“Joyful as the Crashing Waves”
By Morgan Givens
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 singing
Intro: Welcome back Flyest Fables. I’m Morgan Givens, and I’m the creator. Flyest Fables brings you new fables for the 21st century, all told in an immersive way. If you haven’t yet, please take a moment to subscribe to the show and leave a review! C’mooon, you know you wanna do it. Thank yooou!
Today’s story is called, “Joyful as the Crashing Waves”
[fade up sounds of city traffic. Pedestrians walking past one another. People talking in conversation. Marcus is centered amongst it all]
Antoine: “Marcus, you have to go!”
Marcus’ Narrator: Antoine stood in front of his friend, hands defiantly on his hips, as he stared up, locking eyes with Marcus. He waved the sandwich he dropped off every day wildly in the air, and Marcus made a grab for it.
Marcus: “Antoine, hold on --”
Marcus’ Narrator: He swiped at the sandwich and missed, worried that a piece of roast beef go flying, slapping one of the curious pedestrians that walked by, who cast questioning glances at the man being scolded by a small boy.
Marcus: “Now, man, just one doggone second...would you chill ‘fore you drop the sandwich?”
Antoine: “Huh, oh. Yeah, okay.”
Marcus’ Narrator: Antoine handed over the sandwich to his friend, having the good sense to look moderately chastised before he continued on his earlier tirade.
Antoine: “How are you just not gonna go?”
Marcus: “Lil man, I ain’t really trying to talk about all that right now. It’s a lil complicated.”
Antoine: “What is so complicated about a very nice person maybe being able to help you find a place you could work? Isn’t that what you want?”
Marcus’s Narrator: Marcus looked down, felt his heart soften just a bit as he stared into the deep browns of Antoine’s eyes. He wanted to tell Antoine that maybe everything didn’t always have a happy ending. That maybe, not trying was better than getting his hopes up, just for them to be dashed upon the rocks like so many other dreams he’d had. Dreams that vanished like smoke before his eyes all those mornings he struggled to drag himself from his bed.
Marcus: “Now, go on ahead before you’re late to school. You done told me bout your mama. Last thing I want is her showing up putting me on blast, aight?”
Marcus’ Narrator: Antoine sighed, and his head dropped.
Antoine: “Fine. But I really think you should go. I’ll see you tomorrow, I guess.”
Marcus’ Narrator: He made to walk away, but stopped short upon hearing Marcus call out to him. Plaintive, almost seeking reassurance.
Marcus: “Aye, Antoine?”
Marcus: “How come you think I should go?”
Marcus’ Narrator: He shrugged, chewed briefly on his lower lip.
Antoine: “How come you don’t think you should?”
Marcus’ Narrator: They stared at one another for a moment before Marcus brought his hand up, rubbing the back of his neck.
Marcus: “I’ll think about it. Aight? Good enough.”
Marcus’ Narrator: A smile broke across Antoine’s face as bright as the dawn that always comes after night, and he pumped his fist in the air in excitement.
Antoine: “You can do it! I know you can!”
Marcus: “Boy, if you don’t get up out of here singing at me.”
Marcus’ Narrator: But Marcus laughed as he said it, and waved goodbye to his friend. He stood there another hour, finished the sandwich Antoine had packed for him before his friend had even cut the corner,
Marcus: “Dang, that thing was good today”
and worried over whether he should take Tonya up on her offer to just...show up. He stood there in place so long, that his knees locked and he almost tipped over, went crashing to the ground, when a passing stranger brushed up too closely against him.
Marcus: “Watch where you’re going, please!”
Stranger: “My bad!”
Marcus’ Narrator: The man called back over his shoulder as he continued hurriedly on his way. Marcus stared down into his coin cup, tucked the bills into his pocket, felt the card Tonya had given him resting against cash, and pulled it out. Ran his eyes over it, couldn’t help but think even while holding it in his hands, as real as it was, that he would show up, only to have whatever thread of hope that was beginning to well within him, snap before the reality of the situation.
