CRYPTID CAPE, S1 E2: A Lead
Published on July 15th, 2019
(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 2: A Lead.
(theme music continues in the background briefly, then fades away)
Avra: I should get a cat. Or a dog, maybe. Cute dachshund puppy, lil’ hotdog dog running around. I could dress him up like an actual hotdog for Halloween, just phone in all the social media likes. I wonder if Dezi allows dogs in her house?
Maybe I can give her a pet deposit or something to cover it. A dachshund probably wouldn’t do great as a guard dog, though. Probably bark a little, but if some monster comes through a window in the middle of the night, I doubt a 6-pound wiener dog with a belly two inches off the ground will be able to do much to fight them off.
They’d probably just come right through the front door, honestly. Some werewolf could bust it right off its hinges, no problem, during a full moon. Hell, there’s probably someone in this town that can unlock doors with their mind.
(sighs heavily) Maybe a big dog would be better, a husky or some beefy, German Shepard-y mutt. Or a security system, although those are significantly less fluffy.
Lizzie said to give this place time, and I know she’s probably right, but I’ve given it five days now and I’m still terrified to go outside during the day, let alone at night. (soft music fades in) Strangers are stranger here, and I’m still not ready to jump headfirst into the ocean of crazy that is becoming a part of this community. Or at least faking it so I don’t get eaten.
I called mom this morning. It was nice to hear a familiar voice from a normal place, although I would argue that Sedona isn’t necessarily as normal as they come. She and Dad are doing good, enjoying the beginnings of their first fall in the desert. She sends me pictures all the time, attempts at selfies with their hiking gear on or gorgeous landscape shots that could pass as red rock stock photos. It sounds like a nice existence, retiring with the love of your life in a beautiful place like that. But I’m 27 and very single with a fulltime job that officially starts tomorrow, so I guess this will have to do for now. I should visit them soon. (tape recorder clicks)
(tape recorder clicks, in the background papers shuffle)
Roger: (voice coming through a phone) …great opportunity for your first story, you know?
Avra: Yeah, definitely.
Roger: Your tape recorder on?
Avra: Just turned it on, yeah.
Roger: Alright, well I’m not sure if you’ve noticed during your first few days here, but we don’t have any schools on the island.
Roger: Not a one. There was a time we did, but it was 18, maybe 20 years ago now. It was small and basic, a converted space in a small strip mall. It wasn’t much, but we didn’t need much really, there were only about 15 children across all grades, and it only went up to 5th. After that, and for all grades ever since the school shut down, we’ve been sending the youth to the closest mainland school, so Scarborough K-8 or Jefferson High School. It’s worked out fine since, and our students are well-behaved in staying under the radar, but there have been rumors floating around lately that one of our college-educated residents has plans to actually open a school on the island.
Avra: How do they think they’ll manage that? Isn’t that more of a local government sort of thing, starting a new public school?
Roger: See, I’m—I’m honestly not sure, which is why I need you to figure it out. Get me the whole story and I think it could go front page in this Friday’s issue.
Avra: Okay. Do you have a name?
Roger: Her name is Evie, Evie Younan. (pen scratching) I think she lives on the east side of the island, but I’m not sure, she’s only been back in town for a few months now. You can probably find her wife’s number in the phonebook, through Chelsea Thompson, I believe. (pen scratching) Try that.
Avra: Will do.
Roger: Great. Sorry I called so late, just wanted to make sure you had some lead to start with your first day tomorrow.
Avra: Thank you, I really appreciate it.
Roger: Of course, Avra. You’re in charge of the Weekly now, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be helping you out. I’m off to bed, good luck tomorrow.
(call ended tone from phone, tape recorder clicks)
(tape recorder clicks, calming music plays in background)
Avra: This place is wild. I’m sitting in a cafe called Hot Bean Water. I love it. (sipping drink) Also, this hazelnut latte is probably the best thing I’ve ever drank in my life. Not sure if that’s because of the actual taste or its ability to chill me out a little bit, which seems a bit contradictive for coffee, but if you don’t think about it too much it’s fine.
The only other people in here are a couple of what I think are ghosts in the corner and the barista, who seems pretty human. I don’t know, I don’t want to ask, I feel like that’s a little rude. Talk about the “where are you from” question taken to another level. I don’t know what Evie is either, so I’m not sure what exactly I’m looking for. I’m glad there’s no one else in here. (door squeaks open, then closes)
Avra: Oh, that’s probably her. Evie?
