Episode 7
“Rivers of Words”
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 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. This is the second to last episode for season one. To all of y’all who have listened and shared the show with a friend? Thank you. And Ella, Emma and Luke, thank y’all for listening, too. I love hearing what you think of the show. Okay, let’s get story started.

Today’s story is called, “Rivers of Words”

[Fade up the beeping of a heart monitor, the soft hum of a hospital in the background. Voices, machines, the movement of doctors, nurses and patient’s outside in a corridor. This is a hospital room.]

Jada’s Narrator: The hospital room was cast in the soft amber hue of late afternoon, and it made everything slightly hazy, as though Jada were looking at it from behind a piece of nearly transparent gauze. She blinked, and cleared her eyes. Yes, that was much better. Everything was still soft, but at least it was also sharply in focus. Her mother, Tonya, was tucked in a corner chair in the room. Fist tucked beneath her chin as she slept, and right there, on the hospital bed she was growing to hate with a fury that stunned her young heart, lay her father. His chest rising and falling with the steady inhale of each breath of hope, face relaxed only as he slept. Jada screwed up her own face as she felt tears begin to prick the corners, red hot, like little pokes to her heart.

Jada:“It’s not fair.”

[Fade up soft sound of rain outside.]

Jada’s Narrator: She whispered to her parents. To herself, to no one in particular. The only sound back the beep of the monitors, and the soft patter of rain outside.

[Low sound of a chair dragged across a linoleum floor. The chair has wooden legs.]

Jada dragged her chair closer to her father, and took his hand. He barely moved. It was hard to believe that the man who lay before her, was the same one who tossed her laughing in the air when she was much younger, the sun filtering through the trees, musical notes of light landing upon them. Hard to believe it was the same man who once built her a treehouse with his own two hands, when she complained, indignantly at six, that she had no place of her own to read. Hard to believe this was the same father she’d never thanked. Never told how she felt. And now...

It’d started with a little cough. One that just wouldn’t go away. No matter how much medicine her father took, or how often he used his inhaler. Then the cough turned to a wheeze, that made him whistle with every breath. And at first he’d made a joke of it, not wanting to scare her, but she could see it even in him. The first flicker of fear in his eyes, and when Jada saw it, it scared her too. The thought of losing someone she loved so very much cracked across her heart like a bolt of lightning. Her father was afraid. The day he turned away a plate of Tonya’s fried chicken and sweet potatoes had been the final straw for her mother, and she’d marched her husband right down to the hospital. Leaving Jada at home, babysat by her video games.

When they came home, hours later, she instantly knew something was terribly wrong. In the tight lines that seemed to have appeared around her parents eyes in the hours they were gone, and the forced smiles that sat tightly on their faces.

Lung cancer.

In her father who had never smoked a day in his life. And now he was laid up in this bed. Wasting away.

Jada: “It’s just not fair. All the other kids, they get to keep their dads. Some of them even hate their dads and you…”

Jada’s Narrator: Her head dropped, chin to her chest.

Jada: Please don’t leave me

I love you so

Please don’t leave me..

Jada’s Narrator: She stared down at him, waiting for what she wasn’t quite sure, then leaned back in her chair. They had another few hours before visiting time was up.

Jada: “Do you want to hear a story, dad?”

Jada’s Narrator: Jada had suddenly remembered the book she now had, the one from that nice man her at her mother’s job. She pulled the book from her bag, sucking in a breath as she stared at her name in a gentle, flowing, silver script that shone so brilliantly she had to squint her eyes.

Jada: “I’ll read to you, okay?”

Jada’s Narrator: And that’s exactly what she began to do, tucking her legs beneath her, Jada opened the book and began to read...

[Sound of musical chimes. Fade down and out all sounds of Jada’s world. Fade up sound of market. People talking, horse drawn carriages, horse hooves clopping along the cobblestone. You have entered the world of The Book.]

Latesha’s Narrator: Latesha raced through the courtyard, dodging the merchants carts on her way.

Andre: “Latesha would you please watch where you’re going?”

