I'm hoping for my next tale, it would be an adventurous one
I'm hoping for my next tale, it would be an adventurous one
Week 4: A Gift for the Chikyu
(real tale: The Tomte's New Suit)
Applause filled the air as Brock met the audience onstage. "The story I want to tell this week concerns ancient earth spirits that were said to help out and protect farmers." he explained. Depending on which region you go to, they have different names and appearances, but here in Kanto, where the tale comes from, they are called 'chikyu', and have a fairy-like appearance."
The audience murmurs to show they understand, but the whispers quiet as the guitar begins a relaxed melody. "In a far away land, there lived a farmer and his wife--let's call them Moku and Kaya." Brock begins. "Their farm was very prosperous--their barns were well stocked with hay and feed, the Miltanks, the Combuskens, and other Pokemon were well fed and cared for, and people raved about the quality of the milk, eggs, and crops that came from there." Some 'Mmmm's go up as the audience pictures tasting some of the items Brock mentioned. "Moku and Kaya were very kind and generous in turn, and never turned away anyone in need. People marveled at how well kept and prosperous the farm was, and some said that the farm had a chikyu watching over it."
Piqued whispers raced through the crowd. "Of course, no one had ever seen the chikyu--they tend to work in secret, when no human eyes are watching." Brock explained. "But some said that she had been there for a long time. Moku and Kaya were careful to leave herbs and other sweet gifts as thanks for the chikyu--thyme and sage at Christmastime, and mint and lavender at other times of year."
Brock played a mystical interlude before continuing. "Moku's grandpa had told Moku a lot about the chikyu." In character as an older man, he continued "Never offend the chikyu, or she will leave the house or cause mischief. She could tie the Miltank's tails in knots, or spoil the milk, break the eggs, or cause the crops to wilt." Some in the crowd laughed at the voice, probably because Brock's impersonation sounded a lot like their own grandfathers. "As time went on, Moku grew more and more curious about their chikyu. He was thankful for her generosity, but he longed to see her, if only once."
After playing a calm interlude, he set the guitar aside and got up from his chair. "One morning, Moku asked Kaya..." In a deeper version of Ash's voice, he asked "Our chikyu has to be very old, right?" as he paced the stage.
As a young woman, he replied "We'll probably never know. We can't disturb her, but what if we offend her?"
As Moku again, he replied "I'm sure one glimpse can't hurt..."
As himself, he added "Kaya just smiled--she knew once Moku had his mind set on something, he would not take no for an answer." laughter went up as he settled in his chair and took his guitar again. "They talked more and more about the chikyu, and one day, Kaya allowed Moku to sneak into the barn to see the chikyu--provided he be quiet." Laughter went up at this.
"So that night, Moku bundled up--it was not yet spring, and so the nights were still cold. He went out to the barn, left some mint leaves as tribute, and waited in the hayloft, hopeful he would see the chikyu." he continued over a quiet interlude. "For a long time, all was quiet. But suddenly, just after midnight, Moku heard the door open, and the fluttering of tiny wings." Giggles went up from the children as Brock played a rapidfire melody to simulate fairy wings. "Moku watched as a tiny brown haired girl probably no more than a few inches tall flitted into the room. He noticed that her tunic, which may have once been green, was all tattered and gray, and the mint leaf tied in her hair had wilted."
The "fairy wing" motif went even faster as Brock continued "The chikyu just went about her nightly business cleaning the stable, brushing the sleeping Ponytas, and stacking up the hay. She worked so fast, all Moku could see was a tiny gray green blur--the only light in the dark."
He concludes the "fairy wing" motif as he continues. "Just as the sun began to rise, the chikyu quickly took the mint leaves Moku had left for her, and flitted away into the sky. Moku came inside and told Kaya what he had seen, and how sorry he felt that the chikyu's clothing was so ragged. Kaya suggested they make their chikyu a new outfit--she had done so much for them, and it was the least they could do to thank her. "
Some "Aw"s went up from the crowd. "Kaya worked for two days with the best material she could find, making a new green tunic with gold and silver trim and mint leaf hairpin to match." Brock continues. "When the outfit was ready, Moku took it with him, and set it out along with his customary tribute of mint leaves."
