“Lost and useless much?”
I can’t win with her. She’s here, she’s gone. She’s back, she disappears again.
“Sound familiar chica?”
Perched on my desk, she looks down at me, all nonchalant and judge-y at the same time.
“Don’t you have someone else to bother?” I mutter.
I try, I really do try, yet my Muse refuses to leave me alone which is kinda contradictory when you think about it.
I mean, she’s supposed to muse me, help me stir up my brain, give me something to write about, but no, she’d rather hang around my personal space and annoy me. Without inspiring me.
She gets more amusement out of me than I get inspiration out of her.
“Hey little missy! I’m not supposed to do anything.” She hops off my desk and starts pacing.
I hate when she starts pacing.
“It’s not like there’s some big payoff for me chica,” she crouches in front of me and grabs me by the chin, forcing me to look at her. “You’re more like a punishment if you ask me.”
“I didn’t ask you,” I snap.
Her kaleidoscope eyes hold my big baby blues so intently I can practically see wheels turning in her head. Not good.
“Hmm, punishment….”. Her eyes glimmer and shine with something resembling excitement.
Aww hell, here we go again. I can’t help it, I pull away from her and bang my head on my keyboard. On purpose.
Her right hand flies out to grab my hair, yanking my head back.
“Youch! Knock it off, I’m not in the mood for your shit!” I attempt to escape her grip but she won’t let go.
She opens her perfect red stained mouth, her eyes flash the same shade of red and I prepare myself for the verbal onslaught to come but it doesn’t.
Instead she closes her mouth and her eyes transform into a calm waveless ocean.
She continues to stare, not saying a word.
It’s an old fashioned staring contest going on for what seems like hours. Maybe it is hours, I don’t know anything anymore but I stare back anyway.
I swear there are tiny little gears turning inside her pupils and that scares me more than her red-eyed look.
Then, the strangest thing happened.
She switched gears, pardon the pun, in a big way because, for the first time in ever, she, She, my Malevolent Muse and Mistress of my Fate showed me something I never ever imagined I’d see; a tear, a real live salty tear slipped from the corner of her eye.
I was so shocked by her display of any emotion other than anger or sarcasm which probably doesn’t fall in the emotion category anyway but still, what the hell?
Why is my Muse kinda crying?
What did I do now? Because everything is my fault it had to be something I did or didn’t do, yet still I remained stoic.
And yes, my default mode, frozen.
Another tear followed and if I’m going to be truthful with myself, my stoicism was beginning to crumble.
I try and hide it but when it comes down to it, I’m a crybaby. And I have a lot to cry about these days, yet I refuse to let myself fall apart. Maybe I’m afraid I’d pull a Humpty Dumpty and never be able to put myself back together again. Maybe I’m afraid if I start to cry I’ll never be able to stop.
“Chica,” she whispered her pet name for me, soft, gentle, dare I say caring?
She stopped yanking my hair and instead a soft bristle brush appeared in her hand as she gently brushed my hair, slow, soothing, a reminder of my Mom doing the same when I was a little girl.
She began to hum softly, a few words slipped out and I realized she was singing a song my Mom used to sing to me. I closed my eyes, my mind taking me back in time and it was Mom’s voice I heard, “when I was just a little girl, I asked my Mother, what would I be”.
I took a deep breath and realized I couldn’t remember the last time I let myself just breathe. I was so used to chaos in my life that, even though the other shoe had already dropped, even though my life had turned inside out, I didn’t trust, well, anything anymore.
My Muse? She came and went, in and out of my life, she delighted in torturing me, she had the same ridiculous sense of humor I had and she was convinced there was some world-saving that needed to be done and for some reason, she insisted I had a role to play in the upcoming Apocalypse.
But this was a different Muse, another facet to her many personalities I’d never seen and certainly never thought she was capable of, compassion looked good on her.
I, on the other hand, looked like hell. I was the portrait of Dorian Gray in reverse as I spent my days in my Dad’s old sweatshirt and my Mom’s old sweatpants, as if wearing their clothes would somehow bring them back to life.
As she continued to stroke my hair, “Que Sera,Sera” lyrics filled the air. I mean literally, each word she sang formed in the air, swirling around my head, wrapping around my body like an Angel’s hug, bringing me a comfort I hadn’t felt since my life fell apart when my Mom died.
I tried to keep it together but my eyes welled up, I blinked furiously, trying to keep my tears from flowing but I failed.
Like a waterfall, tear after tear fell, fast, furious, and then, without my permission, I began to sob uncontrollably.
Her arms pulled me into a hug, the kind of hug my Mom used to give me.
I broke down completely.
The world I carried on my shoulders for so very long was finally too much for me to handle, the fact that my Muse, of all people, was holding me, encouraging me to let go, to stop trying to be strong and let her carry me for awhile was something I filed away in my mind to be pulled out another time but for now? I let myself feel.
I let myself unfreeze and feel emotions I’d locked up tight and she let me.
It wouldn’t last, this I knew without a doubt, but for now, as I sobbed my broken heart out, as I soaked her clothes with my long hidden tears, for the first time in longer than I could remember, I accepted comfort. An unusual feeling for me, but it felt right, and while I knew reality would set in, things would get back to what passed for normal and the World Saving gig would rear it’s ugly head again soon, I treasured this time.
She, who delighted in driving me crazy, seemed to be the only one to get through to me, to let me be weak at a time I needed to be weak.
“Don’t get used to it Chica,” she said softly as she continued to stroke my hair. “I may have frozen time for you, but I can’t stop time forever.”
She gently held my face, forcing me to meet her gaze. “Let it out my sweet Chica, let it all go. We have a lot to do and while I admit your sadness is so loud it pierces my ears, you need to let it out because you are too full of sadness to let anything else in.”
