Ep. 15 -- Traffic Report


When the scariest thing is what's on the news. Warning: the following episode contains explosive and other unpleasant sounds--literal, figurative, and satirical. Proceed with caution or follow along with the transcript here. Welcome, weary travelers, to The Inn Between. Join Gabriela Jones, a recent botany undergrad, in her new job as Innkeeper near the rural town of Shearwater.

New episodes bi-weekly on the quarter moon. Written and read by Bailey Loveless

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A huge thank you to our voice actors for their performances!


  • Matthew Forrest (Carl Tuckerson) likes acting and cats. He is excited to be on this podcast.
  • Nicole Mischke (Carmen) is an interdisciplinary artist living in Port Angeles, WA. She enjoys gardening, performing, and a good meal. 
  • Shannon Cosgrove (Karen Shelley) lives and writes in the upper left tip of WA state. When not watching people, she’s writing about them.
  • Zade (Frank Simmons) says this is the first time he's done a podcast and he's pretty excited to see how it turns out. He loves being on stage and making people laugh. He's 17, a junior in high school, and hoping to get more podcasts underneath his belt.
  • Ken (Johnny Brown) is a retired high school English and history teacher who has a love for community theater and is happy to be able to participate in all types of productions. 

Submit your prose and poetry to be featured on season two! Read guestbook submission guidelines here

LAND ACKNOWLEDGMENT: This podcast is inspired by and recorded on the Indigenous lands of the Coast Salish people of the Pacific Northwest. We celebrate and honor these ancestral lands and their stewards--past, present, and future.

THEME MUSIC: Yonder Dale / Tiny Surprises /

All music and sound effects courtesy of www.epidemicsound.com

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The following episode contains explosive and other off-putting noises—some literal, some figurative. Please proceed with caution.


GABRIELA JONES: Welcome, weary travelers, I’m Gabriela Jones, the new innkeeper of The Inn Between, where the trees are green, the rooms are cozy, and the guests are only a little bit strange—


CARL TUCKERSON: Good morning everybody, this is Carl Tuckerson—

CARMEN:—And I’m the female co-host whose name you don’t remember—

CARL TUCKERSON: —Here on the Seattle Radio Morning Show, your trusted source for stories and news coverage around the city.

CARMEN: This morning, we received a report about bad traffic today.

CARL TUCKERSON: Bad traffic in Seattle? Doesn’t sound like there’s anything unusual about that.

CARMEN: You wouldn’t think so, Tuckerson, but apparently, it’s some kind of weather-related incident and not just the usual I-5 slip and slide. We’ll keep you folks updated as we learn more, but in the meantime, expect delays and stay safe out on those congested, sopping wet with zero visibility 65-mile-per-hour roads.

CARL TUCKERSON: When you say it like that, it sounds a little bit like a running nose.

CARMEN: Kind of like the one I’m getting right now from all this pollen in the air.

CARL TUCKERSON: Yes, the hikers of Seattle, a community of avid nature lovers and strong historical ties to the outdoors, find themselves constantly baffled each year by a wave of devastating seasonal allergies, typically lasting from February to as far as November. Now, these allergies are not just inconvenient, but dangerous. It’s even been argued they pose a serious threat to our culture and way of life. How are we supposed to keep hiking and walking our dogs on our two days off a week with this ongoing assault on our nasal cavities? A protest is set for later this afternoon outside the capital to demand better outdoor recreation conditions.

CARMEN: Yeah, Tuckerson, it’s a serious tissue—excuse me—issue, and some policy around that could really make a difference in those couple hours each week when I’m not at work.


CARL TUCKERSON: Sorry for the disruption everyone. I’m getting an update that another protest—unrelated—is happening nearby, and while there’s not any immediate danger, we may have some noise in the background.


CARMEN: Another protest? Is it the right or the left?

CARL TUCKERSON: No one seems sure at this time.


CARMEN: And with that, here’s this upcoming week’s weather forecast:

Monday: cloudy

Tuesday: cloudy

Wednesday: cloudy with enough wind chill to pull out your Patagonia fleece and wear socks under your Birkenstocks

Thursday: rainy but not so rainy that you can’t go outside without a coat

Friday: cold enough in the morning that you’ll put on a wool sweater, humid enough in the afternoon to wish you were wearing a tank top, and by evening your armpits will have turned into a new ecosystem

Saturday: enough sun to satisfy weekend warriors

Sunday: we’ll just have to see when we get there

CARL TUCKERSON: Sounds like a great week of weather, Carmen. Speaking of the weather, I’m just getting an update on the traffic report coming from Seattle. Apparently, the source of the delay has been located at an intersection down on Aurora Avenue.  Authorities are warning drivers and pedestrians to proceed with caution as several vehicles have slid off the road and into the bushes. No major injuries at this time.

