CRYPTID CAPE S1 E5: Paintings and Prophecies
Published on September 2nd, 2019
Victoria: Hey, listener, Victoria here, creator, producer, and voice of Avra. Before we start the episode, I just wanted to pop in to let you know we will be taking a short midseason break. It takes a lot of time and schedule coordinating to put together this little show, so we’re taking about a month off to make sure that the second half of Season 1 is good as it can possibly be. That means that our next full episode won’t be out until October 14th, but don’t worry, there’ll be a couple of extra little bonuses that will be posted on our social media accounts in the meantime. So be sure to follow Cryptid Cape on Instagram and Twitter or find us on Facebook at Cryptid Cape Podcast so you won’t miss those. Oh, and please subscribe if you haven’t already. And if you have a minute of free time to leave a review or share the podcast, that’d be super cool of you. Alright, I think that’s everything. Enjoy episode 5!
(light calming music, tape recorder clicks on, a stover burner clicks repeatedly, the flame catches)
Avra: Lizzie’s awake now. (mug is set down) Apparently the fates that be or whoever gives her the spooky prophecy stuff sometimes just call her up and speak through her if they have something important to say, and then she passes out. It’s like a weird, future-seer kind of narcolepsy, I guess.
Francy: I’ve described it in the past as fainting-goat syndrome, if you want to take that one down.
Avra: Does this happen a lot?
Francy: Uh, not that often, a few times a year maybe, at least from what she’s told me. I’ve only seen it a couple times, but Ben and her are pretty used to it. They’ve got a whole recovery routine down so she can be back to her old self pretty quick. Takes a lot out of you, being the voice of the fates. Speaking of which, is that tea brewing?
Avra: Got the water boiling now.
Francy: Great, thanks.
Avra: Do you think that prophecy was about the investigation?
Francy: Probably? You got it on tape, right?
Francy: Good. Lizzie won’t remember it and while Ben is usually pretty good at recalling them, an actual record helps.
Avra: She doesn’t remember any of them?
Francy: Not the ones that patch in like that. It’s a little unsettling, I know, I don’t think she particularly likes it, either.
Avra: I’d imagine not. Being an oracle sounds a bit anxiety-inducing.
Francy: Oof, being a person is anxiety-inducing. (both laugh) I’m sure this all is a little wild for you. Lizzie told me that you’re not exactly as strange as the rest of us?
Avra: She did?
Francy: Yeah, I hope that’s okay. Maybe I shouldn’t have said that.
Avra: Oh, no, no, it’s totally fine. I just hope you don’t think that I’m...
Francy: That… you’re what?
(kettle begins to whistle, gradually increasing in volume)
Avra: I don’t know… human?
(Francisco laughs, Avra joins)
Francy: Is that not what you are?
Avra: Yeah, yeah, I am, I just—
(kettle whistle reaches peak, screeching, then gradually settles)
(upbeat theme music plays)
Lizzie: Welcome to town.
Roger: You are essentially the one-woman band running Water’s Edge Weekly.
Avra: Maybe being in Water’s Edge will be different.
Francy: You’re not exactly as strange as the rest of us.
Roger: You’re not a cryptid, are you?
Victoria: Cryptid Cape, Episode 5: Paintings and Prophesies.
(theme music continues, then fades away)
(tape recorder clicks on)
Avra: I didn’t spend much more time at Lizzie’s place after giving her the tea. She was fine, but exhausted, so Francy and I took off and went our separate ways for the night, the three of us promising to meet up tomorrow afternoon to figure out what exactly that prophecy meant and what it means for my deal with Officer Jenkins. I really hope they’re better at interpreting this stuff than I am, because nothing that came out of Lizzie’s mouth when she was under that Oracle spell made any sense to me. At least not yet. But maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be? Flames ignite in her eyes and in a circle around the room and she slam-poetries some strange future-speaking, not how I imagined the night would go, to be honest.
Everything’s still so strange here, but I think I’m starting to get used to it. Well, no, (laughs) maybe not getting used to it but... learning to go with it? I’ve never really been one to welcome sudden change, but I’ve learned to roll with the punches to some degree. Guess I’m learning how to do that with cryptids now. (yawning) I really should go to bed, but it’s one of those nights when I don’t wanna sleep. I mean, of course I want to snuggle up under the covers and relax for a few hours, let the stresses of the day melt into that amazing mattress of Dezi’s. But… Well, I’m having nightmares again. I only slept for a little less than two hours before crashing the car in my dream. It was my car that I have now, a little white sedan, 2005 and used but, you know, a good car. Drove her into the side of the hospital back in Philly. It wasn’t even there when I was driving at first, I was just going down a little dirt road in some rural countryside when I crest a hill and bam, right into the brick. I gave it about half an hour before giving up on sleeping and turning this thing on. Dr. Francis did always say that orating helps with sleeplessness, something to do with exercising the brain in a way that is still calming. Or maybe I’m thinking of yoga? I don’t know, either way I’m following her orders for something.
