 2 (02:24):
Well, I've practically quit smoking.

Speaker 4 (02:28):
Good for you.

Speaker 2 (02:29):
I've started going to church at least more regularly. I noticed,
and well, I was just so angry when I got here.
I'm still angry, furious. Actually, if I could, I'd trample
those guards, break straight through the wall, burn this whole
place of the ground, and never look back.

Speaker 4 (02:48):
But something's changed.

Speaker 2 (02:50):
Well, that kind of rage was hurting more than it
was helping me specifically, And if the anger isn't gone,
maybe it's a little more contained.

Speaker 6 (03:04):
If you were to give it a word, would it
be fair to say patience?

Speaker 2 (03:10):
I hate to think that I'm just waiting around. That
makes me feel so weak.

Speaker 6 (03:14):
I would say it demonstrates tremendous strength. Whoever is patient
has great understanding, But one who is quick tempered displays folly.

Speaker 2 (03:24):
But understanding about what how to marchin a line, what
not to eat in the cafeteria, who to avoid contact
with if you don't want a knight stick to the gut.

Speaker 6 (03:32):
Maybe a more personal understanding. Humans have an innate desire
for control over their own lives. It's a fallacy, really,
but even the sense of control can be powerful. The
freedom to make your own choices, to set your own
goals can come to define your very identity. So what

happens when that illusion of control vanishes?

Speaker 2 (03:58):
You lose your mind or you grow Ah crap, do
you know what time it is?

Speaker 4 (04:04):
About twelve thirty?

Speaker 2 (04:05):
I think, well, I gotta get to the rec center.

Speaker 4 (04:08):
Exercise can be good for the soul.

Speaker 2 (04:10):
Well, maybe it's just uh, I'm supposed to meet.

Speaker 6 (04:14):
Someone, meet someone.

Speaker 2 (04:17):
Yeah, well, don't keep them waiting. Thank you, chaplain.

Speaker 4 (04:24):
I hope to see you tomorrow.

Speaker 2 (04:26):
Why what's tomorrow?

Speaker 4 (04:28):
Christmas? Eve?

Speaker 2 (04:29):
Oh? Snap, I gotta find a gift. Okay. Leaving the
chapel means libraries on my left, TV rooms on my room.
Here's a weight room, the art room. I just need
to go down these stairs. Rodriguez, I'm never gonna get

used to that.

Speaker 3 (04:53):
What do you think you're doing? Uh?

Speaker 2 (04:55):

Speaker 3 (04:56):
Not like that.

Speaker 2 (04:56):
You're not, but I'm sure this is the right door.

Speaker 3 (04:59):
That hair, my hair.

Speaker 2 (05:02):
What's the last time you had a cut? Hmmm, well
I came in before Easter.

Speaker 3 (05:07):
Weekend, so right, Captain has strict policies.

Speaker 2 (05:11):
Mm okay, I'll get right on that.

Speaker 3 (05:13):
Now with me, let go, I said I could walk, Lorena.

Speaker 2 (05:21):
You got space for one more.

Speaker 3 (05:22):
This one here has never seen a brush in your life.

Speaker 2 (05:24):
Oh, I'm sorry, didn't know I was here to impress Nina.

Speaker 3 (05:28):
Your hair is like a nest birds or spiders. I'm
afraid to look.

Speaker 2 (05:33):
Then don't go go.

Speaker 3 (05:36):
I'll take care of this one. Don't be afraid to
use a little force.

Speaker 2 (05:41):
Maybe I do need a trim.

Speaker 3 (05:43):
No, you needed a trim three months ago. Now, Mirena,
what you need is a miracle good thing. I'm mean. Come,
I wash first, then we gleam. So what's your style?
Are you more a pixie cot or maybe a little framing?
Give some shape to that pretty face.

Speaker 2 (06:04):
No, you're not listening. I don't want you to do anything,
just a trem.

Speaker 3 (06:09):
Oh, but indulge me. There must be something you want.
Come on, you can tell me.

