The Calm
Friday, November 9, 2007

Before the storm. - Inara. Post-movie. Quiet drabble of introspection. Free for all ages.


Post-movie Free for all ages. Quiet, introspective, short. Inara.


The Calm


It's well-tended.

A few leaves, dry and curled to resembled old fists, are strewn over the grass like a modest offering, but the grave is mostly bare. A patch of particular value among all the patches of mere fruitless soil under this tree. Would that any flowers grew here.

She brought some from Three Hills and there's a slight wilt in the tips of their petals. Tendrils of incense smoke fail to rise and dance in curls and curves. The barest hush of wind is enough to chase away all but the traces of scent, but the small bowl by her knees is steady.

Rice and meats and pineapple. Too little to feed a child even as small as Jonah.

It's just a symbol, after all.

Ants take a vivid interest. First just two or three, and the longer she sits there, the steadier the stream. They're a quiet kind of company, a quiet kind of life teeming on the ground, above what's under.

She breathes and tries to feel a quiet inside herself. The hum that makes all things bleed into a cocoon. Nature should help, but the air is cold and unsteady.

The 'verse is cold and unsteady.

Censorship has covertly reduced the number of books it is legal to own by 10 percent. Ten percent. There's no telling the secret percentage in people it is illegal to know or see or remember, these days.

Insurgency on St. Albans and Harvest. Tidily wrapped in carefully sterile newsfeeds.

The only quiet there is consists of held breath.

It all seems to far away, here. So far away on Serenity, even. They avoid the hot spots, the hot jobs and the patrols. Long, tense stretches of black. They haven't seen blood or destruction but what floats behind Mal's eyes and Zoe's when dinner conversation goes stale.

Behind her own eyes she runs a litany of clients she no longer has the title to service. And wonders. Ten percent? How many of the younger boys, how many of the men had weaved their way up and into the Alliance. How many of the women? Perpetrators or victims. Soldiers, in the end, she's sure. It's gathering.

Everyone's hands are raised to ward off the blows they can't hear or see but feel.

The stillness before the storm.

The stillness within herself. The waiting.

There's a direction for her, somewhere. Between all that is falling apart.

Buried in the dust and the memories and goodbye she is saying. Again. She doesn't know to what. But it has to be here. The altar to Nandi, her goddess of change.

The ants work steadily and it's a long while before the lack of noise finds disturbance.

His boots are muffled on the grass, but he crushes the leaves with his weight, slow and hesitant and louder for it.

Of course.

Time to go.

Her legs prickle, unfolding. Her calves are cold where she knelt.






Friday, November 9, 2007 5:11 AM


I'm so glad you are reposting, AgentRouka, Yeah for me, more Inara!

love this, of course, and her looking for direction and where will she fit, in a post Miranda verse?

Friday, November 9, 2007 11:27 PM


Welcome back! I have had you in my favorites list for the longest time hoping you'd write again! Love your work and hope you'll be posting more tales for our enjoyment.

Saturday, November 10, 2007 2:58 AM


Lovely. Especially "leaves curled to resemble old fists" -- and the list of things no longer allowed.

Saturday, November 10, 2007 3:14 PM


Poor little Jonah. While I am not surprised Inara would want to visit her dear friend Nandi's grave I am especially saddened that Petaline's son died. He must have been very young. And loved the understated way Inara gets the prompt to leave. Very nice piece of introspection. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Sunday, November 11, 2007 4:07 AM


This is a perfect story for this time of year, in this kind of social and political climate. You metaphorically describe what it's like to be faced with the fear of change, even though you know you're going to be swept up by it without choice in the matter. Very interesting contrasting images of walking quietly being all the louder for it, and needing to stand but her legs are cramped. Excellent writing!

Monday, November 12, 2007 3:03 PM


AgentRouka, you have emailed me but I have no email address to reply to you only using the comment box. I suggest you email me again (with a return email this time so I can reply in more depth). It would be helpful if you actually quote what it is that is confusing you as you were not specific. As you can see from the above comment I was giving you a compliment. Ali D
You can't take the sky from me


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