THE NIGHTLY CHILL
2019.11.05
By Steve Arviso

Untitled Superhero Pilot, Scene 1.


FIGHT THE DAWN!

As the sunlit sanity of the waking world burns the night to ash,
embrace the unbound madness of your wildest dreams,
laugh into the endless abyss of your darkest fantasies,
and rage against the coming dawn.

The Nightly Chill is the unstable experience of the mind and madness of Steve Arviso (@AmoralCrackpot). Mon-Fri. Ish.


CONSISTENTLY INCONSISTENT

  • BETWEEN THE CRACKS
  • PULPBUSTERS
  • UNTITLED SUPERHERO PILOT, SCENE 1
  • THE MIXTAPE

UNTITLED SUPERHERO PILOT is a brief absurd audio drama I wrote up about a year ago, and was originally performed earlier this year at The Doll Hut in Anaheim, California. There’s some audio and video of it floating about somewhere, I think. But I figured it was worth putting out there in some way again, and soon. For now, I’ll be releasing a scene/sequence a night. There’s only four, so it’ll wrap up by Friday night. Maybe I’ll have an ebook version put up somewhere this month.

I really hope to get a performance of this properly recorded and released sooner than later. Stay tuned on that.


BETWEEN THE CRACKS

Reginald,

Last weekend at the cabin, I noticed your fly was down. Do take care of that.

Watching,
Quincy


PULPBUSTERS – THE SHADOW KNOWS

Adena’s lil’ audio love note to the (great) granddaddy of pulp vigilantes, The Shadow. Listen to it now on Spotify, sub to the PulpBusters audio feed, or even download a free MP3 of The Shadow Knows using the links below.


UNTITLED SUPERHERO PILOT, SCENE 1

An absurd tale of superheroic nonsense.

INTRO.

THEME. UP, UNDER.

HOST
(Commanding call to action.)
Defy the doubters!
Ignore the Naysayers!
Silence all fears of the unknown!
For you need only listen to the one, the only
(Booming. Unsure, as if making it up on the spot.)
“Spectacular Call
to Wild Action
Tales
of…
(Puzzles this.)
Amazement?”

ANNOUNCER
(Snappy, melodramatic announcer voice.)
“Spectacular Call to Wild Action Tales of Amazement”
is a presentation of all-new, all-original tales of heroic adventure,
villainous excitement,
(Considers this.)
etcetera.

Written and directed by Steve Arviso.
And not intended for those faint of heart, or otherwise weak constitution.”

Tonight’s tale…
“Untitled Superhero Pilot.”

THEME–UP, FADE.

SCENE 1. A CHECK-CASHING STORE.

SOUNDSCAPE: THE GENERAL SOULLESSNESS OF A CHECK-CASHING PLACE.

(NOTE: THE VOICE IS OUR LITERAL DISEMBODIED NARRATOR. SEES-IT-ALL KNOW-IT-ALL.)

THE VOICE
(V.O.)
In a check-cashing place in a bad part of town,
Slither-O, former king of the Viperian,
an ancient reptilian-like species
from caverns beneath the surface of the Earth,
has been left waiting for almost twenty minutes.

EMPLOYEE RETURNS WITH BAD NEWS FOR SLITHER-O.

(NOTE: SLITHER-O SPEAKS WITH A TYPICAL HISS-TALK GIMMICK.)

EMPLOYEE
I’m sorry for the wait,
Mister…
(Double-checks.)
Slither-O?

SLITHER-O
Yeah-huh?

EMPLOYEE
So, I just spoke with my manager–

SLITHER-O
Here it comes.

EMPLOYEE
I’m sorry.
But, I’m afraid we won’t be able to help you cash your check today.

SLITHER-O
And why the hell not?

EMPLOYEE
Well.
You are a, uh…

SLITHER-O
A what?

EMPLOYEE
You know…

SLITHER-O
(Offended.)
No.
I don’t know.
So, why don’t you tell me?

A BEAT. THEN…

EMPLOYEE
Because you’re–

SLITHER-O
(Mocking-over EMPLOYEE.)
A “man-snake”?

EMPLOYEE
A supervillain.

AN UNCOMFORTABLE SILENCE.

SLITHER-O
Oh.

EMPLOYEE
Anyway.
Mr. Slither-o.
Because of your…
(Considers this.)
history
with our, and other, financial institutions–

SLITHER-O
Financial institution?
This is a check-cashing place in a stripmall.

EMPLOYEE
True.
But you were the one who went around robbing us.
And I do mean us.
This location.
Specifically.
On several occasions.

SLITHER-O
That was years ago!

EMPLOYEE
Also true.
But because of that very true history,
you’re officially banned from this location.

SLITHER-O
You’ve gotta be shitting me.

EMPLOYEE
And all our sister locations.

SLITHER-O
This is ridiculous!
I served my time!

EMPLOYEE
Also, the whole “man-snake” thing.

SLITHER-O
(Gobsmacked.)
Wow.

EMPLOYEE
Do man-snakes even have a valid form of identification?

SLITHER-O
I gave you my driver license!

EMPLOYEE
Yes. But aren’t man-snakes from like, Mars,
or somethin’?

SLITHER-O
My family and I are from Arizona!
(Correctsss ssself.)
Well. The caverns beneath Arizona.

BYSTANDER
(OFF. Interjecting.)
Hey! You can’t call it that.

SLITHER-O
(Genuinely offended.)
“It”?

REVEAL: A WELL-MEANING BUT COMPLETELY OUT OF THEIR ELEMENT BYSTANDER.

BYSTANDER
They prefer to be called, “Snakemen.”
Not, “man-snakes.”

