“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.
“Tie her hands tighter, she’s a sneaky one, she is. Thinks she can get out of anything. Make sure she can’t get away.”
“Hey! Wait a minute,” I said indignantly. “What the fuck is go-mmmmmmowww!!!”
“Gag her; the only time she shuts up is when she has something in her mouth.”
I thought the voices sounded vaguely familiar but couldn’t quite figure out who was talking. Whoever they were, they’d blindfolded me. They must be pro’s.
One minute I was sleeping the sleep of the depressed and exhausted, next thing I knew I was tied to a chair, couldn’t see a thing, and somebody had shoved something in my mouth so I couldn’t say a word.
I hate when I can’t say a word.
I also hate the taste of the washcloth somebody shoved in my mouth to shut me up. It tasted like soap.
Another voice spoke up. “Can’t we cut her some slack? She’s had a rough time lately; you know it could just as easily be one of us tied to that chair.”
I heard a deep male growl followed by yet another voice, this one female, whispering something to the growler about how they had to do this but they didn’t have to be so rough. I assumed she was talking about me.
I had no clue as to what was going on. It couldn’t be kidnapping because nobody I knew had money for ransom and besides, who would want to kidnap me anyway?
Maybe I was dreaming. Except the washcloth in my mouth and the restraints holding me down threw that theory out the window. I couldn’t even ask them what they wanted because whoever shoved the washcloth in my mouth decided duct tape was needed to keep it in place, my tongue was starting to hurt from trying to push it out of my mouth and I was doing my best to squirm my way out of the restraints.
“We’re not trying to hurt you,” another voice this time.
How many people were here?
“We just want to talk to you. And we want you to listen. If you promise to listen to what we have to say nod your head and we’ll take off the blindfold and get rid of that washcloth. But if you don’t let us have our say, it goes right back in, ok?”
Huh? Who were these people and what did they want with me?
Only one way to find out so I nodded my head and true to her word, the calm-voiced female took off my blindfold then took a step back. Maybe she wanted to gauge my reaction before she yanked off the duct tape.
Can’t say I blamed her when my eyes adjusted to the light and I saw I was surrounded by people I both knew and didn’t know. There was a familiarity in each pair of eyes watching my every non-move but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
I knew them, yet didn’t.
I sat still, my eyes taking in each and every one of them staring at me.
They stood around me, arms folded. I could feel the hostility in the air, mixed with disappointment and all of it aimed at me.
“Well? What do you have to say for yourself?”
The woman speaking was so beautiful she was hard to look at. She seemed to glow but it was her eyes that bore into me, kaleidoscope eyes swirling with colors that had me mesmerized.
Dressed from head to toe in tight leather, she held a whip in her right hand, smacking it against the palm of her left hand.
When I didn’t answer she cracked the whip in the air coming dangerously close to my face.
“You do realize she can’t answer you till you take the gag out of her mouth,” said the large green man with the yellow cat-like eyes.
Leather-girl’s eyes flashed red at green man. The look of annoyance on her face rose to a level I’d never seen before.
She was scaring the hell out of me but I tried to keep calm and breathe.
Through my nose.
Green man and leather girl were now involved in a stare-off and if I had to guess, they were arguing silently.
Who were these people and what did they want with me?
As their silent argument continued my eyes took in the rest of the crowd surrounding me.
A tall thin woman with gorgeous red hair and flashing blue eyes stood next to two identical strapping hunks of men. One of them winked at me and flashed a grin revealing fangs. The redheaded beauty jabbed him in his side with her elbow.
There was a young boy, looked to be in his late teens wearing glasses that were obviously the wrong size.
He kept pushing them up the bridge of his nose, but I could barely see his face, his hair was unkempt and covered most of his features.
Standing next to him was another woman, by the looks of her she was young but her eyes made her look like she’d been through too much for any one person to handle.
Something about her stirred something inside me, made me want to comfort her which was kinda weird considering she was part of the kidnapping contingent.
Standing next to them was a tall statuesque woman; her hair flowed down her back in natural curls, an aura of goodness emanated from her and she looked at me with a mixture of kindness and disappointment.
What the hell did I do to her?
She was flanked by a dark dangerous looking man on one side and a dog with three heads on the other.
I wondered if somebody spiked my drink last night and I was hallucinating.
The arguing between leather girl and green man had slowly grown from silent to loud and louder until they were screaming at each other.
