Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "As My Awareness Increases"

This poem is spillover from the May 3, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] technoshaman. It fills the "self-awareness" square in my 5-1-16 card for the Solo Celebration Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by the general fund, based on an audience poll. Happy birthday to [personal profile] librarygeek from [personal profile] technoshaman and [personal profile] mama_kestrel, who noted that in their donations. It belongs to the Berettaflies thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

"As My Awareness Increases"

[Near end of Week 3?]

Ashley likes spending time by herself,
likes to sit alone and think deep thoughts,
but she's never been much for trying
to psychoanalyze herself.

After all, what would be the point?
She already knows she's a mess.

Now she has superpowers, though,
and teammates, a combination which
makes self-awareness more imperative.

She has The Big Yellow Workbook from Haruko,
and another manual that Adalina recently gave her,
The Lone Oak: Becoming a Healthy, Happy Introvert,
and even a superpower pamphlet from Facet.

Ashley doesn't feel much enthusiasm for those,
but if she doesn't do something soon, then:
1) people will keep asking her about it, and
2) she's bound to lose control again.

Besides, she needs something to read while she
does the boring-but-kind-of-cool science experiment
from the university, which amounts to "hold this and
see if it melts," in increments of one to ten minutes.

That's a lot of sitting and holding the test squares,
but someone had gotten the bright idea that maybe
her venom could be used to break down garbage.
Talk about making lemonade when life hands you
lemons, but Ashley will take what she can get.

So she uses a timer to keep track of
the experiment, and decides that her task
for personal growth today will be marking
worksheets that don't suck too much.

Actually doing them later will
count as another task.

The squares in the first set are
clear plastic, and it doesn't even take
a full minute to start yellowing.

Meanwhile Ashley uses a set of
posty flags to color-code the pages.

The flags don't degrade in her hands
because SPAZMAT gave her a pack
of the ones they use to mark things
on the scene of zetetic incidents.

Starting with the yellow book,
Ashley marks a human outline
that is supposed to get colored in
with emotions, giving it a yellow flag
for something worth considering.

By the time she wipes off
the tacky blob of ten-minute plastic,
she hasn't found anything else.

The second set of squares
are some kind of synthetic cloth
which holds up better than the plastic.

Ashley switches to the introvert book.

The first thing she sees that earns
a green flag is a networking checklist
for introverts, which is written for
business but Ashley thinks she can
modify it for her own purposes.

The exercise about body awareness
isn't usually her kind of thing, but it snags
her attention because it makes her think of
the one really cool thing about her superpower:
the spectacular goth effects of her appearance.
She puts a yellow flag on the page.

The one about changes gets a yellow flag, too.

Ashley is more intrigued by the page
about relationships, thinking of Haruko.
She puts a green flag there.

The third set of squares seem to be
some kind of enamel paint in stripes
of rainbow colors, the surface feeling
cool and smooth in her fingers.

Ashley turns to the superpower pamphlet next.

It turns out to be a superhero pamphlet.
Oh, some of the pages aren't too bad --
one about listing your powers and
another about how they developed.

Ashley hesitates, then sticks
orange flags on them.

She is intrigued enough by
the idea of character traits and
communication skills as superpowers
that she puts a yellow flag on those.

The costume page doesn't suck,
and earns another yellow, but
the whole thing is just starting
to make Ashley itch.

She can't help remembering
what Adalina has said about
the Ring Mistress claiming that
some people had no choice
other than supervillainy, and
she knows where her gifts
are bound to get filed.

This is the opposite,
a heavy-handed expectation
that everyone with superpowers
necessarily wants to be a superhero.

The pages on identity and goals
are good enough to get green flags,
but Ashley still feels uneasy.

The only supervillain in the pamphlet is
meant as someone for the superhero to fight.
She puts a red flag on that one.

There is no blue plate special at all.

Ashley clenches her fist so hard
that the corners of the square
dig unpleasantly into her palm.

The timer chimes, and
she opens her hand.

The paint has not corroded,
but it has changed color,
leaving a fingertip mark
in contrasting tones.

Ashley can't resist making
a note about that on the card
that the lab has provided:
Promising for artwork.

That is another thing that
has come up in brainstorming
about her superpower: touch things
and turn them into distressed art.

She has to admit, it secretly appeals
to her goth side, even though she isn't
sure it is a good idea to advertise
her ability to wreck things.

Too bad that there is
already a DestructoBabe on
the black side of the cape.

Ashley finishes the experiment
and puts the box into the drawer
that will transfer it out of her space
so that someone from SPAZMAT
can take it to the university.

It may or may not prove helpful.
If nothing else, though, this one is
less daunting than any of the things
that could be done on her or to her,
no matter how gently phrased.

Maybe this will help her get used to
the idea of testing her new abilities,
though, and that would be useful.

Ashley has enough worksheets
to keep her busy for several days,
even if she only does the greens, or
just over a week if she adds the yellows.

But she is definitely going to mention
the superhero bias to Facet. That is
not doing SPOON as many favors
as they probably think it is.

When Ashley turns the pamphlet over,
though, she sees a quote that resonates
with her: As my awareness increases,
my control over my own being increases.

Wouldn't that be nice.

* * *


DestructoBabe (Rionach Auley) -- She has fair skin, yellow-grey eyes, long straight red hair. She has actually had her cape name since she could roll over, and spilled her father's ice tea and shorted out the family entertainment center. He used the same nickname "DestructoBaby" for all four of his kids; she's just the one who became a supervillain, plus she's the oldest, so she got to keep it. She went to Gargoyle High in Urbanburg, where her father teaches. Her family still loves her, even if she is a supervillain. Her specialty lies in wrecking things, so she is often invited on supervillain missions where the goal is to maximize destruction.
Origin: Her power grew in gradually over time, with some dramatic peaks and flares in puberty.
Uniform: On duty, she wears a black-and-yellow dexflan catsuit with matching boots and gloves of black krevel.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Science, Good (+2) Big Happy Family, Good (+2) Folk Music Fan, Good (+2) Lithe as a Willow Wand
Powers: Expert (+4) Entropy
Motivation: Bring it down!

* * *

"As my awareness increases, my control over my own being increases."
-- Will Schutz

Introversion is a personality type where people gain energy alone and expend energy with people. Here is a guide to interacting with introverts. Despite periodic stigma, introversion is equal to extroversion; both can be healthy or unhealthy. Introverts need to know how to take care of themselves and be happy. Compare how to care for introverts and extroverts.

Rainbow-colored posty notes are handy for color-coding things.

Ashley's worksheets include an emotional bodymap, networking for introverts, body awareness, finding your passion, and relationships. The superhero booklet covers superpowers, development, my superpower rocks, character as a superpower, communication, costume, vocation, goals, and supervillains.

Distressing covers a variety of techniques used to make arts and crafts look older and weathered. Learn how to make a glazed painting, age paper, and use other distressing methods. An old game master's trick involves drawing a complete map, and then taking a match to whatever parts you don't want players to know yet. If you give it to nerds, sometimes they'll try to do forensics on it. 8D
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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