CARMEN: You know, Tuckerson, I was reading a discussion online the other day about which street was the most beautiful in Seattle, and I saw Aurora Avenue mentioned several times.

CARL TUCKERSON: As the most beautiful?

CARMEN: As the ugliest. Speaking of which, Keep Seattle Beautiful, a privately funded campaign with ties to Seattle’s massive industrial district has proposed a new initiative to clean up the waterfront. Spokesmen for the initiative have assured us that there are no conflicts of interest involved and the project is totally unrelated to recent accusations of harmful industrial waste in Seattle harbors. More news coming on that later tonight.

CARL TUCKERSON: In other local news, in several school districts, parents have proposed to remove the word unicorn from classrooms, citing concerns over indoctrination and teaching kids to believe in things that aren’t real. A group of teachers responded with an open letter, insisting the only kind of indoctrination they’re doing is telling students to put their cell phones away during class.

This is what Karen Shelly, a concerned parent had to say:

KAREN SHELLY: Well, I think this just makes our concern all the more valid. They just admitted that indoctrination is happening. This is a real issue, and too many people are uneducated, just sitting back and not even paying attention. I mean what’s next? Teaching anatomy using a centaur? It’s got to stop.

CARMEN: You know, I totally understand her concerns. Too many people just sitting back and not paying attention. I wonder how many of you listeners are on your phones right now not paying any attention to us.

CARL TUCKERSON: Anyway, here’s another update from the traffic scene. We are getting an unusual report and need to make a correction. City workers on sight have determined the traffic is not weather-related but due to a kind of electrical interference. Traffic operators are reporting glitches in the lights at the intersection.

CARMEN: Several more cars have slid off Aurora Avenue and onto the sidewalk. Currently, the only injury is a bicyclist who couldn’t decide if he was a vehicle or a pedestrian. Many drivers are also reporting their car radios spontaneously turning on of their own accord and hearing “alien static” as they approach the intersection. Authorities are asking the public not to worry about extraterrestrial invasions at this time.

CARL TUCKERSON: A valid fear however as the current administration has left our borders wide open to alien invasions—

CARMEN—Oh umm—

CARL TUCKERSON: (SPEAKING OVER HER) Joining us is Frank Simons, professor at the University of Washington and expert in electrical radio engineering, who has been called to the scene; how’s it going Frank? 

FRANK: It’s interesting down here. Lots of cars on the side of the road, traffic not moving. And then there’s the cloud.

CARMEN: The cloud?

FRANK: Yes. Around the traffic lights. 

CARL TUCKERSON: Frank, this is the first we are hearing about the cloud. Tell us more about the cloud. 

FRANK: Oh. It’s basically an electromagnetic field—

CARL TUCKERSON:—Uh. for those listeners that don’t know what that is, could you please describe its attribute, for our listeners? Is it visible to the naked eye?

FRANK: Yes. It’s uh probably a few feet long. It resembles a storm cloud, but it appears sentient as if it were alive.

CARMEN: We’re getting reports of people’s car radios spontaneously turning on their own. Are you seeing that there, Frank?

FRANK: Yes, in layman’s terms, there is an unusual amount of radio frequency activity coming from the cloud. It’s interfering with communications and the traffic lights. I’m listening in right now and seeing if there are any discernible communications coming through on any of—


CARL TUCKERSON: Oh looks like we lost him. Let’s try to get him back on the line. But while we wait for more news from the scene, here’s a headline for you, Carmen. Gunpoint robber confused by free ramen shop. An unidentified man held up Johnny Brown,  the owner of a new, local ramen establishment, by gunpoint. Johnny says the man was baffled when he learned there was no money in the cashier. 

CARMEN: Yes, the ramen shop which opened last month, is by donation only via online payment. Johnny, the restaurant owner, says, when the would-be-robber learned he could have a meal free of charge, he put the weapon away, and they talked over a bowl of noodles. Here’s what Johnny had to say.

