Credits and Transcript

  • Episode 1 - "Never-Ending Circles" - Credits


    Written and Directed by Gabriel Urbina.

    Script Editing by David K. Barnes.
    Performance by Dottie James as Harry Winter.
    Original Music by Alan Rodi.

    Sound Design by Zach Valenti.

    Produced by Sarah Shachat, Zach Valenti, and Gabriel Urbina,

    along with Angel Acevedo, Jenn Schneider, and Amy Tanguay.

    Episode 1 - "Never-Ending Circles" - Transcript



    [Unseen opening credits music plays]

    Announcer: Long Story Short Productions presents... Unseen.


    [Unseen theme continues playing]


    Announcer: Episode One. Never-Ending Circles by Gabriel Urbina.


    [Music fades]


    Harry (Voice Over): You ever get this feeling like there’s more to life than what you know? Like there has to more out there, somewhere? Waiting for you to find it. There has to be more, right?


    [Motors run, cars honk, cellphones ring, babies giggle and people chatter as they walk down sidewalks. We are, very suddenly, in London.]

    Harry: There’s a shop in London that no one ever sees. It’s in the middle of Covent Garden - on Floral Street, right across from the White Lion. One of the busiest places in the U.K. A hundred thousand people pass through it every single day.


    [The tromp of feet as large numbers of pedestrians walk by]


    Harry: And right in the middle of it, tucked between this ancient pub and some trendy cosmetics place, is a shop nobody notices.


    [Footsteps fade away] 


    Harry: I’m not being metaphorical, either. There’s literally a shop in London you can’t see. There’s no name on the outside of the shop, just a blank sign, which no one ever glances at, hung over a smooth, black door that no one ever goes through. There’s a window display, but it’s full of merchandise no one ever stops to look at. And I know what you’re thinking. It’s not tucked away in some nook or hidden by construction or anything like that. It’s out in the open, clear as day. And yet... no one ever notices it.

    [The din of street noise grows louder over the following:]


    Harry: And even if they do, no one ever goes in. They see it as something boring, or uninteresting, or they remember an important appointment they need to go to, right now. Even though they don’t have an important appointment at all. Just a plain black door, in front of a plain old shop, in the middle of the busiest city in the world. Standing there, day after day. Unseen.


    [The sounds of the street begin to fades]


    Harry: So... why doesn’t anyone see this fabulous shop? It’s complicated.


    Harry (giggling slightly): No, just kidding. It’s dead simple: magic, of course. Which is real, by the way. Just in case I’m the first to tell you: Magic? One-hundred percent real. Again, super literal. Actual magic, actually real, okay? Okay. Of course, just because something is real, doesn’t mean it’s... simple. That’d be too easy.


    [Harry sighs]


    Harry: But we’ll get to that in a moment. For now... here, come on in.


    [A door opens and a bell chimes as we enter a shop]


    Harry: This is Barrow’s.


    [Footsteps and a slight rustle as Harry walks behind the stop counter]


    Harry: The shop you can’t find unless you know how to look for it. Which sounds like a crap business model until you realize... ... if you discovered an honest-to-goodness a magic shop... would you ever shop anywhere else?


    [A magical device shimmers, tinkling]


    Harry: Yeah, I didn’t think so. Barrow’s is England’s - Europe’s, arguably - finest provider of Persuasion incantations, alchemical sundries, and wonder-working supplies. All of which is just a fancy-sounding way of saying we sell things that are magic, have magic, or help you do magic.


    [A whoosh as a magical device vents steam]


    Harry: It’s an amazing place, actually. You step in through the door and there’s all these... impossible things. Things you've spent your entire life thinking can't be real, except, suddenly, oh wait: there they are.


    [We hear the ticking of clockwork, the burning of fire, the thrum of book pages being thumbed through over the following:]


    Harry: Clockwork devices that fly on their own. Firelights that burn for months. Old books that tell you the real history of the world - the one we’ve all forgotten.


    Harry: Barrow’s is the best kept secret in London. I’ve been working at it for a little while now.


    [Harry exhales and makes a thoughtful noise]


    Harry: Oh! Right. Sorry. Sorry, I’m doing this a bit out of order, aren’t I?


    [Harry clears her throat]


    Harry: Harry Winter, at your service. Well...


    [Harry makes a small noise of distaste.]


