Episode 2
“Do I Look Like One of Your Little Friends?”
By Morgan Givens

Reading Guide:

Speakers on the left: Their voice is heard more in the left ear.

Speakers on the right: Their voice is heard more in the right ear.

Speakers that are centered: Are heard equally in both ears.

[Brackets holding bold and underlined words are sounds effects. EX: Clanging of pots. City Traffic. Students Talking]

Speakers: With italicized words are signing

Host Intro: Welcome back Flyest Fables. I’m Morgan Givens, and I’m the creator of what you’re about to listen to...Flyest Fables brings you new fables for the 21st century, all told in an immersive, creative and fun way. If you haven’t yet, please take a moment to subscribe to the show and leave a review! Go ahead, put this on pause and do it right now! Okay, you back? Excellent. Today’s story is called “Do I Look Like One of Your Little Friends?”

[Fade up sound of busy city street. Car are heard. Honking. Rumbling of buses. People talking as they pass by. The sound of Antoine’s walking]

Antoine’s Narrator: Antoine walked down the sidewalk towards the school, clutching his book in his hands, itching with excitement to lose himself in the words that reached through the page to lay healing hands on his soul. He’d tried to read yesterday after getting home, but his mother simply wouldn’t let him be. As soon as his eyes drifted towards the book, here she’d come again. With more questions than he had answers to give.

[Fade down and out all sounds of the city. The quiet of a dining room. The clink of silverware on plates.]

Mom: “Antoine, I need you to be honest with me. Where were you for so long?”

Antoine: “In the park, Mom. I promise, that’s where I was.”

Mom: “Then why didn’t I see you a single time? Do you know how many times I circled that school looking for you?”

Antoine: “How does it make it my fault you didn’t see me?”

A’s Narrator: His mom leaned back from the dinner table and her brows drew together in a deep frown.

Mom: “Do I look like one of your little friends?”

Antoine: “Mom, I didn’t mean—”

Mom: “I SAID, ‘do I LOOK like one of your little friends?’”

A’s Narrator: Antoine sighed, and lowered his eyes. He wasn’t trying to be disrespectful, he just wanted her to believe.

Antoine: “I’m sorry, Mom. But that’s really where I was. I was just sitting there reading. That’s all.”

A’s Narrator: Her face softened as she looked at her son, ran her eyes over his features.

Mom: “I’m sorry, too. I shouldn’t have been so short with you. Just, anything could have happened, the world can be so dangerous. Especially for people that...for kids that look like you. Okay, honey? And—”

A’s Narrator: She paused then, took a deep breath, before reaching across the dinner table to grasp her son’s hand.

Mom: “I was worried.”

Antoine: “I didn’t mean to worry you...I was just...I was reading.”

Mom: (laughs) “You were reading. Lil boy you want me to believe you lost track of time reading? Antoine, baby, you ain’t never read a thing you didn’t have to…”

A’s Narrator: Seeming to think a little better of it, she paused, peering into her son’s eyes.

Mom: “You were really reading?”

Antoine: “Yeah! It’s the coolest book ever!”

A’s Narrator: He jumped up from the table, and ran to his backpack that leaned against their dining room wall. Antoine rummaged around and pulled out the book, unable to stop the flood of happiness that spread within him as he looked at his name on the cover. He handed the book to him Mom. She puzzled over it, turning it around in her hands, and pursed her lips.

Antoine: “See! And I was sitting in the park and it just started writing itself! And mom! It felt like I was right there in the book and there’s this Princess named Keisha who is on a quest to--”

Mom: “Baby, this is just a ratty old book.”

Antoine: “What, no! My name is right there on the cover!”

A’s Narrator: The worried look returned to his mom’s face.

Mom: “Antoine...it’s blank.”

A’s Narrator: She opened it, and her eyes ran unseeing over the words that stood out so brightly to Antoine that they may as well have been written by the rays of the sun.

Antoine: “You can’t see it?”

[Rapid fade up of the former cityscape sounds]

Marcus: “Antoine! Antoine!”

A’s Narrator: Antoine jumped, sucked back into the present so quickly he was nearly disoriented. He blinked.

Antoine: “Oh, hey Marcus!”

A’s Narrator: He waved and walked over to say hello. Marcus was in the same place where he sat every morning as Antoine headed to school. His change cup was placed squarely before him, as he sat cross-legged in the middle of the sidewalk, a sign propped on his knees that read: Military vet. Homeless. Looking for work. Any little bit helps.

Marcus: “You seemed a little lost there, you aight?”

Antoine: “Yeah, I’m okay. Oh!”

A’s Narrator: He reached into his backpack, and pulled out a sandwich. He packed one every morning on his way to school, just for Marcus. Even though it meant his mother was constantly scratching her head as she stared into the refrigerator, head tilted to the side in puzzlement.

