joannebest











musee3

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.
“I-”
“-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.
evil muse

AUTHORS NOTE : This is a snippet from my latest super-somewhat-secret WIP, because it’s Sunday…to be continued…

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{December 27, 2014}   Writing Again

writing3

Well that didn’t take very long.
Yesterday I swore up and down and all around that I would write.
I even tried to force myself to write by announcing it on facebook (which, by the way, I kinda hate but that’s a post for another day-oh!!!! I just admitted there will be another day of writing! Perhaps I am not doomed after all!), ummm, as I was saying, I figured if I made a grand announcement to my friends and family I’d be forced to write, else I may be banished to the Forest Of Lying Liars Who Lie, Unintentionally Or Not.

I unintentionally lied.
Because I didn’t write. {imagines finger-pointing and ridicule as I’m led in shackles toward the center of a crowd full of mask-clad…uh, wait, that’s another ‘nother story, with a different rating}

See, I lived inside my own head for so long, writing and writing yet never putting my fingers to the keyboard so now I have to retrain my brain and flex my fingers and just do it.
I picked a hell of a time to try and start writing again.
Everyone is home, our new Siamese kitten has decided that he wants to be a writer only he want to use my computer. Did I mention he only wants to write when I’m using my computer?
Plus there’s all this Merry Christmas/Happy New Year stuff and somewhere along the line, in my senseless self-imposed exile from writing, I forgot how to multitask.

I’m not worried {nope, not me, no worry here, not a bit}.
I just need some practice.
Please be gentle, I’ll be back to me in the flick of a Djinn’s finger.
djinn



{May 10, 2014}   She And Me ~Muse Series

mymuse2
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!”
Fuck.
“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.
She laughed.
“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.
smokemuse
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…
mymuse1to be continued…



musebuffy
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…
museboots



{October 18, 2013}   Dress For Success ~ Muse Series

djinngirl
Whats it take to stop an Apocalypse? Catt’s still got a long way to go.
So my Muse is Djinn.
Huh.
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.
Whew.
“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!”
musebootspicusethis
to be continued…



{October 4, 2013}   Reprieve ~ Muse Series

museleather
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-
“Chica! Focus!”
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.
musedesert
to be continued…



musemy
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?
Nope.
“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.
musefire
~to be continued…



catttmusetied

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.
musehair
“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?
djinngirl
“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.
“Umm, sorry?”
desertgenie
to be continued
deserttt



