Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Getting a Room"

This poem fills another square on my card for the [community profile] cottoncandy_bingo fest.

The following poem belongs to Schrodinger's Heroes, featuring an apocryphal television show supported by an imaginary fandom. It's science fiction about quantum physics and saving the world from alternate dimensions. It features a very mixed cast in terms of ethnicity and sexual orientation. This project developed with input from multiple people, and it's open for everyone to play in. You can read more about the background, the characters, and a bunch of assorted content on the menu page.

Fandom: Original (Schrodinger's Heroes)
Prompt: Comfortable Silence
Medium: Poetry
Summary: A sentient coffee table has a hard time finding a comfortable place to stay in the compound.
Content Notes: Diverse sexualities, including asexuality.

Getting a Room

The coffee table was uncomfortable in the common room.

It had initially landed there after the unfortunate incident
that yanked it from its home dimension --
in which all inanimate objects were sentient --
into this dimension, in which none of them were.
People will be people, so the common room was often busy
with conversations about quantum physics and relationships
and saving the world and whose turn it was to do the cooking.
It didn't take long for Schrodinger's Heroes to realize
that this was not working out well for everyone.

The coffee table was uncomfortable in Quinn's room.

Quinn was unflappable, able to take anything in stride,
including the sudden arrival of self-aware furniture.
But he was into politics and gender studies
and still dabbled in a variety of consulting projects
when he wasn't busy helping keep the world on track.
He was also not a monk and really quite loud in bed
and it was hardly fair to tell him to get a room
when he was already in his.

The coffee table was uncomfortable in Kay's room.

Kay was level-headed and flexible
and good at taking orders, even for moving furniture
instead of shooting some bulbous horror.
But she had a habit of cleaning her weapons
and spreading the parts over every flat surface
and there were places that gun oil was never meant to go.
Also she had a very domineering personality,
particularly in certain sorts of company and
that was just too much information about human sexuality.

So the coffee table wound up in Ash's room.

Ash was quiet and competent and given to
programming computers in the middle of the night.
She did not try to engage the coffee table in conversation;
she let it be a coffee table without expecting anything more.
She remembered to use the coasters and didn't hesitate
to put coffee cups or lemonade glasses atop them.

The coffee table waited for the usual embarrassments to begin.
And waited. And waited. And nothing of the sort happened.
The only thing that went on in Ash's bed was sleeping.
There were no discussions of human sexuality
and no practical demonstrations either.
Once a week she brought out the soft dustrag
and wiped down the coffee table with lemon polish.
Sometimes when she curled up to read, she would
lean against the coffee table, and that was quite all right.

The coffee table realized that it was comfortable in Ash's room.
Tags: event, gender studies, poem, poetry, reading, schrodinger's heroes, science fiction, writing

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