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Poem: "No One Has to Wait" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "No One Has to Wait"
This poem is spillover from the May 1, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] janetmiles. It also fills the "second chance" square in my 5-1-18 General card for the Pro Wrestling Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by a pool with [personal profile] ng_moonmoth[personal profile] technoshaman, and others.  It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.


"No One Has to Wait"


Without warning, Beatrix Underhill
inherited an old manor house
known as Twyford Hall.

This complicated her life,
because the locals didn't
approve of nobles working,
even one from a collateral line
who had never really thought
of herself in that way before.

The house came with plenty
of money, though, so she
didn't need to earn a living.

Then she recalled a favorite quote:
How wonderful it is that no one
has to wait, but can start right now
to gradually change the world!
How wonderful it is that everyone,
great and small, can immediately help
bring about justice by giving of themselves.


So Beatrix turned her attention
to worthy causes instead.

She had worked on helping
refugees for several years when she
realized that the Republic of the Maldives
was scooping the best talent in the world.

Not wanting Britannia to fall behind,
Beatrix started focusing on refugees who
had special abilities, and soon she established
the European Union Refugees Of Power Association.

That provided support for unaccompanied superkids,
who began to fill the empty manor with fresh life.

At first, they didn't quite trust the second chance
Beatrix offered them, but she understood
that they had their reasons for that.

Senait and Arsema Tesfagiorgis
had fled Eritrea after both of
their parents got conscripted.

Bebe and Miedide Rabiu left Nigeria
after their whole family was killed
on suspicion of superpowers.

Along the way, they adopted
Chionye, who was running away
from bad people who wanted
to make him a child soldier.

Yaman came from Syria, where
the civil war had destroyed
his whole neighborhood and
everyone he had known.

Zlata was Ukrainian,
smuggled out by relatives
after spies -- probably Russian,
though nobody knew for sure --
had tried to kidnap her.

Another complication came
from their intelligence -- all of them
were smarter than average, and
several were Super-Intellects.

Even Miedide, the only one who
didn't have powers of her own but
came along with her brothers who
did, was a budding gizmologist.
She fit in well with the others.

Beatrix explained that sometimes,
being a lot smarter than everyone else
made life as hard as being less smart.

That caused almost as much trouble
as their various superpowers did.

So Beatrix tried to help her kids
focus on positive things instead.

It helped that all of them
had things in common,
like not understanding
Britannia's pop culture
and sharing a big house.

Chionye and Miedide
arrived knowing English,
and Bebe's superpower was
knowing all languages, but
the others needed to learn it.

Beatrix brought in tutors for
the subjects she couldn't teach,
including several professors
from City College Norwich.

The National Health Service
kindly sent counselors around
for home visits so the refugees
didn't have to go out in public just
to get help for their traumatic pasts.

After seeing how some local kids
teased the foreigners mercilessly,
Beatrix couldn't blame them for
wanting to keep to themselves.

They could always wait to socialize
with outsiders until they knew more English
and felt more comfortable in this culture.

The manor didn't have a large staff --
just a cook, a couple of maids,
a groundskeeper, and a groom
for the small stable of horses.

That let Beatrix focus on the kids,
and it allowed the kids to try out
different tasks around the estate
from housework to gardening to
helping take care of the herd.

She had the attic remodeled
to add a playroom with log cabins,
a sitting area, and viewscreens.

The new bathroom included
a shower-tub with several nozzles,
while both the sinks and the potties
stood at different heights.

The younger children loved it,
and the older ones went up there
to watch movies on the viewscreens.

Beatrix hoped the cheerful place
would help them all heal from
the horrors they had seen.

They managed to build
a working robot with parts
from an Erector Set, which
then malfunctioned and
broke an attic window.

Beatrix realized that
the children needed
somewhere more suited
to building than just playing.

Together they turned part of
the basement into a maker space.

It had a sitting area for socializing,
long tables for all sorts of projects,
and enough computers for everyone
so that no one had to wait for a turn.

A breakout nook had a round table
and four chairs for quiet meetings
or board games or counseling.

The workshop was in its own space,
soundproofed due to the power tools.

Sometimes Beatrix struggled
to keep up with her kids, because
most of them were smarter than her
even though she had more experience.

She introduced them to roleplaying games
in hopes of motivating them to practice
their English, only to have several go
haring off into statistics and probability.

When Zlata proposed that they build
a flying car, Beatrix firmly insisted that
they take the project outside, to avoid
having a flying car stuck in the basement.