Evie: Ah, you must be Avra. Nice to meet you in person.
(very quiet hissing in background)
Avra: Likewise. Would you like something to drink?
Evie: Oh, you know what? That would be great. Oh, Francy! I didn’t know you were working today, how are you, dear?
Francy: Doing good, Evie, doing good. What’d ya like?
Evie: Just a small black would be wonderful.
Francy: Coming right up.
Avra: I can grab that for you.
(Avra’s footsteps move away, snakes hissing)
Evie: Hush, Mellie, I’m sure she’s plenty nice. (snake hisses in response) Urania’s right, you should listen to your sister. Now hush, I have to be professional.
(Avra’s footsteps return, mug taps on table)
Oh, thank you so much.
Avra: Thanks for meeting up so last minute.
Evie: Oh absolutely! I didn’t realize news had traveled so fast about my plans for the school, but I’m thrilled. I can’t wait to tell everyone.
Avra: And I would love to hear about it. You don’t mind if I audio record our conversation, do you?
Evie: Oh, not at all.
Avra: Okay, I just want to check... (sound of tape recorder being picked up) that’s—that’s weird. Do you hear a... like a buzzing sound or something?
Evie: Oh, I’m so sorry, will that interfere with the recording?
Avra: Do you know what it is?
Evie: (short nervous laugh) I’m afraid that’s me, actually.
Evie: W-Well... (hissing gets louder)
Avra: Uh. Oh, I see.
Evie: I’m a Gorgon, descendant of Euryale. She’s my great great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother. Father’s side, I believe.
Avra: (strained) And you have snakes for hair?
Evie: That I do. They’re lovely company, at least most of the time. Other times they can be like a mess of toddlers with their whining and little tantrums.
Avra: So you can understand them?
Evie: Of course. How unfortunate would it be if my hair were made of sentient, slithery beings and I couldn’t understand a word out of their little mouths? Oh, and don’t worry, they only turn people to stone when I ask them to, and it’s reversible. And nearly painless.
Avra: Uh, good to know.
Evie: Would you like me to put my headscarf back on?
Avra: Oh, no, I mean… Unless that would make you more comfortable?
Evie: It’s no difference to me. But I think it might make you a bit more comfortable.
Avra: I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to...
Evie: It’s alright, I understand. You’re new here, it’s going to take you a bit of time to adjust. I’ll go easy on you, but it might be wise to start getting used to people who look a bit different. Let’s put all that aside for now, shall we? I’d love to tell you about my school.
Avra: Yes, please do. Now let’s start from the beginning: what exactly is your plan for the school? Is this going to be a public institution that you’ll receive tax funding for, or something more privately financed?
Evie: The school is going to be completely run off of donations and grant funding, at least once I get it up and running. I’m planning to put down a hefty bit of my savings which, I’ll be frank, makes me quite nervous, but you have to be willing to take some risks when you’re chasing a dream.
Avra: So running your own school is your dream?
Evie: Designing it and bringing a new approach to education, yes.
Avra: How so?
Evie: Well, I aim for the Water’s Edge Universal School—that’s what I’m calling it, by the way—I don’t want it to be a traditional school. See, when I was growing up I had quite a hard time in school, not because I had trouble focusing or couldn’t understand the material. Rather, I wanted so badly to learn about topics that I was never encouraged to explore. For me that was things like world mythology, ancient languages. But all that was rushed through during a few days of a single history class. And it wasn’t just me, either. Many of my friends and peers were the same way. I brought this concern up to my teacher one day, actually, when I was quite young, maybe 12 or 13? She suggested I check the library, so I did, and while I found some information than I had gotten in class, much of it was at a higher reading level than I was able to comprehend, so I felt discouraged. I don’t want other students to feel that way when pursuing a new interest.
Avra: So how do you aim to combat this issue with the Universal School?
Evie: My method essentially involves students teaching students, a philosophy found in a few educational practices these days. I would talk to each student individually, both when they enroll and at the start of each quarter, to determine what their interests are and garner four or five topics they would like to really dive deep into. Then I would assign each adult student to a youth student and—
Avra: I’m sorry, adult student? Is this not a K through 8 or high school level institution?
