Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Balancing In Action"

This poem came from the May 1, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from janetmilesthe_vulture, and kelkyag.  It was sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  This poem belongs to the series Sort Of Heroes, which you can explore further on the Serial Poetry page.


Balancing In Action


Nib and Brod traveled along the winding road,
still thinking about the fall of the Basalt Tower
and the pitiful minion call in Whinton
and the increasingly common kooks they heard
in the villages who shouted about banishing Evil
from the land once and for all.

"Going to banish own selves?"
Brod asked one overeager duo.
"Yah, everybody does some bad stuff," Nib said,
as the would-be heroes hemmed and hawed,
insisting that wasn't what they really meant.

It was therefore not surprising
when someone jumped on them
out of the trees one day.
"Another bandit," said Brod,
drawing his sword.
"Yah," said Nib.

What was surprising was the bandit's shrill cry of,
"Stand and deliver for the Champion of Light!"

"Um, what do you think you're doing?"
Nib asked the man in clashing green-and-orange tights.
"I'm a hero," he declared.  "I rob rich people
and share some of the wealth with poor people."

"That  not heroic," Brod grumbled.
"Are you sure?" Nib asked behind his hand.
"Pretty sure," Brod said.

The fellow was decent at light magic, though;
he cast an evil-repelling spell that made them feel
as if they were mired in quicksand.
"Can't move," Brod said.  "Do something."
"Right," said Nib, and flung his crossbow
hard into their attacker's belly.

The man folded up with a wheeze as his spell collapsed.
Brod bounced him off a nearby tree,
then slung the limp form over his shoulder.

"Where's the nearest gaol?" Nib wondered.
"Sword say Oaklin,"  Brod replied.
So they hiked toward Oaklin,
wondering if there might be a reward
for the light-casting bandit that Brod carried.

Something niggled at Nib's attention,
a wobble in the magic.
He didn't have much sense of magic
but he could feel that much, all right.
Ahead of him, Brod shook one huge foot
and then the other.

"It's like a stone in your boot, ain't it?"
Nib said.  "It makes me think,
after all the grief come down on evil overlords,
what are the good ones getting up to?"

"Bandit come, magic wobble," Brod said.
"Bandit go, magic settle."
That made sense, Nib thought.
Then again, when was life ever that simple?

They left the bandit at the Oaklin gaol
and collected the reward,
which amounted to a Nib-sized handful of coins
and a round of free drinks at the tavern.
Nib couldn't feel the wobble in the magic anymore.

Then again, that could just be the ale.

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, writing
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