    Harry: ...technically, Harriet Kerrin Winter. I know, right? Apparently the name’s a family thing. Never was much for it, but the final straw came when I was thirteen. Had this horrible old bag of a teacher, the kind who’d go out of her way to make you miserable to feel like she could. She was called “Harriet,” and I thought... Nope. No thank you. Harriet Kerrin? That’s a sad, mean old lady nobody cares about. That’s not me. But Harry Winter?


    [Musical score begins over the following:]


    Harry: Hell yeah. That’s me.


    [The sound of a slides clicking through a photo carousel]


    Harry: I was born in a little town called Selsey, on the English Channel.


    [A slide clicks, waves crash against a shoreline, and musical score begins to play over the following:]


    Harry: As a little girl, I used to go down to the beach and try to see all the way to the other side.


    [Seabirds caw to each other]


    Harry: On a clear day, I could almost make it out... this whole other world across the water.


    [A slide clicks]


    Harry: I went to school.


    [A young Harry writes with chalk writing on a blackboard]


    Harry: I made friends, and then I lost those friends over tiny things that seemed like they were the size of the whole universe.


    [Schoolyard shouting]


    Harry: I got into fights, and I failed quizzes.


    [A young Harry punches numbers on a calculator]


    Harry: And I learned maths tables -


    [The choral sounds of a planetarium display video]


    Harry: - and the names of planets, and always, always -


    [An alarm goes off]


    Harry: -did my homework at the last possible moment.


    [The alarm fades. A slide clicks. A car motor starts.]


    Harry: I went on long road trips with my mom. I thought she was the greatest and the worst and the smartest, most amazing, most awful woman in the world. I was right. We’d go on long holidays, and criss-cross the whole of this miserable, rainy, fascinating country. Also Wales.


    [Indistinct conversation in Welsh. A slide clicks.]


    Harry: I got older. Went to a bigger school. Studied new things.


    [A page turns as it is flipped]


    Harry: I got into reading.


    [A scream. A punch lands and a crowd gasps.]


    Harry: I got into fights. Like actual, proper fights -


    [A police siren goes off. A slide clicks.]


    Harry: - which got me into trouble.


    [Indistinct police dispatch chatter]


    Harry: Got me a record... which at the time I thought was pretty swish.


    [A slide clicks. There's the sound of Harry jogging]


    Harry: I started running. I hated it, but I was going through a period of my life where I thought I had to do things I hated. So... I ran.


    [Over the following, we get the low atmosphere of school and parties and concerts:]


    Harry: I ran to school, and back home. I ran to parties, and concerts, and all kinds of stupid places that seemed oh-so-important at the time.


    [Glasses clink. We hear the low chatter of a bar over the following:]


    Harry: I met new people. I had terrible drinks and said I loved them. I kissed boys who said they loved me, and I kissed girls and thought I might love them. And... I kept running.


    [A slide clicks.]


    Harry: I got older again. Went to Uni far away.


    [A door opens]


    Harry: It... didn’t stick.


    [A door closes. A slide clicks. A car motor starts.]


    Harry: Moved back in with mum. Went to another Uni. It stuck a bit more.


    [A slide clicks.]


    Harry: I decided I was going to make myself into a better person. I’d teach myself foreign languages.


    Harry: (flashback): Regardez-vous de près?


    Harry: I’d read more. I’d learn about politics, and have all kinds of smart opinions about things I couldn’t fix. It went okay. Until it didn’t.


    [A slide clicks. The indistinct atmosphere of a bar over the following:]


    Harry: My mum moved to London and I went with her. Met new people, made new friends. Made plans. Canceled plans. Lost friends.


    [A slide clicks.]


    Harry: I went to films, and I laughed, and failed to find a job. I shaved my head and instantly regretted it. I got into new music, and then I decided the new music sucked and I went back to my old music. I took lessons and looked for projects and helped my mum, and kept on running in these... these never-ending circles. And I ticked days off the calendar and every day, no matter what I did, I was always five minutes behind.


    [One final slide click and The hum of the photo carousel fades out]


    Harry: And then, one day, I looked up, and I’d been alive for a quarter of a century. And the entire time I’d been so focused on what I’d been doing that I’d never really thought about what I wanted to, y’know, do. And now that I was thinking about it...


    [Harry sighs]


    Harry: I had bugger all of an idea of what I should do with myself.


    [A bike bell dings twice. Street noise filters back in over the following:]


    Harry: So... I did what people do in that circumstance.


    Harry (flashback): ... it’s not a binding commitment, and it’d really help out with...