Beatrix never doubted they could do it,
after all she had seen them accomplish.

A month later, the children took
the old red car to the edge of
the cliff and pushed it off.

And it flew.

* * *

Notes:

Beatrix Underhill -- She has tawny-fair skin, blue eyes, and short straight hair streaked in lighter and darker shades of blonde. She is short and plump with a round, happy face. She speaks Arabic, Chinese, English, Esperanto, French, German, Hausa, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian, and Urdu. Beatrix inherited an old manor house, Twyford Hall, to the south of the village of Guist about 19 miles north of Norwich. She sleeps in the master bedroom. She didn't know what to do with her life after that, since the locals rather frown on even collateral nobility having a dayjob. So she went into charity work, which is perfectly respectable. Now she runs EUROPA: European Union Refugees Of Power Association. It provides a sanctuary for unaccompanied superkids fleeing from hazardous countries. Beatrix started the program after watching the Republic of the Maldives scoop up vast quantities of talent, because she didn't want Britannia to get left behind. She struggles to convince other people to accepts the refugees, though, and feels very misunderstood.
Qualities: Master (+6) Housemother, Master (+6) Emotional Intelligence, Expert (+4) Cheerful, Expert (+4) Languages, Expert (+4) Trauma-Informed Care, Good (+2) Comfort Food, Good (+2) Gizmologist, Good (+2) Stamina
Poor (-2) Feeling Misunderstood

Senait Tesfagiorgis -- She has tinted skin, brown eyes, and long nappy brown hair. She is currently 8 years old. She is the younger sister of Arsema. They speak Arabic and Tigrinya; they are studying English. They were born in Eritrea and fled to Britannia after their parents were conscripted. Now they live with their housemother Beatrix Underhill in Twyford Hall, to the south of the village of Guist about 19 miles north of Norwich. Senait and Arsema share Bedroom 3. There they belong to EUROPA: European Union Refugees Of Power Association. It provides a sanctuary for unaccompanied superkids fleeing from hazardous countries. Senait has a knack for cooking that overlaps with the chemistry she is just starting to learn. The loss of her parents has made her anxious and clingy with her current family.
Origin: She gained her abilities from the Aegis vaccine base.
Uniform: Play clothes.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Smart, Good (+2) Cooking
Poor (-2) Separation Anxiety
Powers: Average (0) Luck, Average (0) Super-Immunity
Motivation: To be with her family.

Arsema Tesfagiorgis -- She has tinted skin, brown eyes, and long nappy brown hair. She wears glasses. She is currently 10 years old. Arsema is the older sister of Senait. They speak Arabic and Tigrinya; they are studying English. They were born in Eritrea and fled to Britannia after their parents were conscripted. Now they live with their housemother Beatrix Underhill in Twyford Hall, to the south of the village of Guist about 19 miles north of Norwich. Arsema and Senait share Bedroom 3. There they belong to EUROPA: European Union Refugees Of Power Association. It provides a sanctuary for unaccompanied superkids fleeing from hazardous countries. The loss of her parents has made Arsema wary of the government and other authorities.
Origin: She gained her abilities from the Aegis vaccine base.
Uniform: Play clothes.
Qualities: Good (+2) Bookworm, Good (+2) Computer Programmer, Good (+2) Fast
Poor (-2) Fear of Government
Powers: Average (0) Super-Immunity, Average (0) Super-Intellect
Motivation: To stay safe.

Miedide Rabiu -- She has milk chocolate skin, brown eyes, and nappy black hair worn in short braids. She speaks English and Hausa; she is learning Igbo from her brother Chionye. She is currently 9 years old. Miedide is the younger adopted sister of Chionye and younger natural sister of Bebe. They were born in Nigeria and have fled to Britannia after their family was killed for suspicion of superpowers. Miedide and Bebe started off together, then met Chionye along the way, and they stuck with each other. Chionye didn't even have a surname, so they shared their family name with him. Now the three siblings live with their housemother Beatrix Underhill in Twyford Hall, to the south of the village of Guist about 19 miles north of Norwich. Chionye and Bebe have Bedroom 7, while Miedide has Bedroom 9 next door. There they belong to EUROPA: European Union Refugees Of Power Association. It provides a sanctuary for unaccompanied superkids fleeing from hazardous countries. Miedide worries about being ostracized for being different.
Qualities: Good (+2) Gizmology, Good (+2) Loyal, Good (+2) Visual-Spatial Intelligence
Poor (-2) Fear of Exclusion

