Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Los Despiertos"

This poem came out of the July 7, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] rowyn. It also fills the "mystery to investigate" square in my 6-10-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

"Los Despiertos"

Strange sightings always resulted
in calls to the Tef, but this time
something was different.

There were strangers exploring
Waxahachie, people with
pale skin and silver-bright eyes,
and a couple of reports said
that if anyone picked a fight
with them, they tended to bite.

"I am not answering the phone
for a goddamn zombie apocalypse!"
Alex declared. "I am a scientist.
I solve problems involving science."

"Naw, that's more Luke's kinda thing,"
said Chris. "Shotguns and chainsaws
and maybe a flamethrower --
no more zombies."

"They probably did come through
the Tef," Ash pointed out.

"I don't think they're zombies,"
Kay said quietly. "I've heard them
called Los Despiertos. I think it
means the Awakened Ones."

It left them with a mystery to investigate, and
Alex dragging her feet all the while
just because of the kind it was.

The tension increased when
one of them bit Chris' cousin Wilbur.

"I hope to Christ you freaks
know what you're doin' out here,"
Luke muttered as he unloaded
the whimpering man from the back
of his pickup truck. "Damned if I know
the first thing to do for him."

Kay scooped up Wilbur
and checked his health
as best she could.

She cleaned up the bloody bite
and wrapped his forearm in gauze.
Then she tucked him into bed
in one of the guest rooms.

"Turn off the TV," Wilbur whined.
"Please, somebody turn it off."

"Ain't no TV in this room, Pig,"
said Chris, reverting to
the childhood nickname.

Kay declared that it was all
due to a big boost in brain activity
and suggested it was high time
they did something about
the Awakened Ones,
science or no science.

A grumbling Alex was prodded
into action to analyze the incursion.

Kay described the effects on local humans.
Bailey and Ash discussed how to build
a detector to track down the interlopers.
Chris sat with his cousin and tried
to keep the poor man calm.

With some effort, they managed
to herd Los Despiertos back
through the Tef, then follow through
to check out the dimension and
see what kind of trouble it was in.

It was in trouble, all right,
but the Awakened Ones
weren't the cause of it.

They were the solution.

Everywhere was doom and desolation,
but the pale-skinned explorers went about
digging books from the dust, building fountains
and greenhouses and shelter for the refugees.

"Había una bomba,"
one explained,
her silver eyes luminous under
a curtain of black hair.

"There was a bomb," Kay translated.

"That explains a lot," Alex said,
looking around at the wasteland
with its scatter of greenhouses.

"What about my cousin?" Chris asked.
They had left Wilbur in a restless sleep
under Morgan's watchful gaze.

"¿Se puede curar?" Kay asked.

"No pueden curar la brillantez,"
the woman said, shaking her head.

"She says you can't cure brilliance,"
Kay told Chris. "I guess we'll just
have to help Wilbur adapt to this,
whatever it really is."

"What about this dimension?"
Chris said. He kicked at the dust.
A long dingy cloud spread downwind.

"You know, I think they're doing all right
on their own," said Kay. "Let's just
get out of their way and shut the door
so nobody else gets lost in our backyard."

"Agreed," said Alex, so that was the end of it.

Except for Wilbur, of course, who was
left with a whole lot more insight than
he had any idea what to go do with.

* * *


A zombie apocalypse is just one way to reach a post-apocalyptic scenario. All I did here was reverse the polarity.

awake / conscious -- despierto (ADJECTIVE)
-- Spanish Dictionary

Wilbur the Pig is the viewpoint character in the novel Charlotte's Web.

Había una bomba.
There was a bomb.
-- Spanish Dictionary

¿Se puede curar?
Is there a cure?
-- Spanish Dictionary

No pueden curar la brillantez.
You can't cure brilliance.
-- Spanish Dictionary

As Wilbur is discovering, intelligence can be a curse in many ways.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, science fiction, weblit, writing
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