Apocalypse Upon Stogsville


Episode 1: Black-veined Death

The opening musical jingle plays, an upbeat, dramatic, fast-paced tune with an electric tempo. The tempo escalates and the music gets more intense, before de-escalating. It slowly fades out and ends. 

The clicking sound of MAYA pushing buttons on the radio. A slight grinding sound as she turns a knob on the radio, and radio static can be heard before fading into background noise. 

News Anchor: In a shocking turn of events, councilman Larry White passed away last night when a rabid raccoon crawled through his bedroom window and strangled him to death. Many are upset and bewildered by this tragic news, causing even more unrest and fear among the community. This brings the death toll to 164 as of this morning.  

MAYA clicks another button, and the radio static stops. 

Maya: (narrating) When the apocalypse first started a few days ago, nobody thought much of it. Sure, it was odd that 15 people died in one day, especially for a tiny town like Stogsville, but no one really cared. We assumed that it was just a little oddity we could overlook. 

The opening music starts playing again in the background. 

Maya: (narrating) But the next day, another 8 dropped dead. The following, yet another 12 people, dead before they even reached the hospital. 

Flashback: we can hear MAYA’s high-pitched, panicky voice shouting, although we cannot make out what she is saying. 

Maya: (narrating) And on the third day- (voice catches in her throat, wobbling slightly as if she’s about to cry)


Flashback: MAYA bangs incessantly on a door as she speaks. The background music escalates and gets more intense.

Maya: (voice distant, flashback) Mom? (tone becomes panicky) Mom, open up! 

Ambulance sirens, followed by the sound of a door bursting open and some clattering. We can faintly hear MAYA’s hysterical voice and her sobbing loudly. In the background, the music climaxes.

Maya: (narrating, voice shaky) I lost my mom. 

Background music de-escalates.

Maya: (narrating, voice shaky) She drowned in the bathtub and I couldn’t save her in time. 

MAYA sniffs and clears her throat. Background music fades out and ends as MAYA begins to speak again.

Maya: (narrating) But Mom wouldn’t have wanted me to mope around. She would’ve told me to do something useful with whatever time I had left. 


Maya: (narrating) And being an investigator, I realised, why haven’t I tried to uncover the reason behind the non-stop deaths in Stogsville? 

MAYA opens drawers and rifles through papers. 

Maya: (narrating) There are hundreds of people dying every week, and no scientific answer behind any of it. With Stogsville being the only place in the world going through this apocalypse, our population of merely thousands is predicted to disappear within a year. 

MAYA slams the drawer shut.

Maya: (narrating) The deaths were almost too random and unintentional. People were getting mauled to death by their family dogs, choking while drinking water, dying of laughter – all such unnaturally paranormal deaths to keep occurring. 


Maya: (narrating) I knew that there were far too many accidental deaths to be a coincidence. 

A musical chime plays.

Maya: (narrating) The first person I wanted to interview was my neighbour, Ms Brock. She was perfect because all of her family had suddenly and unexpectedly died within a week.

MAYA rings a doorbell and a door creaks open. 

Ms. Brock: Maya, it’s great to see you.

Maya: Hi Ms Brock, how are you holding up?

MS BROCK sniffs. 

Ms Brock: I’ve been better. 

Maya: I’m so sorry about everything that’s happened to you, it’s so crazy… (voice trails off)

Ms Brock: I know.

MS BROCK sniffs again.

Ms Brock: It’s like one moment your children are there and the next, (voice wobbles) they’re all gone.

Maya: It’s really brave for you to open up about this. I can’t imagine how I would feel if I were you. 


Maya: (delicately) Are you okay with me asking about your family? 

MS BROCK takes a deep breath and clears her throat.

Ms Brock: Sorry, I’m- (voice catches in her throat) 

Maya: It’s okay, take your time. 

Ms Brock: I just can’t believe it. All four of my beautiful daughters, and my husband…..It happened so fast, I- I can’t even think about it.

Maya: Could you tell me, (slight pause), if you’re comfortable with it, what exactly happened?

Ms Brock: I don’t even know. One morning I woke up, and I found my husband lying on the floor outside-

MS BROCK bursts into quick, ragged breaths. 

Ms Brock: He was unconscious, and I took him to the hospital, and they said he was struck, (voice breaks) by lightning. 

Maya: I am so sorry-

Ms Brock: And then the next day, my eldest daughter Tina, she had a- a heart attack. (speaks faster and faster) And Hazel, and Maddy, and my sweet Becca, they were all gone-

MS BROCK bursts into sobs. 

Maya: I am so, so sorry, I- (concerned) Are you okay? I mean, that’s a dumb thing to ask you’re clearly not okay, uh-

Ms Brock: (voice strained, struggling to say the words, in between heaving breaths and sniffs) Give me a moment. 

Ms Brock cries more softly and her breathing slows and steadies. After a few seconds, she blows her nose and clears her throat. 

Ms Brock: (voice husky) Sorry about that.

Maya: Do you want to stop? I don’t want to upset you, I can stop if you like, it’s totally fine. 

