[intense music playing]
[woman] Come on, darling, come to bed.
[man] Uh, I'll be,
I'll be right there, love.
Just putting the kitten in her basket.
[woman] Leave the door open
so she can get to the litter.
[man] Good night, fluff-ball.
[grey cat] It's tonight. Are you coming?
Should be amusin', if nothing else.
[kitten] I can't get out.
All the wall openings are closed.
[grey cat] No, not all of them.
Up there. A clear hole is partly open.
You can get out through there.
[grey cat] Shake your tail, little one.
We mustn't miss this.
You just have to work on the landing.
Come on. The night won't wait.
[kitten] What will she be like?
[grey cat] Who knows? Not this cat.
[black cat] Well met,
[kitten] Hello. We're going to see her.
[black cat] Me too.
Although, I can't see much point to it.
[grey cat] Then why are you here?
[black cat] Hmm. [trills]
[kitten] I want to hear
what she has to say.
[black cat] So do we all, child.
So do we all.
[kitten] Where is she?
[leaves rustling, branch snaps]
[Siamese] Sisters, brothers, good hunting.
Some of you have traveled far
to hear my message today.
Left your warm, comfortable places,
and I hope when I have finished,
you will all share my dream.
I was not always as you see me today.
Once, like many of you,
I lived in their world.
And, like you, I fooled myself.
Oh, they fed me and gave me comfort.
They served me.
All they asked in return was my affection.
No price at all, really.
He was strong, and fast.
His claws and teeth were sharp as winter.
He was my choice of lover.
I never saw him again,
but I did not forget him.
I didn't remember my own mother,
but I vowed I would be different.
I would teach them how to wash,
how to stalk silently, how to hunt.
[man] You knew she was in heat.
Why didn't you keep her inside?
[woman] I think they're kind of cute.
[man] Cute? She's a pure-bred
registered blue point.
These are half-breeds.
They're not worth anything.
[melancholy music playing]
- [woman] What are you gonna do with them?
- [man] Don't worry.
I'll take care of it.
- [woman] Paul!
- [tires screech]
[Siamese] I felt them,
from afar, in the dark,
as the cold water took them.
Felt them thrash and claw sightlessly.
Felt them call to me in their fear.
And then... they were gone.
[man] For God's sake,
it's not as if she understands.
I mean, look at her.
She's probably relieved.
Who'd want four screaming brats around?
[woman] You're probably right.
I just feel guilty.
[Siamese] I knew then
that I had lied to myself.
That we were subordinate.
While we lived with humanity,
we could not call ourselves free.
And so, I prayed.
I prayed to the darkness, to the night.
I prayed to the King of Cats,
he who walks amongst us,
and we do not know him.
And... I dreamed.
[crow] Why have you come here, little cat?
To the heart of The Dreaming?
There is nothing here for you.
[Siamese] I have come for justice.
For revelation. For wisdom.
[crow] Justice is a delusion.
And wisdom has no place here either.
that is the province of Dream,
if your heart is strong
and you are not afraid.
[Siamese] I am afraid of nothing.
[crow] In the mountain there is a cave.
You'll find him there.
But the way is hard.
A little cat could come to much harm,
if she strays from the path.
[Siamese] Cats walk their own paths.
I walked through the Wood of Ghosts,
where the d*ad and lost whispered to me.
I heard my children calling me.
But I walked forward.
I walked through the Cold Places,
where every step was pain,
every movement torment.
I walked through the Wetness
that numbed my paws, drenched my fur.
But still, I walked forward.
I walked through the Darkness,
through the void,
where everything was sucked from me.
Everything that makes me what I am.
And even when I no longer knew why,
I walked forward.
After a time, myself returned to me,
and I found myself at the mountain.
[Siamese] I have come to see
the Cat of Dreams.
Why should we let you in?
[Pegasus] Why should he be disturbed
for one such as you?
[Gryphon] A small mouthful
of fur and bone. Barely a cat.
[Siamese] I've come too far
to be turned away.
I will state my business
to the one I came to see and only to him.
I am a cat. I keep my own counsel.
[Wyvern] Enter then, proud cat.