    Harry: I got a terrible job. This company in London hired me to stand in Earls Court for nine hours at a time, and convince people to sign petitions. Refugees, E.U. things, taxes, homelessness... whatever cause was in vogue.


    Harry (flashback): Are - are you sure that I can’t... Yeah, no, that’s all right. Have a good day.


    Harry: Like I said: terrible job. Every day, I tried to get hundreds of people to talk to me. If I was lucky, maybe... a dozen of them would give me the time of day. Mostly people looked right through me. That’s where I was the day I discovered magic is real. Which... uhck, God, I hate saying it like that. It really sounds all... wide-eyed and whimsical and sprinkled with pixie dust. Which just... it isn’t me. I do cool. Detached. That’s me.


    [Harry exhales]


    Harry: Not that day, though.


    [A transportive whoosh as we flash back to the day]


    Harry: That day was unbelievable.


    [Street and traffic noises filter in over the following:]


    Harry: It was the end of my shift. My back hurt, my feet were killing me, and I’d only gotten three sodding signatures.


    [The scratch of a pen on paper]


    Harry: It was just after dark. The lights had just come on.


    [The flicker of sodium street lights turning on]


    Harry: God, I can still see it so clearly.


    [A distant rumble]


    Harry: This sea of people in front me, looking up one by one as they started to hear it.


    [A gasp from the crowd]


    Harry: Then I heard it, and I looked up. And there it was, this-


    [The sound of a flame, and of motion - it's coming closer]


    Harry: -this big, angry, fiery red thing, streaking through the night sky.


    [The sound of a fire burning grows louder over the following:]


    Harry: The official story was that it was a meteor, one that burnt up a lot lower than they normally do. That’s what everyone else on that street saw and, honestly... that’s what I saw too. At first.


    [A burst of flame.]


    Harry: And then it was just... the strangest feeling. I remember feeling... lucky. For the first time in a long while, really. I was lucky to be standing in the middle of Earls Bloody Court. Lucky to be looking up at the sky and seeing this... this...


    [Metallic reverberations mix in with the sound of the fire and motion]


    Harry: What am I looking at? I remember that questions running through my mind just a moment before it happened. And then... I blinked.


    [A transportive whoosh, all the other sounds besides the musical score fade out.]


    Harry: And the world changed. It was like something just broke. Or like this muscle that had been stuck in place for ages finally loosened up. And I wasn’t seeing a meteor anymore. I was seeing what was really happening in the sky.


    [The sound of wind and fire resume, beating like birds' wings as the two magicians fly over London]


    Harry: It was these two people. Young, a guy and girl, hand in hand... surrounded by fire, flying over the London. And deep down, it made sense to me. Some people can fly. Of course they can. Why did I think they couldn’t? How did I forget that people can fly? Then...


    [Another whoosh]


    Harry: They were gone.


    [Footsteps resume as people keep walking down the street]


    Harry: And a thousand people shrugged, and went, “Well, never mind all that,” and just fell back into whatever they were doing.


    [Footsteps fade.]


    Harry: But I couldn’t. I just stood there, crying, like a complete prat. For hours. Okay, okay, enough of that. Horrible, treacly bit of history. But it really did happen. And it completely changed the way I see the world.


    [Harry walks down the street. Noises resume.]


    Harry: Whatever those two people broke in my mind? It wasn’t getting put back together. I could see magic now. And I started to see it everywhere. I’d see people making things fly, or making something catch fire, or making things vanish. And one day...


    [Harry's footsteps stop]


    Harry: I noticed a shop in Covent Garden. One that everyone walked by, and nobody paid any attention to. Except now I could see it. And I could see the sign that was hanging off its window: “Help wanted.” 


    [Click! The slide carousel whirs back to life]


    Harry: So I got a part-time job working in a magic shop. And it was the most amazing job in the world.


    [Click! The doorbell chimes as the door to Barrow's opens]


    Harry: Since only a handful of folks can even see the shop, everyone that came in was interesting or... messed up in weirdly absorbing ways. No boring customers at Barrow’s.


    [Click! The doorbell chimes as the door to Barrow's opens]


    Harry: Everyone that came in always had something fascinating they were trying to do. They wanted to make it snow on a summer’s day. Or, or, or they wanted to make a memory disappear. Or they were looking for a book on one of the ancient wars. The ones I’d never heard of. The ones that involved dragons.


