SEASON 2, EPISODE 2
RELEASE DATE: 02/20/2021
Some connections are forged, and some are shattered. Liam picks through the fallout to figure out his next steps.
VALENCE is a serialized fiction podcast meant for adult listeners. You can find more information, including our full cast list and transcripts, at VALENCEpod.com. You can support us on Patreon and get access to inspo images, bonus audio, and more.
VALENCE is brought to you by Proton VPN. VPNs are a great way to encrypt and protect your data (and your magic) from being accessed by other parties. That’s why here at Hug House, we use VPNs. VALENCE is just as much a story about data privacy as our other themes, and we want to make sure you’re keeping yourself protected. If you’d like to support Hug House and make Sarah proud, we’d appreciate it if you could use our affiliate link. You can find it at https://hughouse.productions/protonvpn
- Familial trauma throughout
- Discussions of a past bomb threat at 5:30
- Discussions of blood, injuries, and death from 22:15
- Our theme was made by Travis Reaves,
- with production by Raul Vega.
- Additional music provided by Loyalty Freak Music and Kai Engel.
- VALENCE was created by Wil Williams.
- VALENCE is edited and sound designed by Wil Williams.
- VALENCE is directed by Katie Youmans and Anne Baird.
- VALENCE is produced by Anne Baird.
Performances by, in order of appearance:
- Josh Rubino as Liam Alden and Liam’s Inner Voices,
- Katie Chin as Grace Chen,
- Alex Welch as Noel Alden,
- Caleb Del Rio as Flynn Velasco,
- Jordan Cobb as Sarah Harris,
- David S. Dear as Richard Alden,
- and John Westover as Nico Salvai.
[[A door handle turns and clicks open. Soft wind chimes tinkle.]]
ANNE: Brought to you by Hug House Productions
AD: VALENCE is brought to you by Proton VPN. VPNs are a great way to encrypt and protect your data (and your magic) from being accessed by other parties. That’s why, here at Hug House, we use Proton VPN. VALENCE is just as much a story about data privacy as our other themes, and we want to make sure you’re keeping yourself protected. If you’d like to support Hug House and make Sarah proud, we’d appreciate it if you could use our affiliate link. You can find it at hughouse.productions/protonvpn, all one word. We’ll also share the link in our show notes.
Wil: VALENCE is a serialized fiction podcast with discussions and depictions of struggles with mental health. You can check our show notes, or the transcripts on valencepod dot com for a full list of content warnings and their timestamps. It’s important to take care of yourself — especially here in New Candler.
[[theme music – bright, synthy beat with airy, flowing strings that fade into a brief moment of a darker synth more reminiscent of the Season 1 theme]]
CWs: Mention of bomb threat
INT. GRACE’S APARTMENT – MID-MORNING
LIAM sits across from GRACE at her small dining table. Her apartment is airy and refreshing, but with a sense of calm. It has a beautiful, very expensive-looking espresso maker, but it also has some framed small pieces of art, a calendar hung on the wall and actually filled out.
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: Just relax. Just take a sip of this very nice coffee she made you.
Liam takes a sip of coffee. Grace awkwardly clears her throat.
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: Just a normal . . . bonding time . . . with Grace. Just the two of us . . . alone . . . to . . . not do business.
GRACE: Is the coffee—
LIAM: Very good. Uh. Thank you.
GRACE: Good. Good.
LIAM: Your, ah, your plants are . . . nice.
GRACE: Oh, thanks. I usually kill every plant I get but this crispy wave fern is putting up a good fight. The prayer plant is from Sol. Ah, did — do — did . . . Do . . . you have any plants?
LIAM: No, no, I’d–I shouldn’t be in charge of living things. Otherwise I’d get some. They’re . . . nice.
A beat. Grace takes a sip of coffee.
GRACE: Okay. Liam, I know we haven’t always . . . ever . . . seen eye to eye.
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: Ah. An intervention. Of course.
GRACE: But I think it’s important you know where I’m coming from.
LIAM: . . . Alright.
GRACE: I’ve been in New Candler since ’97. I did my undergrad back in Toronto, but then I moved here for my MA in Politics from The New School. Barely scraped by with their GPA requirements, but, I mean . . . It was my first time in New Candler, so sue me. It was a pretty different city back then. And I was pretty young and pretty different too.
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: Wait she’s actually talking about herself?
