Adapted form So Say We All’s literary horror anthology series, Black Candies, the roughly 30-minute first installment consists of two short narratives.
After a witty introduction from So Say We All’s Program Director/editor/producer, Jennifer D. Corley, audiences listen to a tale about an unhappy, unfulfilled, unnamed New York English teacher (voiced by Rhianna Basore) and her boyfriend, David (voiced by Salomon Maya), called This is a Ghost Story. Despite the fact that she never met David’s departed fiancée, Eliza, the teacher is haunted by her passing.
David’s girlfriend begins to obsess about Eliza on All Souls’ Day, after he goes alone to her grave. When he returns home, it becomes clear that David’s girlfriend is not satisfied with their romantic relationship.
The New Yorker becomes increasingly distraught after seeing a woman who looks like Eliza on a train.
Writer, Juliet Escoria, leaves it up to listeners to decide whether the female protagonist is being haunted by the spirit of Eliza, or if she is suffering from a psychological breakdown.
Basore is disturbing, when vocally acting out a world-weary attitude, and Maya is able to capture both David’s surface level kindness and emotionally distant personality.
Following the first tale is Kayla Miller’s dystopian narrative, Today We Go to Noah’s Ark.
Narrated by Yolanda Marie Franklin, she describes the aftermath of a future where animals are endangered.
In order to fix the issue, the solution is to put most living animals from the land, air and sea, in an ark, which becomes the main attraction of a theme park.Miller writes in a descriptive and peaceful style, using positive language to depict the park. Her writing slowly builds up to an unsettling payoff, that Franklin is able to convey through her narration.
Franklin matches Miller’s prose, speaking in an upbeat and calm manner. Her cheerful vocals help make the conclusion more shocking, as her tone slowly becomes serious and ominous.
Because of both unnerving plots, episode one of Listen with the Lights Off leaves a lasting and memorable impression. I would recommend listening to it in a dark and quiet room.