"The Best Richness"
Fast-forward almost a year, to January of 2016, and see how events are unfolding in the Maldives and its new neighbor Thalassia. There are also some new challenges to consider.
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Mamadou Latheef was pleased with
the developments in the Maldives,
mulling over them as the ship
cruised gracefully westward.
A teen boy can only conceal his flickering for so long.
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Shan managed to hide his problems
for months before they all came out.
He had never liked his classmates much,
preferring his own company to that of others,
which made him a target for bullies.
"The Cutting of the Gem"
Tolli takes Shiv to a rock and gem shop.
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"Shiv, would you enjoy
a surprise today?" Tolli said.
Shiv narrowed his eyes.
"What kind of surprise?"
"The Ever-Changing Anthem"
Mamlambo opens the summer games with a verse describing events to come.
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"A Family Announcement"
An alchemical invention creates social upheavals -- and opportunities.
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After Aalim and Taysir had
decanted their second son
at the end of March, in front
of an awestruck audience,
London had gone a bit mad.
"A Gravel and Cream Sandwich"
Shiv is having a fine time at the Finn party until Aidan approaches, and then it is not fine at all.
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Finn parties were exciting,
sometimes a little too exciting,
but Shiv was starting to like them.
Several months after the berettaflies get loose in Easy City, Facet responds to another call about bugeyed puppies, this time West Highland White Terriers.
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"Wait, what?" Facet said.
"I thought you were talking
about the buggles!"
This really sounded like the description of a TV show, so I wove it into Polychrome Heroics that way. "Uptime Girl" is a free-verse poem about Heron and Mallory watching the first episode together, in which Clementine Hill tries to find a good place in the past to build a new time machine, and meets some interesting downtimers.
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When Mallory waddled into the living room,
preceded by her big belly, Heron said,
"What are your plans for tonight?"
"I can barely move, asshole," she said.
"My plans are -- let me check --" She
pretended to look at her smartphone.
"Nothing, nothing, and nothing."
"A Weird Tension"
When art therapy reminds Shiv of his unpleasant past, he loses his temper.
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Shiv didn't know what
to make of Dr. G.
The guy was goofy,
but he saw everything
and he listened to people
and it was just weird.
"Where the Fruit Is"
Dr. Bloch gets a load of exotic fruit and asks Shiv to help him introduce it to other inmates.
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Shiv stared at Dr. Bloch.
"You want me to do what now?"
"Find me some volunteers,"
Dr. Bloch said. "Come on, I got
a great deal on a load of exotic fruit.
It's free food. Everyone who agrees
to try some will get easy points for
healthy behavior. All I need you
to do is invite a few guys who
might be interested in this."
A berettaflies prompt inspired a pair of free-verse poems.
"Shattered by the Truth"
Limestrike breaks up with the Spectrum. They do not take it very well.
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Limestrike had put it off
as long as he could, but
it just kept eating at him.
"The Bravest and Most Lucid Thing"
Feeling guilty for his part in releasing the berettaflies, Limestrike surrenders himself to Valor's Widow.
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Limestrike trudged along
the picturesque boardwalk,
unmoved by its charms.
He felt awful about
what had happened
with the berettaflies, and
that was getting worse
over time, not better.
Several Dreamwidth prompts contributed to a pair of free-verse poems:
"Going Down into the Abyss"
Ras el Hanout sees an increase in people seeking Aunt Flo's Flushies for medical reasons.
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Ras el Hanout was working in
his front office when a sudden storm
blew in off the ocean, wind flinging
raindrops to patter against the glass.
"Not a Drug on Earth"
Ras el Hanout speaks with President Latheef about Aunt Flo's Flushies and addictive substances.
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After the encounter with
Calpurnia and Hamon,
Ras el Hanout decided that
it was time for him to approach
the President of the Maldives
about Aunt Flo's Flushies.