He then plays the "wing" motif again to herald the chikyu's arrival. "The chikyu went about her nightly business, but when she saw the new outfit, she was overjoyed! She wasted no time changing into it, then told all the Ponytas...." As a young girl, he intoned "As thanks for your master's kindness to me, I will make sure your home is spoken of throughout the world!"
As himself, he continues "The next morning, Moku and Kaya saw that the stables were spotless, the Ponytas were gleaming, the Miltanks had already been milked, and the Combuskens had been fed, to name a few chores."
He concludes over a calm interlude. "Although Moku and Kaya didn't see their chikyu again for a long time, they knew she was happy, and continued being kind and generous to all, in return for the kindness she showed them every night."
The crowd roared with applause, but as Brock took his bow, he flexed his fingers a little. <i>Playing that fast motif is hard work!</i>
Very good, I missed a bit but managed to catch up and all I can say is.....glad Brock practiced for that motif :P
Yeah--he did practice a lot for that one motif!
What kind of a tale would you want to see next?
Interlude 2: A Sister's Request
<i>You've got mail, PewterSong.</i> the computer screen announced as Brock settled in to read his e-mail. After going through and deleting the spam, one e-mail from the screenname "EmeraldRose64" caught his attention. Piqued, he open the e-mail, which read:
How are things with the TV show? I know you don't get lonely on the set becuase you have a lot of friends working with you.
If you're looking for a new story to tell this week, I found one in a library book that might work in front of an audience, if you're interested.
Brock smiled--he relished hearing from his family-be it in phone calls, e-mails, or face to face visits. More often than not, they were the ones to re-supply him with new stories, and his sister's proposition seemed interesting.
After clicking "Reply", he wrote:
I'm doing well. I hope you liked this week's tale about the chikyu--I found it a sweet story, and the rest of the cast seemed to agree.
I know you guys want an adventurous tale, but I haven't had much luck finding one that's easy to adapt and would work well in front of an audience. When/if I find one, I will let you know--and keep an eye on the show's Website and Pokebook page to get the stories I have planned for the next two weeks. One of them could be an adventure!
The bling announcing a new instant message conversation startles him. He reads over Terra's initial description:
<i>ok--it's about this guy (what job he has differs from version to version), and he's very poor--a lady in black stops him on the road and says she will help him in return for what treasure he has at home. (some versions say he tries to kill himself before the lady appears, but I dunno how well that would go over with your audience.) He agrees, and the lady gives him a bag of gold.
Anyway, he comes home to his wife and little girl (you can name her what you want) and blows off the whole encounter. Then, the black lady comes and takes the girl away.</i>
<i>oh no--and then?</i> Brock types.
<i>The lady in black (or LIB, if you want so I don't have to type it again and again) takes the girl to her castle, and tells her she can go in every room but the hundredth--and if she does, something terrible will happen. The LIB than leaves on a seven year journey.</i> Terra types.
<i>how does Christa sound for a name for the girl?</i> Brock interrupts.
<i>that's perfect!</i> Terra types back before continuing <i>The girl obeys, and pleases the LIB. The LIB leaves on another journey, and tells the girl the same thing. But on her 16th birthday (okay, the version I read said the 21st birthday, but I felt this made more sense) she goes in the hundredth room</i>
<i>what's in there?</i> Brock is piqued.
<i>she finds eight spirits singing an odd melody, and when the song ends, the leader says not to tell anyone</i> Terra continues.
<i>I could use the Eight Melodies there...</i> Brock muses.
<i>The LIB finds out what the girl did, and demands to know what she saw. The girl refuses and gets a muting spell cast on her (eg. she can't speak) and is banished.</i> Terra replies. <i>A prince meets her, they fall in love, a year goes by, and they have a child of their own (the version I read said a boy, but you can make it a girl if you want)</i>
<i>and then?</i> Brock is wondering whether there is more to the lady in black.
