3x03 - ghost-trusters

BENJI

        Okay, so, uh, in lieu of a proper audio

        journal, this time, I present this. It

        covers most of the details. So, uh. Okay,

        everybody. I know none of you except for

        Teresa and Elaine listen to the podcast,

        but. Enjoy the series finale of Ghost-

        trusters the podcast. Good night, sweet

        prince. Good night.

              (beat)

        I mean, maybe we can start it again. But,

        uh. Things will be different. Cuz that's

        just how life is, now, I guess?

              (beat)

        Okay, here we go. Should I explain the

        concept of GTTP? No, no, it's--it's

        implied. Okay, so. Bam. Let's go!

(Theme music. It’s an upbeat electronic tune—clearly thrown together fairly lazily. It ends with a sample from the Ghostbusters theme, the GHOSTBUSTERS! cheer with a spoken “trust” dubbed over the “bust.”)

BENJI

Hello, and welcome to Ghost Trusters, your go-to podcast for news about ghosts that aren't evil.

                  MARA

        And also, as of late, your go-to podcast

        for hot updates on the end of the world.

        I'm Mara Rosencrantz.

                  BENJI

        And I'm Benji Ahuja. And it's the end of

        the world on a very localized basis, let's

        get it right. So, uh, how are we doing

        today? Because, uh, I've got some stresses,

        of course, but I'm otherwise feeling pretty

        okay.

                  MARA

        Yeah, no, I'm living in constant fear right

        now.

                  BENJI

        That's fair!

MARA

Yeah, yeah, I think so. Uh. So. I don't have much of an intro today, you got anything?

        BENJI

Uh, I don't know! I've been, uh, been

trying to keep my cool about this thing

that I, uh--well, this thing that popped

out of nowhere, so. Yeah. Been a little

busy--

        MARA

And by thing, you, uh, you definitely mean

the apocalypse.

        BENJI

Which is just so sudden and weird and hard

to deal with.

MARA

Oh, absolutely. I went to get groceries, the other day, and oh my God, was it chaos. It's like snowstorm season, just, uh, bread milk and eggs, you know? I mean, I'm vegan, so it's like--

BENJI

Almond milk and vegan eggs, the latter of which they don't sell at the minimart and the Wegmans is closed so you can't get them anywhere. We talked about vegan eggs for a solid five minutes last week--what are they made of? Vegan eggs is people, was my big, uh, my very good bit that I did. If we can recall.

        MARA

I recall, my man. I don't think it's a good

bit, it lacks much room for building on top

of. Yeah, but, uh, my point is, I have

never seen that many people trying to buy

pistachios at once. Of all the nuts.

        BENJI

I like pistachios.

                  MARA

        But not enough to buy them en masse.

                  BENJI

        I mean, I guess--

                  MARA

        It's just weird, is all. Like, people are

        disappearing into another dimension and the

        sky is hard to look at and the ocean

        doesn't work properly, but people just want

        those little salty guys.

                  BENJI

        I guess?

(long beat)

                  MARA

        Okay. Cool. So, uh, might as well get to

        our first ghost of the episode! This story

        was submitted to us by Jordan Lovely from

        Virginia--

                  BENJI

        State next door!

                  MARA

        Yeah, yeah! Thanks Jordan.

                  BENJI

        Okay, so Jordan says, uh, "In my town,

        there's a story about an old spirit named

        Gloria who was thought to signal bad

        events. There's not much info on her, other

        than that she's a symbol of bad luck, but

        when I was eleven or so, I think I saw

        her."

                  MARA

        Oh, a sighting! Weirdly enough, we don't

        get many emails about sightings anymore.

        Wonder why? It's kinda strange, we should

        have those primarily, I feel.

          BENJI

Yeah, yeah. Uh, Jordan continues, "She was

a cloud of mist, more than a person, and I

felt her looming over me, almost

overpowering. And she gained definition,

slowly, and then touched my neck."

        MARA

And, here's the weird thing, listeners. The

email ends there.

BENJI

So, dutiful researchers that we are, we decided to find out more about it ourselves. So, uh, Jordan didn't attach their town's name, nor did they give us a last name for the ghost, but we did find a database of Virginia ghost sightings.

        MARA

Note on that database: lot of racists.

        BENJI

Like, an overwhelming amount.

        MARA

And, also, we couldn't find a single ghost

called Gloria.

