Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Double the Trouble"

This poem came out of the August 6, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] kelkyag and Anonymous. It also fills the "visit" square in my 8-2-19 card for the End of Summer Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Steamsmith series. Note that this skips ahead; if you want to know what's going on here, somebody needs to sponsor "A Family Announcement" ($417).

"Double the Trouble"

Frederick Spencer Cavendish
and Frances Sarah Cavendish
had been decanted on April 30, 1841.

Since then, they had scarcely stopped
squalling for more than an hour's nap.

Their harried parents -- all four of them --
had pleaded the need for some respite
and fled to separate country houses.

Maryam and Charlotte had professed
a strong desire for practice before
Ruby Rose would be decanted
at the beginning of June.

After a sleepless night
attending first one twin,
then the other, and often
both of them together,
Maryam had begun
to reconsider this plan.

"Really not one of
my better ideas,"
Maryam muttered
as she paced the floor
with Frances draped
over her shoulder.

"Look on the bright side,"
Charlotte said as she
changed Frederick.
"Twins are always
double the trouble,
so Ruby Rose will
only be half this bad!"

"I'm not sure whether to be
reassured or terrified that
idea," Maryam said.

So they put the babies with
Mrs. Love, the tommyrocker, which
sometimes calmed them down.

The babies kept fussing,
which was no great surprise.

Then Mrs. Love did something new.

Shuffling the babies into one arm,
she patted her lap with her hand.

Farasat flowed up onto her lap,
flattened out like a fur rug,
and began to purr.

Mrs. Love settled
the babies carefully onto
the warm, purring cat.

And they quit crying.

* * *


Frances Sarah Cavendish is the takwin daughter of Eleanor Cavendish and Katharine "Kitty" Miller. Frederick Spencer Cavendish is the takwin son of William George Spencer Cavendish and Robert Bateman. Decanted on the same day -- April 30, 1841 -- the children are raised as twins in the Cavendish household.

Ruby Rose is the takwin daughter of Maryam Smith and Charlotte Cavendish, currently gestating.

* * *

"It’s double the giggles and double the grins, and double the trouble if you’re blessed with twins."
-- Quotes About Twins

Takwin is first mentioned in "A Keen Eye for Alchemy."

exowomb -- an alchemical device for gestation, developed in the pursuit of takwin, the science of creating life in the laboratory

takwin -- the artificial creation of life in the alchemical laboratory; although only proto-life has been created in terms of biology, this branch of study led to discoveries that made possible the animating spirit of the automatons with their semblance of life through technology, as well as explorations into the animation, reanimation, or transplantation of naturally occurring tissues [Arabic]

Mrs. Love first appeared in "The Tommyrocker." She is very unusual for a tommyrocker, but sometimes that happens, and even alchemists don't know why.

Yes, cheetahs can purr.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, family skills, fishbowl, gender studies, poem, poetry, reading, science fiction, weblit, writing
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