Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Extraordinary People"

This poem is spillover from the October 3, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] callibr8. It also fills the "safety" square in my 10-1-17 card for the Fall Festival Bingo fest. This poem has been selected in an audience poll as the free epic for the November 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl reaching its $200 goal.

"Extraordinary People"

Drew Finn

All of his siblings have superpowers --
even his twin sister Aida --
but Drew does not.

They know.
They checked.

He doesn't care, really.
Having special powers doesn't
make his siblings any happier
or him any unhappier.

It doesn't affect the family;
his parents love them just the same
(they don't have superpowers either)
and Drew loves his siblings just the same.

He doesn't want to make a spectacle
of himself or his life or anything else.
He doesn't want the extra attention.
He doesn't want to be a superhero.

He just wants to be safe.


His whole family is super
except for him.

His mother is a strongwoman
and his father is a telepath.

His oldest brother has super-strength,
his middle brother has super-speed,
and his older sister has telepathy.

His girlfriend is a siren,
but that's another story.

Riposte doesn't let it stop him.

He develops an iron will
from dealing with his sister,
wrestling and speed reading
from coping with his brothers.

He knows soup culture
and he knows that there is
more than one way to skin a cat.

He can too keep up with them.
He wants to keep people safe,
so he learns his own ways
of accomplishing that.

He doesn't need to be super
in order to be a hero.

Moosa Mariamme Didi

She knows hospitality and
the history of the Maldives,
so she knows things change.

You have to be ready for it.
Mariamme is always ready.

She doesn't have superpowers,
but she doesn't need them to run
a luxury resort or see when it's
starting to run aground.

She knows that her nation
needs soups in order to survive.

She knows that not everyone is
as happy as she is to see them
moving into the islands now.
That's not a safe situation.

So she listens. She works
in hospitality, so she's
good at listening.

Mariamme considers
the small but vocal resistance
against people with superpowers.

Jealousy isn't a very healthy emotion.

She decides to work against it
by launching a new and unique school
for people who want to become supernaries.

She buys out what is left of the resort, and
Dun'gethi begins to build up a new clientele.

They have a Learning Center with a library,
a language lab, and all kinds of classes
for people seeking mental skills.

The Water Sports and Marine Center
teaches scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing,
and also how to understand the ocean.
It offers yoga classes on the beach,
and for experts, on wakeboards.

There are classes in t'ai chi
and karate and other martial arts.
They teach speed and agility too.

Mariamme watches them with pride.
She knows that when they go out
into the world, they will make it
a little bit safer for everyone.

Although her students aren't super,
they are anything but ordinary.

* * *


Drew Finn
Age 16 (male)

Dark brown hair (oak, at best rusty oak color) which he dyes wild colors, once or twice per summer.

Drew is a high school junior with a strong interest in /a lot/ of areas. No real settled ideas for career, etc. (Is likely to end up working in his own day care center, and later be a stay-at-home dad.)

As their parents (and state work permits) allow, he works at StN in the office, picking up a bit of everything as Mrs. Wu is willing to teach. He’s one of the few sighted people who’s bothered to learn Braille by touch.

Normal Humans: 24 points in qualities, PLUS the original ten for a total of 34

Good (+2) Family support
Good (+2) History, Japan & China (their interactions, conflicts, cultural exchanges)
Good (+2) History, European
Good (+2) Braille
Good (+2) Esperanto
Average (0) Chinese (written)
Average (0) First Aid
Average (0) yoga
Average (0) plays flute
Poor (-2) confidence

(ALL EXPERT level skills will develop after the current story arc)
Expert (+4) Child development
Expert (+4) Social networking
Expert (+4) Woodworking
Expert (+4) French * (whichever dialect is actually native for Saraphina)
Expert (+4) Self-defense (Aikido)

Drew Finn (by Dialecticdreamer) in blue sweater

Riposte (Jacob "Coby" Wade) -- Coby has fair skin, light brown hair, and blue eyes. He is average height with considerable muscle. He grew up in a family of superheroes but never developed powers himself. His mother is a strongwoman and his father is a telepath; his oldest brother has super-strength, middle brother has super-speed, and his older sister has telepathy. Coby's fashion sense is such that he can put together the wildest outfit and still look good in it instead of ridiculous. He wore a glass-green smoking jacket to his senior prom and had girls hanging all over him. His specialty is fighting supervillains with telepathic, empathic, or other abilities that allow them to manipulate people. He is still touchy about lacking real powers, though.
Origin: Coby is the youngest of four children in a super family, and the only one without powers. So he pushed his ordinary abilities until he could compete on a super scale, finding ways to accomplish the same things.
Uniform: Colorful and expressive, the details change but the flair remains similar. Riposte likes poet shirts, fancy coats, and hats. The most common color is yellow-green contrasted with blue-violet and red-violet. He wears a tricolor half-mask.
Qualities: Master (+6) Armor of Iron Will, Expert (+4) More Than One Way to Skin a Cat, Expert (+4) Soup Culture, Expert (+4) Family Connections, Expert (+4) Strong, Expert (+4) Tough, Good (+2) College Student, Good (+2) Deduction, Good (+2) Speed-reading, Good (+2) Unusual Fashion Sense, Good (+2) Wrestler
Poor (-2) I Can TOO Keep Up With You!
Powers: None.
Motivation: To be effective as a supernary hero.

Smoking Jackets

Moosa Mariamme Didi -- Moosa is her surname, Mariamme is her personal name, and Didi is a title. She has light brown skin, brown eyes, and long dark hair. She is tall and curvy, with a strong body. Her heritage includes Thai and Maldivian. Mariamme used to run a luxury resort before the Maldives welcomed people with superpowers and the tourist trade slumped in response. When she noticed the small but vocal resistance against soups, she decided to work against it -- by launching a school for people who want to become supernaries. So she bought out what was left of the resort, and Dun'gethi has been building up a new clientele since then.
Qualities: Master (+6) Hospitality, Master (+6) Innovative, Expert (+4) Influential, Expert (+4) Emotional Intelligence, Expert (+4) Wealth, Good (+2) Constitution, Good (+2) Intensive Trainer, Good (+2) Maldivian History
Poor (-2) Knowing When to Quit

Didi (royal rank, a little below princess)
In Hindi, elder sister; or any older woman.
T-Maldivian use applies Didi as a title for women in leadership positions, especially the hospitality industry.

* * *

Being safe and feeling safe can be challenging for people with an unsafe past, an issue for Drew due to soup-related hate crimes. I made a safety tracker to help people analyze their level of safety.

Sibling rivalry is often frowned upon, but the competition can inspire people to develop more of their skills.

dun'gethi -- n. glory bower
-- Maldives Dictionary

See an aerial view and a facility map of Dun'Gethi.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing

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