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Poem: "Hypercube Roots" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Hypercube Roots"

This poem came out of the October 2-3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from my_partner_doug.  It has been sponsored out of the general fund, based on an audience poll.  This poem is a crossover between Monster House, which you can explore further via the Serial Poetry page; and Schrodinger's Heroes, which has its own menu page.


Hypercube Roots


The tesseract in the basement was ringing.

Grandma was pulling a pie out of the oven
and putting a casserole into the oven
and apparently didn't hear it
over the sound of the timer beeping.

When she stood up, I nudged her and said,
"Grandma, the uh ... downstairs line is ringing."
"Oh!  Well, we'd better get that," she said,
tugging me out of the kitchen.

"What about supper?" I asked
as I followed my seeing-eye gremlin
down the stairs to the laboratory.
"It will never miss us," Grandma promised.

So we followed the hypercube roots
to the stillpoint of the spinning wheel,
where there were messages waiting
and lights blinking and flashing
and people of all sorts in a muddle.

Grandma quickly cut through the chaos
and made her way over to
a brown man and a blonde lady
and their surprisingly relaxed black cat.
"What seems to be the trouble?" Grandma asked.

The blonde lady dragged a hand through her hair
and said, "Well, there are these dopplegangers
from some hell dimension going around
impersonating people and doing evil,
and aside from us professional troubleshooters
nobody notices so that's a pretty big problem.
We'd like to find a way to identify them that doesn't
involve Tim the Tentacle Monster licking  everyone."

"Where are they coming from?" Grandma asked,
and the blonde lady started talking in equations
considerably more complex than just hypercube roots.
But I was more interested in the licking, so I said,
"That sounds like a visual illusion of some kind.
If the dopplegangers taste different from people,
then the body chemistry must be different,
so what you need is some kind of
chemical-sniffer equipment."

The brown man grinned and declared,
"That's a hardware issue!  Let's go shopping!"
So I showed him to The Grand Bizarre,
which was less of a bazaar
and more of an explosion in a flea market.

He put together bits of this and pieces of that
and had something working rather well
by the time some kind of alarm
whined about a doppleganger using their portal.

We managed to find the creature
and contain it with the help of a trapdoor monster.
Meanwhile the blonde lady and Grandma
had figured out which hell dimension
the dopplegangers were coming from
and how to send them back there.

Then someone else's  pet
chased my seeing-eye gremlin up a logic tree
and it took the black cat quite a while
to coax the gremlin back down again.

Fortunately travel by tesseract
can fold time as well as space,
so we made it back home
before the casserole or our relatives
had noticed our absence.

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Current Mood: busy busy

19 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
thesilentpoet From: thesilentpoet Date: October 10th, 2012 01:53 am (UTC) (Link)

I LOVE the cross-over! :)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 10th, 2012 02:05 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I had fun with this. It was a good combination. And of course, Schrodinger's Heroes was deliberately designed to be crossover-friendly.
fayanora From: fayanora Date: May 2nd, 2018 05:33 am (UTC) (Link)

RE: Thank you!

Heh, it'd be neat if Schroedinger's Heroes crossed over with Rick and Morty.
e_scapism101 From: e_scapism101 Date: October 10th, 2012 01:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hee!
(Deleted comment)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 11th, 2012 01:19 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

>>Yes! As soon as I saw the cross-over, I knew this was going to be good!<<

That's nice to hear.

>>And I always love how excited Bailey is to get to build something!<<

He really is. They're an enthusiastic bunch in general, though.

Bailey: "Hardware, squee!"
Alex: "Quanta, squee!"
Morgan: "Shiny stars are shiny. Squee!"
Quinn: "I'm the fandom bicycle. I like everything. I have all the squee!"
From: rhodielady_47 Date: October 11th, 2012 09:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Very neatly done.
I've seen too many "crossovers" that were half-baked and overly contrived. This one WORKS.
:)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 11th, 2012 09:43 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

>>Very neatly done.
I've seen too many "crossovers" that were half-baked and overly contrived. This one WORKS.<<

I'm happy to hear that.

In my observation, crossovers work best when you find a point of overlap between them. So here, we've got two groups of characters with interdimensional access and a tendency to meet nonhumans. They fit together like puzzle pieces.

Then there are motif-based crossovers that work with anything. "Settling" is a good example of that, because His Dark Materials simply provides an opportunity for expanded character revelation through the daemons. As long as you pick plausible daemon shapes and get the characterization right, it'll work with any character(s).
From: rhodielady_47 Date: October 11th, 2012 04:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

I have to take a look at 'settling' and see...
:}
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 11th, 2012 09:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

Feedback is welcome.
aldersprig From: aldersprig Date: October 12th, 2012 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
less of a bazaar
and more of an explosion in a flea market.


Moarpls?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 12th, 2012 10:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Well...

You can always keep that in mind for future prompts.
aldersprig From: aldersprig Date: October 12th, 2012 11:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

Will do!

(You have a good answer to that down much more pat than I do ;-)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 12th, 2012 11:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

Eh, practice. I try to pay attention to what people like enough to request more of. Some of the series, characters, and plot threads are especially popular.
aldersprig From: aldersprig Date: October 13th, 2012 12:26 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

I notice similar things - and often what's popular is not what I expect to be popular (Dragons Next Door, for instance)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 13th, 2012 12:48 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

I'm fascinated by what captures people's interest. Sometimes I see it coming, like with Maryam in The Steamsmith. Other times it's a surprise, like with Nib and Brod in Sort Of Heroes.
aldersprig From: aldersprig Date: October 17th, 2012 12:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

/Nods/ Exactly. Bug Invasion and Dragons Next Door totally caught me by surprise; contrawise, I expected Facets to be more popular than it is.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 17th, 2012 09:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

By the way, I'm serving as Poetry Host next week on the DW community Poetree. The theme is serial poetry. Feel free to drop by and join the discussion then.
je_reviens From: je_reviens Date: October 7th, 2014 05:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Awwww that's it! I read them all!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 7th, 2014 05:31 am (UTC) (Link)

Yay!

I'm glad you enjoyed the series. You can always prompt for more if you wish.
19 comments or Leave a comment