She left a voicemail on my phone today. I didn’t notice it until after I left Lizzie’s. Wants me to either figure out a way to do video chat therapy sessions with her or find a psychologist to see in this area. Honestly, I’m not super keen on either option, especially considering she or whoever else I start seeing might want to review my tapes. That seems like a pretty harsh breach of the don’t-tell-humans-about-monsters contract. At least I can wait out Dr. Francis and Officer Jenkins for another day or two.
There’s a new exhibit opening tomorrow at some independent artist space off of Main Street that I’m covering. Hopefully that’ll get my mind off things, something to do. (papers shuffling) Yeah, yeah, here it is, “the Artist’s Nook Presents Moon Beach: A collection of varied media works depicting the beauty of space, water, or the two in tandem.” Sounds pretty interesting, a little ethereal. And can probably get Lizzie or Francy to— (papers still shuffling) Oh God, what? (with dread) It’s a formal dress code. Wonderful.
(tape recorder clicks off)
(tape recorder clicks on, light upbeat music and clothes hangers being jotled on racks in background)
Lizzie: I can’t believe you don’t own anything fancy.
Avra: I didn’t say that. I just don’t own anything fancy enough for a gallery opening.
Lizzie: You don’t keep a ballgown lying around? Like for emergencies?
Avra: Do you?
Lizzie: Francy does, don’t you?
Francy: Sure do. Only for drag nights, though. And for when Lizzie steals it. Oooo, what do you guys think of a yellow sport jacket?
Avra: Depending on the crowd you’ll either blend right in or be a walking lemon.
Francy: Fair point.
Avra: So Lizzie, any ideas on your message last night? Because I’ve been wracking my brain, but I just can’t seem to parse out what it meant.
Lizzie: I dunno. What do you think of this little number?
Avra: For you or me? Because I’m not so sure my hips will play nice with that dress.
Lizzie: Oh, come on, just try it on. I have a feeling it’ll look good.
Avra: Alright, in a minute. You’re sure you don’t know what that message might’ve meant, though? Because to me the only thing that made sense was the whole part about—
Lizzie: I don’t know, man. I’m just gonna go try this on, I’ll be right back.
(Lizzie’s footsteps retreat)
Avra: Did I say something?
Francy: No, I think she’s just frustrated. Ben told me she’s had a few interference messages like last night within this past month, which is really unusual. They’re at a loss for what any of them mean, which doesn’t help, either. They’re all more cryptic than normal. One was in Latin, apparently? She doesn’t even speak Latin.
Avra: That’s ominous.
Francy: Tell me about it. Lizzie’s got a reputation around here as a sort of... protector, I guess? That sounds really weighted and superhero movie-y, but she keeps the town safe, you know? Once she managed to predict a freak flood way before any meteorologists knew it was even going to rain, singlehandedly saved a bunch of businesses and some homes, too, since they had extra time to board everything up. That was before I was here. Joey told me once because, of course, Lizzie never would. She’s not one to brag, but she does like to contribute to the town’s welfare, and not being able to do that when there’s weird interceptions coming in isn’t exactly doing wonders for her self confidence.
Avra: Makes sense. But that many messages in such a short time, that must mean something important, right? Don’t they only come in when there’s something like life-or-death on the line?
Francy: Not quite that drastic, but important situations, yeah. They’re starting to get at me, especially not knowing if they’re all about the same thing or not. Who knows, maybe one’s about you.
Avra: I doubt it.
Francy: Why? How would the fates know that you were a good human coming to town and not one that was going to wreck our whole shop here?
Avra: I mean, they are fates.
Francy: Fair, fair. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t warn a town terrified of humans that one was going to start living with them.
Francy: Maybe that’s a bit strong, but definitely nervous.
Avra: A town full of cryptids is nervous about humans? Kind of hard to believe, especially considering your entire livelihood is built off human tourism.
Francy: Humans can be awful to cryptids. Hell, humans are awful to each other. We have strict rules in place so they don’t know what we are because we don’t want to get captured and dissected, put on display at freak shows or museums like our ancestors. That’s why it’s such an issue that some asshole is selling “freak show” tickets in town.
Francy: Oh, Av, I-I didn’t mean you. You’re great, you’re nothing like those bad humans. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to generalize, it’s just... when you were raised in the kind of place I was, you tend to see the worst of humanity. I’m sure there are other good humans, too.