Liam leans in to listen
GRACE: I was hired at the Department of Human and Health Services pretty quick after that. It wasn’t really what I wanted, but I figured it would look good on a resume, and I was sick of having to depend on just . . . so many roommates. I worked under someone who was trying to get a muse-focused team started, but that was even more laughable then than it is now.
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: Good to know we’ve always been hilarious.
GRACE: But he tried all the way until he retired. And by then, he’d convinced me we needed a department, at least. I kept trying to advocate for one, but I just kept getting shuffled around from position to position, trying to find a foothold on just . . . something. Each person I worked under just paid so much lip service to their cause without actually doing anything. For years. And not one of them cared about muses. So, I decided that I was going to work my way up until I could be in charge of a task force, and we’d take up the fight for muses. And we’d actually get shit done. I’ve always thought that spite is the best motivator and I definitely had enough spite to last at least a decade of work. But it wound up being two decades now, I guess.
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: At least we have that in common.
GRACE: I didn’t get to be the head of anything until 2011. And by then, I’d already met Luis–he’d been brought in as a counselor after we got a bomb threat back in ’06.
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: Jesus.
GRACE: We hit it off, and as soon as I could–maybe . . . 2014? 2015? No, 2014–I hired him. I knew he was a muse, and I knew what he could do, but honestly . . . I just wanted him on the team. I knew there was a lot of untapped potential there. I think there still was.
GRACE: Sorry. The–the point is that. I’ve spent, I dunno, too damn long watching teams sprout up just to talk a big talk, do nothing, and then fade away. It’s all the system knows how to do. Try any more, and you wind up like the TEA. You just get enough grease to make the wheel stop squeaking, and no more.
LIAM: Unless you can hire a very adept hacker.
GRACE: [laughs] Right, of course. Not that they were happy about that hire in the first place.
So . . . [sighs] I’m in the weeds here, Liam. I’m constantly scraping all of my contacts to find us any leads I can. A lot can be done outside a system, but the system also has to change for that to matter. And I’m the only one on the team with that on their shoulders.
LIAM: No, I . . . I get that. But you see where we’re coming from, right? For–for change to happen within the system, doesn’t it have to come from outside the system? You had the connections in there, but–no offense here, but the rest of us were the ones who made the change. And the system fired us.
GRACE: Offense . . . kind of taken? It might not seem like a lot when you look at it on paper, but what I did was get you all together in the first place. I did about a decade of research. I—
LIAM: [incredulously] Wait, did you–did you take– [uncomfortable chuckle] Did–did you take notes on me as a baby?
GRACE: I . . . may have . . . taken some.
LIAM: [laughs] That’s so . . . weird. How did you even think to find me?
GRACE: That’s the thing. My notes weren’t really about current events. They were about people. I’ve got twenty years of notebooks filled with the names of people who might be able to get things done. I had Luis’s name saved for about ten years, and then he recommended Mahira. I had Sarah’s name saved since she broke into one of our systems as a kid. I knew how many people I could hire, and I had done my research on who would get the work done.
LIAM: And then for some reason, you still chose me.
GRACE: If you’re trying to bait me into saying something nice about you—
LIAM: The concept literally repulses me.
GRACE: –it’s not going to happen.
GRACE: You were a risk. You were a huge risk. I just have a good poker face. I was half sure you were going to mutiny on me at any given moment.
LIAM: Well, I was tempted.
GRACE: I know. But instead, you called me out. And then you trusted me. And that’s why I know that my instincts were right. That I was smart to follow up on whatever happened to you after you just disappeared.
I’m just as bad at sharing my emotions as you are, but I hope you know that it meant a lot to me when you did that. It wasn’t just that it helped my work, or even that it made me a better person.
It meant a lot to me that you trusted me. And I won’t forget that.
LIAM: I’m–I’m glad you listened.
GRACE: So . . . can you take a turn to trust me?
LIAM: Well, what’s one more time?
GRACE: You’re right. You’re right. I just . . . I’ve worked in this field for so long, Liam. And I really do care about it. And I really do know how it works. I’m not going to stop any work on the blog, but I need you to know that my focus will always be action.
LIAM: And my focus will always be whatever other muses say will help.
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: Your focus will be whatever serves you best at the given moment.
GRACE: Well, at least together, we can always agree on our motivation.
LIAM AND GRACE: Spite.
Both laugh. Grace takes a sip of her coffee and sets the cup down with a clink.
LIAM: Wait, how old are you???