Evie: It’s both and more. I don’t believe in education stopping after a certain age. Learning should be a lifelong activity, so I intend to have older students that act almost as tutors. They hunt for the material and learn the ins-and-outs, then, with my help, develop it into a curriculum to teach it to the younger student. Then all the young students can create projects, performances, essays, whatever they like really, to showcase what they learned. Through the process they can explore the knowledge they crave in a positive, encouraging environment.
Avra: And they would do this for all their classes?
Evie: No, each student would only be allowed to take two special interest classes maximum per quarter at the Universal School. The rest of their general education will still take place in their mainland schools. This program is simply to supplement traditional education, at least for now. (sips coffee) One day I hope to have an entire K through 12 curriculum that I can offer with this method at its core, but it’s going to take some more time to figure out.
Avra: Seems like a hefty undertaking.
Evie: Oh yes, I have been fine tuning it for a while. I actually began developing it through my master’s program at the University of Pennsylvania. And I am excited to put what has only been theory and philosophy up to this point into practice.
Avra: So, when are you planning to open the school?
Evie: Undecided as of yet, I was hoping to have everything in order by—
(door clicks open)
Officer Jenkins: Francisco!
Francy: Officer Jenkins! How’s your day?
Officer Jenkins: (stammering) The goats are loose again. They’re all-over Main Street, stopping traffic. They’re eating eve-ry-thing. Please, can you just— (footsteps approach)
Francy: I’m on it. (footsteps, keys jingling) Uh, Evie! Lock up for me? (sound of keys being thrown and caught)
Evie: Of course, Francy. Good luck! (door clicks closed)
(tape recorder clicks)
(light street traffic sounds in background)
Avra: Okay, so, detour. (quick footsteps) I’m on Main Street right now because there are… goats loose? And I feel like that’s important? Where did these things even come from? We’re on a fucking island. (goat hooves clicking) There are— (bleating, quietly counting) I think seven? Yeah, seven goats in my line of sight. (goat footsteps and bleating continue in background) It looks like Francisco’s been able to handle at least a few of them. Three are tied to a tree in front of what looks like a women’s clothing store. There’s another one that’s just eating some weeds in a little patch on the sidewalk that looks like it used to hold flowers—which it, it probably ate those too. (goats bleating) And last three are just running around like chickens without heads. Where is Francisco? (loud goat bleat) Oh, shit! Oh. Oh, hey, buddy. Uh, I guess there’s actually eight—oh, hey, no, no, no, no! (goat chewing) That’s my jacket! Stop, goat! Stop!
Francy: Patricia! (chewing stops) No! Spit it out! Come on, that’s not yours. (goat bleats) It doesn’t matter if she’s a stranger, that is not your jacket. (goat bleats) You don’t need to get sassy with me. Go join your buddies over by the tree, alright? And fix that attitude while you’re at it! (goat bleats shortly) Gosh, I’m sorry about that. Usually Patricia’s not a problem. You okay, though?
Avra: Yeah, yeah. I’m fine, thanks.
Francy: She sure made a dent in that jacket, I’m sorry.
Avra: It’s okay, it’s old.
Francy: Oh, that’s not good, old jackets are the best jackets. (footsteps approach)
Avra: Fair point.
Lizzie: Francy boy, you still have three kids on the loose, might wanna focus on the bigger problem at hand.
(motorcycle engine passes)
Francy: Lovely timing, Lizzie. What, are you tapped into my timeline now? (goat bleats) Saw a vision about the goats? Because I really would’ve appreciated some kind of warning.
Lizzie: Nah, I saw this shit from my bedroom window. Can’t miss an opportunity to watch you catch some goats.
Francy: (sarcastically) Oh, how nice of you.
Lizzie: One of them just ran into the supermarket. (goat bleats)
Francy: Oh, Gabriel, come on! (footsteps running away)
Avra: Does this happen often?
Lizzie: Eh, every once in a while. (goats bleat in background) They’re from Natasha Lopez’s farm over on the east side of the island.
Avra: A farm on an island?
Lizzie: It’s small, just some goats and chickens. She sells eggs to the market and exports her goat cheese around the state. Really popular at farmers markets and stuff. (goat bleats) And sometimes they bust through the fences.
