Yesterday we met author Chris Sweigard. Today read an excerpt from his middle grade novel, Doctor Lane Bravo’s Lectures on Bervin ‘The Blue.’ If you like the excerpt, be sure to comment and buy the novel.
Lecture 14: The Haya
Bravo: Good morning again everyone...
Alright, very good, let us pick up with the recording where we left off. Bervin stops to write again in the tunnel behind the Haya. Um… this is about the second third of his journal entries. Buervin was able to read this section for us as well.
“The light tapers off quickly as I stay on a constant move to what I believe to be the East. I can rest for half an hour at the most. But my enhanced taste and sight have done remarkable things for me. Not only was I able to see the moist moss that would provide me with the most energy, but my enhanced sense of taste makes it taste better than it should have. I can actually tell when the stored sugars, starches, and water from the moss enter my body. It allows me to push on, although I know not where I am going. I follow the lighted tunnel and suspect it to be the product of something just ahead, for my hearing has become acute as I travel north. I am fearful of the thing or process creating the tunnel, but must pursue it to remain in the light. I fear my encounter with it.
“I have notched the days of my journey into my staff and believe it to be day 102. I have not written for a month of notches but may have made mistakes without the sun to keep track.”
Bravo:Okay, a really quick observation…We know here that Bervin lost all track of time down in the belly of his planet. We have estimated the day Bervin refers to as his one-hundred and second day in the tunnel to actually be day three hundred and eleven, of his journey. Being underground with no sunlight, and adjusting to his enhanced abilities given to him by the two stones he possessed, seemed to mess with his sense of time.
"It seems as if he was able to find the moss filled with maximum energy. If it were fruit, I would call it ripe. After he found the perfect moss, his enhanced sense of taste somehow allowed his digestive system to absorb all the nutrients his body needed. He was so efficient that it actually made time go faster to him, or so we think. So um, anyway, back to the journal.
“Today is a good day! I have entered a chamber under the legendary Brietta Mount of the North Pole. The sun cast a beam of light straight through the diamond into the chamber, illuminating the entire room. Today and tomorrow, I will rest and bask in the sun’s glory, for I have not seen, felt it, or tasted it in so long. My hopes are high due to this light, but I do not know the course of my future actions. I have encountered the worm of the tunnel; it is an awful creature. Foul and hot with a screeching noise almost unbearable to my ears. It howls while it sleeps and makes cracking hissing as it eats. This is all enhanced within the confines of this tunnel, with a pitch so painful I was forced to drop back to the darkness for days allowing my ears to mend. I hope not to encounter her again.”
“It has been two days since my last journal entry. I have discovered a miracle. While I was sitting in this chamber, playing my Kinka, a small piece of the Brietta Mount broke from its base and fell into my lap. It is the Stone of Hearing. Now when I play my Kinka I can see the music vibrate like a soft wave out of the whistle and it is softly filling the chamber with vibrations. I know not what the resul..."
Bravo:At this moment, we speculate that the worm returned to the chamber hissing and screeching, chewing and oozing and such.
Wait just a second. I think we have time to begin listening to the three sisters of the diamond mountain. Here they will tell their story of meeting and helping Bervin “The Blue” on the next leg of his journey. Let me just find the tape. Wait until you hear these crazy old women! They are a riot. Ahha, here it is! I should tell you, they all have the same name: Iaya. It can get confusing.
“Alien? You’re an off-worlder? Well, now I’ve seen it all!”
“You haven’t seen the sense to quit smoking that darn pipe around company Iaya.’"
“Oh, Shush, Iaya! You don’t mind, do you, Lane Bravo.”
“No Ma’am, go right ahead.”
“So where were we?”
“Oh yes, the off-worlder.”
“Whom do you wish to know about from our humble young planet?”
“Bervin from the village Keln.”
“Village Keln…! Oh, dear…”
“Oh dear, indeed…”
“Yes, yes dear…”
“Yes, yes dear…”
“We sent him to the East, you see, to the City of Ner. It is there he needed to return. Not Keln… no, no, no, no, not Keln.”
