CRYPTID CAPE S1 E8: Fall Swing
Published on November 12th, 2019
Angelique: Hey guys, this is Angelique and I play the voice of Shia on Cryptid Cape. I’m here to tell you about my own podcast, called So I Got Fired. SIGF is a comedy podcast that sheds light on the beauty of being fired. With a new guest every week, we talk firings, quittings, and finding your way in the big city of Los Angeles. Catch new episodes every Thursday on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and SoundCloud. And find us on Instagram @SoIGotFired for updates. Thanks, and enjoy this episode of Cryptid Cape.
(upbeat theme music plays)
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 8: Fall Swing.
(theme music continues, then fades away)
(tape recorder clicks on, light somber music in the background)
Avra: I’m supposed to be at work in ten minutes and instead I’m sitting here in bed, still wrapped in a pile of blankets, un-showered, disheveled, talking into this dumb piece of metal. I could make myself look nice and go make small talk with people at the office, find some stories to cover and get out a little bit, but I don’t have an ounce of motivation to even move. Everything’s just become a giant, heaping mess, and anything I do to fix it is just going to make it worse.
Lizzie hasn’t talked to me in five days. Granted, I haven’t tried to talk to her, either. I know I upset her the other day, but maybe I had a right to? Sure, she was just trying to help, but I never asked for help. And her idea of helping is apparently tracking my movements and looking into my brain? Or whatever it is she does, and that seems like something you ask someone about before you do it. I don’t know, I just don’t want to deal with the whole situation right now. If she wants to talk to me then great, we’ll chat, but if she’s not interested in hanging around me anymore, why bother?
Ugh, I need something to get myself working again, some motivation to find a new story or do some investigating, but the town safety breach is at a stalemate. Roger’s pissed at me, the WEPD is still a little frustrated about the story, and Rory’s been released back to human society. Jenkins and one of his officers apparently dropped him off on the edge of the Rutgers campus in the middle of the night after wiping his memory and he found his way back to his dorm. It ended the local media frenzy, not before a few interviews with Rory not being able to remember what happened, but it seems like people are chalking it up to a weird drunk-turned-runaway college student. I guess it’s easier to chalk up a short disappearance to youthful stupidity than some frightening unknown. Fingers crossed no one starts looking into it much more.
The WEPD’s been out in full force lately now that everyone in town knows what’s going on. Everyone’s a little more on edge, it seems. Parents are watching their children a bit closer, people aren’t staying out as late, that sort of thing. Summer Protocol’s been put into effect, too, like Francy said, so everyone’s disguised while out in public. I feel like I threw a wrench in the usual tranquility of this place. (sarcastic) Glad my destructive tendencies have spread from hurting my immediate loved ones to screwing up an entire town. Didn’t think it would take so little time, I must be getting better at ruining things.
(bedding rustles, after a pause there is knocking at the door)
It’s probably just a package or...
(knocking at the door again, bedding rustles, barefoot steps walking, the knocking continues)
Francy: (slightly muffled) Avra, open the door. Come on, I know you’re home, your car’s in the driveway.
Avra: Francy, what are you doing here, shouldn’t you be at work?
Francy: (scoffs) No, it’s my day off. You’d know that if you were answering any of my texts. Can you open the door, please, so I don’t have to keep yelling through it?
Avra: I look like a mess.
Francy: (exasperated) I don’t care. Come on, your neighbors are looking at me very funny.
(door unlocks, opens, birds chirping, Francy’s voice is now clear)
Oh, Av, you look...
Francy: Like you need a cup of tea.
Avra: Yeah, I could go for one, I guess.
(tape recorder clicks off)
(tape recorder clicks on)
Avra: (sighing) So, how you been?
Francy: How’ve I been? I’ve been worrying about you. And Lizzie, I guess, but to a lesser extent since she actually has been answering me when I try to contact her.
Avra: (annoyed) Worried, of course. Everybody seems to be worried about me lately.
Francy: Well, you went from talking to us on the daily to not showing your face in town for a week, so what do you expect us to do?
Avra: It wasn’t even a full week.
