07x07 - The Bones of St Nicholas

Episode transcripts for the TV show, "Inside No. 9". Aired: February 5, 2014 - present.
Dark comic tales, each of which takes place inside a building or apartment marked number nine.
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07x07 - The Bones of St Nicholas

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HAUNTING MUSIC

DOOR OPENS

HAUNTING MUSIC CONTINUES

WlND HOWLS

DOOR CREAKS

Oh, excuse me. I've just
been draining a kidney.

You're Mr Parkway, I take it?

Er, Dr Parkway, yes.

You must be Mr Wilson?

Oh, call me Dick. Everyone does.

So have you ever been champing before?

Sorry?

Champing - camping in a church. That's what we call it.

Though it does have unfortunate connotations of someone eating with their mouth full.

Ah, no, I haven't, actually.

My wife booked this as a Christmas present, but sadly, sh...

As I'm sure you're aware, it costs a pretty penny to preserve these old buildings, and champing is our biggest money-spinner.

We let them all in, every creed, faith, culture - as long as they pay their overnight fees.

Speaking of which...?

Oh, yes, sorry. I only have a card, I'm afraid.

I've got my swiper.

HE CHUCKLES

As you see, I've set up your bed here.

Some churches put a full-size Queen Anne in the transept,

but speaking personally, I don't think it's in fitting.

I said to Canon Berry man, I said, "We're not an Airbnb."

"No, Dick", he said, "we're a Prayer C of E!"

HE LAUGHS

85 and sharp as a blade.

Many's the time I've seen him do a Wordle in two.

Ah, yes, um, I set up a little lounge for you here,

with some literature on the history of the place.

Fascinating. Did you know that in the 15th century...?

Uh, can I ask, um, do you spend the night here also,

or will you eventually leave?

Oh, I'll soon be out of your hair, don't worry.

I have to tell you that we've never had a booking

on Christmas Eve before! CARD READER BEEPS

Oh, thank you.

Your wife will be joining you later, will she?

No, she passed away in the autumn.

I am so sorry.

So sorry - I've charged you at a two person rate.

I'll void it and start again.
No, no, no. No, please.

I just want to spend a peaceful night here

alone with my thoughts and memories.

Oh, I'm sure you won't be alone.

Merry Christmas, Dr Parkway.

And God bless us, every one.

SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC

Hello?

Hello?

DISTANT RATTLING

BAUBLE THUDS

SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC CONTINUES

HE GASPS

Mr Wilson...

is that you?

DOOR OPENS

Oh, my God, it's freezing! DOOR CLOSES

I told you it would be.

It's a bloody church, what did you expect?

What did I expect on Christmas Eve night?

Oh, I don't know, a Radisson.

Hey, I told you, don't blame me.

Holiday I Inn, maybe.
Blame global warming.

Anyway, I asked that old bloke to try and get us some booze.

Champers for the champers.
That should cheer you up a bit.

Hey, watch this.

Our lager which art in barrels, hallowed be thy ale.

Thy kegdom come, I will be drunk, at home, as in the tavern.

Give us this day our foamy head, and forgive us our spillages,

as we forgive those who spill against us.

Deliver us not into inebriation, for thine is the stout,

the bitter, and the lager,

forever and ever, barmen!

HE LAUGHS You're
not funny, you know.

Course I am. Hey, do you want
to see my little white balls...?

Ooh!

Oh, my Lord!

Not quite, I'm afraid. He
arrives in the morning.

You nearly give us a bloody
heart attack! Are you the vicar?

No, no, I'm Dr Parkway, jasper,

and I'm afraid I have exclusive use
of this church till 10am tomorrow.

Use? I should explain - my mother
passed away earlier this year.

She's buried out
in the graveyard.

I simply wanted to spend the
night here in quiet contemplation.

Oh, well, we booked it on
the website this morning.

That Dick, the man called Dick, he
said he hadn't seen our email yet.

I 'm pierce. This
is my wife, posy.