Chionye Rabiu -- He has milk chocolate skin, brown eyes, and nappy brown hair buzzed short. He wears glasses. He speaks English and Igbo; he is learning Hausa from his siblings. He is currently 13 years old. Chionye is the older adopted brother of Bebe and Miedide. They were born in Nigeria and have fled to Britannia. Chionye started alone due to people trying to make him a child soldier, but met his siblings along the way, and they stuck with each other. He didn't even have a surname, so they shared their family name with him. Now the three siblings live with their housemother Beatrix Underhill in Twyford Hall, to the south of the village of Guist about 19 miles north of Norwich. Chionye and Bebe have Bedroom 7, while Miedide has Bedroom 9 next door. There they belong to EUROPA: European Union Refugees Of Power Association. It provides a sanctuary for unaccompanied superkids fleeing from hazardous countries. His experiences have left him strongly opposed to anything military, and he's clumsy about expressing that.
Origin: Chionye prayed to be saved from the press gang, and he was.
Uniform: Teen boy clothes.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Existential Intelligence, Good (+2) Protective
Poor (-2) Anti-Military
Powers: Good (+2) Prayer Powers
His ability lets him beseech the god Chi for things and get them.
Motivation: To keep his family safe.

Bebebomobo "Bebe" Rabiu -- He has milk chocolate skin, brown eyes, and nappy black hair buzzed short. He is currently 12 years old. Bebe is the younger adopted brother of Chionye and older natural brother of Miedide. They were born in Nigeria and have fled to Britannia after their family was killed for suspicion of superpowers. Bebe and Miedide started off together, then met Chionye along the way, and they stuck with each other. Chionye didn't even have a surname, so they shared their family name with him. Now the three siblings live with their housemother Beatrix Underhill in Twyford Hall, to the south of the village of Guist about 19 miles north of Norwich. Chionye and Bebe have Bedroom 7, while Miedide has Bedroom 9 next door. There they belong to EUROPA: European Union Refugees Of Power Association. It provides a sanctuary for unaccompanied superkids fleeing from hazardous countries. Bebe still fears persecution for being a soup.
Origin: Bebe was born with his powers.
Uniform: Play clothes. He gets chilled easily, so he tends to dress in long sleeves and layers.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Interpersonal Intelligence, Good (+2) Optimist
Poor (-2) Persecution Anxiety
Powers: Average (0) Omniglot
Motivation: To communicate.

Yaman Ulaby -- He has tinted skin, brown eyes, and short wavy black hair. He is currently 15 years old. He speaks Arabic and is studying English. Yaman was born in Syria but fled to Britannia after his whole neighborhood was wiped out in the civil war. Now he lives with his housemother Beatrix Underhill in Twyford Hall, to the south of the village of Guist about 19 miles north of Norwich. He has Bedroom 2. There he belongs to EUROPA: European Union Refugees Of Power Association. It provides a sanctuary for unaccompanied superkids fleeing from hazardous countries. Yaman is heartbroken over the loss of his family and neighbors. Just dealing with that takes up most of his time and energy at present.
Origin: His mother had Super-Intellect and his father had Super-Strength. Yaman inherited both, although the Super-Intellect was active at birth while the Super-Strength only emerged at puberty.
Uniform: Teen boy clothes.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Community Spirit, Good (+2) Generous, Good (+2) Physics
Poor (-2) Complicated Grief
Powers: Average (0) Super-Intellect, Average (0) Super-Strength
Motivation: To recover from his losses.

Zlata Bortnyk -- She has pinkish-fair skin, hazel eyes, and long wavy hair of light brown. She wears glasses. She speaks Ukrainian fluently and knows some Russian; she is studying English. She is currently 16 years old. Zlata was born in Ukraine, but her relatives smuggled her to Britannia after (probably Russian) spies tried to kidnap her. Now she lives with her housemother Beatrix Underhill in Twyford Hall, to the south of the village of Guist about 19 miles north of Norwich. There she belongs to EUROPA: European Union Refugees Of Power Association. It provides a sanctuary for unaccompanied superkids fleeing from hazardous countries. Zlata struggles to fit in and finds it difficult to relate to her new society. Machines make so much more sense. However, nobody understands what she builds, because she does it more with intuition than intelligence.
Origin: Her powers manifested at puberty, attracting attention when she won a science show at 13 against older and better educated students.
Uniform: Teen girl fashions. Zlata has an eye for what things look good together.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Dexterity, Good (+2) Bookworm, Good (+2) Girltalk
Poor (-2) Alienation
Powers: Good (+2) Super-Gizmology
Motivation: To belong.

