For an author, a Muse is a guiding spirit or a compelling source of personal inspiration. Imagine if you, a struggling author trying to produce a story, would come face to face with your muse. This is a tribute story to the late author, Genni Smith. It is also dedicated to all authors everywhere.
"This has continued for almost six months!” I thought and sighed, drumming my fingers upon the mouse pad. I had been trying to compose a short story within my mind and was waiting for that notable little spark that would propel my fingers upon the keyboard of my computer. But, instead I have been dwelling in that void between the here and there, my own personal version of the Twilight Zone.
I flicked a Cheese Puff from the desk toward my little terrier; he ate it without even moving from his warm pillow. "This is driving me crazy"! I groaned. Mr. Zoots just thumped his tail against the floor, alternating his glance from the polished hardwood to the little pile of Cheese Puffs lying beside me. With each look, his expressive eyebrows lifted, giving me the assurance of the intelligence that my little companion possessed.
I sat up and smiled at him, all the while he was still silently drumming his tail with contentment. "I tell you what, Zoots old boy, if I don't come up with a story soon; I think I'll go nuts"! His steady thump grew faster. "How about a drink"? We both stood up and leisurely walked into my small kitchen, his toenails tapping against the shiny hardwood flooring. He waited beside the doorway watching as I took down a cup and filled it with water, then slowly transferred it into his own bowl.
Zoots slowly turned his head and began to stare into the living room, "What is it boy? You hear someone outside"? He stepped toward the threshold and watched intently, the room we had just exited. I smiled and sat my beer on the counter, after closing the refrigerator door. Zoots let out a low growl, causing me to peek around the doorway and into my living room. "What is it, Zoots"? Again he growled, his neck hair stood slightly as he let go a short bark. I retrieved my can and walked back to the doorway, "You are one crazy dog, you know that Zoots"? His head turned slightly, as if he was following something with his eyes.
"What's got into you"? I laughed, "There isn't anything in there"! Zoots took a short step back from the living room and quickly looked up at me. This behavior in him was new, and I was feeling uncomfortable with the way he was acting. "Come on you loopy dog, I've got a story to try and write and you have some Cheese Puffs to beg for". The words came out uneasily, almost as if I was trying to convince myself of their worthiness.
I settled back into my chair and popped the top of my can, Mr. Zoots nervously looked over his shoulder at the empty couch. "You're a paranoid one, Zoots old boy"! I laughed. The dog turned himself and began to stare directly at the couch, as if someone was sitting there. I found my eyes wandering to the empty seat, "Dumb dog, now you have ME doing it"!
I closed my eyes and inhaled deeply, waiting for the inspiration that I had so longed for. When I opened them, Zoots was watching me. I flipped another Puff from the desk causing it to strike him in the forehead, he ignored it completely, leaving it lay near his white paw. I chuckled and shook my head at him. "Crazy dog."
Slowly a strange feeling began to wash across my body, settling into my mind was the suggestion to begin typing. My fingers fell into place upon the keyboard. "Okay, now what"? I said aloud, and then laughed as Zoots had changed his position so he could watch me as intently as he had the couch.
From somewhere deep within my mind a quiet voice echoed forth, 'Type now.'
I felt a slow chill roll down my spine, the little hairs on my neck began to raise and tingle. I chuckled nervously, all the while; Zoots never took his eyes from my face. Slowly I began to type, just words, nothing inspiring. After a minute I had stopped and allowed myself to peruse through what I had just written.
The huge city park loomed before me, its ivy covered gates welcoming weary citizens in an embrace of foliage and flowers. I smiled, walking past the old gentlemen playing board games on the little tables near the front. An older man smiled his toothless grin and laughed as he jumped his opponent's checkers. The sun was warm and bright as I neared the steps that led to the 'Walk of Chalk' where local artists could display their 'temporary' drawings to the enjoyment of others.
My eyes widened as I read the paragraph, it was as though I had been guided to type those words into the program I use. I rubbed the back of my neck as the strange feeling intensified; it was as if something was trying to help me compose the story. My trembling hand brought my can to my lips where I could take a drink. A nervous swallow later and my fingers settled back down upon the keys where I continued to type.
