“Know Who You Are”
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 of Flyest Fables a show that brings you new fables for the 21st century, all told in an immersive way. And pretty awesome news from last week! Flyest Fables was named on the Bello Collective’s list of 100 Outstanding podcasts for 2018. Check out bellocollective dot com to read the write up and to check out the other shows that were part of the list, too! There are some great ones. And you can also sign up for the Bello Collective newsletter, to stay on top of all things happening in podcasting. Oh and If you haven’t yet, please take a moment to follow the show wherever you get your podcasts.
Today’s story is called, “Know Who You Are”
[Fade up sounds of late night city traffic. The random pass of cars. The streets are deserted. Sound of footsteps on the sidewalk. Walking. .]
Marcus’ Narrator: Marcus had walked all day after speaking with Tonya. He walked as though trying to forget. As though trying to shut the door on memories that swirled beneath him like a vortex. Threatening to pull him beneath the waves, once again. Marcus had already tried. He had done everything he was supposed to do. Followed every rule laid out before him like they held the keys to understanding who he was, in the deepest part of himself. In the end he had lost everything. And understood nothing.
Marcus had pretended not to feel his heart squeeze in his chest with remorse, when he locked eyes with Tonya’s deep browns, and whispered, “no, I don’t think I can handle being a baker again. Ain’t no point in it. Something’ll happen and I’ll be on my own. No job. No family. And I ain’t asking you to feel sorry for me. But that’s just life sometimes, you know?” He’d stood then, breaking the connection between the two of them, and headed towards the door.
Marcus’ Narrator: But he moved unhearing, and placed his hand on the cool metal of the door, grasping the handle in his hand.
Marcus: “I really am sorry. You seem like a very kind woman.”
Marcus’ Narrator: She called after him once more, but he ignored her and exited through the door. Marcus walked for hours, until his feet throbbed within his worn sneakers, and his shoulders burned from carrying his pack upon his back. He walked until the sun dipped below the puzzle piece skyline of the city, and the moon rose to take it place whispering its love to the sun as it said, “goodnight brilliant one. My love, I’ll see you soon.”
And he walked.
And he walked, before finding himself back at the entrance to the very office where he’d told Tonya just that morning, that he didn’t want to be a baker.
Marcus: “Now how the heck did I end up back here?”
Marcus’ Narrator: He spun around,
[Sound of footsteps running on the sidewalk]
ran to the end of the block to check the street sign.
Marcus: “This don’t make sense. I know I was clear on the other side of the city…”
Marcus’ Narrator: He made to move past the sign, to begin his trek away from the pained hope of possibilities, when his bag began vibrating on his back. Shaking with a rumble that wouldn’t, couldn’t be ignored.
Marcus: “What the entire…”
Marcus’ Narrator: Sliding his pack from his shoulder, heart pounding in his chest, he opened the bag. And right there, shining brilliantly in the soft darkness of the city lights, was The Book. His name lit up as brightly as the sun that had already kissed the world goodnight.
Marcus: “This danged book is something else…”
Marcus’ Narrator: Almost as if he couldn’t help it, couldn’t quite bring himself to stop, Marcus made his way back to Tonya’s office and sat on the front stoop.
[Sound of a quick puff of air on hands]
Briefly blowing on his hands for warmth, Marcus settled in, opened up the book, and began to read.
[Fade down and out all sounds of city traffic. Sounds of chimes can be heard, as they stop playing the sounds of the ocean waves against a shore can be heard. We have entered the world of the book.]
Devonay’s Narrator: Devonay had spent most of her life in the Kingdom of Langston, deep within the mines, close to the core of the Earth. But this was new. And at first she had been afraid, had been so afraid that she nearly turned and ran from the sea. Had wanted to launch herself back into the sky and flee, but the Ocean had stood there so calmly and patiently. His crown upon his head, the cape of seaweed billowing in the soft breeze.
The Ocean: “It’s okay. I’m promise you. Come, there is much for you to know, and very little time to learn it.”
Devonay’s Narrator: Devonay reached out to take his hand once more, and this touch was different.
[footfalls through the ocean can be heard briefly before fading away]
As the ocean cocooned her in its gently flowing waters, pulled her down to the depths of the sea.
[Deep underwater sounds fades up as Devonay slips beneath the sea. A heavy thrumming sound. It vibrates from the weight of the water pressing around her. But the sound is also warm. Not threatening.]
Devonay: “Where are we going?”