Latesha’s Narrator: Andre, the best fish catcher in the entire Kingdom of Orleans yelled out to her, shaking his fist at the sky.

Andre: “You nearly tipped my entire cart!”

Latesha’s Narrator: The city streets were busy, the people filling the pathways as they collected their goods. Small fish pies, and sweet breads. Fabrics of so many varying shades, it was dizzying to stare at them all. Latesha frequently found herself awed at all the colors that existed in creation, and her mind would dance with the thought of colors they had yet to even see.

Latesha: “I’m sorry, Andre! But Tyra’s almost finished at the training yard, and I promised to meet her! You know she leaves today!”

Latesha’s Narrator: She called over her shoulder, lifting the hem of her skirt to avoid tripping over her own feet, as she dodged her fellow Orleans, muttering her apologies as she did.

Andre: “Well, you have to make it there in one piece! Slow! Down!”

[Sound of the market grows softer, fade up the sound of training ground. Dulled swords are heard clashing.]

Latesha’s Narrator: But his voice was already fading away as she drew closer to the training ground. She spotted Tyra immediately, knew her by the thick curls pulled back from her face, the emerald scabbard at her back and the grace with which she moved. Tyra moved as though she were carried by the very breeze itself, as if the wind had sprung to life, helping her cut patterns into existence that had never existed before her. So that her practice blows always fell true. Where her sparring partner faltered, she pounced, and when he stumbled, she danced around him. There was a reason Tyra was part of the Queen of Stories’ guard.

[Fade down and away sound of clashing swords.]

It looked deceptively easy, but Latesha knew the truth. She knew of the long hours spent on drills, late into the night. Tyra would practice her swordplay until her every fiber felt attuned with her blade, and Latesha would study the healing arts until her eyes grew heavy, and her bobbing head caught Tyra’s attention. Always the practical one, she would stop her evening training, and walk Latesha back to her rooms. The two of them making their silent way through the streets of Orleans, under the flickering torch lights, until they reach her door. And a new dance would begin, one with rivers of words left unsaid crashing against the shore of their minds until they could do nothing but sigh part ways for the night.

She waved as Tyra looked up, and the other woman shook hands good-naturedly with her sparring partner before jogging up to her. Her brown eyes serious with worry.

Latesha: “Is everything okay?”

Tyra: “Ah...there’s been news. They’ve activated us. The Queen’s Guard.”

Latesha: “What? No, they can’t. Why would the council do such a thing? We’ve been at peace for years…”

Tyra: “And we still are, for now. But, I’m not sure how long it will last. Everything is happening so quickly. I know the Queen means well, but we would not have this problem if not for these...these new Winged People.”

Latesha’s Narrator: Her brows drew together in a frown, and her mouth grew tight.

Latesha: “You don’t mean that Tyra, and you shouldn’t say such things.”

[Fade down and out the sound of the market. Slowly fade up the sounds of the pond. Frogs chirping. Soft lap of water on the shore. Hazy hum of nature.]

Latesha’s Narrator: Tyra rubbed the back of her neck, having the good sense to look moderately chastised, as they began walking towards the small pond at the edge of town, lowering themselves to the ground. Sitting so closely together that Latesha could smell the sandalwood oil in Tyra’s hair, and she closed her eyes, taking in a deep breath.

Tyra: “You’re right. I didn’t mean it. What I said. It’s just these Appraisers. They grow closer to our borders every day. And I’m afraid.”

Latesha’s Narrator: Latesha’s eyes snapped open, and she peered up Tyra.

Latesha: “Why?”

Tyra: “Because I must go. And I must fight. And suddenly, though I have spent my entire life training for this moment. To defend the people of Orleans and our stories in the queen...now that it’s here. I’m not so sure it’s...what I’m meant to do.”

Latesha: “Then what are you meant to do?”

Tyra: “I don’t know. And, I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance to figure it out.”

Latesha: “Don’t talk this way. There’s time, and maybe there’s an answer in the stories. There always is, the Queen could still find it, and you may learn you’ve worried over nothing all this time.”