“Cry little one, cry for everything you haven’t let yourself cry for, I need you strong for the upcoming battle.” She leaned in and kissed my forehead.
“The time grows nearer Chica, you can do this with my help, together we can win, but I need you strong. And you will be little one, this I promise you.”
My sobs grew quieter, my tears slowed a bit as a calmness began to settle over me.
My Muse continued to stroke my hair and softly sing, ” what will be, will be”.
And for once, without any inner argument, I believed her.
She towers over me in all her glory, her breath fetid with a hint of dead flowers.
I feel each exhale slide over my flesh, leaving deep angry gashes seeping rivulets of blood.
I’m frozen in place, my body encased in an icy coating.
I notice as I shiver violently, tiny little cracks begin to weaken the ice, leaving me free to move. She paces back and forth, a stream of profanity falling out of her mouth, relentless.
I inch away slow, steady, quietly, hoping she won’t notice.
Of course it doesn’t work.
“There are rules missy,” she yanks my hair painfully as I crawl toward the front door.
“I don’t follow rules,” I spit the words out, along with several back teeth.
“You don’t need them anyway,” she sneers,”back teeth, not rules. Rules are meant to be broken, just like you.”
She looks me over like I’m dessert. It’s creepy how much she looks like my Muse and I have to keep reminding myself she’s not.
“-always wanted that hollow cheekboned look, is that what you were about to say?”
She’s crouched in front of me, head cocked curiously.
“You’ve never been trained have you?” She snaps her fingers and a riding crop appears in her perfect hands.
“I don’t need to be trained, I’m not an animal.”
I push myself up to a kneeling position.
The jeans I was wearing have turned into fishnet stockings complete with garters and black spiked heels.
“Well you’re a miserable excuse for a human chica. I’d go with the pet label if I were you. You’re not so good with order-following but you will be when I get through with you.”
The handle of her riding crop trails along my spine and my body trembles involuntary.
This was usually the part where my Muse comes to my rescue, where the hell is she? I can fake my way out of pretty much any situation, but this one? This Evil Version of my Muse? She seems to know my every move long before I do.
If I wasn’t doubting my sanity before this, I sure as hell was now.
“Come now. Be a good little pet and get back to the parlor said the spider to the fly. We have an Apocalypse to monitor.”
In the blink of an eye I’m shackled to a straight-backed chair, hands behind my back, legs apart and unable to move.
I can speak though, she hasn’t gagged me this time.
“Where is my Muse? And my friends? What have you done with them?”
“Ha! Friends? How cute.”
Sarcasm drips heavy from every word she says.
“Now shut up and watch. Let’s see if you can write your way out of this, missy.” She draws out the last word, snakelike.
Griping my hair by the handful, she holds my head in place to make sure I’m watching the horror unfolding on my television.
The sight on the screen makes me scream loudly.
AUTHORS NOTE : This is a snippet from my latest super-somewhat-secret WIP, because it’s Sunday…to be continued…
She thinks I don’t see her lurking behind me.
Dressed in my favorite black leathers she clings to the ceiling like a black widow spider but she’s much more lethal. I can see her reflection in my computer screen but I choose to ignore her rather than acknowledge her presence.
I know it drives her crazy when I ignore her but sometimes, when it comes to my Muse, ignorance is bliss.
She always knows what I’m thinking but I can’t read her, not the way she can read me.
She’s unpredictable and capable of anything. Me? I’m predictably capable of disappointing her. Which isn’t really the best way to endear one’s self to one’s Muse.
Seems I’ve been disappointing everybody lately.
What sucks the most is that I know I’m all fucked up in the head these days, I know I’m in robot mode but I can’t shake it off. I need a Moonstruck Moment.
“Snap out of it!”
“Get out of my head and stop slapping me in the face! Damn that hurt!” My right cheek is burning from her hard crack across my face and my left one joins in with an embarrassed rage for letting her catch me unaware, even when I knew she was there.
“Somebody had to do it chica, this Debbie Downer mood is getting old.” She shoved me back into my chair and stared at me, expressionless.
Did I mention she’d yanked me to my feet before she slapped me in the face?
“Why do you have to be all hurty with me? You’re my Muse, why can’t you be nice like the Good Witch in The Wizard Of Oz and wave a wand or something…” my voice trailed off as her face went from angry to angrier. I did not want to see angriest.
“Ok, obviously I fucked up again. Let’s start this over, yeah?
“Witch? You compare me to a Good Witch?”
Shit. This is the part where things go south and I am so not in the mood.
She continued to stare at me for what seemed like hours but in reality was barely a second. Something synched. There was a shift in my brain, I don’t know how else to describe it.
I was staring into her eyes but I was seeing me staring out of her eyes. That makes no sense but I don’t know how else to say it.
I saw me and I wanted to slap my own self in the face.
Breaking eye contact wasn’t easy but I did and I was pissed.
Pissed at me, pissed at her, pissed at every single person I knew, every one who “loved me” and that list continued to grow shorter and shorter, just generally pissed. Angry. Mad. Furious.
Because it was all my fault.
Her head tilted the way it does when she’s curious.
“Why do you blame yourself chica? And for what reason?”
“And why can’t you let me wallow in guilt?” I mumble, knowing she hears me anyway.
Then she did something she never did once, ever.
She stood me up and hugged me. Just like that. My crazy dominatrix of a Muse, who loved nothing better than to drive me crazy instead of inspiring me to write, hugged me.
For a minute I let myself accept it.
Minute over. I pulled away.
“What do you want now?” I walk to the other side of the room and cross my arms as I lean back against the counter.
“You’re learning chica, you’re learning.” She slunk her way over to me, planting one arm on either side of me.
