Jan 20, 2022
My apologies - sick with no voice, so I have to put off the next Lovecraft 5 until I can record the intro.
Here's a short one for this week. Thanks for your patience!
The haunted Ratcatcher Mine is irresistable to tourists and ghost hunters alike.
Written by Julie
Sound and mastering by Tanja Milojevic
(of Lightning Bolt Theater of the Mind)
Steff / Dutch - J. Spyder Isaacson
Bobby / Rory - Reynaud LeBoeuf
Roj / Jacob - Danar Hoverson
Gloria - Tanja Milojevic
Old Frank - J. Christopher Dunn
Martha - Julie Hoverson
Music: Mary Lou by Country Gold
This Land Here for Free by Country Gold
Sunshine Revisited by Country Gold
The King is Coming by Dom The Bear
All available through Jamendo.com
Cover Design: Brett Coulstock
"What kind of a place is it?
Why it's a mountain with a mine shaft - can't you tell?"
By Julie Hoverson
[NOTE - the modern guys double as the miners]
SETTING - opens in collapsed mine shaft
SOUND PATTER OF GRIT
SOUND Dutch, Jacob, and Rory, heavy breathing.
DUTCH 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
SOUND FLARE OF OLD LUCIFER MATCH
DUTCH Quick looks, all-- [clears his throat, hawks, spits] You alright, Jacob?
SOUND MOVEMENTS IN DIRT, SHIFTING GRAVEL
JACOB I can't feel me legs, Dutch.
RORY Hail Mary, full of grace...
SOUND DISTANT RUMBLE OF FALLING ROCKS, MORE GRIT
AMBIANCE MA AND PA STORE, MUZAK
SOUND FLAP OF PHOTO
GLORIA Have you seen--?
OLD FRANK Them boys? Yup. You almost jest missed 'em. Come through this morning - maybe 'bout two hours--
MARTHA --Nearer on to three, it was--
OLD FRANK Two hours ago. Asked a bunch of damn fool questions--
MARTHA They were real curious about the Ratcatcher.
OLD FRANK --got some gas and took off. Probably went on up to that whore's ass of a hole in the ground.
MARTHA Hush, you old goat! We make a lot of money on the old Ratcatcher mine, you know.
OLD FRANK Some day that cussed thing's gonna cave all the damn way in and that'll be the end of the matter.
GLORIA The guy in the middle, that's my brother - Steff.
OLD FRANK And what kind of name is that for a young man, anyway?
SOUND CLICK WHIRR - SMALL FILM CAMERA COMES ON.
[NOTE - the modern guys are on a filter, like a recording being played back, unless otherwise noted]
AMBIANCE IN A CAR
STEFF Aha! Smile!
BOBBY Dude, Why bother with the antique? I can take better video than that with my phone.
STEFF It's the only way to make it look real, bro! Film or nothing!
SOUND RADIO GOES STATICY, TUNING
ROJ Oh hell!
SOUND RADIO OUT
ROJ Man. We are so in the boondocks.
DUTCH Hold your breath.
RORY Just do as he says, boy!
SOUND THEY ALL GASP IN A BREATH, HOLD IT A SECOND
RORY [on an exhale] Damn.
DUTCH [sigh] Aye.
SOUND MATCH SHAKEN OUT
RORY The flame. It didna waver at all.
JACOB But... whatever does it mean?
DUTCH [grim] We shant have long to wait.
AMBIANCE OUTSIDE, MOUNTAINS
SOUND STEPS CRUNCH ON DIRT
STEFF Just hold it steady.
BOBBIE Does it even have a built in mike?
STEFF It's not that old. I don't have to hand crank it, either.
BOBBIE It's not like you're going to fool anyone. No one believes any of this mockumentary crap any more. Not since freaking Blair Witch.
STEFF It's all in how it's presented. [turning away] He said the mine opening is a half hour hike that way.
SOUND CAR DOOR SLAMS
ROJ [off, calling] I was thinking I might stay with the car.
STEFF Come on, Roj! We all agreed--
ROJ [coming on] I'm just feeling weird about this whole thing.
BOBBIE He just wants to hit his girlfriend up for some naughty hottie talk.
STEFF You get reception out here?
ROJ This is about where I should turn and have a horde of network people standing there...
AMB MA AND PA STORE
SOUND CELL PHONE NOISE, NO SERVICE
SOUND PHONE SLAPPED SHUT
GLORIA Dammit. They were supposed to wait for me!
OLD FRANK You gonna buy something or just stand around and suck up our A-C?
MARTHA Frank! The girl is concerned.
GLORIA You said they bought a map?
OLD FRANK Five dollars.
JACOB Have you another lucifer, Dutch?
DUTCH Cannot spare it.
JACOB We're gonna die! Why must we perish in the dark?
RORY Every flame eats air we could be breathing.
JACOB We're doomed right enough, aren’t we? Will a few moments of bright comfort end our suffering so much faster?