Devonay’s Narrator: She thought, as the Ocean pulled her down. The light from the sun faded the further they went into the oceans depths, and for a moment she panicked. Felt she might become lost in the darkness of the ocean, that there might be no escape. And her chest burned, her lungs desperately wanting to inhale. To draw air within them. Devonay worried that she, like her people, might be trapped by forces that seemed stronger. Larger. Than anything she could ever overcome.
The Ocean: “Breathe, Devonay. I will not let anything harm you.”
Devonay’s Narrator: She shook her head. What madness was this, to ask her to draw breath, here in the inky depths of the ocean.
The Ocean: “Breathe.”
Devonay’s Narrator: The ocean said again, a gentle command this time, and he placed his hands on her shoulders, gripped them tightly.
The Ocean: “You are stronger than you know. You can overcome more than you believe. Just. Breathe.”
Devonay’s Narrator: He held her gaze, the pearls of his eyes lighting up the darkness around them, imploring her to take a chance. Devonay’s lungs burned, as her feet finally rested on the floor of the sea. The sand so smooth if felt like a kiss, the Ocean’s eyes staring patiently at her. Waiting. She had come so far from home. Surely this would not be the end. There was always hope when a person stepped out on faith. At least, that’s what her father always told her. Always said to her when they collapsed into their chairs around the fireplace of their small home. Warming themselves after an exhausting day in the mines.
Devonay’s Father: “Have faith, Devonay.”
Devonay’s Narrator: She thought of her father. Her her people, and she opened her mouth, and breathed.And once she did, the sea erupted with light. Schools of fish, flat like the palm of her hand, some round like the laugh that erupted from her father, swam around her. Shimmering with light that seemed to come from within, illuminating the darkness.
The Ocean: “You have such faith, and you will do wonderful things.”
Devonay’s Narrator: The ocean said.
The Ocean: “You were borne of the sea, but the winged people are different. You have it...harder than many. One foot in two worlds, caught in the in-between.”
Devonay: “Is that what is?”
Devonay’s Narrator: They asked, stifling a giggle as a tiny octopus covered in stars scurried past, pausing to wave hello.
Devonay: “The in-between? But why me? Why can’t I be like everyone else?”
Devonay’s Narrator: The Ocean stared at her, momentarily puzzled and then,
The Ocean: “Did you know there was a time where all the gem seekers were of the air and sea? A time where your people soared the skies, and communed with me...in harmony. Did you know?”
Devonay: “I...I’ve never been told such things. I don’t understand.”
Devonay’s Narrator: Devonay said.
Devonay: “Once we were all winged people?”
The Ocean: “In a time before, yes.”
Devonay’s Narrator: The ocean began to move past them, seaweed sprouting beneath his feet with each step he took. Though its color changed. One moment the deepest green, the next a stunning yellow, before slipping into the brightest shade of pink Devonay had ever seen.
The Ocean: “There was a time when you were all winged people. And then the Appraisers came. They tricked your people. Bound them to the earth, set them to toiling in the mines, and eventually they forgot. Where they came from. WHO they were. But every generation there was one who would remember. One who would sprout wings, who would undergo the change. Who would live in the in-between. And you, you are the first winged person to find me. And I have waited. The universe waits, and I have waited for you. Your people, have waited. For. You.”
Devonay: “I am only one person! One person who does not understand what is happening!”
Devonay’s Narrator: The ocean paused, a small smile began to pull at his mouth.
The Ocean: Do you know who you are? Do you know who you are?
You are the air that they breathe
You are the one who could set you and them free
Do you know who you are do you know?
You could unite everyone
You could be the morning sun
Do you know who you are? You’re the one
Devonay: I’m the one...tell me what you mean
The Ocean: You’re the one
Devonay: But I’m so scared, how can it be me
The Ocean: You’re the one
Devonay: How can you be so sure? When I am so insecure?
The Ocean: You can do this, I know you can. You can do this…
Devonay: “Do what?”
Devonay’s Narrator: Devonay asked, but the Ocean was fading away as she was pulled rapidly up through the waters. The schools of fish spelling out farewell, as the dolphins leapt from the surface of the water, and soon she was shooting out in the sky.
[fade down and out the sounds of the deep sea. Fade up the sounds of waves from the sea crashing against a shore]
The waves crashing against the shore of the Kingdom of Langston. Her wings unfurled behind her, catching the soaring breeze.
The Ocean: Know who you are…
Devonay’s Narrator: She heard his voice, filtering to her through the sea, catching the intricate pattern of the wind, nestling like a hug around her heart and she flew towards home. Back towards Langston. They flew until their shoulders ached, until they wanted nothing more than to fly back to the sea. To seek out the ocean. She had so many questions. But she could not stop. Could not prevent herself from seeking destiny and so she flew, until she’d reached home. Until she landed above the entrance to the mines.