Her breath was a blend of flowery deceit, but she was all I had, I didn’t get to pick my Muse.
“And I didn’t get to pick you chica, but we’re stuck together for now.” She leaned in closer, her mouth next to my ear, “Whatever your problem is, and we both know what it is, get your act together chica, the next time I show up, you better be ready to get back in the game. Things are heating up and you for some unknown reason, are needed. Sooner we get this done the sooner we can break this bond.”
She disappeared, as usual, in a puff of smoke.
Huh. I didn’t know there was a way out of this, that I could get rid of this crazy Muse and get back to normal, whatever that might be.
Well, I always do work best under pressure.
AUTHORS NOTE: oddly, the authors note I just wrote disappeared, I think it was my Muse, I swear I didn’t say anything bad about her, she just likes to mess with me, she says it keeps me on my toes to which I say I took tap lessons thank you very much, I don’t do ballet…anyway, what I meant to say is, my Muse is off fighting the Djinn War without me for reasons I can’t divulge yet, but she does come to check in on me from time to time… she just left, maybe I wasn’t supposed to mention she was here but hey, it’s my blog, she can get her own. Stay tuned for the continuing adventures of me and my Muse, as Karen Carpenter sang, we’ve only just begun…
to be continued…
She slinks into the room like a cat on valium, not her usual style at all.
Usually she appears out of nowhere, either making a grand entrance or catching me off guard, but this time she’s slow, stumbling almost and she looks haggard, like she’s been through a war and barely made it out with her life.
My Muse is not very forthcoming with her adventures when she’s not here with me, she doesn’t like to share unless it benefits her in some way. Very human-like trait if you ask me.
“I didn’t ask you chica,” she snarls at me. “I have nothing in common with you filthy humans, nothing.”
She doesn’t look me in the eye. Something isn’t right with this whole picture.
“I thought you told me I might not be all human?” She hates when I question her, probably why I can’t stop myself from doing it.
“I said, I’m beginning to have my doubts about it, that’s all.” She slumps next to me on the bed, sighs, then folds one arm across her leather covered chest and throws the other across her forehead. I have no idea how she can move in that thing she’s wearing, it looks like liquid leather was painted over her body.
Gotta admit she wears it well though. Still, something is wrong.
Usually my Muse shows up when I’m sitting in front of my laptop writing. This is the first time she’s popped up while I’m lying in bed, considering throwing in the pen, so to speak. My attempts at writing had run into some stumbling blocks recently and I was so disillusioned with the mess I’d made of my life I wanted to crawl under the covers and do my best Sleeping Beauty impersonation times five. One hundred years wasn’t enough time to retreat into my shell.
“What wrong?” She stares at the ceiling as she speaks.
“What’s wrong?” I ask. “With me? You’re the one going all Sarah Bernhardt, not me. I’m just reading in bed minding my own business, is there something wrong with that? Besides,” I looked my Muse in the eye for the next part,” you disappeared as usual, as much as it pains me to say this, you know I can’t write without you.”
Her eyes flash an assortment of different shades of blue before they settle on the same shade of blue as mine.
She closes her eyes for a moment then looks up at me, a mixture of emotions playing across her face with one notable omission, there is no trace of anger.
Angry, condescending, superior, those were her usual looks my way.
I never saw what looked alarmingly close to, dare I say it, sad?
“You fucked up chica,” she says this softly, solemnly.
“What are you talking about?” She’s really starting to worry me. Even though she’s a pain in my ass I still have feelings for-
And I find myself facedown on the floor, my precious laptop luckily saved by the tumble of blankets surrounding me but my Kindle took a hard hit. I’ll kill her if it’s broken.
Did I mention one of her spike-heeled boots was painfully planted against the small of my back?
“What the fuck?” I mumble into the bare floor. Is this what they mean by ‘eating dust’? I really do need to sweep underneath my bed a little more often.
“You’re standing on my back.”
“Get. Up.” Her right hand reaches down yanking me off the floor by my hair. She uses her left hand to reach around and grab me by the chin, pulling my head back till I was staring into her eyes. I swear I was looking at two eyes filled with violent waves, stormy didn’t begin to describe the tsunami in her eyes.
I don’t know how I manage to get myself in trouble without doing anything.
“Ok, ok, stop yanking my hair already! That fucking hurts!”
“You don’t know the meaning of the word ‘hurt’ chica. Yet. Now sit.” She points to the bed she just yanked me out of.
“Huh? What game are you playing now because I don’t know the rules to this one.”
“That’s your problem little girl, you don’t know the rules period. Now sit your ass down and explain yourself.”
She towers over me, the way her eyes have me pinned in place suddenly makes me feel like an insect under a microscope.
“Oh you’re an insect alright,” her voice is full of hate. “You’re less than a bug and I can squash you in a snap.”
I jump as she snaps her fingers for emphasis. My hand scrapes against a sharp corner of an old wooden bookcase. The splinter embedded in my palm is deep enough to hurt bad and a smear of blood is left behind, to remind me I’m still alive perhaps?
“See what I mean?” She leans down, yanks me up then pushes me on the bed. “You’re all skittish and jumpy. You’re a wimp, that’s what you are.”
“A wimp? Do people even use that word anymore?” I ask sincerely.
She is not amused. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her so angry, at least not at me.
“Shut. Your. Mouth. And listen,” her voice is stern, fed-up, disgusted. Everything but pleased.
“I’m not in the mood to go through the whole hows and whys thing, so I’m gonna say this once and you’re gonna listen to me. You’re also gonna follow through. Capiche?”
I just nod my head in agreement, afraid to open my mouth yet.