DUTCH The lad has a point.
RORY No! I at least want every breath I have left.
SOUND DOOR OPENS, BELL DINGS
GLORIA [leaving] Thanks!
SOUND DOOR SHUTS
OLD FRANK Only thing stupider than tourists is film people.
MARTHA This from the old coot who can't miss his Deal or no Deal.
OLD FRANK [dismissive noise] Ahh!
SOUND DOOR OPENS, BELL RINGS
GLORIA [coming back in] Why is it called the Ratcatcher mine?
OLD FRANK [congenial storytelling mode] Well, there's quite a story there.
GLORIA Is there a quick version?
MARTHA Not from him, there ain't.
GLORIA Ten bucks?
SOUND MONEY SHELLED OUT, SNATCHED
OLD FRANK Right then. It was a mother lode of silver, back in the day. But the hillside was particularly unstable, so there were quite a few cave ins. [getting spooky] So everyone took to bringing rats in, and feeding 'em, down in the shafts, since you could watch the rats, and when they ran, you knew to run too.
MARTHA [after a moment] Or else it was named after a fella called Ratcatcher Jones. No one's real sure.
GLORIA The map also doesn't say why anyone gives a flying ratcatcher's ass about it?
ROJ It's not my GPS that's messed up - that map is just plain wrong!
STEFF It's the official map.
BOBBIE Maybe it's wrong on purpose. Maybe the mine is still being worked, in secret, and they don't want anyone to actually be able to find it!
ROJ They would just stop selling maps, dumbass.
BOBBIE Or, maybe it's all a cover for a secret underground government installation - they put those into old mines and bomb shelters and stuff all the time, don't they?
STEFF They'd just fence everything off!
BOBBIE Not if it was secret.
STEFF Nah. I think it's just a big joke on tourists. Like if you can actually find the mine, then you're worthy to be there.
ROJ We should go back to the car and wait for Gloria.
STEFF Yeah. That's what I want to do. She only wants to be here to piss me off.
ROJ She has the hots for Bobbie.
BOBBIE She does? Let's go back!
STEFF Ew. [gasp of excitement] Hey, does that rock look like this blob - right here - on the map?
SOUND FLARE OF LUCIFER STRIKING, BURNING
[they're all getting breathless]
RORY We should pray. God will welcome us home and forgive us our sins.
JACOB I don't have any! No good ones, anyway!
DUTCH Pray silently. Spare your breath.
JACOB They could still find us!
RORY Best turn your mind heavenward, lad.
JACOB But they could, couldn't they?
DUTCH God may still spare us. Shh now.
STEFF [close to the mike] Hold it steady. [backing off] OK? Is this good?
ROJ I can see you. That's all you need, right?
STEFF Am I centered?
ROJ You can't fix it in post?
STEFF Just hold it steady. [clears his throat, up] This is Steffen Cray, standing in front of the infamous Ratcatcher Mine, supposed to be haunted by the ghosts of numerous miners who died in its inky blackness. Most notably, it still holds the souls of three men whose bodies were recovered within minutes of their ultimate suffocation.
BOBBIE Completely sucks, man. House woulda been able to pump them, stat, and they'd be on Oprah next week, with a fund in their name.
STEFF Yeah, well, it was a hundred and thirty some years ago. They say the mine will always hold three souls.
BOBBIE Who's this "THEY" who says these things? They should be making this crap-ass film.
GLORIA Dumbass idea, anyway, making some dumbass film about some dumbass mine.
SOUND RADIO TURNS TO STATIC
SOUND RADIO TURNED OFF, DIALING CELLPHONE
SOUND BEEPS, THEN ANSWERED - FAINT AND CRACKLY
STEFF [gasping voice] Hello?
GLORIA Steff? Jeez! Really didn't think there would be coverage out here.
GLORIA [raising her voice] I can barely hear you!
STEFF We're... in the mine.
GLORIA Oh, great. How the hell am I gonna find you?
SOUND STATIC GROWS
STEFF You... won't.
SOUND PHONE CUTS OUT
GLORIA Well, crap. Didn’t even get a chance to ask where to park.
[NOT ON RECORDING]
ROJ Tell her to go for help!
STEFF It cut out before I could.
ROJ No!! What were you thinking?
STEFF Bobbie's out again.
ROJ You idiot!
STEFF You're using up the air!
GLORIA [calling] Steff? Steff?
JACOB [close] Hello.
GLORIA [startled] Crap! Jeez, you scared me!
RORY Shouldn’t take the lord's name in vain.
GLORIA It's not vain. Are you friends of my brother? He never mentioned--
DUTCH We're... local.
GLORIA Of course. The costumes. You must work here. Where do I find this Ratcatcher mine thing?
DUTCH The mine? Tis closed down. There's been a bit of an incident.
SOUND PATTER OF GRIT
SOUND STEFF, BOBBIE, ROJ, HEAVY BREATHING
STEFF [fading out] 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...