[fade down and out all sounds of the scene before. fade in the clink of spoons on porcelain and glass. The sound of a steel bowl on the marble counterop]
Marcus had always loved to bake, would spend hours when he was a kid, in the kitchen with his grandmother as she carefully measured out ingredients. Laying them on the counter in such an orderly way that someone who didn’t even know the recipe might have been able to walk in and recreate whatever masterpiece she had in store.
Young Marcus: “What’s that?”
Marcus’ Narrator: He’d asked, all those years ago, as his grandma tipped a brown liquid into the cake batter she’d prepared. Had watched mesmerized as it was whipped up along with everything else.
[Fade in the whirring of a hand mixer used for mixing cakes]
Grandma: “Oh, just a little vanilla. The trick is to make it yourself, you know.”
Marcus’ Narrator: She’d winked conspiratorially at him, but he’d remembered it. The smell of it as it danced through him, and the taste of that cake. With buttercream frosting that made him sigh in happiness, and just the slightest hint of vanilla resting on the tip of his tongue.
[fade out sound of the mixer with a soft click at the end as it’s turned off]
His grandma’s three tier vanilla cake had been the one he’d used to secure the loan for his own bakery when he’d grown older.
Marcus had marched into the bank with his application papers and a slice of that cake. He’d walked out with the loan. And he poured himself into that bakery, emptied himself completely into the breads he baked that rose like hope in the pan, and the cakes and pies that lined the glass counters, welcoming and inviting for anyone who stepped through the doors. And it was the night of the opening that he got the message, a brief text to his phone from his dad that read: “Your Grandma died. Call the house.”
And that’s when the dark tide of grief began to rise, up to his ankles at first, the waters growing taller everyday, until they rested right beneath his mouth and every breath felt like a struggle. Sometimes the water would crest and he would choke on it, sputtering, trying to spit it out, but eventually he just got tired. And he sank into it, way down into the depths of it. Sank so far when he lost his bakery, he didn’t even feel it. Didn’t feel it as his bank account shrunk rapidly before his face, and Marcus eventually walked into the street with nothing but a gym bag over his shoulder when the landlord appeared, eviction notice in hand.
Nothing really seemed to matter. And now he had this card. Tonya’s card. And he heard his grandmother’s voice,
Grandma: “Tell yourself yes. If they say ‘no’ to you, then they do, but give them a chance to say ‘yes’.”
Marcus’ Narrator: That’s how he found himself standing before the door at the non-profit listed on the card. He squared his shoulders, and walked inside. Tonya spotted him immediately.
[Chime of a bell as he enters the office. Fade in sounds of an office. phones can be heard ringing. People in conversation with one another. A printer is heard softly in the distance]
Tonya: “Marcus! I’m so glad you came!”
Marcus: “Uh, yeah...you know...not like I had anything else to do.”
Marcus’ Narrator: She began to laugh, paused and glanced up at him.
Tonya: “Am I allowed to laugh at that?”
Marcus: “Yeah, and I mean, it’s true. I ain’t doing nothing.”
Tonya: “I promise I’m really glad to see you, but I have to make a quick phone call. Would you mind just having a seat in the waiting room? I’ll come right back out to grab you in a few minutes.”
Marcus’ Narrator: Marcus looked around, saw the curious faces peering at him, and wanted to run away. He glanced down, then sighed, and nodded. Taking a seat close to the door. It was good to have options. Just in case.
With nothing left to do but wait, Marcus pulled out his book and began to read…
[Twinkle of windchimes is heard. fade down and out the sounds of the office. fade up the sound of wind rushing past. the beat of Devonay’s wings. We have entered the book.]
Devonay’s Narrator: Devonay flew for days, away from the shouts of the Appraisers, dodging their hands as they’d grabbed for her as she shot up the mineshaft, bursting out into the dazzling light of the sun. The glittering towers of the Kingdom of Langston like rainbow fire before her eyes, and she wanted to land. Wanted to feel the cool stone of the streets beneath her feet. Wanted to, maybe just for a moment, forget that she could fly. Forget that there were wings that had sprouted from their back. Forget all the changes that were happening, confused that it was just her. She was the only one to guide her through. There were no other Winged People. The Appraisers always took them away. Banishing them from the Kingdom at the word of the King. Some of the Gem Seekers whispered that there was power in the winged people. That there would be one who could rise up. Could maybe make things better...could that be her?