Ms Brock: No, no, it’s just hard for me to talk about my girls. (sniffs) But there’s something important I should tell you-

Maya: (eagerly, cuts MS BROCK off) What is it?

Ms Brock: It might sound a little crazy, but I promise you it’s not make-believe. 

Maya: Yes?

Ms Brock: Before the whole apocalypse happened, my family and I, we were at the park, and there was this- this strange man watching us the entire time. 

Maya: (intrigued) Go on. 

Ms Brock: I didn’t like the way he looked, or how he was staring at my kids. I thought he was a paedophile, because he certainly looked the part. He was so incredibly unkempt, and the way he was watching was just off-putting. And his eyes had some crazed look to them, as if he was a mad man. 

Maya: Yikes. Did he go up to your family?  

Ms Brock: No, I approached him. I couldn’t stand the way he kept staring and staring. 

Maya: (eagerly) And then? 

Ms Brock: I told him very firmly to leave because he was making us uncomfortable. But he laughed in my face and told me I didn’t know who I was talking to. Then he threatened that I would regret ever talking to him. 

Maya: Is he for real?

Ms Brock: Naturally, I was furious. I told him to leave and never come near me or my children again. But I think- (voice gets choked up) I think that was a mistake. 

Maya: Why?

Ms Brock: When we got home that night, I noticed the veins on my husband’s wrist were (voice wobbles) black. So was my eldest daughter’s, just not as dark. And every one of my daughter’s, different shades of black, all of them but me. And I just knew it had something to do with that creepy man. 

Maya: Wait……

Ms Brock: Each day their veins would get darker and a deeper black, until they- they (voice trembles) died, and there was nothing I could do about it, the doctors didn’t know why or how it was happening-

Maya: (interrupts, realisation) The same thing happened to my mom. 


Ms Brock: Really? 

Maya: No, I mean, I didn’t see the getting darker and darker thing, but- but when she died, her veins were completely black, all the way from her wrist to her elbow. 

Ms Brock: Maya, don’t you see? That was the mark of Death! All this while this has just been my hunch but you’ve confirmed it for me, those veins, they were a sign from Death himself. 

Maya: What do you mean? 

Ms Brock: I know this is going to sound nonsensical, but hear me out. The creepy man I insulted in the park – he was Death, and he cursed my family. He’s the reason behind all of this. 


Maya: (disbelief) Are you saying that death…is a person?

Ms Brock: I had doubts as well, but the fact that your mom had the black veins too, it can’t be coincidental. I saw Death with my own eyes, Maya, he threatened me and- and then he killed my daughters. (urgent tone) You have to believe me, Maya, you must find him and put an end to all of this. 

Maya: I just-

Ms Brock: Don’t you want to find out why everyone is dying? Don’t you want to find out why my daughters died, why your mom died? 


Maya: You’re right. 


Maya: But what should I do? Find Death?

Ms Brock: After I lost my daughters, I contacted an old friend to conduct a seance for me. She’s a professional psychic, she would know how to communicate with Death. 

Maya: (sceptical) How reliable is she? 

Ms Brock: Because of her, I was able to talk to my daughters again. Trust me Maya, she will know what to do. She’s been a spiritual medium for over 20 years.

Maya: Okay.

Ms Brock: Her name’s Alva. Here’s her number and address. 

The sound of MS BROCK scribbling.

Maya: (voice slowly becomes softer and fainter, fades out) Got it. Thanks, Ms Brock. 

A musical chime, followed by MAYA knocking on a door. 

Maya: (hesitant) Alva? It’s Maya, from the phone call earlier. 

The sound of ALVA turning a door handle. 

Alva: Nice to meet you, Maya. Welcome to my seance room.

Soft, ambient music with calming chimes starts playing. It fades into the background after a few seconds. 

Maya: I have kind of an unusual request. 

Alva: Yes?

Maya: What if I told you that death, was a person?


Alva: I’d believe you.

Maya: (surprised) Really?

Alva: We hardly know anything about the supernatural world. Most things that go on there are beyond my comprehension, anyone’s comprehension. The spirits have immense power that we can’t even begin to fathom, so really, they can do anything they want. Including taking the physical form of a human.

Maya: (curious) How would that work? Would they need to eat and sleep like the rest of us?

Alva: Maybe. We can’t assume anything. For all we know, half the strangers we see are spirits trapped in a human body.

Maya: That’s trippy. Have you talked to Death before?

Alva: No, I mostly dabble with spirits and lost souls. Communicating with Death would be hard, but not impossible.

Maya: I’m trying to find the reason behind the non-stop deaths, you see. And I really think Death being a person is a big clue that is going to help me solve this. 

Alva: Ah. We could try connecting with Death.

Maya: Would that confirm that he’s a person? 

Alva: If it works, it confirms that he’s a being of some sort, and not just a scientific process. What he says to us could also really help you in your investigation. 

Maya: True, true. 

Alva: Would you like me to conduct the seance now?

Maya: How do we begin?

Alva: Sit down and close your eyes.

ALVA clicks a lighter several times and we can hear flames igniting. 