        BENJI

And this means--like, this could mean

anything--

        MARA

Most likely that people in Jordan's town

aren't really, uh, racist-ghost-database

users, but. We decided, inspired by this

email, that, due to a lack of ability to

really do much, we're gonna cover, uh,

we're gonna cover ~Omens~.

        BENJI

Which would have been really cool to have

pre-apocalypse.

          MARA

For new listeners, we should contextualize,

that, uh, about four weeks ago, our

hometown, uh, kinda went into a crisis,

with, like, colliding with an alternate

dimension. If you haven't watched the news.

BENJI

Just want to clarify again that we had no way to know that this would happen. At all. Also, there's a rift, that's, uh, swallowing people into an alternate dimension. Including my friend Angie. We're working on a solution to get her, and everyone else, back out.

        MARA

Oh, yeah, what's the update on that? My

brother's in there. Also, we really don't

need to clarify that. You're too worried

about Twitter, Benj.

        BENJI

Yeah, we extracted some folks yesterday,

the, uh, relief effort, and they're doing

okay. And My friend Elaine got out a few

days back, and she's doing good! Kinda

banged up but she's--good. And, uh, look,

okay, I'm always worried about Twitter.

Social media is a trap that I have fallen

far too deep into to escape.

        MARA

    (oozing professionalism)

And speaking of Twitter, we did ask our

followers on social media for their

favorite omens.

        BENJI

Our first one comes from katherineed on

Twitter, uh, who says, uh, in all caps,

GROUPS OF RAVENS.

          MARA

Hard agree. Love birds, love goth shit, I

am just--that's a good bad omen, baby.

BENJI

And to, uh, address the elephant in the room, twitter user yolowoho mentioned the very good book called Good Omens. We agreed not to talk about it on this episode, just as a warning, because we are on a tangent free streak.

        MARA

It is a good book, though. Uh, faizaan732

mentioned sidewalk cracks. Neat.

BENJI

oswinthehuman and banbajisshi both

mentioned black cats. Which is nice. Cats?

Very good. We did that in episode seven, I

think, but those little guys are pretty

fun. But, uh, Mara, you have the one we

liked's username, I think?

        MARA

Yeah, uh, so, floralbouquet on Twitter

mentioned, uh, chain letters, which I think

are worth talking about as sort of a modern

prophetic death warning. Do you ever get

those, anymore?

        BENJI

Not through email, but, uh--youtube

comments, they're really common. I

actually--

    (he takes a beat)

Uh, I actually just got one right now. Got

the little, uh, Email notification and it's

got, uh--Live, weird coincidence. This is

radio, folks! That's how it--

        MARA

We're not live.

        BENJI

Shut up.

          MARA

He is pulling up the email. Just to--to

fill the air. Fill the silence. It's

loading... loading, and--

        BENJI

Okay, this one's good. It's sent to me,

and, uh, six other people, which is--

interesting. Subject line, forward forward

forward STAY OUT, then, like, forty

asterisks, and, uh, It starts with, uh, YOU

KNOW TOO MUCH.

MARA

Really good opener. This is, I'll remind you, dear listeners, the premier podcast for your conspiracy theory needs.

BENJI

Okay, white space, and then, uh. We know that you know.

        MARA

What do you know?

        BENJI

    (nervous)

I don't know!

        MARA

    (completely kidding)

Sounds like someone who knows that somebody

knows what they know would say.

        BENJI

Can we, uh. Can I continue.

        MARA

Chill, you seem tense. Tenser than usual,

even. But go on.

        BENJI

Okay, so. It continues, like. You have done

far too deep into something that you cannot

ever fully understand. You need to leave.

You need to leave. You need to leave. You

need to leave.

                  MARA

        Can't even follow the rule of threes?

                  BENJI

              (a little bit afraid)

        Okay, this isn't--this isn't a chain

        letter, it mentions people by name? So, uh-

        -these are all people who have given me

        permission to mention them in the show, by

        the way. Uh.

                  MARA

        Okay, so. It's not a chain letter, and it's

        not a friendly ghost, but I'm into it, so

        we'll edit it out if something gets too

        weird.

              (whispered)

        Is this a bit?

                  BENJI

              (loud and clear)

        This is not a bit. Uh, so. Miss Marin--

        that's my employee and friend, uh.

        Miss Marin, you know more than you let on,

        even to your friends. Those books of yours

        have--

(He stops.)