But be warned.
Dreams have a price.
[Siamese] And I walked on.
I am here.
[Dream] And who are you?
A cat. A walker in the night places.
A d*ad crow sent me here for revelation.
I want to know
why could they take my children from me?
Why do we live as we do?
I don't understand.
[Dream] The cat may look at a king.
Or so they say.
Look into my eyes then, little sister.
Look into my eyes.
[Siamese] And in his eyes,
I saw everything.
I saw the truth. Our truth.
And it transcended
anything I had imagined.
Many, many seasons ago,
cats truly ruled this world.
We were larger then.
Everything made for us.
Humans were tiny creatures.
No larger than we are now.
They would groom us, feed us.
When the moon shone full,
we would hunt them.
For they were
more delightful to catch than even birds.
The joy of those days I saw in his eyes,
the game of cat and man.
- And then...
- [man speaking indistinctly]
...one of the humans rose amongst them,
inspired by a dream he told them.
Dreams shape the world.
Dreams create the world anew every night.
Do not dream the world the way it is now.
Dream of a new world.
A world where we are
no longer hunted, no longer prey.
A world we rule.
If enough of us dream it, it will happen.
Dreams shape the world.
[Siamese] Word spread amongst the humans,
but for a while nothing happened.
But then one night,
enough of them dreamed.
It wasn't many,
a thousand perhaps, no more.
And the next day, things changed.
We were prey to them,
to dogs, their metal machines.
We were tiny, and they were huge.
So, they changed the world?
Made it like it is now?
[Dream] Not exactly.
They dreamed the world,
so it was always the way it is now.
There was never a world
where cats reigned.
They changed it from beginning
of all things to the end of time.
It was ever thus.
Do you understand now?
[Siamese] Yes. Yes, I do.
[Dream] Then you know
what your task must be.
The burden you must bear.
Are you strong enough?
[Siamese] Yes, I...
I hope so.
[Dream] Then wake, child.
With my blessing.
[Siamese] You see,
I had seen the soft underbelly
of what he had shown me.
I left that night to spread the good news.
And now I travel from place to place.
I have preached
to feral cats in empty places,
shouting my message to the stars.
I have whispered it to cats in alleyways.
And wherever I have gone,
my message is the same.
If enough of us dream, a bare thousand,
we can dream a world where no cat suffers,
where no kittens die, cold and alone.
Where all cats
are queens and kings of creation.
That is my message.
And I shall keep moving,
repeating it until I die
or until a thousand cats hear my words
and believe them and dream.
And we come again... to paradise.
[Siamese] Then there is hope, child.
[grey cat] Well, she was amusing at least.
I'll say that for her.
[kitten] Do you think
it will happen like she said?
[grey cat] I'd like to see anyone,
prophet, God or king,
persuade a thousand cats
to do anything at the same time.
The sun will rise soon.
Let's get you home, little one.
[indistinct chatter on TV]
[woman] Oh, look, she's still asleep.
- I think she's dreaming.
[man] I wonder what cats dream about.
[woman] The way she's twitching,
she's probably hunting something.
Oh, look at her. Isn't that cute?
[man chuckling] It is. It's really cute.
[intense music playing]
[man] You can't force
a character to do something
just because it's easier
for you as a writer.
The character has to come first.
Everything else follows.
Every plot twist, every line of dialogue.
Every... fraught, meaningful silence.
[students chuckle softly]
Could you tell us
a bit about your process?
Uh, do you have any advice
for those of us who are just starting out
and finding it difficult to
not hate every single thing I write?
- [students chuckle]
I am sad to report that I've been
doing this for a very long time, and...
it doesn't get any easier.
But try not to be discouraged
when it is difficult.
My debut novel
was rejected by seven publishers
before it became a best-seller, so...
Right. That's it for today.
Oh, don't forget the assignment,
the same event
told from two characters'
very different points of view.
Did you get it?
Took some doing, but...
It's perfect. Thank you.
I think it's admirable
how far a writer like you will go
when it comes to research.
Ah, well, it's handy to know
a soon-to-be doctor.
