A malevolent book finds its way back into the world to create chaos in this prequel to the upcoming horror thriller podcast Afflicted, which will premiere Halloween 2022.

“Heat Wave – Afflicted Season 1 Prequel” by Tonia Ransom.

A transcript is available on the NIGHTLIGHT website.

Narrated & Produced by Tonia Ransom.

Listen to Unwell at www.unwellpodcast.com

Executive Producer and Host: Tonia Ransom


All episodes are brought to you by the NIGHTLIGHT Legion. Join us on Patreon for as little as $1 per month to help us produce more stories for you to enjoy.


Hi. I’m Tonia Ransom, creator and executive producer of NIGHTLIGHT, a horror podcast featuring creepy tales written and performed by Black creatives from all over the world.

This week, to thank you all for funding our next audio drama, Afflicted, we present the prequel to Season 1, wherein a malevolent book finds its way back into the world to create chaos and spread evil.

But before we get to demonic books bound in human flesh, I want to take a moment to say thanks to our newest patrons, Elisa, Carla, Jillian, Melissa, Seth, Anthony, Patricia, and Molly. Thanks also to Sarah and Kaylee for your donations via PayPal. NIGHTLIGHT will be produced year-round thanks to the NIGHTLIGHT Legion, and now, we’d love to bring you new episodes every single week. Just go to patreon.com/nightlightpod to join the NIGHTLIGHT Legion and get a shoutout on the podcast. And don’t forget, you can also support us by sporting NIGHTLIGHT-branded gear. Just go to merch.nightlightpod.com to get your t-shirts, hoodies, notebooks and more!

Thanks again to all those who helped us reach our funding goal for Afflicted. If you haven’t had a chance to chip in, just go to patreon.com/afflicted. The more money we raise, the closer we get to paying everyone on our crew professional wages for their skill, time, and talent.

Now sit back, turn out the lights, and enjoy “Heat Wave”, written and narrated by me, Tonia Ransom.


Most of the United States is experiencing a heat wave, Texas included.

But this heat is different. This heat is my fault.

Meteorologists are counting the string of 100-degree days already. That normally doesn’t happen until July.

But that’s not the weirdest part.

For a week now, the wind has been high, like a storm is blowing in. But there are no clouds. No rain.

The wind is blowing so hard shingles are flying off houses. Small trees are being pulled up, roots and all.

But there is nothing but heat and wind. An unrelenting wind, sandblasting people and vehicles.

In fact, the ER is overrun with people with “sand burns”. Basically, the wind is blowing the sand so hard, it’s like sandpaper stripping them of their flesh.

It’s absolute chaos.

But this was the only place in the country with wind like that.

Soon as you step outside the city limits, normal wind and normal heat.

But today—today—something strange happened.

The rest of the country started experiencing unusual weather.

Wildfires early in the season, massive flooding, snow far too late in the season.

People keep talking about “climate change” causing all of this.

But they’re wrong.

I *know* they’re wrong.

I know because I am the reason for all this. All of it.

It started as an experiment.

After being confined to my home for what felt like centuries, I was finally able to leave and walk among the world again.

And that’s when the heat started. The moment I left my home, the heat descended.

So I decided to see what else I was capable of.

Turns out, not much without food.

And food was hard to find in a world so different from what I remembered.

I think maybe I’d forgotten how to hunt, it had been so long.

Then I remembered how I got free in the first place.

I remembered the women, how they fed me, then prayed until I got the strength to hunt for myself.

First I took Agatha…well, a part of me did. Just enough to control her, make her slit her friend’s throat, so I could eat. So the real me could feed.

And then, Agatha’s blood. With hers, I could walk among humanity again. And I brought the heat of Hell with me.

But that wasn’t enough. I knew I was capable of more.

But people, the cowards that humans are, were locked in their homes, hiding from the heat.

But not everyone. Some had to go to work.

So I waited until a construction worker wandered my way. And fed.

With that, I was able to bring the wind, but I still wasn’t strong enough to do anything outside of this podunk town.

Not until they buried Agatha.

Agatha…she is not like the others. She has power. Even with her blood drained, her body dead, she holds enormous power.

And as my descendent, she should.

Of course, neither of us knew we were related until 9 nights after her death.

Not until her spirit could roam the earth and her soul called to mine and mine to hers.

To be blunt, it bothers me that she’s a white woman. White women used to order me whipped. White women screamed for the men to hang me from that tree.

But a Black woman imprisoned me, so I suppose Black wouldn’t be better.

Apparently, my former master fathered a child with my own daughter. America is now just a bunch of mixed folks who don’t know they’re mixed.

And together, Agatha and I were able to amplify our influence. Joined, we could change the entire state. And then, the country.

The power was intoxicating. It had been so long, I forgot what it felt like to be an agent of chaos, to feed on fear and desperation.

But Agatha was a problem.

My metaphorical blood was strong in her veins. My hunger became hers.

And she picked up where I left off in life.

She began killing people, flaying the flesh from their bones. Feeding us both with terror, making us ever stronger.

But in this new world, it’s difficult to commit such crimes without millions knowing.

And so, the descendants of the woman who imprisoned me in a book bound in my own flesh, discovered the strange weather wasn’t climate change after all.

It was me. And they were on a hunt.

I hid my prison, foolishly believing that they couldn’t bind me without my book.

But that wasn’t enough. Turns out, Hattie’s progeny is better at hoodoo than she was.

They only needed to find me, or Agatha, since she shared my blood.

Blood is the life, they say. But it’s also death.

Agatha, stupid bitch that she is, just couldn’t lay low and stop killing for a while.

To be fair, I couldn’t either.

The apple didn’t fall far from the lynching tree.

And now, we’re both trapped in this book, waiting for another chance.

Agatha said her sister is pregnant. Due in a few months. And when that daughter is born, she will have the power, not only to free us, but amplify our power beyond anything we’ve imagined.

2020 will be our year. And we will take our time. Start slow, mete out the disasters, so we can savor them and so we can remain hidden, working in the shadows.

So by the time you realize we’re here, it’ll be far too late.


Thanks again to our patrons for supporting this podcast. Because of your support, listeners around the world get creepy tales in their ears every other week. If you want new stories every week, the only way for that to happen is to join the NIGHTLIGHT Legion by going to patreon.com/nightlightpod and supporting this podcast. You can also make a one-time donation via PayPal at PayPal.me/NightlightPodcast. If you’re unable to support us financially, word of mouth is the next best way to help. Give us a shoutout online on Twitter or Instagram @nightlightpod, or like us on Facebook @nightlightpod. Reviews are also a huge help, so be sure to leave a few kind words on your podcast platform of choice.

Audio production for this episode by me, Tonia Ransom.

And to thank you for listening until the very end, we have a creepy fact for you.

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We’ll be back next week with a brand new story.