I walked down the flower lined steps, along a sun dappled sidewalk toward the walkway leading past the drawings. One young man, crippled and disfigured, artfully drew on one great square, taking up almost half of the wide walk. He smiled as I paused, admiring his work. In his hand, the chalk was as the brush of a great master... the sidewalk, his canvas. I pulled a bill from my wallet and dropped it into his chalk bucket, he nodded his thank you and continued to work diligently on his masterpiece. I loitered for another few moments, and then continued on the fragrant path toward my favorite bench.
Up the hill through the trees I could see dozens of little children being herded along by their teachers, laughing and prancing in the late May sun. With a smile playfully on my lips, I continued to walk on, my steps being carried by their laughter and joy. I rounded a great sprawling tree, as the children spilled down the hill heading for the playground strategically place at the bottom. As their teacher walked by, I took note of her school badge swinging, suspended from a long band of cloth, apples decorating its entire length. "Landslight Orphanage..." I muttered to myself, I knew the place well.
I shuddered as I recalled my years at that place, alone and afraid, until my rescue by the loving couple that adopted me. I thought back to the cold evenings, barely able to stay warm, and the fights to protect what was yours. These old images fleeting through my mind were bitter, and caused me to frown. Getting out of that place was the best thing that ever happened to me; I remembered being so excited once I was away, that I happily cried myself to sleep for the first few nights, unbelieving of my blessed fortune.
Again I stopped; I slowly pulled my fingers from the keys in bewilderment. "What's happening? Where is this story coming from"? I questioned softly, Zoots only tipped his head slightly. Again my hands were returned to the keyboard, in rapid succession, my fingers practically danced upon the dark, computer keys. Further along, my mind was pulled on a quiet ride, fingers flying as if unseen hands were guiding them.
Glancing between the trees, toward the playground, I wondered if the school had changed any over the years. 'Was it the same as when I left?' I doubted it, since public awareness and watch dog groups were looking out for the children these days.
Just off the path, I took my seat on one of the antique benches that dotted the grounds of the park. I placed my jacket across my lap and began to read, enjoying the ever so slight breeze on this late spring day. My attention was again drawn to the children; they seemed so happy and lively. I laughed as one young child had retrieved a grasshopper from the nearby shrub, and then began to chase a few of the girls around.
Slowly, I unfolded my paper and began to read. After a few minutes of causally reading, I felt someone standing nearby. I lowered the paper as a young man had taken a seat at the other end of my bench, "Hi" he said as he stretched his legs out from the run he had just completed.
I forced my hands away from the keyboard, stood up and stumbled over my chair as it became overturned from my sudden motion. I had a sudden feeling of not being alone; fear gripped my chest as I watched Zoots staring at a spot on the wall just to the left of me. Slowly I reached out my hand and felt the empty air. "What is it, Zoots? Are we being haunted"? Zoots sat upon his haunches and growled, not taking his eyes from the area just before my outstretched hand.
I swallowed hard, still trembling from the strange feeling, I called aloud. "Look, Ghost, I don't care if you live here... but if you do, leave me and the dog alone"! Determined not to let my paranoia get the better of me, I decided to sit at the computer defiantly, and write. Zoots sneezed at that moment, and then growled. His sudden sound caused me to jump with nervous fear, with a deep sigh, I returned to my computer. Zoots glanced toward me as I sat my chair upright, then slowly settled down upon it again. My heart began to pound as the dog's gaze began to move toward my direction, I scrambled from the chair, falling to the floor in my attempt to vacate the seat quickly.
Zoots moved between the chair and I, his hair rising along the full length of his back. I knew then, that we weren't alone. "Ghost, he doesn't like you, and neither do I"! I shouted with a unsteady voice. "We don't want any trouble! Go away and leave us alone!"
Zoots sat back down, still facing my computer chair. His head began to turn toward his right as if whatever he was watching was moving away. Finally, he had turned himself to facing it, his gaze still locked upon my unseen visitor.