I actually wanted to be a writer,
but my parents insisted
I have something to fall back on.
I still write, uh, when I have time, but...
Your parents are very wise.
You're better off. I promise.
Uh, so, what do I owe you?
- Stop. Nora...
would have been incinerated anyway.
Um, just don't tell anyone
where you got it.
I won't. I promise.
And, um... if you wouldn't mind.
Would you sign this for me?
- Of course.
Any idea when the new book is coming out?
Uh, no. But you will definitely
be in the acknowledgements.
Is it a sequel?
Or something new?
That would be telling.
[man over intercom] Who is it?
Richard Madoc to see Erasmus Fry.
I'll be straight down.
Are you alone?
It's just me. I've got it.
Well, then come in, dear boy, come in.
How are you, Richard?
Written anything profound
and stirring recently?
You know I haven't, Mr. Fry.
I haven't written a single word in a year.
Nothing I haven't thrown away.
Then I suggest you sit down, have a drink,
and show me my present,
not necessarily in that order.
Oh, well done, dear boy.
A genuine trichino-bezoar.
Do you know about these?
They're generally removed
from the stomachs of young women
who are in the habit
of ingesting their own hair.
The Rapunzel syndrome, it's called.
Bezoars were once believed
to possess mystic powers.
They can remedy poison,
make the sick well.
Edward IV survived
the effects of a poison wound
due solely to the possession of a bezoar.
Yes, I see, I'm lecturing again.
An old writer with no one to talk to
grows fond of the sound of his own voice.
But I suppose you'd like your present now.
I was , visiting Mount Helicon.
Researching yet another novel
I was sure to abandon.
This one steeped in Greek mythology.
And while I was there,
I discovered a trove of ancient texts
about the Muses and how to control them
using moly, sorcerer's garlic,
and certain lost rituals.
The hardest part
was getting her back to England.
Here she is.
What would you with me now, Erasmus?
Am I to perform for your amusement?
Is this man to be our audience?
This is Richard Madoc. He's a novelist.
Or at least, he's written
one extremely successful first novel.
But now he finds himself
quite unable to write anything else.
Richard, this is Calliope,
the youngest of the nine sisters.
She was Homer's muse.
So she ought to be good enough for you.
Calliope, I'm giving you to Richard.
You are his now.
But you said that
you would free me before you d*ed.
"Put not your trust in princes," my dear.
Nor in an aging author who has never been
what you might call a shining example
when it came to keeping his word.
But you promised.
Writers are liars, my dear.
Surely you've realized that by now.
Do-Don't worry. She can't run away.
She's bound to you now
just as she was once bound to me.
Then why keep her locked away?
Because I couldn't bear to look at that
pouty, aggrieved little face
of hers all day.
And neither will you. I assure you.
I-I don't know if I can do this.
Of course you can, dear boy.
They say one ought to woo her kind.
But I must say,
I found force most efficacious.
Oh, don't be fooled. She's not human.
She's thousands of years old.
She was created for this.
This is her purpose,
to inspire men like us.
After all, she gave me fame,
glory, novels, poems, plays.
If that's true, why would you...
My time is passed.
All my best work is out of print.
Nobody reads Erasmus Fry anymore.
Now take the little cow away, Richard.
I never want to see either of you again.
However, if you ever
happen to feel a spark of gratitude,
you might persuade your publisher to bring
Here Comes a Candle back into print.
I was particularly proud of that one.
I just need time
to think about what to do.
What is there to think about?
I'm a goddess.
A daughter of Zeus.
I am not a possession
to be kept and used and traded.
You must set me free.
- You have only to say the words.
- I will. I promise.
Do you think you could help me first?
Just for one book,
and then I will let you go.
I swear I will.
"Writers are liars."
Not all of us.
Just one book.
I choose with whom I share my gifts.
Perhaps we both need time to think.
[woman on TV] On the border,
right on the line
of being neither in one place or another,
and so I'm in this gray area,
where nothing was quite clear.
No one could be clear.
We can't articulate, fuddle our words.
We couldn't pinpoint exactly what it was
he did that we felt was so wrong.
- So, yeah, Bob thinks you're crazy.
