Settlers Stay

Experiment in Fiction Audio Storytelling

I’m fascinated by podcasting. A combination of voice, sound and music is a powerful medium. More abstract than video, less precise than text. I already host a documentary podcast, and a couple of days ago I decided to make an audio fiction.

It’s an experiment I did for a meeting of “Test”. It’s an artists’ collective in Berlin. Every month we work on a different exercise and come together to present and discuss our work.

There’s not much going on in the story. I made this track to cause a specific emotion and I think it does the job. That’s why I like it.

Hope you enjoy it as well!

Script

Tasha lived with her guardians in temporary housing. The building was at the outskirts of a small town. Most people there worked at a Fungus Plant near by. Her guardians worked there too. They were low-rank employees in the Dispersal Group. It was hard physical labor, long hours and constant health threats.

Tasha woke up early that day. The flat was empty. She got up, brushed her teeth, prepared a breakfast. The usual bread with jam. She was 5 and didn’t know how to use the stove yet. The neighbor downstairs was making coffee. The building was made of thin composite, not soundproof. Tasha finished her breakfast and went to visit him.

They knew each other well and she was used to rushing into his place. She pushed the door but this time it didn’t open. She tried again — didn’t work. She knocked and waited. Zakir opened the door.

– You should stop breaking into my flat, Tasha. Knock first.

she was embarrassed

– Can I come in?

They sat down. His flat had the same layout as her place. He used his parent’s old flaky furniture. Only one chair in the kitchen. He was having a coffee and reading a newspaper. She was sitting on the floor next to him. They were silent.

Zakir stood up.
– I have to go, do you need anything?

she went back to her empty apartment

She wondered the flat a bit and sat down in front of the screen. At this time of day they were only showing news and talk-shows. Her guardians could not afford the net. She had two hours to kill until cartoons start.

Tasha sat down in front of the window. There was a tree growing right beside their building. It looked peaceful and vibrant in the light of day. Thin branches moving side to side with the wind, almost reaching her window. There was no one on the street.

Tasha had dinner around 9. A piece of bread and a can of beans. Guardians hadn’t returned yet. She went to bed. The sun went down. The wind outside filled the room with noise. Shadows of the tree creeping in. Ugly shadows… beating against the wall. Getting stronger and more violent as the moon was rising. Tasha got behind the blanket as if it was a shield. It wasn’t. Branches were tapping on the window. Hide from the noise. Escape the crooked cracks in the wall. Tasha couldn’t catch her breath. Her bed sheet wet from tears. Lying in the room, captured by shadows and noise.