With determination, I stepped over Mr. Zoots and again took control of my computer chair, "Keep your eye on it, Zoots! I'm not going to let any poltergeist try and sabotage my story"! Zoots rose back up and took a step forward in the direction he was watching, his short white hairs, bristling along his spine. I again took a fearful sigh, steadying my trembling fingers over the keyboard of my computer.
"Hello," I replied, laying the paper on the bench next to me. This was one of the things I most enjoyed about the park, I'm a people person and this gave me a chance to meet those I wouldn't normally interact with.
"Beautiful day, isn't it?" He smiled, looking around.
I nodded, looking around as well, "A simply beautiful day." I sighed.
He laughed as a young girl raced past, followed closely by the boy with the grasshopper. "Sure does bring back memories," He chuckled.
I nodded and placed my right arm along the back of the bench, "You run often?"
He wiped the sweat from his forehead, "Yeah... every afternoon. I try and do about three miles before I have to pack it in."
"I wish I could keep myself in shape like you do." I sighed smiling; I was nowhere near in the peak running condition like he appeared to be.
He laughed, "I sure didn't start out this way." He pulled the strings on his shoe, tightening them. "Two years ago, I weighed almost three hundred pounds!"
I raised my eyebrows and nodded, "That's quite impressive! What do you weigh now?"
"I’m only 194 pounds." He smiled proudly as he tied his other shoe. I gave him the once over, broad chest, flat stomach, strong muscular legs, thick shock of wavy brown hair, a real ladies man. I suddenly felt conscious of my own physical appearance.
"You work out?" He asked politely.
"Not as much as I should." I replied, feeling like such a liar.
"Maybe we could meet up here and go running sometime?" He suggested.
"There's a thought." I added, knowing full well that it would never happen.
I glanced up; a little girl was watching us from the opposite side of the path. I smiled and waved, she replied in kind. The runner looked toward her, "You know her?" He asked me.
"No, do you?" I wondered aloud. He shook his head in a silent answer.
I pointed down the hill toward the children, "She must be from the orphanage."
He followed my finger, "I wonder which one it is?"
"Landslight..." I whispered so the child wouldn't hear the contempt in my voice.
The man turned his head toward me, I added, "Spent six years of my life there..."
"You too?" He had a note of surprise in his voice, "I spent almost 8 years there before I was adopted."
I could feel my fingers rapidly striking the keyboard, hammering out a word with each stroke of my digits. Ever so slowly, I opened my eyes and jumped. Zoots was again facing me, his gaze was boring a hole deep into my eyes. "Is it here with me, Zoots"? I fearfully looked over my shoulder at the empty room behind me. Zoots growled, quietly adjusting his stance.
"Are you a ghost"? I stupidly called out.
Far away, somewhere within the deep recesses of my mind I heard a voice. It was as though something or someone was trying to communicate with me. I again asked louder, as if it would help whatever it was, to hear. "Did you come to haunt us"?
"No". The voice whispered softly, its echo tinier than a butterfly's wing-beat.
"Will you harm us"? I shouted, sounding like a fool, talking to myself.
"No". The voice came from within my head; it was soft and feminine sounding.
I looked back down at Mr. Zoots, he seemed to be relaxing slightly, as if he was part of our conversation. "Who are you?" I whispered.
Softer than a lovers sigh, the voice answered. "I am a Muse. Your Muse".
"A Muse"? I frowned, "But a Muse is supposed to help you be creative, not haunt you and scare the living daylights out of you"!
"I am your Muse"? It repeated softly. "Please relax, and write"! Again I closed my eyes as she had suggested, my unseen Muse took over and I could feel the words, her words flow through my mind once again.
The little girl stepped on the sidewalk and picked something from the ground, she was examining it as we continued our conversation. "I hated that place!" He groaned. "They were so mean to me..."
"The kids or the teachers?" I interrupted.
"Both." Was his short reply.
