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  • EMC

Speaking of my Muse

You say I speak of my Muse as if it were a real person. In my head, in my words, it is.

When the fancy takes him, he travels miles on the wind, when I am quiet, or thoughtful, or worst yet, thriving in his absence. He perches on my bed to whisper to me in the small hours of the night. But he does not visit. Haunting, yes, that is the word for what he does. Within me he has sired a thousand stories, each one built of a hundred silken verses, woven of all the words one mouth can contain, and many, many more. Then he leaves, abandoning me to flounder in this sinking place where everything bears the sharp lines of his profile but there is nothing but the shadow of him here.


You say I speak of my Muse as if he were a friend to me. The reason for this is because it is true. Though I ran until my ankles bled raw when the devil came after me, when I reached the safety of my castle I left all the windows and doors open, and all the lights on. I refuse to live in a world where he cannot find me, tarnished as I am in his opinion, for the havoc I wrought on the story he trusted me with, so blindly, that was ruined, through no fault of my own. Though the trees and low-hanging bushes have whispered their counsel to me, that I protect myself, that I take up my shield and my armour, I have found I cannot find it anywhere. I do not even remember how to fasten it around me. My skin has withstood the worst of the damage so far. I do not want its hollow protection now.


You say I speak of my Muse as if I have lost him. And though it hurts to admit, in this too there is truth. Like the ideas that appear, full-formed, in the twilight between sleep and awakening, he slipped through my hands of his own volition, and fortunately for my delicate fingers, it was at a moment in which I was not holding on too tight. In his absence he has left me enough to occupy my talents. He left me gifts of words, music, stories, and a small box that I dared not open, until the day I did, and found my own reflection inside. In recent days I have felt his presence, as if his thoughts were converging towards me, almost daily, but I tell myself it is the fancy of my imagination. I am sure he is much better occupied. There are growing things to be cared for, the power of the sun to harness from the sky, and other artists to inspire. Not only I.


Commentary: flash fiction I wrote on the theme of "Muse." Apologies if it makes little sense, I am still in post-surgery recovery, so a lot of painkillers went into the conception of this piece.