CWs: Familial trauma
INT. LIAM’S ROOM – LATER THAT EVENING
LIAM is listening to a somber, slow piano song on his phone, flipping pages as he reads, taking sips of coffee. His nice, relaxing time is interrupted as his phone rings on vibrate.
LIAM, LIAM’S INNER VOICE, AND LIAM’S OTHER INNER VOICE: [in unison] What the fuck?
LIAM: What the fuck.
LIAM’S OTHER INNER VOICE: Maybe it’s him? Nobody else calls me but Flynn and Flynn’s in the other room.
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: It’s not him.
LIAM’S OTHER INNER VOICE: It could be him.
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: It’s probably your horrible father calling to tell you he’s going to kill you after all.
LIAM: What the fuck?
LIAM’S OTHER INNER VOICE: But you should pick it up in case it’s not
The phone keeps ringing.
LIAM’S OTHER INNER VOICE: Pick it up!
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: DON’T pick it up.
LIAM: What the fuck?
Liam picks up the call.
LIAM: What. The fuck???
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: Phenomenal.
NOEL: . . . Hm. Not the greeting I was expecting, but ultimately understandable, I suppose.
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: HANG UP HANG UP HANG UP
LIAM’S OTHER INNER VOICE: SAVE HER SAVE HER SAVE HER
NOEL: I’d ask how you are but, well.
NOEL: Yes, Liam. Hi. Hello.
LIAM: How . . . why?
NOEL: Are you drunk?
LIAM: No, strangely enou–ah. No. I’m just. I’m taken aback, Noel. We haven’t exactly spoken outside of, um, the–the last time we spoke–in–
NOEL: Sixteen years. I’m well aware.
LIAM: So–so why now?
NOEL: Well, one of us had to after that stirring reunion, right? Phones do work both ways.
LIAM: I didn’t have your number.
NOEL: And I’m sure your dear little hacker couldn’t have found it. Yeah. Absolutely.
LIAM: She . . . couldn’t, actually.
NOEL: . . . Huh?
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: Don’t tell her that, you useless sap.
LIAM’S OTHER INNER VOICE: She’s your sister. Tell her.
LIAM: Your personal number. I asked her to try. But she couldn’t find it. She could find your office phone, but that didn’t seem wise.
NOEL: Why–why did you ask her to find it?
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: This is a trap, you idiot.
NOEL: It doesn’t matter. I didn’t actually call to, um, catch up.
NOEL: I called with an offer.
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: Oh, here we go again.
LIAM’S OTHER INNER VOICE: Hear her out.
LIAM: Do tell.
NOEL: We know that– [sighs] Listen. I want it to be clear before I even start this that I know this is ridiculous. So. Don’t ask me for answers, because I don’t have them.
NOEL: We know the funds you, ah, acquired during your work with the T.E.A. are running low. We also know from years of monitoring that you aren’t exactly cut out for a standard, quote-unquote real job. And we also know that, unfortunately, you’ve proven you’re somewhat competent.
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: Oh, this can’t really be what’s happening, can it? Are they seriously–
LIAM: Are you trying to offer me a job?
NOEL: . . . again, I said I don’t–
NOEL: Yes, she wants me to offer you a job, yes.
LIAM: [laughs] Well!
NOEL: I know.
LIAM: And she knows that–
NOEL: Yes. But–but you also can’t really suspect we think you care about the T.E.A.’s stances.
An uncomfortable beat.
LIAM: Excuse me?
NOEL: All of that “muse rights” nonsense? Come on, Liam. You don’t have a moral bone in your body, let alone–
LIAM: Well, Noel, this has certainly been nice, catching up with you like this.
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: Still hurting her. You’re always hurting her.
LIAM: [sighs] I–I am here, you know. If you ever . . . actually want to catch up.
NOEL: You’d have the opportunity to actually catch up with me if you worked with me.
LIAM: Worked with you?
NOEL: We’d be on the same team.
LIAM’S OTHER INNER VOICE: SAVE HER SAVE HER SAVE HER SAVE HER SAVE HER
NOEL: The offer stands. You have my number now. Call me if you decide to actually do something with your life.
Noel hangs up.
LIAM’S OTHER INNER VOICE: There are worse things to do with your life than save the sister you abandoned.
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: Don’t be stupid. You know this is ridiculous.
LIAM’S OTHER INNER VOICE: You could do it.
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: No, you couldn’t.
LIAM’S OTHER INNER VOICE: You could do it.
LIAM’S INNER LUIS: You should talk to someone.
LIAM: Oh. I should . . . talk. To someone.
