Godry prepares his soul for crossing the bridge. Featuring James Oliva.
The Hollow Below by Conrad Miszuk
I’ve reached The Bridge of Faith. It’s mentioned in both Slumber and Owusu’s accounts in The Underworld, Volume 3, and Death and the Depths, as well as Folklore and Death, by Olpany Vulf. It’s called a bridge, but really it’s just a set of posts on either side of the chasm with nothing in between to walk on. It was described as being marked in modern language for both of their journeys, and I can confirm. While it says nothing of faith, it says that only those with light spirits can cross. If your spirit is too heavy, then you fall to your death. Focusing the lantern, I cannot see the bottom of the chasm. This may be the end of my journey here, and if I die down here, I don’t know what happens. Maybe I become scattered. Maybe I disappear forever. Maybe there’s a special chamber here for those who invade the Underworld where terrible punishments are given. It would make sense that the architects might punish hubris separately. If anything the architects did ever makes sense.
I have yet to find a human corpse, but I have found the bones of dead animals here. There are hundreds of wagons, some still stocked, just waiting here by the bridge. It seems as though some parties ran out of supplies before they could convince themselves to attempt a crossing. Might have eaten their pack animals. Other caravans, it seems, left everything behind and immediately weighed their souls. I have no way of knowing if they made it. It seems that this is where I will be leaving Gideon behind. I can’t ask him to make this journey with me. I can’t ask him to jump off a cliff with me.
Timothy: Is there someone there?
Timothy: I know I heard a voice. Are you a traveler, or are you a beast? If you’re a beast, I’ll have you know that I am armed. I will kill you.
Timothy: I definitely heard you. And I will find you. It would be better for you to acknowledge your existence so I don’t have to hunt you down.
Timothy: I’m a traveler, myself. Going to the City of the Dead. I’ve been resting here lightening my soul.
Timothy: Found you. Are you armed.
Timothy: You don’t look armed.
Godry: I’m dangerous. Please leave me alone.
Timothy: That’s not happening. Now that I’ve found you, I have to make sure you’re not a threat or I’d be better off killing you now. Maybe I’ll throw you over the edge. See if you can make it over the bridge.
Godry: Stay back.
Timothy: Or what? What are you going to do to me?
Godry: Fine. I’ll go over the edge. We’ll see if my soul is light enough.
Timothy: I can tell you right now that your soul isn’t nearly light enough. Not with that attitude.
Godry: And what about your attitude?
Timothy: I’m working on it.
Godry: What’s your business in the city?
Timothy: I’m… well, I’m visiting a loved one. How about you?
Godry: The same, actually.
Timothy: Do you have any weapons at all? I’m not detecting any danger from you whatsoever.
Godry: I… I couldn’t afford any weapons.
Godry: I have a small dagger. Some flash bombs. I wasn’t even sure if bringing weapons to fight the unknown made any sense.
Timothy: It’s best to always be armed. That’s how I live anyway.
Godry: That’s wise.
Timothy: Well, I’m going to go out on a limb and offer you friendship. You don’t seem dangerous to me, and I don’t want to see you fall to your death, your soul as it is.
(Timothy sheathes his weapon)
Godry: That’s trusting of you. Are you sure?
Timothy: I’ve seen monsters in these caves. And they don’t look like you. What’s your name friend?
Godry: I’m Godry. This is Gideon. He’s blind.
Timothy: A blind horse. I should have thought of that. I’ve been on foot this whole time. My name is Timothy. Hi.
Godry: How long have you been down here, Timothy?
Timothy: A few weeks? Lightening a soul isn’t so easy.
Godry: Who’s in power out there?
Timothy: You know, I’ve never been one for politics. Rulers come and go. The price of goods in each town is all I really care about. What, you think I came down here a thousand years ago with Slumber?
Godry: No… Well, it seemed like a possibility.
Timothy: I’m just like you. Now relax. We’ve got to figure out how to get across this bridge.
Godry: Maybe there are some supplies in one of these wagons. Some rope maybe. A metal rod. We could rig an explosive and then pull ourselves across.
Timothy: Well, that’s certainly an idea, but I haven’t seen enough supplies. I think we might have to cross the old fashioned way. Here, let me show you something.
Godry: What is it?
Timothy: Come on. I’m not going to throw you over. I’ll stand right here. Just try to put some weight on the bridge. With one foot. Hold the post.
Godry: It’s solid under my foot. I can’t see anything, but it’s solid.
Timothy: Weird, right?
Godry: Does that mean I can cross?
Timothy: No. You won’t make it three steps. I’ve already tried moving slowly across. Nearly fell about ten steps in. Almost got too confident. Last try I got almost fifteen.
Godry: Lightening your soul?
Timothy: It’s the only way.
Timothy: How? You gotta let go.
Godry: Let go of what?
Timothy: Everything you’re carrying inside.
Godry: I’m not making it across the bridge.
Timothy: Relax. I’ll teach you some techniques I picked up at the University. Did you ever attend?
Godry: It wasn’t for me.
Timothy: Let’s make a fire. The warmth and light will do wonders for our morale. We’re getting across this thing. There’s also a keg of ale on one of these wagons. And you know what they say about drinking alone, so I haven’t tapped it yet. Plenty of feed for your horse as well. Gotta let go of that fear, too.
Godry: They’ve certainly improved brewing in the last thousand years.
Timothy: That is for sure. But it hits the spot all the same. So who are you looking to see? Hm? Who you looking to see?
Godry: A woman.
Timothy: When did she die?
Timothy: Looking for closure, huh? I can understand that. We all need some of that. I’m looking for my grandfather. Went and died without telling us where the money is.
Godry: A lot of money?
Timothy: A fortune.
Godry: Then you gotta find him!
Timothy: I know!
Timothy: Now, breathe, Godry. Just let the air pass through you. Now… let go.
Godry: I… I can’t. I just feel so heavy. So dense. It’s crushing me.
Godry: I’m trying.
Timothy: We’re crossing that bridge together. Just take it easy. There’s time. The food doesn’t spoil.
Godry: It’s been about a month now. We’ve consumed four kegs of ale and I don’t know how much food. Timothy has been so kind. I can’t understand the generosity, but he’s helped me. We’ve talked about… everything. It’s been so nice having a friend here. I think I’m ready to cross. I’ve tied Gideon to a wagon filled with feed. The knot isn’t strong if he needs to escape.
Timothy: Godry, we’re going to make it! Just remember to breathe.
Godry: I have to leave most of the supplies. I’m bringing the lantern and firestarter, but I can’t take much oil or food. I’m afraid too many supplies will weigh me down during the crossing. I’m also not that strong.
Timothy: Don’t be scared, Godry! Take my hand.
Godry: I’m taking the first step.
Timothy: One down. Not so bad.
Godry: The second step. I’m over the chasm now.
Timothy: We’ve got this, friend! Just think light thoughts. We’ll be at the city in no time. Zeppelins! Blimps! Planes!
Godry: Seven steps.
Timothy: It’s important not to hurry.
Godry: Ten steps.
Timothy: To fifteen!
Godry: Fifteen. We might actually make it.
Timothy: Twenty steps, Godry.
Godry: Twenty Five.
Timothy: Goodbye, Godry.
(Godry Screams with increasing reverb size)
The Hollow Below by Conrad Miszuk. The Role of Godry is played by Conrad Miszuk. The role of Timothy is played by James Oliva. The Credits are read by Kitt Keller. The Hollow below is written, directed, produced and edited by Conrad Miszuk. For more, visit HollowBelow.com