"For me, it was just the loneliness I felt. I hated being inside of that dark building, afraid of not ever being able to get away." I could still feel the fear in my chest as I remembered.
"You figure she's with the school age children?" He asked, nodding toward our little guest.
"I doubt it, she looks way too young for that." I turned toward him, "Just ask her."
He grinned and looked toward the little girl; "Hi" The little girl looked up at us and smiled.
"Hi." She gave a small wave.
The jogger leaned against his knees, "Are you with Landslight?" She looked down at the sidewalk.
I laughed, "I think you're scaring her." I said to my bench companion, "Let me try."
I smiled broadly to her, "Hi Honey, are you with the children on the playground?" She turned and looked down the hill toward them. I took that as a good sign, "What a cute little girl." I whispered to my new friend.
"Now, wait a cotton-picking minute here!" I pulled my fingers away from the keys and scrambled from the computer, "Would you quit doing that!" I shouted.
"I am only here to help." The soft voice echoed within my mind. I glanced at Zoots, he was following me with his eyes. "Get out of me!" I said, stumbling over an ottoman.
"As you wish." Replied the soft, feminine voice.
I sat sprawled against the floor, eyes darting about the room. Only Zoots was able to pinpoint her whereabouts. Slowly his head turned toward the end of the couch, but from the direction he was looking, the apparition was not sitting, but rather standing near the arm. I swallowed hard, "Show yourself to me!" I demanded.
"I cannot do that." Came her calm reply.
I glanced behind me to Zoots, he had taken a seated posture. "Why not!" I shot back at the empty room. "Are you afraid to be seen?"
"Who are you? Were you once a human?" I spoke; sitting up, then slowly rose to my feet.
"I was once like you." Her voice seemed to grow slightly louder as I stepped up beside my computer and stared at what I had just written. "But my life was shortened; I passed before I could fulfill all my dreams."
"And what were those?" I asked, saving what she had helped me enter onto the text file.
"I had always wanted to write, to make people feel the emotions with my words." Her voice was calm, almost reassuring. I was beginning to feel more comfortable with her in the room, Zoots must have agreed, he was lying upon his pillow, his head resting comfortably in his lap. She sighed softly, "I longed to paint beautiful pictures with those words that I would write."
"Please show yourself to me." I asked the room softly, "I won't run in fear."
She softly laughed, "It is not in fear that I'm afraid you will be."
"I don't get it?" I sighed, my eyes darting around the seemingly empty room. "Why are you afraid to show yourself?"
"I am not afraid, I just can't." She replied, echoing softly inside my room. "Now, please return to your chair and write for me."
"I won't until you show yourself to me!" I demanded, folding my arms defiantly.
She grew silent, as if trying to organize her thoughts. "You must write, we live because of you and others like you. It is through your creativity that we exist. Only writers write because we exist, you see it is a great circle."
I frowned, "So, if I stop writing, you will die?" I touched the back of my chair with trembling fingers.
She gave a short laugh, "I cannot die again, I’ll just cease to exist?"
"Then I won't type a word until you show yourself to me!" I turned my chair away from the computer and sat down.
" Please, you must!" She pleaded; I could feel the emotion in her beautiful voice affecting me. "Without you and those like you writing, I will disappear!"
"Show yourself!" I again demanded. "Or I'll not type a single word."
I heard a soft, desperate sigh, then slowly before my eyes I watched a sparkle dance, followed by another, then another. It was as if the room was filled with glitter floating upon a gentle breeze. As the glitter fell, a light grew from its center; I could just make out the image of a female. As if to show her I was as good as my word, I sat down and faced the computer. "If you stop revealing yourself, I'll stop typing." I said, speaking over my shoulder. As I began, Zoots slowly followed the Muse with his eyes toward my computer; I knew she was walking up behind me, yet still I typed.
"I don't think she trusts us." The jogger whispered, "She's a smart kid, keeping her distance like she is. Someone taught her well." He leaned back and continued to watch me.
"What's your name sweetie?" I asked, directing my question to the tot.
"Emily." She replied softly, swinging her flowered sundress in the brilliant light.
