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NIGHT 3


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 3

 

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

 

Woman:

I’m thrilled and creeped out all at once. There should be a word for that. All I can think of is my junior high World Civ teacher using the word “titillating” to make us laugh.

 

Maybe that’s the right word.

 

I haven’t moved much since this morning. I keep coming back to that mirror. Hoping to see what I saw, and hoping not to.

 

It was the Broken One looking back at me. Her face, her body. She was surprised to see me too.

 

I know isolation and fear can do things to people. But… this…

 

It’s time for bed again. Night 3.

 

I’m tempted to just pull my blankets over to my spot in hall. Just as strange as that bed that’s not mine. Sleep here. Or not sleep, just wait for something to happen. Something weird and …

 

No. I’m going to put my sleep shirt on, and get ready for bed, and just – I gotta keep going, gotta keep seeing whatever comes, whatever dreams… what dreams may come…

 

I’m jacked up, but I’m also tired. Adrenaline fades. Especially after I stop feeding it.

 

Reminds me I’ll need to get more supplies soon. Psych myself up for that.

 

At what point does this …recording thing… when does it stop being a dream journal, and become something else?

 

Ok. Time for bed.

 

Sound: Record button off.

 

Sound: Record on.

 

 

Woman:

I haven’t gone to sleep yet. I’m just laying here, but –

 

I turned this on because I’m feeling something odd, and I can’t focus on anything else.

 

It almost feels like heartburn, or a panic attack, but like, [gags] ugh, like I’m choking on something coming back up, oh, ah --

 

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

 

Unnatural One:

How can this be natural? This man, who sleeps in another room, and comes in to grunt on top of me for a few moments most nights, who won’t look me in the eyes, who sometimes puts his hand on my mouth. And they call it love. They call it right. They call it the only way, God’s law, blessed and pure and good.

 

Not long ago, I felt a woman’s lips on mine. I felt her eyes take me in. I felt her hands glide over me. I felt tenderness, and joy, and birds singing, and trees waving, and horses neighing. That was natural.

 

That thrill, when she caught my eye in the park, that was natural.

 

That jolt, when she passed a note into my hand, that was natural.

 

But the horror, the anger, the disgust, that came when my mother found one of those notes. That felt unnatural.

 

I will escape. I will find a way out of this house, with this man I was sold to. I must. Even if I cannot find her, cannot have her.

 

I’ve been sent to this house to breed and die.

 

Somehow, you understand this. You hear me. Wherever you are, whatever this is, you –

 

Woman:

No, no, no. 

 

It’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok --

 

 

Sound: Record off.

 

Sound: Record on.

 

 

Woman:

That wasn’t a dream. I was awake, and – the Unnatural One, she came. She took over, and she talked to me, and –

 

Ok. This isn’t a dream journal anymore. That’s just, fact.

 

Now it’s some sort of record. It’s some sort of record, so let me record what I know about her. The knowledge just dropped in, like with the others.

 

The Unnatural One is from Ireland. 1645.

 

She’s queer. I don’t know if that was the word then, in Gallic or Irish or English, all of which she speaks.

 

She doesn’t think in that kind of identity language. But it’s who she is.

 

She’s married off to an English guy, someone who has some power in the country, colonized by the British.

 

She’s in a big home. One that smells like fireplace smoke, and dried meat. There’s the sound of emptiness. She looks out the windows overlooking the park, where she waited for her girlfriend. And where she saw me.

 

And she’s trapped. Locked up. Locked away.

 

She felt – when she spoke, she felt calm. Even though she’s angry. She knew this could happen, would happen.

 

She knows – this. She knows not what’s happening, so much, the whys and hows. But she’s aware we’re – she and I – we’re connected? And that calmness, that logical mind, that sees the issue clearly and what must happen – that’s why she spoke to me.

 

I don’t know what to do from here.

 

 

Sound: Record off.

 

Sound: Record on.

 

Static


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

 

Ugly One:

Ugly. Ugly. Ugly.

 

Didn’t matter I was ugly. Good socialist. Good writer. Stuck to the story. Stuck to the message. Talked to comrades. Wrote stories, plays. The journal. Rumor that Stalin, he said it was good. I was in favor. Might even get a dacha, if I kept it up. Stuck to the path. Told the story.

 

But then, that man. The one who burned with ambition. Who wanted that praise, that publication, that dacha. Who said all the right things, who acted the good socialist. But who looked at me and saw just another girl being, a hole between my legs, a hole he should own, he should plunder. A hole that made me less than.

 

He wanted to bury me. Fill my hole, fill my spot.

 

It was easy. Just a whisper, a hint, to a gossip and sneak. An informant.

