THE GOBLET WIRE

The Loneliest Role Playing Game | Surreal Audio Drama

Apollo Website
Cover art by Chandler Candela

Are you playing?

A role playing game hums within a global network of power lines, fiber optic cables and obsolete satellites. Players who gain access to this mysterious phenomenon create a projection and are guided by the Dictator to realms not yet known to the conscious mind.

Created By

Ester Elllis | Justin Hellstrom

Episode Writers

Eli Barraza | Tau Zaman

Vocal Casting

Richard Penner | The Dictator

Cover art by Chandler Candela

CONTACT AN OPERATOR

© GobletWireGlobal. All rights reserved.

Transcripts

Episode 00
Birth of a Projection

START
The Goblet Wire, a surreal micro fiction podcast
Created by Ester Ellis and Justin HellstromThis is Episode 0, Birth of a Projection00000000OPERATORGood evening player. You can call me the Operator. You’ve called to form your Projection. Do you know what I mean by Projection?FARIS
Not really.
OPERATOR
Your projection is what you use to explore and interact with The Goblet Wire. It is the vessel for your thoughts and actions.
FARIS
Like a character.
OPERATOR
Exactly.
FARIS
Got it. What do I do?
OPERATOR
I’m going to ask you some questions. Answer them in whatever way suits you.
FARIS
Okay. I’m ready.
OPERATOR
You are standing at a crossroads. One path leads to a mountains peak bathed in a purple aura. The other leads to an amber pebbled beach. Where do you go?
FARIS
I... think I’d go to the mountain.
OPERATOR
You win a mysterious puzzle box at an auction. It bears the image of a stag with seven eyes. Are you most interested in what it contains, how it works or where it came from?
She thinks for a moment.
FARIS
Where it came from, its history and all that.
OPERATOR
Have you seen the moon in a dream in the last twelve months?
FARIS
No. I don’t really dream.
OPERATOR
Would you eat an octopus.
FARIS
Oh! Maybe. If it was cooked. Probably not raw.
OPERATOR
Would you rather live forever or die young?
FARIS
Die young.
OPERATOR
You encounter a diety that you admire greatly. It offers to crystalize and display one of your organs in return for a boon. Which do you pick, your heart, your brain, or your eyes?
Beat.
FARIS
Can I pick none of the above? I don’t want to give a diety my organs.
OPERATOR
And finally, at this moment, what is your favorite word?
FARIS
(To herself)
God, that’s hard.
FARIS
I like ophidian a lot. I heard it in a documentary. So yeah, ophidian.
OPERATOR
Very good. Now we move to the second stage of the formation.
OPERATOR
In the future would you like to experience The Goblet Wire in spoken english?
FARIS
Yes.
OPERATOR
What pronouns would you like to use for your projection?
FARIS
I’ll stick with she/her.
OPERATOR
And what would you like your projection to be called?
FARIS
Does it have to be the same as my name?
OPERATOR
No.
FARIS
Okay. Well Esper sounds nice.
OPERATOR
Noted.
OPERATOR
We are entering the final stage of the formation. This is a process of endowments.
OPERATOR
As your Projection is your primary means of interacting with The Goblet Wire, it is important that you are comfortable piloting it.
OPERATOR
You have just woken up in a place you consider home. Please describe the process of getting ready for your day.
FARIS
Okay. Well I get up, obviously. Out of my bed. I reach out to turn on the light, dig the socks out of the sheets and put them on before walking to the bathroom.
FARIS
I wash my face and take my pills.
OPERATOR
How many pills?
FARIS
Uh, three.
OPERATOR
Continue.
FARIS
Assuming its this time of year, I grab my jacket because it’s cold and my backpack, then head to the kitchen.
OPERATOR
That’s all I need. Thank you.
OPERATOR
You will receive a call in the next few days with a phone number and everything you need to access The Goblet Wire. You will need a six sided die and a coin.
FARIS
I have those.
OPERATOR
Is this time of night generally open for you?
FARIS
Yes, I’ll be here.
OPERATOR
Good.
FARIS
Can I ask a quick question?
OPERATOR
Of course.
FARIS
What is this? Exactly?
The Operator smirks.OPERATOR
That is for you to discover.
The Operator hangs up. Faris is left to ponder the call on her patio.0000(A lonesome piano Melody)
00
000000This is Ester Ellis. I wanted to thank you for listening and tell you a little bit about the show.The core of The Goblet Wire was developed by some of the most talented podcast creators I know. Tau Zaman of Caravan, Eli Barraza of The Far Meridian, and Justin Hellstrom of The Great Chameleon War.We’ve been working on this project for about a year, carefully crafting an evolving series of episodes full of clues and mysteries that will slowly reveal the deeper nature of The Goblet Wire. We’re laying out the pieces, it’s up to you to put them together.Episodes will release weekly, from now until September, with something a little larger coming out in October.From there, we reveal the next group of creatives, already hard at work on the second batch of episodes. So long as I can find the funds, I am to continue this cycle.Speaking of talented people, this episode starred Phoebe Joy as The Operator, and Mayanna Berrin as Faris. Our show art was created by Chandler Candela, and the credits music was composed by Oliver Morris. Birth of a Projection was written by me, Ester Ellis.I want to give a special thanks to James Oliva, Tal Minear, PJ Scott-Blankenship and AR Olivieri, who helped me find my feet in the early stages.Tune in next week for Episode 1, Ocular Metamorphosis.


Episode 01
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Episode 01
Ocular Metamorphosis

