Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Chromatic Shrift"

This poem came out of the July 3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from je_reviens.  It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  This poem belongs to Schrodinger's Heroes, and you can find out more about that on the menu page.  Early on, the poem references events from the unscreened episode "Skin Deep" and later, it features another dimension from the same andervector.

By the way, remember me saying that in my writing, anyone  can be a hero and anyone  can be a villain?  Yeah, I had no idea where that was going until Chris ran for cover.




Chromatic Shrift


They called it the Delta Vector.
D for Dominion, D for Doom.

The dimension they visited first
was unsettling enough,
where wildly successful slave revolts
left the whole southeast of America
controlled by blacks
and the rest by indigenous tribes.

Nobody wanted to believe
that blond, blue-eyed Alex
had invented the Teflon Teferact,
blanks being an uneducated underclass;
or that Ash and Bailey and Pat and Kay
were anything more than
a bunch of deluded blank-lovers.

It was a miserable band of heroes
who slunk home after that,
Ash and Bailey mourning
the mistakes their people had made
and good ol' boy Chris inviting Pat for a drink,
determined to do better.

Then it got worse:
months later, the slave raiders came
from a dimension where
Afrik and Azteca were the world powers,
and the people of Eriu and Albia
were all their slaves.

The raiders wore quetzal plumes
and uniforms of tanned human skin,
or dappled cowhide and crests of lion mane.
They snatched up Midge with her copper hair
and gave chase to Alex who took refuge
behind Kay and her machine gun.

They chased Chris clear into Waxahachie
where in desperation he called on family ties
that he had sworn off when he joined Schrodinger's Heroes.
He ducked into the KKK office run by his cousin Luke.

Wicked they might be,
but the Klansmen were wickedly armed
and managed to repel the invaders.
Luke demanded an explanation,
though when Chris gave it,
he turned a bit green.

"We need to rescue anyone they've captured,"
Chris said, "then drive them back through the gate."
So the unlikely, unhappy alliance
of Heroes and Klansmen converged
on the raiders and beat them back.

Midge, it turned out, had already
escaped from her bonds and rallied
the other captives, fighting
with rocks against rifles.
Rescue arrived just in time to keep
the Afrikan captain from shooting her dead.

Alex and Ash worked hurriedly to disable
the alter!Teferact in the other dimension.
The invaders were driven back, and back, until
the gate swallowed the last bit of feather and fur.

It was Pat who stopped Luke and his men
from charging through the gate after them.
"Some things," the black man said quietly,
"I would not wish even  on my worst enemies."

Luke looked at Chris, then back at Pat.
Finally Luke nodded solemnly to them.
He slung his gun over his back and
led his men away into the empty desert night.

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, ethnic studies, fishbowl, history, poem, poetry, reading, schrodinger's heroes, science fiction, writing
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