Thanks to CaseyAnimates from YouTube for writing the entire transcript of Lethargy Hill!
The earth churned, and the house is what came out. Gruesome little cluster of verandas and spires, gables and windows. The earth kept rising, like a tick filling with blood. Drank from the earth all around it and in that way laid claim. All to feed the house, up atop that hill like a queen on a throne, surveying.
Bedrooms and drawing rooms and halls and attics, kitchens and bathrooms and nurseries, all dark, all quiet. Only some of those windows let any light in. But there was only one basement, and it was where she lived: the matriarch, screeching rat-queen cluster of veins and connective tissue and grinning, gnashing mouths. It was her house.
THERE SHOULD BE MORE HERE
She wanted a family. Needed a few loved ones to live with her. It was lonely in all those bedrooms and hallways that she couldn’t see. She could feel them though, no one walking through them, all that emptiness like a ringing in her ears. But visitors weren’t exactly knocking down her doors. She’d have to make some.
She’d need a husband. Yeah, that would be nice. A man-of-the-house to shuffle around those hallways at nights, making sure doors were kept locked, scraping his feet along the carpet and sobbing gently into the silence. Husband things. So she concentrated real hard and snapped off a few pieces of herself to grow into little drones, so that she could get to work.
The drones spread out into the forest, her hands and her eyes. “What do I need to make a husband?” She thought to herself. There sure were a lot of trees all around, just doing nothing. So the drones gathered up a great many twigs and sticks and fallen branches.
HAD ALL THESE PLANS FOR THIS PLACE
She could use the hair from the bodies of the people who got sick whenever they came to explore the woods, tie the sticks together, give her husband a handsome coif. Two long arms, two long legs, a long body and a long head, all held together with hair and the glue of old rheum. The drones could eat the rest, they earned it.
So soon she had a husband. He was just how she wanted, milling through the halls, wheezing and click-clacking his twiggy hands against the walls and doors and windows, dragging his feet and giving sweet little whimpering cries. It was nice not to be alone anymore. Still, it wasn’t enough. She didn’t want to be a couple, she wanted a family.
ALWAYS PLANS. MY ARMS HURT
A sister would be nice, she thought. Someone to scream at her, someone who would come and go and keep an eye on her house from afar. What were sisters made of? There was a cemetery nearby, just beyond the tree-line, not too far for the drones to reach. Full of bodies all full of ghosts, buried and trapped in their bodies, screaming and screaming, ready for harvest.
The drones tunneled down into the graves, biting the corpses and sucking the ghosts out through their necks. They came together, spat them all out into a pile and glued them together, pulling and stretching until the whole big mass was shaped kind of like a woman. A good enough sister, she thought. She’ll shriek and make my life worse, press her face against the windows and fill my rooms with jealous looks.
MY BLOOD FEELS DULL AND HEAVY
So now she had a husband to keep her company, and a sister to keep her angry. But what’s the point of being a family if you don’t have any kids? She should have two, she thought, a son and a daughter. They’d love each other and hate her, or love her and hate each other. Either would be nice. They’d bring life and motion and sound, filling up the walls with shivering worm-noise and trying to dig out each other’s eyes.
Her son would be an inside relative, like her husband. Her daughter would be an outside relative, like her sister. It was easy enough to make her son – boys are simple and sweet. She brought the drones home and used their teeth to bite herself up, sucking up her own blood and spitting it all together in a pool. Her son rose up out of it, made of it, and got right to work running amok all through the lower floors, staining the carpet and leaving smears on the walls.
MY VEINS MISS THE OLD POISON
Her daughter would be more complicated, she told herself. Daughters always are. So she’d need to be made of complicated things. The spiders of the woods had their own hierarchy, ages-old and complex as anything, and they had eight legs, a too-large number of legs, in truth. The drones went raiding. The spiders fought, bit up the drones till they were nice and swollen, even tore a few of them apart. But once the drones grabbed the queen by the thorax and squeezed her until she burst, it was all over.