    [Click! The register dings!]


    Harry: And we helped them, and they gave us money. They paid us. It was indecent.


    [Click! We hear the rattle of a crowbar and the squeak of a lid being removed as Harry unpacks packages.]


    Harry: Once a week we’d get shipments of new merchandise. Unbelievable stuff.


    [We hear odd ticking noises]


    Harry: Clocks that ran backwards, or which made strange things happen around them at midnight.


    [The bubbling of potions and whirr of machinery and the thump of books being stocked on a shelf over the following:]


    Harry: Potions that brewed themselves, and machines that put themselves together. Supplies for recipes I couldn’t understand, and books on how to do magic I... couldn’t. Not yet, at least. But one day I would.


    [A slide clicks! We hear Harry running on pavement.]


    Harry: I kept running. For exercise, for fun... but also because I was seeing new things. A whole new side of the world. Not quite on every street corner, but on any street corner.


    [A slide clicks! Restaurant atmosphere with light jazz playing in the background over the following:]


    Harry: I made new friends. Friends who could do impossible things with the snap of a finger. And every day the word...


    [There's a magical ding!]


    Harry: -Impossible meant a little less. I went out with people - men and women who could do literal magic. And as they took me out to dinner and made my appetizer dance around our plates, I thought to myself...


    [The jazz music slows down, as if a phonograph is winding down]


    Harry: “I love them. I love them.”


    [The jazz completely fades]


    Harry: “Please, God... let me love them.”


    [A silent beat, then a slide clicks! ]


    Harry: I wanted to know more about magic.


    [The rustle of books as Harry opens them and turns pages over the following:]


    Harry: I wanted to know everything. How it worked, where it started, why people couldn’t see it. Mr. Barrow let me borrow the books we didn’t sell, so I committed to giving myself an education. I started reading two books a week. Then... one book a week. Then half a book. And then...


    [Book noises stop]


    Harry: I wasn’t reading anymore. I started again. I stopped again. I didn’t know what was wrong with me.


    [A slide clicks!]


    Harry: And of course, I wanted to do magic. I was able to see it, so I should be able to do it... right? Well, I tried. And I didn’t get it. And, I tried again. And again. And I didn’t get it.


    [A slide clicks! We hear Harry running on pavement.]


    Harry: I told myself I wasn’t going to give up. I just needed to give it time. Just a bit of time, and then it would be amazing. I started and stopped. And started. And stopped. And started and stopped over and over again.


    [A slide clicks! Harry stops running. The door to Barrow's rings! ]


    Harry: And the entire time, I kept working at Barrow’s. Helping people with whatever impossible thing they were trying to do.


    [The door to Barrow's rings! There's a transportive whoosh!]


    Harry (flashback): Here, this one’s a little... friendlier than your old model, but should be plenty for what you need.


    [The door to Barrow's rings! There's a transportive whoosh!]


    Harry (flashback): No, no that’s no good for what you want. How about this new kit? Just got it in from California. The instructions make no sense, but I think you’ll do loads better with it.


    [The door to Barrow's rings! There's a transportive whoosh!]


    Harry (flashback): Okay, okay! But! Everyone says this takes a bit to get the hang of, so you’re not allowed to get discouraged and bring it back for at least a month, okay? Deal?


    [The door to Barrow's rings! There's a transportive whoosh!]


    Harry: Until one day... I wasn’t helping people do the impossible anymore. I was just...


    Harry (deflated): Helping Mr. McPhearson with a birthday present for his son. I wasn’t stocking strange clocks that could tell you everything except the time. I was just putting up the latest shipment of Dusk Keepers.


    [A slide clicks! And the carousel shuts off again]


    Harry: And one day, I looked up, and I’d been been working at Barrow’s for years. Even though it was the strangest shop in the world, it was still just a shop. And I... well, I was almost thirty, and what was I? Just a girl who works in a shop, with no idea what she wants to do with her life.


    [a silent beat]


    Harry: One day, I was helping a customer choose between two incantation books.


    Harry (flashback): ... look, you know what you need better than anyone, but, if you want my advice? Seurat is a lot easier to follow, and -


    [Knuckles rap on the glass pane of a door]


    Harry: There was this sound behind me. It was Mr. Barrow. My boss. He gestured towards the back of the store.


    Harry (doing Barrow's voice): “My office? When you get a moment?”