Welcome to the Goblet Wire: a surreal microfiction podcast. Transcripts are available on our website: TheGobletWire.carrd.coThis is Episode One - Ocular Metamorphosis, written by Justin Hesllstrom0000
SFX: (CRY OF THE GOBLET)
00
00SFX: (Laundromat – dryers, washing machines, the sound of bad A/C unit, a change machine accepts paper money and transmutes it into coins)SFX: (Dialing)Operator:
Salutations, intrepid cup-bearer–you’re speaking to Patient_Hourglass– please state your callsign and passphrase.
Moth:
Callsign: Moth Food - Password: Arms Akimbo
Operator:
Nailed to the Sky
Moth:
Legs bent Backward
Operator:
Bear the Fountain’s Weight
Moth:
Overflow
Operator:
Bear the Weight
Moth:
The Fountain’s Weight Cannot be Borne.
Operator:
And so the world is crushed, our Goblets filled. Welcome Moth – clearing lampjack D-19 for cord circuit connection. Ticket Sixty-K Four Three.
SFX: Typewriter punches – ticket rip – clips to rack and slides ticket awayOperator:
Die Material?
Moth:
Elk Bone.
Operator:
Coin Type?
Moth:
Fifty Yen Coin, Minted 1962
Operator:
Hmm, you’re not using your Edo period Koban? Are you feeling anxious after the last session?
Moth:
No, just felt like something different for a change.
Operator:
Plugging you in to the Dictator – logging Session 23, please hold. And Moth?
Moth:
Hourglass?
Operator:
I saw a frog try to cross the highway today. I hope they made it.
SFX: connectionDictator:
Time of Day: Eleven Hundred and Sixteen – Moon Phase, Waxing Gibbus – Terroir Quotient: Albacore, Pelagic Sulfide, Driftwood.
Dictator:
The cargo ship slides firm across the sea as a blunt rectangle. A sepulcher stacked with oxidized containers of faded colors from faded nations. Scars from the vessel’s dock-union escape are still steaming. Blistered and gouged along the starboard hull. But the captain was sure, and you manned the harpoon turrets, and you have entered slate gray ocean with slate gray sky and slate gray minds.
Moth:
Where am I?
Dictator:
You stand on the bridge, monitor pings of radar, fuel and temperature gauges demarcated with symbols you cannot read. The captain stares bow-ward, over the containers, to something hidden in the mists and haze.
Dictator:
The captain speaks: “Moth. There is a memory we must be rid of below the holds. Please take care of it.” He hands you a salt-crusted flare gun. Two charges.
Moth:
Captain, memories are not to be forgotten. Wouldn’t you agree?
Dictator:
. . . your words do not reach the Captain.
Moth:
Dictator, why? Why does nothing I ever say reach the Captain?
Dictator:
You may perform the allotted inquiry for this session.
SFX: (Rolls Die)
Moth:
Five
Dictator:
Your Sonoluminescence Communication stat level is too low.
Moth:
Excuse me?
Dictator:
The Captain’s brain is underwater.
Moth:
There wasn’t any kind of Sonoluminal Comm skill, or whatever, in character creation.
Dictator:
Can one define the color behind the color of their eye?
Moth:
Fine. I take the flare and charges and leave the bridge.
Dictator:
The catwalk is algae slick, steel grated, welcomes the weight of your boots.
Moth:
I look to port.
Dictator:
You have never seen ocean such as this. Words come to mind. Sleet. Adirondack. Infant skull at the bottom of a pond.
Moth:
I look to starboard.
Dictator:
The rolling plains of ash are liquid, overwhelming. Gridlocked. A shade of gray bored from depths of earth which have never seen the sky. Bewildered. Cracked. Alone.
Dictator:
Perform a heartbreak saving throw.
Moth:
Heartbreak?
Dictator:
Yes, the sea has gazed upon you. Sensed weakness. The hole inside your chest, the sea seeks to fill it.
SFX: (rolls die)Dictator:
No, flip your coin. For it is on such an edge all hearts are balanced and wagered.
SFX: (Flips Coin)
Moth:
Tails.
Dictator:
There is a child sleeping in a treehouse somewhere in the vastness of your circulatory system. The child is now awake. They can hear the flood approaching. The pain will be immense, when it arrives.
Moth:
Poor kid. I’m moving on. Are there stairs?
Dictator:
Yes.
Moth:
I walk down them, searching for the entrance to the subdeck.
Dictator:
You descend along a bulwark, pass through bulkheads, creaking freight, a labyrinth of entombed goods draped in seaweed, the scuttling of crustaceans.
Moth:
I ask a crab where the entrance to the lower holds and stowage are.
Dictator:
You imitate Arthropod Stridulation, waving your arm, pinching your hand-claw.
SFX: (Rolls)Moth:
Three.
Dictator:
The crustacean pauses, bubbles pursed from its mandibles, and points to a container with a claw. Its door hatch is carved from ivory. Smells of fuel and haunted museum.
Moth:
I approach, open, walkthrough.
Dictator:
You see this is not a well-trodden entrance. There is carpet inside. Wet, mold bitten. Sconces carved from coral fossil line the walls of a mezzanine. Beyond its balcony—the interior of a great ship, an ancient pleasure vessel, a galleon of baroque circus and delight. Thick glass walls of hullwork are green with slime, slick, pounded by waves and dull light. A chandelier sways at the lobby center as a pendulum to a time that does not exist.
Moth:
It’s not a pendulum. It’s a uvula.
Dictator:
The staircase is imperial, split, you may choose left or right.
Moth:
Right.
Dictator:
You descend, admiring a mural along the wall of a manatee in a powdered wig, presiding over a fastidious courtroom. You feel the decayed limestone banister. Rococo carvings adorn everything with faces, angels, sea life, and sculpted bronze waves. They cling to the lobby’s contours in an indecipherably specific drama.
Moth:
I stop to feel the banister more closely.
Dictator:
The ship pitches on a great wave, listing to port—you fall against the banister as the mural cracks—the manatee breaks loose, plummets—passing judgement upon you for trying to decipher the indecipherable. You have five seconds to react.
Moth:
No. I accept this judgement.
Dictator:
The manatee is rough, hard plaster weighted by beam and heavy iron nails. You are knocked through the banister and fall, hit the lobby floor—thankfully rotten, loose, concave from the weight of a harpsichord. You break through, fall further, pass networks of inverted aqueduct, aquariums with classical composers, and splash into a moat on the orlop deck.
SFX: (Deep Breath)Moth:
You’re giving me anxiety.
Dictator:
The child in the treehouse sees the flood: a river churned by mud, roots, and mobile homes, but the pain has not come close to arriving.
Moth:
What do I see around me? Have I retained the flare gun?
Dictator:
The liquid is acrid. Muted turquoise. Your flare gun is intact, the charges dry.
Moth:
I crawl up the far side of the moat, inspect my surroundings.
Dictator:
Words come to mind. Cenote. Sink hole. Ocularium. Light emanates from the moat, illuminates a drained dome at the center—a tiled chamber for an immense hippopotamus. More words come. Fetid. Albino. Low tide Styrofoam. Bound by chains which are sunk and fused to its spine. The creature swivels its head to you, eyes grayer than the sea. Spume-lipped. Blind.
Moth:
A sad memory indeed. I load a shell into the flare gun. Look for something flammable.
Dictator:
Fuel drums float in the moat. Its water is diesel, nitroglycerin, the blood of God’s engines.
Moth:
Is the hippopotamus in pain?
Dictator:
Everything is in pain.
Moth:
I drop the gun. Wade across the moat.
Dictator:
Petroleum whorls pink. The hippopotamus is wary and performs a threat display of open jaws and cracked tusks. The smell of felled safari predators is rank, known only to those at a food chain’s apex.
Moth:
I – I want to be the hippopotamus’s eyes. I want to be its vision, trade our sight.
Dictator:
Brave move. Please confirm desire for Optical Transfiguration.
Moth:
Show me the color behind the color of its eyes.
Dictator:
Check success: Ocular Metamorphosis Complete.
Moth:
What do I see?
Dictator:
You expect grand mal delusion, apotheosis, a tunnel of angels bored through heaven with slick-gilled antedilluvia from Eden’s untamed past mating wild and saber sharp and shore-broken across the throne of eternity. But you see nothing. You are blind.
Moth:
Shit.
Dictator:
However, you begin to feel. Sense static. Magnetic laminar flow. Hear the chains break, the lumbering of great weight—you now have a guide who will see things you never could see. You can now decipher the dramas that play behind the stage.
Dictator:
Session End.
SFX: (Disconnect)SFX: (Washing Machine end’s cycle with a beep – sounds of phone put away – standing up)Moth:
To the world and its many hearts lain in the balance, best of luck.
SFX: (Slides coin into empty dryer compartment – shuts hatch – starts cycle, walks through door and leaves)0000Music: (Old Timey Piano tune swagger)0000This episode was written by Justin Hellstrom it starred Damien Niesewand as Moth Food, Nathaniel MacDonald as the Operator, and Richard Penner as the Dictator, art by Chandler Candela, credit music by Oliver Moris. Editing and sound design by Ester Ellis and Justin Hellstrom. Synthscape by Justin Hellstrom.If you enjoyed this episode I’m confident you’ll love Justin’s podcast: The Great Chameleon War. It is a wild story following an AWOL soldier’s journey through a nest of massive, supernatural chameleons after they unleash war on the human race. It is psychedelic poetry – both violent and human. The first season goes down smooth in only five episodes and season 2 is coming out now.I know some you love Alice isn’t Dead: you in particular need to check out this show.If you want to support The Goblet Wire, help us spread the word. We’re relying on word of mouth to get this show out there. We just went live on Spotify – we would be most grateful if you shared it with a friend. And come chat with us on Twitter @TheGoblet Wire.Next week comes episode two: For the Nail by Ester Ellis. I hope we’ll see you there.Music: Piano Tune ContinuesLine Cuts
(ARE YOU PLAYING?)
Line Dead


Episode 02
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Episode 02
For the Nail