 

They came at night, like they always do. So many writers and poets and thinkers and teachers and regular people, so many of us, grabbed in the night, by dark cars and dark boots.

 

I disappeared. I knew as soon as they took me, that would be my story. I would become invisible, forgotten, forbidden.

 

While I was very much alive, in the bowels of Lubyanka. And soon, soon, after months of interrogation about my anti-socialist, anti-communist writing, I would be disappeared again. Thrown on a train, sent north, to the camps.

 

You. You listening. You speaking my words. Hear me. I did not disappear.

 

I did not  I did not I didn’t I did not I am I did not disappear

 

Sound: Record off.

 

Sound: Record on.

 

Woman:

I think I was – sleep walking? Sleep … recording?

 

Or maybe I wasn’t in control at all. Maybe she was.

 

The Ugly One.

 

That was terrifying.

 

She’s in 1934 in Moscow. And … she must be sent to a gulag. Probably years of hard labor ahead of her, and who knows if she survives. Survived.

 

Her voice, I can still feel it in my throat. Low and smoky. She was chilled, like she’d been in a basement for too long.

 

I’ve read about that time so much. In novels and nonfiction and all of it. I read Bulgakov and Pasternak and Solzhenitsyn.

 

I had a college class, and I don’t remember the subject or anything else about the class, except one day there was a guest speaker, a gulag survivor. This old man, at the front of the lecture hall. He talked about the work – breaking frozen ground for no discernable reason. He described such heavy snow, such cold and wind that blotted out the sun and moon, so much so  they walked along a rope between camp and the worksite so they wouldn’t get lost and die. 

 

All that reading. For so long that was all removed. A history from so long ago. Just stories, of a time when we were more dangerous, less enlightened, as people…

 

Sound: Record off.

 

Sound: Record on.

 

Woman:

Ok, if this is a record now, a log or something of whatever this is, let’s commit.

 

Let’s fucking make a record of all this.

 

I’ll summarize what I know.

 

There’s the Old One, in 1500s Germany. About to be condemned as a witch, blamed for the town’s troubles.

 

The Unnatural One, in 1600s Ireland. Sold to marriage, dreaming of her real love. 

 

The Broken One, in 1700s England. Sent away to a nunnery before she escaped to live with animals.

 

And the Ugly One, in the 1930s in Russia. When neighbors and family and friends spied on each other and anything deemed anti-communist was … fuck.

 

And I remember now, from the first night, the first time I started recording all this. Feels like forever ago – but it was only three nights ago!

 

Anyway, I remember The Mad One, she was in 1876 in Chicago. She was in an actual asylum, sent away for … madness… and I feel like that meant she was just, not acting right? Not acting like a woman should. So she had to be Mad.

 

So what do I do now? What do I do with this? With them?

 

And why does it feel so familiar?

 

 

Sound: Record off.

 

Sound: Record on.

 

Woman:

Are women human?

 

Really. Truly.

 

The Old One, the Broken One, the Unnatural One. The Mad One, the Ugly One. They’ve all been sent away, or locked away, or maybe even targeted for death. Because they’re women. They’re women who aren’t following the rules, the rules that label them as something less than men. And so they’re punished, and made to cater to men.

 

So – are we human?

 

Because nothing’s fucking changed. These women are all from the past, but here we are, today. Here I am. Running from more rules.

 

Because that’s what I’m doing out here. I’m hiding out here. In this house, far outside the city, in the woods. I’m renting anonymously, with Major Tom by my side. And the birds, and owls, and bats, and foxes and deer, and who knows, maybe even bears and bobcats.

 

I’ve isolated myself.

 

Because I’m afraid.

 

The laws are changing. The men are gleefully turning back time, so we could be as great as we were in the past, in the time of the Ugly One, and the Mad One, and all of them. So they can have ultimate control once more.

 

It’s all been happening for years. But in the last months, since – it’s so fast.

 

Women who are married, who have kids, who are white and straight and normal, so normal – they’re fine.

 

Me. Unmarried, childless. Old. Not straight. Not normal.

 

I was not going to be ok. I’m not going to be ok.

 

So I left the city, and came here.

 

I’m the Weird One, in 2025, in America. And like the other women - there’s so many fucking threats, of being slowly or quickly tortured and killed.

 

The men make more laws, and erase others. All to tighten the rules for women, and for gender complex people, and for queer people, and for black people, and for immigrants, and for disabled people.

 

But out here, feels a bit more –

 

Like I said, I’m hiding myself. I’ve sent myself away before anyone else could.

 

And now I’ve gone crazy.

 

Or…

 

I’ve found something more real than anything else.

 

 

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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