Speaker 2 (06:15):
Don't fight it. She'll get it at it.

Speaker 3 (06:17):
You always does do what I wanted before I did.
She's always right. By the time I'm done, I'll have
you a feeling all new.

Speaker 2 (06:26):
Look. It's nothing personal. I just don't spend a lot
of time thinking about how I look.

Speaker 3 (06:29):
Oh, Jerre one of those?

Speaker 2 (06:31):
Aren't you one of those?

Speaker 3 (06:33):
Here? Sit? Lean back?

Speaker 2 (06:34):
What is that supposed to mean?

Speaker 3 (06:36):
I'll change you if you sit, let me guess you
turn away makeup and hair styling, and she close, saying
you're not into fashion? But nonina, no service. Is that
that's a fashion statement in itself?

Speaker 2 (06:52):
No, that's not I don't know.

Speaker 3 (06:54):
Deny, then I deny, but I seen you.

Speaker 2 (06:57):
Oh and what because you cut someone's hair gives you
license to judge them.

Speaker 3 (07:02):
There's a lot you learn when you shape someone's look.
I mean, how we present is a mask. No one
is exactly what they look like. How painfully boring. So
while they're in my chair letting me chop away at
little pieces of them, you get to drop the mask
and I listen. Like a therapist, I use me or

no therapist. They want to fix you. I prefer to
enable better dips twenty years at the same overpriced salunge.
You hear every entitled complaint convertible in a shop AND's
in the lakehouse. And now I'm as sources out of
town and my husband is canoodling with the maid. Oh,

I always hope for something with more substance. Maybe I
hope too hard. One day I had this woman come
in sunset of her life, glory, silver hair down.

Speaker 2 (08:01):
To her chest. I loved it.

Speaker 3 (08:04):
I wanted it, oh, to age like that, But she
said it made her look witchy. Now who could have
put that idea in her head? Turns out kids were
shattering her windows with rocks. They riding on their bikes,
dark of night and no one awake.

Speaker 7 (08:25):
Then crash, kill the witch, they yelled, and then they
were gone just as fast because acido, poor woman.

Speaker 3 (08:36):
I could hear it in her voice. No not chop
it off, chop it all off.

Speaker 5 (08:41):
I don't want it anymore.

Speaker 3 (08:44):
How it heard her to lie about, let's get you
in a chair. Did you cut it off? No, that
would have been a crime. Instead, I listened to what
she really wanted here sit?

Speaker 2 (09:00):
What did she say?

Speaker 3 (09:02):
Nothing at first.

Speaker 2 (09:03):
But I pushed.

Speaker 3 (09:04):
I always had that gift, you know, getting people to
open up. Usually it's a lot of cheesemay. By this
time this was different. Something in her eyes and how
her lips scrunched like she was chewing on her words.
Benures and all lone and all.

Speaker 2 (09:24):
I want to take those rocks.

Speaker 3 (09:27):
I want to find her houses and I want to
break their bones. Alo rinkled little thing. And then she left,
Lift your hair, got wrap fist around your neck.

Speaker 2 (09:45):
Do you think she did it?

Speaker 3 (09:46):
How could she? No? That would have been insane. At
least that's what I thought, And it's what got me
through the night, because as soon as I got home,
there was a stamped in my brain. Horrible, horrible headache
that whole week, actually my last week on the outside

of horrible.

Speaker 2 (10:11):
Oh careful, what the scalp?

Speaker 3 (10:14):
This is nothing? They after another woman came rolled out
a magazine and pointed at a model wanted her seventies
disconneon prom emitra. I'm divine at what I do, but
my conscience wouldn't let me, so I tried to wear
her somewhere safe. And you know what she said to me.

If I wanted safe, I wouldn't put nails in my salad.

Speaker 2 (10:45):
What I can't believe she met that literally.