<i>The LIB comes and takes the child after a big struggle, which leaves the girl with bloody lips.</i> Terra continues. <i>The people think the girl killed her child, are about to kill her when the spirits sing to save her, restore her voice, and heal the LIB. The new LIW (lady in white) explains she was cursed the whole time. The girl is reunited with her child, and everyone lives happily ever after</i>
<i>That's sounds great!</i> Brock types. <i>I have a few tales planned for the next few weeks, but I'll work on learning this one right away!</i>
I am curious about how Brock will pull this one off :P
I imagine some interestingly high pitched voices and a random electric guitar but that's likely the sugar I ate talking XP
Remember the tale Terra described--Brock will be telling it (and there may be some girl voices involved)
Hmmm... Eight Melodies, you say? *smiles and tilts her head curiously* Are you a fan of the Mother series by any chance?
Why yes, I am a fan of Mother/Earthbound--that's why the Eight Melodies also tend to pop up a lot in my work
Week 5: Sorin Saves Buneary's Life
(real tale: Don Coyote)
The crowd roared as Brock charged onstage. After acknowledging his applause, he settled in his chair, took his guitar, and began "Now, everyone knows that Sorin is quite the trickster...."
More cheers went up at Brock's remark--tales about the crafty Pikachu are some of his most popular material. That, and his wry observation was typically how a Sorin tale began.
He just waited for the cheers to die down before beginning a relaxed melody. "But every once in a while, Sorin will play the hero, such as this example from Houen I learned in Fallarbor Town."
Once sure he has his audience's attention, his tale begins. "One cool autumn morning, Ekans was sunning himself on a ledge, as he did every morning. Suddenly, a rock came tumbling down a ledge!" Giggles went up at the "falling" note Brock uses to represent the falling rock. "Ekans had no time to react or get out of the way, and he ended up pinned beneath the rock." A hard chord symbolizes the rock landing on top of Ekans, to some laughter.
"Try as Ekans might, he could not get free." Brock continues, playing a few tense chords to represent Ekans struggling. "He worried he would be stuck under the rock forever, and he would die of hunger and thirst. Tears welled up in his eyes at the thought." Nervous laughter goes up at this. But then, he spotted Buneary passing that way, and called to her... " In a nasaly deep male voice, he calls "Good morning, Buneary."
"Oh, Ekans, hello!" he replies in a young girl's voice as he sets the guitar aside and gets up. "You want to get out from under that rock? I can see you've been crying about it!"
"Oh, pleasssse sssave me, Buneary..." he cries as Ekans. "If you can jussst get thisss rock off of me, I will give you sssomething good in return!"
As himself, he interjects "Now, Buneary had to think a moment..." as he begins pacing the stage as if in thought. "She was very kind, and didn't like to see other Pokemon hurt or in need. But she also knew Ekans was no friend of hers, since Bunearies were one of his favorite meals."
He finally comes to center stage. "Finally, Buneary told Ekans..." As Buneary again, he asks "Why should I trust you?"
"Of courssse you can trussst me!" he protests as Ekans, to some laughter.
As himself he interjects. "Ekans emphasized again and again that Buneary could trust him, until he was crying once again. Buneary took pity on Ekans, and hurried over to one side of the rock. She pushed..." Brock pantomimes pushing against something heavy. "and pushed..." He pushes against the imaginary rock again. "and pushed some more." He finally gives the imagined rock one last heave. "The rock finally tumbled away, freeing Ekans." Applause goes up at this, but a forboding guitar chord quickly silences the applause. "Imagine Buneary's shock when she was told she was to be Ekans' dinner that evening!" Gasps go up from the crowd.
"Now, wait a minute! How could you eat me after I helped you?" he protests as Buneary.
As himself, he continues "As Buneary and Ekans argued for hours, Sorin passed that way..." Cheers rang across the theater, drowning out the triumphant chord heralding Sorin's arrival. In a Meowth-esque voice, he asks "What seems to be the trouble, here?"