Avra: Where were you—?
(Lizzie’s footsteps approach)
Lizzie: Found a winner! Guess who’s going to the gallery opening in a fur lined ball gown.
Francy: Is that a yeti... spray painted on the front?
Lizzie: Yeah! Looks like Winston a little bit, don’t you think?
(Francy groans lightly)
Avra: You’re good to get that lemon suit, Francy.
(tape recorder clicks off)
(tape recorder clicks on)
Avra: Jesus, we’ve got about 10 minutes until the event starts and I’m still sitting on my couch waiting for Lizzie to pick up Francy and I. She wanted to get a different pair of shoes, thought her purple heels would go better with the spray paint aesthetic or something. I don’t know, I don’t understand fashion. But now Francy’s fixing his hair in my bathroom and I’m waiting for the doorbell to ring like a high schooler hoping their Homecoming date didn’t stand them up. (laughs) An interesting beginning to the night. I’m going more conservative in my look than the other two, which isn’t saying much, really. I’ve got a maroon one shoulder gown that is all flowy and has a bit of a slit up the side. Nothing too crazy, it ends like right above the knee, but I thought it looked pretty. I even did some makeup and pulled my hair up for it, too. Lizzie wanted me to borrow a pair of heels to wear with, it but I explained my sordid past with high heels and she thought my silver sandals would be a better fit. And she agreed once she heard my many stories. (laughs lightly)
Jeez, where is Lizzie? We’re going to be so late. (calling out) Francy! You hear anything from Lizzie?
Francy: (from a distance) No, you?
Avra: No. (back to a normal volume) Oh well, there goes my pre-event interview plan. I’m sure the artists won’t mind being interviewed during the actual gallery, I just don’t want to steal them away from any interested fans.
Ah, Francy, you look great!
Francy: (gasps) Why, thank you! And you are looking stunning yourself, Avra. Now, how much longer are we gonna wait for Lizzie? Because I’m thinking if she doesn’t walk through that door in the next five seconds I’m gonna— (knock on door, door clicks open, Francy scoffs) Did you do that shit on purpose?
Lizzie: Only a little. Let’s roll.
(tape recorder clicks off)
(tape recorder clicks on, people chatting and soft ethereal music in the background)
Avra: One wouldn’t imagine a community center meeting room could be turned into a fine art gallery overnight, and yet that’s precisely what the folks at the Artist’s Nook have done. This place looks incredibly refined, although I suppose with how minimalist the design is that much of the refinement stems from the work of these magnificent art pieces and their artists. While the majority of the exhibition is two dimensional, lots of paintings and photography and mixed mediums, practically every type of art one can think of is represented here.
There’s a sculpture of the moon that looks like it’s floating above a bird bath with water coming out of the top and flowing down into the basin. It makes it look like the water’s embrace is all that’s keeping this marble moon afloat. Then there’s a charcoal drawing of the moon overtop a black and white photograph of a face crying that blend together so well, it’s difficult to see where one ends and the other begins.
There’s even a short experimental film being projected on the wall. The whole thing is a static shot of the sand with the waves coming up just enough to cover it in white foam before receding. Each time the foam dissolves, a constellation can be seen amongst bright flecks in the sand. This whole show really is breathtaking, and several of the artists are here to present their work and talk to potential buyers and casual fans alike.
I’ve had a few brief conversations, uh, one with Sarabi Babak, the creator of a gorgeous oil painting of the moon reflected in the ocean waves, and Nadeem Rizvi, the author of a series of poems displayed around the gallery and being read aloud by Rizvi himself every half hour. I didn’t want to hog their attention, especially seeing the interest some attendees and their potential buyers are giving them, so I took down their information and I’m gonna follow up tomorrow. Lizzie wandered off somewhere, I think she saw a friend that she wanted to congratulate, and Francy went to get us a couple glasses of wine from the bar, so I’ve been taking in the scene, trying to detail my observations and snapping some photos to use in this week’s paper. This’ll definitely be a double truck, the issue’s going to look beautiful.
Lizzie: Getting some good stuff? I mean, I don’t see how you wouldn’t be, all this work is incredible.
Avra: Right? Really stunning, especially considering most aren’t artists for a living, you know? It’s just so cool that there’s a group in town where people who... who...
Avra: Who is that?
Avra: Over there, that person in the gold suit with blue hair.
Lizzie: Oh, that’s Shia! They’re the founder of Artist’s Nook, actually, I think they do mostly photography, but they’re super into spreading art education and appreciation. They’re a water nymph, if that’s what you were wondering.
Avra: Water nymph... so, so what? Do they have some magnetic attraction ability that draws people in or something?
