Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Written in Dust"

This poem came out of the June 5, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "injury" square in my 6-4-18 Mixed card for the Winteriron Bingo Adventure fest. This poem belongs to the Antimatter and Stalwart Stan thread of the Polychrome Heroics series. It follows "A Pattern of Devotion" and "Always Repay the Cost," so read those first or this won't make much sense.


"Written in Dust"


Fiddlesticks woke to find
his wife crying on his lap.

That was quickly followed
by nurses fussing over him.

Looking around the room
for clues, he realized that he
was in the palliative care wing
of Freeman's Family Hospital,
which seemed ... not quite right.

The vase of yellow gladioli with
mixed carnations suggested
a visit from Lawrence.

His injuries, too, felt odd.

The last thing Fiddlesticks
could remember was suiting up
for that raid on the car theft ring,
but evidently something had
gone wrong with that mission.

He ached all over, but not
in the way fresh injuries did,
and why was he here in
the palliative wing rather
than a regular room or
one of those for soups?

A fierce hunger was
gnawing at him, too.

The only thing that he
got out of the nurses was
a steaming cup of bone broth,
which at least started to fill
the raging appetite.

Nobody seemed able
to explain much to him.

Fiddlesticks gave thanks
that Diamond had quit crying,
and resigned himself to wait
until Hefty came to find out
what had actually happened.

It took longer than expected,
which made him worry that
he'd been in the hospital
longer than he thought.

Hefty came in carrying
a brown paper bag and
a big bouquet of flowers.

"Start on these," he said,
putting the bag on the bed.

Fiddlesticks peeked inside, and
his mouth instantly watered for
the chocolate almond energy balls.
"Are you sure I can have these?"

"I'm sure," Hefty said firmly.
"They're from your ... specialist."

"Wha' spe'st?" Fiddlesticks mumbled
around a mouthful of chocolatey goodness.

Hefty set down the crystal vase full of
yellow, purple, and white tulips. He
passed over a small envelope.

Curious, Fiddlesticks opened
the card to find familiar handwriting.

------------------------------------------------

"Write your injuries in dust,
your benefits in marble."
-- Doctor I.


------------------------------------------------

Goosebumps raced over his skin.


"Is that -- is that why I feel
so strange?" he whispered.

"Yes," Hefty said. "What's
the last thing you remember
before waking up here?"

"Getting ready for the raid on
the car thieves," Fiddlesticks said.
"It went wrong, didn't it?"

"We caught the car thieves,"
Hefty said. "They were trying
to ram Christine when you knocked
her out of the way. She's fine except
for minor fractures in both wrists."

"And what about me?"
Fiddlesticks said, frowning.

"You got hit by the truck,"
Hefty said. "Direct hit,
with ... a lot of damage."

"This is not what
I signed up for,"
Fiddlesticks said.

"Well, police work is
inherently unpredictable,"
Hefty said. "You want safe,
boring work -- get a desk job
like Diamond has suggested."

"I'm not that desperate,"
Fiddlesticks protested.

"You almost died," Hefty said,
tapping the card from Dr. Infanta.
"That's why we had to call for help,
extraordinary help. So don't lean on
Diamond too hard if she's clingy
for a few days. Or months."

Fiddlesticks thought of his kids,
and shivered. That was a close call.

Maybe it was what Dr. Infanta
had meant in her note, though.

His injuries were written in dust,
already well on their way to healed.
As for his benefits ... well, there was
the proposal that Diamond and
Roger had been batting around.

Fiddlesticks hadn't ever intended to get
into such an unconventional relationship,
but now he had to admit that Hefty was
just as important to him as Diamond,
only in a different way, and he had
come to care about Roger too.

Just then, Diamond came back in
and leaned against Hefty before
sitting down beside Fiddlesticks.

"The doctors say you're doing
much better than expected,"
Diamond said. "They're going
to move you to a regular room.
You should get out tomorrow or
the next day, but they suggest
you take a vacation, at least
two weeks off from work."

Fiddlesticks took a deep breath,
grateful that it only ached a little.
"I hear the Great Salt Lake is
beautiful this time of year."

* * *

Notes:

Cristine Round -- She has tinted skin, brown eyes, and curly brown hair. Her heritage includes Hispanic, African-American, and European. Cristine leads the BASH team in Omaha, Nebraska. She makes a great battering ram but a terrible screwdriver, with a blunt personality and a direct approach. Her family loves and supports her, but they worry about her a lot. Cristine likes jazz music and frequents several bars that play it. As a hobby, she enjoys making piñatas for friends.
Qualities: Master (+6) Insightful, Master (+6) Tough, Expert (+4) BASH Captain, Expert (+4) Criminal Psychology, Expert (+4) Intimidating, Good (+2) Big Happy Family, Good (+2) Honorable, Good (+2) Jazz Fan, Good (+2) Piñata Crafter, Good (+2) Strong
Poor (-2) Blunt

* * *

"Write your injuries in dust, your benefits in marble."
-- Benjamin Franklin

Nutrition can improve healing. Bone broth is a good start for rebuilding bone tissue. Energy bites such as these Chocolate Almond Energy Balls also help.

Different colors of tulip are appropriate for different occasions. Red tulips are ideal for a romantic springtime bouquet. Pink tulips make excellent bridesmaid bouquets or a congratulations gifts. Yellow tulips send a “congratulations” or “get well soon” message, while white tulips ask for or grant forgiveness. Purple tulips are for a truly unique and special person. This is the bouquet of purple, yellow, and white tulips that Dr. Infanta sends to Fiddlesticks.

Minor fractures of the wrist are common after a fall. Since the bone is not broken all the way through, a sturdy brace is often sufficient for protection, provided the person knows not to lift anything or otherwise overuse their hands for a few weeks.

Polygamy in the United States began with the Mormons. While officially banned, it is still practiced. Obviously, the state has no right to tell people who they can and can't marry, due to the separation of church and state. In practice, privileged religions and sects hold sway and their morals are imposed on everyone else, despite the fact that some other groups happily acknowledge polyfamilies. In local-America, there is a movement for marriage equality. In Terramagne-America, plural marriage is already legal in Utah. By rule of reciprocity, other states have to respect those marriages.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, family skills, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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