“I may be your Muse but I’m more than that, much more. For now, all that matters is you can’t hide one single thought from me no matter how hard you try chica. That means I know exactly why you aren’t doing what you’re supposed to be doing. You signed up for it missy, if you think you can write anything while censuring yourself in case somebody might get offended or project themselves into something you write you may as well throw that laptop out the window. Because if that’s your plan, whatever you write is gonna suck.”
I just stare at her, mouth agape, speechless. Without words. No reply. No smartass remarks. Nothing.
Because I know she’s right.
Her mouth curls up into a Grinch-like smile and there’s a sparkling green glint in her eyes that wasn’t there before.
I don’t know if it’s a good sign or a bad sign.
“Chica, it’s time to let go of that bullshit in your brain, it’s doing neither one of us any good and if you’d pull your head out of your ass long enough to pay attention, we’re in the middle of a Djinn War with a capital W and you,” she looked down her nose at my still silent face and rolled her eyes before reaching out to place a finger under my chin to shut my still-open mouth. “You, for some unknown reason, are the only one able to get us out of this mess alive.”
While I tried to digest that little tidbit she turned from me and began to pace back and forth, distracted, as if she was involved in another conversation I wasn’t privy to.
“Time is running out chica,” she leaned into me again, her mouth so close to mine I wasn’t sure who’s breath was who’s.
“You know what you have to do. Do it. Now. Don’t try to do it, do it!!!”
She planted a kiss above my eyes. It smelled of reassurance and treachery both, then she disappeared, a thin haze of smoke the only remnant of her appearance.
That and the blood red lip-print on my forehead.
I look at my laptop and sighed.
to be continued…
AUTHORS NOTE: Catt and her Muse discuss some of the finer points of fashion…sorta…
“What’s wrong with how I’m dressed!” I mean to sound indignant but my voice just sounds kinda squeaky.
“Oh please chica, red desert boots and cargo pants?” She actually shudders.
“Hey you’re the one who put me in these stupid red clodhoppers in the first place, which, ok, I was barefoot in hot sand so thanks for that but come on, you could’ve gone with Doc Martins at least.”
She mumbles under her breath again, she does that a lot around me, something weird usually follows.
“Red Doc Martins I can deal with but these things,” I look down at my feet, “Holy shit, check out these kick ass boots!
Black biker boots covered my feet and my cargos were now comfortably tight leathers.
From the mirror she’s magic-ed in front of me I looked fashionably dressed for an Apocalypse, also, I was pleased to note, kinda hot.
“How’d you do that?” I really need to learn how to do that!
“Moi? Not me missy, you did it all by your lonesome… aren’t you just full of surprises…”
She’s really bad at hiding condescension. Probably because she doesn’t try. But she was dripping with it now and it had nothing to do with boots.
“C’mon, knock off the bitchery and stop being all mad at me,” I try my wide-eyed innocent look. It doesn’t work so I try again.
“You know this is just temporary-”
“Everything is temporary chica.” She sounds pissed but it doesn’t stop her from interrupting me.
“-and it was the only thing I could do at the time-”
“Time,” she sneers, “you know nothing about time. Nothing.” Her arms are folded and she gives me her back, won’t even look at me.
“Ahem,” I remain silent until she gives up and turns to face me. I attempt to give her the coldest stare I can muster but it bounces off her like a pink rubber ball thrown against a concrete wall.
“As I was saying-”
“You say nothing but words without meaning.”
“-if there was any other way I- hey! My words have meaning!”
Damn she’s getting under my skin and enjoying every minute of it, if the definition of “enjoying” is being a bitch. I have to remind myself not to engage the crazy supernatural being capable of rendering me dead. And I better start thinking happy thoughts before she pulls another disappearing act on me.
“You are thinking thoughts about me right now chica, I know that look on your face,” her voice is a mixture of anger, annoyance, and a tinge of affection. “Just because I can’t read your thoughts for now doesn’t mean I can’t read your intent.”
Wow. She is really pissed at me for bottling her, apparently Muses don’t like to be owned.
Shit. I didn’t think of it that way, being owned and not in a good way.
“Look,” I say with complete sincerity, “I promise you, as soon as this whole Apocalypse thing is over, which by the way, you really need to fill me in on what’s going on with that and what the fuck it has to do with me… but for real, I swear I’ll release you as soon as this is over. Pinky swear.”
And I really do mean it, I don’t want a Genie in a bottle, I want my Muse back.
She does that eyebrow raising thing she does so perfectly, her red stained lips parted in exasperation.
“Pinky swear?” I can’t tell if she’s gonna laugh or scream. Possibly both.
“Pinky swear,” I answer as I reach my hand out to her, pinky first.
After staring at my hand for what seemed like hours she shrugs her shoulder and reaches her own hand to me.
“You,” she says as she hooks her pinky with mine, ” are a very strange human.”
She looks me over from head to toe and shakes her head.
“If you are indeed all human, I’m beginning to have my doubts about that.”
I decided it would be a lot easier if I just pretended I didn’t hear that.
to be continued…
Whats it take to stop an Apocalypse? Catt’s still got a long way to go.
So my Muse is Djinn.
I don’t know why I didn’t figure that little tidbit out before but there’s no time for musing about it now, there’s an ugly Apocalypse out there that I’m supposed to stop and all I’ve got is a pissed off Djinn-Muse in my pocket.
On the plus side, she has to do whatever I tell her to do, but there is gonna be hell to pay when this is all over, or possibly as soon as I open the little bottle in my hand. Which I can’t put off much longer.
By the increasing amount of blood and gore covering our little oasis of a dome, the world was going to hell fast and I’m not only weapon-less, I’m definitely not dressed for the End Of The World. These red desert boots were doing me no favors. And the fact that I’m trying to distract myself from imminent death by thinking about what to wear to an Apocalypse cemented it.
She was right, I really am unprepared.
