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NIGHT 1


Wyrd Woman is an audio drama from Broads and Books Productions. The show is written, performed and produced by Amy Lee Lillard.


Music comes from the Ghosts albums by Nine Inch Nails, courtesy of a Creative Commons license.

 

Get more from Amy Lee Lillard:

 

And check out our other Broads and Books Productions:



 


 

Episode Transcript: Night 1

 

Intro voiceover:

Wyrd Woman is intended for an adult audience, and discusses mental health, history, and other tough topics. Take care when listening. 

 

Music*: 

01 Ghosts I, Nine Inch Nails

 

Sound:

Record button on Voice Notes

Rain through the windows; owls hoot

 

Woman:

So [coughs]. So I’m recording this. Because I can’t write fast enough. Everything online says to keep a dream journal, but yeah, I can’t get it all out on paper quick enough, before I forget everything. My hand cramps. Maybe because I don’t write as much anymore, or none of us, as a culture handwrites much anymore? I don’t know. So as I write, even with abbreviations and the bare bones, I can’t get it down fast enough, and it all starts fading. The dream’s colors and the details, the sound of it. The way they feel, in their bodies. Their thoughts.

 

Yeah. I thought to avoid losing it, I’d try making voice notes. I’ve never even used this app before. And I have no idea what it will sound like when I listen back. Probably terrible audio, speaking right into it or something.

 

Ah fuck. I’m already forgetting. I was sort of trying to set the stage here and that’s taking too much time, so now – just the edges are there.

 

I think this dream had the Broken One.

 

Music: Broken One theme (28 Ghosts IV, Nine Inch Nails)

 

That’s what she thinks of herself. She’s been called so many things, but one time someone said she was a broken human being, and a broken woman, and it stuck with her.

 

People are such assholes.

 

There was more, in the dream, of course,  she was, doing something, she was --  it’s slipping away, thinning out --

 

Dammit.

 

Sound: Record button off.

 

Sound: Record on.


Rain continues outside; owls hoot

 

 

Woman:

I’m up again. Same night, another dream. I’m wondering if I always have multiple dreams in a night? Maybe they just don’t wake me up.

 

Or maybe this is new. Maybe it’s because of this place. The new place. Maybe I’m sleeping weird because it’s not my bed. Or, you know, the fear.

 

This dream was the house on the hill.

 

Music: Old One theme (13 Ghosts II, Nine Inch Nails)

 

The Old One, living alone. The spinster. She was feeding an animal – a horse. It’s lips on her palm. My palm. I’ve never smelled a horse before, and I could smell it. Shit, and sweat, and heat, and also a sort of – spice?

 

And it was quiet. Not just an out-in-the-country quiet. Like a quiet that’s never, I don’t know, known the sound of cars, or planes, or machinery. Before all of it.

 

That’s it. All I remember.

 

Maybe I’ll remember more, it will come better as I keep doing this. If I keep doing this. Feels so fucking weird, talking to a void in my phone. Am I gonna want to listen to this again? I hate the sound of my voice; I think everyone does. But, I don’t know, something’s telling me I need to do this. So I’m just gonna do it.

 

Major Tom is curled up next to me – purring and looking at me funny. He’s still weirded out we’re here. This isn’t home for him. Or me.

 

Recording this is easier than writing. I didn’t know if it would be, but once I start, the words come and – I mean, I always think way faster than I can write. Even on my laptop. Even here. My thoughts run so fast but here at night I’m still half asleep, so it sort of matches the right speed or something?

 

Yeah. I mean, I’m gonna keep doing it. I’m gonna try it. At least tonight. Get through this night. Because if I don’t, the dreams haunt me. They’re haunting me. Even if I don’t remember all the details, which I usually don’t, I have this sense, all day long, that someone is right there, right in the corner of my eye, someone that’s been inside my head, or someone I’ve been inside theirs.

 

And not just one someone. Multiple. There’s… five so far. Five women that I know I’m dreaming about.

 

They’re dreams. They’re dreams, they’re… They’re dreams but they’re real. These women are real. They feel real.

 

And that’s weird, I have to – I have to make this clearer. Figure this out. I have to… keep going.

 

 

Sound: Record off.

 

Sound: Record on.

 

 

Woman:

It’s only an hour later. Only 4:30 something. Jesus, when I sleep, I must start to dream immediately. I must be dreaming all night. No wonder I’m always tired, and feeling like my brain is overstuffed.

 

Ok. Let’s get to the point quick.

 

This was the asylum. The Mad One.

 

Music: Mad One theme (20 Ghosts III, Nine Inch Nails)

 

And the place, it’s more of a dumping ground. Not like any mental institution we’d see today, or even in older movies. There’s – people howling in the halls. She’s seen people in chains. Naked, shitting themselves.

 

She was looking out the window, in the dream. Looking out, through smudged glass, and wire or metal outside the glass, but if she squinted, she could see…

 

Mad One:

If I squint I can see grass. Green. A color. No colors in here. No colors for the mad woman. No colors for the ghosts in the haunted house.

 

I stand at the window. Nothing else to do. Nothing else but fall down, deep, deeper than I am now, deep to where the others have fallen. I stand at the window and remind myself there’s a world out there, even if it’s forgotten me. Even if it doesn’t want me. It’s there. I stand at the window so I have something to hold on to, so I don’t fall into the abyss, so I don’t –

 

Woman:

[Coughs, gags]

 

Uh…Uh, I don’t know. I think it’s gone. The dream, it’s all just black, it’s –

 

I’m so tired. I’m gonna sleep.