ESTER:
Welcome to The Goblet Wire: a surreal microfiction podcast. Transcripts are available on our website at TheGobletWire.carrd.co
This is Episode 02: For the Nail, written by Ester Ellis.00
00
SFX: [CRY OF THE GOBLET]
00
00
INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
Fisher begins the phone call.
Ringing.
An answer.
Operator:
Good evening. Please state your callsign and passphrase.
Fisher:
Callsign: Fisher of Snakes
Operator:
Just a moment.
Operator:
Passphrase?
Fisher:
In terror return
Operator:
The Fathers supper
Fisher:
The families tree
Operator:
Safety among the leaves.
Operator:
Welcome back Fisher of Snakes. Die used?
Fisher:
Six sided, from a monopoly set.
Operator:
And coin?
Fisher:
Copper penny. Found earlier on the street, 1992, lucky side up.
Operator:
It looks like this will be your thirty fourth session. Any housekeeping before I patch you to your scenario?
Fisher:
Yes actually.
SFX: He adjusts his posture, taking on an air of formality.Fisher:
I have a gift for the operator.
Operator:
Oh?
Fisher:
A Seastone Spiral, obtained last session.
Operator:
Very generous. This will permanently add a Hidden Key to your Projection. Are you sure you want to continue? You can’t take it back.
Fisher:
Yes. The gift is yours.
Operator:
Patching you to the Dictator, logging session 34, please hold.
INT. THE HOLDING ROOM - ???
The hold music stretches.
A liminal space.
The patch goes through.
EXT. THE GOBLET WIRE – DAY
Dictator:
The groaning timber pier aches. Seaweed brine and the dust of industry collide with your nostrils. Ocean fog slowly crawls towards you.
Dictator:
The Marching of the Dock Barons Strike Breakers beats oppressively across cobbled streets.
Dictator:
But you are carefully hidden near your boat, surrounded by the barnacle infested pillars holding up the town above.
Dictator:
A disturbance of sand, footsteps rush towards you.
Fisher:
Who’s steps.
Dictator:
Your comrade, long expected, blood stains on their long coat, an excited expression paints their face.
Fisher:
I wait for their report.
Dictator:
“The Dock Baron has attacked! Strike Breakers have been sent to our hidden nooks and sanctuaries to disrupt the Proto-Unions leadership.
Dictator:
Its heir is on its way to the Port, flush with reinforcements.
Dictator:
This is meant to be the end of us.”
Fisher:
Was the mission successful?
Dictator:
Your comrade reveals a small waxed leather satchel.
Dictator:
“Yes. We successfully infiltrated the factory and made a pact with the Barons phlebotomist. The Baron has its blood drawn once a day to test for blood curses.”
Dictator:
“We made off with an entire pint before we were spotted... I escaped, though I am sorry to say that Mason perished after being caught by its hounds.”
Dictator:
“Take it. I must prepare for the battle to come. Go with luck. For the Hammer.”
Fisher:
For the Nail. Be safe. You will know by nightfall if I am successful. And if I’m not... Tell the others to run. Please. We can find another way.
Dictator:
“I will try.” They hand you the satchel before disappearing through the forest of dock posts and fog.
Fisher:
I open the satchel.
Dictator:
You see a yellowing translucent bladder filled with dark, warm blood. A note is scribbled to its side, marking the time and date it was extracted.
Dictator:
The marching of skull crushing boots grows loud overhead. You hear the baying of a hound.
Fisher:
Time to go. I place my musket and sword in the boat, carefully stowing the satchel in my rucksack.
Dictator:
You are satisfied with their placement. The sea is unnaturally calm, the disturbance of your movements barely casts a ripple.
Fisher:
I push off into the water, using one of the oars to guide the boat through the under side of the Pier.
Fisher:
How is visibility?
Dictator:
The vapor is thick around you, gray and green. They will not be able to see you above.
Fisher:
Good. I row.
Dictator:
How far.
Fisher:
So far I forget the land.
Dictator:
Hours pass. As the sea grows agitated you look around. There is nothing but water and fog and a canopy of rolling dark clouds.
Fisher:
I remove the divination charts from their cylinder along with the glass.
Dictator:
Previous attempts to find the fabled Sea Kings Lair have proven fruitless. Leaving you lost and dehydrated.
Dictator:
But you have recently obtained one of the hidden keys. Even without the benefit of a looking mirror you can feel new flecks of green in your eyes.
Dictator:
As you hold the glass above the charts, light refracts in an unusual way. A color you’ve never seen before adds new context to the weaving intricate patterns on the parchment.
Dictator:
And for the first time you can place yourself on this abstract sea.
Fisher:
Can I place the Lair?
Dictator:
Yes.
Fisher:
I begin rowing.
THE CALL ENDS. Fisher is left in his room.
INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT
He rolls back on an office chair and throws himself onto his bed.
Fisher:
Almost there.
0000(A lonesome piano Melody)0000
ESTER:
This episode was written by Ester Ellis. It starred Jack Moore as Fisher of Snakes, Cole Burkhardt as the Operator, and Richard Penner as the Dictator.
Art by Chandler Candela.Credit music by Oliver Morris.Editing and sound design by Ester Ellis and Justin Hellstrom—synthscape by Justin Hellstrom.If you enjoyed this week’s episode, I have another podcast recommendation for you:Do you like psychological horror? Romantic tragedies? Atmospheric storytelling and snow covered settings?You’ll probably dig my original show: Station Blue. It follows the caretaker of an Antarctic research station as he struggles with bipolar disorder, isolation, and the ghosts of his past. And there’s plenty of weird stuff from seal mummies to an extremely upsetting door.Season 2 is currently in the works and it’s available to download everywhere.I want to thank everyone who has shared The Goblet Wire so far: we’ve crossed 500 downloads and the audience gets bigger each week. If you’ve got a friend and think they’d enjoy the show—please share it with them. We’ve got a lot more surprises instore.Our next episode continues Fisher’s journey with Episode 03: From Root to Stem by Ester Ellis.I hope we’ll see you there.