    [Harry walks back to Barrow's office]


    Harry: I’d always liked Mr. Barrow - he was strict but fair, and he worked longer hours than anyone at the shop, even though he owned the place. The only thing I didn’t like about him were his hands. He had these long, pale fingers, and the way they moved about always reminded me of spider’s legs.


    [A door opens and closes]


    Harry: He asked me to close the door and have a seat.


    [Barrows turns pages in a file. Harry sits down.]


    Harry: Once I’d done so, he asked,


    Harry (Barrow's voice): “Harry, how long have you been working here?”


    Harry: I didn’t know what he was getting at, so I just shrugged and said, “Four and a half years.” He frowned and said it was actually closer to five years, wasn't it? Something in my stomach writhed uncomfortably at that. I’m sure I mumbled something about:


    Harry (mumbling): “Sure, sure, if you say so.”


    Harry: Mr. Barrow said I was one of the senior employees now. One who knew the ins and outs of the shop best. That feeling in my stomach went from a writhe to a flail.


    [Harry coughs]


    Harry: By the time I focused back on what Mr. Barrow was saying, he was offering me a promotion.


    Harry (Barrow's voice): “Assistant manager, specifically,” he said. “It would mean more pay, of course, but also more responsibility. You’d have a more active role in acquisitions. Of course, you’d also have to work some weekends, be on call, that sort of thing.”


    [A silent beat]


    Harry: There was a long pause after that.


    [A silent beat]


    Harry: Like... quite long. Then I realized he was waiting for me to say something.


    Harry (flashback): Oh! Umm... well, Mr. Barrow, this is... this is quite a lot of, I mean, it’s very flattering. It’s just that... Can I think on it for a bit? And get back to you?


    Harry: He nodded and said -


    Harry (Barrow's voice): “Of course, but -”


    Harry: I didn’t hear whatever the rest of it was.


    [Harry gets up, walks out, and shuts the door behind her]


    Harry: I was out the door already.


    [A beat]


    Harry: A bit later, I was manning the till, but a million miles away. I was thinking about one of my least favorite questions in the world: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”


    [Harry makes a noise of disgust]


    Harry: People used to ask me that all the time. When I was a kid, obviously, but even way, way past that. When I was eighteen. When I was twenty-two. When I was twenty-four, which I really thought was a bit much. And then suddenly it just... stopped. Like a switch got flipped, and then suddenly, I was a grown-up. I was done. And whatever I was, that’s what I was going to -


    [A bell chimes]


    Harry: Hmm? Oh! Right, sorry, sorry. I was... somewhere else entirely...


    [The scanner beeps as Harry rings out the customer]


    Harry: I was rescued from that horrid train of thought by a customer wanting to get ringed out.


    [The scanner beeps twice]


    Harry: As I scanned the things she wanted, I stole a glance at her. She was young, couldn’t have been more than twenty-one or twenty-two. She had this fluorescent green fingernail polish, and a dip-dye do, and a torn-up tee for a band that I didn’t recognize. I know, I know in the eyes of the law this... creature was an adult, but she didn’t look that way to me. She looked like an infant. She looked brand new.


    [The scanner beeps twice]


    Harry: Then I looked at what she was buying. Advanced books. Heavy-duty alchemical ingredients. Some of the good wonder-working supplies, the kind you wouldn’t dare touch unless you knew what you were doing. This was someone who could do serious spell craft. She handed me her credit card, but I didn’t want to take her money. I wanted to sneer and order her to put these things back where she found them. I wanted to grab her by the lapels, give her a firm shake, and yell in her face, “Hey, it’s not your turn yet!”


    [The register dings and a bag rustles as Harry packs up the girl's items. The whirring noise of a receipt being printed, and a pen scratches on paper as the girl signs the receipt.]


    Harry: Instead I thanked her for shopping at Barrow’s, put her stuff in one of the nice bags, and told her to come back soon.


    [Harry sighs]


    Harry: Here’s the real problem. All my life, I’ve been so sure about what I don’t want to be. Boring. Drab. I don’t want to get a job teaching at a school where I’ll spend forty years as a not-even-glorified babysitter, and then retire to a little cottage and... and, and build bird-feeders or something!


    [The register slams shut.]


    Harry: No, that’s not me. I’m Harry Flippin’ Winter. I’ve always known I was going to be amazing. I was going to be a... rock star. Or a famous writer. Or... mm, one of those journalists that sends corrupts politicians to jail. Yeah. Yeah!