[Soft sound of Devonay landing. The voices of the Gem Seekers in the mines can be heard. Pick-axes against stone. Shovels moving rock.]
Devonay: “Come, with me.”
Devonay’s Narrator: Their voice echoed down, and she could hear the silencing of them at work. Watched as her people craned their necks, peering up into the sky that hovered like an eclipse at the entrance.
Devonay: “Come, with me!”
Devonay’s Narrator: She spoke without knowing, without guidance, but still she spoke.
Devonay: “The appraisers would take from us until we have nothing left to give. They would build their skyscrapers at our expense while we barely have enough to eat. Enough to care for our young. Our elderly. Our sick. There is more beyond this. WE can be more. Come with me.”
Devonay’s Narrator: She watched as they exchanged glances, as they wondered if she might be able to show them something better. Some place better.
[Sounds of marching can be heard. A large group moving towards them. The Appraisers are on the move.]
Devonay could hear the appraisers approaching. Could hear their angry shouts, and the pounding of their feet against stone. She did not have much time. They would be upon them all soon. And her people. Defenseless.
Devonay: “We must go! There isn’t much time!”
[The sounds of marching grows louder]
Devonay’s Narrator: The pounding of their feet grew closer.
Devonay’s Dad: “Devonay, how?”
Devonay’s Narrator: Her father’s voice rang out. So loud and clear he may have been standing next to her.
Devonay’s Dad: “HOW?”
Devonay’s Narrator: They swallowed, cast a glance over their shoulder at the menacing approach of the Appraisers. The wasn’t enough time to get them all up from the mines. To safely reach the surface, and exit the Kingdom of Langston.
Devonay: “You fly, Dad! You FLY!”
Devonay’s Narrator: Silence descended in the mines. And the gem seekers looked around. Puzzled. When the older gem seeker stepped forward, her eyes as kind as the day she’d helped Devonay escape.
Older Women Gem Seeker: “We fly.”
Devonay’s Narrator: She said. Smiling benevolently at her people, smiled up at Devonay, before wings so pure and true appeared at her back that they were almost invisible. And the older woman flew. Her laughter bouncing back to her and she shot up the mine shaft, drawing closer to Devonay.
[sound of Gem Seekers celebrating. Cheering begins to fade up]
And upon seeing that, her people cheered. Rejoicing, and Devonay thought her heart would burst with joy as they all sprouted wings and soared laughingly, jubilantly out of the depths of the earth, hovering above the ground as they surrounded Devonay.
[Sound of Gem Seekers celebrating begins to fade down and out]
Devonay’s Dad: “Where do we go?”
Devonay’s Narrator: Her father asked, taking her in his arms as he landed gently beside her. His eyes brilliant. Luminescent. Devonay cast a glance back, the Appraisers were closer.
Devonay: “I think I know a place. I heard about it from the ocean.”
Devonay’s Dad: “We go before we deal with these, Appraisers. They should be made to suffer for what they’ve done to us. For how they USED us.”
Devonay’s Narrator: Devonay placed a hand to his chest, felt the beating of his heart.
Devonay: “And we become them? Worse than them in time, perhaps? No.”
Devonay’s Narrator: She cast eyes to the ground, before looking back at their father. Squared her shoulders. The days of flying had strengthened her in ways she still didn’t understand. And her face had grown as chiseled and sharp, as her shoulder had grown broad. Though her eyes remained kind.
Devonay: “The ocean told me of a place. A place he had seen when walking the shores. When falling in the rain, and swimming in the streams.”
[Sound of Devonay taking flight. Can hear her wings beating softly]
Devonay’s Narrator: She turned from him and took to the sky, calling down to her people.
Devonay:“Come with me. There is a better place. A place where we will be safe. Where we can live free.”
Devonay’s Narrator: Devonay blinked back tears as her people rose into the air. Hundreds of them. Thousands. Trusting and believing in her. Stepping out on nothing, but faith.
Devonay’s Dad: “Where will we go?”
Devonay’s Narrator: Her father asked, as they flew. Ignoring angry shouts of the appraisers behind them. The Kingdom of Langston fading behind them.
Devonay: “There’s a place. The ocean told me about. A kingdom called Orleans with a Queen of Stories and a princess named Keisha. We will go there.”
