fall of the house of sunshine

episode 1o: Lovers and sinners who eat their dumpling dinners

STARRING:

Ethereal Band Being - Rachel Flynn
Berdie - Hanna Cheek

Dankent - Nathaniel Kent

additional vocal arrangements by Rachel Flynn and Nicholas DiMichele

Written by Jonathan A. Goldberg
Music by Matt roi Berger

About: A man awakes to find himself married to Berdie the owner of the Pump and Dump (the only combination Gas Station Dumpling Parlor) but is everything fine or is something strange going on?

CLICK TO LISTEN

song lyrics

PART ONE

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

Some awful scene splits it’s seams.  He remembers.
Like out from an ocean, he stirs.
He’s in bed asleep, breathing hard.  Is he dreaming?

Muttering wordlessly, eyes stutter open.
Still swimming in some far’way sea.
The ceiling stares back, and it says not a word to him…
Then-

BERDIE

Awake, you’re finally awake.
I worried you would sleep the day away.

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

He sits up.  At the table nearby,
At the little wooden table sits Berdie.
Berdie reads the paper, then she sets it to the side
With a smile and her head cocked so slight.

Berdie sees his face and she frowns - does she see?
The ocean from his dream sweeping up, in, over him…

BERDIE

Did you have a nightmare again?
Dr. Heller warned us that the new medicine might
Make you foggy, give you strange, queer dreams.
That you may become disoriented, fitful in your sleep.

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

He says he’s fine, he is fine, just a dream that -
He tries to tell her but there’s no remembering.
It was so clear, he was sure, he was in another place,
So that now, being here - something’s wrong, so strange…

BERDIE

Only thing wrong is that you’re still in bed

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

She pulls him to stand by her side.
Their hands holding tight, he feels their rings touching

“Our rings…” he thinks.

BERDIE

Keep up, Butch.  Keep up.

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

Butch, he is Butch!  And he laughs,
Of course, now he remembers.

BERDIE

My love - what’s so funny?

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

She smiles and he pulls on his clothes.

She opens the door and they’re crossing the lot,
Her hand in his hand and the sun high and hot
He’s happy at last, dreams forgot
And she’s leading him on…

But where?  What is this place?

PUMP N DUMP

BERDIE

Does your tummy want a stuffing?
The car need fill-r-upping?
Look no farther, partner, hurry on down!
Set your destination
On the only combination
Fueling station / dumpling parlor in town!

Gas, diesel and taste delights!
Grab your keys,
Grab a seat,
Grab a bite!

We got samosas and pierogis,
Shue mai and raviolis,
Empanadas and momo from Nepal.
Kibbeh and boraki,
Some greek Koulakli Manti -
Try them all - we’ll take your pic for our wall!

Pump-N-Dump!
Step inside.
Heaven in a bite, steamed or fried.
Pump-N-Dump!
Paradise!
Full service with a smile, stay a while!

Now the business was a dream
Made up of oil, dough and steam.
I was so pleased but knew something was amiss.
Then one night you wandered in
And our eyes met and that was it!
Someone to share this paradise with!

And the dumpling angels sang:

DUMPLING ANGELS + BERDIE

Ahh! Ahh! Ahh!
Ahh! Ahh! Ahh!

BERDIE

Pump-N-Dump,
By your side -
10 long years, feeling so satisfied.
Pump-N-Dump.
How it flies.
Filling tanks and tummies, husband and wife!
Two dumplings in the sauce of our lives!

So breakfast dinner lunch -
Come on in and take the plunge.
No finer of a diner exists!
Come do yourself a favor
And try all of our flavors.
We’ll stuff like our titular dish!

Gas, diesel and taste delights!
Grab your keys,
Grab a seat,
Grab a bite!

Pump-N-Dump!
Step inside -
Heaven in a bite, steamed or fried!
Pump-N-Dump!
Paradise!

DUMPLING ANGELS + BERDIE

Full service with a smile, stay a while!
Full service with a smile, stay a while!
Full service with a smile, stay a while!

PART 2

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

Butch looks around and he walks and he thinks.
He touches the counter and something seems wrong…

But he knows that Berdie’s watching so he smiles and he whistles
And he gets behind the register.

He eats a couple dumplings and he listens to the customers,
It all seems so familiar, but wrong…

BERDIE

You used to sit here a drink.
Here, sit.  Have a drink.
This is the spot where we met,
It’s perfect, don’t you think?
Eat some more dumplings, my dumpling, my dear.
Your blood sugar’s just a bit off

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

Butch eats lunch then returns to his register
And now he’s feeling better.  Berdie was right.
The day moves on with a simple pull:
The cars get gas.  The people get full.
Berdie’s in the kitchen but she always sees him looking.
When she does, she shines a smile and he lights inside.

