Instead of an update this time, I’d like to share a short story that I wrote around the time I was rediscovering my passion for writing… basically rediscovering myself. I hope it brings you some inspiration. :)
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My Moody Muse
Nothing. Another hour gone by, and still the page is blank.
“What is wrong with me?” Sighing, I shut my laptop and pinched the bridge of my nose. Without the light from the monitor, the dining room had gone dark. A dim glow filtered in through the windows from the moon, giving the night an almost eerie feel. I caught my reflection in the empty wineglass on the table.
Looking pretty haggard, there. Dark circles around my eyes dominated my entire face, and the moonlight cast a sickly pallor over my cheeks.
“Heh, I look like a zombie.”
Why am I talking to myself? Ugh, where are the ideas??
I dropped my head onto the dining room table with a thud. What a failure I’d turned out to be.
I used to be able to write anything. Anytime, anywhere. Why can’t I focus?
Anxiety gripped my chest, a feeling I knew all too well of late. I took a few deep breaths, burying my face into my arms.
Maybe a short rest will do me some good.
“You never listen.” A voice not my own—soft and calm—drifted to my ears.
Every muscle in my body jerked in shock. I sat up straight as a pole, eyes wide. My heart pounded at the inside of my ribs.
Someone is in my house….
The voice came from my living room. Taking a deep, shaky breath, I turned my head inch by inch, as if in a slow motion movie shot.
I didn’t know how to react, so I didn’t react at all. I’ve never had someone just… come into my house. I could only stare at what seemed to be a young man sitting on my couch, legs crossed at the knees. He leaned up against one of my huge pillows, inspecting his nails as if he had all the reason in the world to be breaking into someone’s home at night.
When the hell did he get in? God, where’s my phone….
“Don’t bother with it. I’ve always been here.” He took his attention away from scrutinizing his nails just long enough to shoot me a false smile, voice dripping with sarcasm. “Not that you ever notice.” And back to his nails he went.
Is he… filing his nails?
My fear dissolved into irritation; his casual nature grated on my nerves. He dropped his hands to his lap and tossed his head, flipping a bit of his short black hair to the side.
“Look, I don’t know who the hell you are, but—”
“That’s because you’ve been ignoring me for ages.”
“Shut up!” I shot to my feet, my chair toppling back to land on the wood floor with a crack. “Who are you, and what are you doing in my house?”
One corner of his mouth turned upward, his eyes sparkling in the moonlight. “I’m your Muse, silly.”
Dear Lord, please tell me this isn’t some psycho sitting in my living room. Where did I put my damned phone? My eyes searched the dining room in increments, never waiting too long to snap back to the intruder.
“Oh, come now.” The man came to his feet, waving his hand in a dismissive gesture. “I’m not psycho. Just a little, ah….” Raising his eyes to the ceiling, he stroked his chin. “Let’s go with ‘unique.’”
I didn’t say that out loud. Can he see my thoughts? Panic rose in my chest. All thoughts of calling the police fled my mind.
“Wait, did I fall asleep?”
The stranger’s musical laughter echoed in my home, resonating within my skull. He advanced, slipping the nail file into his pocket. Boot heels tapped on the wooden floor as he approached. Taking a seat at the dining room table, he patted the chair next to him.
My knuckles went white as I gripped the tabletop. Something about this man both frightened and fascinated me at the same time. I didn’t sit next to him, but instead picked up my fallen chair and sat in it. My eyes never left his amused expression.
Is he really reading my thoughts?
“Beck, my dear. All these questions keep running through your scattered mind. Just ask.”
“Are—” I squirmed in my seat. “Are you reading my thoughts?”
“No.” Leaning back in his chair, he crossed his legs and folded his hands in his lap. Moonlight glinted off the rings he wore. “I share your thoughts. I guide your thoughts. Or, at least I try to. But you’re too damned stubborn to acknowledge my presence.”
“Who… what’s your name?”
Shrugging, he leaned his elbow up on the table. “You know it.”
“No, I d—” I gasped as a name bubbled to the surface of my mind. “Kai….”
Where did that come from?
“You do care!” His voice oozed with exaggerated emotion and he leaned forward, touching the tips of his beringed fingers to his chest.
“Ok, enough. I’m tired. I’m freaked out. I have no idea what’s going on. Stop playing around and just… explain.”