Episode 03PDF Download

Episode 03
From Root to Stem

Ester:
Welcome to The Goblet Wire, a surreal micro fiction podcast.
Transcripts are available on our website, TheGobletWire.carrd.coThis is Episode 3, From Root to Stem. Written by Ester Ellis.00
00
SFX: [CRY OF THE GOBLET]00
00
START
INT. THE WAITING ROOM
A liminal tune.
EXT. SEA KINGS LAIR
Dictator:
The horizon is broken by a crown of stone. The island you’ve been seeking fills your vision.
Fisher:
I continue rowing. I’d like to land.
Dictator:
Time folds. Your mind doesn’t snap to until you feel your boots displace worn smooth pebbles on the desolate beach.
Fisher:
I pull the boat up as quietly as possible and duck behind a nearby rock. What do I see?
Dictator:
Dug into the towering slab of stone is an abyssal cave mouth. Camped in front of it a dusty bundle of cloth.
Dictator:
Would you like to use one of your attributes?
Fisher:
Discretion. I’ll roll the six sider.
Roll.Fisher:
A two.
Dictator:
Whether by your own folly or the alertness of the stranger, you are discovered.
Fisher:
Are they hostile?
Dictator:
They continue to sit, leaning against an old spear. As they look up in your direction, the first thing that strikes you is the beard, long, white, and encompassing, hanging down past the knees.
Dictator:
The second thing you notice are the eyes. Framed by old, sunken skin, but clear, vibrant. This ancient thing is lucid.
Fisher:
Human?
Dictator:
You can’t tell.
Dictator:
They call out.
Dictator:
“You there. State your name and purpose.”
Fisher:
I respond.
Fisher:
“They call me the Fisher. I was sent here on an errand.”
Dictator:
“Fisher eh? Come around, come around, I can hardly see you. It isn’t polite.”
Fisher:
I make a show of placing my musket and sword down before approaching. I sit across from this person, pulling out rolling papers and dried leaf, busying myself with a cigarette.
Fisher:
I say, friendly but tired.
Fisher:
“It’s taken me all day to find this place. I’ve never been sent on such an elaborate job.”
Dictator:
“Oh? And what job is that?”
Fisher:
“A delivery. I’m supposed to take this satchel to that cave.”
Dictator:
“Well that’s quite impossible!”
Fisher:
“Why is that?”
Dictator:
“I am the guardian of this cave!”
Fisher:
“And what are you guarding? Is there treasure?”
Dictator:
“Of course not. This is the Lair of the Sea King. It is a terrible creature. None can enter.”
Fisher:
“What would happen if somebody DID enter?”
Dictator:
“They don’t.”
Fisher:
“But if they did.”
Dictator:
“Well. They would be consumed of course! And its bloodline curse would take affect.”
Fisher:
“So if I walked in there with this package...”
Dictator:
“You would die. And not only you. The curse goes through two generations, from root to stem. It would kill your father, your grandfather. And your son, and grandson, if you had them.”
Dictator:
The guardians warning is punctuated by a biting wind. It moans through the caves entrance.
Fisher:
I light the cigarette. “That sounds made up.”
Dictator:
“It is just as real as you or me, young man! I have stood watch over this cave my entire life! My mother watched this cave before me! And her father before her! We would not dedicate our lives to a tall tale!”
Fisher:
Dictator, I’d like to roll an attribute.
Dictator:
Which one?
Fisher:
Righteous Cause.
Fisher:
A three.
Dictator:
Continue.
Fisher:
“Guardian, I mean no offense. But I’ve been paid good money to complete this delivery. I don’t know about any bloodline curse or Sea King, I don’t even know what’s in the bag. But I have a reputation to uphold.”
Dictator:
“I’m sorry lad. It’s out of the question. For your own safety.”
Fisher:
Damn. That wasn’t enough?
Dictator:
The guardian is resolute.
Fisher:
I didn’t want to do this.
Dictator:
The choice is yours.
Fisher:
“Guardian. Do you smoke?”
Dictator:
“I have a pipe.”
Fisher:
“Hand it here.”
Dictator:
They do so.
Dictator:
“Lad, I don’t mean to disappoint you. It’s all for the best. Perhaps we could share lunch?”
Fisher:
“I would like that.”
Dictator:
The Guardian removes a bundle from their cloak. Large leaves unfold to reveal twice cooked sausages and a hunk of speckled cheese.
Fisher:
Dictator. I would like to call on my parasite. While packing the pipe I discretely lift my left sleeve.
Dictator:
There are many, crusted holes in your skin. An orange, powdery discharge smears along your arm as you drag up your sleeve. Invisible wispy clouds emerge from the hive of the hallucinogenic dream spores you play host to. You feel no discomfort.
Fisher:
I flick a few spores into the pipe while he prepares our lunch.
Dictator:
The Guard takes no notice, and hands over a makeshift driftwood platter with the links and cheese.
Fisher:
I exchange it for the pipe, and do them the courtesy of lighting it.
Dictator:
“Thank you. My last batch of smokeleaf went damp with the mists.”
Fisher:
“The storms have been bad lately. You’re out here every day?”
Dictator:
“Every day.”
Dictator:
The Guardian takes a puff from the pipe. The spores you intentionally planted follow the smoke down the throat, into the lungs and nose. A swallow carries them into the stomach.
Dictator:
The effect is immediate. Thick veins appear beneath the Guardians eyes, which have gone dull and swollen. They lick their lips with heavy tongue. After another moment has passed a doped grin emerges on their face.
Dictator:
You have successfully infected your victim.
THE CALL ENDS
INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
He leans back in his chair, back at home.
To himself.
Fisher:
Just one more session.
EPISODE END.00
00
SFX: [CRY OF THE GOBLET]00
00
Ester:
This episode was written by Ester Ellis
It starred Jack Moore as Fisher of Snakes
And Richard Penner as The Dictator.
Art by Chandler Candela
Credits music by Oliver Morris
Editing and sound design by Ester Ellis and Justin Hellstrom. Synth-cape by Justin Hellstrom.
I have a secret I want to share with you. As you explore The Goblet Wire with us, you might find a voice, a writer or a designer who’s work speaks to you. You might even want to work with them yourself, after all many of you have podcasts of your own.Go to our Twitter account. Our handle is @TheGobletWire. If you look at our Following list, you while find every person who has collaborated on a published episode of the show, at least those who dare navigate that websites treacherous waters.Next week we complete this cycle, with Episode 4, “It is Not Too Late”, by Ester Ellis. I hope we’ll see you there.