Francy: (scoffs) That’s not the point, Avra, and you know it isn’t. (sighs, tone softens) Look, I’m not going to pretend I know you better than I do, Av. Lizzie and I have spent a good amount of time with you since you rolled into town, but you’ve barely been here a month. I don’t know where you came from or what your life was like before Water’s Edge and I won’t act like I do. That’s none of my business, anyway. But I think I’ve spent enough time around you since you’ve started living here to know who you are now, at least a little. (laughs lightly) I know that you’re an excellent journalist and a hard worker. I know that you’re quiet at first but warm up to people in time and can be a great friend. I know from your decision of even staying in this town that you’re way tougher than you think you are. And hell, I could be completely wrong, right? But I don’t think I am.
Avra: Okay, so?
Francy: So pardon me if when I see behaviors that run very counter to those observations that I start to worry about you. That’s what a friend does.
Avra: And what if I said we weren’t friends?
Avra: You said it yourself, we’ve known each other a month.
Francy: Well, I don’t think friendship has an hourly requirement to be official.
Avra: How could you trust me enough to be my friend if you barely know me?
Francy: That’s just the risk I have to take. Being vulnerable is part of being a person and having healthy relationships. I don’t think that’s too bad of a deal.
Avra: Yeah... Vulnerability isn’t something I’ve been aiming for lately.
Francy: (laughs lightly) I can tell. I mean, it’s fine if you don’t want to be open with Lizzie and I yet, but let us be concerned about you, alright? It’s okay to have people that care about you. And it’s also okay to take some time to adjust.
Avra: Okay. Thanks.
Francy: Mmhmm, of course. Hey, thanks for the tea.
(tape recorder clicks off)
(tape recorder clicks on, in the background is the sounds of a bustling street: people talking, traffic, and Avra’s footsteps)
Avra: So, Francy’s little pep talk got me motivated enough to take a shower and go to work. He suggested I walk, get the endorphins flowing and all that. It is pretty nice out. It’s that time of year when even in the middle of the day the sun doesn’t make it too hot for jeans and a nice blouse. Can’t beat fall weather. There aren’t many trees that are going to be changing colors, not on this island at least. Maybe I’ll take a trip to the more forested areas on the mainland, go on a leaf tour some weekend. Oh, maybe I should plan to do that sooner rather than later. Francy was telling me about some event starting on the boardwalk in a couple weeks called Spooky Shore Nights. Apparently the Water’s Edge citizens don’t get enough of a Halloween monster fix from just living with each other, so they turn the whole boardwalk into a spooktacular haunted beach fest, at least according to Francy. He wants us all to go to that, too, once it starts up, which means I need to make up with Lizzie before then. I haven’t texted her yet. Maybe once I get to the office. For now, I just want to enjoy my walk and the sunshine and—
(a loud thump as Avra bumps into someone)
Avra: Oh gosh, I’m so sorry, I wasn’t even... Roger?
Roger: ‘S fine.
(Roger’s footsteps shuffle off hurriedly)
Avra: Well, bye, I guess. (continuing to walk) What the hell was that? He can’t really still be mad at me about the story, can he? I mean, it all worked out, (mumbling) as far as wiping a teenager’s memory and dumping him back at college can. That was weird.
(tape recorder clicks off)
(tape recorder clicks on, calm upbeat music in the background, a door clicks open)
Clover: Afternoon, Avra.
Avra: Hey Clover. (quick typing on a keyboard, a different door squeaks open and Avra stops typing) Hey, you’ve worked with Roger for a while right?
Clover: Sure have. Been his event coordinator for… almost eight years now. He’s just a gem to work for.
Avra: Yeah. Uh, do you know if he’s upset at me at all? I feel like I might have messed up a decision about a story, I don’t know.
Clover: He hasn’t said anything to me about it. Now that I think of it, it’s been a minute since I’ve seen him. He hasn’t been in this office all week.
Avra: Oh, I just saw him walk down Main Street. Seemed like he was in a hurry.
Clover: What day is it?
Avra: Uh, the first, why?
Clover: That’s why he was in such a hurry, he’s probably on his way to the post office to get this month’s shipment of newsletters.
Clover: Roger never told you? Oh, I tell ya, he’s a great boss but sometimes he can be so forgetful! I suppose we all can. Anyway, newsletters! Every first day of the month, Roger picks up a stack of accumulated newsletters from the other cryptid cape towns across the globe.
Avra: Other cryptid towns?
Clover: Oh, yes, there’s eight all together. I’m surprised you didn’t know.
Avra: Well, I mean, I’m just so new to living in a cryptid town, and...