"That sure is a pretty name." I smiled, "Did your Mommy give it to you?"
The little one frowned and looked back down the hill, "I don't have a Mommy." That short sentence felt like it ripped my heart out, I gave the jogger a sad, knowing glance. Both of us knew exactly how she was feeling.
"Poor kid." He sighed.
She rocked on her feet and put her hands behind her back, "I found something..."
"Oh you did?" I grinned toward my bench partner. "What did you find?"
She smiled shyly, "Guess which hand."
The jogger laughed, "I guess... the hand holding... whatever you have it in." The little girl gave him a wry face which caused me to chuckle.
"How old are you Emily?" I asked. She responded by holding up one hand, trying to raise three fingers and still keep the coin contained.
"Ah-ha!" The jogger laughed, "I know what you found."
She looked at him incredulously, "You do?" I couldn't hide my amusement, and began to laugh softly.
He laughed out, "Sure, it's in..."
"Let me guess?" I interrupted, causing the Jogger to quietly realize that he was about to ruin her game.
She smiled and held out her closed fists, "Guess." I studied her face; she was a lovely little girl. Her blond hair gently falling around her shoulders, pulled back on each temple by a silver barrette. She waited as I tried to choose the hand which was hiding the 'object'.
"How about...your right hand." Purposely guessing the wrong hand.
"Nope. Guess again?" She rocked and grinned at me still holding her hands out, the jogger hid his face and began to snicker, his body shaking from his suppressed laughter.
"Uh, well, then Emily, how about the left hand?" I tapped her little fist as I made my choice for the second time.
She slowly rolled her hand over and opened her fist, "You're pretty good at this game." She sighed in awe, seemingly impressed by my 'brilliant' choosing.
I gave a short laugh and glanced at the jogger who was practically crying from his own laughter. I smiled at her and looked back down at her hand, "So what type of coin did you find?" I asked.
"It's a penny." She smiled, holding her hand out for me to look.
I leaned over her small hand and looked closer, "Well Emily, it isn't a penny."
"What is it?" She leaned over the coin with surprise in her whisper, causing me to laugh. Our faces were only six inches apart, as they hovered over her little hand.
"It says on the edge, that it's a wish coin." I grinned and looked over to the jogger.
"Does that mean I get a wish?" Her eyes got like huge saucers, her exaggerated surprise made me chuckle. Even the jogger snickered and held in his laugh.
She looked back toward the children enjoying the playground, and then turned back toward me. "I know what I want."
I slowly realized just how long I had been typing and pulled my fingers from the keys, my forearms were cramping and in pain. "Please continue." She sighed.
I turned and looked in her direction, her face only inches from mine. I gasped at the raw beauty she possessed; she was the personification of perfection. "You... My God, you're stunning." I sighed, admiringly. "I have never seen a woman as lovely as you are."
She smiled and stood up, stepping slightly away. "It was wrong for me to show myself to you."
"I'm glad you did, I have never witnessed a creature of such feminine splendor before, Do you have a name?" I stood up and trembled before her beauty, hardly able to look away from her loveliness.
"I was once called Genni, perhaps you should call me that as well". She gracefully waived her slender arm and I slowly nodded and sank into the chair. "Please continue, type for me". I exchanged a look with Zoots; he was resting, fearing nothing and sleeping like a puppy.
"I'm tired, I need to sleep." I said, turning to face the keys. Genni moved behind me and I could feel her bend low, near my ear. Her whispers took motion as my fingers begin to strike the keys; I was typing what she dictated into my ear. I felt my eyes close in an erotic stupor, her feminine scent reaching well into the deep recesses of my tired mind. I continued to create for her, my beautiful Muse.
"You do? What is it?" I said, trying to sound interested.
"You have to close your eyes before you make a wish!" The jogger kidded.
She snapped her big blue eyes shut and squeezed the coin in her little fist, "I wish I had a Mommy and Daddy, so I don't ever have to go back." She opened her eyes and grinned.
"Go back, where?" I asked the little girl.