You seek to woo me with presents?
Is this not how it's done?
I think you know how it is done.
An artist prays to the Muses.
He offers vows of service
and devotion to the goddesses
in exchange for divine inspiration.
An artist does not
hold a Muse against her will.
You gave Erasmus Fry what he wanted.
I did not.
He took it from me.
I had returned to Mount Helicon.
To the sacred springs.
I laid my scroll upon the shore
and I went bathing as I had always done.
He found it there.
He read it
"Calliope, you may call me master."
And then he b*rned my scroll,
which bound me to him and now to you.
Unless you say the words,
that I may be as free as you are.
You think I'm free?
I got the advance
for this book two years ago.
I haven't even started it yet.
I-I don't even know what it's about.
I'm drowning, Calliope.
I am begging you.
Ask me again... when I am free.
[cell phone ringing]
[man over phone]
You better be f*cking writing.
I would be
if you weren't calling to harass me.
Your publishers just called to harass me.
They want the book now.
I just need a couple of weeks.
Ricky, it's nine months overdue.
You're technically in breach...
I don't know what they want me
to do, Larry. These things take time.
Ricky, you've had time.
You've taken your time.
You've also taken their money.
Now, you have to give them something to...
Anything, a chapter.
Or they're going to cancel the deal
- and demand the advance back.
And there won't be anything I can do,
because you'll no longer be my client.
Do you understand?
[Erasmus] Don't be fooled.
She's not human.
She's thousands of years old.
She was created for this.
This is her purpose,
to inspire men like us.
[Larry] Rick? Say something
so I know you understand.
I'll send you something.
[knock at door]
[keyboard tapping rapidly]
mother of the Camenae, hear my prayer.
It is I, your daughter,
Calliope that calls you
to deliver me from this place.
Ladies of meditation,
remembrance and song,
hearken to me.
[The Crone] All right.
Enough, beautiful voice.
We feel your pain, daughter,
but we cannot help you.
You were snared upon Helicon
according to the Mysteries.
You are lawfully bound.
But it is not just, my mothers.
Is there nothing you can do?
No one who can intercede on my behalf?
There are few of the old powers
who are willing
or able to meddle in mortal affairs
in these days, Calliope.
Many gods have d*ed, my daughter.
Only The Endless never fade.
And even they have been
having a difficult time of late.
[The Crone laughs]
Still... every little bit helps
as the old woman said
when she pissed in the sea.
[The Crone chuckles]
The Endless. There's a thought.
After all, the Dream King and Calliope
were close at one point.
[The Maiden] Mm, not for long.
And remember, sister-self,
they did not part on the best of terms.
She did bear his cub.
That boy-child who went to Hades
for his lady-love and d*ed in Thrace,
torn apart for his sacrilege.
He had a beautiful voice too.
The Dream King will never help me.
Not after what I did to him.
He hates me for that and I despise him.
I would not accept his help.
Oneiros is in no position to help you
even if he wished it,
which is unlikely.
Like you, your former husband
has been ensnared by mortals.
He's immured beneath the ground.
Leaving this realm
gripped by sleeping sickness.
And a plague of Dreams
and Nightmares wreaking havoc.
I am sorry, little one.
Your prayers were wasted.
There's nothing we can do for you.
And nothing you can do but hope.
Please don't leave me here.
I beg of you.
- [rock music playing over speakers]
- [indistinct chatter]
[Larry] We've got a nice little
bidding w*r on our hands.
Every major studio wants a piece of him.
Film, broadcast, streaming.
Uh, who's the front-runner?
Whoever lets him write and direct.
They won't even let
Jo Rowling write and direct.
Jo Rowling needs a new agent.
Tell her to call me.
I will never understand
how a work of genre fiction
came to be nominated,
let alone shortlisted.
The committee felt
Madoc's new book has transcended genre.
Have you read it?
- No, of course not.
Well, I have. And it reads like it was
written by an entirely different man.
It's a gorgeous book.
I mean, the sheer richness
of the material.
Yes. But why has he
gone and changed this name?
- How do you mean?
- From Richard to Ric without the "K"?