    Harry (deflated): Of course, you do need time to get good at whatever you want to do. I was never sure what I wanted to do so... I never got good at anything. They say practice makes perfect. That you can’t just snap your fingers and be magically good at something.


    [Harry snaps her fingers]


    Harry: Turns out that’s true for everything. Even magic.


    [The doorbell of the shop chimes as a customer walks in]


    Harry (to the customer): Hello, welcome to Barrow’s. How can I - oh, it’s just you, Charlie. How’s your week been? All right?


    Harry: Now, the man that just stepped in is one of our regulars. Most people just pop in when they’ve got a magical problem they need solved. But a few wayward souls come to Barrow’s every chance they get, and none more than the shuffling, bespectacled beanpole of a man that just popped in. But -


    [Harry sighs]


    Harry: - before we can talk about Charlie Driskol, I need to tell you about witnesses.


    [A click! and a warm buzzing sounds, as if an overhead projector has been turned on. ]


    Harry (slight echo, mic'ed for an imaginary TedTalk): Now, amongst the minority of people who know magic is real - we’re generally referred to as the Unseen World. Hi. - there’s a subgroup who... well, get a raw deal. We call them “Witnesses.”


    [Slide projector clicks!]


    Harry (slight echo, mic'ed for an imaginary TedTalk): These are people who are able to see past the thing that blocks most people from noticing magic: “The Caul.” But... they can’t actually do any magic themselves. It sucks.


    [Slide projector clicks!]


    Harry (slight echo, mic'ed for an imaginary TedTalk): We get witnesses at the shop every now and then - almost always young guys with this sad, desperate look in their eyes. And no one - no one - in the world is a bigger witness than Charlie Driskol.


    [Slide projector clicks!]


    Harry (slight echo, mic'ed for an imaginary TedTalk): I met Charlie my first week at Barrow’s. He’s been coming into the shop every Thursday, without fail, for years. Apparently, he’d figured out magic was real at fifteen -


    [Slide projector clicks!]


    Harry (slight echo, mic'ed for an imaginary TedTalk): - but more than twenty years later, he’s never managed to do a single spell. He’d spent a fortune on lessons and tutors, apparently, but none of it went anywhere. So now, he comes into Barrow’s and drops between a hundred and three hundred pounds on focusing agents, or beginners alchemy kits, or just... whatever’s new. Whether he can use it or not.


    [Slide projector clicks!]


    Harry (slight echo, mic'ed for an imaginary TedTalk): He’s not a bad guy. He’s decent, and polite, and hasn’t hit on me once, which is rarer than you might think. He knows a ton about magic at this point. But he’s just... a bit sad. He’s this sad bloke who works himself to bone at some advertising agency just so he can blow it all on trying to do something that he... just can’t. I’d find it all comical or pitiable or both if... well... if I wasn’t kind of in the same boat as him. Not that Charlie knows I can’t do magic. Not that... anyone knows I can’t do magic.


    [Slide projector clicks!]


    Harry: I say hi to Charlie, and he asks me how my week’s been. I lie and say fine. He zooms off in search of the augury books that have finally come in. Then, about fifteen minutes later he zooms back and drops three books in front of the till.


    [There's a thump! as Charlie puts the books down. Three beeping noises from the scanner over the following:]


    Harry: I scan the books, and I tell him it comes out to one-hundred and seventy-five quid. And I should have left it there. I should have left it there. Instead, I say -


    Harry (to Charlie): “Unless, of course, you think today’s the day.”


    Harry: See, Charlie and I have a standing bet. I don’t know exactly how or when it started but...


    [Harry sighs]


    Harry: Charlie’s a witness. Everyone knows Charlie’s a witness. I think - in fact, I sincerely pray - that even Charlie knows that Charlie’s a witness. So when he’s in the shop, he gets teased. Everyone does it. And my way of teasing... is a bet. Every time he buys something when I’m on shift, I go -


    Harry (to Charlie, flashback): “Tell you what, Charlie: do a bit of magic. Here’s a fifty-pee coin. If you can make it fly, or move, or do anything on its own... your order’s on the house.”


    Harry: And every time he tries, and nothing happens.


    [Harry exhales]


    Harry: I should have known better. But instead...


    [The clatter of a coin landing on the check out desk.]


    Harry (to Charlie): Go on then, Charlie. Do a bit of magic for us.


