“The Pulse of the Earth”
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 signing
Host’s 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. If you haven’t yet, please take a moment to follow the show wherever you get your podcasts. *Hum here* Oh, that’s was just me waiting for you to follow the show whiiiich I’m assuming you’ve done, and if you could rate and review, that’d be great! Thank you! I promise you that I do read them.
Moving right along...today’s episode is called “The Pulse of the Earth”
[Fade up of city crowds. People shuffling around and walking. The sounds of city traffic. Busses and passing cars can be heard. Honking of traffic.]
Marcus’ Narrator: Marcus stood near the entrance of the metro station, amidst the morning shuffle of people as they hurried past him, each person finding their own unique way to avoid looking at him, or catching his eye. Sometimes, he treated it like a game.
Marcus: “Aight, I bet ol boy right there, in that red jersey gonna do some real Lebron James stuff. I bet.”
Marcus’ Narrator: Marcus held out his change cup, tried to ignore the wave of shame that washed over him every morning he found himself out on the street corner, depending on the goodness of others to help him survive another day. The man in the red jersey grew closer, so close that Marcus was beginning to pick out the freckles that tap danced across his face like diamonds in the sky. He held out his cup,
Marcus: “Aye, sir. You think you got a few--”
Marcus’ Narrator: The man’s eyes widened as he stared briefly at Marcus. So briefly that the glance was as light as the touch of butterfly wings against his face, before the freckled man stared pointedly at his phone, and spun around Marcus, before he took his place on the escalator that led to the subway trains.
Marcus: “Aint this bout a...ain’t like I was gonna bite you.”
Marcus’ Narrator: He yelled at the man’s retreating back.
Marcus: They walk past me / As if I don’t exist / They step over me, how’d my life end up like this? But I guess, in their place / I’d step over me too. Ah man, the hands of fate.
Marcus’ Narrator: Some mornings were better than others. Occasionally, someone would take the time to say “hello” and toss a few bills his way, maybe even hand him a coffee. Today, however, was not shaping up to be one of those days, and Marcus fought back the dark frustration that began to well within him. He’d never planned for his life to be this way. But the bad things happened fast, piling on top of him until he nearly buckled beneath the pressure. One day, he’d been doing okay. Had been on top of the world, and the next...well, the next moment it felt as though the world lay atop him.
It’d started like a wave of sadness that he could see clearly in the distance, far away from the shore of his mind, but everyday that wave just grew taller. Until it stood so high it blocked out the light of the sun...and things just kinda fell apart. He sighed, and made his way towards the escalator, sliding down into the coolness of the underground metro station.
[Fade away all sounds of city traffic, and the crowd and shuffle of people. Fade up slowly underground metro sounds. Trains moving on tracks. Squeal of wheels. Opening and closing of train doors.]
He’d only gotten seven dollars that morning, just enough to get him to the other side of town. Where he’d get to see his friend, Antoine.
The train slowly lurched its way to the platform, and he waited until everyone before him had entered, before boarding too. Hoping he’d still find a seat where he could be by himself. Marcus wasn’t quite sure he could bear sitting down next to someone, just so they could stand and walk away the moment he did. He scanned the car, made his way towards a set of empty seats and sat, tucking his bag between his feet. Marcus grabbed the book Antoine had given him a few days ago. He hadn’t had the energy to open it and read, the darkness having slowly creeped back into him. He barely had the energy to wake in the morning, but the book felt warm in his hands. Reminding him of the days he’d spent at his old bakery, when he’d pull sweet cakes hot from the oven. It was comforting. Familiar. Rocked gently by the train, Marcus opened the book and began to read.
[Sound of wind chimes. Sound of the metro fades away. Fade in sounds of shovels on rocks. Pick axes on walls. Soft hum of people talking. We’ve fallen into the world of the book. We are in an underground mine.]
Devonay’s Narrator: Devonay vaulted over the bannister that led to the mines. She was late, and goodness knows being late was one of the worst things she could do as a Gem Seeker. The Appraisers would make her life a nightmare if she didn’t get there soon. She reached out and grabbed the rope that disappeared into the inky darkness of the mine shaft.
