Ep 03 – The Unexpected Mermaid – Residents of Proserpina Park – A Mythology Audio Drama
INTRO: (It’s about summertime. The Narrator’s laptop hums almost as loud as the grasshoppers in the warm evening. “Proserpina Bop” bleeds through her headphones as she pulls up some files.)
NARRATOR: So I looked up what I think Sam was referring to last time, Apep. At least I think that’s the word. He could have easily said something else, but I don’t think there are any other snakes that could be chasing the sun? Anyways, I understand why Sam was worried, he has a title called “The Lord of Chaos.” What does that mean for a mythical park?
SCENE STARTS: (“Proserpina Bop” transitions to the new scene. Alina is walking with her friend Drew.)
ALINA: Ahem, attention listeners all around, it is time to introduce my best friend for life, DREW!
DREW: Stop it, Alina, this is embarrassing…
ALINA: Hey, my mic, my rules. Now, I know I’m breaking a couple of rules here by a) talking about the park without Sam and b) bringing someone else to the park, but this is Drew! This is like, their dream come true! Oh man, I still remember in middle school, you used to be so obsessed with vampires and magic and how you wanted to be spirited away—
DREW: Okay, okay, enough of the cringe-fest, I apologize for my childhood upbringing, can we please move on?
ALINA: Yes! So I can’t wait to show you, not that I’ve seen a lot, but still, I’ll definitely make sure we see something today, I swear.
DREW: You know I’m down for any adventure you want to take us on.
ALINA: Which is why you’ve brought a bat?
SOUND: (A bat swings)
DREW: Well, it’s no Cerberus, monster of the Underworld, but I figure it’s better than nothing. Anyways tell me more about this Sam guy.
ALINA: Okay, it’s kinda bad, because on one hand, he’s really nice and he actually takes the time to tell me stories, but on the other hand, he is totally hiding something and I want to know exactly what it is.
DREW: Oh Alina, not again…
ALINA: I can’t help it! Whenever I try and ask for more information about him, he changes the topic, but the creatures? He could blab about them for hours!
DREW: And that just makes you even more interested in what he’s hiding.
ALINA: Exactly, there’s gotta be something I’m missing, and I’m going to find it. Come on let’s go!
SOUND: (The pair walk into the park.)
MUSIC: (“Welcome to Proserpina Park” plays.)
ALINA: So here we are, I know it doesn’t look very magical, but think of it as, like a safari that just happens to contain mythical creatures.
DREW: Dude, we just somehow appeared in this magical land, I am already on board.
ALINA: Okay, which way do you want to go? We should probably avoid the usual path I take, just in case Sam is there.
DREW: What about the pond you mentioned the first time you were here? Did you ever go back and check it out?
ALINA: Oh no. You’re right, let’s go! Maybe we’ll see some mermaids!
DREW: (groans) I’ve already apologized for liking basic creatures, haven’t I?
ALINA: Oh, but I mean I do kinda want to see mermaids…
DREW: (Secretly happy to be basic) Oh, all right, let’s do this.
ALINA: Okay so, crash course. What else do you remember about mermaids?
SOUND: (We’re taken to a ship, the bells are ringing and the seagulls are out.)
DREW: So like mermaids are one of those creatures that every culture has. I’m talking Japan and the Ningyo, Russia and the Rusalki, or France and Melusine. Sometimes they’re also gods who are related to storms, floods, and drowning, but they typically fall into the categories of saviors or killers depending on the story.
ALINA: I’ve never heard of those creatures before… Well I know about Sirens, which I guess are the killers…
DREW: Well, the two categories make sense though. Mermaid stories are often told by sailors or people who live near the water. And if you’re out there, you’re constantly fighting the ocean or loneliness. Although that’s not always the case.
The Rusalki are said to be connected to fertility and agriculture, taking care of crops by watering them. (SOUND: Giggling) They would have long beautiful green hair and dance under the moonlight. But… later on, the story did become about young women who drowned or committed suicide.
SOUND: (Join us. More giggling.)
MUSIC: (“Where am I?” seeps in)
DREW: They became spirits who would call out humans into the water and drown them. Humanity really likes stories about that I guess.
ALINA: (scoffs) Well, we know why… Even I know how many similar stories there are like this.
DREW: (Bitter laugh) Yeah, sadly we do…
SOUND: (The air reverts back to the park.)
ALINA: Well, I’d still like to meet them, I think. Hopefully, if we’re nice, they won’t drown us?
DREW: Um, I don’t think murder works that way…
MUSIC: (“Tell Me” plays.)
ALINA: Wait but if mermaids live out in the ocean, would we even see them in a pond? Look, there’s cute lily pads and flowers here.
SOUND: (Frogs and other bugs create noise as they get to the pond.)
DREW: We’re in a park that you say contains mythical creatures! I don’t think we should be concerned about… types of bodies of water.
SOUND: (Something comes out of the water.)
KAPPA: What are you brats doing in my territory?
DREW: What on Earth is that???
ALINA: You know, it looks like a walking, talking turtle, but with a beak… Oh god, please tell me that is not the sexy fish person sailors were dreaming about.