    Harry: Which was... mean and stupid and the biggest bloody boulder to throw from my incredibly delicate glass house. But... I threw it. And he looked at the coin and he just smiled at me and went, “You’re on!” Now here’s the thing about magic. It’s apparently all about what you do with your mind. I asked Mr. Barrow about it one time, and he went -


    Harry (mimicking Barrow's voice): The most common form of magic is called Persuasion, and it comes down to how you understand the world around you. You take something, something you know well, and look at it. You hold its image in your mind. You feel everything you know about it, you grasp the truth of it. And then... you introduce something new. “This chair is wooden. It was designed for someone to sit on. It is old, and it is worn. And...




    Harry (mimicking Barrow's voice): ...it’s on fire.” If your focus is good enough - if you really believe the change in your mind - it becomes true in the world, too.


    Harry: Or something like that. He said it better. The point is: magic’s a dance between you and your head. And, unfortunately... until the it starts actually happening, someone trying to make it happen looks an awful lot like a middle-aged man staring really intently at a coin. But... there was something different about it this time. This time I found myself hoping that he was able to do it. Maybe, just maybe...


    [Harry huffs, frustrated]


    Harry: And then he shrugged, and gave me a lopsided little grin, and shook his head.


    [The coin jingles and clatters as Charlie pushes it back across the desk]


    Harry (imitating Charlie): “Not today, I suppose,” he said. “Maybe next week.”


    Harry: And when I didn’t reply, he got this strange look in his face.


    Harry (imitating Charlie): “Hey, Harry, you all right?”


    Harry: And I really wasn’t all right. Because at that moment, I was struck by a vision of the rest of my life. Of me, standing behind this counter staring at Charlie, as he stared at a coin that refused to do anything even remotely magic-related.


    [The ringing of many coins being pushed across the desk, over and over again over the following:]


    Harry: Over and over and over again. Until we were in our forties. Our fifties.


    [Coin noises stop]


    Harry: Until I realized that I was getting on and should find a new assistant manager to take over. Charlie asked me again: “You okay? You’re looking a little pale.” I didn’t have an answer, so I didn’t say anything. I just, you know, turned around and tried to run out of the shop.


    [Sound of Harry running]


    Harry: This was made difficult by the enchanted mirror we’d gotten that morning, and which I forgot was leaning against the part of the counter I needed to get through.


    [An echoing hit as Harry knocks into the mirror]


    Harry: I smacked into it, it smacked into the floor, and...


    [Sound of the mirror shattering into a thousand pieces]


    Harry: Ooohh. Seven year’s bad luck, it it? Bring it on, I suppose...


    [Crunch of glass being swept up as Harry and Charlie clean up the mirror]


    Harry: Charlie helped me clean up the glass. He even offered to pay for it so Mr. Barrow wouldn’t get mad at me, which was too much.


    Harry (fast and low): I really feel quite guilty about taking him up on the offer.


    [More sweeping and tinkling of glass over the following:]


    Harry: As we swept up the bits of enchanted mirror, Charlie asked me what was wrong. I want to tell him I just was having a bad day, but for whatever reason, it slipped out, and I went -


    Harry (to Charlie): Barrow’s offered me a promotion and I don’t know if I want it or not.


    Harry: Which made him look at me like I was mental.


    Harry (imitating Charlie): “How is that a problem? Of course you want it. This is the greatest job in the world!”


    Harry: And Charlie would say that. But I shake my head and tell him... No. It’s... just a job. A good one, but just a job. And I want to be more than a girl who works in a shop. Which of course, makes him go, “Right. So... what do you want to do?"


    [A silent beat]


    Harry: The silence was truly deafening. I don’t know. I tell him I don’t know. He just looks at me. And a funny light comes into his eyes. He asks me what time I get off work - there’s something I should see. I start to wave him off.


    Harry (to Charlie): It’s stupid, I don’t -


    Harry: - he interrupts and reminds me that he just paid for an eight-hundred pound mirror that I just broke. So, I tell him that I get off at half past nine. He nods and tells me to meet him outside the shop then.


    [The shop doorbell chimes as Charlie walks out of Barrow's]


    [Street atmosphere of pedestrians walking by and chatting comes in over the following:]


    Harry: The rest of the shift went by quietly. We didn’t get a lot of other customers, and I didn’t destroy any other priceless artifacts in the middle of a panic attack. It’s the small mercies.


    [The click of a lock turning.]


    Harry: Charlie was already there by the time I was done closing up for the night. I asked him what he wanted to show me. He just smiled and told me to follow him.