[Sound of hands sliding swiftly down rope. Then a soft thud.]
Devonay’s Narrator: She hisser beneath her breath, trying to ignore the burning in the palms of her hands as the rough thread whistled through them.
Devonay: “Ugh, sleeping in wasn’t worth it today at all.”
Devonay’s Narrator: The Gem Seekers who were already in place hammered away at the rock and stone — at least, that’s what those who’d lost their magic did. It was the greatest fear of all the Gem Seekers. They were the only people in the Kingdom of Langston who could feel the pulse of the earth and tap into it. To seek out the stones used by the appraisers as they built their skyscrapers to the sky. Glittering towers of jewels that made the city look like the reflection of the sun at a distance during the day. And at night? The gems reflected back the soft hues of the fires lit throughout the kingdom — so that the rubies seemed once again at home. Out of the cocoon of the earth, and the coolness of the diamonds was also warmed by the flame.
Devonay’s Father: “Where have you been? You’re late.”
Devonay’s Narrator: Her father cut his eyes to the side, the deep browns tinged with worry and weariness. He’d been down in the mines only an hour longer than his daughter, but sweat already beaded on his face, running in rivers down it so that his tunic was plastered to his body. Devonay watched the magic flow from him. The magic the same shade as his kindness, the heartbeat of his love dancing around it’s shimmering edges. It was trying work to locate the gems.
Devonay: “I’m sorry. I was distracted. My back…father.”
Devonay’s Narrator: Her voice dropped to a whisper.
Devonay: “It aches again, and—”
Devonay’s Father: “Be quiet!”
Devonay’s Narrator: Devonay’s mouth snapped shut, and she grit her teetch.
Devonay: “Shouldn’t I—”
Devonay’s Father: “What you should do, is be silent! You know what they do to the winged ones. You know what happens.”
Devonay’s Narrator: His voice trailed off, and his face became haunted. The magic that flowed from him faltered, and he stumbled.
Devonay’s Father: “Devonay, please! They will hear it in your voice. You know it’s changing as much as I do.”
Devonay’s Narrator: She shook her head, as she reached out a hand to steady him the other Gem Seekers began to hum. The Appraisers didn’t approve of lulls in their work, but in this way at least, they could offer what comfort they could.
[Fade in deep rumbling hum. Like a song people might sing to survive.]
Devonay’s Father: We work ourselves down to our bones / So tired we can barely get home / we can’t live no more / no lord we can’t live this way / making minimum wages…
[Deep rumbling hum fades down and out.]
Devonay’s Narrator: Her father swayed, and then collapsed to the ground where he lay unmoving. Devonay fell to her knees next to him, put her hand on his chest, relieved to the point of tears as she felt the steady rising and falling of it. But her mouth grew dry with renewed fear. She couldn’t feel the magic in him any longer. Could no longer feel the steady thrum of it as it moved through him as surely as the loving waves kissed the shore of the Kingdom of Langston.
Appraiser: “What…is the meaning of this?”
Devonay’s Narrator: A hush fell over the Gem Seekers, and they parted, making a lined path to Devonay and her father, as an Appraiser made his way towards tehm both. His tunic was studded with sapphires, and it was worth more than the earnings of every Gem Seeker in he mines. Combined.
Appraiser: “Is he dead?”
Devonay: “No, he is not.”
Devonay’s Narrator: She stood, protectively over her father. Eyes narrowed, daring the Appraiser to move.
Appraiser: “Certainly appears dead to me.”
Devonay’s Narrator: He reached out to kick her father’s leg, and she moved before she had time to draw breath into her lungs. Pressed her hands against the Appraiser’s chest, and as soon as her hands made contact, she felt it.
[Sound of shattering gems. Scattering and falling.]
Devonay’s Narrator: She knew he did, too, by the sharp rise of his brows in surprise. His mouth making a silent “O” as the force of her rage and fear shot from her. The sapphires explored from his tunic as he flew through the air, landing a few feet away. Silence descended and Devonay stared wildly around at the shocked faces that encircled her. Hunched over at her knees, the terrible pain and itching in her back grew more intense, roaring back into her consciousness.