DREW: If it is, I would like to reject everything I read in seventh grade.
KAPPA: (scoffs) Watch your mouths you dumb humans, I am a Kappa.
ALINA: And a Kappa is?
KAPPA: I swear the disrespect. This is why I was for closing the gates for good…
DREW: Oh, look, she has a bowl on top of her head…
ALINA: You think it’s… attached?
KAPPA: Pay attention to me! Kappas are very famous, actually the most famous creatures of Japanese culture.
DREW: Ooh, a creature from Japan, that’s pretty cool.
SOUND: (Alina starts scrolling on her phone for more info)
ALINA: Eh, it says here online that they’re a type of Japanese demon that likes… oh, sumo wrestling.
DREW: Oh never mind, sounds lame.
KAPPA: (gasp) How dare you! Sumo is the ultimate sport, no other activity shows the beauty of the human body quite better than that! Why don’t you come by the water and I’ll show you?
ALINA: Hmm yeah, I think we’re good, thanks. Ms. Kappa, I have a question. If you’re a creature from Japan, how do you know English?
KAPPA: Oh, it’s all just the human tongue to us. If you know how to speak, you can.
ALINA: So every creature speaks in the park?
KAPPA: No! Only the ones born with speech are able to. Sometimes I feel like I’d be better off not speaking so I wouldn’t have to respond to humans like you.
ALINA: Humans… Wait does this park get a lot of visitors? I was under the impression that no one really knew about it.
KAPPA: There haven’t been visitors for a while now. Most don’t really have a… nice experience here if you catch my drift, and Ole Jerry would have to bring them back out of the park.
DREW: Jerry? Who’s Jerry?
KAPPA: The park ranger! Who else? This is an actual park after all.
ALINA: Oh, can I meet this person? How do I find them?
KAPPA: I wouldn’t really call them a person per se… I believe they’re on vacation right now, so that’s how you brats entered in the first place.
ALINA: So there is a kind of security in the park… Say, do you know a guy named Sam? He has a three-headed dog with him usually?
KAPPA: Oh, so you know the angsty boy now do you?
DREW: Angsty? That’s not how you described him!
ALINA: I thought he was pretty cute. I mean, he does wear a lot of black, but I thought that just came with the, “I have a hellhound as a pet and I read books on curses” look!
KAPPA: He’s gotten worse these past few years, used to at least wear navy now and then…
ALINA: Wait, did something happen?
KAPPA: Heh, and what do I get for telling you this information?
DREW: That is a very creepy smile. Let’s not bargain with the little green…
ALINA: But, being in a park like this, t-there has to be a story here.
DREW: Cool, well, I’m sure we can find someone else to talk to.
ALINA: But what if we can’t find anyone else?
MUSIC: (“Clench” plays.)
KAPPA: ENOUGH! Just give me your shirikodama!
SOUND: (The Kappa swipes at Alina)
ALINA: Hey, did you just grab my ass?
DREW: Hey, stay away from us you freak, don’t think I won’t hurt you… I-I got a bat!
SOUND: (Drew swings the bat at Kappa.)
KAPPA: Watch where you’re swinging that thing, you’re going to hit my bowl!
DREW: Good! Then stay back! We don’t even have a shiriko-thingy anyways!
KAPPA: All humans have a Shirikodama! It is your very own soul!
ALINA/DREW: What does my butt have to do with that?!/We’re not giving you our souls!
KAPPA: (hisses) Hold still! The Shirikodama is located in the human anus, all I have to reach in and—
DREW: OH FUCK THAT
SOUND: (Drew rushes at the Kappa, swinging the bat forcing the Kappa away.)
KAPPA: H-hey, hey, hey hey! That’s way too close. Stop it! Stop it! Ahh!
SOUND: (The Kappa jumps back into the water.)
DREW: And to think you were ready to meet beautiful, murderous mermaids.
ALINA: That was the opposite of what I wanted… don’t think I’ve ever clenched my butt so hard before…
DREW: Ugh, same. Let’s go like, I don’t know, see something far away? like bird watching…
OUTRO: (We return to the Narrator. “Proserpina Bop” transitions back to her room.)
NARRATOR: A Kappa of all things! It’s nice to hear about a creature I actually know about. My mom used to tell me stories about them so we wouldn’t wander near water. Guess Alina had to learn it the hard way. It was a good thing her friend brought that bat. I don’t think I’d be able to go to a park all on my own like that. I’d want like two Cerberuses…
SCENE ENDS: (“Proserpina Bop” ends the episode.)
CREDITS: Residents of Proserpina Park is a production written and produced by Angela Yih. Directed by Angela Yih. The voice of the Narrator is Vida Shi. The voice of Alina is Angela Yih. The voice of Drew is Ashley Dawson. And the voice of the Kappa is Christine. Dialogue Editing by Angela Yih. Mixing and mastering by Angela Yih. Original music by Hoa Pham. Season 1 cover art by Molly James. Series Logo by Macy Tang. For more information about the show, please go to our website residentsofproserpinapark.com