No point in putting off the inevitable, I take a deep breath and uncap the little bottle and my Muse mists into form before me.
“You little bitch!”
I knew she’d be pissed but I didn’t expect her to smack me across the face.
“Hey! And oww!” I can feel the imprint of her palm on my cheek, it burned. “Knock it off! I’m sorry but Mr. Green-Genes slipped me a bottle and I need your help and it’s only temporary anyway, I’ll release you after you help me with this Apocalypse thing.”
“That’s what they all say,” she mumbles under her breath. I pretend I don’t hear her.
“You didn’t have to be so sneaky, you could have just asked me nicely instead of listening to that Green pain in the ass!”
She’s pouting and I don’t have time for this shit. I don’t know Djinn politics but I do know she has to do what I tell her to do. I think.
“Look, we’ll straighten this out later, I just need your help with the bottles I lost, I mean, were stolen from me. We have to make sure Asmodeus doesn’t get those bottles before we do, you can do it, you’re like magic and stuff, just get those bottles before, uh…”
She not-so-pleasantly holds out her right hand and waves them in front of my face.
“You mean these?” Her glare is enviable, just a little scary to be on the receiving end of it. Again. “These three bottles you only had to ask me for instead of, oh I don’t know, fucking enslaving me? Bitch?”
“I, uh, oh man, yeah, those.”
I suck at saving the world.
I decide I’ll put on a brave front and try to fake it. I was usually pretty good at that.
“Well ok then, we have the bottles and Gene Genie has the ring, yay Team Us, so lets go kill the bad guys and stuff. C’mon, you know what I mean, lets do this already.”
I’m scared and cranky and isn’t she supposed to do what I say instead of looking at me like I lost my marbles?
Ok, valid expression-choice on her part, I am feeling kinda marble-less at the moment.
“Well?” I’m so used to her reading my mind I’ve begun to talk in shorthand.
“What?” She doesn’t sound too happy.
“You know, let’s go kill bad guys and stuff! What’s with you, aren’t you supposed to do what I say?”
She’s doing that one eyebrow raising thing she does so well. The more I talk the higher her brow arches.
Her skin is like porcelain and her eyes an icy kaleidoscope blue anyone could drown in.
Her full perfect lips are just plump enough to know they’re all natural. They always look bloodstained, bite-able.
Now they also look annoyed. She rolls her eyes at my Djinn-ignorance.
“First of all,” she begins, “your little genie in a bottle trick has managed to fuck with my ability to get into your mind, which I would have explained if you’d bothered to ask.”
Fuck. She is royally pissed at me.
“You know dick about the way of the Djinn and even less about Muses.”
Her look could melt the entire Antarctic.
“Do you know what happens when you bottle a Muse like a Djinn? Do you?” Her voice gets colder with each word.
“Um,something not good?” I ask,hoping for a reprieve.
After staring at me for what seems like ten-hundred-years she barks out a laugh.
“Oh you’ll find out Chica, but for now,as much as it pains me to say this, you’re right. We have to get moving, we’ll deal with the details later.”
The wind is still wailing, we have three bottles of Djinn, and we have to get the hell out of the desert.
We have an apocalypse to deal with.
“Well, let’s get going,” I tell her.
She looks at me like I’m insane.
“Bitch,I’m not going anywhere with you dressed like that!”
to be continued…
AUTHORS NOTE: Our Catt has been rescued (for now) from the sexy hyena dominatrix lady by her Muse, but she never seems to get very far, and the apocalypse waits for no one; what a girl to do?
“What do you mean?”
My throat burns, my voice comes out scratchy.
“Unprepared for what? What are you talking about now?”
She continues to stare into the chaos outside ignoring me, although maybe she just can’t hear me shouting over the howling wind outside our protective bubble.
No, that doesn’t make sense, she always knows what I’m thinking, she doesn’t need to hear my voice to know what I’m saying.
“You still haven’t figured it out chica,” she sounds like I let her down as she walks by me.
She seemed to go out of her way to not touch me and she floated, although she made a show out of walking on air , taking small deliberate lady-steps emphasizing the sway of her hips as she placed her hands on the unseen dome protecting us. Her head cocked to the side as she stared west, a pensive look on her flawless face.
“And the Muse gets a prize for stating the obvious,” I can’t hide the fear in my voice but then again I can’t hide anything from her.
And she, of course, can’t hide her preening smile at my capitalization of her “title”, for lack of a better word. I figured it couldn’t hurt to throw her something, she did save my life after all.
“You are learning chica, gotta give you that,” she laughs as she says this but there’s something in her voice I never heard before.
Sadness, perhaps? If I stretch my imagination far enough I might even say there’s a tinge of compassion somewhere in the her voice.
“Do you hear that chica?”
She continues to stare westward, head still cocked to the side as if she’s listening as hard as she can. Like she’s straining to hear whatever it is my human ears can’t hear through the screeching howl of the desert wind.
“It’s happening.” She whispers directly into my mind. “It’s started chica. I’m afraid it’s too late.”
I stand next to her, me in my clunky red desert boots, she in her perfect pink Prada pumps, both of us staring into the sandstorm. All I can see is sand until her delicate hand reaches for mine.
As soon as our flesh meets, I have a front row seat to Hell. Armageddon is ugly and bloody.
“No,” I shake my head and drop her hand as I back away. I don’t want to see it anymore, the Apocalypse looks a lot scarier in person than in a movie.
“Make it stop,” I whisper the plea.
“It is what it is chica, you should know this by now.”
“No. If there wasn’t a way to stop it you wouldn’t have brought me here.”
She arched a perfectly plucked brow at me. “You brought me here chica, remember?”
“Semantics,” I scoffed desperate to convince myself I wasn’t petrified.