Waggling his fingers, he turned his gaze to the side. “Stubborn and boring.” With a long sigh, he stood and took the chair right next to me, sliding up close. “All right, sweetie. Listen up. I’m your Muse. Don’t you dare give me that look—you knew me once. You named me, back when you were young. Except—” Sitting back, he tapped a purple-polished nail on his bottom lip. “I had wings then. Oh, they were gorgeous. Whatever happened to—”
“Stop!” My voice broke, coming out a lot closer to a squeal than I intended. “Just, please. Explain.”
Kai lowered his thin, well-trimmed eyebrows and gave me a flat stare. In one swift move, he snatched my empty wineglass off the table and stood, strutting straight toward the kitchen. As he filled my glass and a second one with merlot, he took a deep breath. His gaze softened and he returned to the table, setting one glass in front of me.
Now he’s drinking my wine.
“Our wine.” He arched an eyebrow at me over the rim of the glass as he sipped.
Scooping up my own glass, I drained about half the liquid in one gulp. A shudder ran through my body, followed by a pleasant warmth.
“Mmm.” Kai swirled his glass and smiled, looking like a cat with cream on its whiskers. “I present myself this evening because we’ve lost touch, you and I. You mope around the house wondering where our ideas have gone when I’ve been working my ass off trying to force feed you ideas. I’ve got eight novels lined up for us!”
“Eight!” Kai heaved a breath, setting down his glass. “Why are you ignoring me?”
Is he… pouting?
“I’m not pouting.” Despite his words, his brow knitted together over his eyes and his full lips puffed out.
I watched this man sitting at my table, drinking my wine and demanding attention. He seemed strange, and yet… familiar. Part of me knew him. As my eyes roamed his face, my mind started to connect with a distant memory of a young boy with silver hair and brilliant white wings, with whom I’d spent my every waking moment as a child—my first recollection of Kai’s existence. Oh, the stories we’d created back then!
Kai’s expression shifted, a slow smile emerging on his pretty face. He said nothing, just watched, likely seeing the memories along with me.
My mind pulled up an image of an enormous black cat with white eyes—my naturalistic days. We wandered the woods together, and I remember the observations we made of the world around us as I sat up on his broad back, scribbling in a notebook.
My Muse nodded, hope filling his green eyes.
Leaning forward, I let the memories come as they would. Kai had always been around, in many different forms to suit my personality and mood. With each memory, Kai’s smile deepened.
Kai—my Muse—leaned forward, taking both of my hands. I knew this man; we used to be close. Inseparable. My creativity hadn’t gone away, as I’d so often lamented. Over time, my writing kept falling lower and lower on my priority list. The stresses of everyday life came between Kai and I, and before I knew it I’d pushed him out of my life.
“My writing suffered. My health suffered.” My whisper rose into the silence of the dining room, a hushed revelation that I began to understand even as I spoke. “I forgot who I was.”
“And?” Kai squeezed my hands, urging me to continue.
“I’ve been so self absorbed that I…” Swallowing, I gripped his hands until he winced in pain. “Forgot who you were.”
“Yes.” A warm, bright smile spread across Kai’s face, his almost angelic beauty halting my breath.
In an instant, his expression morphed into a scowl. He reached out and smacked the back of my head.
“Ow! What the—”
“Now don’t do it again.”
My jaw snapped shut, and I rubbed my head where it stung. I deserved that….
“Yes, you did.” Haughty arrogance once again, Kai folded his arms across his chest and crossed his legs.
“I’m… sorry. I’ve been struggling with myself for years now. Hating myself, wondering why I still bothered trying.” Tilting my head, I narrowed my eyes. “To think, my answers were here all along. I just had to find you again.”
“You didn’t find me, sweetie. If you remember right, I had to remind you. But, I suppose I’ll have to accept that.”
My hearty laugh echoed off the walls. “When did you get so moody?”
“I am what you make me.” He arched an eyebrow and pursed his lips.
Grinning, I swallowed the last bit of wine in my glass. He was always moody. It’s just like old times.
Feeling as if my life had just clicked back into place, I scooted my chair closer to him and reached out to slide my laptop in front of us. “Shall we?”
Kai threw back his head and downed the rest of his merlot. Setting aside the glass, he closed the gap between our chairs and opened the laptop. “It’s about damned time.”