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  • Writer's pictureH.R Owen

Episode Thirty Two

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Monstrous Agonies E32S01 Transcript

H.R. Owen

Hello, friends. Hero here. We're getting close to the end of season one of Monstrous Agonies, and thought we'd cap things off with a Q&A session, where I answer your questions about [slipping into the Presenter's voice] life, love, and all thing limin-

[clears throat] Sorry, force of habit. I'll answer your questions on... whatever you ask, really. Get in touch through the website, by email, on Tumblr, Twitter or Patreon, and see the show notes for more details.

Thanks for listening, and remember – the real monsters are people who ignore calls for action from their favourite indie podcasts.

[Title music: slow, bluesy jazz.]

H.R. Owen

Monstrous Agonies: Episode Thirty Two.

[The music fades out, replaced by the sound of a radio being tuned. It scrolls through classical music, a voice saying “-pint in one hand-” and pop music before fading out as it reaches the correct station.]

The Presenter

-the rising, shimmering smell of hot tarmac, unyielding beneath bare feet.

It's almost two o'clock here on the Nightfolk Network and time for... Well. It's time for our advice segment, but I'm afraid there have been some complications.

It seems my usual delivery has been waylaid. I have some letters here but they're not what they should be. I... Well, I-I'm getting nothing from them. They're just paper as far as I can tell. I can't even guess at their contents.

The first came to me through the ordinary post. I would usually have put in the bin, but with nothing else to use I suppose it'll have to do. We can't very well do without an advice segment, can we?

So! I have no idea who our first letter tonight is from. We'll find out together, shall we?

I am a- Ooh! Ooh, that's weird. I- I suppose it makes sense, I'm just reading it after all. None of the usual compulsions or impulses. [sighing] Well. En avant.

I am a nubile young- Oh, for pity's sake. I am nubile young virgin interested in the benefits of thralldom. I have a number of young and equally nubile, and virginal, friends in a range of sizes, shapes and gender expressions who would also like to explore such opportunities.

However, we have a very busy schedule of... [sighs] Of gentle and highly flexible yoga routines, applying unscented moisturiser to one another's limbs, brushing each other's thick, luxurious hair and fine-tuning our high-iron, low sodium diets. As such, we have been unable to devote much time to searching out dark forces beyond our ken to whom we might submit our pristine and innocent souls.

Where might we be able to find willing suitors for our cause? We are willing to travel. Where can we find you? Help us find you.

Well, listeners, this seems as good a time as any to share some tips and tricks on avoiding scams.

Firstly, when it comes to offers like this, a good rule of thumb is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't. Employ a healthy dose of scepticism whenever you're dealing with such matters.

A lack of specificity is often a clue that things may not be on the level. Scammers tend to cast wide nets rather than narrow ones, hoping to ensnare as many people as possible rather than wasting energy on more targeted attacks. As such, they will generally prefer to keep things vague in the hopes of appealing to all tastes.

Keep an eye out, too, for outdated language and ideas. This particular style of scam rarely originates from within the community, and is often created by people drawing on the silliest kinds of propaganda. I mean really, as if anyone beyond the most decrepit misogynists care about virginity of all things.

If in doubt, just ignore it. You lose nothing by simply throwing the communication in the bin and getting on with your day. If you are in the market for a new thrall, or a long-term feed, or an offering for sacrifice or subjugation, there are plenty of legitimate ways to meet people that will help keep you and them safe from predators.

Remember: keep your personal details secure; never send money, fluids or grave goods to someone you haven't met; and if you're meeting in person with someone for the first time, tell a friend, meet somewhere public, and keep your wits – and your claws – sharp.

[Background music begins: An acoustic guitar playing a blues riff]

The Presenter

Connection. Yearning. Insignificance. Lust. Find these feelings and more at Greedles Incorporate – proud sponsors of the Nightfolk Network.

[End background music]

The Presenter

Our second letter tonight did come through the usual channels, as it happens, but it was some time ago. I believe it came during a week we were doing a live call-in, and we haven't had one of those in decades. Perhaps we should give it a go again sometime soon...

Anyway, as I recall, one of our callers ran over time slightly – a young man asking about the logistics of intergenus oviposition, I believe. This letter was an unfortunate casualty of the limited time-slot. I was released from my obligation to the writer, but it never felt quite right to dispose of the letter itself. And so, here it is. If nothing else, let it serve as an insight into the concerns of creatures past.

My daughter is sixteen years old and lately we have been arguing almost every day about the things she wears. She has fallen in with a crowd at school who I do not like the look of at all.

They seem to take pride in dressing in the most revolting things, from torn up trousers to t-shirts with horrible slogans on. And that is to say nothing of the piercings and the make-up! And that goes for the boys as much as the girls. In fact, it's quite hard to tell which is which.

She is a pretty girl, but hides it in swathes of dreadful make-up, and is now even threatening to shave her head. I have tried to impress upon her the importance of dressing appropriately and in a way that will not draw attention. But she insists on following her new friends.

