Postcard 1: Greetings From Butchers Hill

Music Bed

Opening greeting:

STEVE
Hello, and welcome to the Steve and…

[BEAT]

LUCY
[RESIGNED]
…Lucy…

STEVE
…audio postcard.

This is chapter one, our inaugural effort!  And we are so exited to bring Friends and Family news of our happy little household; the comings and goings; the events and doings; any noteworthy aspect that occurs within our realm!  Right honey?

LUCY
[DEADPAN]
We’ll see.

STEVE
Ha-ha!  Always the prickly pear!  The surly Sally…
[WHAP]

[OFF-MIC]
Ow!
[CLEARS THROAT, AWKWARD LAUGH]

Anyway, first order of business is bringing everyone up to speed!
And we are excited to announce that Lucy has landed a very prestigious job working for a local industry!  Lucy, why don’t you tell us a little about the company?

LUCY
[DETATCHED ENTHUSIAM- bored]
Well… it involves technology.  And monitoring…

[BEAT]

…you know, people.

STEVE
Huh.  In what way?

[BEAT]

LUCY
Mmm… all of them.  We do random sweeps on phones and computers… we’re tapped into the community security cameras…

[HALF-BEAT]

We have our own devices that are fixed around the region… and we also have mobile units on law enforcement vehicles, officers… their children…

STEVE
Wow!  You know… that really gives me a sense of security, knowing that we’re all being watched over like that.  That way, nothing bad can happen, right?

LUCY
[MATTER OF FACT]
Sure.

STEVE
Ok!  So… can you share with us what it is that you do there?

[BEAT]

LUCY
[AS IF SHE’S SAYING ‘IMPORT EXPORT’]
I’m in the marketing and design department.

STEVE
Fantastic.  And the company?

LUCY
We’re the Standardized Industrial Network of Surveillance and Temporal Recon.

[TWO BEATS]

STEVE
Standardized Industrio…netwha…

[BEAT]

Wait…

[HALF-BEAT]

Sinister?

LUCY
We generally just use SI.

[BEAT]

STEVE
Alright!  And so… most of you know that we bought a house recently.  It’s been a lot of work, but we are really happy with it.

LUCY
We are content.  The “really” might be overkill.  But… yes… there is potential.  I like the yard; there’s a room for my workshop.  The house is suitably far from the anomalous zones… it’s close to… work…

STEVE
OooK– you guys can’t see this but she’s giving me a look.  True– I still haven’t found a job, but I am looking.  But to be honest, I have been taking advantage of the time off… to [tone shifts from cheery to anxious] [GULPS] you know… [CLEARS THROAT] recover a bit.

[BEAT]

Right!  So, I’m sure that some of you are curious about our wonderful cats!  Those capricious little bundles of fur and chaos.

LUCY
[DEADPAN]
And entropy.

STEVE
And entropy.  The kitties are well… in fact, since we’ve moved, their spirits seem to have improved dramatically!  They are the proverbial examples of fat and happy!  Especially Mr Loaf.  But the Old Man also has picked up an extra kick in his step; they really seem to have taken to this new environment. I think everyone remembers the Old Man had a setback a couple months ago… and his recovery was not progressing as well as hoped… in fact, we were really concerned what effect the new environment would have on him… but ever since the move, he’s looked better every day!

LUCY
True.  I really thought we’d be able to cut the cat food budget in half, but… well, there he is.

[BEAT]

I will say that I do enjoy the way they prowl about the perimeter.  They’re like little fuzzy sentries.  Fuzzy… clawed sentries.  Hmmm…

[BEAT]

But you’re right– while they were initially tentative about the new space, they appear to have settled right in and have embraced the change.

STEVE
Turn and face the strange!

LUCY
What.

STEVE
And the cats are loving it!

LUCY
^  Hmm.
[1/8 BEAT]
They are looking… [INTROSPECTIVE]
shinier.

STEVE
So, the house is a two bedroom rancher with a finished basement; it has an attached garage, central air, and a portal to Hell.  It also came with a shed, which was very helpful for extra storage.  We have sooo much stuff!

LUCY
[MATTER OF FACT- DEADPAN]
We have too much shit.

STEVE
Ha ha!  Lucy!  Why don’t you tell all our friends about the studio you’ve discovered?

LUCY
Mmm…

[HALF-BEAT]

Ok.  I am pretty happy about this.  Last week I found a really nice place that practices combat yoga, very similar to the style that I used to teach.  The instructor is a (roughly) thousand year-old hermit that studied under the ant-eye-Buddha; he’s battled dragons, and [FATE-ED] feted with saints.

[BEAT]

Wait… no, I think it was the other way around.  Anyway, yes–cautiously optimistic.

