shiori_makiba: name and butterfly (inoue tsubasa)
[personal profile] shiori_makiba
Poem: Manners

by shiori_makiba / Ashley Weyer

Word Count: 576 words in 98 lines


Part of the Berettaflies thread of Polychrome Heroics. Inspired by a prompt from 
[personal profile] thnidu during the July 2016 Thank Muse It's Friday session.


Warning: Reference to soup bigotry

“Manners”

Sora Inoue, formerly Takahashi,

was a polite person.

Everyone said so and had said so

from her earliest memories.


She had had her brat phrases

as a child, a teenager, and young adult

just like everyone.

But as her mother had jokingly

said numerous times,

Sora had been a courteous brat.


To her, it just made sense

to be courteous to others.

It was impossible to go through life

without interacting with other people.

Good manners usually helped make

that interaction go as smoothly as possible.


It did not always go pleasantly.

Because people could be extremely hostile to each other

while exercising perfect manners.


One of the Grandmothers

in her neighborhood as a child

could cut anyone down to size

without a single breach of manners.


Not that she often had to do so.

Generally a polite suggestion

spoken softly to the person

in private was enough.


And even most of her public rebukes

allowed the offender to keep his or her face.


But to look at her,

you'd never guess that little woman,

with her gentle face and white hair,

could with a few well-chosen words

and perfect courtesy strip the skin

off of you.


Like most of the children,

Sora had been both frightened

and in awe of that woman.


But she also wanted to be like her.

For Sora, here was a living embodiment

of that longed for ideal.

Soft and gentle appearance with

a core of steel-hard determination and strength.

The Yamato Nadeshiko.


The road toward that goal was a long one.

And unending because life's choices

and challenges seldom got easier.

But also because in addition to her brat moments,

Sora had to master her own fiery temper.

She felt the effort was well-worth the reward.


Especially after she became a wife and mother.

She loved her husband and children

but they could test her patience

like no other.


Keiichi who could match her in determination.

Keisuke who had unfortunately inherited her temper

along with a equally powerful sense of right and wrong.


Mai who had inherited her father's enthusiasm and curiosity

but hadn't yet learned to temper either with caution.


Tsubasa who would hide herself

behind walls of silence

when speaking might help.


Tsubasa, the child she had so very nearly lost.

Tsubasa the child that so many of their family

back home had decided to treat

as through she had died.

For something as petty as

surviving and developing superpowers.


Sora felt the fury rise again.

Acknowledged it and

consoled herself to have patience.

The time will come to express

exactly what she thought about that cruelty.


But it was the kind of expression

that was best done in person.

And now wasn't a good time

for her to fly across the world.

And she needed to get a

better grip on her temper.

It won't do to let rage

dull her verbal knife.


They could wait.

Right now, her husband and children needed her.

She had a business to run

and countless other things to do

that were far more important.


She finished writing the last of the cards,

checked to made sure each had their gift certificate

to the family shop.


Satisfied that all was present and accounted for,

Sora Inoue headed toward the SPOON base.

She had some soups to thank

for their help and their courtesy.

It was only polite and

Sora had always had

excellent manners.


She just hoped that

they liked sweets.


Notes:

Sora Inoue is the mother of Tsubasa Inoue, one of the victims and new soups spawned by the Berettaflies incident. She was born in Japan and immigrated to the United States as a young adult. Along with her husband Keiichi Inoue, Sora owns and runs Nadeshiko Sweet, a store selling and serving Japanese sweets and deserts, including wagashi, along with a variety of teas.

Yamato Nadeshiko is the Japanese term for the personification of ideal Japanese womanhood.

The nadeshiko is a flower, a delicate frilled pink carnation but it is tougher than it looks because it can grow at high altitude.

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