Like the flowers. Yeah, because
when her mam got pregnant with her,

the first thing she said
was "Thanks a bunch."

Ignore him, he's pathetic.
I'm sorry about your mother.

We were supposed to be
going to Lapland yesterday,

only they rang up and said
there wasn't any snow.

How unfortunate.

Yeah. They said we could still go
and they'd put us up in a shed,

but we thought, well, if it's
not an igloo, what's the point?

Well, I hate to disappoint
you but as you can see,

there's only one bed set out.

Don't worry about that.
We've come prepared.

Sleeping bags at the ready.

We'll just set up
here beside you.

Who wants a brew?

Oh, sorry.

WIND HOWLS

These biscuits are nice,
po. Do you want one?

I don't think they're for us,
Pierce, they're like church wafers.

What do you mean?
It's the Eucharist.

The body of Christ.

Oh, shit!

Sorry! They taste like
rich teas, anyway.

The most boring of all biscuits.

Apart from them Nices which,
ironically enough, are horrible.

I'll go and see if
there's anything else.

There's got to be a
kitchen somewhere. Yeah.

Especially with all these
lady vicars now. Idiot.

HE CHUCKLES

CLEARS THROAT

So, are you a religious
man, then, Jaz?

Not particularly, no.

It's the building itself
I'm most interested in.

Oh, right, you're more like
a history doctor, then,

Indiana Jones, Da
Vinci Code stuff?

You could say that, yes.

"Doctor, Doctor, I 've got a chip up
my nose, a sausage in my left ear,

"a carrot in my right ear,
what's the matter with me?"

The doctor says, "You're
not eating properly."

Tough crowd.

POSY SCREAMS

Oh, my good godfathers!

Who is it?

I don't know.

I just pulled back the
curtain, and he were there.

I thought it was Paul Hollywood.

You wouldn't want
him reaching out

and giving you an
handshake, would you?

It's St Nicholas.

The original Santa Claus.

You mean the Coca Cola one?

Uh, a little before
that, I believe.

Patron Saint and protector
of children dating back

to around 300 AD,
possibly even earlier.

What's his origin story?

It's not X-Men, Pierce!

Actually, St Nick was an
"Avenger" in his own way.

Three small children were
said to be lost one night,

after straying too far from their
homes whilst playing in the woods.

As darkness fell, they
came across an old building

belonging to a butcher.

He offered them food and
shelter for the night,

and they eagerly
accepted his invitation.

However, once inside, the
butcher set upon the three boys,

slitting their
throats one by one.

Bloody hell!

He then cut up the
children's bodies

and laid the pieces
in a salting tub,

preserving their flesh to sell
as ham to the nearby villagers.

Seven years had passed when
Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra,

was riding in the woods
and came upon the house.

He demanded that the butcher
open up his barrels of salt.

When he saw the contents,
Nicholas performed a miracle,

restoring the three boys to
life and sending them home

to their astonished parents.

Lucky for them.

The myth also explains
why we now hang pickles

or gherkins as Christmas
tree decorations.

Oh, we've got one of
them! A big green one.

Posy calls it the
Grinch's co... Pierce!

Yes, It's an unusual derivation,
the pickling or preserving

of children's bodies
in salt or vinegar. Mm.

Did you bring any crisps? I think
we've got some cheese puffs.

Oh, right.

SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC

♪ O little town of Bethlehem

♪ How still we see thee thy

♪ Among the hills and daffodils

♪ Do-do-ba-da-do-do-ba... ♪

Would you be quiet,
please? Sorry?

Would you please stop singing?

I'm trying to work.

Oh, yeah.

Sorry.

I'm just getting in the mood.

I'm looking for somewhere
nice to hang my stocking...

How about round your neck?

Pardon? Uh, anywhere
around the nave.

HE CHUCKLES

Have you not got one? I think I've
got a spare in here somewhere...

