ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is from the September 2, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, [personal profile] stardreamer, and LJ user Book_worm5. It also fills the "friend(s)" square in the Birthday Bingo Fest public card. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the series Frankenstein's Family.


"The Soothing Sound"


On Adam's second birthday,
he managed to walk without support,
and once he realized what he could do
he wanted to keep doing it, despite
Igor's best efforts at moderation.

Unused to so much activity,
Adam's legs began to ache,
so by the end of the afternoon
he flopped onto his back
and refused to move.

Their friend Csilla came over
to crouch beside the cranky toddler.
"I can feel his distress,"
she said to Igor.
"What is wrong with him?"

"His muscles are too tight,"
Igor said with a sigh.
"They're getting better, but
that takes time, and there's
only so much I can do to help."

"Let's see if I can get him to relax,"
Csilla offered. She sang a lullaby,
the soothing sound of her voice
an invitation to unwind.

Igor leaned his chin on his hand
and let her words ripple over him
like warm fingers working out the kinks.
Dénes the brewer quit collecting empty mugs
and sat down on the nearest bench to listen.

Adam stopped fussing and lay still.
When Igor ran a hand over his son,
he could feel the taut muscles
beginning to loosen at last.

Csilla took hold of Adam's ankles
and gently tugged his legs straight,
then curled them back against his belly.

"Sometimes it helps to move the muscles
without putting any weight on them,"
she explained as she worked.

"Hmm," Igor said thoughtfully,
watching everything that she did.
Her healing skill was not limited to her bite.
"Where in the world did you learn this?"

"Here and there," Csilla replied.
"This bit, I learned from a silk merchant
who was traveling from China to England."

Adam had fallen asleep under her touch, and
when Igor carefully prodded his overworked legs,
the muscles felt soft as butter now.
"I know that Adam needs to walk on his own,
but I hate seeing him so miserable," Igor said.

"He'll get better," Csilla said.

"The wagon's ready," Victor murmured
as he came up behind them.

Csilla scooped the sleeping child
off the floor and handed him to Igor.
"He should sleep through the night," she said.
"He is very receptive to the sound of my voice."

So was Dénes; his wife Dorottya
was shaking him gently awake, where
he'd nodded off slumped over the table.

"Thank you so much," Igor said to Csilla.

"You are part of my nest now," she replied.
"Friends take care of each other."

* * *

Notes:

Persuasion and Compelling Voice are two variations of a power often attributed to vampires. In this context, it's more of an influence than a compulsion, and some people are more responsive than others. There are ways to develop a soothing voice.




Stiff, sore muscles can result from many causes including chronic diseases or acute overstrain. Leg stretches are one good solution. Know how to stretch leg muscles for yourself or for someone else.

Started a long comment

Date: 2014-09-05 01:40 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
And clicked a link directly rather than right-clicking. Drat it.

Dénes is known to be unusually receptive to her voice, but I still think this is /not/ manipulation in a formal sense. Instead, Csilla's talking and singing in a relaxing, calming way, and /waiting for the other person/ to respond. She's helping to soothe Adam directly, with stretches. (When she said 'trader from China' I flashed on classic Silk Road era, 1100-1400 AD, then wondered if it was even earlier, rather than assuming it was only a few years ago. )

This is actually very controlled, in that only people who know her are mentioned even in passing, but she's taking a huge step into risky territory. It went /wonderfully/, I think, and I hope she becomes more willing to trust the other villages as they begin to interact with her more regularly.

Adam sleeping like a limp puppy... yeah, I want to be that relaxed.

I love the strengths and subtleties this adds to the Frankenstein Family verse, all the while seeming like a bit of harmless fluff.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-09-05 02:01 am (UTC)
helgatwb: Drawing of Helga, holding her sword, looking upset. (Default)
From: [personal profile] helgatwb
Oh, lovely.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-09-06 03:29 am (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
"You are part of my nest now" -- wonderful.

I was pretty good at soothing my kids by singing to them, but they probably grew up with very odd ideas about what constitutes a proper lullabye.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-09-07 09:37 pm (UTC)
ext_3294: Tux (Default)
From: [identity profile] technoshaman.livejournal.com
One of the first things N taught me when she started her current vocation was how to stretch my legs in motorcycle-specific ways.... my rides are considerably more comfortable now.

Hmmmmmmmmmm. I seem to gravitate towards stories that respond to the question, "what if the vampires are on YOUR side?" I have *no* idea why *that* happens...

Thank you!

Date: 2014-09-08 06:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>> One of the first things N taught me when she started her current vocation was how to stretch my legs in motorcycle-specific ways.... my rides are considerably more comfortable now. <<

Very useful to know.

>> Hmmmmmmmmmm. I seem to gravitate towards stories that respond to the question, "what if the vampires are on YOUR side?" I have *no* idea why *that* happens... <<

I like it too. I think it's the idea of making friends with a powerful force that is usually considered a threat. It's a very handy skill. I also like exploring the idea of undeserved reputation -- what if the 'monsters' are not actually cruel, violent savages but are misunderstood people who just have some unusual features? So in this series, it's gaining momentum on the gothic-fluff scope, with traditionally monstrous tropes being subverted into gentler versions.

Feel free to explore whatever aspects of that float your personal boat.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-09-09 07:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kestrels-nest.livejournal.com
"You are part of my nest now," she replied.
"Friends take care of each other."


This is so sweet. It's wonderful to see that Csilla has found a chosen family. It's more wonderful that she can accept it, after the way she lost her original nest.

Yay!

Date: 2014-09-09 08:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>> This is so sweet. It's wonderful to see that Csilla has found a chosen family. <<

I'm glad it works for you.

>> It's more wonderful that she can accept it, after the way she lost her original nest. <<

These vampires are among the most tractive species I have. They're just under my Hailen centaurs or the Blueshift hiveships. They can function as individuals, but their natural tendency is to form groups, not just socially but with layers of mystical and biochemical bonding. So if they lose one nest, they want to find or create another. It would take a lot to dislocate that ability. They're always highly vulnerable to losing people, because of the depth of connection; but they're also resilient in the face of loss, almost always able to form new bonds.

Part of this is just the slow process of Csilla circling around the village to identify who is both compatible and interested. Ideally a nest of vampires has a wider circle of human allies, in a symbiotic relationship. Everyone wins. But as with a family or a village, it works best when people put some serious thought into making those connections. The fact that the first three donors were chosen for her makes it much more challenging to assemble a working nest out of that -- to sort through and decide whether those are connections that everyone wants to keep or not, and then how to add more. Because it's not just a vampire-to-human bond, the humans connect with each other too; they can sense who else has fed a vampire, although the level of finesse in perception does vary.

Not to mention the boat-rocking mayhem of what it did to Denes and Dorottya's relationship, and possibly his own awareness of how his sexuality works, which is a hell of a thing to have happen when everyone's just trying to help.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-10-02 10:13 am (UTC)
meridian_rose: pen on letter background  with text  saying 'writer' (Default)
From: [personal profile] meridian_rose
This was lovely, soothing in its own way.

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