Speaker 3 (10:49):
I didn't either until she smiled, teas cracked and chipped
gums blead. She needed a dentist, not a PERM. I
don't know why she told me, But then the nasia

hit and I spent the rest of my shift head
first in a toilet, feeling like there was a hole
in my gut. I think one of the other girls
ended up giving her a PERM. I didn't care anymore.
I'd swear there was something in the air that week,
but all the crazy seemed to ask for me, And

the next one was even.

Speaker 2 (11:34):
Worse, worse than eating nails.

Speaker 3 (11:38):
There's always worse, Melinda, and it's never who you expect.
Tilt your head for me?

Speaker 2 (11:45):
Wouldn't you wait? How about are you taking off?

Speaker 3 (11:48):
Had to get either? Don't you want to know who
came next?

Speaker 2 (11:52):
Just a trim, got it?

Speaker 3 (11:54):
M now? This girl so thin and twiggy, it was
like she floated in on a breeze Carolina with her
heart on the eye. That's how she signed in in
for a trim, just like Ju. She didn't make so
much as a sweek. For the full hour, I could

tell it was something heavy, something ugly, building up. But
who am I to pry? If a client wants silence.
I gave them silence. I was nearly done styling her
before she finally spoke, turned to me with her dull
eyes and asked if I was married. No, no, no,

I said, I love myself too much to share. She
liked that. She was jealous. What about you, I asked,
and she went quiet again. She jammed me in and whispered,
I'm going to kill my husband. I just haven't figured

out how I was frozen. I mean, what do you
say back? Don't do it? Good luck? I couldn't tell
if she was kidding, Or maybe I could, and I
didn't want to admit it. It's not like she waited
for me to react. She just got up, dropped a

tip on the counter and left.

Speaker 2 (13:21):
Or was it a good tip?

Speaker 3 (13:23):
Best of my life? But not even close to worth it?
My fever that night was like a caulduring fluids, boiling skin,
melting every nerve on fire, or at least it felt
that way, pinned me down to a bed for two

days now.

Speaker 2 (13:46):
Still, am I expected to tip? I mean I would, but.

Speaker 3 (13:50):
Ridiculin this is currency enough for once I'm the one talking.
Take a look, how do you.

Speaker 2 (13:58):
Feel that's not a trim?

Speaker 3 (14:05):
I know, and we're not done yet.

Speaker 2 (14:21):
See you, Rhina, Oh.

Speaker 3 (14:23):
We see you?

Speaker 2 (14:23):
And the girl?

Speaker 3 (14:24):
Will you kin me? Chris? Good luck, Si, you're gonna
need it.

Speaker 2 (14:30):
How do they know my name?

Speaker 3 (14:31):
Nina? Haven't you been listening? You learn all kinds of
things in a place like this. Haven't you worked a
service job? Yeah?

Speaker 2 (14:39):
Actually back before.

Speaker 3 (14:41):
So you know? And I've had dozens. That's why I
didn't question it at first. How you offer a service
but they treat you like a product. People think they
have a right to your time, to your attention, and
they don't care what you carry home. I'm just happy
to unload. Even worse when you work for taps.

Speaker 2 (15:01):
Were there more clients like her?

Speaker 3 (15:03):
Carolina gekiets Mass No, she was the last, but that
wasn't the last time she came. When I finally forced
myself out of bed after that burning fear, I thought
enough of this, No more helpful, ear? But what does
fate care for our plans? My first day back, I

found her waiting there, almost shivering with fear, cold. I
don't know. Turns out she'd come every day asking for me.
What an honor?

Speaker 2 (15:38):
What did she want? Now?

Speaker 3 (15:40):
A manicure? Some pastelic color, and obviously an excuse because
I'm no technician. Mister Iden is my boss. He knew that.
But there comes Carolina waiting a stack of fifty, so
of course he sells me out. Who cares what I want?
Lorena pisso everybody helps.

Speaker 2 (16:04):
Did you ask if she did it?

Speaker 3 (16:06):
No? Remember, I was done asking questions from now on,
just smiling and nodding, smiling and nodding. Hole. Still, this
is for texture.

Speaker 2 (16:19):
So she didn't talk to you.

