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BEFORE THE NOW

Sienna Rackal

You can listen to this work on our dedicated page here.

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Introduction

Niamh Schmidtke  0:11  

Hello, you're listening to Future Artefacts FM radio show hosted by Niamh Schmidtke. And Nina Davies.

 

Nina Davies  0:19  

Earlier this year, several radio frequencies were discovered airing a collection of broadcasts. At first they sounded like regular news stories and interviews. They felt familiar, but also not quite belonging to our present. Slowly, the listeners came to believe that what they were listening to, did indeed belong to their world, just not their time. They were looking into the future through the mundane edges of radio recordings and public service announcements. While this material is still being meticulously studied by researchers in various universities and museums, your hosts have managed to gain access to this collection to air a selection of these broadcasts for you, our listeners.

 

Niamh Schmidtke  1:00  

For full disclosure, we will not be sharing this collection with you, as this introduction is based on a fictional event. In this monthly broadcast, Future Artefacts FM, we will present speculative fiction pieces by artists and writers, followed by conversation with hosts Niamh Schmidtke and Nina Davies. The programme will focus on fictional works intended for broadcast, such as radio plays or fictional interviews, to carve out a better understanding of the now by exploring various interpretations of the future.

Nina Davies  1:34  

This programme is kindly supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Elephant Trust.

 

Artist Introduction

Before the Now work

Audrea

Struggling babble slowly fades to silence and then *a knife stabbing sound*. I fell. Dead still. In horror. My eyes started to uncontrollably twitch. My hands started to uncontrollably shake. I looked down at my stomach. Approaching the hellacious wound with my unsteady hands. And there I saw it. The cold.. rigid metal shank plunged deep into my hot ..sticky.. Body. She must have twisted the oxidised shank around my stomach about what .. 5 times? Before she drew it out and cowardly ran away. *running away footsteps* And that , my friends , was that. Or so I thought.
 

Very dramatic  - is this a description of tone? To break up the sections? 

Have you ever experienced an attack? An attack that wasn't your fault but you ended up paying a price. Didn’t think so.* background music and a pause* 30 thousand people died trying to rescue Minerva *attack sounds * *fades out* Short quick breaths of air narrowly escaping my lungs. * heart beating carry on* Heart racing. Body beating. Vision impaired. * heart beating stopped*

 

More informal and less serious like a diary 

 Being attacked has its ups and down. Mhmmm more downs than ups. Firstly being dragged along the floor towards my death, ripped one of my ears out! It's fine though, my ears will grow back any day now. Anyways back to the story.  First off I might just tell you about myself *joyish music plays*. My name's Audrea. I have jet black hair , I am very very clumsy and I have a long beakish nose. That would make sense since we all evolved from owls. Or that's what Mum told me . I'm only 16. I was star-crossed with being born into a royal family. The Euripides *you rip ides*. And i always have to wear that  stupid crown that always gets tangled up in my hair. I swear it's like a curse. Being born into royalty in my opinion is loathsome. My older sister Fjona died when I was very young. My family hates talking about it. They haven't told me about the incident or even if it was an incident. In fact they don’t tell me anything about anyone *background music*. On a different note, I am actually destined - or whatever- to be queen. Let me explain. In our family, the eldest out of the former king or queens children can either pass the crown onto the next eldest sibling or the oldest of their own children. It's confusing. I'm aware.  My mum had no siblings so she passed the crown down to my older sister who only had it for a year or two and then .. well she passed so now the crown is mine.

 

Ahh my coronation. I entered wearing my late mother's pulchritudinous dress and a pair of d’orsay heel shoes. The whitesmoked coloured dress caressed my shoulders and lightly trailed along the aisle .-*footsteps over talking but is quiet*  As beautiful as the dress was , I could almost smell my mothers scent but I had to drown it in my most expensive perfume because I couldn't afford to smell old and like mould on my best day.  As I sat in the Chair of Estate I noticed something a bit off. * tension rising music* As much as I liked the attention and the many lovely faces looking up to me, I couldn't help but acknowledge the fact some ugly people (who I did not invite by the way) were sitting at the back , kept on talking, yawning and chuckling at me. Some had angry expressions however some looked quite sad. *music stops*But I didn't care, nothing would ruin this day for me, not even the poor, grotesque tramps in the back.  Many of my aunts and uncles that I didn't even know existed turned up to the coronation and the amount of compliments * your dress , your hair , that crown/ bunches over compliments overlapping and echoing.*Everyone was so happy and warm and it was perfect. Even down to the last detail. Wait , no. Not everyone was happy. 