Episode 04PDF Download

Episode 04
It is not too late

Ester:
Welcome to The Goblet Wire, a surreal micro fiction podcast.
Transcripts are available on our website, TheGobletWire.carrd.coThis is Episode 4, It Is Not Too Late. Written by Ester Ellis.00
00
SFX: [CRY OF THE GOBLET]00
00
START
INT. APARTMENT - NIGHT
Mid conversation.
Fisher:
Operator, before you patch me in, I have a question.
Operator:
Of course.
Fisher:
What happens when you die?
Operator:
That’s a big question.
Fisher:
In the game, specifically.
Operator:
I honestly don’t know.
Fisher:
Can you continue playing? Maybe as a ghost, or a new Projection?
Operator:
I couldn’t tell you. Both because I’m restricted from giving you details about the consequences of the game itself, and because I really don’t know.
Fisher:
Hmm... That’s all. Go ahead.
Operator:
Patching you in, continuing outside of the Sea Kings Lair.
INT. THE HOLDING ROOM - ???
Holding Room music.
The Dictator is patched through.
EXT. ISLAND – DAY
Dictator:
A salty breeze washes over the rocky island and groans through the yawning cavern. Crying gulls warn of a imminent storm.
Dictator:
You feel a sizzle in the many holes in your left arm, and a slow, vein lurching movement in its hollow center. The parasite is awakening, sensing a newly infected host nearby.
Dictator:
The Guardian smiles lazily, orange tinging the white of the eye, a sign you recognize all too well. The dream spores have taken root.
Fisher:
Better get this over with.
Fisher:
I take a bite out of the gifted cheese and ask,
Fisher:
“Forgive me my curiosity, but has anyone entered your cave recently?
Dictator:
The guardian puffs up in pride. “Not on my families watch. The last person to step through that threshold was due for execution, when my Mother had this post.”
Fisher:
“Executions? What kind of crime warranted a curse that severe?”
Dictator:
“Oh, it was usually reserved for rebellious noble clans, when there was still royalty. It was particularly effective against the long living family matriarchs and patriarchs. Simply schedule a great grandchild to be fed to the Sea King and they’d have to watch as their entire line died excruciating deaths. All while surviving themselves.”
Dictator:
“An effective way of keeping them under control. Until, with a tip from the Nobles, the common people found a royal bastard and tossed them to the cave. “
Dictator:
“My mother was still an apprentice then. After that day my family vowed to keep any from feeding the Sea King.”
Fisher:
“So you’ve never seen the thing?”
Dictator:
“Are you out of your mind? Of course not!”
Fisher:
“And your Mother was a girl last time anyone entered.”
Dictator:
They take a bite from one of the twice cooked links in contemplation.
Dictator:
“A young apprentice, yes.”
Fisher:
“So, forgive me, how do you know anything is in there?”
Dictator:
The Guardians looks back at the entrance to the lair. A treacherous path, full of dire mystery.
Dictator:
“I... don’t understand what you mean.”
Fisher:
“Does it make noises? Does it grumble or scream?”
Dictator:
The Guardian seems puzzled.
Dictator:
“No. It’s a silent horror.”
Fisher:
“Does it visit daydreams or nightmares or otherwise affect the mind?”
Dictator:
The Guardian shudders at the thought.
Fisher:
“So how do you know it’s really there? If you’ve never seen it, if you’ve never heard it. If you weren’t alive the last time it was supposedly used in some peasant uprising.”
Dictator:
“I know.”
Fisher:
“But how? Really.”
Dictator:
“I know young man, I Know!”
Dictator:
“I did not spend my entire life sitting in front of an empty cave, in wind and sleet, over long winters and scorching summers! I did not pass on the opportunity to find love or take up a passion or see the vast world to be guarding a figment! The Sea King waits in that cave! I know.”
Fisher:
“Of course. Of course. But, and you’ll have to forgive me”
Dictator:
You have used your trigger phrase, Forgive Me, for the third time.
Fisher:
Yes I have.
Dictator:
Would you like to utilize your parasites attribute?
Fisher:
Yes. I’m going to use Dream Pusher. And I would like to flip for it.
Dictator:
There will be significant consequences if you fail, and if you succeed.
Fisher:
I know. I call heads.
Fisher:
(To himself) Don’t fail me.
FX: A coin flip.
Beat.
Fisher lets out a sigh of relief.
Fisher:
Heads.
Dictator:
The doubt you’ve sown has sprouted. The dream you chase takes form. The Guardian before you is shaken. Choose your next words carefully, for they will reshape the way your victim understands the world.
Fisher:
After the third use of Forgive me, I continue.
Fisher:
“What if the Sea King is dead?”
Dictator:
“Dead?”
Fisher:
“Yes dead. You’ve established that it keeps residence in this cave. That is unquestionable. But two generations is a long time to survive without a meal.”
Dictator:
“I never thought of its needing to feed.”
Fisher:
“Even gods have to feed. And now that I’m think about it, there is a smell.”
Dictator:
“What smell?”
Fisher:
“You can’t smell that? I sensed it the moment I landed here, but I couldn’t remember what it reminded me of until now. A bloated, washed up corpse I encountered in my youth.”
Dictator:
“Now that you’re saying it, I might smell something.”
Fisher:
“Perhaps you should check. Just incase.”
Dictator:
They stare at their platter. Dizzy with concentration.
Dictator:
“It would be dangerous.”
Fisher:
“Oh not if it’s dead. It’s a Guardians duty to know the state of its charge, after all. And your families oath would be fulfilled.”
Dictator:
“I have been very curious. You wouldn’t judge me?”
Fisher:
“Of course not.”
Dictator:
“I know it’s not a lie, the reason I’ve been standing here all of these decades. But this island has felt awfully empty lately.”
Fisher:
“It’s reasonable to be curious.”
Dictator:
“Perhaps a peak wouldn’t hurt. A reward for a life of service.”
Fisher:
“It’s no less than you deserve.”
Dictator:
“I must admit this is exciting. I will go at once. Please watch my post.”
Fisher:
“Of course.”
Dictator:
The Guardian stands up on rickety legs, using their spear as a support. Their weather worn rags, the remnant of a righteous tabard, drags behind.
Fisher:
“Guardian, before you go?”
Dictator:
“Yes, young man?”
Fisher:
“Would you mind holding my satchel? I need to relieve myself.”
Dictator:
“Of course, not a problem.”
Fisher:
I hand over the satchel containing the Dock Barons blood.
Dictator:
The Guardian slings it over their shoulder, before marching toward the mouth of the cave.
Dictator:
You sense an energetic optimism, a bold curiosity, but more than anything you sense the influence of the Dream Spores overwriting the Guardians convictions.
Dictator:
It is not too late to stop them.
Fisher:
I don’t.
Dictator:
They cross the caves threshold, passing beyond your sight.
Dictator:
The wind picks up. The gulls seem agitated.
Dictator:
And after a moment of silence, a reverberating, horrified shriek fills the mouth of the cavern. The old guardians last cry is one of disbelief, terror and regret.
Dictator:
Your left arm thrashes, the parasite it contains vibrates in a ravenous frenzy as it absorbs the final visions of your victim.
Dictator:
Your pores expand and discharge a purple ooze. The Dream Spores have been corrupted. You are now the host of Chronic Nightmare Spores.
Dictator:
The island goes quiet once again. But you know you are not alone.
Dictator:
For deep in the islands cavern waits the Sea King and its bloodline curse.
Dictator:
You can only hope that the death of the Dock Baron and its heir is worth the price you have paid, Fisher of Snakes.
THE CALL ENDS.THE EPISODE ENDS.00
00
SFX: [CRY OF THE GOBLET]00
00
Ester:
This episode was written by Ester Ellis
It starred Jack Moore as Fisher of Snakes
Cole Burkhardt as the Operator.
And Richard Penner as The Dictator.
Art by Chandler Candela
Credits music by Oliver Morris
Editing and sound design by Ester Ellis and Justin Hellstrom. Synth-cape by Justin Hellstrom.
Instead of a podcast recommendation I want to point you to our powerful visual artist: Chandler Candela. I don’t know if you’ve taken a closer look at The Goblet Wire Art: the level of detail is absurd and it’s full of easter eggs. He’s often open for commissions, whether you need custom art for your next podcast, or an original character for your own strange role playing game—I can’t recommend him enough.Go to twitter.com and follow him at @chancanan_ to see his gallery and hire him. And while you’re there follow The Goblet Wire at @TheGobletWireNext week features episode 5: If Only I Were Never Home by Eli Barraza.I hope we’ll see you there.