Bravo:Heh, you know what I’ve never mentioned? Direction...! At the point in history that we are studying, Keln maps were drawn with the Brietta Mount or Diamond as the point of reference. If The Brietta Mount is the North Pole, which it is, South is the opposite, of course, and the village Keln and the City of Ner are located with Keln to the West and Ner to the East of the Mount. They were the only two places where people lived in large groups until after the Unification. Soon after that, the population grew, and there are currently seven villages and cities in Kelner. They are all prospering. Okay, back to the Iaya sisters...
…Oh, a question?
Student:Yes, Doctor Bravo, I thought the land mass was moving as it came out of the North Pole. How does the Brietta Mount or Diamond stay in one place?”
Bravo: Good question. A scientist will tell you that it shouldn’t be attached to the North Pole by magnetism, gravity, or any other force or law of physics, but it is. As the new Bayaya grows from the depths of the planet, the giant diamond does not budge. The lava rock is still warm at the pole and it pushes around the Brietta Mount. I do not have an explanation for it. It’s magic, I guess. Good question again, Ben. I wish I could give you more than that. Anyway, if there are no more questions, I’ll get us back to the Iaya Sisters.
“Ner is where he’s off to and then perhaps Keln.”
“Iaya, quiet, you’re babbling ahead.”
“Yes Iaya, hush yourself! Smoke your pipe you old Kesa. Let Iaya tell the truth.”
“Thank you, Iaya. That is what I will do. Dear Lane, this is the story of Bervin, the one who is to unite the Common Sense Stones of Keln here in his forty-fifth year. We were all napping ten days ago in the midday, as we always do, when the Good Mother Keln began to awaken.”
“Yes, yes, that is the truth.”
“Yes, she awoke.”
“Yes, and as she awoke she began to sing. At first, it was just a hum and a rhythm. It was sad but hopeful.”
“Very good Iaya…Sad, but hopeful, I agree.”
“Very good Iaya…Sad but hopeful, I agree.”
“Yes, sad but hopeful… hahahaaaa.”
“Sorry about her, it’s that darn pipe. She’s losing her senses for sure.”
“Lane, would you like a meal and water?”
“I would love some, thank you. What was the Awakening?”
“Oh, of course, I forgot. It was the battle of sound for space.”
“Yes. Bervin’s Kinka filled the chamber and that hurt the ears of the Haya. The Haya tried forcing the sound out with her sounds but the Kinka music is so soft and flexible, especially when enhanced by the Stones, as Bervin's was.”
“You know of Bervin’s possession?”
“Yes, yes of course.”
“Do we know? Why silly.”
“Yes, Lane, we know of his possessions. We are Mother Keln’s guardians. All of us, Glut, the Trul, the Iams, and the Haya were sent here to Keln to orchestrate the Unification.”
“Orchestrate the Unification? Please explain.”
“You see, we were born over one thousand years ago, around the birth of the Good Mother Keln herself. We have watched The Good Mother Keln grow and age gracefully and then witnessed her receive children of her own, Bervin’s people. Moreover, as she aged, they aged, and they have become a wise people. The mother and the children are good to one another. They respect her and she nurtures them.
“It is good.”
“Yes it is.”
“They are ready for their blessing.”
“The unification of the Common Sense Stones is the Good Mother’s blessing she is giving to her children. It is time for them to come to their senses and take on the responsibility of caring for Mother Keln, for she is older now and did such a good job of raising them. Her greatest gift to Bervin’s people is to unify the Sense Stones, with the help of Bervin, of course.”
“Bervin’s efforts will grant her children the gift of the Common Senses.”
“And, of course, they will be united, and prosperity will reside on Kelner and the Good Mother will rest!”
“So, you see, Lane, we are playing the music for the event and...”
“Playing the music for the event and...”
“Playing the music? Yes, the Brietta Mount, of course.”
“Bervin has just small pieces of the Common Sense Stones, including the Stone of Hearing,”
“The Brietta Mount...?”
“Yes, the Brietta Mount is the only Common Sense Stone that is not in the belly of the Good Mother Keln, for the sense that really make us our best to others is ‘listening.’”
“We carved the stone with our chatter as it grew. When the stone was lifted above the existing blanket of life…”
“Yep, the blanket of life...”
“Please, sisters, may I?”
“Yes, of course, Iaya.”
“Yes, of course.”
“Lane Bravo, our magic is our chatter. We have carved the Brietta Mount with our chatter as it grew for many years, so that it was ready to be lifted.”