If were just the fashion, it would be bad enough. But I recently discovered that she has taken to wearing badges and t-shirts that proclaim her...

Oh, the- The writing cuts off here. I think the next part was... rather difficult for our listener to write. It says, they proclaim her a monster.

She wears shirts with images of dripping fangs and cuts her trousers to look like they've been clawed apart. She has a denim jacket that she wears almost constantly, and on the back she's spray painted a symbol – an M in a ragged circle, with the second spike of the M crossed to make it resemble the anarchy sign so beloved by her sapio peers.

I can't believe she would ever associate herself with that word. I thought I raised her with more dignity than that. And I worry about her, if people see that symbol and that word, and put two and two together.

Her father and I have only been able to build the life we have by keeping that side of ourselves hidden. I don't want her to be ashamed of what we are, but this is not the way! She will frighten people and we all know what happens when sapios get frightened. I just... want to keep safe.

Gosh. It's funny, isn't it, how some things are so different and some things are just the same.

For any parents listening now and worrying about the way their teenagers are dressing or styling their hair, my advice is to choose your battles. There will be plenty for you to butt heads over without adding to the pile with arbitrary concerns like what kind of trousers are they wearing or how much hairspray do they use.

Besides which, if your child is turning to fashion and make-up as a means of rebellion, putting your foot down about it is only going to fuel the fire.

Teenagers have enough on their plate, between hormones going haywire, pressure at school and from their peers, and all the other dramatics associated with adolescence. As a parent, it's your job to help them through it – not add to the problem.

As to the second part of this letter, it's certainly humbling to be reminded of how far we've come. I wonder what my advice would have been to this parent, back in the 1970s?

Their fear is not unfounded. This was a time when most creatures did keep themselves to themselves, either living as sapios if their biology allowed, or keeping within their own communities if it did not. And it worked. To a degree. They were safe.

As long as they kept themselves hidden, and never revealed their true nature, and never gave in to their urges, and never spoke their names out loud or lost their tempers or showed their teeth or lived with any degree of authenticity at all. [bitterly] They were safe.

I hope I would have heard this parent's fear. I hope I would have told them they were not wrong to want to keep their child from harm. And I hope I would have helped them to see that there are more important things than safety.

And I hope, wherever she is, that that little punk grew up fierce and proud.

[Background music begins: An acoustic guitar playing a blues riff]

The Presenter

131.3FM – the Nightfolk Network.

[End background music]

The Presenter

Thank you for your patience tonight, listeners. I fully expect to be back to our usual routine for next week's segment. What happened here tonight is an aberration but not nearly as disruptive as I suspect its architect hoped.

Of course, I have my suspicions as to the identity of that architect. There are few enough beings with such power, and fewer still reckless and petulant enough to use it.

I'm sure you're listening. I can just picture you, lounging about on the hideous chaise longue you insisted on buying on our last trip to Florence, sipping pink champagne and feeling so very pleased with yourself.

Well done! You made me think of you for, oh, all of fifteen minutes. I'm sure that was worth the incredible expenditure of power it would have taken to interfere with the post.

I hope it was worth it. I certainly won't be spending any more energy on the matter.

Up next on the Nightfolk Network, we look back at how the creature community carved a place for itself among the Bright Young Things of the Roaring Twenties...

[The Presenter's voice fades into static as the radio is retuned. It scrolls through static, a person speaking Spanish, someone saying “-for the match, their manager-”, and pop music before fading out.

Title music: slow, bluesy jazz. It plays throughout the closing credits.]

H.R. Owen

Episode Thirty Two of Monstrous Agonies was written and performed by H.R. Owen.

This episode's first letter was based on an idea by Thomas Charles Michael Patrick Sebastian. Thanks, friend!

To submit your own letters and suggestions, head over to our website at, email us at, or find us on Tumblr at Monstrous Agonies. You can also now find us on Twitter, @Monstrous_Pod.

Hello to our most recent supporters on Patreon, D'nae, Hannah and Hannah! If your name's Hannah and you haven't signed up yet, head over to and do your part for International Hannah Cabal.

This podcast is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. The theme tune is Dakota by Unheard Music Concepts.

Thanks for listening, and remember - the real monsters are the friends we made on the way.

[Fade to silence]

[Background music: a piano playing the theme music for the podcast, Neighbourly]

Matty O.K. Smith

Psst. C'mere. Yes, you. Welcome to Little Street. Under the skin of each house hides a secret that most of its keepers would do anything to bury. How well do any of us really know our neighbours?

Curious to discover what dwells behind the doors of Little Street? Subscribe to Neighbourly, distributed wherever good podcasts are found.

For more information go to or follow us on social media @NeighbourlyPod. That's Neighbourly with a U, by the way. Thanks for listening. Come visit us soon...

[Background music plays out before fading to silence.]


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