STEVE
Umm…

[BEAT]

what’s an “ant-eye-Buddha”?

LUCY
After the Skism, Buddha was split into two entities; the Buddha, and the ant-eye-buddha.  The [Skism occurred in…]

STEVE
Ok… never mind.  Just… uh, try not to come home with anymore of those nasty bruises you used to get on your kharma.  They were ugly.

[BEAT]
[LOW TONE]
And they smelled funny.

[WHAP]

STEVE
[NERVOUS LAUGHTER]
Alrighty then.  So– we are in a new town, and… you know what?  We haven’t even mentioned where we are!
Guys?  We moved to Butchers Hill!  Still in Colorado, of course… still on the front range, but a little bit further from Denver.  We wanted to get closer to the mountains!  Right honey?

LUCY
Further from the populace, yes.

STEVE
And we found this lovely little neighborhood where the houses are quaint, the shops are artisanal…

LUCY
And the people keep to themselves.

STEVE
This area has a little bit of history… it’s been a growing community since the mid 19th century… so you know it’s got some character!
There are just a bucket full of restaurants and boutiques that we want to try…

[BEAT]

Wannacrakah Lake is a couple miles north… and it looks like theres a path that runs the perimeter.  That sounds like fun, right Lucy?

[HALF BEAT]

LUCY
No.  It sounds like bugs and hay fever.  And the potential of flooding.

STEVE
Now… I asked around, and that lake hasn’t flooded in three years.  And that was during the centennial floods… so we shouldn’t have to worry about that anytime in the near future.

[BEAT]

Alright!  As I mentioned one of the things we like about this area: so many unique restaurants and shops!  So, where did we go for breakfast last Sunday?

LUCY
That was the R’lyeh [Ra-LYE-eh] Cafe

STEVE
And, if this is any indication of what we can expect from the area, color us impressed.

LUCY
I suppose the food was pretty good.  I did like the aquarium they had in the lobby.  So many tentacles.

STEVE
[QUEEZY]
Yeah…

[BEAT]

I got the Benedict Florentine.  I know, I know… stay away from hollandaise, but I am such a sucker for buttery, creamy and rich!

LUCY
I really appreciated the variety of fresh ingredients they had for my omelet.  It’s not often that one finds that quality, or even that strain of fungus… and the cheese was uniquely piquant.

STEVE
That was cheese?

LUCY
And the fried lung was exquisite.

STEVE
[HURP]
I thought that was bacon.

LUCY
I’d go back to the R’lyeh.

STEVE
No, it was… uh…it was good… but there are so many other places we want to try!  A veritable embarrassment of riches!

LUCY
True.  I wouldn’t mind giving the Vault a visit… and maybe the  Lick Squid McPanic…

DOUBLE BEAT

STEVE
Right… so, what have we been up to lately, besides the move and the new job?

LUCY
[SLIGHTLY UNDER BREATH]
My new job.

STEVE
[STEPS ON THE LAST LINE]
What else do we want to share with our peeps?

LUCY
[OFF-MIC][FLAT DELIVERY]
Don’t ever say that again.

[HALF BEAT]
LUCY
Well… we could tell our listeners…

STEVE
Friends and Family…

LUCY
…a little about the move.

STEVE
Oh?  Uh… Ok.  Well, it went pretty smooth… we had Scott & Mike to help us.  And Erin and Eva; thanks guys!  We got everything into and back out of the truck in one day, so that was a relief.  No one got hurt… no one took our things to Pismo Beach in an anomaly induced excursion…

[BEAT]

LUCY
How about the armoire?

STEVE
The what?  The armroar?  Ermrrer… the– []the up-right dresser?

LUCY
Yes.  Why don’t we share about that?

STEVE
[EVASIVE]
Oh… um– not much to say about that… it’s, you know, down in the basement.  We’ve got our Hibernal Solstice decorations in it.  Some clothes, books…

LUCY
[ADDRESSING MIC]   He wanted to put it in the spare bedroom.  [SLIGHTLY MOCKING] ‘Won’t that look nice by the window]?’  [RETURN TO FLAT DELIVERY] So after Scott and Mike wrestle the thing into the house, they tried to negotiate the left-turn and right-jog through the hallway.  As the wardrobe is 7 foot tall and 4 wide, it doesn’t corner too well.  So, that chicane into the spare bedroom was a little challenging.  And then… the [ENUCNIATES] armoire achieved a position in space from which it could not be extricated.  So, that was fun.  I thought we’d managed to create a real-world tribute to the Richard MacDuff Sofa-Problem.

[BEAT]

But dislodge it, we did, [UNDERBREATH] not without mild damage to the woodwork.

