CRYPTID CAPE S1 E4: The Water Tower
Published on August 19th, 2019
(air whooshing past car as it drives in background)
Officer Jenkins asked me to meet him at the water tower, which is harder to find than it looks. I mean, you can see it from everywhere in town, but finding a road that leads to this thing is impossible. I swear I’ve gone around the same three blocks twenty times and... oh, wait. Oh, wait, is this it? Finally, ugh. I have no idea what’s going on, but the officer said he had something I would be interested in covering. Can’t say I’ve ever heard of a police force that likes media attention, but this town’s so upside down anyway, I wouldn’t doubt it.
There they are. Looks like there’s a bit of a scene going on. Oh boy.
(key turns and ignition shuts off, key is removed and car door clicks open, then slams closed, crickets chirp and Avra’s footsteps are heard on grass in the background, voices get louder as Avra approaches)
Officer Jenkins: Look, Ryan, I don’t know why they would do this. It could destroy the town.
Mayor: Now, Officer, I’m sure that’s not our only possible outcome. We don’t even know the half of this yet... uh, may I help you? This is a closed crime scene.
Avra: Um, I’m Avra Nunez, from the Weekly.
Mayor: Oh, lovely, the press is already here. Look, we have a situation to deal with and we don’t need snooping journalists.
Officer Jenkins: I called her.
Mayor: Why on earth would you do that?
Officer Jenkins: Because we need help.
Mayor: So you call the press!? My god, man, I can see it in the paper now: “WEPD so incompetent they call a journalist for backup.”
Officer Jenkins: That’s enough, Mayor, thank you. Avra, I really appreciate you coming down, I’m Officer Jenkins, not sure if we’ve officially met yet.
Avra: (lightly laughing) Not unless you count our brief encounter with the loose goats.
Officer Jenkins: Oh. (laughs nervously) Yes well, after that display I’m really glad you responded to my call. It seems we have a bit of a sticky situation on our hands.
Avra: How so?
Officer Jenkins: Well, we’ve discovered that some unsavory characters in town have been luring humans in, advertising “freakshow tours” and sneaking around to show off our less disguised residents. We heard rumors of it around the mainland, but weren’t able to get anything concrete. Then my deputy was out on patrol earlier tonight and heard a ruckus coming from the water tower here. When he came to investigate, there was a human knocked unconscious with evidence of foul play.
Avra: And where’s the human now?
Officer Jenkins: We had an ambulance take them to Henrietta Medical Center, I’ll be sending one of our investigators to question them once they can receive visitors. I’m willing to allow you in as well, under the right circumstances.
Avra: And what sort of circumstances are those?
Officer Jenkins: I need you to swear to refrain from publishing anything about this investigation until the perpetrators have been caught. I’ll give you access to all the information I can, as long as I don’t see it in the Weekly until after we’ve found our guys.
Avra: I’m sorry, Officer, but that seems to run a little counter to... well, to everything I do as a journalist. I don’t think I can do that.
Officer Jenkins: Avra, I have a lot of people in this town that depend on me, on my team and I, to keep them safe, to keep their identities safe, and this incident, it’s a, it’s a serious threat to that. If the residents heard about this there would be panic, and I don’t want to panic my citizens over something that could be solved quickly and quietly.
Avra: But what if it isn’t? Panic aside, an early warning to something like this could be beneficial to the residents. Yes, more time to worry, but more time to prepare just in case—
Officer Jenkins: (harshly) In case what? In case the town is exposed? In case we lose the only place we can call home? In case humans roll in here with test tubes and cages and turn us all into science experiments, treat us like monsters? (tone softens) That’s what I’m trying to prevent and holding off news of the investigation will aid in that effort. Avra, you can either help me, and in turn help your community, or you can write a half-baked story to frighten everyone in town.
Avra: You’ve really got that good cop bad cop thing down, huh? (pauses) Let me think about it, okay? For a day or two. Who knows, by that time you might’ve found your guy.
Officer Jenkins: (sighs) Fine, a few days, but please consider it. I think in an effort to support the greater good, you’ll see what is the better option here.
Avra: Right. I’ll think about it.
(tape recorder clicks off)
(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 4: The Water Tower.
(theme music continues, then fades away)
(tape recorder clicks, light diner chatter in background)
Lizzie: Wait, so he wants you to keep quiet about a WEPD investigation?
Francy: One that’s threatening the whole town, no less.
Lizzie: That sounds... weird. I don’t know. I mean, I’m sure Officer Jenkins and the WEPD all want to protect us, but this seems like a strange way to go about it.
Francy: Are you gonna do it?
Avra: I don’t know. I wish I could find out what their witness was going to say before agreeing.
Lizzie: Was that directed towards the Oracle sitting across the table from you?
Avra: Oh shit, wait, you can do that?
Lizzie: See the future? Uh, yeah, that’s kind of my whole thing.