    [Footsteps on pavement as Charlie and Harry walk.]


    Harry: We didn’t talk much. We’d never really hung out anywhere other than the shop. So we just walked in silence. He led us away from Covent Garden, away from the more crowded streets.


    [Footsteps on grass as Charlie and Harry walk.]


    Harry: Eventually I realized we’d walked to one of the parks. We followed one of the trails for a bit, and came up on a wooded area. And then, all of a sudden, the trees opened up into a clearing. And in that clearing there were... maybe sixty people?


    [Crowd sounds]


    Harry: People doing amazing things.


    [Sounds of magic: zaps, bubbles, flames, the rush of air and water]


    Harry: People enchanting fire to make it dance. People walking on air. People making water flow backwards. It was a magical street fair. A few performers doing tricks for tips, entertaining the magical community of London. It was wonderful. And... And it had nothing to do with me.


    [A shimmering metallic sound as a magician does a trick. A crowd reacts with gasps and applause.]


    Harry: Some magician that was miles better than I’d ever be flicked her wrist, and the world around her changed. And everyone around her loved it and cheered and I wanted to die.


    [Harry sighs.]


    Harry: And that’s when Charlie - sweet, innocent, Charlie Driskol - changed my life. Because he pointed at the magician that had just made the crowd lose its mind and said, “Are you watching closely?” I frowned, not sure what he was getting at. I took another look... and then my jaw dropped. Because I knew that magician. It was the girl in the shop from earlier today. The one I’d wanted to run out of town. And somehow, in that moment, through the crowd, she saw me, and she smiled and waved.


    [ A water spell goes off]


    Harry: And I spun around, and saw another one of the performers. Another one of our regulars, actually.


    Harry (memory): The instructions make no sense. But I think you’ll do loads better with it.


    [An electric zap as another spell goes off!]


    Harry: And then I saw the magician behind them. A young man. I’d helped him pick out his first magic book, actually.


    Harry (memory): You’re not allowed to get discouraged and bring it back for at least a month, okay? Deal?


    Harry: He glanced out in the crowd, and then did a double take when he saw me. He waved like he was recognizing an old friend. Everyone there, all the performers... They’d gotten their start in magic through Barrow’s. That weird feeling in my stomach was back, but now? It felt fine. It was this weird... deep, pleasant fullness. I realized I had done something amazing. I’d done it without even knowing it.


    [More spells go off with zaps and dings!]


    [Footsteps as Charlie and Harry walk back into the city]


    Harry: Charlie and I watched the performers for a few hours that night. I laughed, I cried, I gasped out loud a whole bunch. It was all deeply uncool and undignified. I loved it. I loved all of it. As we walked back into the city, Charlie didn’t have to say a thing. I heard it all in my head. Maybe being a girl in a shop isn’t the worst thing that could happen to me. Maybe one day, I’ll be something else. But... I don’t think I’m ever going to grow past what I am if I don’t let myself be it first.


    [The footsteps stop.]


    Harry: I stopped in the middle of the street, and took a deep breath.


    [Harry inhales, and exhales. ]


    Harry: It felt like the first time I’d breathed in months. The first time oxygen reached every part of me. It was going to be okay. I was going to be okay.


    [Beat, then musical score over the following:]


    Harry: There’s a shop in London that can’t be seen. Hundreds of thousands of people walk past it every day and don’t even notice it’s there. But if you see it... if you suddenly notice something out of the corner of your eye... come on in. I work there. I just started this week as assistant manager. And personally? I would love to help you find what you need to start doing magic.


    [The shop door chimes as a customer walks in]


    Harry (to customer): Hello, welcome to Barrows! My name is Harriet. How can I help you today?


    [Musical score transitions to Unseen theme music.]


    Announcer: This has been UNSEEN, by Long Story Short Productions, based on an original idea by Gabriel Urbina, with additional conceptual design work by Sarah Shachat. Today’s episode was written and directed by Gabriel Urbina, with script editing by David K. Barnes. It starred Dottie James in the role of Harry Winter. Original Music by Alan Rodi, and sound design by Zach Valenti. UNSEEN is produced by Sarah Shachat, Zach Valenti, and Gabriel Urbina, along with Angel Acevedo, Jenn Schneider, and Amy Tanguay. For more information on the Unseen World, please visit Unseen.Show. Thank you for listening.


    [Music fades out.]


    End of Episode.