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: God, I wish Nico were here.
LIAM: Nope! [Calling out to the other room] Flynn? Sarah?
Liam gets up and walks out to the living room.
FLYNN: What’s up?
SARAH: Everything okay?
LIAM: Noel just called me.
LIAM: She tried to offer me a job.
FLYNN and SARAH: What?
SARAH: Don’t trust that.
FLYNN: You said no, right?
LIAM: I… well…
SARAH: Liam. This is obviously a trap.
LIAM: Clearly. But–is–is it alright if we just . . . can we hold off on discussing this like coworkers and discuss this as, um.
FLYNN: As friends?
FLYNN: But you know we are going to have to talk about it as coworkers at the meeting. Right?
LIAM: I know. But I–right now, right this second, I don’t really. I don’t really want to think about it as The Enemy calling me with a trap. I don’t know if I’m really capable of that just yet. Can we talk about it as my sister calling me?
SARAH: Yeah, Liam. We . . . we can do that.
FLYNN: For sure for sure.
LIAM: I don’t actually know what else to say, I guess.
SARAH: What was your relationship like with her, before?
LIAM: Um. It’s–it’s hard to say, really. I was so young. She was so young.
LIAM: But she was always kind of funny. A little rebellious. Very inquisitive. Noel loved learning–we both did, but she was just so smart. As soon as she could read, she’d always have books with her. She started piano lessons just before I got locked up, and she was great, even young. I couldn’t hear a lot through the door, but I could hear her playing sometimes.
For the first few years, she’d knock on the wall between our rooms and I’d knock back. She’d do it on my birthday, or on Christmas, or if she knew my father was about to come yell at me for something.
SFX: FADE IN on RICHARD
RICHARD (MEMORY): It’s amazing how, even here, you manage to be a bad influence on her.
LIAM: But she didn’t keep knocking for very long.
RICHARD (MEMORY): But she’ll never be like you. So you have to stop trying. She’s being cooperative. She’s listening to her parents. She cares about her family. All you care about is yourself. You’re supposed to be setting the example, but she’s the one you should learn from. [scoff] Not the other way around. Stop trying to influence her. It won’t work.
SARAH: It sounds like you two were pretty close.
LIAM: Yeah. Ah, yes. We–we were, I think. I’d like to think so.
FLYNN: Hey, are you okay to keep talking? You zoned out for a minute there, I don’t know if that was a, like. If that triggered something.
LIAM: It did–but it’s alright. Thank you for asking.
FLYNN: No problem. Okay. So, how did it feel to hear from her again?
LIAM: Strange. I don’t know. Just, conflicting, I guess. Half of me knows who she is now and what she’s doing, but half of me is still nine years old, hoping his six-year-old sister is okay. I don’t–I don’t know if I’ll ever forgive myself for leaving her there.
FLYNN: You didn’t have any time to think when you left, right? Escaping was pretty much a life-or-death decision.
LIAM: Right. Even so, I still . . .
SARAH: No, I get it. I’d probably feel the same way.
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: But someone like Sarah wouldn’t have ended up in that situation in the first place. She would have done something. She would have fought.
LIAM’S OTHER INNER VOICE: Shut up. You know that’s not how it works.
SARAH: I’m pretty close to my brother and my sister, and I don’t know how I’d be able to forgive myself for something like that, even if logically I could take a step back and see that yeah, duh, I didn’t really have any other choices to make.
FLYNN: Yeah. Not gonna lie, I’d feel the same way about having to leave you behind somewhere.
LIAM: [getting choked up] I hope you don’t worry about me doing that to you, because I’m not ever losing another fucking sibling again.
FLYNN: I know, you big sap. Hey, can I say something that’s gonna come off like a coworker question, but I promise it’s not?
LIAM: Of course.
FLYNN: Can you . . . try writing this all out? It doesn’t have to be for the blog, but it can be, if you want it to be. I just know that sometimes writing things out helps people process, right? So, maybe this is a good time for you to try.
LIAM: I can try. Writing it out makes it feel so much more real. I know it’s real. I just . . . putting it down in words is hard. Having to look at those words is hard. And having to even think about any of it so I can remember it so I can write it down is . . . hard!
FLYNN: Yeah, but that’s probably why it’s important. I don’t think it’s supposed to be easy.
LIAM: Yeah. You’re right. I’ll–I’ll try.
SARAH: Maybe it would help to just kinda decompress first?
LIAM: How so?
