Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "The Ruby Lens"

This poem came out of the June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired and sponsored by laffingkat.  It belongs to The Psychic Photographer series, which you can explore further via the Serial Poetry page.  Among the things I researched for this poem were ruby lasers and famous rubies.  Also, there's time travel involved, so the verb tenses are a little quirky in certain places.

Also: This urban fantasy/science fiction hera is smart and sassy, but not slutty.  She has one boyfriend, who is not a dick.  I've been missing this on the bookshelves and just noticed that, oh yeah, I've written some.

The Ruby Lens

The psychic photographer
is busy hacking the security cameras
in the British Museum of Natural History

when her boyfriend
stumbles out of his time machine
and announces,
"We will have a problem."

She flicks her short platinum-blond hair
out of her heart-shaped face,
points to a photo of the empty display
and drawls, "You don't say?"

The Edwardes Ruby
is missing,
was missing,
will remain missing
unless they do something about it.

"I've tried to catch the thief
but I keep missing,"
the time traveler admits.

"I've tried to photograph the thief,
but I keep missing,"
the psychic photographer agrees.

"We believe the thief wants
the Edwardes Ruby
to make a redshift laser,"
the time traveler says.

"What threat is that?"
the psychic photographer says.
"Ruby lasers are almost obsolete
and they use synthetic rods anyway.
I just want to get the stolen gem back.
It's a priceless historic treasure."

"That's just it," the time traveler says.
"Making a redshift laser requires
a large natural  ruby because
the deep history of the stone
affects the power of the beam."

"What does it do?"
the psychic photographer asks.
"It ages things," he replies.
"Bit not good," she says.

So they flick through time
like the snick of camera shutters
opening and closing on instants

and at last she discovers
not the thief, but the
thin lenses of obsidian
slipped into the security cameras

that blocks her psychic search
and the time machine's scan.

It's the work of a moment
to pry loose the lens caps
and snap the necessary pictures.

Then they loop back
to apprehend the thief

and the psychic photographer
restores the stolen ruby

while her boyfriend
drags the thief away
to will be imprisoned
for a very long time.

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, science fiction, writing

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