"Landslight Orphanage." She replied, looking into her hand. "Where did it go?"
"Where did what go, honey?" I asked.
"My penny? It's gone!" She pulled her dress back and looked between her tiny feet, almost toppling herself in the process.
I took my hand and headed for my pocket, intending to give her a coin of my own. As my hand reached my hip, I bumped into something that hadn't been on the bench before. I glanced down; a woman's purse was laying where my newspaper had been. I looked up toward the jogger. "Was that here when you sat down?"
"No..." He had a strange look on his face, "What was it again...that she wished for?"
I looked back down at the little girl and smiled, "She wanted a Mommy and Daddy so she never had to go back to the orphanage again." I felt a slight tickle against my neck, brushing it away, I commented, "Poor kid she just wants parents to love her and take care of her." I took my hand and held her chubby cheek. A soft reflection from my gleaming thumb nail brought my attention quickly returning to my hand.
"Uh, Dan, what's happening?" I pulled my hand in front of my face, staring, heart racing at the sight of slender fingers with their oval nails.
I could feel him watching me from the corner of my eye, "H...how do you know my name?" His shocked glances darted from me to the little girl.
"I, I don't really know, I just did." I glanced back to Emily, "What was that coin?" I started to scan the ground, looking for it. "Help me find it Dan, it has to be laying here on the ground somewhere." I crouched down and began to scan the ground frantically, pulling long blond hair from my vision where it hampered my search.
He got down on his hands and knees and began his search; even Emily was crouched and spying across the ground trying to help me look.
Dan slowly stood up, "I don't see it anywhere Cathy... maybe she put it into your purse?" My eyes slowly rose to him, the shock of what I was hearing evident upon my face.
Dan quickly frowned, looking away with embarrassment, "Had her wish been granted as it would seem?" I wondered.
I shook off the feeling I had been having, "Genni, what are you having me write?" I scrolled down what I saw on the screen, and then gave her a wondering glance, "I can't write this kind of stuff! No one would ever take me seriously!"
"Why not? I did! You have within you the making of a very beautiful writer." She smiled and caressed my cheek; her touch was sensual, yet warm. I could feel an emotional excitement from her tender touch. I felt myself pull away; she smiled and nodded toward the silent keys. "Please continue."
She was standing near me, her long white flowing robes being carried by an un-felt breeze. Her beautiful breasts were just hinting at their wondrous beauty, covered barely by the gown she wore. Long brown hair, highlighted with golden strands, hung down over her soft shoulders. I drank in her beauty, from time to time I could get an erotic glimpse of a smooth and silky thigh. She watched my eyes then smiled, "This is what always happens when a writer sees their Muse, which is why we must never show ourselves to them."
"Please continue writing, for me?" She pushed out a lusciously soft lip, her pouting had a grip upon my heart, and there was so much I wanted to do for... and to this lovely young woman.
I found myself returning to the keys, she closed her eyes and smiled, all the while, gently stroking my mind with her words. I closed my eyes as well, carried away by the steady rhythm of my typing.
For some strange reason I glanced immediately toward the purse resting on the bench, "No, she had it in her hand when she made the wish." I pulled my long blond hair away from view as I began to rest on my knees, tucking it behind my shoulder.
Emily put her little hand on my back, "I don't have it no more, Mommy, it disappeareded."
I laughed, "You’re so sweet." I took her tiny chin in my hand and kissed her little button nose. Dan held his hand out and helped me to my feet.
"I feel a little strange." I sighed to him as I stood up; suddenly realizing that he was almost six full inches taller than me.
He smiled weakly, "Uh, it’s probably because we're being affected by her wish. He looked down at Emily and placed his large hand on her curly blond hair, then glanced down the sidewalk, "Come on Cathy, lets head on home and try to figure this all out." I nodded and took a step to the bench, retrieving my purse and a doll that I didn't remember seeing earlier.
"Emily, you don't want to forget Dolly." She ran to me and scooped it into her arms, then reached up to take hold of my slender, feminine hand.