HE SIGHS

They're a bit laddered
around the gusset,

but you could pop
a tangerine in.

That's very kind.

Shall I just hang them on
the end of his bed? Yeah.

♪ O little town of Bethlehem

♪ How still we see thee thy... ♪

SINGING FADES

WET GURGLING

Is somebody there?

GURGLING CONTINUES

TIMBERS CREAK UNDER HIS WEIGHT

BEAMS GROAN

TIMBERS CREAK

SCRAPING

CLUNKING

SCRAPING NEARBY

Hello?

Only me! Just wondered if
you might like to join us

for a little tot of
Bristol Cream, eh?

HE CHUCKLES

Christmas Eve.

The most magical
night of the year.

I used to love it when was a
kid. You still are a bloody kid!

Do you have any children?

No.

No, we don't.

Still, um... believe in
Santa though, don't we?

Well, you know, this church has
a unique link to St Nicholas,

hence the display.

Would you like to hear it?
It does involve a ghost.

Oh, now you're talking.

Hey, Doc, pull up a pew!

I 'd rather not, if it's
all the same to you.

Oh, come on! A ghost story
for Christmas!? It's perfect.

I don't believe in ghosts,

and I've no interest in
made-up narratives about them.

I assure you, Doctor, the
events I'm about to recount

are not made up. I know that...

for certain.

Well?

Seems like I don't have
much choice, do I?!

Thank you.

The body of St Nicholas,
like all the great saints,

was harvested for
reliquaries and devotionals.

Sorry, you've lost me already.

Relics are the bones or body
parts of venerated individuals,

often stolen from tombs and
sold all around the world.

They used to be a big
business. They still are.

What would you say
if I were to tell you

that the jawbone of St Nicholas

is hidden in this very building?

Is it?

I can tell you that it
has not yet been found,

but I have reason to believe that
it resides here... somewhere.

And why do you believe that?

Because of what I
saw with my own eyes,

five years ago on Christmas Eve.

Here we go.

Hold my hand, Pierce.

I 'd extinguished the last of
the candles, and I was leaving

with just the light from my
phone screen to see me out.

HE CLICKS FIlNGERS

Why didn't you
turn your torch on?

I didn't know it had one.

HE CLICKS FINGERS Carry on.

I was standing over
there by the pulpit,

and I heard a noise
by the Christmas tree.

I genuinely thought, " I've
really got to be careful here

"because I might end up locking
someone up in the church

"and they might
freeze to death."

We had that in the
school where I clean.

A homeless man was living in
the gym equipment cupboard,

sleeping in the vaulting box.

The deputy head had to coax him out
with a boneless banquet from KFC,

and the Sally Army came for him.

Have you quite finished?

Sorry.

I walked over to the
Christmas tree...

and that's when I saw him...

peeping out from
behind the branches.

A figure in a dark red cloak.

His head bowed.

I kept perfectly still...

but I wasn't
expecting what I saw.

His head slowly lifted... up.

It was so...

sad.

An old man, with kind eyes,

but such pain behind them.

And below this tender,
imploring face...

there was no bottom jaw.

Just a black lolling tongue,

dangling down into
the space below.

It moaned and clacked,

then it started to
come towards me.

That's when I ran.

I ran and ran and didn't
stop till I got home,

and I locked the door behind me.

The next day, Christmas Day...

when I came back...

there were footprints.

Black, filthy...

footprints all
around the church.

I believe that his restless
spirit roams around this site,

longing to be whole again,

and finally be at peace.

ALARM BEEPS

Right, I'd better be off.

HE LAUGHS AND CLAPS

That was brilliant! I bet that
shit you up, didn't it, Doc?!

Now do you believe in
ghosts? Of course not.

We are pattern-finding
creatures,

and we rationalise what we don't
understand with ridiculous stories.

Now if you don't mind,

I'd like to spend the rest of
the evening in my own company.

Is that sherry free?

HE GRUNTS QUIETLY

HE SNORES QUIETLY

You all right, po? Yeah.