Speaker 3 (16:21):
Now, where did you get that? All I said was
that I didn't ask. So while I prepped the manicure,
she stared at me with those big dough eyes, unblinking, uncomfortable,
like there was an itch she couldn't scratch. And I
could tell that heaviness, that ugliness from before it was

back and she was ready to gossip. So I laid
out a towel and I asked for her hands, And
when she spread out her fingers, all I could see
was blood on her nails, crusty flooded cutoicles hand stand
up to her wrists. Can you wash it? She asked,

as if a pink salt exfoliant was enough to scrub
whatever monstrosity she committed I couldn't speak, I couldn't even
look up, so instead she leaned in loudina, I so
appreciated our last session. He was such a weight off
my shoulders. You're so easy to talk to. You know that.

I didn't want to be I didn't want to listen
to another word. She wouldn't stop. I did it, I
really did. I waited until Rob was asleep. Then I
grabbed my knitting box, took out my seam ripper, and

I unsold him. I looked around, but no one else
in the whole room had even flinched. Was I going insane?
Or was everyone around me losing their minds? I ran
out bio coming up in my throat, and the last

thing I saw was Carolina's face. She looked relieved, like
that weight was really gone. I quit that very day.
Let's get you dried up.

Speaker 2 (18:37):
There'd you go?

Speaker 3 (18:39):
Shaped up, real nice with some value?

Speaker 2 (18:42):
Were you sick again?

Speaker 3 (18:43):
Clado ruined my upholstery and pushed the absolute limit on
how much I'd be broken A person can take. But
I had to find out if this was awesome twisted job,
So I did what any irrational person would do. They
followed her home. I watched her enter a big gated massion,

you know the fancy sword where the bushes are all
cut into shapes. And I waited, quiet and in pain
to catch any glimpse of her husband still alive. It
was well after dark before I saw her come out again,
wheeling all the trash. The curiosity ate me a lot.
I had to know what was in those cans. Now

I wish with every bone in my body that I
never looked inside. I jumped in my car and floored
Ale la Ville and Sata eighty miles an hour, as
fast as my little clanker could go. That's when I
saw the cruiser parked at the burger joint cop leaning

on his food, and I told him everything about Carolina,
her confession, the gorriness in her trash. I knew I sounded,
but I pleaded for him to believe me. And you
know what he did. He said he believed me, but
that he just didn't care. That punchy mustache man acne

on his necks, wet on his collar. He said he'd
seen worse hell, that he'd done worse, chewing on that gristy,
tripping burger, he told me, bragging.

Speaker 5 (20:29):
Sometimes when there's a body, and I'm supposed to call
it in. I don't, because for a couple of hours
after death, there's still warming enough to have fun.

Speaker 3 (20:43):
He just kept going, unloading repulsive details after details. Even
after I shut myself in my car and blared the horn,
he was at my window and I could still read
his lips. Why wouldn't he just leave me alone?

Speaker 6 (21:00):
What did you do?

Speaker 3 (21:02):
Nothing? I regret. I just wish they hadn't caught me,
because that holding seally threw me into. That was my
own brand of hell, not like the rooms we've got here. Handcuffed,
I couldn't even cover my ears while everyone else just
spilled and spilled. There was something wrong with me. I

knew that, but I couldn't stop it. So instead I
screamed the back what I heard, because why should I
suffer alone?

Speaker 2 (21:36):
How long were you there?

Speaker 3 (21:38):
Not long? Grass, sadios. I suppose eventually somebody listened to
what I had to say, because two doctors.

Speaker 2 (21:46):
Showed up from the Pendleton. What gave it? The way
they dragged you here too?

Speaker 3 (21:52):
Dragged me? No, they offered the help, said they could
make the secret stop, and for that I would have
claimed in their trunk you look like you don't agree.

Speaker 2 (22:03):
Why would you choose to come here? We can't leave?

Speaker 3 (22:07):
What makes you think I want to free meals, free
roaming and never having to suck up to anyone else
for tips Nina, But it's not Tahiti. But it'll do.