I was seconds away from being crowned the new queen of Minerva when something I saw out of the corner of my eye immediately caught my attention. It was a scroll of paper. Just laying on the floor. I think that this is an appropriate time to mention a new trend going around called buck code. I heard about it from a friend of a friend. She said it was something about images or swirls, i wasnt really listening at the time. I was more concerned about what I was going to feed Cassius, my pet, later. Squallen or Hikjen. Both mountain range animals and both similarly delicious. I ended up picking Squallen. *short chewing noise*  Anyways the scroll seemed to belong to one of the tramps in the back of the Abbey because as soon as I saw it he was quicker than a mouse to enforce his tight grip and snatch it away.* paper rustling*

I was 5 days in, being the newly crowned Queen of Minerva and although i was the queen of the world or whatever, I was just so fixated on the crown. It was pure gold with ruby, emerald and sapphire gems encrusted in, glinting in the pale moonlight. So precious. I would spend my mornings just staring right at it. Almost like I was in a trance. * pause / background music* On the 6th day of reign it is a tradition to sit up on the wise old oak tree and gaze across the kingdom you rule. I personally think that's so boring! But I had to. 

 

*climbing noises* As an elegant royal we are supposed to sit beneath the tree but that's so blah. I wanted to climb up. Lucky for Cassius he could fly up but I was struggling. I reached the top and even though I didn't want to admit it, it was amazing. The purple sun was rising along the horizon, shining light on all the buildings and farms and … cages??. Wait, why were there cages? What was inside. This sparked my curiosity so much that as I leaned forward to try and make out what was in the cages.. I fell. It's embarrassing but just pretend it didn't happen but I wasn't going to give up and I was going to find out what was inside. *murmuring*  e was I going to get a good view? The study has big windows but isn't high enough. Errrr… *lightbulb* The astrology tower !! YES. It has a telescope and is definitely high enough.I 100% knew dad's stinky tower was going to be put to use someday.

I ran as fast as I could. The crisp wind navigating through my hair and the grass being kicked up after every step. I got to the tower and sprinted up the stairs, tripping up every 5 seconds or so. I'm not the athletic kind, I'm more into sitting pretty as I do so well. Finally reaching the top I took a second to catch my breath. Quick second to fix my hair anddd *bang* *scream*.

 

Pause


 

No this isn't the part when I die so you stop crying. This was my kidnapping.

 

I was just fixing my hair in the reflection of the astrology tower windows and I saw a quick movement over my shoulder. I spun around and .. no one was there. However, someone was lying on the floor. They grabbed at my ankles and my whole body slammed to the floor and was dragged away. I must have blacked out for a few seconds because once I regained consciousness again I found myself in a little black room. *echo*  Frantically I started banging and gripping the walls to find some sort of exit or door. This was when my fingers traced along a marking. * muttering* It was the Euripides royal sign. The room must be somewhere in the castle. After a few minutes of strategizing and realising no gorgeous prince was going to kick down the walls and save me I had to do it myself. *footsteps stomps* *creak door opening* 

“ Stupid animal”  

Cassius!!!!  What are you doing here?Are you okay? Ahh Cassius.

Some stupid stupid idiot threw my precious Cassius into this torturous room with me. As I lent over to hug him I saw the paper I saw at the Coronation. Why is it here? Would it be linked to my kidnapping? I kept staring at it trying to figure what it could be. But it was a dark room. How could I see? I looked up and to my surprise the door was left ajar. How could someone be so dense that they would leave the door open whilst someone they just kidnapped was in it. Gosh! This was my only moment to escape so me and Cassius had to lay low and crawl which wasn't too hard for Cassius. We were out of the room and were met with a staircase. I’d seen this staircase before, It's the one at the bottom of the Astrology tower. Even though this was my castle and kingdom I did not know I had a secret dungeon underground. We snuck up and I tripped again. Looking back this was probably the reason why I died. The trip made a loud echo and we froze. Dead still. We seemed fine and started our trek up the stairs again and THIS is when it happened   

 

Cassius’s voice

One minute she was right behind me and then she was gone. I didn’t turn around fully but I could hear the struggling echoes from her. Blood. I could smell blood. Not mine but Audreas. Now I couldn't turn around. I couldn't bear to see my beloved owner in incredible pain. She couldn’t speak properly but I made out she would want me to carry on. Maybe. She was one moody girl and maybe she wanted me to stay and pass with her but I WAS not going to do that. I ran up those stairs like my life depended on it. I got to the top and the window was open. I was tempted to jump out so I did. I'm a very spontaneous half reptilian, quarter eagle and quarter dog animal. The fall wasn’t too bad. As I was graciously falling I saw the war zone the once tranquil royal garden had become. Blood everywhere, the wise tree had fallen and my best friend (a tyrannosaurus rex) started floating up into the sky and suddenly so was I. Minerva was falling to pieces. It was time to find a new home.

Conversation

Niamh Schmidtke  19:30  

Welcome back.

 

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