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 answers a phone call. )
JUN (through a phone): I can’t believe you’re listening to those files!
NARRATOR: You can’t believe? What kind of joke is this? You’re saying our dog is an alien! Your obsession is going way too far.
JUN (through a phone): Okay, this is why I didn’t tell you in the first place. You were never going to believe me.
NARRATOR: That’s cuz you’re an alien dweeb! No one would have believed you, not even our brother.
JUN (through a phone): It doesn’t matter. I told you I needed you to send this—
NARRATOR: I know, I know, you want me to play messenger just because our dear older brother is lost in the woods, guess what? Me being in the same country as him does not make it easier to find him when there is no service.
JUN (through a phone): He didn’t leave any way to contact him?
NARRATOR: He said to meet in Kyoto in two weeks. We’re staying with grandma for the rest of the summer remember?
JUN (through a phone): The minute you see him, I don’t care if he’s tired, I don’t care if he’s hungry, you give him the files and make him listen to all of it immediately.
SCENE STARTS: (“Proserpina Bop” transitions to the new scene. Alina arrives at the park late at night.)
ALINA: You guys will never believe it! Sam actually messaged me! Said he had something to show me tonight which is a little exciting and scary because I’ve never been out here this late before…
SAM: Alina! Over here!
ALINA: Sam! Thanks for waiting! (Alina jokes) Wow, no music and no Cerberus? Is that even allowed?
SAM: (laughs) Uh, just a small change. Cerberus likes to be home in the evening so I can’t always be with him.
ALINA: How do you pick him up and drop him off by the way?
SAM: Ha, trade secret. Sorry about how late it is by the way, but the Yumboes are celebrating tonight and it’s something you don’t want to miss.
SAM: They’re spirits of the dead from Senegal. Think of them like fairies. Uh, or alternatively called Bakhna Rakhna, aka good people.
ALINA: And because of that, you brought.. (sniffs) is that cornbread?
SAM: They love corn. Figured it was easier to carry.
ALINA: Well now I feel bad, I didn’t bring anything.
SAM: Don’t worry about it, you’re my plus one tonight. All you gotta do is have fun and eat.
ALINA: (laughs) That’s definitely something I can do.
ALINA: So what else can you tell me about the Yumboes?
MUSIC: (“Tell Me” plays.)
SAM: Hmm, well they look human, but they’re a lot shorter than us, about two feet tall. And they’re completely white with silvery hair.
ALINA: White as in the color or white as in white people?
SAM: White as a sheet. It’s a pretty common trait for dead spirits in Africa. So you can imagine the shock when the Europeans showed up.
ALINA: And if they’re like fairies, do they have wings? Live in the deep forest? What about human torture?
SAM: No to wings, no to deep forest, they live underground near the hills, and oh no, no to human torture. So they’re not actually fairies in the whimsical fantasy aspect. They live pretty normal lives, living and working to provide for their village.
You’re probably thinking more of the Scottish type of fae with the Seelie and Unseelie Court, which we can discuss later, but the Yumboes are more similar to fairies found in Greek and Irish mythology.
Yeah, you’re definitely going to have to explain these categories to me more later. I get so confused between all the differences.
SAM: All in good time, not a problem.
ALINA: Also what are the odds that the Greeks and the Irish would have similar creatures?
SAM: The world is always a lot smaller than you think. You’ll find that there are many creatures that are similar to one another. Fairies just happen to be one of them.
ALINA: Well, wait, why do fairies even exist? That seems pretty random for multiple cultures to have.
SAM: There are many, many reasons. It varies from religion to even a conspiracy theory.
ALINA: Wait, conspiracy theory? Like… lizard people?
SAM: Actually, it’s pretty similar! There were stories that we’d retained memories of an earlier race, ones that met their end due to enemy force that had learned how to use iron as weapons.
ALINA: Okay, well, not sure if I believe that one.
SAM: Eh neither do I, but people have wild imaginations, as you can literally see in this park.
ALINA: Yes, (laughs) not gonna lie, I’m still wary about meeting a Bonnacon…
SAM: (laughs) I guarantee that won’t be a problem tonight.