Devonay flew until the Kingdom gave way to the sand, and the sand gave way to the sea. And the sun passed it’s luminous torch to the moon. She flew so long that she nearly fell asleep, shaking herself awake as her foot skimmed the surface of a wave.
Devonay: “Oh! What was I thinking flying so far out...and I’m so very tired.”
Devonay’s Narrator: Her voice still rumbled in her ears.
Devonay: “This must be part of it? But I don’t understand…”
Devonay’s Narrator: Her eyes began to droop again, and she sighed in relief when she spotted a tiny island, in the middle of the swirling sea, and made her way towards it.
[Fade up the sound of the ocean. Waves are crashing against the shore.]
It’s trees reached towards the sky as if trying to shake hands with the stars, and she sank to the ground as she landed, crossed her legs, instinctively folding her wings about her for warmth. Devonay had never felt so alone. And her loneliness sat like a stone in her heart, as it ached for home. For her father, her community of Gem Seekers. They weren’t rich, and some times they barely had enough to feed everyone, but they were her home, and now? Now she was leagues away.
[fade up the sounds of a crackling fire]
She stood after a few moments, gathered some twigs and lit a small fire. There was so much she didn’t know. The Winged People were always whispered about, as if the Gem Seekers were afraid to speak their name. As if speaking it would cause them to become one themselves, but they never made it feel wrong. But the Appraisers…
Devonay: “Is this who i’m supposed to be? Is this really who I am…”
Devonay’s Narrator: She flexed her hand, ran one up to her shoulders. They felt broader than they had the day before. Stronger.
Devonay: “Maybe it’s all the flying?”
Devonay’s Narrator: She stared into the crackling flame of the fire.
Devonay: “I’m a Winged Person?”
Devonay’s Narrator: She said out loud, testing the strength of the words on her tongue.
Devonay: “I’m a Winged Person.”
Devonay’s Narrator: She said again, stronger this time.
Devonay: “But what does it even mean…so what, am I s’posed to do? If I was born to..If I was made to fly…”
Devonay’s Narrator: Devonay sighed, cast her eyes to the sky, and stared at the twinkling stars before lowering them back down to the sea,
Devonay: “What in Langston?!”
Devonay’s Narrator: She scrambled to her feet, and her heart thrummed within her chest. A song of questioning anxiety as she stared at the figure that rose from the ocean. A man of water and earth. His body the swimming tides of the ocean. And she could see the rainbow fish that swam in the waters of his body, and as he grew closer, his eyes were pearls that shone kindly upon her, his hair the crystal sands, a coral crown resting upon his head. She closed her eyes,
Devonay: “you’re tired. You’re just...tired.”
The Man: “Not so tired that you cannot see what’s right before you, I hope.”
Devonay’s Narrator: The man spoke, and she opened her eyes back. Mesmerized by the cape of seaweed that was clasped about his throat by a luminescent shell, as it was caught by the wind.
The Man: “I have been waiting for you.”
Devonay: “Me? I...I’ve barely been waiting for myself.”
Devonay’s Narrator: She stared down at her feet, couldn’t bring herself to meet his gaze.
Devonay:“I don’t know who I am.”
The Man: “You are Devonay. Of the Kingdom of Langston. And you are one of the Winged People. Your people, the Gem Seekers, have great need for you.”
Devonay’s Narrator: He cocked his head to the side as he studied her.
Devonay: “What do you mean you’ve been waiting for me?”
The Man: “The universe waits. I wait. For all things.”
Devonay: “That doesn’t explain what--”
The Man: “The Universe waits. I have waited. For all things. For you. Now you’re here. And I will aid you.”
Devonay’s Narrator: He repeated himself, patiently and Devonay began to relax.