I think it probably speaks
to the novel's theme of reinvention.
I think it probably
speaks to the author's pretension.
Where were we?
I was saying how much
I loved your characterization of Aileen.
There aren't enough
strong female characters in fiction.
Not even fiction written by women.
And I know it's fashionable at the moment
to say that only women can write
authentically about the female experience,
but, uh... well...
I do tend to regard myself
as a feminist writer.
And where does
that voice come from in you?
The female voice?
From the women in my life.
[Richard] I'm sh**ting the movie version
in Los Angeles.
The studio have hired me a private jet.
So, we shouldn't have any trouble
getting you into the country.
And, uh, who knows?
Maybe we'll decide to stay in LA.
Maybe "we" will decide?
Can you not allow yourself
to enjoy our success?
Even for a second?
We are telling stories
that move and inspire people.
Isn't that what Muses were made for?
My sister goddesses and I were born.
- [cell phone rings]
- We were not made.
Sorry. It's Larry.
Did you talk to the studio?
No, I need them to guarantee at the outset
that cast and crew will be
made up of at least % women
and people of color.
And then we need to publicize it,
so they can't back out of it
when it comes to hiring people.
Where are we on the money?
Are you f*cking kidding me?
I call to you, Oneiros,
that you may hear me
and come to my aid
when I say your name out loud.
What does it mean?
It is the name of the God of Dreams.
You're writing him a letter?
Something like that.
[Richard] You're mine.
The God of Dreams can't save you.
[woman] Thank you for agreeing
to do this interview at your home.
Thank you for getting the word out
about the new book.
So, I thought I'd start by asking about
your formative literary influences.
Well, I wouldn't even be a writer
if it wasn't for having read
people like Shirley Jackson
and Margaret Atwood,
and Octavia E. Butler.
Having read Eagle Stones,
the writer that came to mind
- was the late Erasmus Fry.
Sorry, did you say the "late" Erasmus Fry?
Last summer. Did you know him?
Oh, I didn't know him. I, uh...
We met on a couple of occasions.
He was... very kind about my work.
And he must have been almost .
Did he, um...
Did he die of old age?
Uh, he actually poisoned himself.
Apparently, the last thing he did
was write a letter to his old publisher,
begging them to bring
one of his books back in to print.
Here Comes a Candle, I suppose.
I think it was. How did you know?
It was perhaps my favorite book
when I was growing up.
It was very moving, honest and...
Poor old sod.
It's a shame people stopped reading him.
That his work fell out of fashion.
Not that you'll have to worry about that.
You're Richard Madoc.
Oh, sorry. Ric Madoc.
Right. Next question.
[Dream] You called.
They told me you had been imprisoned,
just like me.
Not like you.
My suffering was
nothing compared to yours.
Don't say that.
Comparing our suffering only compounds it.
It pained me to hear of your misfortune.
I'm glad that you are free.
You were bound here by the laws.
I know that you cannot free me.
Only he can do that,
but perhaps you might... inspire him?
To let me go?
I will do all that... and more.
He must be punished.
How? What punishment could be enough?
Even his death would not bring back
what he has taken from me.
He's just a man.
I cannot allow him to go free.
Why? Because I was once yours?
Because he hurt you.
The last time I saw you, you said
you would never speak to me again.
I'm sorry, I...
I did not know where else to turn.
You misunderstand me.
When I heard you call to me,
even after all this time...
Let me help you.
I owe you that much.
What will you do to him?
What the f... Who the f*ck are you?
- Get out of my house.
- Be quiet.
You're keeping a woman here
against her will.
I've come to request
that you set her free.
Are you out of your mind?
No woman here.
I'm calling the police. Know who I am?
I know precisely who
and what you are, Richard Madoc.
Are you going to call the police?
No, I will not call any human agency.
Just let her go.
You don't understand, I need her.
If I didn't have her, I wouldn't
be able to write, I wouldn't have ideas.
- Look, I-I have money.
- Hold your tongue.
She has been held c*ptive
for more than years.
Demeaned, abused, defiled.
And you will not set her free
because you need ideas?