Dan waited patiently for us to catch up. As Emily and I passed, he fell along beside me, placing his hand gently around my waist. I glanced quickly toward his hand, then looked into his handsome face and found myself smiling.
The further along the sidewalk we moved the more aware to the changes in my body I became. Somehow, I was being slowly transformed into this young blond woman...Emily's Mother, wife to Dan. I glanced over at him; he had barely changed at all, only his clothes seemed to have been affected.
That got me to wondering, I slowly looked down at what I was wearing. I watched as each step of mine kicked out the hem of the white sundress, each calf was deeply tanned and entirely void of hair. Upon my feet, I was wearing sandals that were practical and yet, comfortable. I allowed my eyes to move up past my wide childbearing hips to a slim waist with a slight swell at my tummy. Further up my eyes revealed a medium sized, but adequate bosom.
I felt the pressure of Dan's hand as he held mine, I knew that I should be having a problem with the whole scenario, but was not, I acted naturally as this woman, almost as if I had been raised this way my entire life.
To anyone who saw us pass, they thought we were nothing more than a young, loving family having a walk in the park. As we neared the gate, Emily broke away from me and picked something from the ground. "What did you find there, Emily?"
She smiled, "I found another penny."
I bent down, "May I please see it?" I asked my daughter.
"It's gone." She smiled again, showing me her empty palm and grinning profusely.
"What'd she find?" Dan wondered aloud.
"I made a wish." She grinned and began to skip along beside us as we continued to walk.
"Oh? What was it this time?" Her father asked. "Another dolly?"
"Nope." She said skipping ahead.
"A puppy?" I called up to her. She shook her head 'no'. "What was your wish, then?"
"I wished for a baby brother." She smiled and stopped at a bench to sit and wait for us.
Both Dan and I stopped and gave a shocked look toward each other. In unison we turned our heads and stared directly at my tummy. Emily giggled, then jumped to her feet and continued leading us into the parking lot, toward the car that would take us home to our strange new lives together.
I sat back and pushed myself away from the computer, slowly looking at her beautiful face. "The man in the story, he was transformed into a woman?" My lovely Muse smiled, lightly running her fingers over the computer keys. I watched her smile, "Why?" I asked, following her with my eyes.
She floated, her gown drifting behind her as she moved, and studied the pictures on the wall. "You should always keep an open mind." Her voice echoed, I sat quietly, knowing that she had more to say. Give your readers what they expect, and then gently twist it into a completely different direction." She lightly laughed, sounding like wind chimes on a summer breeze.
Mr. Zoots exchanged his intelligent glance between us, then rotated in his pillow and closed his eyes. She watched him and smiled, continuing, her soft voice filling my tired mind. "Within my earthly body, lay a beautiful soul... the soul you see before your eyes."
"My Muse." I sighed, finally understanding her for the first time. "You were once like me, a writer. When you passed away, your spirit was called forth to become a Muse?" She slowly nodded, her lovely smile only hinting at her rare beauty.
Her soft, feminine voice echoed inside my head, "Within heaven, there are many angels, some which protect and watch over the innocent, some heal, and some, those like me, become a Muse." While she spoke, she rose, floating toward a bookcase, caressing the bindings reverently. One in particular seemed to catch her attention, her sad frown pulled at my heart. "Oh, if I could only flip through these pages, today, how I miss being able to sit back and enjoy a good book." She looked longingly at my computer, "Almost as much as I miss writing."
I lifted down the one she had touched, and opened it to the first page. Her breathtaking eyes lit up, she smiled and floated toward my couch. With a nod toward her, I began to recite the first page, as she sat gleefully on the edge of the cushion, her attention upon me and each word that sprang from my lips. The room was filled with my baritone voice, only broken by the sound of turning pages.
She would live on as a Muse... my Muse. Through my stories, she would gain life, and with her, we would be as one. Forever.
This was our collaboration; I would read endlessly to the beautiful contented Muse that happily lived within my home. She would inspire my mind, whispering into my ear, creating those wonderful stories my readers enjoy. It was a match made in heaven, a match made in time.
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