Avra: I knew that, but on command? I thought you had to just wait until some divine prophecy spoke through you or something? Okay, I’m now realizing how offensive that is, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean—
Lizzie: (laughs) No, you’re fine. That’s how it works sometimes, but those special prophecies are pretty rare. Only when somebody really needs to get my attention. Regular-old future reading I can do all the time, although it’s not always very clear.
Avra: The police should just go to you, they would have every crime solved in like fifteen minutes.
Lizzie: Oh, I don’t know about that. When it comes to figuring out the fate of an event that’s tied to so many people, it can get dicey, especially when one of the parties is unknown.
Avra: Yeah, that makes sense.
Lizzie: Doesn’t mean we can’t try, though.
Avra: Are you sure? I don’t want to rope you guys into this, too.
Francy: I mean, you already told us the thing you weren’t supposed to tell anyone. We’re officially accomplices.
(tape recorder clicks off)
(light, calm music plays in background, tape recorder clicks on)
Avra: Lizzie’s house has to be one of the coolest apartments I’ve ever seen. It’s this little two bedroom place above a small boutique on Main Street that sells evening wear and dresses. She’s got this adorable little kitchen decorated with old signs and posters that she’s gotten from antique stores and friends over the last few years. She has these 3D tins ones advertising these little milkshakes and a 7 Up clock above the bar table that functions as her dining room, complete with a few old bar stools from before the Diner remodeled. Very retro, very old school. Seems like Lizzie’s style.
Her living room is cozy is super cozy too and she has one of those couches that’s shaped like an “L” that you sink right into. She has a little cat, Marlo, and he likes to sit on the coffee table in the middle of the room, and he was there when we went over. Lizzie asked us not to put anything spillable on the table, though. Marlo’s quite a sweet cat and quite good with people, but he does not have very good spatial awareness at all. Francy said he’d started keeping a tally of the things Marlo’s accidentally knocked over and it was already in the double digits after just a few months. The second bedroom belongs to Lizzie’s brother, Ben. Who I didn’t know existed until earlier today. Just learning new things, I guess.
(tape recorder clicks)
Lizzie: Yeah, Ben and I are siblings, kind of. He’s at his friend’s house studying or I would introduce you. He’s a good kid, can be annoying as shit sometimes, but that’s just how brothers are, right?
Avra: Oh, I, I don’t have any siblings, actually.
Francy: Oh, God, you’re lucky. Siblings can be a nightmare sometimes, but they’re kinda cool, too.
Lizzie: Wait, I thought you had an older brother, Av?
Avra: Uh, no. Just me. Only child.
Francy: Good thing you didn’t turn out all spoiled like some other only children we know, right Lizzie?
Lizzie: (annoyed) Yeah, yeah, yeah. Anyway, I’m sure you’ll meet Ben whenever he gets back tonight. We should get down to business, though. Come on.
(footsteps walking across hard floors, door clicks open)
Avra: Oh my god.
Francy: I think she’s just admiring your sick bedroom walls.
Avra: That’s the Parthenon, right?
Lizzie: That it is. Parthenon at sunset.
Avra: It’s gorgeous. You painted that?
Lizzie: Yeah, took a hell of a long time too, but I like the way it turned out.
Avra: Damn, I want a full wall mural in my room.
Lizzie: Hey, I’d do it for you, but I don’t know if your landlord would be super thrilled. I know my room’s cool and all, but we’ve got things to take care of.
Francy: Right, let’s do this.
Lizzie: Okay, Avra, not sure what you know about seance, fortune-telly-sort-of-things from pop culture, but 90% of it is bullshit, so just follow my lead and do what I tell you, okay?
Lizzie: Don’t be nervous, it’s not spooky.
Francy: (whispering) I mean, it’s kinda spooky.
Lizzie: She’ll be fine. Now, Avra, sit right here. (light shuffling of Avra getting in place) Yeah, perfect, and Francy right there. (Francy shuffling) A little to the left. (Francy moves slightly) Great. (light tapping of a glass ball) You’re not allergic to incense, are you, Av?
Avra: Not that I know of.
Lizzie: Good enough. (lighter flicks and a flame crackles after catching) Okay, take my hand, and Francy’s in your other. Great. Now I need you to think about yourself. Like what makes up you? Think about your favorite memories, your past, where you want to go in your future, what makes you, you.
Lizzie: I won’t be able to see any of it, don’t worry. I just need you to focus on the subject whose future we’re trying to figure out, which is you. And Francy, focus on Officer Jenkins, okay?
Lizzie: Okay. Don’t freak out, Avra.
Avra: What’s that supposed to— (an explosive pop, fire crackles all around) Holy shit, the room’s on fire.
Francy: It’s okay, they’re not real flames. It’s just part of the whole thing.
Avra: Oh god, they’re touching my back. Wait, they’re... cold?
Francy: They’re also blue. I dunno, man, I just go along with it.
Prophecy Lizzie: (ominous, echoing voice) Mortals, confused. Looking for meaning when there is none. Why does the bird fly and not walk? Why don’t animals cry when they are hurting? Why is not the question here, though, is it? Look at me, child, look through my eyes and into the fire behind them and tell me what you seek to know of your future.