BERDIE

Look at you, look at you,
Doing what you always do,
Making everything right.

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

And Butch feels so heavenly,
Opens his mouth to agree,
But then just as he does…

CREATURES

Lies.  Lies.  Lies.

BERDIE

Butch!  Pack up, we must be going.
Lock the drawer and come, my heart.
Why are you looking so distressed, dear?
No one comes here after dark.
No one goes out when the sun sets,
Just as it has always been.
Hurry, hurry, let’s get home.
I’ll hold you tight and lock us in.

CREATURES

Lies.  Lies.  Lies.

BERDIE

Hurry Butch,
It’s time to go.

CREATURES

Lies.  Lies.  Lies.

BERDIE

Hurry Butch,
I love you so.

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

Berdie’s waiting by the door - her
Heart is jumping in her breast.
Darkness looms outside the windows.
All the customers have left.
When oh when did all this happen?
Butch’s head begins to spin.
Berdie runs and grabs his hands
And smiles forceful, kisses him-

CREATURES

Lies.  Lies.  Lies.

BERDIE

Hurry Butch,
I love you so.

CREATURES

Lies.  Lies.  Lies.

BERDIE

Dammit Butch,
It’s time to go.

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

Outside they’re outside, cracked asphalt and sky.
A weight leaves his chest and he breathes for the first time.
Back, he was back, eaten up by the ocean.

She walks far ahead, he runs fast to collect her.
They scurry inside and she locks up the door.
The windows are caged in, she shivers, avoids him.

Is this how she always seems?

BERDIE

Nothing’s wrong.  Nothing’s wrong.
It’s only- I forgot to eat.
I’m such a silly thing.
Why do you love me?

Come sit down, have a drink,
Have your medicine, dear.
Dr. Heller said to take them
Til the migraines disappear.

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

And oh, Butch sits and wonders at things
That flirt at the edge of his mind.
And oh, Berdie, she’s holding his hand
And suddenly everything’s fine.  This is
His life.  His quiet life.  His easy life.
His simple life.

And Berdie looks at him and sings.

SIMPLE LIFE

BERDIE

“Such potential…” Dream sings all the time.
Seems essential, tells us what we like.
Begs us from the ordinary,
Swears we need to leave our Simple Life

Low and sweetly, Life sings “take your time.”
Slow and easy, boring, lovely, mild.
Measured out in moments holding
You, I’m hoping for a Simple Life.

And oh! it would be such a Simple Life.
And oh! it could be such a Simple Life.
And oh! it should be such a Simple Life.
And oh! it would be such a Simple Life.

PART 3

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

And Butch takes Berdie’s hand.
They go to bed.

…But…

LET US IN

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

Cold sweat, the world is black,
And throttling his heart.
Eyes deaf, he hears his nightmare,
Something calling in the dark.
Awake awake he stands,
Remembers where he is.
At the door there’s something calling,
Something saying “let us in.”

VOICES

Let us in, let us in.
Let us in, let us in.
Let us in, let us in.
Let us in, let us in.

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

The world blurs at the edges,
And this is the only thing.
Butch floats forward, at the door
His hand, it reaches, trembling…

BERDIE

Stop!

Oh.  My love.
We don’t go out at night,
We don’t go out at night.
Comeback to bed and look into my eyes.

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

And he looks into her eyes,
And his head begins to hurt.
But suddenly, it’s alright -
The sun in up!  It’s time for work!

Butch is smiling at his station,
Trying to catch Berdie’s eye.
Is she crying?  No, she’s smiling
Back at him. There’s nothing’s on his mind.

Days go by.
Life is only dumplings
And his simple, lovely life.
And late at night,
After Berdie falls asleep,
That’s when can Butch can stop pretending,
Out of bed and quiet on his feet.

And he waits.
And he waits.
And he waits.
And he waits.

And he waits.
And he waits.
And he waits.
And he-

And there it is again,
That something at the door.
It’s calling out to him.
Several voices, something more.

His eyes begin to throb,
Something trying to come clear.
Up he reaches to his head -
There’s something, something in his hair…

VOICES

Let us in, let us in.

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

And he turns the locks.

VOICES

Let us in, let us in.

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

And he slides the bar.

VOICES

Let us in, let us in.

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

And he holds the knob.

VOICES

Let us in, let us in.

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

And he starts to turn.

VOICES

Let us in, let us in.

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

And he holds his head.

VOICES

Let us in, let us in.

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

There it is again…

VOICES

Let us in, let us in.

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

Something in his hair.

VOICES

Let us in, let us in.

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

Something in his…

BERDIE

Stop!