“Would you two knock it off?”
A woman I hadn’t noticed pushed her way through the crowd surrounding me and leaned into me. She looked oddly familiar and eerily like me but I couldn’t figure out how I knew her.
“Sorry doll, it’ll only hurt for a second.” With that she yanked the duct tape off my mouth and pulled the soapy washcloth out of my mouth.
I couldn’t help it, duct tape hurts when it’s yanked off your face.
“See? I knew she couldn’t be trusted to keep her mouth shut! Give me the tape!”
Leather-girl snapped her fingers and held out her hand impatiently.
The other one, the one who looked like me rolled her eyes before she snapped at leather-girl.
“Would you shut up already?”
She turned back to me and missed the sneer on leather-girls face.
It would help if I knew their names.
“It would help if you gave us all names and stopped flat-leaving us. And by the way, I did too see that, eyes, the eyes in back of my head are the same as the eyes on the front of your face.”
My mouth was agape. Huh?
“Look babe, this is it. We’re fed up. You’re the one who created us.”
She stopped and looked around at the small crowd surrounding her. And me.
“Well, most of us.” She shook her head as if to clear her mind, the way I sometimes do.
“Anyway that’s not the point. Point is, you’ve been dilly dallying for way too long and you’re unfocused, which in turn, makes the rest of us unfocused.”
Leather-girl growled along with the, umm, vampire dude as kinda-me shushed them.
She turned back to me, finger lifting my chin till our eyes met. It was like looking in a mirror and seeing disappointment staring back at me. I can only assume my confusion was responsible for my uncharacteristic quietness.
Also, leather-girl was eyeing me up like I was an ice cream sundae.
I couldn’t decide if I loved her or feared her. Maybe both.
“Chica, you really need to get moving.”
Whatever she was about to say came to a full stop.
The jig was up.
Nobody calls me chica except my Muse. I’d slap my own stupid head if my hands weren’t bound.
It was them.
All of them.
My own characters kidnapped me.
“But I don’t have enough time to start it, never mind finish it!”
The whine in my voice has my cat looking at me like I’m a lunatic. Or a banshee.
A lunatic banshee.
My Muse, on the other hand, is totally not amused as evidenced by the look on her face.
“And I’m sick! Like, really sick!”
Of course she doesn’t say a word, which is worse than any words she could have thrown at me.
She arches an eyebrow, her red-stained mouth sterner than my fifth grade teacher’s ever was.
I recite a litany of all the reasons I haven’t been writing and they sound lame to even my ears.
She looks bored as I continue to babble.
After a good five minute diatribe justifying my legitimate reasons for not writing she pushes away from the wall she was leaning against and gets in my face.
“I. Don’t. Care.”
I open my mouth to answer her but she stops me with a slender finger to my parted lips.
“Shut it chica,” she knows I hate when she calls me that so I hear it a lot. “You said you were going to write, didn’t you?”
“I did but-”
“No buts,” she looks me over and smirks, like she knows something I don’t.
I’m sure she does.
“You can fuck around all you want missy, but not on my time!”
I know she’s pissed when she curses. I’m the one with the gutter mouth, not her.
She must be extremely pissed.
“Of all the wanna-be’s out there I wind up with you.”
She’s pacing now.
I blow my nose again.
“You’re making this whole Muse gig a drag chica. I’m a fucking Muse and you’re not doing a damn thing about it! I couldn’t get somebody with discipline, no, I have to get Little Miss Helps Alot, always serving somebody else’s master, in a manner of speaking,” she gives me a dirty look when I roll my eyes.
“Nothing is coming to you dipped in chocolate on a silver platter you know,” her voice was rising in volume.
My cat fled the room earlier. Lucky cat.
“I can’t do what I’m supposed to do if you won’t start doing what you’re supposed to do! You can’t fix everyone else’s life when you’re not paying attention to your own!”
She got me with that one. And I was also thinking about chocolate now.
Frozen in place I know I’m in for something. She has a golden twinkle in her eyes I’ve never seen before but a lot has been going on under the surface, things I would have noticed if I paid more attention. Unfortunately for me, I always seem to find these things out too late. Again, my own fault.
“What did you promise Miss Ana?”
“I didn’t exactly promise, I said I was going to try-”
“Trying is for losers. You don’t “try”, you DO!”
“But I’ve never written anything like that before, what if I get it wrong? She’ll hate me and think I’m a lame loser.”