ALINA: So what do you think is the real reason for fairies?
MUSIC: (“Welcome to Proserpina Park” plays.)
SAM: For the Yumboes, it definitely has to do something with people’s connections to death. Uh the answer to the afterlife has always been a mystery, but what if, just what if some of them decided that they could remain, happily fishing and partying, just remembering the good parts of life, wouldn’t that be a nice thing to believe?
ALINA: Yeah, I think that’s a great thing to believe in. I’m glad these are the creatures we’re meeting.
SAM: Of course, I wouldn’t be going if they weren’t nice. Although, they do have a bad habit of stealing.
ALINA: Oh, well I’ll keep a close eye on their hands then. Is this… why they throw parties?
SAM: Nah, It was just an easier way for them to get food, otherwise they’re also great fishermen. And since they only want food, which I have right here, it won’t be a problem.
ALINA: (laughs) Relatable. I also want a piece of that before it’s all gone by the way. Time to see if you’re as good a baker as you are a storyteller.
SAM: Ahh well, it’s really hard to mess up cornbread. Now the fish, that’s what you gotta go for tonight. There’s no Senegalese restaurant in the state, hence why we’re celebrating.
ALINA: Oh yeah. I’ve never had Senegalese before but… why are they partying?
SAM: I believe the wine should just be right for drinking.
ALINA: That’s it?
SAM: What more do you need? The stars are out, there’ll be music and food, what else is necessary?
ALINA: Well what about someone’s birthday?
SAM: They’re spirits, Alina. They don’t have human customs. Think of it as our version of going out on a Friday night.
ALINA: Oooh, okay. Can’t believe I’m learning about fairy customs for partying of all things tonight.
MUSIC: (“We Can Meet Aliens” plays.)
SAM: Oh, there’s also this group called the Aziza, who will probably be at the party tonight. They originate from the former kingdom of Dahomey, which is now the Republic of Benin.
ALINA: Oh boy, another fairy type?
SAM: Yeah, they look like what your stereotypical tiny fairy winged person would look like.
ALINA: Tiny winged people… Wait, are we going to be like the tallest people at the party?
SAM: (Laughs) It’s a real possibility. The Aziza are also a kind species though. They used their magic and knowledge to teach humans how to hunt and survive. They’re the reason why humans learned how to use fire.
ALINA: Well that’s interesting to imagine, small people teaching bigger people how to hunt?
SAM: It’s definitely not the brave warriors you’d think of huh? But for the most part, Little Creatures are part of the trickster category, since they’re typically very good at hiding. But the Aziza are different. They loved humans. But unfortunately, it seemed that the humans started to rely too heavily on the Aziza, and their relationship started to crumble.
ALINA: Like… they took advantage of them?
SAM: Yeah unfortunately humans always get greedy in the end.
ALINA: Oh that’s sad… I wish their relationship could have been repaired.
SAM: It’s… It’s for the best, all mythological creatures have to go into hiding at some point anyways. Can you imagine what people nowadays would do with the creatures in this park?
ALINA: You’re right, I can easily imagine people trying to hunt down what’s here.
SAM: Exactly, which is why no one else can know about it.
ALINA: Sam… trust me, I don’t want anyone else to know about this place either. Besides, it’s kinda fun, you know, to share this little secret?
SAM: Good, I… I trust you. Now c’mon! Enough talking, you can already hear the drums. Let’s go before all the food’s gone!
ALINA: Don’t have to tell me twice!
SAM: Oh! Also don’t freak out about the invisible servants, they’ll help you out.
ALINA: THE WHAAT?
OUTRO: (We return to the Narrator. “Proserpina Bop” transitions back to her room.)
NARRATOR: My brother is really angry with me… But I think I have the right to be angry just as well. Why is he getting so mad over this fake story? And why put so much effort into it? There has to be something I’m missing here. There’s no way he did all this just to make us think our dog is an alien… I’m just going to message Alina directly. Screw it.
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. And the voice of Sam is G3. Dialogue editing by Angela Yih. Mixed and mastered 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