Avra: I... I would like to know...
(a haunting tone plays faintly in the background)
Prophecy Lizzie: Speech is flawed, tell me with your mind. Open your thoughts to me.
Avra: (wavering) Francy, I feel dizzy.
Francy: You’re trying to block her from looking through your mind. Just let her in, Lizzie’s really powerful and not completely in control when she’s like this.
Prophecy Lizzie: Let me into your mind, darling. For while I do not want to hurt you, I will push as far as I must.
Avra: Lizzie, I can’t. You have to... you have to stop.
(the flames start to roar)
Francy: Avra, just relax.
Avra: I can’t—
(the roaring crescendos until glass shatters loudly, the haunting tone is heard alone briefly, then comes to an end)
(tape recorder clicks on, the sound of water running from a tap)
Avra: I passed out. God, I feel like an idiot. And I can’t even pretend that it wasn’t completely my fault. If I let my mind be more open then... ugh, just listen to me. Talking to myself in a bathroom again. Been here two weeks and not much has changed. Dr. Francis would just say I haven’t had long enough to adjust, that I “need more time to get comfortable in a new environment.” I mean, come on, how much more invited do I have to be to feel comfortable? I’m literally the only human in a town of cryptids that welcomed me with open arms and that has made what I think are friends in the first few days of being here. I have a job that pays well and is exactly what I’ve always wanted to do, a comfortable, safe home to live in that I can afford, I live at the beach for God’s sake. Why does my stupid brain demand more? God, I’m so greedy, I need everything to be perfect and when it’s not I shut down, just like I shut my thoughts down during the oracle and just like I’ll keep doing for the rest of my life if I don’t get my shit together.
(two light knocks on the door, Avra gasps lightly)
Lizzie: Hey, Av, you good?
(door clicks open, light, calm music in background)
Avra: Yeah, yeah, fine. Sorry, seems like you find me talking to myself a lot.
Lizzie: Eh, that’s kind of my specialty. Just ask Ben or Francy, the amount of times I’ve found them talking to the mirror is staggering. (both laugh lightly) Speaking of Ben, he should be walking in the door right… now.
(door clicks opens)
Benjamin Ariti, it is past your curfew, what were you doing out so late?
Ben: Jesus, Liz, you’re not my mother. (door clicks closed) Why does it even matter, you literally can find out where I am at any time.
Lizzie: Doesn’t mean you don’t have rules about when you can be where. So, who were you out with?
Ben: Just Ed and Jamie.
Lizzie: Just Ed and Jamie, hm? Don’t normally wear cologne when you hang out with them.
Ben: Oh my God, Raquel was there too, okay?
Lizzie: That’s what I thought.
Francy: C’mon, Lizzie, you don’t have to chew out the kid. He knows how to behave.
Ben: Thank you!
Lizzie: Francy, you’re literally arguing that my trickster, shapeshifting brother knows how to behave. Might I remind you of this past April Fool’s Day?
Ben: That was so long ago, I’ve grown.
Lizzie: That was five months ago.
Avra: What happened on April Fool’s Day?
Francy: Oh, do not ask.
Lizzie: Avra, this is Ben. Ben, Avra.
Ben: Hey, nice to meet you. So, what’s your deal?
Lizzie: (through teeth) Ben!
Ben: What? I’m just wondering.
Avra: I just moved to town, I’m working for the Weekly now.
Ben: Oh, yeah, yeah, I heard about you. Nice. Welcome to Water’s Edge, town of freaks, geeks, and cryptids galore.
Avra: Thanks, I like it so far.
Ben: You should, it’s a cool place. Have you checked out the—
(flames roar to life)
Lizzie: (ominous oracle voice) Darkness will come swiftly, it will sweep over the mountains, wash in with ocean waves, and suffocate the eight beating, fleeting hearts it pursues. The end of safety, security, life is at hand, lest fate is quelled by the souls of the five beasts.
(flames roar, then extinguish, Lizzie thuds on the floor)
Ben: Shit! Francy, you were supposed to catch her!
Avra: I’m sorry, what the fuck was that?
(tape recorder clicks off)
(upbeat theme music plays, fading into the background as Victoria speaks)
Victoria: Thank you for listening to Cryptid Cape, Episode 4: “The Water Tower.” The show is created and produced by me, Victoria Pereira. I also voice Avra. The voice of Officer Jenkins is Michael Manaloto. The voice of the mayor is Tony Pereira. The voice of Lizzie is Christina Rose Hargis. The voice of Francisco is Aubrey King. The voice of Ben is Kai Morfin. Our theme song is “Pink Nights in Ohio” by Ryan Andersen. The other songs featured in this episode are “After All” by Geographer, “They Can Feel You” by Hainbach, and “I Wear Headphones” by Silent Partner. 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 our Twitter, @CryptidCape. And tell your friends if you enjoyed this episode, it means the world. See you next time.
(theme music fades out)