Lizzie: (playfully) No, is that what you’re feeling, though? Because that sounds like a good old-fashioned crush to me.
Avra: Uh, I mean, I-I don’t...
Lizzie: You want me to go talk to them for you? They come into the diner every once in a while, I can be your wingman.
Avra: (frantic) No, no, that’s okay.
Lizzie: Oh, come on, Avra, I can already see it going pretty well.
Avra: No, Lizzie. I... I don’t want to bother them, they’re talking to a bunch of people and—
Lizzie: But I—
Avra: (firm) No. I appreciate the offer, I do. I just... just not right now, okay?
Lizzie: Okay. You should go talk to them, though, I mean they are the organizer of the whole gallery.
Avra: I will, in a minute.
Lizzie: Alright. Uh oh, looks like Thatcher Thompson is talking Francy’s ear off again. I gotta go do some recon, I’ll be back.
(Avra laughs, Lizzie’s footsteps move away, after a pause, footsteps approach)
That didn’t take long. Have you seen this photo, Lizzie? It’s absolutely beautiful, and the waves catching the light and just the—oh!
Shia: Oh! I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you. I should’ve said something earlier, I was simply wrapped up in your praise. Where are my manners? I’m Shia Fisher.
Avra: I’m Avra Nunez.
Shia: Avra, what a lovely name. It’s a pleasure to meet you. Sorry again for the fright, I just noticed you were examining one of my photographs and wanted to answer any questions you might have.
Avra: Of course, yes, questions. Uh, let’s see... Well... Uh, I’m not sure if I have any at the moment. (nervous laugh) It’s a very beautiful photograph, though.
Shia: Oh, thank you so much! I really do like the way it came out, quite a tricky one to get that toy boat right in the moon’s reflection, but I am proud of it, though.
Avra: You should be. I heard you’re the founder of Artist’s Nook and the event organizer, is that correct?
Shia: (cheerfully) That is me, yes. (laughs)
Avra: Great! Could I, um, get your number? (a slight pause, then nervously) To interview you about the event, I mean. I’m the new editor of the Weekly, did I say that already? I just don’t want to take up your time now, I’m sure you have things to get back to. Uh, email is fine too if you prefer email or—
Shia: I don’t mind a phone call at all. I think I have a pen, ah, here we go. Do you have something to write on?
Avra: Ah, shoot. I don’t. You can just, uh, write it on my hand?
Shia: Oh, alright, works for me. (a marker scribbles) And there you go, give me a ring whenever, and enjoy the show!
Avra: Will do, thank you!
(Shia walks away, new footsteps approach)
Francy: Oooo, looks like somebody met Shia!
Avra: (a small sigh) Yeah, they’re-they’re nice. And gorgeous. Their photography, I mean.
Francy: Mmhmm, mmhmm, I’m sure you do.
Lizzie: Did you get their number?
Avra: Just for an interview.
Francy: (gasps) Holy shit, they wrote it on your hand!
Avra: I didn’t have any paper!
Lizzie: Dude. You’re recording right now. They could’ve just said it.
Avra: (softly) Oh. Fuck.
Francy: Oh my God, you’re so into them!
(Francy and Lizzie laugh)
Avra: I... (sighs) Give me that wine.
(tape recorder clicks off)
(upbeat theme music plays, fading into the background as Victoria speaks)
Victoria: Thank you for listening to episode five of Cryptid Cape, “Paintings and Prophecies.” The show is created and produced by me, Victoria Pereira. I also voice Avra. The voice of Francisco is Aubrey King. The voice of Lizzie is Christina Rose Hargis. The voice of Shia is Angelique Fustukjian. Our theme song is “Pink Nights in Ohio” by Ryan Andersen. The other songs used in this episode were “Nidra in the Sky with Ayler” by Jesse Gallagher, “Meeting Again” by Emily A. Sprague, “Heart Break” by Vibe Tracks, “Last Train to Mars” by Dan Lebowitz, “A Quiet Thought” by Wayne Jones, “Arms of Heaven” by Aakash Gandhi, and “Beneath the Moonlight” by Aaron Kenny. Our cover art was created by Christy Duprey. Be sure to subscribe to Cryptid Cape so you don’t miss our next episode. We’re taking a short midseason break, so our next episode won’t be out until October 14th, then we’ll be back to our regular schedule of releasing every other Monday. In the meantime, check us out on Facebook at Cryptid Cape Podcast, or Twitter and Instagram, @CryptidCape. There’ll be some fun bonus content there during the break, so don’t miss it. And tell your friends if you enjoyed this episode, it means the world. See you next time.
(theme music fades out)