MARA

Go on?

        BENJI

I'm not reading this. I'm--it's not on-

theme, it's not on-brand, it's--nothing.

It's just some--some stalker.

        MARA

From the apoca-world.

        BENJI

Yeah, but--I dunno. It--it's not very funny

or nice. It's just--

    (he takes a beat)

Chain emails! Anyway. Uh, they're pretty--

        MARA

No, I wanna--I wanna read this.

                  BENJI

        I locked my phone--

                  MARA

        And I know your password. We can edit it

        out, I swear, I'm just--I'm curious--

                  BENJI

        I changed my password--

                  MARA

        No you didn't.

              (quieter)

        Mail, mail--there it is.

                  BENJI

        Please don't do this.

MARA

It can't be that bad, it's just a creepy email, and--

There's a buzz, and a sound of the phone hitting the table.

And then, there's a long beat.

                  MARA

        Hey, uh, j. curious, uh, what the fuck.

                  BENJI

              (very confused)

No idea?

                  MARA

        Did you do that?

                  BENJI

        I don't think so?

                  MARA

        I mean, it was--a rare moment of calm for

        you, very--

                  BENJI

        Nah, it wasn't me. Just normal weird

        apocalypse stuff. It's just like that

        sometimes. My computer, awhile back, just

        went half-test screen, and it stayed like

        that for a month--

MARA

A month?

BENJI (fuck!)

Exaggerating!

        MARA

Yeah, I guess, just. Kinda freaky, yeah?

        BENJI

Everything's kinda freaky. Not in the cool

way, which is kinda a bummer, like--look,

we here at Ghost-trusters--

        MARA

Are we still recording this? To publish?

BENJI

Maybe?

        MARA

Yeah, I'm down. Continue.

BENJI

We here at Ghost-trusters are all about freaky shit. We love it. We love ghosts. Love parallel universes. Love all that junk. But it's not fun right now?

        MARA

Yeah, I'm not into it. I just--it feels

weird. And wrong. And--like I should've

known something before--like, I should have

felt it coming?

        BENJI

Do you wanna get back to the ghosts?

        MARA

Yeah, think so. But--I can't focus. I feel

like there's something we're missing.

        BENJI

Uh, I mean--

                  MARA

        Whatever. Let's do a--a segment? Uh. A

        segment.

                  BENJI

        Or we can stop recording? I mean--

                  MARA

        Yeah, let's, I--

(And the recording ends. There's a beat, maybe 7 seconds long.)

                  BENJI

        And everything turned out fine! I mean.

        Nobody died. Rosencrantz is okay, and, uh,

        my phone doesn't work because Apocalypse, I guess, and--thus the lack of responses to

        the calls you're surely making to me

        twenty-four seven. Rosencrantz is--well--

              (pause)

        She found out, when the studio got kinda

        flooded with the... less cool folks from

        that other place, let's call them, that,

        uh, I had known things about all this,

        prior to. I think that she was madder that

        I didn't tell her about the, uh, ghost

        potential than the pending apocalypse.

        We're mostly cool, but I think she's angry.

Another beat.

                  BENJI

        I found out why there's not another me.

        That's--cool. It's not because I'm dead, or

        anything, it's just because I don't live in

        town because I live in Brooklyn. It's a

        pretty boring reason not to exist in a

        parallel universe hellscape, I guess. I

        hope alternative Brooklyn is cool. Maybe

        less gentrified. I hope other me is doing

        okay.

Another beat.

BENJI

I guess, it's just that I didn't expect the apocalypse to be boring. It's not uneventful, but it's not--fun, either, no cool boat chase scenes or saving the world or--and it's a dumb fantasy! It really is, imagining that all at the expense of people but it's--I don't know. It felt harmless, before. And everyone's--not everyone, but a lot of people are just gone. Rosencrantz just told me she was going to drive out to Baltimore, get a train to New York from there, or something. And Elijah, who--you know him as the custard shop guy with the tattoos, uh, the--the really nice fade, too--he came over last night, asked me what I thought he should do. His sister lives in Rehobeth, and it's safe there, but he doesn't want to leave. I don't know why. I mean, I don't want to leave either, but I'm me. What does that say about him? What does that say about me? What does anything say about anything?

A door opens.

Fin.

        BENJI

I think Rosencrantz left something here.

I'm gonna, uh. I'm gonna stop monologuing.

Email me!

Bee Hyland