Tyra: “No, we leave today.”

Latesha’s Narrator: Tyra swallowed, trying to keep her voice from shaking. She didn’t want Latesha to worry. What would be the point of that?

Tyra: “Quite soon, actually. I just, I just wanted a moment with you before I go, and I have had that moment.”

Latesha’s Narrator: She stood, pulled Latesha up behind her, marveling at the softness of her hands between hers. Calloused from hours of training.

Tyra: “Forgive me.”

Latesha’s Narrator: Latesha’s eyes began to sting, before she even asked. Knowing the answer the way the flowers know to lean towards the sun. The same way the sea always knows the language of the wind. She knew, and asked anyway.

Latesha: “Forgive you, for what?”

Latesha’s Narrator: A sad shake of her head,

Tyra: “You are much too smart to not know, but I am sorry. If all goes well, we can talk when I return?”

Latesha’s Narrator: She dropped Latesha’s hand, and spun quickly on her heel as she walked away, swatting angrily at the tears that broke, running down her face,

[Fade down and out sound of the pond. Fade back up the sound of city streets]

the torrent of unspoken words brought to life as she walked towards an unknown fate, when all she really wanted was to turn around, go back to Latesha, to confront her destiny head on. If only Latesha would say something. Anything. Call out to her...

Tyra: If she calls me back, I’ll turn and go

I’d turn right around

She has my heart,

I hope I have her’s too...

[Soft chimes fade up. Fade down and out all sounds of The Book world. Fade up the beeping of a heart monitor, the soft hum of a hospital in the background. Voices, machines, the movement of doctors, nurses and patient’s outside in a corridor. This is a hospital room. You have left the world of The Book.]

Nurse: “Excuse me, I’m sorry to interrupt.”

Jada’s Narrator: The door to her father’s room creaked open, and the night shift nurse slipped inside, and made her way to the side of the bed. She placed a gentle hand briefly on Jada’s shoulder.

Nurse: “Reading to you dad?”

Jada’s Narrator: Jada nodded, closed the book and placed it back within her bag. Suddenly extremely protective of her treasure.

Jada: “Yeah, it’s a pretty good one, too.”

Nurse: “One of my daughter’s loves to read,”

Jada’s Narrator: she said, picking up the chart at the end of her father’s bed, scanning it quickly.

Nurse: “You think she might like it?”

Jada: “Maybe,”

Jada’s Narrator: she shrugged, and then,

Jada: “is my dad going to die?”

Jada’s Narrator: The nurse sucked in a breath, the answer sticking in the back of her throat, hard and fast.

Nurse: “I think maybe you should talk to your mom about that. Okay?”

Jada: “But I asked you...will he die?”

Nurse: “I...things could change. He could -- I really think you should talk to your mom, but we have seen recovery before. And, medical miracles could be possible, but honey, talk to your mom.”

Jada: “Can I keep reading to my dad?”

Jada’s Narrator: The nurse checked her watch.

Nurse: “Only for another hour. I was supposed to be kicking y’all out. But...we’ll keep this one between us, okay?”

Jada’s Narrator: Jada nodded quickly, wanting to lock in this extra time before the woman could change her mind.

Jada: “Thank you.”

Jada’s Narrator: She said to the woman’s retreating back, as she slowly pulled the door back closed before turning her attention back to her father and reclaiming his hand.

Jada: Please don’t leave me…

Jada’s Narrator: He cracked open his eyes, a smile flickering briefly across his face.

Jada’s Father: I’ll never go… 

Season Finale. Episode 8.

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.

And Flyest Fables sounds so crisp and so clean, thanks to the show’s sound engineer. Jayk Cherry! Jayk does such a great job with the show, and you can find him on twitter at EvinJayk that E-V-I-N J-A-Y-K

Thanks so much for listening!

If you’d like to get in touch with me, send me an email at FlyestFables at Gmail dot com.

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

You can follow me on twitter @optimus underscore 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.

Until next time. I’m Morgan Givens.