{September 18, 2013}   Djinn And Lemonade ~ Muse Series

deserttt
This whole walking through the desert thing is beginning to really piss me off.
Endless sand stretches out forever no matter which way I turn. Although there is the awesome bonus of a mirage here and there, it’s mostly just sand and wind and sun beating down on me.
As hot as it is I’m getting the chills, like that feeling you get when you have a fever and your skin gets all clammy and kinda hurts.
Dehydration may have something to do with it, I almost regret not actually drinking that Mojito G-Man made for me earlier but I keep thinking of Alice, in Wonderland everything wasn’t as it seemed so I’m doing my best to not fall into that trap, even though the only thing going through my mind right now is Snickers and lemonade.
Flashes of that white and blue striped tent in the distance along with the lovely scent of lemon faded in and out, but I had more important things to worry about.
Three miniature bottles stashed in my pants pocket are pulsing with some kind of energy and they’re scaring the hell out of me.
Three bottles of Djinn are no joke.
The whys and hows, reason and logic, none of that matters right now.
But teeny little pinpricks of memory start to tickle my mind, little tiny puzzle pieces were beginning to slide together, like I knew things, important things, yet I couldn’t quite unscramble my brain.
I was long overdue for a talk with my Muse. She had some explaining to do, not that I expected a full reveal but the least she can do is give me a clue.
I never thought writers block could lead me to this kind of craziness. I better get some damn good ideas when this is all over.
Also, by the way, nobody ever mentioned there would be a history test with this whole Solomon/Amadeus feud over a ring, and I don’t see anyway this could have anything to do with me, like why was I the big save?
It’s common knowledge I can’t even save myself, I’ve sure been told that enough through my life.
The mere fact that Musey gave me anything, never mind these bottles, was kind of suspicious in itself.
She hates me most of the time, then treats me like a pain in the ass little sister she’s stuck babysitting the rest of the time.
Plus the way her face was slowly morphing into mine was really weird. It must be a Muse thing.
I wish she’d stop popping in and out like that guy on that show Quantum Leap, at least on the show he tried to help Sam, my leaper just likes to drive me crazy.
“Caaaaaaaaaatttttttttt……”
I’ve heard of the wind whispering names but there’s no wind right now.
The air is hot but still.
Not a hint of a breeze anywhere.
I continue to walk west at a steady pace trying to ignore the haunting whispers calling my name.
They’re coming from the bottles.
When I put them away I put each one in a separate pocket of my cargo pants. I can’t take a chance, accidental breakage would be bad and the last thing I need is three Djinn ganging up on me.
“We’re here to help you Catt.” The voices are in my head. They sound like nothing I can properly describe, ancient, melodic, soothing and petrifying all at the same time.
“Let us out Catt, we can help you,” the whispered, seductively of course.
“Don’t even think about it!”
She does it again, appears directly in my path out of nowhere and of course, I jump back landing on my ass with a sandy thud, glad I had separated the three bottles.
“Gah!!! Stop doing that!!!”
“You can not let them out yet chica, it’s not time yet, it’s much to dangerous.”
She paces back and forth in front of me, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her look this unsettled.
“These three are the big guns. They’ve been trapped in those bottles for centuries because, well, as far as I know there is no-one alive who remembers exactly what they did other than your basic Djinn crimes and misdemeanors,” she shrugs her shoulders as she begins to fade from view.
“Hey! Don’t disappear on me now!” I hate the whining sound in my voice nearly as much as I hate being left alone yet again.
Too late, she was out of there before the sentence left my mouth, but not before one last kinda painful tug on my hair.
Letting out a cotton-mouthed sigh I climb to my feet muttering to myself. I’m tired, hungry and thirsty as hell and, as usual, alone and in need of, I don’t know, something.
I’d even be happy with a little bit of attention, the non-threatening kind of course.
All I wanted was something to write about, isn’t that what a Muse is supposed to do, provide inspiration?
I start walking west again, that damn mirage beckoning me is looking closer and closer with each step. Suddenly the only thing on my mind is ice cold lemonade.
desertmirragedesertlemon
to be continued…