The drones dragged the spiders together, and the spiders were too defeated to care. They mashed them all up, squished them together, broken enough that they’d stick but whole enough that there’d be plenty of legs and mandibles and eyes sticking out all over. I have such a lovely daughter, she thought with pride. Her daughter wasted no time vomiting webs all over the place. Some nights the daughter and the sister would meet, conspiring about how to kill her. It was wonderful, she thought, just how it should be.
I USED TO BURN ONCE UPON A TIME
Time passed, like it’s wont to do. For a while, she was happy, but not for long. She started to get bored. All the husband did was scrape his way through the same halls, the same order, whimpering the same pleas and scratching the same walls with the same cluster of sharp wooden twigs. “Don’t you ever do anything interesting?” She shouted, and he tripped and lay still for a long time. Then he just got back up and did his usual thing. “Worthless man,” she thought. “I hope your hair comes undone and you fall apart.”
Her sister, on the other hand, was far too lively. No longer content just to mash her eyeless face against the glass, she had found herself some shears and knives to use as hands and had taken to carving up the walls outside, scratching the paint and marking up the wood. “Hateful woman,” she thought. “You’re supposed to envy, not assert yourself.” To make matters worse, she was spending far too much time with her daughter.
STRENGTH ONLY ENOUGH TO DRAG MY FEET
The daughter loved the sister. They had so much in common, after all – they were both made of dead things, they were both locked out. This made her angry. “You’re supposed to make my daughter hate me,” she thought, “but instead you’ve made her love you, and that’s a whole different story.” They went everywhere together, the daughter with her hundreds of slowly grasping spider-legs, the sister with her ghostly sockets always weeping pale fluid. “I’ll make you pay for this, sister mine.”
She took solace in her son, the only one that truly loved her, that did anything right. But he was fast congealing, and each inch of carpet he dragged himself across or wallpaper he tripped and fell into took a little bit of him away. She didn’t want to lose him like that, and so she made him come back down to the basement. He tripped and fell down the stairs, splattered apart, and ended up just like he’d started: a pool of her blood. “I’ll miss you,” she thought, as the drones lapped him back up.
RATTLING CHAINS, ONLY MY OWN HOUSES TO HAUNT
She hated her family. They weren’t what she wanted. The drones went to the husband, cornered him in a hallway, pulled out his hair. He fell apart, and they gathered up all the twigs and fallen branches and fed them to one of the living rooms’ fireplaces. His smoke screamed and smelled like rotten teeth. “Good riddance to bad rubbish,” she thought.
The sister, the drones lured into the woods with a pile of heirloom jewelry and old, unsent letters. When she fell upon the pile to feast, they fell upon her, crushing her soft, pale skull and shredding her apart. All the ghosts that made her sank back down into the soil, no bodies to hold them anymore. They were free. “I’ve done a good thing,” she thought.
HELD BY THE LUNGS AND PULLED
Her daughter was a sad, useless little nothing now that her sister was dead. The drones pulled her apart, little by little, separating out the slick chitinous little corpses she was made of. She didn’t fight, didn’t even bother to say goodbye. “Ungrateful,” she thought. “I should never have had a daughter to begin with.” The spiders were gathered up beside the corpse of their queen and buried. The drones didn’t bother leaving a marker on the grave.
And so she was alone again, just her and her sinew and her gnashing teeth, alone in that house, in that basement. The drones built monuments over the corpses of her family while she slept. She passed the time talking to herself, making the drones chew off parts of her, trying to will the house to shake apart. It never did, no matter how much she pulled at the walls. She felt very empty.
BLEEDING TIME FROM A WOUND THAT WON’T CLOSE
“I hope someone visits me soon,” she thought. “That’s what I need. Someone I don’t know, someone I didn’t make. That’d be a surprise.” So she opened a little path in the woods near the house and waited. “As long as they don’t talk to my dead family, I’m sure they’ll come visit me. I’ll invite them in and let them come see me, and then I’ll have the drones chew off all their skin, and I won’t be alone anymore.”
I won’t be alone anymore. When they come visit me. And I’ve let them in and they’ve come to see me and I’ve chewed off all their skin. I won’t be alone anymore. It’ll be so nice not to be alone. I won’t be alone anymore. I hope someone visits me soon. I won’t be alone anymore.
HELLISH WHAT I HAVE TO DO