Mom: “Where on earth did all that sandwich meat go? I just bought it.”

A’s Narrator: Marcus took the sandwich, and dapped up his friend.

Marcus: “Thanks little man. Now gon’ head and get to school. I’ll be here tomorrow.”

Antoine: “Okay.”

A’s Narrator: He waved, and headed back towards school. He wasn’t too far away now, and should really be on the lookout for the bullies, but he just couldn’t help himself, and so he opened the book and began to read…

{Sound of windchimes. Cityscape falls away. The sound of the rainforest and the Evergreen Oasis fade up. The sound of someone swimming can be heard]

Princess Keisha’s Narrator: Keisha had splashed gleefully in the pond, the cool water as refreshing as the kiss of the sea, and it reminded her of home. The fish in the pond weren’t like any she’d ever seen. Rainbow colored, with sparks of light that turned the water into a shimmering fireworks show. And some of the fish even jumped from the water, floating, their fins like wings as they looked at her face, curious. They flew so close to her she could smell them, and they smelled of flowers and her favorite fruits. One of the fish, it’s eyes sparkling like rubies smelled of strawberries. And another, with bolts of yellow down its side smelled of the freshest mangoes. She’d reached out to pet them, but chirping,

[Sound of three fish diving back into the water. The splashes of swimming fade away. Leaving only the sound of the Evergreen Oasis]

PK’s Narrator: they dove back into the water, swimming around her ankles,

Princess Keisha: “C’mon, stop that! That tickles!”

PK’s Narrator: Keisha’d wanted to rest after her swim, to sit down at the water’s edge and lose herself in the world around her. It was so inviting. But she knew she couldn’t. Not with her mother and the entire Kingdom of Orleans waiting for her. Depending on her. When she’d walked back to where she’d left her sword, a small chipmunk -- with deep purple fur that looked soft enough to bury her face in and eyes the color of lilacs --  had been staring at her sword. It’s head was cocked to the side, and it reached out a paw to touch it.

Princess Keisha: “Don’t do that. It’s very sharp.” she’d warned the tiny creature, speaking before she could catch herself.

PK’s Narrator: The chipmunk looked up at her, wide eyed.

Chipmunk: “Thank you so much! I didn’t know.”

Princess Keisha: “You’re welcome.”

Chipmunk: “Are you...a human?”

PK’s Narrator: The chipmunk walked closer, reached out and patted her leg, its touch so light she wouldn’t have known to feel it, if she hadn’t been able to see.

Princess Keisha: “I am.”

Chipmunk: “Oh my goodness! I can’t wait until I can tell the others I saw you!”

PK’s Narrator: The tiny creature turned and began to scamper away.

Princess Keisha: “Wait!”

Chipmunk: “Yes?”

PK’s Narrator: It looked back over its shoulder.

Princess Keisha:“I need your help, please?”

Chipmunk: “Hmmm,”

PK’s Narrator: It waddled back up to her.

Chipmunk: “Okay, what is it?”

Princess Keisha: “I need to get to the mountain’s peak. I need to see the dragon.”

Chipmunk: “Oh no, no, no nooo.”

PK’s Narrator: The Chipmunk raised its paws and clutched its round face.

Chipmunk: “You can’t go see the dragon! It’s not safe! It could hurt you.”

Princess Keisha: “It’s the only option I have. If I don’t get the flower it guards, my entire Kingdom will slowly disappear, and my mother will die. I’m going whether you help me or not. But the faster I get there, the better chance I’ll have.”

PK’s Narrator: Keisha locked eyes with the tiny creature, silently imploring. Hoping against hope that it would hear and trust her. The chipmunk sighed, it’s little shoulders drooping.

Chipmunk: “If you insist. Follow me.”

PK’s Narrator: Keisha hurriedly grabbed her bag, and followed the chipmunk into the deep brush of the oasis. Grateful it was so brilliantly purple that she wouldn’t lose track of it as it moved. Dashing over roots, chirping and chittering to itself the entire time they walked.

[Fade in sound of the distant roaring winds. They grow louder as they continue to approach it.]

Before too long, it stopped and pointed to a swirling translucent tornado that she could nearly see straight through, and it stood in the shadow of the mountain. Keisha had to lean back, trying to see where it ended, but it disappeared into the fog that shrouded the mountain’s peak.

Princess Keisha: “What’s that?”

Chipmunk: “The wind spire...it’ll take you to the dragon...but I really don’t think you should go.”

PK’s Narrator: She knelt, and the chipmunk padded over, placed its paws against her knee.

Princess Keisha: “I’ll be okay. I promise.”

Chipmunk: “You shouldn’t promise things you can’t know will be true.”

Princess Keisha: “You’re right, but I will try my best to be okay. Thank you for your help. What’s your name?”

PK’s Narrator: She asked, as she stood once more.

Chipper: “Chipper.”

