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For the Record, Episode 8: The Shifting



Rangi: Good lord, that’s… quite a stack.

India: Yup. And they haven’t been organised in the… six years they’ve been here.

Jules: Seven, actually.

Rangi: [INCREDULOUS] Seven? Why were they never taken to the statement archives?

India: That was around the time when Emeline had her accident, right?

Jules: Indeed. Since she was indisposed, the man who was Head of Storage before me, Howard Philips, simply put the names and locations in the system, and decided to temporarily use this backroom to store them. Nobody has thought to move them since.

India: [SIGHS] Looks like it’ll be a long day for us, then. Jules, you take that red box and these two folders, Rangi, you take the big clear box, and I’ll work on the loose papers.

Jules: That works for me.

Rangi: Hey, hey hey, hold on, since when are you calling the shots?

Jules: I believe Emeline put her in charge.

Rangi: Well this is going to be a mess.

India: Rangi, honestly! I am technically your superior!

Rangi: Yeah, yeah… Polyhedron Investments, you said?

Jules: Polyhedron Holdings.

Rangi: [SARCASTICALLY] What a delightfully bland name. And why did Emeline need this?

India: I sent you an email about it.

Rangi: Oh I don’t read those.

India: [EXASPERATED]  I- you know what? Nevermind. [SIGHS] The name came up in a new case Emeline is working on. Apparently the trail’s gone dead and she’s wondering if this case has anything to do with it.


Rangi: Well this could be a start. Statement number… 0110206. Statement of Charlie Brimley, regarding his escape from Polyhedron Holdings.

India: Alright, that was fast! I’ll go grab the tape recorder.     Jules: It’s already been running.

Rangi: What!? Why?

Jules: I am required to document the entire search process for my report.

India: Just read the statement, Rangi.

Rangi: Fine. [CLEARS THROAT]


Statement of Charlie Brimley, regarding his escape from Polyhedron Holdings. Original statement given the 6th of February, 2011. Audio recording by Rangi Fawler, research assistant at the Manchester Paranormal Collective.

Statement begins.

I only worked at Poly for about a week, and I wasn’t there for the incident, but what I saw was plenty strange on its own.

I mean, you probably heard all about the Shifting from my co-workers, and I can assure you it was BAD. In the days before I left we could count on about ten shifts an hour, most of them severe. Thinking back, I have no idea why I didn’t just leave before but… I guess the thought never really occurred to me. It was like we were all in this kind of daze. It felt like the most normal job in the world. 

It wasn’t until Yuri disappeared that I finally came to my senses.

Yuri was the one who’d sort of helped me out on my first day, and I came to learn that that was definitely not usual. I mean, people would just appear out of nowhere and stumble around until they half figured out what they were supposed to be doing. None of us REALLY knew what we were doing, but we got by. We got the assignments, and we did our thing. I think. I don’t… I don’t really remember exactly what the assignments even were.

It was the morning of the incident when I got on the elevator. It seemed there were 12 floors that day, which was quite a lot. I punched in a random number, and up I went. First floor, second floor… On the third floor, the elevator stopped. The doors slid open, and in stepped Yuri. I remember that his presence made me feel safe. He carried a stack of paperwork, and he was smiling. Yuri was the only one at Poly who ever smiled.

Fourth floor, fifth floor, we stood soundlessly beside each other in the flickering light. Sixth floor, seventh floor, and then… The display went blank. I looked at Yuri, but his smile had faded, and I watched as his eyes glazed over. The doors slid open, and a deep purple light streamed in. Before me, I saw a gigantic room. It was larger than any of the floors had previously been, I was sure, even larger than the building was from the outside, though that meant frightfully little here. In the middle of all that empty space, filled with an eerie purple, was a spiral staircase. It was small, made of roughly hewn blocks, and it had no rails or sides. It spiralled up and up and up to the ceiling, and disappeared into the purple. 