SARAH: I dunno. Maybe just, like, watch something and hang out. We could start that new documentary you wanted to watch and Flynn can ruin it by pointing out all of the sound effects that are added in post.
FLYNN: Ummm, that is a feature, not a bug. People would pay to hear my commentary.
LIAM: That sounds . . . nice. I–I know we’ll have to talk about this again at the meeting. And I know everyone is going to disagree, and it’s going to be a whole thing. But . . . thank you two for letting me just. Talk. About her. It helped more than it probably seemed.
CWs: Blood, family death
Liam sits cross-legged in his bed. He taps his pen to a notebook. It does not occur to him to try to write his blog post on his phone, or a computer, or something.
LIAM’S OTHER INNER VOICE: Just write. Just write something. It isn’t difficult.
SFX: A door closing
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: Don’t go back there again. It’s easier if you just don’t think about it. It isn’t going to help anyone anyway. It’s just going to—
SFX: A lock locking
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: –hurt for no reason, this is stupid, this is a waste of your time, you’re being ridiculous. There’s wine in the kitchen still, you could just—
RICHARD (MEMORY): This is not going to work.
The mark on Liam’s arm crackles with a spark of Nico’s magic.
LIAM’S OTHER INNER VOICE: Why did the tattoo just flare up? It doesn’t usually do that unless Nico is trying to track me down, or–shit.
Liam quickly takes out his phone and starts typing.
LIAM’S OTHER INNER VOICE: Just text him “everything okay?”. You’re allowed to do that.
Liam sends the message.
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: He’s probably dead.
LIAM’S OTHER INNER VOICE: He’s fine. Just see if he responds to the text. It’s fine.
Liam taps the pen to his notebook, anxiously this time.
LIAM’S OTHER INNER VOICE: He’s probably fine.
His tattoo crackles again. Liam takes a deep breath in and releases it slowly. His tattoo crackles again, and then again, and then in a flash of magic, Nico shifts into the room.
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit
NICO: [coughing and out of breath] Hey, Vamps. How’s it hanging?
LIAM: Nico, you’re bleeding–
NICO: Yeah sorry about the carpet. Think–hahaha–think your renter’s insurance or whatever covers felon blood, or–
LIAM: I care less about it being on the carpet and more about it not being inside your body!
NICO: Eh, don’t worry, it’s fine. It’s not all mine.
LIAM: Are you okay? What happened?
NICO: Uhhhhh a lot! A lot, Vamps, a lot. Mind if I uhhhhhh take a seat if that’s cool with you or maybe if I just like lay down on the floor or–
Liam leans over in the bed and helps Nico sit down on it. Nico doesn’t refuse the help.
NICO: So we were in Norderstedt to get some clients to pay up.
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: I thought he said he’d be in Hamburg?
NICO: They had us meet in an old hotel–they weren’t German, it was just more convenient and harder to track for everyone that way. Routine stuff. But then in the middle of them making excuses I heard one of those–those fucking things turn on. A Haven.
LIAM: Fuck. How did you get out?
NICO: Well shit got bad real fast. They had people just fucking everywhere. Like, the whole hotel staff was these guys. I don’t know how we didn’t catch it. We’re supposed to be better about this shit. So– [sighs] So, I just took advantage of the chaos and hid around shit and avoided, um, most of the line of fire. And did what I had to do to get out of there. I tried to, y’know, ping you a few times–I guess I just freaked out–and then poof, now I’m here.
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: What he had to do? Judging by the blood not being all his, he definitely– How is he talking freely about this? Doesn’t the mark from his family prevent that?
LIAM: Nico, before, you said you couldn’t be any more specific than Hamburg, but now you’re just–you’re just giving me full details.
NICO: Oh, yeah. We won’t have to worry about the mark going kaboom anymore. My dad didn’t make it out of there.
LIAM: You mean–
NICO: Yeah they super killed him.
NICO: Like REALLY dead. Like dead dead. Don’t do the sympathy thing right now. Rest in fucking pieces. He was a piece of shit who ruined everything he looked at.
LIAM: Are you–are you okay? I mean physically.
NICO: [chuckle] I’ve had worse. I just need some, y’know, you got like–ugh, Vamps, tell me you’ve got some medical gauze here.
LIAM: Yes–we–somewhere. Since Sarah moved in, we’ve, ah–
NICO: Lived like actual people? Ha–
Nico starts laughing but then coughs.
LIAM: Okay. Okay. Let me go get Sarah’s first aid kit and I’ll be right back.