{September 6, 2013}   Act Two Scene One~ Muse Series

desert
AUTHORS NOTE: Our Catt has gone from the frying pan into the fire in the form of a hot endless desert, where she begins to contemplate what the hell is going on, and why she finds herself facedown in a desert.
“Shit, and also, oww!”
I land facedown with a hard thump knocking nearly all of the breath out of me. I still have enough air left to spit out a curse along with the sand I almost swallowed, but just one, for now.
I’m trying to curse less.
Not having too much luck with that one lately.
Me and my stupid ideas. I had to go looking for a muse, any muse. Writers block had me in it’s grips for so long I had to go looking for a goddamn muse.
I didn’t expect to find a delusional Muse with a penchant for mind-fucking.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for Team Muse and I’m thrilled to be out of that bottle. Genie Guy babbling about me saving the world was freaking me out because he was so serious, so convinced I’m supposed to fight some guy over a magic ring to save the world.
I mean come on, if this was my Muse’s way of giving me inspiration she could at least come up with something a little more original than some average girl saving the world, there’re a million awesome books about that out there already.
And why am I just laying in the desert?
This is worse than Alice in Wonderland or Dorothy, who at least had her little gang of friends.
I get, as usual, abandoned. Not even a Cowardly Lion.
I’m so tired that I don’t even notice the tiny specks of grit digging into my flesh.
I don’t remember the last time I had anything to eat either.
Still, I swear I could just stay here facedown in this sand forever if it meant I’d stop all this flip-flopping around from impossible place to impossible place.
I hate having zero control plus I’m getting nauseous.
Plus my clumsy is showing a little too much for my liking.
I thought Muses were supposed to help and stuff, you know, inspiration and all. Why do I get the one who seems to exist just to torture me?
I’m flummoxed. Seriously flummoxed.
Contrary to popular belief, I’m not an idiot. I know whatever is going on is real, in it’s unreal way, and I also know I’m being used for something and my brain is starting to hurt from trying to figuring it all out.
So I’m not even gonna try anymore.
What the fuck’s the point?
It’s either real, this is one long weird-ass dream, or I’m locked up in a mental hospital like that one Buffy episode. Only there are no vampires and I don’t think I’ll ever be normal again even if I do drink a magic potion make it through this…thing.
And I just totally jinxed myself with the vampires.
Fuck. And fuck again because there goes my curse-control.
What the hell? Why not vampires?
I have Muses and Djinns and who the hell knows what else and if I don’t slam on the brakes with this line of thinking I’m gonna have a meltdown.
I have to get my bearings, which would be a little easier if I opened my eyes but after all the fantastical things I’ve seen in the last few… damn it, I have no concept of time. I have no idea how much time has passed since my more than a little bit insane Muse kidnapped me and zapped me into a fucking bottle of Djinn with an unstable Genie who had a thing for the late ’70’s Disco era judging by his mirror-balls, not to mention that uber bitch Muse who was out for my blood, without explanation I might add. I mean really, if you’re gonna decimate someone shouldn’t you at least tell them why? Nobody has manners anymore, not even the supernatural I guess.
It starts to sink in.
I mean I’m starting to sink into hot desert sand and a sliver of a memory flashes through my brain, almost a deja vu but, more.
It’s gone just as fast but I know one thing, it’s really hot and I’m already thirsty.
Last thing I remember is being stuck in an ever changing bottle with a green Genie telling me something I can’t completely recall. Maybe somebody whacked me on the head, because everything went black and I was gone.
Finally, I open up my eyes to sand and after a quick look around, I jump to my feet trying to get my bearings.
Everywhere I look I see nothing but sand.
Flat brown endless sand as far as the eye can see.
“And hot as hell dammit! What the fuck?”
Great, now I’m screaming my frustration to no one and-
“I,” a familiar disembodied voice says, “am not no-one chica.”
Oh no. Or possibly, yay.
Only one person calls me ‘chica’ and she’s not really a person, she-
“Am too!” the voice says indignantly.
“Huh?”
“‘Not really a person’? Oh chica, you hurt me with words,” she’s pouting like she means it. “And not even a simple ‘thank you’. You really are an ungrateful little bitch aren’t you?”
Oh great, was this gonna be the punishment part of the performance?
Her arms are crossed in front of her, her lower lip full and pouty, her eyes wet, like she was going to cry.
I notice she hovers above the sand just enough that her own perfectly formed bare feet don’t have to deal with the heat.
I’m trying my best not to let her see how much I wanted to at least jump from foot to foot because this sand is wicked hot. Never let them see you sweat and all that. Least she can do is-
“All you have to do is ask chica, and this one will even be a freebie.”
She clapped her perfect hands together like a kid on Christmas morning, proud of the gift they’d given someone.
If I didn’t know better I might think she was beginning to, well, at least tolerate me.
A perfectly fitted pair of red desert boots appear on my feet.
“Red?” I ask, although I wasn’t complaining, my feet weren’t burning anymore.
“Silly child,” she says,  She throws her head back and releases the loveliest laugh I’ve ever heard. “To match the blood of course.”
I don’t know how she managed it, but as she disappeared her laugh echoed throughout the endless desert, bouncing back at me from billions of directions at the same time.
Once again I was alone.
That didn’t stop me from answering her, “uh, what blood?”
desertdj
to be continued…



et cetera