I reached over to grab a hold of Yuri out of shock, but I saw he was already walking forward, his mechanical footsteps echoing unnaturally loudly on the purple floor. Before I could dash after him, the doors snapped shut like a hungry maw, and Yuri was gone. 

Eighth floor. I ran out of the elevator and pressed myself against the carpeted floor. I held my breath, closed my eyes, and as I focused, I could faintly hear his footsteps fading into the distance.

I looked around me, saw the sheepish faces of my co-workers, and realized the insanity of the place I’d just accepted for all this time. In a panic, I ran back into the elevator.

There was no empty floor on the way down. The lobby was clear when I stepped into it, and the doors opened when I approached. I meant to come back sometime soon, when I’d gathered my courage, but the very next day the building crumbled to dust, and I never saw Yuri again.

Statement ends   [BRIEF SILENCE]

India: Okay, well… That leaves us with a lot more questions than answers. Ugh, I wish Eleanor and Sophie were here. I don’t know how they do it, but they burn through paperwork like it’s nothing.

Rangi: Actually, shouldn’t the archive crew be doing all of this? They’re all about sticking their noses in dusty paperwork and such. Didn’t we hire them just to sort out the backlog? THIS is the backlog. It needs sorting out.

Jules: I believe miss Creek is on sick leave. She’s been unwell since processing the statement of Ferd O’Flynn.

Rangi: And Sophie?

India: Sophie went back to America for the weekend. One of her grandparents is ill.

Rangi: Fat load of good they are.

Jules: I’ve found them very pleasant to work with.

Rangi: Alright buddy, if you say so.

Jules: I do.

Rangi: Right.

Jules: I’ve also found another statement that may be relevant

Rangi: Could have said that up top

Jules: You were busy

India: Both of you, cut it out! Jules, read the statement please. Is the tape still rolling?

Jules: Yes, I’ll keep it rolling for as long as we’re here

India: Alright then, go ahead


Statement of Ivy Danielewski regarding their employment at a South London company. Original statement given the 12th of February 2011. Audio recording by Jules, head of artifact storage at the Manchester Paranormal Collective.

Yeah, I was there on the day that it happened. I’d been there for a long while, too. I don’t remember much from that time, but looking back it must have been about five or six months. In the past weeks I’ve talked to a few survivors, and pieced together some stuff. You may already know it all, but here goes, anyway.

When I first got there, I think the place was only just starting to get… Weird. Someone told me it used to be a pretty normal investment company, but one day there was a change of ownership. Employees were expecting a shift in company direction, probably some layoffs, at least an introduction from the new CEO, but whoever they were, they stayed silent. Business continued as usual. Then, people started getting lost. Not permanently, and not seriously, but they’d just go to the bathroom or step out for a smoke and get turned around. It even happened to people who’d been working there for years. There were a few raised eyebrows, some jokes, but nobody took it all too seriously. Some people were found staring glassy-eyed at doors in silent hallways, and had to be nudged awake. They’d flash a watery smile, shake their heads, and walk off in another direction, eventually returning quietly to their desks. 

Then came the subtle shifts.

A door moved a few meters. A desk disappeared. After a week or two, nobody could find the stairs to the sixth floor. Gradually, things started getting stranger. It was around the time when I joined the company that people regularly found themselves in rooms they’d never seen before. On my second day at work I went to the bathroom, only to find that behind the door where I was pretty sure it had been before was a sparsely lit depot of old computers. The strangest part was that the carpeting here, which was a dull grey everywhere else, was bright green. That was something they all had in common. The monotonous design of the office never quite extended to these new rooms.

I know I sound like I was perfectly aware during this time, but I can assure you, I wasn’t. It was like we were all slowly suffocating. You don’t notice how everything gradually gets blurry, how you can’t quite think straight, until it all goes dark and it’s too late.