As himself, he goes on. "Ekans and Buneary both told Sorin their side of what had happened. Buneary told Sorin that Ekans wanted to eat her, while Ekans claimed Buneary wanted to kill him." Laughter goes up at how contrived Ekans' story is. "Sorin thought for a moment, then said.... As Sorin again, he announces. "I cannot be sure which side is right until I see how things were."
Giggles go up from the crowd as Brock continues as himself. "Ekans obediently crawled back onto the ledge, and Sorin helped Buneary roll the rock right back on top of him!" The crowd explodes in laughter at the hard chord that represents the rock landing on Ekans.
"And there you will stay!" he scolds as Sorin over a calm melody. "I know you're lying beause Bunearies can't kill an Ekans, but an Ekans will often eat Bunearies!"
He concludes as himself. "Buneary thanked Sorin for saving her life, and the other Pokemon hailed Sorin a hero--if only for a day!"
The crowd roars as Brock takes a bow...
Week 6: The King of Dreams
(real tale: The King of Dreams)
"There was once a king in a far away land who was a kind and wise ruler." Brock began as he strolled out onstage to meet the crowd. "The people loved him, but one day, the king asked his advisors if they thought he was a good king. They told him that yes, he was a good king, because the people loved and admired him. He next asked if he provided the people with all they needed, and the advisors replied that no one in the land complained of being hungry or thirsty, and that all his decisions were fair."
He settled in the chair at center stage and took his guitar. "But one advisor said..." In a breathy male voice, he notes "There is one thing the king doesn't provide..."
"And what might that be?" he demands in a deeper version of himself over a tense chord.
"You do not attend to your people's dreams." he replies as the advisor.
As himself, he continues over an interlude. "So the king called all his messengers together, and told them to tell the people to come to the palace with their dreams and their wishes, and he would move heaven and earth to make sure they came true. The people heard the king's proclamation, and came from miles around in hopes the king would hear their wishes."
The crowd murmurs with speculation over possible wishes for a moment. "For example, a peasant wished for a flock of Mareeps, the king commanded that they receive a flock of some of the best Mareeps in the land. The town baker dreamed of becoming wealthy, the king offered to buy his bread, cakes and pies--no price was too big or too small. The town scholar wished the children would always pay attention, and so the king went out to the school and told the children to study hard, and study hard they did!" Awed gasps went up at this.
"It was not just the adults that had wishes, but the children did too." Brock continued over a prayerful interlude. "Be this a toy, a new Pokemon, or aid for their family, no request went unheeded."
He then plays a calm interlude. "One day, a man named Devin came to the king, and told him how he dreamed he married Maya, a minstrel that often came to the kingdom. The king summoned her father to the palace, where he told her that Devin and Maya would be wed within the week."
Gasps went up from the crowd. "Fortunately, Maya was in the area, and her father told her of the king's command." Brock went on. "Although Devin loved Maya, Maya didn't love him back--and she had a plan to make sure she was not married to someone she never loved."
"So what did she do?" a boy asked.
"She called over her best friend, a gardener named Nalin, and told him her plan." Brock replied. "Nalin went to the palace, and told the king that he dreamed he married the queen. Understandably, the king was furious, and ordered Nalin taken to the dungeon. But before the guards could arrest Nalin, Nalin explained that the king was essentially doing the same thing he had requested by promising Maya to Devin. Just as Nalin wished to marry the queen when the queen did not love him back, Maya was about to be forced into marriage to Devin simply because he dreamed of her."
Brock then plays a soft interlude as he concludes "It dawned on the king that trying to grant everyone's wishes wasn't a good idea. He set Nalin free, called off the wedding, and vowed that he would only grant reasonable requests, as a reminder of the minstrel that had showed him the folly in his plan." The crowd roared with applause...
Week 7: The Miltank Bride
(real tale from "Folktales of Japan"--episode 2, story 3)
"Have you learned that story your sister told you yet?" Yuki asks as Brock arrives in the wings.
"Almost--still working on the ending." Brock replies as he tunes his guitar. "In the meantime, I've got a really hilarious one I learned from one of the Kimono Girls."
His instrument tuned, he walks out onstage. Yuki's eyes shine in anticipation--what would this tale be about?
