Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "A Single Spark"

This poem is from the July 2, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from rowyn.  It also fills the "loss of possessions" square in my card for the Hurt/Comfort Bingo fest.  It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  This poem belongs to the series One God's Story of Mid-Life Crisis.

A Single Spark

Shaeth was minding his own business,
walking through the marketplace
with his arms full of onions and potatoes,
when a man ran right into him.

Trobby yelled in dismay.
Shaeth's vegetables went flying.
The man tripped over them
and tumbled to the ground.

Before he had become the God of Drunks,
Shaeth had been the God of Evil,
and he knew that a man running full-tilt
through a marketplace was
probably up to no good.

Narrowing his eyes,
Shaeth planted a boot in the man's back
and looked around for further information.
The man struggled, but he was no match
for even an underpowered god.

"Quit that," Shaeth said to him.
"Trobby, pick up our supper."
The priest gathered the vegetables.

A girl hurried into view
with a town guard in tow.
"Oh, you caught him!" she cried.
"Guard, that's the man
who set fire to my wagon."

The guard pursed his lips
at Shaeth and Trobby.
"The one on the ground?"
he asked.

"Yes,  the one on the ground!"
the girl said, pointing.
"I told you he was muscled like an ox --
do either of these two heroes
look like that to you?"

Shaeth was slim and wiry
Trobby bordering on scrawny;
the god smirked at the guard,
who finally dragged the arsonist away.

Whereupon the girl began to cry.

Shaeth had plenty of experience
in causing  tears, of course,
but almost none in damming them up.
The girl wrapped her arms around Shaeth
and bawled on his shoulder.

Shaeth held his hands out to the sides
so that everyone could see
he wasn't touching her.
"Now  what am I supposed to do?"
he hissed to Trobby.

Trobby patted her awkwardly on the back
and said, "The bad guy is gone now."

"So is my wagon," she wailed.
"I make and sell candles.
When I wouldn't let that thug kiss me,
he set everything on fire
and now it's all gone!"

"Well, I can't do anything about your wagon,
but I can offer you a place to stay," Shaeth said.
"I'm Shaeth, the God of Drunks,
and this is my priest Trobby.
We could certainly use a chandler for our temple."

"At least come have supper with us,"
Trobby added.  "We're making potato soup."

The girl wiped her face on Shaeth's soft linen shirt
and finally let go of him.  "I'm Eshne," she said.
"Thank you for catching that man."

Trobby elbowed Shaeth.
Shaeth looked at him, baffled.
"You're welcome," Trobby said.

Oh.  That.
"But we didn't actually do anything,"
Shaeth pointed out.

"You stepped on him and kept him down,"
Trobby said, and that was true.
"It was very heroic," Eshne said.

Shaeth looked down at his bruised vegetables.
Maybe being good was simpler than he thought,
after all.  He shrugged.  If she was satisfied,
that was enough for now.
"So, supper?" he suggested.

Eshne nodded agreeably
and followed them homeward.
She was not a drunk,
but she might be willing to help them
take care of the various drunks
who came to the temple.

One thing Shaeth remembered from before:
Sometimes it only took a single spark
to light a new path.

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

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