Ep 14 – The Dead are Bouncy?!

INTRO: Mirai is currently talking on the bus.

MIRAI:

So just to catch up on everything so far, everyone’s goal is to get a super strong buddy and apologize to Sam, and well, they’ve succeeded in neither of those things. If I were in their shoes, I would have just internet stalked Sam. Found him immediately and apologized, get it over with. You know what, let me do that right now to prove it. If Alina’s real, then Sam must be as well! 

Hmm this guy is probably the right guy. Dark clothes, looks like he hangs out in the book store too much, occupation: vet tech. Yup, sounds about right. He doesn’t really have a lot of pictures. Wait. Eh? There’s a picture of him and I think that’s Jun-nii from three years ago! They look really close, but I’ve never met Sam before… I wonder how they met. Ugh these brothers! They never tell me anything!

SCENE STARTS: (“Proserpina Bops” plays as Alina enters the cafe, greeting Drew, Jun, and Dog.) 

ALINA:

Jun, are you sure you should be out and about right now?

JUN:             

Yeah, at this point, my wound looks like a really bad spider bite, people don’t really ask questions after I tell them that.

DOG:

Okay, well we didn’t make much progress in finding Lamassu last time…

DREW:

Yeah, well, seeing as how we’re all still pretty wary, I think it’s best to stay by the entrance again anyways.

ALINA:

Okay, oh we should also check and see if Sam’s maybe by his bench today? It would save us a lot of trouble if he’s there. 

DREW:   

That’s true, we wouldn’t need our own creature if Sam comes back. 

ALINA:

Then it’s decided, we’ll take a quick peek and see if Sam is there, and if not we’ll swing back to the front.

NEXT SCENE: (The gang goes to the park as Jun talks about what he’s been up to.)

JUN:

…and that’s why I spent all night arguing online that green martians were cooler than the greys.

DREW:   

Listen, no one here questioned whether or not you love your dog.

ALINA:

Wait, do you guys… see someone at the bench? Oh, that’s definitely Cerberus! Sam’s back!

DOG:

Oh thank gods. Okay, Alina, just like we practiced. You’re going to apologize, and then you’re going to listen, and you’re going to be a good friend to Sam.

ALINA:   

Yeah, yeah, c’mon, let’s go!

JUN:   

Oh, I hope she actually understands… 

SOUND: (They all run to the bench.)

ALINA:   

Sam! Oh my gosh you were gone for so long, where— 

TERRY:

You must be Alina.

DOG:   

Terry…

TERRY:

Ah, the alien is also here. Explains all the unwanted company Sam’s been getting lately. 

JUN:   

Um, who are you? 

TERRY:

I believe it is time for all of you to leave. 

ALINA:   

You can’t scare us. This is a public park, we can stay here if we want. 

TERRY:

It’s a public park for the creatures. Not the humans. My father made a small exception a few years ago, but clearly that was a bad idea.

DOG:   

Terry, please—

TERRY:   

Quiet. You have some nerve coming back here.

DREW:

Okay, okay, clearly there is some animosity happening here. How about being civil and filling in the rest of us and then we’ll decide if we should leave or not? It’s not exactly like you can just kick us out, regardless of who your “father” is.

DOG:

Uh, Drew… This is Terry… Sam’s cousin? You know, the demigod.

DREW:   

Oh shit.

ALINA:

The demigod? So the child of Hades?

TERRY:

If you understand, then never come back here again. I’m surprised JD hasn’t found your corpses yet. Although you over there definitely seemed to have had a scare. 

JUN:

What? I mean no… This is totally just a psh, totally just a spider bite…

DOG:

Terry, listen. We just want to apologize to Sam. That’s it. I know your time in the park is limited, so just tell us how to find him, and we’ll all go our separate ways.

TERRY:

If you think I’d give you the chance to hurt him again, you’re a fool. 

DOG:   

Only Alina has to meet him. He won’t have to see anyone else.

TERRY:   

The answer is no.

ALINA:   

How about a challenge!?

TERRY:

What?

ALINA:

A challenge! That’s how it goes right? In Greek mythology? If we complete a task, you’ll give us what we want? I think I read that somewhere.

DREW: 

Um Alina, I don’t know if we should be accepting challenges the way we are right now.

JUN:   

I agree with Drew, let’s just like… stay away from the scary person?

TERRY:

(Laughs) All right, I’m down to play.

DOG:

Alina… think about this really carefully.

ALINA:   

What’s your challenge?

TERRY:

Stay here. The entire night, if you’re still here tomorrow at dawn, I’ll let you meet Sam.

DOG:   

Absolutely not.

JUN:   

Ohhh, we’re gonna die.

ALINA:   

Give us a challenge where death isn’t an option… please.

TERRY:

Oh don’t worry, you’d have escorts the entire time. My family and I aren’t murderers. That’s a pretty big misconception. 

DREW:   

Why can’t you and Cerberus stay with us instead then?

TERRY:

Unfortunately, Cerberus and I have a curfew. He is, after all, a full time working dog.

ALINA:   

So who would you leave us with then?

TERRY:

I have some friends I could call upon. What is your answer?

JUN:

Alina, I really don’t think we should do this, the incident last time was more than enough for me…

ALINA:   

Do all of us have to do this?

TERRY:   

Yes, and if even one of you leaves, the challenge ends.

DREW:

So it’s all or nothing. 

ALINA:

Can we meet your friends first?

TERRY:   

Sure, not a problem, just give them a bit to hobble over. 

SOUND: (Ambiguous thumping sounds grow louder and louder as something approaches Alina and the gang.)

MUSIC: (“Creatures of the Night” start playing.)

DREW:

This sounds terrifying…

JUN:   

Are they… hopping?