She shrugs a shoulder and turns her back on me. As I look out all I can see is sand blowing horizontal with an occasional dismembered body part flying by like a bizzaro-world-tumbleweed except with blood.
Our once transparent protective bubble is taking a beating from the unrelenting sandstorm.
What looks like rusty gears smashes into us, barely stopped by the barrier. I can’t help but flinch at the growing cacophony of unidentifiable sounds crashing around us. Streaks of blood turn our protection ugly death-red.
“Do something!” I shout above the din outside.
“You mean you won’t!”
The look she gives me nearly stops my heart.
“I mean,” she’s so close to me her breath and mine are one. “I can’t.”
There is pure loathing in her eyes where just a moment ago there was sadness.
“Fuck you!” I shove my hands in my pockets to keep from punching her in the face. I’m sure I’d lose but it would feel good for about a second.
Pssst, Kitty-Catt, it’s me kiddo, check out the little pocket inside your front right pocket
The voice is in my head but it’s not my Muse, it sounds like-
Don’t worry Kitten, she can’t hear me. You want her to help you stop this don’t you? Go on, you know what to do
My hands were nonchalantly examining my thankfully baggy pockets and damn if that crazy Snickers-eating Djinn didn’t slip a tiny little bottle in my pocket when I wasn’t looking!
It was really small, like those little lidded bottles they used to use to stash cocaine in back in the day. Allegedly.
It was a crazy idea, if it didn’t work I was fucked but I was fucked no matter what I did.
And besides, it might just work.
C’mon Kit-Cat, times ‘a ticking
I manage to uncap the bottle in my pocket before pulling it out.
She was still ignoring me, staring out at the chaos.
It’s now or never.
“Be thy bound to my service,” I begin as she started to turn toward me. “Be thy bound to my service.”
“NO!!!” She screams so loud my ears literally begin to bleed but I have to say it one more time for it to work.
“Be thy bound to my service.”
As the last word leaves my mouth she disappeared into the tiny bottle in my hand.
I quickly tightened the cap and shoved it back into my pocket for now.
“She is so gonna kill me when this is over,” I said to the now empty dome.
to be continued…
The admittedly-hot hyena dominatrix woman froze at the sound of her voice.
I, for one, never loved the sound of Muse-voice more, it sounds beautiful when she’s on my side.
“You.” Hot hyena lady’s eyes finally let mine go to stare down my soon-to-be-once-again BFF.
“Is that all you got for me,” she asked with a snort.
What is up with these two? I can’t quite get them down, there was all kinds of tension between them. Half the time they were at each other’s throats and the other half, well, it looked like they were after more than just each other’s throats.
Maybe they were like those succubus things, like on that show Lost Girl. Or maybe it’s more like it’s been so long since I got laid that I was seeing sex everywhere- no, they definitely had some kind of succubus thing going on.
Well, they were both pretty hot, maybe they-
That’s when I noticed everything was frozen.
Hyena lady, Jann the scone-wasting butler, even the blue and white tent, all frozen in place. The wind stopped along with everything else.
“Shut your eyes.” She snapped.
“Shut my eyes? Why?”
“If you don’t stop questioning everything I say-”
“Ok, ok already! Eyes shut, geesh, it’s not like I’m gonna steal your magic tricks.”
My Muse ignored me as usual, mumbling under her breath, then all was silent.
Till my ears popped, like they used to when I was a kid and we were driving through the mountains in Pennsylvania.
I open my eyes and notice we’re surrounded by an invisible dome; correction, I’m surrounded by an invisible dome, no sign of her… fuck, if I don’t start getting some names out of these people soon I’m gonna… dammit, I’m probably gonna do nothing but this nobody-will-tell-me-their-names-thing really sucks.
I need more than pronouns if I’m going to keep bumping into more and more people. And yes I use that term loosely.
An invisible dome and me all alone and where the fuck is she now?
Once again, I have no idea where I am, no idea of anything and most of all, this repetition is becoming torturous.
The same things keep happening over and over; I look for my Muse, find her, she fucks with my mind, fucks me over, then leaves me high and dry.
Lather rinse repeat, as they say.
It’s beginning to get beyond ridiculous now.
Wherever I am, whatever this is, I have to figure it out; I’m alone in this.
No superhero is going to swoop in and save me from my sadistic Muse. I’m gonna kick her ass next time she decides to pop up again.
I turn around to figure a way out of this mess and smash into her, looking all proud of herself.
“Stop leaving me in places!” So much for my ass kicking plans.
I’m frustrated and tired and want to sink into the desert sand and cry for at least 17 hours.
“Oh stop whining chica! We don’t have time for all this bullshit, stop running off on your own-”
“You keep leaving me!” I try to interrupt but she just talks over me.
“-and getting in trouble, and with her no less.” Yep, definite shiver I saw there, I hope it wasn’t a shiver of fear.
“What do I have to do, put a leash around your neck to keep you out of trouble?” She paced circles around me as she speaks making me kinda dizzy.
“Look,” she began. “I know you’re way out of your league-”
“Hey! I’m in my league!” I wonder sometimes, why I speak out loud.
“But it can’t be helped,” she continues, ignoring my outburst. “You need to get your act together and get with the program.”
And you need to stop dropping the clichés so often, I thought to myself, unsure if I was thinking about myself or her.
“Chica bella, why you have to be the one we need is a mystery to me but the fact remains, we need you as much as you need us, or rather, Me.” She blew me a kiss at the last bit before she continued.
“It would be a lot easier if you stop running all over the place already. We have to get moving, Asmodeus is onto you, if he gets his hands on that ring and those bottles…” her voice trails off, a shudder shakes through her body.
Oh fuck. I covertly check for those three bottles of Djinn I had hidden away separately in the many pockets of the cargo pants I was wearing, ‘had’ being the operative word. Oh fuck. Oh fuck. Ohfuckohfuckohfuck.