Episode 05PDF Download

Episode 05
If Only I were Never Home

Ester:
Welcome to The Goblet Wire, a surreal micro fiction podcast.
Transcripts are available on our website, TheGobletWire.carrd.coThis is Episode 5, If Only I were Never Home. Written by Eli Barraza.00
00
SFX: [CRY OF THE GOBLET]00
00
STARTINT. SUBURBAN HOME - NIGHTA housewife sits on her overstuffed couch, smoking a cigarette. She’s the type of woman who thought she’d have a husband, kids, and a dog. She got 1/3. And that one is a piece of shit. But still, at least she’s got this.SFX: Her phone’s got a cord, the tactile buttons sounding as she goes through the numbers. A few rings and the call picks up.Operator:
Greetings and salutations, caller.
Judith:
I was hoping it’d be you.
Operator:
(smiling) Callsign?
Judith:
Pearl Forest.
Operator:
Passcode?
Judith:
A drop of blood from above.
Operator:
The bones crack in the wind.
Judith:
Curses caught before spoken.
Operator:
And all was home again.
Judith:
How are you?
Operator:
You’re not supposed to ask me that.
Judith:
No? I suppose you’d rather me tell you about my die I took from the Yahtzee game my husband insists on playing.
Operator:
Plastic?
Judith:
Yes. Will that do? The bone one got stuck in the vacuum.
Operator:
I’m sorry but it won’t.
Judith:
Alright, I’ll see if I can crack it open to find it. Will you stay on the line?
Operator:
Of course, Pearl Forest.
SFX: Judith sets the phone down on the side table, and walks to another room. A few moments pass and she wheels the vacuum next to couch. She takes it apart while they talk.Judith:
I’m back.
Operator:
Was it fun?
Judith:
Getting my vacuum?
Operator:
Did you have fun playing Yahtzee with your husband?
Judith:
Oh, neither of us did. The neighbors didn’t notice at least. More concerned with the new curtains I put up.
SFX: The operator clears their throat, trying to focus on their job and not the woman on the other end of the phone.Operator:
While you get the die, what coin will you be using today?
Judith:
Kennedy half dollar. Dev-- (Devin), my husband liked the man.
Operator:
Anything you’d like to do before I connect you to the Dictator?
Judith:
Yes. I’d like to make a trade.
Operator:
Oh?
Judith:
You told me last time you can’t accept gifts so I thought instead I’d offer a trade.
Operator:
I didn’t say that.
Judith:
Yes you did, you said ‘I can’t accept gifts from you.’
Operator:
From you. I can’t accept gifts from you.
Judith:
And why’s that?
Operator:
Because a gift from you is more than a gift and no matter how much I might--(want that) nevermind.
What do you want to trade?
Judith:
I got the die!
Operator:
You want to trade your die?
Judith:
No, I just got the die out of the vacuum.
Operator:
Well done.
Judith:
And now I have this whole mess. Anyway, my last session, I obtained a crystal.
Operator:
Color?
Judith:
A kaleidescope of colors or something. The Dictator mentioned a prism? I left my notes in the other room.
Operator:
I see.
Judith:
So can we trade?
Operator:
I don’t have anything worth trading for an item like that.
Judith:
It wouldn’t have to be something in the game.
Operator:
What else is there?
Judith pauses, almost afraid to ask.Judith:
Your name.
The operator stays silent for a while.Judith: (CONT'D)
Hello?
Operator:
I’m still here.
Judith:
So.
Operator:
I can’t tell you that, Pearl Forest.
Judith:
You’re impossible.
Operator:
I have protocols.
Judith:
You’re not the Dictator! You’re like me, you can bend the rules, even break them if you wanted to.
Operator:
I’m not sure I want to.
Judith:
Not for me?
Operator:
Not for you.
Judith:
Alright then. But can you... can you at least tell me... I’m not imagining all this, am I? I know you’re happy when you pick up my call, I can hear it in your voice.
Operator:
I am. But that’s all we can be. A voice on the other end of the wire.
Judith:
Of course.
Operator:
Are you ready for me to patch you through, Pearl Forest?
Judith:
Yes. Wait. Did you ever have a call sign?
Operator:
I did.
A beat.Judith:
What was it?
Operator:
Night Thistle.
Judith:
Thank you. Alright, patch me through, Night Thistle.
Operator:
Starting session 93. Patching you through to the Dictator.
Episode ends as the call goes through.00
00
SFX: [CRY OF THE GOBLET]00
00
Ester:
This episode was written by Eli Barazza
It starred Brigette Paulus as Pearl Forest
And Elissa Park as The Operator
Art by Chandler Candela
Credits music by Oliver Morris
Editing and sound design by Ester Ellis and Justin Hellstrom. Synth-cape by Justin Hellstrom.
If you haven’t listened to Eli’s podcast, “The Far Meridian”, you are in for one of the most magical experiences available in audio. An agoraphobic young woman lives in a Light House with her brother. But when her brother disappears, and the Light House starts moving to a new location every day, she has to learn how to leave home. It’s eerie, beautiful, and elegant. The first two seasons are out now, you should download them immediately.On another happy note, the Apollo Podcast application just launched a Goblet Wire carousal where you can find all of the other shows we work on with a single click! Apollo is a Podcatcher that specifically features Fiction Podcasts like this one, it is killer for discoverability and the team behind it is doing great things for the indie audio drama world.Next week is Episode 6, “With All The Love The Sea Could Ever Bleed”, by Justin Hellstrom
I hope we’ll see you there.


Episode 06PDF Download

Episode 06
With All the Love the Sea could Ever Bleed

Ester:
Welcome to The Goblet Wire, a surreal micro fiction podcast.
Transcripts are available on our website, TheGobletWire.carrd.coThis is Episode 6, With All the Love the Sea Could Ever Bleed. Written by Justin Hellstrom00
00
SFX: [CRY OF THE GOBLET]00
00
STARTSFX: (Heart monitor/ekg machine blipping and whirring)Operator:
Maldive, this is the third session in a row you’ve played in the hospital. You should go home and rest.
Maldive:
I can’t fish at home.
Operator:
Lampjack E-07 cleared. Plugging you in to the Dictator – logging Session 23, please hold.
SFX: ConnectingDictator:
Time of Day: Oh Six – Thirty. Mental topography – Albatross, psychocurrent, nomadic spring.
Maldive:
Those all sound like traveling, a journey, new things. I don’t like it.
Dictator:
The moon is slivered in the morning sky – waning crescent – and detests your reticence to change.
Maldive:
It only detests me because it has no choice. The moon is caged.
Dictator:
Then set it free.
Maldive:
I’ll think about it. Tell me, how lovely is the morning in the village today?
Dictator:
Huts and bungalows rustle with the sounds of tackle. Socket wrenches on engine bolts and wax on old fiberglass hulls. Sail flaps. Chicken clucks. A commotion at the center of the cay. But a child naked on the shore behind your shack carries a large Styrofoam buoy on their back, taking large, burdensome steps, screaming something.
Maldive:
It must be lil’ Ruby again. I try to hear her.
Dictator:
The wind is steady. Your ceiling creaks and whistles, remember you declined Ramjack’s offer to fix your roof—
Maldive: He was hitting on me.Dictator:
The words are fleeting, you might not catch them.
RollsMaldive:
Four.
Dictator:
A litany of childhood delusion rides on a gust of wind. You are graced with a fragment of sermon: “I’m making a new sun! I’m making a new sun!”
Maldive:
I scream, “I’m making coffee, I’m making coffee!”
Dictator:
Your coffee pot explodes.
Maldive:
What, why?
Dictator:
Screaming activates your molecular intimidation skill, making inanimate matter—
Maldive:
Stop. I don’t care about, about any of that. I just want to fish, okay? I want to complete morning ritual number two and head to see what the fuss is about.
Dictator:
You brush your teeth, adorn your waders and tool belt, water the philodendron monstreta, make toast, eat it on your way around Leroy’s bait shack, the stacks of crab traps and smells of seaweed.
Maldive:
Any birds around?
Dictator:
A heron excreting on a pylon with great force.
Maldive:
Beautiful. What else?
Dictator:
Navigating between loafs of cobblestone, a monkey balances on a unicycle, blindfolded, playing a flute.
SFX: bike chain and flue tuneMaldive:
I’m not dealing with that. I go on.
Dictator:
Some muted circus coos across the island as a giraffe on stilts fords Rosie’s fish shack. A key dangles from its neck while the giraffe wobbles, drools, clacks on. Rosie stumbles out with a gutted dolphin fish in her arms.
Maldive:
I duck under the giraffe and yell to Rosie, “Put that thing on ice, I’ll buy half that beauty from ya later!”
Dictator:
The fish in her arms reanimates, flops with flayed fillets of meat like a bloodied magic carpet as the tectonics of chemical thunder resound across the island.
Maldive:
I press on to the inlet, what the hell is happening?
Dictator:
The cay’s interior lagoon is strewn with a wrack of cargo containers and pelagic-grade fish traps, nets for trawling monsters of the deep. A zoo lost at sea has found a new home as zebras and orangutans and elephants with tubas bumble out of the containers. At the center of disaster – a mythic sailfish entangled in the flotsam – seventy feet long. Glittering fuchsia and gold in some forgotten solar tongue.
Maldive:
I look beyond the shore.
SFX: maritime klaxon and muted explosionsDictator:
Beached upon coral and tropic surf is a cargo ship completely on fire. A second sunrise in the west. It lists, spills fuselage and tanks. They explode on contact with the sand, cratering the seascape.
Maldive:
I wade through the mess to the center of the inlet, scuttle over the wreckage, and climb up the sailfish, I want to look it in the eye.
Dictator:
You trudge through the shallows, pass the wake of a rhinoceros as an armless maestro tries to bite it. The debris is webbed, easy enough to traverse. You crawl upon the heaving flank of fish, its scales now a rippling tide of blue, its body craned upwards on the wreckage as a tower-slide to the sky. Purchase won’t be easily found here.
SFX: Rolls
Maldive:
Two.
Dictator:
You slip and slice your hand on the razored canvass of its pectoral fin.
Maldive:
I take out my shucking knives to aid in the climb.
Dictator:
Flip the coin.
SFX: Flip
Maldive:
Heads.
Dictator:
A stubbed blade in each fist, you strike the flushing hide and pull yourself up and along the waterfall of rainbowed flesh. It flexes, bulges sheetlike from each puncture wound – scales radiating in yellow flashes with each stage of your climb, blotting its ocean of body with tiny newborn suns.
Maldive:
I stop at its brow, look into its eye.
Dictator:
The socket is a sunken amphitheater of sclera. The pupil gapes as wide as the hole inside your mother’s heart.
Maldive:
How do you know about... no. No. I’m not playing like that – I’m not asking you a single fucking question – about that. You should be ashamed of yourself.
Dictator:
Your words stir awake a violinist impaled along the sailfish’s mouth lance, their powdered wig salt-caked and indicating the direction of the wind. They begin to play.
Music: Granulated ViolinMaldive:
I speak to the sailfish, not to you, so put the goddamn phone down, or headphones or whatever, I don’t want you to listen at all. Do you understand!
Dictator:
. . . hm.
SFX: waiting room tone and sounds of sea windMaldive:
Shh, now. I’m staring, I’m staring into you with all the love the sea could ever bleed. Listen. I will stay with you here, my darling of the tide. I just wanted to let you know that no one could ever catch you. Not ever. Not with all the hooks and harpoons ever forged. Not here or beyond the stars.
SFX: Normal game tone returns.Dictator:
Distant and groaned, the cargo ship sweats within pillars of steam. Glaring in magnesium phosphorescence upon the bow, an albino hippopotamus tilts its head, jaws spread wide, and tries to swallow the moon.
Dictator:
Session End.
SFX: DisconnectSFX: Heartrate monitor beeping, beeping into the night.00
00
SFX: [CRY OF THE GOBLET]00
00
Ester:
This episode was written by Justin Hellstrom
It starred Frank Voss as Maldive
Cole Burkhardt as The Operator
And Richard Penner as The Dictator
Art by Chandler Candela
Credits music by Oliver Morris
Editing and sound design by Ester Ellis and Justin Hellstrom. Synth-cape by Justin Hellstrom.
We’ve partnered with the Apollo Podcast app to create a custom carousal for The Goblet Wire! Go to the “Creators of The Goblet Wire” section on the front page of their app to quickly subscribe to and download all of the shows our writers have made.Speaking of creators, did you know the writer of this episode has a book?The Tide Will Erase All, by Justin Hellstrom, is an incredible novel, featuring interdimensional blood angels and imaginative apocalypse children and my very favorite old guy. If you ever found yourself up at an ungodly hour, watching Adult Swim’s “Off The Air” and thought to yourself, “I wonder if there’s a book like this?” Well there is, it’s The Tide Will Erase all. And if you hate reading, the cover art is incredible and will make for an eye catching unread book on your unread shelf.Follow the link in this episode’s description to purchase your own copy of The Tide Will Erase All.We’re taking a break next week. After years of dodging the world’s most famous virus, it finally got me, and I need to make up for the lost time. We’ll be back with the next episode in two weeks, so keep your eyes peeled and tune in!I hope we’ll see you there.


