Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Sinews"

This is the freebie for the April 2015 Crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "sensual pleasures" square in my 3-16-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.


Sendoff has always loved her body,
the strength and the stealth of it,
supple muscles and nimble fingers
and the elegant architecture of bones.

She has always wondered about the parts
and how they work together, since she was
old enough to read and ask what "thews" were.

She has always been fascinated by things
that bend and stretch and spring,
the sinews of the body and of the bow,
a silver coil shink-shinking itself down a staircase.

The whispers follow her -- "unnatural"
and "impossible" -- but in truth,
her skill is neither.

It is a thing which she has made.

People ask her how she has the patience
to practice so much, but for her,
it isn't a matter of discipline.

It is devotion. Adoration.

It is the sensual pleasure
of bending yew until it
hums underhand,
letting the shaft
whistle away

to whack into the bullseye.

It is twirling a bola with her toes,
passing it from foot to foot
to hand to hand

without ever missing a catch.

It is flinging a boomerang out
to flirt with the wind and then return,
smack! into her hand

while blindfolded.

It is holding weights at arm's length
for hours until the endorphins
flood her with ecstasy

and all of it, all, makes her stronger.

She bends her body like a bow
and her mind follows, sinews holding
everything in place

ready and


* * *


Sendoff (Hazel Armstrong) -- She has fair skin, golden-brown eyes, and very curly strawberry blonde hair. When loose, her hair falls just past her shoulders, but she usually pulls it back in a bun. Hazel collects figurines of favorite characters, originally just archers but now any kind. She often buys one as a souvenir after a mission.
Sendoff excels at all types of ranged weaponry. Her favorites include compound bow, recurve bow, longbow, bola, slingshot, boomarang, shuriken, atlatl, blowgun, lasso, and throwing knives. She is skilled with both rifle and handgun, but dislikes them as being less versatile than some of her other weapons. She likes bows because they can fire arrows designed to do many different things. She appreciates grenades because they come in so many types. She can handle tank guns and other heavy artillery; she loves the versatility of a hex cannon. Separately she owns bolt pistols for sleep and force plus beam rifles for gravity and shrink. She does not use her superpower for aiming, but rather for things like shooting around corners or tying rope knots from a distance.
Sendoff is equally comfortable working alone or with a team, choosing her weaponry to suit the mission at hand, so SPOON assigns her as needed. She prefers not to kill and only does so as a last resort. Most of the time she uses her weapons to knock loose an opponent's weapon, pin someone in place, disable an opponent, place equipment, or destroy property.
Origin: Hazel always excelled at sports and took up archery in grade school. When she was twelve, someone tried to kidnap her best friend Alyssa. Hazel used a hair tie to fire a paperclip into his right eye, blinding him permanently and allowing Alyssa to escape. After graduating from high school, she developed the persona of Sendoff and started volunteering at SPOON.
Uniform: She has no permanent uniform, most often wearing street clothes or camouflage to suit the local environment.
Qualities: Master (+6) Aim, Master (+6) Ranged Weapons, Expert (+4) Patience, Expert (+4) Stealth, Expert (+4) Strength, Good (+2) Collecting Figurines, Good (+2) De-escalation Skills, Good (+2) Math, Good (+2) Survival Skills, Good (+2) Teamwork
Powers: Average (0) Telekinesis
Motivation: To hit the targets that nobody else can see.

* * *

Sendoff does have the superpower of Telekinesis, but she doesn't actually use it much. Instead she relies on intense training to give her enhanced skills in combat and marksmanship. So even though she's a superhera, she fights more like a supernary. Understand how to improve your aim, be physically and mentally strong, and love your body.

Thews are well-developed muscles that give strength.

A longbow was traditionally made from yew. This is how a typically skilled archer looks. This is someone at Sendoff's level. By the way, I've watched the Lars video several times and this is the first time I noticed the bit about putting the arrow on the right side of the bow. Apparently modern people put it on the left when drawing with the right hand. WTF. I guess my farmemory is showing and no wonder it's easier for me to hit a target even if I can barely draw the damn bow.

A bola is a throwing weapon made of cords and weights. There are several ways to throw it. Among those is NOT the helicopter motion often shown in movies.

A boomerang is a tumbling stick which may be designed to return to the thrower.

Endorphins can turn exercise into an intensely pleasant experience for some people. There are plenty of ways to release endorphins.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, free stuff, gender studies, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing

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