STEVE
[NON-COMMITAL SOUND THAT MIGHT BE A WHIMPER]

LUCY
All of that pales, however… truly wilts, in comparison with the manner in which we acquired… the great wooden beast.  Can we share that with our listeners?

STEVE
[TIMIDLY, LIKE ADVENTUREKATEER PATRICK]
Freens n… freens n famly

[BEAT]

Umm… I’d rather not?

[BEAT]

LUCY
Mm… maybe another time.  But, yes.  All things considered, the move went well.  I was very sad to lose the CanOpic jar…

STEVE
Oh yeah…

LUCY
…it was part of a set… and the contents are going to be very difficult to replace.

[BEAT]
But we’re here now, and things are settling in nicely.

[BEAT]

[AS AN AFTERTHOUGHT]
I am looking forward to putting my guns up.

STEVE
[NEWLY INVIGORATED]
Ah!  I’m sure most of you are aware, but for those that aren’t, Lucy is a competitive skeet shooter.  Skeet, of course, are the small, spiny flying marsupials that were engineered by Jacksin Labs back in the ’80s.

LUCY
With work and the move, and other… things… I haven’t been able to keep a steady schedule with my target practice.  But I’ll be able to rectify that shortly; SI has an on-campus range.

STEVE
That’s fantastic, honey!  I know that’s something you’ve been wanting to pick back up.  Do you think you’ll return to competition?

[BEAT]

LUCY
I’ve thought about it.

[DOUBLE BEAT]

STEVE
Ok!  That’s just great!
So!  We mentioned the trails in the area; it’s an amazing network that wends its way all over town, and well into the open spaces.

I’ve done a little exploring in our time out here, and, quite frankly, the expanse is a little daunting!  I almost got lost more than once.  But most of the trails are well marked, and many of the intersections have maps.

LUCY
Those are nice features.  Much better than [what we had back…]

STEVE
Except for the open spaces, where all the maps read “here  be dragons.”

LUCY
What?

STEVE
I’m sure that’s only a joke.

LUCY
Hmm.

[BEAT]

STEVE
Funny thing, though.

[BEAT]

Well… you know I’ve been exploring about…

LUCY     [DEADPAN]
You won’t shut up about it.

STEVE
And there are just some…

[BEAT]

…unique characteristics about the area.

LUCY
I thought that was what we liked about it.

STEVE
Um… yeah… but I mean… like…

[BEAT]

…have you noticed… that all the storm grates are barred?

[HALF-BEAT]

LUCY
That’s not uncommon.  It’s to keep kids out.

STEVE
And the locks on the manhole covers?  Same thing?

LUCY
Well… that does seem a bit excessive… but I guess they’re really serious about protecting the children around here.  Or… protecting the sewer system.  Kids are monsters.

STEVE
Ha ha!  I know I was!  Sure… That’s probably it.

LUCY
No– the thing around here that weirds me out?  That cult church across town.  What are they, the Church of the Locust?  If I’d known how creepy they are, and how much they influence the traffic on the weekends, I don’t think I would’ve moved here.

STEVE
Lotus.  I don’t think it’s a cult.

LUCY
Yes.  Them…

[HALF-BEAT]

Do we know if they are beholden to the new gods or old?

[BEAT]

STEVE
Well… I’m not sure… but if I had to guess, I’d say new!  The church is named after a flower!

LUCY
Hm.

[HALF BEAT]

Could be…  but I don’t like them.  The way they skulk about town; they’re like- pod people on parade.  And the wi-fi around here always goes to hell on the weekends.  Are you going to tell me that’s not their fault?

STEVE
I don’t think prayer works that way.

LUCY
Scoff if you like, but I don’t trust them.  Any organization that accumulates people in such large numbers has got to use drugs, brainwashing, or some combination of the two.

STEVE
Or chocolate…

LUCY
That counts as a drug.

STEVE
Ok!  So, alternative worship aside, we are just smitten with our new town.  And there’s loads more to discover!
And, with that, we want to thank you guys for joining us on our first of what we hope will many…

LUCY
We?

STEVE
…more to come!

LUCY
More?

[FADE IN END MUSIC]

STEVE
I know that this is initially a oneway street… but it’s not a dead end!  Ha ha–

[WHAP]

Ow.
So, um… hopefully, we’ll have an e-mail link for those of you who want to catch up with us from your side…

Anyway, please subscribe, and rate us on iTunes… and join us next month, where we’ll catch you up on what we’re doing, what’s going on… and maybe… even a little history of our new town!

LUCY
[OFF MIC, FLAT]
I’m not doing this again.

STEVE
[OFF MIC]
What?

END