“Your talking carves the great diamond mountain?”
“That is correct. As the Mount lifted and our magical chatter chiseled the final cuts as we spoke with Bervin. The Mount took in our sun’s light. I believe you have named it Eridaus. The Brietta Mount separated the rainbow of colors and Blue was sprayed out over all of Bayaya, bringing Kelner the blue sky. It is also the beginning of the next part of her wonderful history!”
“All of Kelner!”
“Yes, hah, Iaya is right.”
“Is your job done? What will you do now?
“We do not know! We do not know. Whoopee...!”
“Sorry, Lane. It is true we do not know, but we are very excited!”
“Your story is truly remarkable ladies, truly remarkable.”
“Anyway… So... what of Bervin?”
“Oh yes, Bervin, of course.”
“Bervin told us all of the terrible screeching and hissing and bubbling of the worm. He told us how the sounds united with the Kinka music, and how they battled for space in the chamber. He told us how the noise became so loud he couldn’t hear it anymore, but instead, said it was as if he felt like he was a part of it as the noises battled in the chamber.”
“Was Bervin still playing?”
“No, no he wasn’t. But Kinka music is so soft and flexible that it can never be really broken. With the enhancement of the stones, it was thicker and richer and more real, making it stronger so it could wrestle with the Haya’s screech.”
“You could feel it in your hands?”
“Do you understand?”
“Yes I think I do.”
“And when the two sounds battled for the space, they started to push and push and push up into the ceiling of the small cave and into the bottom of the mountain. As they pushed, the mountain started to rise up out of the small chamber, forcing the top of the mountain to rise up above the land, raising dust into the air and sky, quickly uniting with the mist from Mother Keln’s breath. This is how the clouds you see above were created.
“Dark, spooky great storms; large clouds”
“Iaya is right. The storm will last for the next few months. It will be difficult for the villagers this winter, but next year is to be Keln’s first spring, and the following summer will be a wonderful summer. That is the summer Bervin will return to the village with the Unification complete and bring in the era of sense to all the villagers. But for now, the storm season will keep him at Ner at least until the new clouds spread over Keln and find their balance.
“Then what happened?”
“Ahh, but Lane, it was not like that at all. It was all happening at once; for you see, as the clouds were forming from the mountain moving upward, the mountain was still rising upward above the sky.”
“Above the sky?”
“Yes Lane, above the ‘Blanket of Life’”
“Yes, far above, and it rose out of Mother Keln, as a magnificent beacon toward the sun. The sun saw it and shined brightly down on the Good Mother Keln, helping her to raise the mount over Keln. This, in turn, lifted the sky three times its former height over Keln and best of all…”
“Yes, yes, yes best, the best heehaa.”
“Iaya...settle girl! Ha-ha, she is correct, though it’s quite magnificent.”
“It surely is.”
“Yes look dear Lane, look above, what do you see?”
“Well I’ll be a...the sky above the clouds, it’s blue.”
“Yes, its blue. All of Keln except for the pole directly below us is blue.”
“But how? The Brietta Mount is above us Lane, above us.”
“Yes, just as Iaya told you, the sun above us, which you refer to as the star Eridaus, shines down into the mighty diamond mountain. The light bounces around in the mountain and the color blue is reflected outward and around our Good Mother.”
Bravo: Okay, I apologize. I know we’re running late already. I just want to recap what the Iaya sisters just told us. When the music of his Kinka and the screeching of the Haya fought for space in the chamber below the Brietta Mount, the mountain was thrust up into the upper atmosphere of Keln. This massive upheaval had many profound effects on the small planet. Firstly, The Mountain reflected blue light into the sky. This is the moment in Keln history when we here on Earth could see the planet for the first time. Secondly, the Bayaya actually broke into three separate continents. The third major change this monstrous event brought about was all the dust that was released. The dust was thrown into the atmosphere for the water from the Boiling Waters or Good Mother’s Breath as they called it, to attach to and make the first clouds of the young planet.
The clouds brought the storms that the Iaya Sisters refer to in the interviews. Finally, all of this created weather patterns and seasons. It was quite a remarkable transformation for the small planet. Um…So anyway, I’ve kept you long enough. We’ll get back to it tomorrow.