Clover: Of course, of course. I forget most people didn’t grow up knowing about our communities. But we get newsletters from them just as they get the ones written by you. Gotta keep in touch somehow, right?
Avra: People around the world are reading my paper?
Clover: Yeah! Makes you feel important, right? Don’t go letting that get to your head, though.
Avra: I won’t. (laughs softly) Huh, I don’t know, I mean that makes sense, but he seemed kind of off.
Clover: Hm, you know, now that you mention it, he has seemed a bit gloomier than usual. Maybe I should check up on him, make sure nothing’s going on. Nothing’s going on, right? Well, I mean, besides the whole police investigation thing.
Avra: Not that I know of. Although I suppose just that has been enough to throw off the rest of the town.
Clover: It’s been a little strange around here since that story of yours broke. I’m sure everything will go back to normal once the police figure out what’s going on, but until then I think everyone’s going to be watching their backs a little closer.
Avra: Do you think that’s a good thing?
Clover: I think it’s something. I gotta run, Avra, (shuffling as she moves) I have a meeting with some small business owners down at city hall, but it was nice to chat. And try not to worry too much.
Avra: (a meek laugh) I’ll do my best.
(Clover’s footsteps start to retreat, a door clicks open)
Avra: You wouldn’t happen to know where those old, out of town newsletters would be kept, would you?
(tape recorder clicks off, music fades)
(light upbeat music, tape recorder clicks on)
Avra: Oh. My. God. There were boxes upon boxes of newsletters in the office. I’ve been working here almost a month and I never noticed them, although they were tucked away in a closet but, like, the door was there. I could’ve opened it and been met with this avalanche of old newspapers at any time. I guess it’s good I didn’t until now, because I never would’ve gotten my first issue out.
(papers shuffling as Avra speaks)
These papers are just too damn interesting. So, the archive seems to be somewhat organized. There’s still stuff missing here and there, but it’s easy enough to figure out. I think I’ve spent like an hour in here already, although very possibly more, just reading through the news from other places. (paper shuffling continues) Some of them are in different languages, which makes sense since not all the cryptid towns are in English-speaking countries. I’ve mostly had to skip those, except there have been a few that I’ve found that have translations in them on separate little leaflets. I’m not sure if someone here did the translation or someone back in the original town but... oh, yeah, here’s one written in Japanese that has a little leaflet. Looks like the town’s name translates to “Sunset Falls,” so pretty. They’re having a traditional Kabuki performance at the town’s theater. I mean, they were when this issue came out in... (paper flips) March of 2011.
“The art of Kabuki is coming alive again in Sunset Falls with a new group of actors, all descendants of the last Kabuki theater’s actors. (paper flips) They have been practicing for months, incredibly dedicated to the craft and traditions, and are excited to share the show with friends, family, and fellow cryptids this Saturday evening at 7:00.”
You know, it’s funny, as I’ve been reading through these articles, I’ve been forgetting that they’re from cryptid towns until something like that, “fellow cryptids,” pops up and reminds me. They all seem so... normal, I guess. Like I read one before, gosh, where’d it go? (paper shuffling) Oh, here it is, yeah, this one’s from a town up in Alaska. It’s called Bluff and the front-page story is a profile about a fisherman. (light paper rustling) In the photo, he looks like a normal old grandpa, smiling big for the camera and holding up a trout as he steps off his little boat. It wasn’t until halfway through the article when I read that he was a Tangie from Shetland and can change his form from that of a man to a horse at will. He told the reporter that he didn’t often use his horse form unless the local kiddos wanted a ride around town. So cute.
God, I could go through these for hours. I’ve always loved reading newspapers from other towns. It’s like getting a tiny peek at what daily life is like somewhere that I may never visit. Sometimes it’s completely foreign to me, but I think the amazing thing is that there’s always at least one thing that’s familiar, something that, that ties people together.
(rustling of papers, cellphone vibrates repeatedly)
Oh, looks like Francy’s calling.
Hey Francy, what’s up?
Francy: (through phone, with a hinting tone) Avra, where are you?
Avra: At the office. Why?
Francy: (scoffs) At the office?
Avra: What’s wrong?
Francy: It’s Fall Kickoff night and you’re working, that’s what’s wrong! Come on, a couple friends and I are at the boardwalk, you should meet us!
Avra: Oh, that does sound fun... um, is Lizzie there?
Francy: No, she wasn’t interested, but you need to get out a little, Av. I don’t want you sulking around the office all night. Come on, we’re hanging out on the pier.