DOG:   

Terry, you can’t be serious.

TERRY:

You should know who my friend groups are by now.

ALINA:        

What… are they?

TERRY:   

Meet the Jiang Shi. 

DREW:   

What’s wrong with them? And ugh, what is that smell?

TERRY:   

Nothing, they’re just dead. 

ALINA/DREW/JUN:

Excuse me?/What?

DOG:

Their name kinda translates to “Hopping Zombies,” which is basically what they are. 

ALINA:

And why do they hop?

TERRY:

Because they’re dead. Rigor mortis you know? They can’t bend their limbs otherwise they’d snap.

DREW:   

So how would they keep us safe?

TERRY:

Well they are pretty influential. A long time ago, the Taoist priests created spells that gave the dead the ability to go home. They were pretty harmless, just hopping zombies, no big deal. Families in China would ask them to be sent home this way instead of paying for… the usual way of travel. Kinda sad how much one had to pay to bring their dead loved ones home, but capitalism. 

Thanks to western influences and media, somewhere down the line they became dangerous vampires as well. They kill people by absorbing their life force and/or drinking their blood. You know, usual night creature fun.

JUN:

Okay, no. We’re going home. I’ve already had someone drink my blood. Check off the bucket list. I need to live to go to Mars. That is my one goal in life, please don’t take that away from me. 

ALINA:   

How would they keep us safe?

DOG:    

Alina!

TERRY:   

Oh trust me, nothing will come near you with these guys around.

DREW:

Listen, I know we need to find Sam, but this is a group agreement. Look at Jun and Dog, they’re not comfortable. And I don’t blame them, look at the creatures. Their skin is practically green from all the fungus growing on them. Thank god there’s something covering their faces, otherwise I think I would have vomited by now. 

TERRY:   

Those are actually talismans. They’re used to control the Jiang Shi.

ALINA:

Dog, what’s the most dangerous creature you think we could run into if we stay here tonight?

JUN:

Alina— 

ALINA:   

I just want to cover all my bases!DOG:(pauses) It’s… it’s hard to say.ALINA:    Terry?

TERRY:

Don’t look at me, I only know about the dead and they’re the least of your worries.

DOG:   

Oh, the Wendigo.

JUN: 

Well, that doesn’t sound too scary.

TERRY:

(Laughs) Oh shit you’re right. I can call up more friends. 

DREW:

Uh maybe let’s pause on that for now.

DOG:

The Wendigo is a true monster. They were either originally human or have always been an evil creature who hungers for flesh.

ALINA:

So another creature that could eat us.

DOG:

But there’s more than that. The Wendigo is also said to be a huge creature, constantly growing and thus constantly hungry. Their eyes are sunken in with madness, skin gray and decaying, with their lips chewed off and red from looking for their next meal. Depending on the tribe, it could look more like a beast with antlers than a human. The only way to kill them is to melt their frozen heart. 

JUN:

Like, theoretically or literally?

DOG:

Ah, literally, you actually have to kill them with fire.

DREW:

Yeah, something tells me none of us were boy scouts…

TERRY:

Realistically though, there’s not that big of a chance you’d meet one tonight. They’re creatures born from the harsh winters of Canada: starvation, freezing long nights that led to desperate and horrible outcomes. The First Nation tribes told this story to fight against cannibalism. 

DOG:

We can’t trust that information alone. The Wendigo is still influential even now. People share its story across the northern areas of the United States. Its reach is just too big to ignore. 

TERRY:

Well decide. Is it worth the risk to meet one tonight or not? ALINA:(pauses) No, no, we won’t stay the night. 

JUN:

Oh thank god.

DOG:        

Whew.

ALINA:

You looked spooked when Dog brought up the Wendigo, Terry. If that’s the case for a demigod, then what could the four of us do?

TERRY:

(Laughs) Humans always think they’re so innocent, when they’re the things to be most scared of. 

DREW:

What’s that supposed to mean?

TERRY:

Did you forget who created all this to begin with? These stories? These “monsters?” The Wendigo wasn’t created to eat people, they were created because people eat people. 

DOG:

People also created good creatures, Terry. 

TERRY:

Ugh, believe what you will. It is getting late now. I need to return all of my friends. Good bye Alina. I hope I never see you again. 

OUTRO: (We return to Mirai. “Proserpina Bop” plays as the sound of the bus comes back in.) 

MIRAI:

I don’t know who’s more intense, Alina or Terry. Alina’s confidence must be through the roof if she thinks she could have tried to survive the test. That or maybe she’s dumber than I thought… Meanwhile Terry’s actually flaunting lines that sound like they’re from a movie or something. Poor Junpei just wanted to go home and I don’t blame him. Camping already sucks, can you imagine doing that with zombie bodyguards? Gross. 

Cryptid Cape

(Upbeat music plays)

Lizzie: Welcome to town.

Roger: You are essentially the one-woman band running Water’s Edge Weekly.

Avra: Maybe being in Water’s Edge will be different.

Francy: You’re not exactly as strange as the rest of us.

Roger: You’re not a cryptid, are you?

Avra: Excuse me?

Lizzie: We’re cryptids, not monsters.

Francy: There are dangerous things out here.

Officer Jenkins: If the residents heard about this, there would be panic.

Avra: This cannot be real.

Francy: You can trust us.

Officer Jenkins: We have something you might be interested in.

Lizzie: I’ll see you around. Don’t forget your recorder.

Victoria: Cryptid Cape is a fictional podcast about Avra Nuñez, a young woman looking for a new start, and the beach town full of… interesting residents she ends up calling home. There are three seasons out now and more in the works that you can find wherever you get your podcasts. 

END TRANSCRIPT

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