Maya: Candles? 

Alva: The smoke will provide for a smoother transition between the spiritual planes. 

The calming ambient music in the background fades into a low-pitched, echoing humming. Its slow rhythm and inconsistent harmony sounds almost hypnotising. It becomes background music after a few seconds. 

Alva: Breathe in.

ALVA and MAYA take deep breaths.

Alva: And out.

They exhale.

Alva: Clear your mind. Focus on the energy around you. 

Maya: How do I-

Alva: Hush, Maya. The process takes time. 

More heavy breathing from them.

Alva: Remember, no matter what, stay calm. The seance only works if our vibrational energy stays on the same spiritual plane. Any spike in emotion could disrupt the alignment of the planes. 

Maya: Got it. 

Alva: (softly) Take my hand. 

The music in the background fades into a single low-pitched note. It plays for a few seconds before a loud clicking sound is heard. We can hear a deep, faraway, echoing voice that slowly gets louder and louder.

Maya: (slightly scared) What is happening?

Alva: Shh. 

Wind blows loudly, and objects shake and rattle in the wind. 

Maya: (scared) Alva? 

The faraway sound of something banging. The distant sound of DEATH’s voice, deep and harsh, although we cannot hear exactly what he is saying. Suddenly, all goes silent and we can only hear ALVA speaking.

Alva: (clearly and loudly) Death, reveal yourself!

Loud, almost delirious-sounding laughter from DEATH.

Death: Well, look who finally came to say hi. 

MAYA gasps and breathes shakily. 

Alva: Are you Death?

Death: What are you talking about? Of course I’m Death! And you need to send me back, don’t you think? 

Alva: Send you back?

Death: What, you want me to apologise more? Oh dear precious gods of us all, I am so deeply sorry for all the havoc I’ve caused on Earth and on this pathetic little town. Better set me free before I remove everyone here from existence, right? 

Maya: (scared) What? 

Death: I’ve been prisoner long enough.

Maya: (voice shaking) Why are you in our town?

Death: (angry) What is wrong with you? You were the ones who sent me here! 

The wind howls again, loudly. 

Death: (angry) Are you not them? If you’re not them, who on earth are you? 

The wind blows stronger. The sound of objects falling. MAYA starts hyperventilating. 

Alva: Calm down, it’s okay, it’s okay. 

DEATH speaking, but his voice is echoing and distant. 

Alva: Concentrate on your energy, Maya. Calm down, please, we’re losing him. 

The impactful sound of windows slamming shut. The wind stops, and everything goes silent for a few moments.

Alva: Maya, are you okay? Don’t worry, it’s over. You can open your eyes now. 

MAYA gasps loudly. 

Maya: Did you see that? 

Alva: What?

Maya: I just saw an arm reach out from the shadows, with really bony hands, and- and dark veins-

MAYA breathes heavily and shakily. 

Alva: It’s okay, that was just a vision.

Maya: (scared) What does that mean?

Alva: Sometimes, after particularly powerful seances, you get a vision of the spirit you were connecting with. Don’t worry, it can’t hurt you, it’s just a sensory fragment from the astral plane.

Maya: His veins, they were all black, like- like my mom’s……. (voice trails off)


Maya: (shaken) Did I really just talk to Death?

Maya: (emulating MAYA’s thoughts: voice echoes and gets fainter) …really just talk to Death? …just talk to Death? …talk to Death?

Maya: (narrating) When I got home, it took me a while to wrap my head around the fact that Death was indeed a person, who I had just- (incredulously) just talked to. 


Maya: (narrating) But once my mind was okay with that, in came the flood of questions and doubts. 

Sounds of MAYA swivelling her chair and scribbling with a pen.

Maya: (mumbling to herself) Who were the gods that Death was talking about? Why did he think that we were them? 

MAYA scribbles more aggressively.

Maya: (mumbling to herself) He said something about being sent back…and wrecking havoc? Is he intentionally killing off our entire town?

Maya: (mumbling to herself) Why did he call himself a prisoner? 

MAYA rustles the paper and sighs.

Maya: (frustrated) Do the blackened veins mean anything? What am I supposed to do next? 

The sound of MAYA throwing her pen down aggressively. Then, the clicking sound of MAYA pushing buttons on the radio. Radio static starts up, which fades into the background. 

News Anchor: Since this morning, another 5 have died in the span of less than a day. As we approach day 11 of the Stogsville apocalypse, the town council advises you to stay at home and stay safe. 

Radio static stops. 

Maya: (narrating) I couldn’t wait for too long, mulling over the same thoughts over and over again. I had to do something, stat. 

MAYA clicks the pen and scribbles. 

Maya: (narrating) I had a billion unanswered questions, but what better way to deal with them than by going directly to the root cause? 


Maya: (narrating) After all, I had already talked to Death, so how hard could it be to find him in person? 

Moy Rui Jia (Class of 2024) enjoys experimenting with different genres. She likes to step out of her comfort zone and try new ideas. Her favourite genre to read are mysteries, and she hopes to get better at writing them.