“You lost the bottles didn’t you?” she barks out a loud staccato laugh, somehow leaving me with the impression she isn’t nearly as pissed as I thought she’d be.
“No I didn’t!” I lie through my teeth as my mind races in reverse, trying to remember what the hell happened to them.
She floats a few inches off the ground, her perfect pink Pradas putting my stupid red desert-boots to shame.
A sandstorm was kicking up around us, the wind howling, tiny grains of sand like shards of glass clobbered our protective barrier, pounding mercilessly as she hovered around me.
I could barely hear her even though she was right in my face.
“It’s coming.” Her perfect mouth stopped moving but I could hear her in my head.
She looks me over, her head shaking as if she finds me lacking.
“You are so unprepared.”
Then she laughed, hard.
to be continued…
AUTHORS NOTE: When we last left our Catt in the desert she was tied to a chair being blamed for the coming apocalypse by a hyena-turned-woman, possibly a dominatrix of the Djinn kind, who, like everyone else, wanted something from her. Also, in honor of my 300th post, a random challenge for no reason: what song did I
steal borrow the title of this chapter from, anyone? ;-D
She continues to stare at me unflinching.
A frozen furious Djinn stare increasing in intensity as each soundless second ticks slowly away.
I’m petrified, I want to be anywhere but here. Even though she’d released the tight ropes from my wrists and ankles I’m too scared to move yet, what’s a few more moments in the un-comfy chair?
Her stare is unnerving, both diabolical and seductive.
I start to squirm but not in a good way, the diabolical is overruling the seductive so I do the only thing I can do, I babble.
It’s a nervous habit I have and it’s going to be the death of me. Death by babble.
“Umm, yeah, so uh, about that door you mentioned, the one I accidentally opened? Really, really sorry about that by the way… so the thing about that door is, I uh, well, actually I have no idea what door you’re talking about, like at all and are you sure I’m the one who opened it up because I don’t remember opening any weird doors lately, uh, not that your door is weird, what I mean is I don’t even know how to open a door, I mean I can open a regular door like in a house but I think you’re talking about a magic door or, umm, I, uh….”
My voice fades and she is not amused at all.
I hear Jann standing next to me mumbling “don’t you ever shut up” in my direction and shoot him a dirty look.
“Do you have any idea what you’ve done?” She leans in closer to my face, her long sin-scented hair tickles my mouth as she continues to stare at me with those swirling Djinn eyes of hers. Her voice is surprisingly soft, husky, deceptive.
All I can do is swallow audibly.
She is the definition of frightening. She also has a kick-ass fashion sense.
Oh no, I’m developing Stockholm syndrome! Where the hell is my Muse when I really need her?
“Whose side are you on? What side do you work for?” She snaps out the words, her breath smells of restrained lust and she’s angry.
Shit, now what? “Work for? I don’t work for anyone.”
I can see by the sudden flames in her eyes this is not the answer she wants and my babble comes back.
“Well I was laid off a few months ago so I don’t really have a job right now…the economy is pretty bad the last few years, there aren’t too many jobs out there, this healthcare thing is very confusing, but I’ve got my resume all over the place and, uh…” By the look on her face, this babbling thing wasn’t working. “Oh, you weren’t asking about my employment status…”
“Tell me.” She grabs one of my hands very ungently, her nails drawing blood.
“Who sent you? Where did you get those bottles?” Her beautifully delicate hand is pretty fucking strong as she grips mine tightly.
“Answer me.” Her voice drips a lusty condescension as she squeezes so hard I swear I can hear the cracking of tiny finger bones. Mine.
She’s right in my face and I’m petrified, but does my fear stop my mouth from disobeying my better instincts to shut up?
“Hey! You’re gonna break my fingers bitch!”
It was out of my mouth before I could stop it.
Jann, now standing behind her, gasped at my outburst.
Shit, I really pissed her off this time.
“What did you call me?” She actually growled at me.
“She called you a bitch, want me to spell it out for you?”
I never thought I’d be so happy to hear that voice again.
Especially when my Muse was sporting her pre-ass-kicking voice.
~to be continued…
I love the smell of lemons, it evokes images of childhood, lemonade stands, barefoot and innocent, not a care in the world.
The scent is luring me closer and closer to that goddamn mirage ahead of me. I’m so exhausted I don’t notice the mini-tornado headed straight at me till it’s close enough to feel stinging sand from the funnel dust-cloud headed fast and furiously right at me.
How the hell do I duck and cover in the middle of a desert?
Looking around desperate for some sort of protection I can feel the bottled Djinn throbbing in my pockets, soft eerie moans whispering words I can’t understand.
“Get back here!”
Screaming into the darkened sky as a Tasmanian sand devil bears down on me wasn’t going to bring my Muse back but I felt like I had to try something.
It’s so close I can feel my hair getting all static-like, grains of sand imbedding into my flesh as the funnel of scary closes in on me, I say a quick prayer in my head (Catholic School habits never leave, they just hide) knowing I’m doomed and it comes to a complete stop.
Less than a breath away from me, it stops.
It’s still swirling in place, hovering in front of me as it spins but I notice letters of the alphabet scrambling like hermit crabs, forming into words. Just three words; “help me catt”.
Huh? Who? What the hell? Who in their right mind would be asking me for help?
I barely even have any real friends… no, she wouldn’t, it can’t be my Muse. I get on her nerves too much and besides, she’s the magical one, I’m just a lowly human in her eyes.
Besides, if she’s in trouble, we are both so screwed.
“Catt hurry, please…” The unfamiliar voice fades away as the whirlwind disappears, leaving not a trace.