JOHNNY BROWN: No, I wasn’t scared. He might have had the gun, but I think he was more scared than I was. So just I invited him to just have some food. As we ate, I learned he used to work at a business that was taken over by a large corporation and was fired without leave or pension. My god, he didn’t just lose his job. He lost his house, his wife, and said he’d been on the streets trying to figure out how to get enough cash to buy food. It was just heartbreaking. It’s not much, but now he can come here any time we’re open and grab a bite to eat.

CARMEN: You know, Tuckerson, it’s nice to see some decency out there. I wonder if we as journalists put out more stories like this one if we’d all have a little more faith in humanity.


CARL TUCKERSON: You know, Carmen, what really gets me about the Johnny Brown story is that underneath it, is another story. One that exemplifies everything that’s wrong with this country. One where the business elites create an environment where people like that man feel like they need to turn to violence or drugs or who knows what else just to live. Over and over, the corporations come in, run up debt, extract the wealth, cut costs by firing employees, and move on. And our selfish leaders see nothing wrong with this! Instead, they tell us over and over again that our multi-tiered tax code is based on the principles of the free market. Please. It’s based on laws that companies lobbied for in order to increase their economic advantage that Congress passed. 

CARMEN: It’s interesting you say that, Tuckerson. It reminds me of criticisms made in recent years, by people like academics or independents fond of wearing homespun wool mittens, all of course ignored by both major factions. It makes you wonder though if people from complete, totally opposite sides of the political spectrum who never agree on anything but are saying the same thing though and find themselves aligned on this one aspect, then maybe we’ve found the real issue in our country.


CARL TUCKERSON: Anyway, looks like we have Frank Simmons back on the line with us, radio and electrical engineering expert. Let’s get back to the traffic report.

FRANK: Is…is…the connection back?

CARMEN: Yes, how are things down there?

FRANK: It’s actually quite remarkable. The cloud has become a green pigment that is now spreading all over the sky above Aurora Avenue. My equipment has actually found a communication being trasferred through the electromagnetic field.

CARL TUCKERSON: Wait, can you explain to our listeners what that means exactly?

CARMEN: So you mean to say that right now, you are hearing a message that’s essentially coming through the cloud? Is it intelligible?

FRANK: Yes! I’m listening to it right now. The communication seems to one or two phrases long, cycling through languages. I believe that whatever foreign entity is controlling the radio frequency is attempting to determine which language is our own in order to establish communication. So far, I have heard Nordic, Chinese, and Russian dialects.

CARMEN: (Aside) Engineer, professor, linguist. Hard to believe he’s still single.

FRANK: Unfortunately, I don’t speak any of those languages enough to understand what is being said. We’re waiting on a translator now. There’s French I think, Latin, Spanish—Wait! Here it comes! I think it’s English.

CARL & CARMEN: (Unintelligible, Very excited, talking over one another) What is it? What is it saying? What am I saying? Etc etc. 

FRANK: It says, it says. It says “It’s lost! Confused. It’s looking for a place. A place in between…”


GABRIELA: —And so even though I’m okay and the car’s okay, my head is just spinning trying to figure out what happened. You know, it’s just so hard to think with all that noise and chaos.

Till next listeners,

Be kind, consider that if something is always breaking then its always broken, and don’t forget to water your plants,

Gabriela Jones


Hey it’s Bailey Loveless, writer and usual reader of Gabriela and the Inn Between. Thank you so much for joining us on today’s special Halloween-month episode. If you enjoyed the show, as always please consider tipping your innkeeper over at Ko-Fi, link in the show notes below. Not only does your contribution go directly toward Gabriela’s student loans, but it costs less than your favorite latte, gets you to access to bonus content, and advertisement free. A huge special thanks to everyone who made this episode possible, such as our voice actors. Thank you to Matt as Carl Tuckerson, Nikki as Carmen, Shannon as Karen Shelly, Zade as Frank Simmons, and Ken as Johnny Brown. I’m super thrilled to say that all these talented actors came right from my local community, which heavily inspires the show, and you can read a bit more about them also down in the show notes. Thank you all for your time and collaboration.

New episodes of Gabriela and the Inn Between release during the quarter moon phase, with the next episode on none other than Halloween. I’m super excited for this one. It should be a reflective experience. In between time though, keep warm and keep well. See you next time, folks