PART 4

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

And it all goes still
And she says it again:

BERDIE

Stop.

Come back to bed.
But oh, but oh, but oh.
Do you have something in your hair?

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

And she goes to pluck it out,
But she stops -

BERDIE

Oh.  No.
There’s nothing there.

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

Nothing there.

BERDIE

No, don’t.  Don’t -
Leave it alone.
It’s just a bit of - oh…
It’s just a bit of…
Just a bit of…

PART 5

DANKENT

Fuzz. It’s fuzz.  Oh. Panglo. It’s. It’s all coming back. Like a. Like a dam.  Brushee. Flosso. Damn it. Where am I! What is this? Who are you!

BERDIE

I’m sorry.

DANKENT

It’s all changed. The house is run down. Paint peeling Its. What the Hell is going on?

BERDIE

I’m sorry.  I’ve tricked you with a glamor. The truth is I’m a ham-pire. And I’m surrounded at night by vicious were-hams that mean to do me in. For centuries since Ben Franklin brought the cursed pork loins of Ab-En-Nur back from the Nubian basement of Versailles to the US there have been two supernatural creatures at war. I – the ham-pire and they the were-hams. And they have killed all ham-pires but me. The only thing that keeps me safe is this gas station. The smell of gas keeps them at bay, but my supply has been running out.

DANKENT

The Pump N Dump.

BERDIE

Sadly it’s only an abandoned Sinclair Station long since closed.  It’s gas slowly evaporating away. And those dumplings you ate were just rocks I found.

DANKENT

And not going out at night? Wait – I ate rocks?

BERDIE

Ham-pires can only go out during the day, if we go out at night we’d turn into moonlight. Were-hams are the opposite if they go out during the day they’ll turn to sunscreen.

DANKENT

Sunscreen?

BERDIE

SPF 35. But it’s not water resistant.

DANKENT

Oh. But how?

BERDIE

The chemicals make it – oh you mean about you. I found you, in a ditch, unconscious. Hurt. I healed you. I saw you and I thought…  I’d been alone for so long. So I created a fantasy.

DANKENT

So all those … things I felt.

BERDIE

I can’t change feelings. What you felt. You felt. But. I can recreate the Pump N’ Dump. I can rebuild the world and we can stay in it.

DANKENT

I um…

HE WISHED HE COULD

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

He wished he could.
Na Na-na Na na na.
He wished he could.
Na Na-na Na na na.

He wished he could stay in her arms.
He wished he could say that he never understood
How people burst into song,
But something about her
Made him want to sing.

He wished he could let her know
That she was like music.
That never liked music
But suddenly, with her, he liked music.

And he wanted to grab her
And hold her lil the world falls down
And give her all the things  
That people give each other
Like candy and cigarettes and hearts and small dogs.

But in the end all he managed was:

DANKENT

I kinda got this whole evil puppet thing.

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

He wished he could.
Na Na-na Na na na.
He wished he could.
Na Na-na Na na na.

PART SIX

BERDIE

I understand. Here.

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

Berdie goes to a drawer and she gets out a small ham hock made of pure cobalt.

BERDIE

Here it’s a small ham hock made of pure cobalt. It was forged by my grand-pire.

DANKENT

I’ll wear it. Proudly.

BERDIE

Good.

DANKENT

Now I just have to figure out how to get to New Molar.

BERDIE

New Molar? That’s easy. The express bus to Beloit stops across the way. Take that then transfer to the 165T direct to New Molar.

DANKENT

Oh. Great.

BERDIE

In the morning I’ll walk you to the stop.

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

And after a small breakfast of sunny-side up rocks they walked to the stop.

DANKENT

Listen if I survive this whole thing I’ll come back and I’ll. I’ll find a way to get you free of the were-hams and we’ll. Listen I … you’re OK kid.

BERDIE

Kid? I’m 235 years old.

DANKENT

You don’t look a day over 138.

BERDIE

Your bus is here.

DANKENT

Thanks for patching me up.

BERDIE

Safe travels, Butch.

DANKENT

My name’s … thanks. See you soon.

HE WISHED HE COULD REPRISE

ETHEREAL BAND BEING

And he. And he.
And he boards the bus.
And he. And he.
And he pays the fare.
And he. And he.
And he sits in the back.
And he sits. And he hurts.
And he watches her wishing he could stop everything and go back there.

He wished he could.
Na Na-na Na na na.
He wished he could.
Na Na-na Na na na.

He watches her. Getting smaller.
As the bus pulls away.
As the gas station retreats into a point,
A point on a map. A dot on the map.
It gets smaller. It gets smaller.
And he watches. And he watches.
And it all gets small.
But when he thinks about her,

Berdie looms large.