At Home with Janie 5

EPISODE 5: DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO

The scene opens with the sound of fire crackling. Something is on fire, but it isn’t clear what. Gradually the sounds of fire trucks make it clear that it is a house fire. Janie has burned her house down and the fire department is trying to put it out. 

JANIE (QUIETLY)

So…This is going to be my last recording. I told you I was thirty seconds away from burning the house down. And I did it. It’s going now… 

The chaos is gradually getting quieter as Janie walks away. 

JANIE

Tonight, it manifested. Or materialized. Or just showed up or something. I don’t know. I told you I’m not a ghost hunter. I’m just a regular person, I couldn’t fight that thing. And even with all the stuff that was happening, all the sounds and all my dishes smashing, I could almost ignore it. Or well, not ignore it, but not, like, believe in it. Like maybe I was overreacting and it was the house settling more than any house has ever settled before. But tonight, I saw it. It was standing in my doorway and I knew…I knew it was here for me. And there was no ignoring that. 

The sounds of firefighters fade into quiet night sounds as she leave the scene entirely. 

JANIE (CONT’D)

So I did the only thing I could do. I got out of the house and went to my car, all set to drive away and never look back. But I could still feel its…its grip on me. And I knew I couldn’t run away. No matter where I went, it would find me. 

There is the sound of a lighter clicking on and off. Janie is fidgeting with it as she walks. 

JANIE (CONT’D)

So…I have a confession. Remember a few weeks ago when I told you that I quit smoking and that’s why I hated the smell of old cigarette smoke in the house? Well, that wasn’t entirely true. I miiiight have had a stash of cigarettes in my car, just in case. I know, I know, I’m working on it. But it’s been a little, you know, stressful these past few months. Even before all the supernatural…stuff. Do you know how stressful a preapproval is? So I might have taken a cigarette out to my side yard, just to calm my nerves. And there was a window open. And that horrible paisley curtain was just fluttering out of it, like a sign. So I may have, you know, set it on fire? 

Janie’s footsteps continue to quietly, but purposefully stride down the street. The noise of the firefighters has died out completely, replaced by the quiet and occasional cars passing by. 

JANIE (CONT’D)

So now it’s gone. The house. My enormous investment. Maybe I’ll collect insurance money or maybe I’ll get arrested for arson. Either way, whatever was in that house isn’t there anymore. Don’t ask me how, but I can just feel that its connection to this…world or whatever, is gone. Maybe it’s not actually gone gone, but you know what? It’s not my problem anymore. All I wanted to do was renovate my kitchen, not save the world. I just did what I could, and you know what? I’m feeling better already. 

END