[Fade down all sounds of Devonay’s world amongst the twinkle of chimes. We are leaving the world of the book. We are back in Marcus’ world. And can hear the city traffic. The sounds of a city waking]
Marcus’ Narrator: Marcus stared at the book, waiting for more words to appear. But nothing happened. The words on the page remained the same. He flipped the book closed, his eyes widening as he did.
The Queen of Stories: Dear Marcus,
This is your story, and it will always be yours. Hold it within you, and remember that the world can be better than you believe. More than what you see or even dream. The world needs you. The people of your world need you. You could change everything. Marcus, you are a StoryKeeper.
The Queen of Stories and Princess Keisha
Marcus’ Narrator: Tonya stood before him, a confused expression on her face. Holding the hand of a young girl who ducked shyly behind her. Marcus looked up from the book, rubbed his eyes. He had read all night, and the sun had returned, casting the warm light of morning on him and the sleepy city.
Marcus: “My bad, yo. I meant to be up away from here awhile ago, and I guess I just lost track of time.” He stood, picked up his bag from the ground. “I’m gonna gon’ head on my way.”
Tonya: “Do you wanna come in for coffee or anything? I just had to come by and pick up some paperwork.”
[Sound of keys fumbling in the lock.]
Marcus’ Narrator: She fumbled with the keys, and the small girl peaked from around her mother, a shy smile on her face. He smiled back at her, offered a little wave as Tonya finally opened the door and waved him inside. After a brief moment of hesitation, he followed them in,
[Sound of a door wooden door closing. The hinges squeak slightly.]
closing the door behind him. Tonya pointed at the little girl,
Tonya: “She’s not feeling too well today, so I’m gonna be working from home...but I’m glad I saw you. We still need a baker for the restaurant.”
Marcus’ Narrator: Marcus ducked his head,
Marcus: “Look, I know it’s a cool opportunity and all. I’m all for helping feed the homeless and alladat but I just can’t seem to--”
Tonya: “You’d start at eighty-five-thousand a year, Marcus. If you said yes.”
Marcus: “Eighty-five THOUSAND? You gotta be playing with me.”
Marcus’ Narrator: His mind leapt at the possibilities. What he could DO with that money. How he could live…
Marcus: “If I said yes...what would you pay everyone else?”
Tonya: “Well, not eighty-five thousand dollars. Definitely less than that.”
Marcus’ Narrator: He felt the book warming in his hands, gripped it a little tighter. Thought of his grandmother, and all the hours they’d spent together in her kitchen as she whipped up cakes and pies. Teaching him how to bake love right into the crust. Thought of Antoine and how disappointed he might be if he walked way. Marcus even thought of himself, in the future, before opening his mouth,
Marcus: “I’ll do it for fifty thousand, if you promise to divide the other thirty-five up for everybody else.”
Marcus’ Narrator: Tonya blinked at him in surprise,
Tonya: “Are you sure? That’s awfully generous of you. You don’t have to--”
Marcus: “Nah, I do.”
Tonya: “Well, I was planning on working from home today. Jada’s not feeling well.”
Marcus’ Narrator: She nodded down, placed a comforting hand on the little girl’s back,
Tonya: “But maybe we can start paperwork now and…”
Marcus: “Naw, you gon’ head and take care of her. I’ll swing back by tomorrow.”
Tonya: “You promise?”
Marcus: “Yeah, I promise.”
Jada: “Is that your book?”
Marcus’ Narrator: Marcus turned his attention towards the little girl, his expression softening as he did,
Marcus: “It sure is.”
Jada: “It’s...got my name on it.”
Marcus: “It’s got what?”
Marcus’ Narrator: He looked down, and sure enough, right there in that gentle, flowing silver script he’d become some used to, was the name ‘Jada’.
Marcus: “Well, I’ll be…you know what. It looks like it does. Why don’t you have it?”
Marcus’ Narrator: He held out the book, and Jada cast a questioning look at her mother, but Tonya just nodded.
Jada: “Thank you.”
Marcus’ Narrator: Jada whispered, clutching the book fiercely to her chest.
Marcus: Kid, you deserve to fly…
Outro: This wraps up the latest episode of Flyest Fables. If you liked this episode, please take a second to share it with a friend. Send them a text, an email or call them on their cell phone.
If Flyest Fables sounds EXTRA good today, that’s thanks to the show’s new sound engineer. Jayk Cherry! Jayk is super dope and you can find him on twitter at EvinJayk that E-V-I-N J-A-Y-K
Thanks so much for listening! This season is winding down, and there are only two more episodes left! But I’ve already got plenty of stories ready for season two. So make sure to keep following the show. 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 dope comedien. 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.