Episode 07PDF Download

Episode 07
The Urban Network

Ester:
Welcome to The Goblet Wire, a surreal micro fiction podcast.
Transcripts are available on our website, TheGobletWire.carrd.coThis is Episode 7, The Urban Network. Written by Eli Barraza00
00
SFX: [CRY OF THE GOBLET]00
00
STARTINT. A METRO STATION
SFX: A crowd bustles by. The phone rings.
Operator:
Good afternoon. Please state your-- (callsign)
Meredith:
Tipped Bishop. I found the glass coffin.
Operator:
And inside grew starlight.
Meredith:
Harvest for the heavens. Then you say ‘The earth is thirsty’ and then I say ‘The ocean is just salt now’. Patch me through.
Operator:
Die used?
*Meredith grows increasingly frustrated at the adherence to ritual and rules.Meredith:
The same damn die I use every time.
Operator:
Coin?
Meredith:
Dollar coin with what’s her name, the racist suffragette. Taken from a metro change slot. Year 1996. Now put me through.
Operator:
Any house-- (keeping)
Meredith:
JUST. PUT. ME. THROUGH.
Operator:
Patching you to the Dictator. Logging session 44, please hold.
SFX: The hold signal.
SFX: The crowds dim, a train must have picked them up. The patch goes through.
Dictator:
You stand in front of the door, sweat dripping off of you in the heat of the tunnel.
Meredith:
There is no door.
Dictator:
The door is rusted but not rusted shut. There’s a lock.
Meredith:
Listen you piece of—I figured out which metro system this is based on and I went to that station, I followed every move I’ve made in this game and not only is there no door there but there were other ways out, ways you didn’t tell me.
SFX: A low battery beep from Meredith’s phone.Dictator:
There’s no one else with you on the platform. It’s quiet, peaceful if not for the heat.
Meredith:
You’re a liar. I’m telling you there shouldn’t be a door there.
Dictator:
But there is the door, still. Waiting.
Meredith:
Then where’s the key, huh? I’ve looked in every nook and cranny of your so called metro and have found squat. None of my Keys work but you won’t let me leave.
SFX: Dead air. The Dictator waits for her to make an action. A low battery beeps again. Then quiet, just the sound of Meredith breathing.Meredith:
(CONT'D)
No. No I won’t use that. You can’t make me use that, I was saving it. You knew I was saving it. I flew all the way here to....
(MORE)
Meredith:
(CONT'D)
to fact check you and you’re wrong, there is no door and you’re still gonna make me use it, aren’t you?
Dictator:
A gasp of air rushes from beneath the door, stirring the bits of trash on the platform.
Meredith:
You made me go through every iteration of problem solving, you made me waste all my resources.
Dictator:
The die rolls and the coin flips, leaving your fate to chance but you chose the path of probability. And the results left the door locked.
You have one remaining resource.
SFX: Another low battery beep.Meredith:
Screw you.
SFX: (deep breath)
I use the Quantum Needle.
Dictator:
Please roll.
SFX: Meredith kneels down, her shoes scraping on the floor. She rolls, the die skittering until it stops. She hisses.Meredith:
Four.
Dictator:
You will be able to get your left arm up to the shoulder through the door.
Meredith:
Well that’s just great.
B/: A beat as Meredith thinks.Dictator:
The effect does not last long and once lost is gone.
Meredith:
Okay. Okay. Lemme think. I stick my arm through the door and feel for the handle on the other side.
Dictator:
You feel the handle, smooth in a well worn way, contrasting the flaking rust of the handle on your side.
Meredith:
I turn it.
Dictator:
The handle turns smoothly. The door opens before-- (you)
SFX: A loud low battery beep and Meredith’s phone dies with a vibration.Meredith:
No. No no no no no. Dammit!
SFX: She throws her phone on the ground. It lands with a heavy thud, protected by its case.Meredith:
(CONT'D)
Shit.
SFX: She picks up the phone. Looks around.Meredith: (CONT'D)
Excuse me, do you have a charger?
B/: Whoever she speaks to ignores her.Meredith: (CONT'D)
Sorry, I just need to make a call, would you mind?
SFX: Another passersby pretending not to hear her.Meredith: (CONT'D)
CAN ANYONE LEND ME THEIR PHONE?
SFX: Her outburst startles even her and she takes a few deep breathes.
SFX: A figure approaches.
Another Player:
Hey, um, you okay?
Meredith:
No one will lend me their phone.
Another Player:
You need to make a call? Here, you can borrow mine.
Meredith:
Thanks.
SFX: She takes the phone. Dials.Another Operator:
You’ve reached the Velvet Generator, Imma need your callsign.
SFX: Meredith mutters, aware of the other person beside her.Meredith:
Tipped Bishop.
Another Operator:
Passcode?
Meredith:
I found the glass coffin.
Another Operator:
And inside grew starlight.
B/: She’s quiet.Another Operator: (CONT'D)
You still there? And inside grew starlight.
Meredith:
Nevermind.
SFX: She hangs up and gives the phone back.Meredith: (CONT'D)
Thanks again.
Another Player:
You play too?
Meredith:
What?
Another Player: You know, you play too.Meredith:
Here, for letting me borrow your phone.
She flips her Susan B Anthony coin in the air and hands it over to the other player.Meredith: (CONT'D)
Use it for your game. I think I’m done with mine.
She leaves the other player and walks through the double doors out onto the street.00
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Ester:
This episode was written by Eli Barazza
It starred Emily Ervolina as Tipped BishopPhoebe Joy and Nate MacDonald The OperatorsAnd Richard Penner as The DictatorArt by Chandler CandelaCredits music by Oliver MorrisEditing and sound design by Ester Ellis and Justin Hellstrom.We’ve partnered with the Apollo Podcast app to create a custom carousal for The Goblet Wire! Go to the “Creators of The Goblet Wire” section on the front page of their app to quickly subscribe to and download all of the shows our writers have made.Eli, the writer of this episode, is currently crowdfunding for the third and final season of The Far Meridian. If you haven’t checked out The Far Meridian yet then I need to work on my pitches. This is one of the most exciting moments audio drama has had in years, the chance to help conclude one of the best shows in our medium. Follow the indiegogo link in the description and help it reach its goal to earn stickers, linocuts, a custom zine and more!Next week is Episode 8, “The Insatiable Cataclysm of Absence”, by Justin HellstromI hope we’ll see you there.