"In a far away land, there was a rich man who had a daughter." Brock begins over a calm melody. "Let's call her Mizuki, shall we?" Some applause goes up in approval of the name. "Mizuki was of age to be married, and so she and her parents set out for the shrine of Arceus to pray for a good husband.
He then plays a sneaky interlude. "As they were praying, the town rogue--we'll call him Itsuwari--passed that way. Itsuwari had never worked a day in his life, and would rather fritter his money away in the teahouses and on games of chance. Many times, he would come home without a penny to his name." Tense murmurs go up at this.
"Itsuwari heard the prayers coming from the shrine, and got an idea. After carefully climbing behind the statue of Arceus, he said, in his best mimic of Arceus..." Brock then announces in character as Arceus "I have heard your prayers and have found a suitable husband for your beloved Mizuki. She will wed Itsuwari."
As himself, Brock continues over a frantic interlude. "Mizuki's parents were shocked, and Mizuki violently protested against being married to such a rogue, but eventually, they presumed Itsuwari was the best choice for Mizuki."
A tense chord signals a scene change before the frantic song continues. "Itsuwari had a similar dillema--how was he going to pay for his own wedding?" Brock asks the crowd. He waits a moment, allowing the audience to speculate and debate on what Itsuwari will do.
When all is quiet, Brock answers his question. "Itsuwari went out and asked anyone and everyone he knew to help fund his wedding. Before long, his simple house was ready for the festivities. The table was piled high with food, and many gifts for the guests were laid out against the back wall."
He next plays a festive interlude. "The day of the wedding approached, and Itsuwari was giddy with excitement. He knew there was an inn on the road to his house, and that Mizuki's coach was likely to stop there on its two day journey. So he sent some drinks on ahead as a gift for the innkeeper and his family."
Some "Ooh"s go up from the crowd at this. "That night, a swordsman--we'll call him Takuya--came to the inn, and saw the wedding coach outside." Brock continues over a peaceful interlude. "The cries from within concerned him, so when he saw Mizuki crying, he asked what was the matter. Mizuki told him that she was to be wed to Itsuwari against her will. Takuya knew Itsuwari's reputation well, and promised Mizuki he would do whatever he could to keep her from being wed to a lazy rogue."
Giggles go up as Brock plays Itsuwari's motif. "The next morning, the coach arrived, but as Itsuwari opened it to seemingly welcome his bride, he was shocked to find a Miltank inside!"
The crowd roars with laughter as Brock continues "The Miltank thoroughly trashed Itsuwari's house, ruining the gifts and the food he had prepared. Mizuki's parents heard what had happened and when they saw the Milktank chargng about what was left of Itsuwari's house, they feared Mizuki had been transformed into a Miltank."
Laughter turns to cheers as Brock plays Takuya's motif. "Takuya arrived with Mizuki, and told her parents what had happened. He had felt sorry that Mizuki was being forced to wed someone she did not love, and so while the coach attendants slept, he had put the Miltank inside the coach. Mizuki added that Takuya was the one she loved, and they were married right then and there." Applause goes up at this. "As for Itsuwari..." he concludes. "Not only did he have to live down the Miltank jokes, he was also on the run from his creditors for quite some time!"
Laughter and applause fill the air as Brock takes a bow, but Yuki's is the loudest. <i>Oh, that was so funny!</i> she thinks as she wipes a tear of laughter from one eye. <i>I don't know what Brock does to learn all his stories, but he needs to keep doing it!</i>
Interlude 3: A Cast of Thousands
"Hey, Brock?" Lotta asked.
"What is it?" Brock asked as he studied his reflection in a mirror.
"We've been studying the Gekijou style of theater in class, and I think it would be fun to put on such a show. I mean, we have the Fireside Players and you for cast members..."
"That's all well and good, but do you have the other item we need for a show?" Brock asked. "The script?" If Lotta had a script, his rehearsal of "Christa's Promise" was going to have to wait.
"Yes, I have a <i>scritto</i> for you." Lotta assured Brock as she opened her bag and took out a stack of paper.
