# (piano playing softly) (young man) Narrator: I’ve had a hundred and seventy eight Pauls in my life. (footsteps) None have survived more than fourty-two days. Everytime Paul went belly-up, my mother used to tell me to flush him. (hesitantly)
So he could go to fish heaven in the ocean… and join all the other little fishes.
(flush) there’s no such thing. (muted whooshing)
Narrator: Everything flushed down the toilet will pass through sixty-two multi-gauged high density plastic and ceramic pipes, (swirling water)
free sand filters, and chlorination (heavy rushing water)
before reaching the processing plant. (plink) # (soft piano music resumes)
(electrical hum in background) (pencil scratches)
Narrator: Paul number one hundred and seventy nine.
(paper tearing) (pencil scratches)
Day one. (footsteps)
(water dripping) Young man: You’re my only friend. (water pouring) (plastic rustling) Young man: Welcome to my world. (soft piano music continues) (switch clicking)
click, click , click (clock ticking)
tick, tick, tick (footsteps)
Narrator: I’ve put you in a small bowl. I’m going to bring you everywhere so this time I can keep you safe.
(glass clinking) (water gurgling)
bloop-bloop (bottle scooching) People say I have a condition.
clunk, clunk, clunk Narrator: When I was little, it was called “special.”
(electrical humming) Now, it’s called, “different,” or that, “I’ve lost my marbles.” Marbles is another word for brains.
click, click, click, click, click In short… I don’t understand other people. (food lid unscrewing)
shk, shk, shk, shk, shk (dog barking in distance)
woof…woof (food rattling)
We’re having more fish food delivered today. (clock ticking)
tick, tick (fish food)
plop (clock ticking)
tick, tick (fish food)
pleep (fish food)
ploop (dog barking outside)
woof, woof, woof (clock ticking)
tick, tick Narrator: It’s important to eat. (fish)
bluble-blurb (clock ticking)
tick, tick, tick, Young man: I’m going to keep you safe Paul.
tap, tap, tap (clock ticking)
tick, tick, tick, tick, tick Young man: We don’t go outside much.
(blinds bending) (wind blowing, dog barking, lawn mower engine)
It’s a sunny day, that’s how it all begins. (birds tweeting)
We could get a sun burn, boils, blisters, and a third of all cancers are sun related. (mowing continues)
Also, days of a high pollen count trigger allergies where sinuses overproduce mucus.
(dog continues barking) (jet engine noise)
Narrator: See that aeroplane there? Just this September, a stowaway, that’s a person, plummeted to the ground and landed in a residential area in west London.
aaaaahhhhhhh!!! (blinds snapping)
snick (whispered) Young man: He died! (door opening)
click, squeak # (piano and guitar melody) (stammering) Narrator: Su, Soo, Sophie’s a redhead. Uh, uh, that, that means her, her, her hair is red. Not her face. We never say hello… but… we collect our newspapers together.
(chair scooting) (footstep)
click, squeak (footsteps) (bowl scraping)
tick, tick (footsteps) (deep cranial humming)
(exhale) (hair rustling) (footsteps)
kadunk, kadunk, kadunk (door opening)
squeak (odd whooshing) (law mower engine)
rrrrrrrrr (paper thumping)
thump, thump, thump, thump, thum… (paper thumping)
thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump # (increasingly louder sickening piano notes) (loud door slamming)
clunk! (panicked breathing)
inhale-exhale (panicked breathing)
inhale-exhale (panicked breathing)
inhale-exhale (clock ticking)
tick, tick Narrator: War…war…murder…war. (paper rustling) Young man: Don’t worry Paul, we’re safe in here. (truck engine running)
rrrrr.rrrrr.rrrrr The fish food!
crik It’s here!
squeek Wait…wait! The truck is going to Sophies’s house. Paul number ten died because we ran out of food.
snick. (chair scooting loudly)
thud! Young man: You need that fish food. (distressed) There’s no more left. (water swirling) Sophie… might…bring it over. (echoing daydream)
Muffled woman: Hello? (panicking rapidly) Young man: Then I’ll have to answer the door.
(echoing knock continues) The average person sprays about 2.5 microscopic saliva droplets per word. She might have allergies from the pollen.
(inhaling and exhaling) Her sinuses will overproduce mucus and there will be excessive leakage.
(sniffling) Or, the sun might give her a blistering rash.
(burbling) She’d come up to the door and the blisters… She’ll explode!
(wet explosion) (glasses bouncing)
thud, thunk (distraught) And…and Paul, you’ll die. (water swirling) (whimpering) (determined) Narrator: Have to get that fishfood! I have to get that fishfood. (fearful determination)
I have to get that fishfood.
(deep breathe) Ready? This is it.
(quickly door knob turning)
click, click, click (loud overwhelming rushing) (fearful stammering)
uhhhhh… (birds chirping)
Narrator: Ohhh. (deep breath)
# (ominous droaning)
Narrator: Focus…focus. (tepidly smacking)
whack, whack, whack (heavy footsteps)
thump, thump (echoing) Narrator: Have to get that fishfood.
(louder nauseating chaotic droaning) (deeper echoing slow intonation) Narrator: Have to get that fishfood. (loud birds chirping)
(wood clacking) (loud heavy uncoordinated footsteps) (ground loudly cracking) (panicky) Narrator: Uhh…uhh.
bark, bark-bark, bark (woozily) Narrator: Uh..uh. (loud overwhelming rushing) Young man: Cough, cough, cough. (high pitched agoraphobic glass breaking) (loud waterfall)
whooossshhhh (fish falling)
splat (waterfall fading) (water running)
burble….trickle……burble…..burble….trickle # (piano solo)
chord…note…note…note…note…note… Young woman: Hey there. I watched you cross the street. Quite the show you put on there. You don’t come out much do you? I hardly ever see you, so you can imagine how surprised I was… And, oh how I hurried outside to see if you were alright. I had Mr. James help me bring you inside. He’s such a nice man. Don’t you think? And your fish…why you ever thought to bring him along, I don’t know. Don’t you worry. I saved him from sure peril and he’s just fine. I dropped him in my fish tank. He’s a happy little fish now.
# (music continues) (curious) Young man: Hello? (apologetic) Young woman: Oh, I’m sorry. Hello…I’m such a scatterbrain. I really am. I didn’t even say hello. I tell you the other day I put the kettle on three times before I actually made myself a cup of tea. I have your package by the way. I assume you’re coming over to collect it right?
# (guitar music) I would have been happy to bring it over you know. I don’t know… (fades to inaudible) (fish jumping)