Episode 08PDF Download

Episode 08
The Insatiable Cataclysm of Absence

Ester:
Welcome to The Goblet Wire, a surreal micro fiction podcast.
Transcripts are available on our website, TheGobletWire.carrd.coThe following includes depictions of death in a role-playing environment.Take care of yourself, and listen responsibly.This is Episode 8, The Insatiable Cataclysm of Absence, written by Justin Hellstrom.00
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SFX: [CRY OF THE GOBLET]00
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SFX: Wind - Snow – a fireplace crackling
SFX: Writing Pen/Pencil
Blue Frame:
Can you tell me the emotions of this session?
Dictator:
Mental Topography: The Flood – The Flood – The Flood.
Blue Frame:
Good thing I made the kid sleep in the treehouse.
Dictator:
Moon phase – New. You wake. Lean out of the treehouse—see that the mountain is blacker than the sky and there are no stars. Are you afraid?
Blue Frame:
Always.
Dictator:
As always, the fear is justified. But your feint was successful. Your parents fooled by the mannequin in your bed. Candlelight from their bedroom illuminates the window. You see them fast asleep and loveless. They will drown within the next five minutes.
Blue Frame:
I just want to run away, not kill them.
Dictator:
It is both not your actions, and your actions which will drown them.
Blue Frame:
I don’t see how. Well, I guess, I wait to watch them drown. And choose a toy from my pocket. Can the Dimetrodon swim?
Dictator:
Not well.
Blue Frame:
Then I take the right whale out and set it on the windowsill.
Dictator:
The road to the next village sidewinders along the base of the mountain. The lantern posts dot its path with orange glow, and you watch as they wink out one by one. A snake’s eyes retreating to its tail.
SFX ScribblingBlue Frame:
I want to see how much water is coming, if I’m safe in the treehouse.
Dictator:
At the town gates you see trees take flight, roots plucked seamless from the ground. They go airborne and tumble, splintering the watchtowers. Great rectangles of cargo batter through walled fortifications, blunt squares breaching the redwood and cedar defenses as if pushed by the hands of a monstrous, invisible baby.
Blue Frame:
I don’t see any water? Could you be more detailed?
Dictator:
You see your parents levitate off the bed, choking on an unseen current which forces them out the window, dragging them along the lawn, legs raised to the black of night until they hit your tree and are flushed from sight. The phenomenon is strong, you may not be able to stop from falling out the window.
SFX Finishes scribbling
SFX Rolls Twice
Blue Frame:
Three and four. Three for staying in the treehouse – four for my taxonomical summoning, I wish the whale to be just big enough to not break the treehouse.
Dictator:
The clearwater flow is preternatural, beguiling. Your hands waver in their symbol work, your incantation stuttered. The wooden whale bulges with flesh and flipper and fluke and erupts from the treehouse, rending it in two with you sat on the brow.
Blue Frame: I don’t have a home anymore.Dictator:
You never did.
Blue Frame:
How does my projection feel?
Dictator:
Your projection feels the same, as you.
Blue Frame:
But I don’t know how I feel. I want you to tell me.
SFX FlipsBlue Frame:
Heads. Do it.
Dictator:
Doing so may kill you. Shall we proceed?
Blue Frame:
Me? Or my projection?
SilenceBlue Frame:
I’m ready.
Dictator:
Atop your whale the city sleeps under the sightless surf. Weathervanes cast away on unseen breeze and glass shattered and drifting as a magnetic starfield. A million luminescent cuts in wait. But you are separate from it. From the baker pinned to the ribs of a carriage. The archer twins somersaulting as dandelion seeds before being sucked into the well. Faeries headed for the center of the world. But you are separate from it. From the world. From the magic of a whale beneath your hands, smooth and stainless.
SFX Scribbling, more frantic
Blue Frame:
More specific, please. I want to feel it all.
Dictator:
Eternal dissonance has befallen you. Every feeling there could ever be, if felt at once, feels as if nothing at all. The insatiable cataclysm of absence. It is this you feel most, and this emotion has joined its kin from others just like you in the world, and they shall rampage immature and feckless on this night.
Blue Frame:
Where is this phenomenon taking us?
Dictator:
You no longer know. In the throes of your contemplations, the whale was impaled on the belltower. You are churned. Alone and numb. Surrounded by a cosmic plane of glass that takes the blood from inside of you—spiraled—galaxy armed. The cuts in wait have found a home.
Blue Frame:
Wait.
SFX Pencil drop.
Dictator:
Your life leaks way in tendrils, pale wisps, the cursive handwriting of all the words you were too weak to write.
Blue Frame:
Stop.
Dictator:
And in their confluence, their runes, you see the shape of something vast and beautiful just on the verge of being born – something that can only become alive, can only become happy without your presence among the living, the blood pumping, the able to feel.
Dictator:
Callsign Blue Frame – eliminated.
Blue Frame:
No, no way.
Dictator:
Password revoked.
Blue Frame:
Could. Would you—
Dictator:
Campaign termination protocol complete. Roll for final words.
SFX frantic, scrambled roll
Blue Frame:
Two.
SFX Line Dead. Fireplace. Light wind.Blue Frame:
SFX : Shaky breathing
SFX Gathers up papers, notebooks, a manuscript. Carries them to fireplace, throws them in to burn. Pokes with a fire poker.Long PauseBlue Frame:
It’s so warm.
EPISODE END
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Ester:
This episode was written by Justin Hellstrom
It starred Oliver Morris as Blue Frame
And Richard Penner as The Dictator.
Art by Chandler Candela
Credits music by Oliver Morris
Editing and sound design by Ester Ellis and Justin Hellstrom. Synth-cape by Justin Hellstrom.
We’ve partnered with the Apollo Podcast app to create a custom carousel for The Goblet Wire. Go to the creators of The Goblet Wire section on the front page of their app to quickly subscribe and download all of the shows are writers have made.There are just over 200 of you who download every episode, we’re still working to grow the show and would love your help.If you like this show, I’d be most grateful if you recommended it to a friend, a stranger, on a reddit thread, a Twitter response, post a sticky note in your laundry mat, ask the next telemarketer if they’ll consider subscribing—put the Dictator in your own role playing game and send your players here when they want more answers.More than iTunes reviews or monetary support, sharing the show does the most to get us to that next level. And with that next level comes more Goblet Wire. We’ve got 4 episodes left in this batch—you wont want to miss them.Next week is episode 09: The Faded Starling by Eli Barraza.I hope we’ll see you there.