It did however, somehow manage to leave me sitting in the most comfortable chair in the entire world.
Right in front of an elegant Tea with all the trimmings, under, of course, the blue and white striped tent I’d been hallucinating.
“You didn’t hallucinate anything child, we’ve been waiting for you. How about a nice cup of tea? It’s your favorite British Blend. Or a nice tall glass of ice cold lemonade? You must be parched from the sun.”
My mouth waters as a handsome elderly gentleman bows before me with a flourish then points to the delicacies on a trio of overflowing three-tiered trays. Pots of tea and glass pitchers of lemonade filled with sparkling ice cubes and lemon slices, every sweet you can imagine was there, as well as tiny little cucumber sandwiches accompanied by an array of food beckoning me.
Alice, I remind myself, just think of Alice and little bottles that say “drink me”. That isn’t working because all in all, Alice had fun in Wonderland. Ok, baseball. Which I know nothing about.
As I open my mouth to rudely inquire what the fuck was going on he spoke.
“Just call me Jann my dear child, sit, rest, relax, you’re exhausted, you need to sleep.”
My eyes grow heavier as he speaks, his voice hypnotizing and hard as I try to fight it, I feel myself fading fast.
“I can’t sleep,” I mumble, “things to do…”. I can’t keep my eyes open any longer.
“Sleep child. Now.”
And I did.
“It’s all your fault you know.”
I’m sitting on a straight-back chair, hands and feet tied just a little too tightly as a striped hyena circles me, sniffing.
Gentlemanly Jann waves an elegant looking platter filled with lemon scones and clotted cream under my nose enticingly before turning over the whole shebang, smashing it all into the desert sand.
“It would be so much easier if you just give me the bottles Catt.” His voice is honey smooth but his eyes are angry, a kaleidoscope of storm-clouds and lightening swirling together violently.
I guess the tea party is over.
I have to get out of here somehow, these extra-tight ropes sure weren’t making it any easier. And where the hell was my Muse when I needed her?
“What’s my fault? What did I do?” My voice was a mixture of false bravado but I couldn’t cover the racing of my heart. “What are you even talking about?”
The hyena barks out a laugh sending a chill through my body as it slithers around me.
As the hyena rises up on it’s hind legs and transforms into a breathtakingly beautiful woman, the chill I’d been feeling gets chillier.
She is absolutely gorgeous and smells of deceit mixed with apples.
Her stride is Top Model perfect as she towers over helpless me tied to this damn chair.
“What you did, you ignorant little fool, is open up a door.”
Leaning down closer to me she places a perfect slender red tipped finger gently against the softness of the skin underneath my chin.
She applies just enough pressure to force my gaze to meet hers, the endless pools in her eyes let me know without a doubt she could rip my head off with that one finger if so inclined.
“And now,” she continued, “that door won’t close.” Her voice is steel and broken glass, with each word she slides her sharp fingernail down closer to my throat, that same exposed vulnerable throat she was now taking too much interest in, if her sudden drop of fangs was anything to go by.
“By the way, I want those bottles Kitty Catt,” she leans in so close I can smell her evil soul. It smells a little too good for my own good and oh man where’s a superhero when you need one?
“Whoa, hey, wait a minute.” Shit. Does everyone in the world but me know about these damn bottles? And now there’s doors? Why didn’t I go to college and get a degree I’d never use and become a Stepford Wife instead of writing?
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I begin nervously, trying to pull away from her. Not so easy when I’m practically hog-tied to a chair.
“I didn’t open any doors! I swear I didn’t!” I hear that tone my voice gets when I’m petrified, my words all rush together and my pitch rises and it’s not helping with hyena lady in my face.
“Uh, ma’am.” Can’t hurt to muster up some respect, try to be polite at least. I guess not.
Do you have any idea how loud a hard smack across the face sounds in a desert?
One hundred. One hundred loud.
“Oww! What the hell did you slap me for?”
“Don’t get flip with me missy,” she hisses at me. “you’re a fool. You play with things you don’t understand.”
“Duh,” I cringe as the word slips out of my mouth before I can stop it.
She leans in closer sniffing the base of my neck, almost nuzzling my hair.
Pulling back a little, she just tilts her head and stares at me.
Jann stands behind her staring into the distance, looking as if he’s listening to something my human ears can’t hear.
Nobody says anything for a good long while, hyena lady continues to stare at me and it’s really starting to freak me out.
Before I have a chance to blurt out something stupid, she takes a step back, though her eyes are still locked on mine.
“Well this is unexpected.” She waves a hand in my direction, “release.”
The ropes drop away, I immediately attempt to rub some of the numbness out of my hands.
I stay where I am, uncertain of her motives.
“You really don’t know what you did, do you? I’ve been inside your mind and you really don’t know,” she states.
“Uh, actually, no.” I say meekly. Not my usual tone of voice but she scares me more than that Miranda lady.
“How did you do it?” She sounds almost impressed, I mean aside from the fury.
“Well, you see, there’s this Muse and, umm, what did I do again?”
I swear I saw actual lightening bolts flash in her eyes before she answered me.
“You,” she stopped and shook her head as if she couldn’t quite figure me out. Join the club.
“You opened doors that shouldn’t be opened. All the worlds are bleeding into each other, Asmodeus has been waiting for this opportunity for eons and you gave him exactly what he’s been waiting for.”
At my blank look which, in my defense, was more fear than anything, she rolled her eyes and took pity on me.
“Apocalypse, End Of The World? You know, everything goes Boom?”
“Me???” I squeaked. “I didn’t… Apocalypse? Is this like a reality show or something?”
Ok even I admit that was lame but my brain was working overtime trying to process, well, all of this.
“That’s all you have to say for yourself!” Shit, here comes cranky hyena lady again.
to be continued