Are you thinking about paisley?

I lit a candle for her. Aw...

that's nice.

Be 18 years next Christmas.

I'll book Lapland
again. That'd be nice.

I didn't like Dick's story.

Do you believe him?
No, course not.

Just his party piece. He'll
have one for every season.

Be a giant rabbit at
Easter, witch at Halloween.

What's summer?

Er... beach ghost.

It's just a bloke with trunks on

wandering about with
a bright red face.

A bottle of sunblock.
Yeah, probably.

Why, did it spook
you? A little bit.

It's just...

that night, when I was pregnant
and I had the accident...

something happened
that I never told you.

That night...

you saw a ghost?

Not really. I was just
mopping the floor in reception

when I saw my mother walk past.

I thought, "Well,
what's she doing here?"

I waved at her, but she
didn't say anything,

just stared at me.

Then, suddenly, she put her hand
up on the glass and started to cry.

Mascara running down
her face in black lines.

Then she turned
and went off again.

I went to look for her,
but there was no-one there.

That's weird. Anyway, as I was
walking home, I tried phoning her,

and it was as I was dialling

that the motorbike came
off the road and...

Bloody hell.

A few days later, when I was in
the hospital, she came to visit me,

and she told me that that night,

the night of the accident,
she'd had an awful feeling

something bad was
going to happen to me.

I didn't tell her
what I'd seen,

then as she was leaving,

she put her hand
up on the glass,

and started to cry.

Mascara running down
her face in black lines.

My God.

It wasn't a ghost.

It was a warning.

PHONE RINGS

What's that?

Must be one of them
new-fangled machines

that let you talk to each
other through the air.

Come on.

Hey! Don't leave me!

Pierce!

Don't answer it.

Hello?

It's for you.

Yes?

Boo! SHE SHRIEKS, HE LAUGHS

You bloody idiot, what are
you playing at?! Who was it?

No-one, they hung up. Must
have been a wrong number.

Come on, it's freezing
in here. HE CHUCKLES

Hey, we forgot to
check our stockings.

Let's see if Santa's been.

What's on your list?

Socks and undies,
obviously. Yeah, obviously.

Handkerchiefs with a p on which'll
never come out of the packet.

Selection box, they're not
as big as they used to be.

All right, Peter Kay!
It's true! What about you?

Um, bath salts?

Um, chocolates full of
some disgusting liqueur.

Oh, and a shit scented candle.

Shit-scented? How do they do
that? You don't want to know.

HE CHUCKLES

WET GURGLING

SHE SCREAMS Oh, bloody hell!

CHOKING GURGLES

DOOR SLAMS

FABRIC RIPS

Thought they'd
never f*cking leave.

Ho, ho...

ho.

Dr Parkway! Shit!

Dr Parkway, are you there?

I had a phone call from Pierce.

He says he saw something
rather disturbing.

Dr Parkway?

BAUBLE FALLS AND THUDS ON FLOOR

PHONE RINGS

Hello?

Hello?

Doctor? Doctor?

I'm ever so sorry if I frightened
you with what I said earlier.

It was just a story.

There is no ghost here,
I can assure you of that!

Ghosts aren't real!

It wasn't a ghost.

Hello?

It was a warning.

CRASHING, HE CHOKES

WET GURGLING

BAUBLE THUDS

GUST OF AIR

GURGLING

HINGES CREAK

WET GURGLING

Is somebody there?

CLUNKING

SCRAPING

Hello?

CLUNKING, BELL VIBRATES

SCRAPING

Oh, no!

Well, I never!

Merry Christmas.

♪ Ding dong! Merrily on high

♪ In heav'n the
bells are ringing

♪ Glo-o-o-o-oria

♪ Hosanna in excelsis

♪ Glo-o-o-o-oria

♪ Glo-o-o-o-oria

♪ Glo-o-o-o-oria

♪ Hosanna in excelsis. ♪
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