NICO: Tight. Tight tight tight.
Liam gets off the bed and leaves the room.
FLYNN: Is that Nico? What’s going on?
LIAM: Yeah. Sarah, first aid kit?
SARAH: On it.
Sarah scrambles up and goes to grab her kit from the bathroom.
FLYNN: Is he okay? Is that — do you have blood on your hands??
LIAM: Yes??? I— [huffy distressed noise]
Sarah comes back with the kit.
SARAH: Okay, here’s this–if he needs sutures or anything, don’t try to handle it on your own. We’ll have to drag him to a hospital or get Mahira to come over.
LIAM: Right. Thank you.
Liam goes back to the room, where Nico is already looking a little better.
Liam hands him the first aid kit. He starts rifling through it.
LIAM: You already look a little better.
NICO: Not looking so bad yourself.
LIAM: No, I–hush. You know what I mean.
NICO: Yeah, I always try to keep some shit in my pockets just in case. I had some peppermint I’d fucked with earlier.
NICO: Yeah, Vamps, peppermint! Don’t get all condescending about kitchen witches. Those fuckers know what they’re doing. Half of my family is just weird old stregas putting spells in olive oil and shit. Here, can you help with this?
Nico takes his shirt off to give Liam better access to a wound on his back.
LIAM: [Winces] Well, it’s not as bad as I thought, at least.
NICO: Yeah. I’m amazing.
LIAM: I know.
NICO: [Laughs] Gross.
LIAM: You want my help or not?
LIAM: [Laughs] Shut up.
Liam starts dressing the wound.
LIAM: Are you–are you sure you’re alright? Not physically.
NICO: [Sighs] Who fuckin knows. It’s not like I want to inherit his fucking kingdom.
NICO: I mean, I’m next in line.
LIAM: . . . Hm???
NICO: [Bad Italian accent] Eyyyy, it’s-a me, the Godfather over here.
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: Do not be attracted to that idea. What the fuck.
LIAM: . . . Hmm?????
NICO: Yeah it’s not great and I don’t want it. I’m glad someone finally fucking killed him but, like, kinda wish they’d given me some time to plan out how to bail. ‘Cause now I’ve got all his lackeys at my back, plus all his enemies, and that’s just, y’know, it really fuckin’ brings down the vibe.
LIAM: Mm. Mmhm!
NICO: Don’t go catatonic on me, Vamps.
LIAM: [strained] Just, um, processing!
NICO: Yeah, well. And hey, fuck it, if I’m already saying actual real words at you, I’m, uh, I’m sorry. About last night. I’m not good at this. I don’t really know if I’m built for this most of the time.
[Trying not to literally gag] I kinda think–Sarah talked to me about being “on the aromantic spectrum” and you know how much I fucking hate putting names to things but–anyway. So I’m not good at it. And kinda never thought I’d have to be good at it. And I’m sorry for being shitty to you when I get freaked out about it all.
LIAM’S OTHER INNER VOICE: You don’t have to be good at it I can see you trying and you trying is good already I’m sorry I’m not better at stopping myself from pushing for more than you want to give…
LIAM: Okay. Um. Thank you. And, um, me too, all of that. Most of that. I think it’s pretty clear that the aromantic spec part doesn’t–
NICO: Yeah yeah. I know. [pause] Is it, uh, is it okay if I crash here tonight? All my places are compromised and honestly, I could use just somewhere . . . nice. Just something nice.
LIAM’S OTHER INNER VOICE: Am…am I the something nice???
LIAM: Of course, Nico.
Liam continues dressing the wound.
INT. LIAM’S ROOM – MORNING
The alarm on Liam’s phone goes off. Liam grumbles and yawns. As he stretches towards his phone, his hand lands on a scrap of paper. He grabs it and turns his alarm off.
Liam smooths out the piece of paper.
LIAM: Wait, what?
LIAM’S INNER VOICE: “Sorry, Vamps. We had a good run. I won’t be back.”
END OF EPISODE 1
[[ending theme. Gentle acoustic guitar strumming.]]
VALLENCE is a Hug House production. You can find more at hughouse dot productions.
VALENCE was created by me, Wil Williams.
- This episode was written, edited, and sound designed by Wil Williams.
- This episode was directed by Katie Youmans and Anne Baird.
- This episode was performed by, in order of appearance:
You can find our full cast list, and information on how to support this indie audio drama, on valencepod dot com.
Until next time: protect your magic.