Avra: (hesitant) I mean, I really should...
Francy: (enticingly) Shia’s here, too. They were asking about you.
Avra: I... they were? Okay, for the record, I’ll come out with you guys because the boardwalk sounds fun. That’s nice that Shia happens to be with you, I’m excited to see them.
Francy: Well, whatever you gotta tell yourself, Av. Alright, see you in a few!
(upbeat music, people walking on the boardwalk, talking, shouting, and laughter, games being played, Francy’s voice starts of farther away, then gets closer)
Francy: Avra! Hey, Avra! (running footsteps approach)
Avra: Oh, there they are. Hey, glad I found you guys, it’s crowded up here.
Francy: Right? It’s like the whole island decided to come out for some rides and games tonight.
Shia: Safety in numbers, it seems. Avra, it’s lovely to see you, glad you could make it.
Avra: Great to see you, too, Shia. I love your earrings.
Shia: Oh, thank you!
Francy: Uh, Ben and a couple of his friends were hanging out with us, too, but they ran off to get on some rides a few minutes ago.
Avra: Oh, nice. So, what were you guys up to?
Shia: Oh, nothing much. We were just waiting for you, trying to decide what to do once you got here.
Francy: Uh, I think we decided on getting some drinks and snacks at Tito’s Pierside over there, how does that sound?
Avra: Perfect! Let’s do it.
(tape recorder clicks off)
(upbeat folksy music, tape recorder clicks on)
Avra: Tito’s Pierside Bar and Grill is a cute little tiki bar that faces the water, so it was a perfect place to relax and chat while enjoying the lively and chaotic boardwalk environment. We ordered a couple fruity cocktails for Shia and I and a soda for Francy, since he’s got a few more months before turning 21. We just chatted about random things that took my mind off the town issues for a while. It was hard to remember I was still in Water’s Edge, though. When glancing around the semi-crowded bar room, I saw a bunch of human-looking people milling about. Francy looked the same as always and Shia mainly did too, but there was something off about them that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, they were still as gorgeous as ever, but their hair didn’t seem to have its regular iridescence to it, and their eyes just weren’t quite as… as bright as they normally are. I mean, I guess that could all be blamed on alcohol since I did have a couple drinks, but… I dunno. Either way, the three of us had a really good time. For a while…
(tape recorder clicks on, people chatting in the background)
Francy: (laughs) And, I mean, he was cute, but there was no way in hell I was going to give him $40 for a speaker that was in such awful shape. Like, I don’t care how green your eyes are, honey, that stereo does not look good.
(the three of them laugh)
Avra: Oh, man, it is so wild what junk people try to sell.
Shia: Sentimentality doesn’t come cheap these days.
Francy: Mmhmm. Yeah, I mean there was this other time when— (cellphone ringtone) Oh, hold on. It’s Lizzie, two seconds. Hey, Liz, what’s up? ... Uh, no, he was with his friends when we last saw him. Like an hour ago? Maybe an hour and a half? ... Yeah, yeah, we’re at Tito’s. ... Shia, Avra and I. Okay, we’ll meet you out front. … Alright, bye.
Avra: Something wrong?
Francy: Ben’s missing.
(tape recorder clicks off)
(upbeat theme music plays, fading into the background as Victoria speaks)
Victoria: Thanks for listening to episode eight of Cryptid Cape, “Fall Swing.” The show is created and produced by me, Victoria Pereira. I also voice Avra.
Aubrey: The voice of Francy is Aubrey King.
Christopher: The voice actor of Roger is Christopher Medina.
Chloe: The voice of Clover is Chloe Loos.
Angelique: The voice of Shia is Angelique Fustukjian.
Victoria: Our theme song is “Pink Night in Ohio” by Ryan Andersen. The other songs used in this episode are “Passing Time” by Kevin MacLeod, “After All” by Geographer, “That Night in Your Car” by Spazz Cardigan, “Alaska Sky” by Patrick Patrikios, and “Spanish Rose” by Chris Haugen. Our cover art was created by Christy Duprey. Be sure to subscribe to Cryptid Cape so you don’t miss our next episode, we publish every two weeks. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram, @CryptidCape, or on Facebook at Cryptid Cape Podcast. Share this episode with friends or leave a review if you enjoyed it, it means the world. See you next time.
(theme music fades out)