This is the European Flag.

* * *

“How wonderful it is that no one has to wait, but can start right now to gradually change the world! How wonderful it is that everyone, great and small, can immediately help bring about justice by giving of themselves.”
Anne Frank

Here are maps of England showing cities and population density.

Twyford Hall was built in 1675, then expanded in the late 1700s. The grounds are about 70 acres with a courtyard, walled garden, pasture, parkland, forest, and a gravel parking lot. Two streams run through the meadows. Outbuildings include stables, a cow byre, garage, workshops, and a coachman’s lodge. This is one of the exterior doors.

Here are the floor plans. Beatrix has Bedroom 1 on the first floor, the master bedroom. Zlata has Bedroom 4 next to it. Chionye and Bebe have Bedroom 7, while Miedide has Bedroom 9 next door. Arsena and Senait share Bedroom 3. (The numbering of bedrooms does not match the physical layout.) The two maids and the cook are three sisters who share apartment in the staff wing. The groom and his family have the Coachman's House (not shown here). The groundskeeper lives offsite. Attic 5 is a bunkroom.

The basement has lots of different work spaces. This table has roleplaying games. The workshop has its own room with soundproofing. Breakout spaces have a table and chairs. A bathroom has been added to the basement.

On the ground floor, this bathroom stands next to the reception hall. The study has been turned into a combination library and playroom. You can see toy soldiers on the mantelpiece and books all along the walls. The kitchen includes a small dining table. (The dining room is across the hall from the kitchen.) The games room includes a pool table, sitting area, and card table. This is the bathroom adjacent to the games room. The family room has leather chairs and a fireplace. The garden room has mostly glass walls with a woodstove and couches. The dining room has a fireplace and a long table that seats twelve. The sitting room includes a floor harp and a piano. The drawing room has a fireplace with couches and chairs.

The reception hall has a grand staircase. Beatrix has Bedroom 1 with a king-size canopy bed and sitting area. Beatrix's room has a purple ensuite bathroom. Zlata has Bedroom 4 with a fireplace, a twin-size sleigh bed, a tall dresser, and a desk with a chair. The green washroom lies between bedrooms 4 and 7. Chionye and Bebe have Bedroom 7 with two twin beds and an end table. Miedide has Bedroom 9 with a twin bed and a chair. Yaman has Bedroom 2 with a twin-size bed, a bookcase, and a dresser. Yaman's room has a blue ensuite bathroom. Arsema and Senait share Bedroom 3 with built-in bunk beds, bookcase, and desk. They have a pink ensuite bathroom. The gray toilet room lies between bedrooms 3 and 6. Bedroom 6 has two twin beds and an easy chair. It has a bathroom with tree wallpaper.

The the main part of the attic has been remodeled into a playroom. There are several wooden cabins. The back part has a table and chairs. The door leads to the attic bathroom. The sitting area looks into the bathroom. The bathroom has three stairstepped sinks. Not shown are two toilets at different heights, along with a urinal. The shower tub has multiple fixtures. Attic 5 is a bunkroom with three twin-size beds.

This is the driveway looking toward the manor house and looking toward the road. Here is an entrance.

Not far from the grounds, a bridge crosses the stream on its way to the river.

These are the top countries of origin for refugees flocking to Europe. This fantastic questionnaire from Canada is typical of Terramagne examples of interviewing refugees. There are ways to help refugees in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Unaccompanied minors have special needs.

Trauma survivors often show worrisome symptoms of decompensation as the extreme stress overwhelms their coping skills. Trauma-informed care has guiding principles which offer compassionate, effective ways for therapists to help survivors. Following best practices ensures the highest quality of care. Family and friends can provide support too. Survivors can help themselves with self-care.

Read about City College Norwich.

Being gifted can make life very difficult. Know how to support gifted youth.

Robots are easy to make at home. There are kits for everything from fancy programmable robots to junkbots.

Erector sets have pieces of metal that fasten together with nuts and bolts. In Terramagne, early Kraken members invented this product, so the instructions do sometimes include deliberate errors to teach certain concepts and challenge ingenuity. The company offers a number of products for robotics.

Roleplaying games can teach many concepts, including statistics and probability. My mother once borrowed my gaming dice for an advanced class in statistics and probability.

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