SLITHER-O
Can we go back to how you called me a fuckin’ “It”?

BYSTANDER S.O.
(OFF.)
“Snake-people,” Dear.

BYSTANDER
What’s that?

REVEAL: BYSTANDER S.O., NEARBY THIS WHOLE TIME.

BYSTANDER S.O.
They prefer to be called, “Snake-people.”

SLITHER-O
No. We don’t.

BYSTANDER
(To WIFE)
Oh, right.
(To SLITHER-O)
Sorry. “Snake-people.”

SLITHER-O
I should have incinerated you people years ago.

EMPLOYEE
(Pearl-clutching.)
Excuse me?!

BYSTANDER
(Oddly calm.)
Did he just threaten us?

EMPLOYEE
(Also calm.)
I think so.

BYSTANDER S.O.
Fascist.

SLITHER-O
(Confused.)
What the Hell just happened?
(To EVERYONE.)
Are you hairless apes serious right now?

EVERYONE GASPS.

BYSTANDER S.O.
Racist.

EMPLOYEE
(Livid. Cold as ice.)
Robberies are one thing to overlook, Mr. Slither-o.
But I will not tolerate racists in my financial institution!

EMPLOYEE SLAPS A BIG BUTTON. SECURITY ALARM BLARES–UP, UNDER.

SLITHER-O
Aw, come on!
What’s next?
Is some “caped crusader” asshole gonna show up and–

GNATMAN
(From behind.)
POT! today, Slither-o!

CRASH! GNATMAN SMASHES A BIG FUCKIN’ POTTED PLANT OVER SLITHER-O’S HEAD.

SLITHER-O
(CRIES in excruciating pain.)

GNATMAN
Everyone okay?

EVERYONE
(Except SLITHER-O.)
Thank you, Gnatman!

GNATMAN
I heard the alarm from the parking lot–
(Lies. Poorly.)
I mean,
my…gnat-sense
was, uh…
(Puzzles this.)
buzzing?

SLITHER-O
Did you seriously just hit me with a potted plant?

GNATMAN
Stay down, Slither-o.

SLITHER-O
I think I have a concussion.

GNATMAN
(Helping SLITHER-O to his feet.)
Good thing they have a wonderful doctor down at…
(Melodramatic.)
City Jail!

SLITHER-O
This is such bullshit.

GNATMAN
It’s true, Mr. Potty Mouth.
(Matter-of-fact.)
They keep Dr. Magician on retainer.

SLITHER-O
(Rolls eyes.)
Huzzah.

GNATMAN
Though, I think he’s technically a registered nurse.

SLITHER-O
I don’t care.

GNATMAN
Anyway.
The police will be here any minute to deal with you.

WOOP-WOOP! A POLICE SIREN BLEETS.

ENTER: DETECTIVE.

DETECTIVE
(OFF. From behind.)
We’re here to deal with Slither-o, Gnatman.

GNATMAN
Detective! Just in time!

SLITHER-O
(Livid.)
Me?!
I was trying to cash my goddamn paycheck!
But then, The Crap-tacular Jack-ass over here–

GNATMAN
Hey!

SLITHER-O
(CONT’D.)
–conveniently shows up
“outta nowhere”
and assaults me!

GNATMAN
(Confused.)
Assault?
(Matter-of-duh.)
You’re a supervillain.

SLITHER-O
(Correcting.)
Retired!
I’ve been retired for like, five years!

DETECTIVE
Yeah-yeah.
(Cuffing SLITHER-O.)
Come on, Slither-o.
You can blog all about it while we process you down at…
(Melodramatic.)
The Station!

SLITHER-O
(Glaring.)
Why do all you idiots insist on talking like that?

DETECTIVE ESCORTS SLITHER-O OUT.

SLITHER-O
(OFF.)
You’ll be hearing from my lawyer, Gnatman!

A BEAT. THEN…

GNATMAN
(To EMPLOYEE.)
So, uh…

EMPLOYEE
Yeah?

GNATMAN
(Please say, “Yes.”)
Slither-o did try to rob you,
right?

EMPLOYEE
Uh…
(Lies. Poorly.)
Yes?

A BEAT. THEN…

GNATMAN
(Shrugs.)
Meh. Good enough for me.

POLICE CRUISER SIRENS–UP, AWAY.

GNATMAN
Besides. I’m sure he must’ve done something.
(Please, please say, “Yes.”)
Right?

(NOTE: DANGERDOLPHIN SPEAKS WITH A DOLPHIN-SPEAK GIMMICK. CLICKS, WHISTLES.)

DANGERDOLPHIN
(PRE-LAP)
Wrong again, BuzzBrains!

CUT TO:

SCENE 2. JUSTICE SERVED.

TO BE CONTINUED!


THE MIXTAPE

Tracks I’m currently chillin’ with. Tonight, other nights. Follow the Playlist on YouTube to keep up with all the changes.

Moon Tower (2018) – Dirty Heads


GRAND GHOULISH – THE E-BOOK!

Originally serialized in the digital pages of The Nightly Chill, Steve Arviso’s Grand Ghoulish collects the completed absurd twisted romance between a photographer, a housewife, and her husband–a surgeon who enjoys getting a little blood on his hands!

Read it for FREE in the back issues of The Nightly Chill, or directly support The Nightly Chill and other works by purchasing a copy of the e-book!


SUBSCRIBE FOR THAT WALK-OF-SHAME FEELING EVERY MORNING AFTER!


If you enjoy The Nightly Chill and would like to support my work, please consider supporting it via Patreon for as little as $1 a month.



YOU ARE NOT ALONE

THE NIGHTLY CHILL
Steve Arviso
2019

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