As this is the final reading of the Chimes, I begin it as always with the full version of the theme music. Next Monday I hope that you will join me in my reading of Child of the Air. Thanks for listening!
This week ends the Chimes readings. March 4th begins Child of the Air. Pyra is an egg-shaped world divided by an equatorial belt of barren mesas wrapped in mist and swept by firestorms. One mesa holds life: a small community ignorant of a world beyond their mesa. Siblings Myl and Brev are sentenced to die by fire for rising into the air. On the brink of the first seasonal firestorm they escape their cage and flee into the void.
Pain, hot as lancing needles, stinging his back, his face, his head as heynim rained down. “No! No! No!” It began as a shout, ended as a roar. He thrust her behind him and knelt up, arms spread, eyes closed, bending his mind to the oncoming fury.
“They’re not in that first cave.” (Caidrun). “They’re farther in, and jammed…” Tamborel turned around. “Could you shift this just a little bit with levers?” “Not enough to let us through,” Tassar said. Tamborel looked to the burly crew crowding the tunnel. “Not you, maybe. But how about Caidy and me?”
With a clanking and a clatter, the party took up the gear. “Here.” Tassar handed Tamborel a coil of rope. A heavy coil, thick and scratchy. “Courage,” murmured Caidy. Easy to say, thought Tamborel. Shouldering his load, he led the men into the tunnel leading to the Boundary Cavern.
“You are saying that you have sent up heynim … for the past two years?” ….Tassar nodded. “Why would we not?” …. How, then, had they not appeared? Caidy…. “I knew it.”… “Caidy, we must talk.”
“Brel, look out!” Caidy’s scream rang through his ears. Tamborel looked up to see a massive chunk of rock bearing down upon him.
He stepped into the patch of stones, fetched up before the slit. Through it, the flight of steps. He set his foot upon the topmost one and started down.
“If you must go (to find Caidy), wait till the monsoons end.” “I can’t,” Tamborel said slowly. “Because they won’t…..Spring will never come at this rate, and neither will she. Because…” “Because?” “Caidy is somehow mixed up in all our troubles.”
The world was ending, and right soon unless someone did something about it. Was Silwender daring him to take a chance?
The Fellows knew so much. They knew where the heynim came from, and how. Why didn’t they do something? These scholars and their rules! Their whole world was ending. Silwender had confirmed it, and no one was inclined to move! Bonus Item: Glossary of most Common Names Glossary of most common names
… the fact remained that as he lay there in the dark and on the edge of sleep, his fear was almost too real to bear: What if Caidy had danced with the mist wraiths and they had made her theirs?
Silwender climbed onto the platform … “Since rumour is rife, I deem it best to speak plain: the heynim swarms do not come this year, no one can say why. Yet we must stay calm, watch, and wait. Above all, say nothing beyond these walls… Talk changes nothing, and only sows fear.”
The concept of phantom harmonics – “ghost chimes” – described in this chapter – stem from the harmonics produced on the violin. For a good account of these, check out this wiki post: https//en.Wikipedia.org/wiki/Violin_technique#Harmonics
He, in the Hall of Harmonies! Maybe if he proved his worth, when Caidy came they’d both stay on and learn along with Jareyd, Keiryn, Hewl, and all the rest!
Go home? “With all respect, sir, I must stay and find her.” “And how will you live, young man?” “I’ll manage somehow. It will not be for long.” Silwender sighed. “Look, you’ll sleep here tonight, then tomorrow—well, we’ll see.”
“When you get to (Minavar) go to the Hon’faleyn and ask for Silwender.” “But it’s Caidy I’m after.” “Exactly. That’s where I’d go to find her. If she’s not there, the High Zjarn will tell you what to do.”
“We’ve looked everywhere for Caidrun. We’ve been along the brook, both banks. But—but—” Rufina bent over, covering her face. “What my missus is trying to say,” Bombrul called out behind her, “is that we can’t find Caidrun anywhere.”
(Tamborel) let himself go now, holding the faleyn effortlessly, allowing it to wash through him. Forgiven was their bickering. Forgotten was the quarrel with his pappa and the badness that would still be there when he got home. All the pain, the spite, the wretchedness was gone to ashes, and anything was possible from now on.
Hwyllum’s face went deep, dark red. “A man squires a sweetheart to a feast, not a twelve-year-old chit.” Caidy’s smile sweetened. “I’m going on thirteen.” Hwyllum glared at her. “Whatever Tamborel says here and now”—his voice rose—”he’s taking Mistress Bider’s lass, and that’s my final word.”