Brock studied the script for a moment. "Lots of Pokemon in here---we're going to need a lot of puppets, plus train aspiring puppeteers..."
"That's because it is an <i>ayatsu</i> Gekijou play." Lotta explained. "Puppets play most of the roles, and unlike most Gekijou puppets, the puppeteers do their own performances. Sometimes the narrator performs a puppet as well."
"Fascinating--if you'll go find the Players, I'll teach them a little about this style of theater." Brock offered
"Got it!" Lotta rushed from the room.
A few minutes later, a variety of boys and girls watch as Brock returned with a red and gold robe draped over one arm. "How many of you are familiar with the ancient Gekijou theater?" A few hands went up. "A few of you? Okay..." Brock thought for a moment, unsure as to where he should begin his lecture. "Like most any form of entertainment, the Gekijou theater has its own subgenres. There's the Siju style, which was very minimalistic in nature, and many times had no chorus at all. Then there's the Ayatsu style, which is almost a puppet show with how many Pokemon and spirits are involved in the storyline."
"So, what is this script about?" a girl asked.
"A prince in a far away land has been turned into a Raikou, and will not turn back into a human unless he learns the meaning of true happiness." Brock explained.
"I wrote it myself." Lotta interjects. "It's based on your version of 'The Stonemason', with a few bits of the legend of Cresselia thrown in."
"But where are we getting an orchestra?" a boy protested. "I mean, we have the band, but flutes, fiddles, and harps?"
"You're forgetting that Brock CAN play a harp!" Yuki called.
"That, I do." Brock smiled before disappearing into the hallway leading into the dressing rooms.
Murmurs raced through the crowd as the Fireside Players speculated about what Brock was doing in his dressing room this soon. Maybe he was transforming into one of his characters, maybe he was writing the roles down on slips of paper, or maybe he had some friends there and he had gone to meet with them.
The whispers quieted as a calm yet playful melody drifted into the room. Brock emerged a few seconds later, wearing the red and gold robe and playing the song on a circle shaped harp decorated with wings and jewel studded flowers. He savored his audience's rapt attention as his fingers wove the intricate tune. <i>They must think I really am a minstrel or a Gekijou narrator!</i> he thought.
When the last note died, Brock addressed the group in character. "Hello...I am Kashu-san, a wandering minstrel. On behalf of our performers, I welcome you to our fine theater." Some light applause went up as Brock took a bow for his small audience.
"That's the first line of the play!" Lotta gasps.
Suddenly, a silver humanoid figure jumps before Brock and poses cutely. "This is Shiro, a spirit of creation." Brock explains. "She will set the stage and assist the actors."
"What actors?" Rylan asks, but the girl next to him motions for him to be quiet.
"Although you will plainly see Shiro moving about the stage and creating the world of our play, bear in mind she is but a shadow..." Brock plays a soft chord for effect. "and therefore unseen to you."
Just then, the silver figure removes the hood covering its face, allowing the group to see who is actually inside the costume--a brown haired girl. "Surprise!" she giggles.
"That's cool!" Yuki is impressed.
"Everyone, this is Whitlea." Brock gestures to the girl. "She's one of my fellow cast members at the Iris Theater."
"I heard you were thinking about doing a Gekijou play, so I asked Ash, Dawn, and Lucas to help train your home theater's crew on how to perform them." Whitlea explains. Excited whispers go up as a black haired boy, a black haired girl, and a brown haired boy step out of the shadows, joining Brock and Whitlea in the room.
Rylan gasps when he sees the familiar red cap with a blue Poke Ball design the black haired boy is wearing. "No way! THE Ash Ketchum???
"Live and in person!" Ash replies, fingering a silver tin whistle all the while as more excited chatter fills the air.
Brock looks over at his friends and smiles. <i>Thanks, you guys--this'll make the Fireside's first Gekijou performance go a LOT smoother!</i>
Gotta say I really enjoy reading Live from the Fireside. It's also a nice change of pace from the more action-based and traditional fanfics. :)
Thank you--I figured with all those siblings running around, Brock would likely be a master storyteller. That and it's fun Pokemonizing folktales