The Man: “Freeing your people, of course.”
Devonay: “Oh, we are already free. Things are just...difficult. It’s harder for us.”
The Man: “Is that freedom? To toil and earn nothing, to work and barely live. I have been waiting. For. You. Do you know the story of where you come from?”
Devonay’s Narrator: He took a step closer, held out his hand, and she took it without thinking. Felt the warm caress of his rippling hand in hers. Firm but light as air. Heavy with the salt of the sea, joyful as the crashing waves.
The Man:“Your father pulled you from the sea. When you were nothing but a babe. Swaddled and brought you home. He’d always wanted someone to love. I knew I’d made the right choice by gifting him to you, and you to him.”
Devonay: “This doesn’t make any sense. He has always been my father that’s not--”
The Man: “And he still is...but your heart beats with the pulse of the ocean. You are filled with the life of the earth, and the light of the sky. You are the one who could change everything. You are the first Winged Person to find me. And I have waited. The Universe waits. I waited for you.”
Devonay’s Narrator: Devonay brought her hands to her face, pinched the bridge of her nose, before looking back at the man.
Devonay: “How could I ever change anything?”
The Man: “With help. Always. And I will help you.”
Devonay’s Narrator: She wasn’t sure if she believed him, if it was really true.
Devonay: “Who are you?”
The Man:“I am the Ocean. Follow me, please?”
Devonay’s Narrator: He turned from her, and headed back towards the water, his feet leaving soggy footprints in the sand as he did. She stared after him, not knowing what to do.
The Ocean: “Come along.” He called back, extending his hand and Devonay moved towards him, reached out to take it and --
[fade down and out the sounds of the ocean and the crackle of the fire. The tinkle of wind chimes is heard. Fade up the sounds of Tonya’s office. We have left the book]
Tonya: “Marcus? You ready to come on back?”
Marcus’ Narrator: Marcus snapped the book shut, tried to strip the irritation from his voice before he responded.
Marcus: “Yeah, I’m ready. Is it cool if we just stay here, though?”
Marcus’ Narrator: Tonya looked momentarily startled at his request, but sat down next to him, and he was once again awash in the scent of lavender.
Tonya: “Sure, you looking for a quick escape?”
Marcus: “Might could be.”
Marcus’ Narrator: He held onto the book, like an anchor to keep him from fleeing.
Tonya: “It’s just...I noticed your hands on the train.”
Marcus: “My hands?”
Marcus’ Narrator: He glanced down at them, quickly placed the book away, and folded them under his arms. Out of sight, the grime and dirt on them hidden away from sight. He tried, he did, to stay as clean as possible, but it was hard.
Tonya: “No, no please.”
Marcus’ Narrator: She hurried to say, wanting to calm his fears.
Tonya: “I didn’t mean like that, but...you have baker’s hands. I noticed the healed marks on them from maybe trying to rush and pull too many hot pans out of the oven. Are you a baker?”
Marcus: “Not anymore. Not for a long time.”
Tonya: “Would you like to be one again?” Tonya tilted her head as she waited for him to speak. Her face open and warm. “I could really use your help, Marcus. What do you think?”
Outro: This is it for the latest episode of Flyest Fables. If you liked this episode, it’d be pretty dope if you could pass it along to someone in your life you think might like it too. Share the show with them in a text, email, tweet or heck that thing some of us don’t even do anymore...dun dun duuuun a phone call!
Thanks so much for listening, and Emma, I know you listen every time I put out a new episode. There are only three more episodes this season, and I have something pretty cool planned for the last two episode that I think you’re gonna like.
If you’d like to get in touch with me, send me an email at FlyestFables at Gmail dot com. And if you have a question about the show, you can ask me and I’ll answer it at the end of the next episode.
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.
The Flyest Fables cover art was created by Gracie Canaan. She’s a great artist and a hilarious comedian. Look her up next time you’re in New York and check out one of her shows. It’s a great way to support her AND Flyest Fables.
Until next time. I’m Morgan Givens.