ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the June 3, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] rosieknight. It also fills the "Mobile / Carnivorous Plants" square in my 6-1-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored via the general fund, based on an audience poll. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.


"The Walking Trees"


"Trees are attacking our poolhouse,"
the caller said. "Please make them stop."

Asterope and Taygeta looked at each other,
and then the twin sisters giggled.
"Easy City gets the weirdest calls,"
Asterope said.

"Don't laugh," the dispatcher said.
"I'm sending you to deal with this.
Asterope, your solar powers should
serve to dissuade them, or if necessary,
destroy them completely.
Taygeta, your super-strength and
flexibility help draw the trees
away from the threatened property."

The call had come from Naples, Florida --
the Super Power Organizational & Operational Nexus
only had a handful of bases around the nation --
so they had to get a teleporter to carry them.

The trees turned out to be red mangroves,
and they were indeed dismantling a poolhouse
one long thin board at a time.
They moved slowly compared to animals,
but quite fast for trees.

Taygeta grabbed the nearest tree
and tried to haul it towards the coast.
It creaked in protest.

"They're stronger than they look,"
she panted, muscles flexing
under her fair skin.

Asterope framed her hands into a lens
to focus the sun's power, aiming
a narrow beam of heat at the trees.
With a sizzle, smoke began to rise.

Then the nearest tree grabbed her,
its thick root wrapping around her
so that she couldn't use her arms.

Taygeta struggled to pry it loose,
but trees were powerful creatures.
By the time she succeeded,
Asterope was panting for breath.

"Maybe we should try something else,"
Taygeta said, eyeing the hostile foliage.

So Taygeta wound her elastic body
around the nearby palm trees,
using them as anchors, while she
looped around the mangroves and
pulled them away from the poolhouse.

Asterope stood back a safe distance
and sent little bolts of sunlight
zinging at the trees to make them move.

Sulkily the mangroves let go of the boards
and backed out of the caller's yard.
They were trying to get at the neighbor's garage
when someone from wildlife management
arrived to take them to the Everglades.

As they herded the trees onto the truck,
Asterope realized that there was
a blue-and-orange inflatable pool dragon
wedged high in the branches.

"Let them keep it," Taygeta said, giggling again.

* * *

Notes:

Asterope (Agatha Megalos) -- She has fair skin, hazel eyes, and long wavy golden-brown hair. She favors bold pure colors, especially red. Her heritage is Greek-American. She uses welding to create impressive metal sculptures. Her solar abilities include photosynthesis, igniting or melting things, and focusing sunlight into a cutting beam.
Origin: Unable to conceive, her mother prayed to Aphrodite and later bore twin girls. Agatha's power manifested at puberty.
Uniform: Red dexflan with a white stylized sun on the chest.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Popular, Expert (+4) Sculptor, Good (+2) Intellect
Poor (-2) Hothead
Powers: Master (+6) Sun Powers
Limitation: Her Sun Powers only work in daylight.
Motivation: To stand against the powers of darkness.

Taygeta (Tanith Megalos) -- She has fair skin, hazel eyes, and long wavy golden-brown hair. Her heritage is Greek-American. She favors hot neon colors such as fuchsia or turquoise. Tanith uses her superpowers most often for coastal rescues and repairs.
Origin: Unable to conceive, her mother prayed to Aphrodite and later bore twin girls. Tanith's power manifested at puberty.
Uniform: Fuchsia dexflan with a rounded Greek labyrinth on the front in white.
Qualities: Good (+2) Dexterity, Good (+2) Friends in the Coast Guard, Good (+2) Physics, Good (+2) Resilient, Good (+2) Water Sports
Poor (-2) Sticking With It
Powers: Expert (+4) Super-Strength, Good (+2) Elastic Form
Motivation: To bend without breaking.

* * *

Asterope and Taygeta are named after two of the Pleiades, seven sisters in Greek mythology and also a star cluster.

Easy City is a metroplex in Louisiana. It surrounds Lake Ponchartrain, spanning the cities of New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Slidell.

Naples, Florida has some of the most expensive real estate in the country.

Mangroves, and especially red mangroves, form a vital part of the Everglades ecosystem. They also appear along much of the warm coastline, holding it in place.

This is the pool dragon carried off by the mangroves.

living in Polychrome

Date: 2014-07-21 02:37 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
I just wonder how the insurance companies would react to this claim if they didn't have video footage of the mangroves attacking.