I found myself in one of the back rooms. They’d now taken over the majority of the building. They took up entire floors, floors that weren’t there before, and all the while the building looked identical from the outside. The room was tall, very tall, and slim. Almost more like a hallway, except both sides were dead ends. High up above, industrial lights flickered, and the carpet was thick. Unnaturally thick, like wild grass, and blood red. I don’t know how I ended up there. The only thing present in the room were shelves, going on and on up to the ceiling, filled with everyday objects. Lost umbrellas, broken cameras, cat toys, single shoes, dusty carpets, everything. I looked around sluggishly, and saw a grate between the shelves. It was just a few meters above me. I remember climbing up, objects falling around me, the shelves buckling under my weight, until I could squeeze through the grate. I fell into an office of sorts, it seemed quite normal, and it actually had windows looking out. I stared at the open sky, unsure of how long I’d been shambling through these rooms in a daze, when it happened. 

It was a rumbling. I later learned it went through the whole building. Something snapped, and all at once, everything was wrong. The windows were curved mirrors, reflecting a warped version of me, the ceiling was starting to gradually lower, and when I took a step and it splashed, I realised the room was filling with water. I raced out, through a door, into a series of plastic tunnels like a children’s playplace. I threw myself down a slide, rolled out, into a break room filled with mannequins. Each had a picture of one of my co-workers stapled to its face. On and on, squeezing through red hot vents, a room covered in plastic plants like a jungle, through a gaping hole in the floor, and finally, down into a normal office space. It was a huge, sprawling hall, filled with desks, and on each chair stood a misty eyed person, perfectly still. It was silent, save the loud breathing of maybe fifty people, pumping the stale office air in and out.

I couldn’t take it, not anymore. I ran into the bathroom and saw… Light. There was a small window high up, I wrenched it open, climbed up onto the door of one of the stalls, and wriggled my way out, back into the world. I dropped maybe a meter or three, onto stone tiles. When I looked up, I saw a clear sky, and a building, flashing bright colours, every floor spinning on its own, in different directions, at different speeds. From every floor people were falling down, and  landing on the sidewalk with sickening cracks. But the air in my lungs was clean. And I was free.

Statement ends.

Rangi: Bloody hell

India: Yeah…

Rangi: Didn’t figure you for such a storyteller, Jules

Jules: I don’t often have to.

India: I uhm.. While you were reading, I found another. This one was buried pretty deep. It has a picture attached.


Rangi: Looks grim. Basically like every office building I’ve ever worked at.

Jules: I will scan the picture for our database.

India: Shall I?

Rangi: Well go on, don’t leave us hanging.

India: I just.. I’ve never done one of these before, hold on.


India: Statement of Ib Martinsson regarding… Regarding the death of Yuri Golovin. Original Statement given on the 7th of June, 2012. Audio recording by India Hadnell, head of research at the Manchester Paranormal Collective.  

Oh, there’s a page missing.

Jules: It will be around here somewhere

Rangi: Christ, just read the thing, India, I need to know what happened.


Rangi: I’m invested, alright?

India: Right.


Statement of Ib Martinsson, page 2.

…the hallway was… well I can’t describe it any other way than sideways. There was carpeting on the left wall, blinded windows on the ceiling, and lights on the right wall. They were bright green, I think, maybe blue. If I looked far off into the distance, it seemed as if the hallway was twisting, moving, but by the time I reached it, it seemed perfectly still. Though this space went on for much further than ever should have been possible inside the office building, I knew I was going deeper into the innards of Polyhedron Holdings. Into nowhere.

I didn’t look back. I didn’t want to see if what was left of Ava was still following me, somehow. If she’d found a way to survive that gruesome fall. There was no water here, no moving walls, no paralyzed co-workers staring blankly into space. Just the hallway. And at the end… An elevator. 

Its doors opened, and in the reflection in the mirror wall I saw that behind me, the hallway was contorting itself wildly, changing colours, shrinking and growing, whole sections whipping back and forth like a tortured snake. When I gathered the courage to look over my shoulder, everything was static as it had been the whole time. I took a deep breath, and entered.