Princess Keisha: “Well, it was lovely to meet you, Chipper.”

[The roar of the winds grows louder]

PK’s Narrator: Keisha began walking towards the wind spire, could feel the air whipping around her the closer she got, pulling at her hair, and beginning to dry her eyes.

Chipper: “And you? Who are you?”

Princess Keisha: “Me? I’m Princess Keisha.”

PK’s Narrator: And with a final wave, she stepped inside. The ground disappeared from beneath her feet as she shot rapidly skywards, and the wind rushed past her, filling her head a roar, and just when she thought she could take it no longer, it stopped.

[Sound of falling in snow. Sound of icy wind and snow atop a mountain’s peak.]

And she was unceremoniously dropped onto an icy patch of snow.

Princess Keisha: “Oh, c’mon. I should have asked Chipper how that thing worked first.”

PK’s Narrator: But, what was done, was done, and she could do nothing but learn and move on. Keisha pushed herself up from the ground and gasped at the sight. The entire world seemed open to her, laid out as though she were looking down at a map spread across a table.

Princess Keisha: “There’s home…”

PK’s Narrator: She could see the Kingdom of Orleans, felt that old bit of self-doubt nipping at her heels. And she looked away, turned her eyes towards the dark ice cave in front of her.

The Queen: “I am so proud of you. I know that you can do it Keisha.”

PK’s Narrator: Her mother’s words came back to her, reminding of the song she used to sing when she was small, running through the city of Orleans, dashing between and around the people of the Kingdom, all dressed in the bright colors for which Orleans was known.

Princess Keisha: I can do this, I know I can. I can do this. I will make my stand. I’ll hold my ground and I’ll see this through. I owe my kingdom, I owe myself too. I can do this. I know I can do this…

PK’s Narrator: Keisha stared into the gaping darkness of the cave, trying to ignore the hammering of her heart in her chest.

[Rumble of dragon steps approaching.]

PK’s Narrator: She could feel the ground shake beneath her feet as the dragon approached. Could smell the smoke and flames as it drew nearer...and then it’s eyes, in the darkness, bright orange and dancing with fire, its body still shrouded in shadow.

Dragon: “Who are you?”

PK’s Narrator: Keisha swallowed, and took a step forward.

Princess Keisha: “I am Princess Keisha, of the Kingdom of Orleans, and you have something I need.”

Dragon: “Why would I ever —”

[Wind Chimes. The sound of the windy mountain peak fades away. Cityscape sounds fade back up. The sound of someone tumbling to the ground.]

Antoine: (gasps)“Oh noooo.”

A’s Narrator: Antoine had been shoved from behind, and tumbled to the ground. He looked over his shoulder. There they were, the same bullies from yesterday, and he felt a ball of pained fury well in his chest, until his eyes were pricked with tears. And his book, his book lay partially in the mud.

Bully 1: “You gonna cry about it?”

Bully 2: “Yeah, he gonna cry.”

Bully 3: “Look at him. Y’all c’mon. It ain’t even worth it today.”

A’s Narrator: Antoine stayed where he was, having walked all the way to school reading, he’d forgotten to be on the look-out for those boys, and they’d gotten the jump on him. He reached out and picked up his book, gingerly wiping the mud and dirt from the cover, and brought it to his chest, waiting for their footfalls to fade away. Before he pushed himself up from the ground, and finally let the tears fall. Antoine turned around, head lowered and began to head back home.

Except, the book began to vibrate in his hands. He stared down at it, then looked back towards the school.

Antoine: I can do it. I know I can…

A’s Narrator: Wiping away the tears that coursed down his cheeks, Antoine continued on his way to school.

Flyest Fables Episode 3

Host Outro: This wraps up the latest episode of Flyest Fables. Make sure to follow the show on itunes, Stitcher or where ever you get your podcasts -- And rate and leave a review! It helps others find the show. And if you enjoyed this episode, please tell your friends! Tweet them, drop an email, or send them a quick text. I’d so appreciate it.

Before I go, If you’re like me, you might have trouble falling asleep sometimes. Or maybe, you want a calming voice to help bring you a bit of peace at the end of the day. Well, you should check out this podcast called Sleepy. It's a weekly show where Otis Gray rocks you gently to sleep with his voice, while he reads old books like Sherlock Holmes, Moby Dick, and Jane Eyre. Just like when you were a kid. New episodes come out every Sunday, so you can catch some much need z's for the week ahead. Follow Sleepy on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever else you find your shows.

Flyest Fables was created, written produced and narrated by me, Morgan Givens.

You can follow me on twitter @optimus_mo and @flyest fables. You can also learn more about me at morgan givens dot com.

Editorial assistance was provided by Robin Miniter. Robin is an audio producer and you can learn more about her at robin miniter dot com and follow her on twitter at robinminiter.

The Flyest Fables cover art was created by Gracie Canaan.