Fun to read, but now I'm asking questions on a dozen tangents. (Thanks for posting it!0

(no subject)

Date: 2014-07-21 02:42 pm (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
My parents had a house in Naples, which they intended to use as a winter place. Sadly, a few months after they moved in Dad was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer. They settled in full time, I think because of the hospice care, which was excellent. Dad lived for another year, which is about 4 times the average for pancreatic cancer.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2014-07-22 03:10 am (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
Yes, and Mom lived in it for a couple of years more before moving to a continuing care place in North Carolina.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-07-22 06:11 am (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
• muscles flexing / under her fair skin."
> delete close-quote after narrative clause

• fuschia
-> fuchsia
> This is the very devil to remember. It may help to be aware that the flower was named for someone surnamed Fuchs.

Re: Fixed!

Date: 2014-07-22 02:59 pm (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu

Yeah, I guess that often comes with learning whole-word reading. And the "sch" spelling is so common that statistically-trained spellchuckers will call it correct.

Re: Fixed!

Date: 2014-07-23 04:52 pm (UTC)
johnpalmer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johnpalmer
Good lord, Bayesian wizards, what a scary concept.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-07-23 04:51 pm (UTC)
johnpalmer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johnpalmer
The 12 year old in me now notes that in addition to the visual almost-pun (not technically, more of a "ooh, it looks not entirely unlike a naughty word"), the company by that name makes lubricants. The world is a strange place.

(And I never, ever, ever would have thought to look up the spelling, nor guessed the s came after the ch - thank you.)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-07-25 01:12 am (UTC)
helgatwb: Drawing of Helga, holding her sword, looking upset. (Default)
From: [personal profile] helgatwb
I live in Slidell, and the description of Easy City prompted a discussion between my husband and me about how metroplexes, and how the area around us is developing. We both grew up in southern Louisiana.

The ASL for Slidell is to make a letter 'L' with your dominant hand, put your other hand palm up, and slide the 'L' across it. Slide-ell. Though it's actually pronounced 'sly-dell', it's close enough.

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2014-07-26 03:03 am (UTC)
helgatwb: Drawing of Helga, holding her sword, looking upset. (Default)
From: [personal profile] helgatwb
Weell... In real life, there are already two metroplexes developing, one north of the lake, from Slidell to Baton Rouge, and incorporating parts of Mississippi. This area is already called 'the Northshore'. *snorts* The other will incorporate everything south of the lake, and probably be called New Orleans. The thing that you can't know, if you don't live here, is just how much the lake separates southeastern Louisiana. It's a social, cultural divide. I just don't think that the people around here would stand for a city that joins the two.

I'm sorry if it seems as if I'm going on about something trivial, but it really did make it harder for me to get into the poem.

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2014-07-26 06:09 am (UTC)
helgatwb: Drawing of Helga, holding her sword, looking upset. (Default)
From: [personal profile] helgatwb
I am about to go to bed, then tomorrow night, or the next day, I will do some research on my end, and come up with some facts, figures, and opinions.

One thing is, if someone came in and fixed the levee and storm problem, they could probably dictate what they wanted, up to a point. Not sure if that point would include Easy City, but it could come close.

One advantage is that I'm a Northshore gal, and my hubby, who is very interested in this kind of speculation, is from south of the lake. So you're getting a more well-rounded view, as it were.

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2014-07-27 02:36 am (UTC)
helgatwb: Drawing of Helga, holding her sword, looking upset. (Default)
From: [personal profile] helgatwb
The anchor city for Mississippi would probably be Poplarville, and include Picayune, McNeil and Carriere. These are all in Pearl River County. Parts of Hancock County would be included, maybe all the way to Waveland and Bay St. Louis, but it’s looking more as if those two cities are going to merge and then merge with Gulfport/Biloxi. Gulfport/Biloxi are two cities in Mississippi that are already so integrated that that’s how they are referred to all the time. It’s rarely just Gulfport or just Biloxi; they’ve even talked about changing the name. The problem with giving a city in Hancock County is that there aren’t any until you get to Waveland, it’s just unincorporated Hancock County, but people still live there. Maybe Pearlington or Diamondhead would work.

There are a lot points to talk about, would it be better if I posted my thoughts, etc., on each point on my dreamwidth, and then sent you a link? I'm not too fond of scrolling through comments sections like this, but I don't know how you feel about it. Either way is fine with me.

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2014-07-27 05:43 am (UTC)
helgatwb: Drawing of Helga, holding her sword, looking upset. (Default)
From: [personal profile] helgatwb
I'll post on my blog, so I can sort with tags and such, but it might be useful to exchange some things via email.

Picayune and Pearlington sound right to me.



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