The doors snapped shut. I didn’t feel the elevator move, but when they opened again a few moments later, I found myself in the middle of… chaos. It wasn’t a room. There were no walls, no ceiling, just swirling fog, flashing every colour of the rainbow, and even more. It flowed and crept, covering ruined remains of bizarre architecture. There were crumbling stairs going in loops, twisting walkways, floating platforms, all in dozens of styles, states of disrepair, and equally useless. I wanted to stay in the elevator, but I had only just taken in the view when my little safe haven fell apart like a house of cards. The ceiling fell on my head, but it wasn’t heavy. It was made of cardboard.

I was stuck. I looked behind me. I was standing on tiles, a kitchen floor, maybe. But the tiles kept rearranging themselves like a living mosaic. On the edge of the platform, where the boiling mist hissed and convulsed, I saw… Fingers. Like someone was hanging there. I ran towards it, but the ledge was much closer than I anticipated, and I toppled over onto… The wall. I was lying down on a wall, and beside me was a familiar face. It was Yuri, Yuri Golovin, one of my co-workers. He was the only person from the company I could still clearly remember, because of his smile.

He was still smiling, but with sad eyes. He opened his mouth to say something, and all that came out was a terrible squeaking sound. I tried to reply, to comfort him, to ask where we were, but somewhere in my throat, the words changed into white noise. He nodded as if he understood, placed his free hand on my shoulder, and pushed me down. But I fell upwards and landed roughly on the ceiling. At least, I thought. When I looked up, I saw I was now above the tile floor where I’d originally landed, except it was arranged into the shape of a face, smiling up at me.

I looked at Yuri, who began to convulse. A hand reached out from his mouth, and, defying all rules of physics, a tall, inhumanly thin figure, whose skin colour and wildly waving hair seemed to shift a dozen times a second, crawled out of Yuri’s open mouth. It stood up to its full height, unfolding its torso, and wrapped one of its tube-like arms around Yuri’s head. It reached out into the mist with the other hand and pulled out what looked like a large, concrete replica of a human heart. A beating heart. As its fingers dug into it, I heard the building grind and creak, and images flashed, projected in the mist, of the offices shifting once more.

Suddenly, Yuri pushed himself off, and grabbed the creature’s hair. They fell upwards to where I lay, and he stood beside me, the creature dangling by its hair in his grip. The heart fell from the creature’s hands, up to us, and I ran to catch it, but Yuri was far, far away from me. In the distance, he waved at me, and the noise that erupted from his mouth sounded like…


Then, he let the creature fall away into the mist, took the heart, and smashed it on the ground. There was a rumbling, and the fog shifted to a deep purple. I saw buildings crumble, and fall every way, I saw a bright flash, and as I felt myself imploding out of this space, I barely made out the slowly disintegrating form of Yuri.

I was found in the rubble of Polyhedron Holdings on the second day of the search.

Yuri was not.

Statement ends


India: I… I think that’s enough for today

Rangi: [DISGRUNTLED] Yeah, I… Yeah

Jules: [WEAKLY] I’ll go write up the report…

India: No, I think we can all take an afternoon off. I’ll let Emeline know.

Rangi: [LAUGHS NERVOUSLY] You do you, I’m not going near that woman voluntarily

India: Jules, the recorder?

Jules: Of course, sorry.


This episode of For The Record was written and directed by Floris “Swiftly” Bordewijk. It was edited by Jo Mendacium, produced by Lily A. Dewald, and starred Rangi P. Teaukura as Rangi Fawler, Shalhevet Ebner as India Hadnell, and AJ McLoughlin as Jules. It used sounds from, under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License. For full accreditation, see the show notes. To be kept up to date on new episodes, submit your statement, or to get involved in production, you can follow us on Twitter @ftrecordpod, on Tumblr at fortherecordpod or view our website at Stay safe, take care, and stay on the path.