Listen to Muse via podcast: narrated by Kris Keppeler.
He sat in front of the computer’s blank screen, a blank slate waiting to be filled with new worlds that would be populated by living, breathing characters. Vibrant creatures who were conjured out of obscurity and ready to be crafted into a story that would be thrust into the hands of his voracious global readership.
A sound of bitter laughter echoed behind him. Yes, she was still there, hovering and silently mocking his inability to create. Although he had been writing for years, and had never been lost for ideas, something had gone horribly wrong. His inspiration pool was empty of ideas and his familiar friends, those carefully chosen and well placed words, no longer served their purpose.
“Why stay if you’re not interested in helping me? Aren’t there countless writers out there you could bestow your precious gifts upon?” he muttered bitterly.
She shifted quickly away to hover lazily in the corner of the room, with one eye on the closed door.
“Yes, I could do that, but it’s fun watching you sweat. But then again, maybe I’ve run dry as well,” she snapped. “I’ve played my part in the creative game longer than you’ve been alive.”
“Fine, leave then.”
“I will,” she retorted. “But I just want to see you write something on your own before I go. Just once.”
He sighed. “Alright. I don’t really need you, anyway. I’m a veteran author! My reputation is sealed as a world-class literary wordsmith. Other writers seek my help on how to cure writer’s block.”
He sat up straight and flexed his hands, and then started typing madly, his fingers skimming back and forth across the keyboard. When he had finished he leaned forward and stared at the screen. The whole page was full of gibberish.
“Damn!” he shouted. He stood up and shoved the chair forward and it slammed against the table.
She fluttered backwards in surprise. “Temper, Temper.”
He spun around.
“I’ve got nothing!” he howled, and threw his arms out wide.
She raised her eyebrows, and folded her arms. “That’s right, you’re nothing without me.”
“Help me, then.”
She floated towards the door. He watched her as the door flew open. ‘Nah, I think it’s time for a well-earned holiday.” She looked over her shoulder at him.
He looked dazed for a moment and then his eyes flashed.
She knew that look.
“How about this? A story about a creative muse who goes on a holiday. Now that’s an interesting idea, non-fiction, I reckon.”
She scowled. “What! I don’t think so.”
He pulled the chair out and sat back down. “Yes! Yes, I could make something out of that.”
She floated a little closer. “No, you can’t.”
He started typing. “The muse who took a holiday.” He paused. “Now where would a muse go for a holiday…?” He grinned manically.
She moved back to her routine position, just over his right shoulder.
He smiled. “I knew you’d be back. So where do we go from here?”