Devonay: “What is happening to me?”
Devonay’s Narrator: She brought her hands to her face, panting through her fingers, heard the ripping of fabric that covered her back.
Older Woman Gem Seeker: “Oh, my…is it truly happening?”
Devonay: “Is what happening?”
Devonay’s Narrator: An older Gem Seeker stepped forward, her breath a whisper of hushed awe.
Older Woman Gem Seeker: “You must flee.”
Devonay: “No, I can’t! My father!”
Devonay’s Narrator: The woman placed her hands on either side of Devonay’s face, and they felt like every hug she never knew she missed.
Older Woman Gem Seeker: “We will take care of him, but they cannot find you like this. You are one of the Winged People. You will fulfill the prophecy, but only if you live. Begone from this place, child.”
Devonay’s Narrator: Devonay cast one more glance towards her father.
Devonay: “Dad, I’ll come back to you. I promise.”
Devonay’s Narrator: They jumped at the sound of their own voice, at the new bass that rumbled through it. Shouting broke out behind the old woman. The Appraisers had brought back-up, and they moved swiftly towards her."
Older Woman Gem Seeker: “Go!”
Devonay: “How? They’re everywhere!”
Older Woman Gem Seeker: “You fly, child. You. Fly.”
Devonay’s Narrator: Devonay looked over their shoulder, would have fainted if the situation weren’t so dire, but they were there. Nearly as translucent as the very air they breathed, hovering like a dream at their back.
Older Woman Gem Seeker: “Fly.”
Devonay’s Narrator: Casting another glance at their father, they took off. Hurtling up the mine shaft, through the flickering darkness. Out…into the light.
[Wind Chimes. Mine sounds fade away. Internal sounds of a metro car fade up. We have exited the world of The Book.]
Marcus’ Narrator: Marcus blinked as a woman jostled his shoulder.
Woman: “Oh, I’m so sorry.”
Marcus: “You good.”
Marcus’ Narrator: She looked at him and smiled, catching his eyes and he waited. Waited for her eyes to glaze over as she began looking through him.
Tonya: “I’m Tonya, by the way.”
Marcus’ Narrator: She leaned back in the seat, making herself comfortable.
Marcus’ Narrator: Tonya held out her hand, and he stared at it. His hands still clasped around his book.
Tonya: “I don’t bite. I promise.”
Marcus’ Narrator: He grasped her hand in his, couldn’t hide the smile that began blooming across his face.
Marcus: “Nice to meet you.”
Tonya: “Interesting book you got there.”
Marcus’ Narrator: She nodded towards it as she released his hand.
Tonya: “What language is that?”
Marcus: “What was that?”
Tonya: “It doesn’t look like anything I’ve ever seen…interesting.”
Marcus’ Narrator: They fell into a comfortable silence, swaying with the rocking of the train. A few stops later, Tonya stood.
Tonya: “This stop’s me. I…don’t want to assume, but would you happen to be looking for work?”
Marcus: “Me? Yeah, actually.”
Marcus’ Narrator: She handed over a business car.
Tonya: “Stop by this address when you get a chance.”
Marcus: “This some kind of joke?”
Tonya: “Why would it be?”
Marcus: “Cause don’t nobody ever really wanna help me.”
Tonya: “Just stop by…please?”
Marcus’ Narrator: She smiled again, waved and exited through the train doors, leaving behind the floating scent of lavender and cocoa butter. Marcus watched until she’d become lost in the rush of people, craned his neck until the train disappeared into the tunnel. And he clung to the glimmering light of hope that opened up within him.
Marcus: Someone sees me…
[Fade down and out all sounds]
Host’s 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! If you took a second to send this episode to a friend, you can bet i’d appreciate it! Make sure to use the hashtag storykeepers to find others who love Flyest Fables too, and to share your stories. I can’t wait to read them.
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.
Transcriptions for Flyest Fables are now live at morgan givens dot com. There’s a link on the homepage. And the Flyest Fables cover art was created by Gracie Canaan. She’s a great artist and a hilarious comedian in Brooklyn, NY. Look her up and check out one of her shows!
Flyest Fables returns in two weeks.