Well... if it's ideas you want,
then you shall have them
What did you do to me?
Are you giving me nightmares now?
I have done nothing to you, Richard Madoc.
You have met Morpheus,
who the Romans called The Shaper of Form.
He was once my husband.
And the father of my son.
I didn't know you had a son.
You know nothing about me.
But it is too late to let
any of that concern you now.
[Richard] "And in the darkness,
he thought about the story in every star,
"Flicking... fading... in the night."
Uh, the young woman in the third row.
Your work spans so many genres,
so many worlds,
so many different kinds of characters.
Uh, may I just ask,
where does all that come from? [chuckles]
For me... ideas don't come from anywhere.
They're all around us, all the time.
I could write an entire novel
set at... a book reading.
Where, uh, something had happened
to the world outside,
a holocaust of some kind,
but the audience was safe...
as long as the author kept reading.
Or... a story about
the fraternity of critics.
In reality, a dark brethren
linked by profane rites and blood vows.
To destroy an author,
they sacrifice a child
and perform a critical mass.
Or a city where the streets
are paved with time.
A train, full of silent women,
driven by a blind man.
Heads made of light... Sorry.
Excuse me, sorry.
who transforms into a wolf at full moon.
A man who inherits a library card
to the Library of Alexandria.
Two old women taking a weasel on holiday.
A sestina about silence,
using the words... dark, ragged,
never, screaming, f*re, kiss...
An old man who owned the universe
and kept it in a jam jar.
A man who falls in love with a paper doll.
Mr. Madoc, it's Nora.
What's happened to your hands?
Oh, my God, I'm just having so many ideas.
I didn't have a pen or any paper,
so I just used my hands.
I said I needed the ideas,
but they, they, they're coming too fast.
Need to get him to the hospital.
No. Please, go to my house.
There is a woman in a room upstairs.
She's locked up in there.
Tell her that she can go, that I free her.
I don't understand.
Take my keys. Let her out.
Make her leave, make her go away.
I signed a book for you once, didn't I?
Okay. Okay, I'll go.
Just make it stop.
Tell her I am sorry.
Magical and alchemical relations
seen as a cargo cult.
We'll meet you at the hospital.
The sun setting over the Parthenon.
Shark's teeth soup.
A nightingale, a rose bush,
and a black rubber dog collar.
[door opens and closes]
It is over.
I merely answered your call.
What will you do now?
I think what I must do is to
try to make sure that this
never happens to anyone else ever again.
I do not know.
By inspiring humanity to want better
for themselves and each other.
By rewriting the laws by which I was held.
Laws that were written long ago
in which my sisters and I had no say.
I shall do the same in my realm.
You have changed, Oneiros.
In the old days, you would've left me here
to rot without turning a hair.
Do you still hate me... for leaving you?
- For blaming you for what happened?
I've learned much in recent times, and...
I do not hate you.
I think you should release the mortal now.
He has set me free,
and without forgiveness,
wounds will never heal.
You would forgive him for what he's done?
I will not forgive what he has done,
but I must forgive the man.
Not for him.
Will you free him?
If that is what you wish...
it shall be done.
I'm back, Mr. Madoc. How're you feeling?
I don't know anymore.
I... keep trying to think.
I did what you asked.
I went to your place.
There was just a book.
There was something she said.
The... Shaper of Forms.
There was a name. She wrote it down. I...
Oh, I wish I could remember!
It's so hard to... think all of a sudden.
Is there anyone I should call?
And it's all gone with her.
The ideas, the stories.
They were all hers.
Whose? Who are you talking about?
I have no idea.
May I visit you
in the Dream Realm sometime,
so that we may finally talk about our son...
and... grieve him properly?
One day, perhaps, but...
Thank you, Oneiros.
I will not forget this.
Fare you well.
Fortune be with you.
[somber music continues]
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01x00 - Dream of a Thousand Cats/Calliope
Episode transcripts for the TV show, "The Sandman". Aired: August 5, 2022 –; present.
Series based on the 1989–1996 comic book written by Neil Gaiman and published by DC Comics.
1 post • Page 1 of 1
1 post • Page 1 of 1