Speaker 2 (22:21):
Did they help you?

Speaker 5 (22:22):

Speaker 3 (22:23):
You mean? Though I still hear people's secrets sometimes, but
at least the pain is gone. They've got me on
this regimen. Pills and test and prodding and so on
is meant to contain it altogether. But we'll see.

Speaker 2 (22:39):
So then you have heard things while you've been here.

Speaker 3 (22:43):
Of course, stranger and stranger every day.

Speaker 2 (22:49):

Speaker 3 (22:49):
How oh no, no, no, I do what you're doing?
Do you think knowing more is always better? But you're
ignoring how it might hurt you?

Speaker 2 (22:59):
What do you mean hurt me?

Speaker 3 (23:01):
What I mean, Sayuri, is how will you handle the
darkest secrets of this place when you don't even know
your own?

Speaker 2 (23:11):
Wait? While I was here? Were you? Is she ready yet?

Speaker 3 (23:16):
Almost? There's no Rushian beauty. Take a look in the mirror.

Speaker 2 (23:24):
Do you like who you see? That's not me?

Speaker 3 (23:29):
Clad O? You see? Like I said, when it comes
to my work, I'm divine don't worry your secrets safe
with me?

Speaker 2 (23:41):
What do you mean.

Speaker 3 (23:44):
Now? Are you done? Yes? I'm done? But out you
go now, beauty queen, and don't forget to brush your hair?
What's up?

Speaker 5 (23:57):
Three far?

Speaker 3 (24:01):
Nighty night? O?

Speaker 2 (24:02):
Leamsa same shit every day? Wait? Did she leave a
bobby bit in my hair?

Speaker 3 (24:16):
Hey? You?

Speaker 2 (24:18):

Speaker 3 (24:19):

Speaker 2 (24:20):
I thought we had a date. I know, I'm sorry.
I got caught out for looking up haggard was the implication,
and they dragged me into what account for the beauty
salt around here? Lady took her sweet time too. I'm sorry.
I tried, but I couldn't get out. It looks nice, yeah, yeah,

real nice. I don't quite feel like myself. What is
that like to feel like you? I don't really know anymore.
I guess I've never liked to be fussed over, and
now even that has been taken away. The chaplain said
something today that I can't stop thinking about. He said

that losing control over your life forces you to re
evaluate your identity. Then have you learned a lot about
yourself since you've been here? To be honest, I have
learned that I need other people more than I ever
wanted to admit before. Can I fuss over you for

a second? Okay, you look beautiful. It's some haircut. I
like it, but it's not the haircut. I wish we
didn't always meet like this, these damn bars between us.
What would happen if we met on the outside, if

you said something like that to me the way you
just said it. Yeah, well I might have to reach
over and kiss you. I Kenleena.

Speaker 5 (26:14):

Speaker 1 (26:30):
Thirteen Days of Halloween pennance starring Natalie Morales, Episode eight
care written by Alessandra Hara del Castillo and Alexander Williams.
Editing and sound designed by Trevor Young, featuring the voices
of Sandra Viadares, Rachel Rosenbloom, Wayne Bastrup, Raphael Corkil, Jeff Bowser,

Blair Chandler, Morgan Brown, and Laura Shine. 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 Nowami Griffin, Chandler Mays and

Casby Bias. Script editing by Lauren Vogelbaum. Story consultants Ben
Bolan and Matthew Riddle. Casting by Sunday Bowling CSA and
Meg Mormon CSA. Production coordinator Wayna Calderon. Production assistants Jenna
Johnson and Winona Lowe. Theme music by Rose Azerti with
vocals by Anna Hummler, recorded at This Is Sound Design

Studios in Burbank, California. Engineered by Ross Arnot, 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 Grimm and Mild from Aaron Makey. Learn more about

the show at Grimandmild dot com slash thirteen Days and
find more podcasts from iHeartRadio by visiting the iHeartRadio app,
Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.
Happy Halloween,
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