 

Yeah.

 

 

Sound: Record off.

 

Sound: Record on.

 

Birds sound in the woods outside

 

Woman:

My alarm just went off, and I feel like I didn’t sleep at all. Like, instead, I was awake hours, days. Like I lived longer than I have, and lived in other bodies…

 

I sound fucking insane. Maybe the Mad One, maybe that’s just me. Maybe this is the dream, this, what I call real life. Getting up, getting ready for work, doing the things you do when you live a life…

 

Umm, before I forget. Just before I woke up, I was just dreaming of the Ugly One. Same kind of thing, where someone called her that, and she came to think of herself that way. I can’t see her yet, see outside her head, to see if it’s true. But, I mean, ugly – what even is that? And why does it matter? Why does a genetic lottery decide that, and why –

 

Anyway. It was her.

 

Music: Ugly One theme (2 Ghosts I, Nine Inch Nails)

 

Woman:

She was working somewhere that looks like a common lounge or something. She was the only woman I saw in the room. A whole bunch of men, in suits, gruff and smoking and glancing at each other like they’re in a race. She knows the men are not as smart as they think they are. They --

 

Ugly One:

I heard a bunch of them, led by the big bully, laughing about me, about my writing, about how it would be so much better if I had a prettier face, because that’s what they fill their time with, not the big questions, not the important ones, not the things I think of, my brain emptied of all that beauty nonsense, all the thoughts about reducing and primping and what men think of me, all that gone and filled instead with stories and lines and questions and that’s why I’m here  —

 

Woman:

Did I – did my voice just change? I –

 

 

Sound: Record off.

 

Sound: Record on.

 

Music: Ugly One theme (2 Ghosts I, Nine Inch Nails)

 

Ugly One:

--   all that gone and filled instead with stories and lines and questions and that’s why I’m here—

 

Sound: Record off.

 

Sound: Record on.

 

Woman:

What the fuck was that?

 

Sound: Record off.

 

Sound: Record on.

 

Wind from the forest; birds

 

Woman:

It’s lunch time. I’ve been distracted and creeped out all morning.

 

I knew my dreams were strange. I knew that – that’s why I wanted to start this sort of dream journal thing. So I could remember them better, and understand them.

 

Because honestly – what else is there?

 

This is the most interesting thing to happen in my life for years? Besides doom scrolling, and the world outside us. I do office work, for an office company. Like, there’s just nothing there. I sit at the desk for the required time, take breaks for food. I read, and sometimes I draw shitty drawings, and I feed my cat, and that’s it. That’s it.

 

I’ve never been good with people. I’ve never understood people. I can’t figure out how friendships work, let alone romantic stuff. And people, they – they sniff me out. They know there’s something off about me. Maybe it’s the way I hold my body, or the way I look at them, or the things I say. No matter what they figure me out. They spot me as weird. As odd, different. And that makes them uncomfortable.

 

So I’m mostly on my own. And I’m mostly ok with that. It feels safe, and right, to be alone. Especially now.

 

But it can get … boring. Even the fear can get repetitive. Lonely. Makes you wonder what this is all for, and if it’s worth going on.

 

And then – I start having these dreams. Like nothing I’ve ever had. It’s kind of exciting. I just couldn’t remember them well, and – to be honest I liked the idea of having these women in my head. Like imaginary friends or something. And I wanted to know them more.

 

But – I’m less than a day into this experiment, and –

 

This morning I’ve been getting sort of flashbacks of the dreams. More details. It’s like the act of doing this, of trying to capture it – has unlocked something. Like they were just waiting for me to try, like they – want to be remembered. Like the women want to be remembered.

 

And I just listened back to my recordings from last night. And –

 

I remembered another dream, that I didn’t wake up from, one I didn’t record.

 

It was the Unnatural One.

 

Music: Unnatural One theme (36 Ghosts IV, Nine Inch Nails)

 

She thinks of herself in those words in an ironic sort of way. She has thoughts and feelings that the world calls unnatural, but she thinks are the most natural, real things. She’s got one crush in particular, on a woman she sees in her neighborhood I think. And in the dream, she was on a bench, like a park bench, and people were walking the paths, dressed in clothes I can’t place. And she saw her crush. She got all warm, and the anticipation felt good, a pleasant sort of tingle.

 

But then…

 

The dream, like, skipped? I wasn’t in her head anymore. I was next to her on the bench.

 

And the Unnatural One, she, she turned in her seat. She was younger than I thought, and smaller.

 

She looked right at me. She looked into my fucking eyes, and she saw me. Me.

 

And smiled.

 

What are these fucking dreams? What are they?

 

Maybe - maybe there’s a better question.

 

Who are these women?

 

 

Sound: Record off.

 

Music: Outro theme (12 Ghosts II, Nine Inch Nails)

 

Voiceover:

Wyrd Woman is an audio drama from Broads and Books Productions.

 

The show is written, performed and produced by Amy Lee Lillard.

 

Music comes from the Ghosts albums by Nine Inch Nails, courtesy of a Creative Commons license.

 

Find full episode notes, transcripts, and show details at wyrdwomanpodcast.com.

 

If you like what you hear, tell a weird friend.

 

Thanks for listening.

 

 

* All music comes from the Ghosts albums by Nine Inch Nails, courtesy of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license.

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