• H.R Owen

Episode Three

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Episode Three


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Monstrous Agonies E03S01 Transcript


[Title music: slow, bluesy jazz.]


H.R. Owen

Monstrous Agonies: Episode Three.


[The music fades out, replaced by the sound of a radio being tuned. It scrolls past some inaudible speech before cutting off abruptly as it reaches the correct station.]


The Presenter

-bloodlust, and the perfect bikini body.


It's almost two o'clock on Thursday morning, and time for our weekly advice segment.


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


The Presenter

In association with Oneiros Bedware: home of the patented Astral Mattress. Start your 100-nights free trial today!


[End background music.]


The Presenter

Before we begin, I would like to take a moment to apologise for some of the language I used in last week's segment.


When I referenced 'bridezilla' in the introduction to one of our letters, I spoke unthinkingly, and caused distress and hurt to our listeners in the kaiju community. I sincerely apologise, and take full responsibility for my careless perpetuation of this harmful stereotype. Thank you to everyone who got in touch to bring this to my attention.


Kicking us off this evening, a listener asks how to take their relationship to the next level.


The Presenter (as First Letter Writer)

I've been single for a very long time. I've always found it hard to meet potential partners. I'm very introverted, and even when I do talk to people, they usually find me a bit... strange. I never got invited to parties, and even if I did, I'd probably spend the whole time standing by the dips and not talking to anyone.


A few years ago, I experienced a rather dramatic change in circumstances that all but put an end to my romantic aspirations. I was driving up to the Lake District for a weekend away when I pulled off the road to check the directions – no sat nav, unfortunately.


I was pulled into the lay-by when I suffered what I later learnt was a massive aneurysm. I don't remember the details. Certainly I didn't feel anything. One moment I was looking at the A-Z, and the next...


Well. There's no sugar-coating it – I died. Things were pretty weird immediately after. It's hard to describe, I can't even really picture it properly. Once things settled down, though, I discovered that my spirit or essence had become inextricably linked to the car itself.


I've done some experiments. I can get myself about three feet away before getting pinged back into the front seat. It's not so bad. I've worked out how to play the radio, which is nice. And so many people in my situation find themselves stuck in the house or even the room where they passed. At least I can see a bit of the world.


The car itself has been sold quite a few times since I... moved in. Not surprising, really. I do try not to make people uncomfortable but I don't seem to have the knack. Some things never change, I suppose.


Six months ago, the car was sold again, to a young man who I must admit, I've grown fond of. His name is Joshua, and he's... lovely.


He drives a lot for work, all over the country, and we listen to audiobooks together, or he sings along to the radio, or sometimes we just drive in silence for hours. The world feels so very far away then. Like nothing's real beyond the car door. Like it's just us, together.


I'd like to reach out to him. I've been practicing with the stereo when he's not there – it's hard, but if I turn the volume all the way up, and really concentrate, I can just about get through.


But I don't know what to say. How do I even begin? Should I even begin, is it a completely hopeless case? Please tell me if you think so. At least then I could try to move on.


The Presenter (as themselves)

Oh, listener. This sounds like a very difficult situation. I recommend taking things slowly. It sounds from your letter that Joshua may not realise he's sharing his space with another person. I know you can't help your presence in the car, but it might be quite a shock for him to discover he hasn't, in fact, been quite as alone on those long drives as he thought.


It's also important he knows you're there for your own sake. The fact is, he owns your living space, and is able to effect change on that space in a way that you can't.


He has a great deal more power in this situation than you do. The only way to start redressing this imbalance is in open communication with one another.


Make yourself known to him as gently as you can, and give him time to process his reaction. Hopefully, he'll want to get to know you. Try and set aside your romantic feelings, for now. You have a lot to learn about one another.


It sounds like you already have some things in common – taste in audiobooks, for example, and perhaps music? Those shared interests give you a nice first foothold in building a friendship together.


Let him know you're there, and then work on building up a friendship based on mutual honesty and respect. If something romantic does, in time, develop between the two of you, your relationship will be all the better for planting its roots in true friendship. And if romance isn't on the cards after all, well – you've made a friend.


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


The Presenter

The Nightfolk Network – Don't touch that dial.


[End background music]


The Presenter

Our second letter this evening asks what can be done when a relationship

ends – but one party refuses to let go.


The Presenter (as Second Letter Writer)

My ex and I met at a house party three years ago, and hit it off immediately. You might call it a whirlwind romance – I moved in just a week after we met, and lived in him for the next eighteen months.


But, once the honeymoon period was over, it became clear we simply weren't right for each other. It was nothing personal, we just needed different things. He wanted more independence while I felt, frankly, neglected.


Perhaps, I think sometimes, if he had been willing to change – communicate more, or take some vitamin supplements... But, no. He simply wasn't an environment in which I could thrive.


I moved on, found someone new, got on with my life. Honestly, I didn't really think much of it. 18 months isn't so very long, after all. Of course, if that were the end of the story I wouldn't be writing to you.


I don't need to tell you how small the liminal scene can be sometimes. Seems like everyone's someone's sire or podmate or in a thrupple with someone else's ex from the 14th century. You know what it's like. It was only a matter of time before we bumped into each other.


When we finally did cross paths, about a month ago, I was quite happy to be civil. It was long time ago and as I said, I've moved on. But he started talking about when we were together, how he missed me, how he felt empty without me, how he'd never found anyone who filled the space I'd left. All this, in front of my new partner. I was mortified.


Since then, he's started following my social media accounts, and has left a number of comments on my posts talking about how much he misses me and how good I was for him.


At this point, I almost feel sorry for him. My partner says I should just block him and hope that's the end of it. But isn't there anything I can do to make it clear to him that I'm not interested?


The Presenter (as themselves)

Unfortunately, listener, I don't think there is. His behaviour isn't based on anything to do with you or what you've said or done – it's all about him.


Look at his language when he talks about your relationship – it's all about how much he misses you, how good you were for him, how hard it is for him to move on.


His behaviour also demonstrates a profoundly self-centred perspective. Embarrassing you in front of your new partner and on social media shows a blatant disregard for your comfort.


Telling him to stop isn't likely to help because he's fundamentally not interested in what you want. This kind of emotional parasitism must not be tolerated.


Block him, delete him from your contacts, and let it be known to any mutual friends that you're not interested in running into him again. He might well be going through some personal issues, but that's not your responsibility. Concentrate on relationships that centre reciprocity and mutual benefit.


That's all for this week's advice segment. Stay tuned for the next instalment in our history series, as we ask what the development of Britain's canals meant for the night-folk of the 18th century...


[The Presenter's voice fades into static as the radio is retuned. It scrolls inaudible French speech and static before fading out.


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


H.R. Owen

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


If you're a person of the night or otherwise identify as a member of the creature community, we want to hear from you. Submit your own monstrous agonies online at MonstrousAgonies.co.uk, by email at submissions@monstrousagonies.co.uk, or find us on Tumblr at Monstrous Agonies.


You can support Monstrous Agonies by leaving a review on iTunes, sharing the programme with your friends and familiars, or supporting us on Patreon at patreon.com/MonstrousAgonies.


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]


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