Avra: Someone should really fix those fences.
Lizzie: Oh, she does!
Avra: Strong goats?
Lizzie: Not even, Natasha just can’t make very sturdy fences. Like, she’s a great woman, super nice, like a grandma, but she can’t put up fences for shit and she refuses to ask anyone to do it for her. She’s a stubborn witch, what can you do?
Avra: That seems a little rude.
Lizzie: Oh, no, she’s legit a witch. That’s why her cheese is so good.
Avra: Oh… Okay?
(goat footsteps approaching)
Francy: Nellie, please stop running!
Lizzie: Alright, let’s go help the poor guy. Think you can keep up with goats?
(light upbeat music fades in)
Avra: Uh, maybe? How do you catch them?
Lizzie: I dunno, come on!
(quick footsteps retreat, goat bleats, recorder clicks off)
(recorder clicks on, in the background crickets chirp, water splashes lightly and peaceful music plays)
Lizzie: So is it weird to carry it around with you?
Avra: Yeah. I mean, it’s only been about a week, but it comes with me pretty much everywhere. I’m just glad I found one that’s small enough to fit in my pocket.
Francy: And it’s recording now?
Francy: That’s pretty cool.
Avra: I mean, it’s a bit outdated. I could’ve probably used my phone or something and saved a few bucks.
Francy: Well yeah, I guess, but that feels so much less... authentic. Recorders like this are like vinyl turntables or cabinet gaming machines, you know?
Lizzie: Old school.
Avra: (chuckles) Definitely old school. Guess it kinda suits me. It’s nice to have on hand for things where you can’t take written notes, though, like all that goat chasing. (laughs)
Francy: Oh, gosh, don’t tell me you’re putting that in the Weekly!
Lizzie: Oh, you have to! “Local barista chases goats for three hours”!
Francy: It was not for three hours!
Lizzie: Sure felt like it. I’ve even got some pictures for you, Avra.
Francy: I’m the Jersey Devil and yet you’re the truly evil one. How ironic.
Avra: Wait, you’re the Jersey Devil?
Francy: Yeah. You didn’t know? My bad, I mean I guess I don’t normally introduce myself that way. I know it doesn’t look like it right now, I prefer to keep my disguise on.
Avra: Like all the time?
Francy: Most, yeah. Just... prefer it.
Lizzie: He’s still the town’s premiere goat whisperer in or out of disguise. At least, he’s supposed to be.
Francy: Ugh, they were especially rowdy today.
Lizzie: I’m just messin’, Francy. You know I admire your goat wranglin’ skills, and your coffee. Oh! Has he made you one of his signature drinks yet, Avra?
Avra: No, not yet.
Lizzie: Oh, you have to try them. He’s got some crazy creations, but they’re really good.
Avra: Yeah, I’ll have to.
Lizzie: How about Saturday? You work the morning shift, right?
Francy: Yup. You guys should come by.
Lizzie: And then we could show you around the town, Avra. Give you a proper tour.
Avra: Oh, you don’t have to—
Lizzie: Oh, come on, it’ll be fun. We don’t bite, I promise.
Avra: ...yeah. Yeah, okay. Saturday.
(an animal howl echoes Francy’s call, Avra chuckles lightly)
Avra: Now is that a dog, or another cryptid?
Lizzie: Eh, who knows?
(tape recorder clicks off, peaceful music fades out)
(upbeat theme music plays, fading into the background as Victoria speaks)
Victoria: Thank you for listening to episode two of Cryptid Cape: “A Lead.” The show is created and produced by me, Victoria Pereira. I also voice Avra. The voice of Roger is Christopher Medina. The voice of Evie is Rebecca Reiter. The voice of Francisco is Aubrey King. The voice of Officer Jenkins is Michael Manaloto. The voice of Lizzie is Christina Rose Hargis. Our theme song is “Pink Nights in Ohio” by Ryan Andersen. The other songs featured in this episode were “I Wear Headphones” by Silent Partner, “Fender Bender” by Bad Snacks, and “That Night in Your Car” by Spazz Cardigan. 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. In the meantime, check us out on Facebook at Cryptid Cape Podcast, or on Twitter, @CryptidCape. And tell your friends if you enjoyed this episode, it means the world. See you next time.
(theme music fades out)