“How’s that’s any different from your normal bland self?”
She loves to throw my words back in my face. They don’t have to be exact, just in the same ballpark but damn, she hits a homerun every time.
“What part of ‘I have the flu’ don’t you understand?”
My scratchy voice sounds like there’s a clothespin on my nose and it disappears every other syllable or so. My voice, not my nose.
“You’re doing it again.”
Her voice vibrates through my fevered brain. She sounds psychedelic, like some old hippie movie from the ’60’s where pretty girls in see-thru dresses and long flowing hair danced barefoot in circles while contemplating the wonders of the universe during an acid trip.
“I’m sick,” my voice has that whining tone to it and it hurts even my ears.
“Don’t even try it missy.”
My Muse takes no bullshit from me, even when it’s not bullshit. I’ve been legitimately sick for way longer than I care to admit. I tend to hide my weaknesses and push on through whatever it is life throws at me best I can but I can’t fool my Muse.
She sees right through me. Which shouldn’t be that easy considering I’m in flannel pajamas shivering under a pile of thick comforters. I’m surrounded by tissues and bottles of Gatorade, both empty and full. I’m also hacking my lungs sore while my left nostril is racing my right nostril to see which side can run fastest. They’re pretty much tied.
“The only thing I’m ‘trying’ to do is stop being sick so I can get back to normal,” I snap.
She let out one of those deep throaty laughs that always manage to make me feel like I’m in for it.
‘It’ varies, depending on her mood.
“Normal, chica?” She stomps around the room, the click of her heels making me regret my love of hardwood floors. She has to know each time her foot hits the floor the sound vibrates through my head, amplified by 11. “You wouldn’t know normal if it bit you in your cute little ass.”
“There will be no biting of my ass!” I grumble through the pillow I’d yanked over my head.
“For now.” She grabs the pillow off my face and I struggle to get it back but she holds it just out of reach. The light hurts my eyes and I don’t want to see her dressed in my favorite red leather pants. Wasn’t she just wearing a nurse’s uniform? She makes my bedridden-self look ragged and pathetic with my greasy hair piled on top of my head in a stringy mess and my- “Hey! Those are my pants! Who said? Get those pants off!”
She gets that look on her face, one eyebrow arched, blue eyes sparkling and her red lip-sticked mouth pouty and wet.
“Now, sweetie? None of that right now. Aren’t you contagious?”
She reaches down, pressing her forehead to mine the way my Mother did when I was a little girl.
She clicks her tongue, plants her hands on her leather covered hips and releases a pitiful sigh.
“You’re no fun when you’re sick.”
I sneeze loudly. She doesn’t bless me.
She sinks onto the bed next to me looking almost concerned, but I know she’s disappointed in me. In an evil-muse sort of way.
I don’t get it. She’s my Muse with a capital M but she hasn’t been musing me lately. She’s been absent and I’ve been wordless.
“You’re sick chica, and I can’t believe I’m making excuses for you,” she huffs. “Once. Just this once I’ll give you a pass. But don’t get used to it!”
Six sneezes later I realize she’s gone again.
I need her.
Hate to say it but it’s true. I need my Muse and she’s not gonna be back until I start writing again on my own.
She may be my Muse, but neither one of us had to like it.
I sneezed a few more times and slowly fell asleep as it came to me that the only way I could beat her at her own game was to write before she came back, that would show her I don’t need her.
She was nothing but trouble plus she kept stealing my clothes.
I drift off to sleep to the sound of someone going through my walk in closet. I can still feel her hand on my face. Maybe she cares after-all.
~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…
It was mostly my own fault.
Maybe I should take all the blame but when I think about it, and believe me, it’s all I think about lately, I was seduced.
Seduced by the idea of something new.
Something different than the same thing day in and day out.
Sure my life was a beautiful day after day. Always surrounded by nature, the warmth of the sun on my face as I’d stroll lazy through the fields of colorful flowers. Admiring the fruits of my Mother’s labor never failed to comfort me. Look up the definition of “green thumb” in an encyclopedia and there’s a good chance you’ll see her picture instead of a wordy definition.
I, on the other hand, have what I like to call a “black thumb”. I can’t even grow a weed never mind breathtakingly beautiful fields of flowers like she can.
It’s not like I haven’t tried. Since I was a tiny little girl barely able to walk on my own I’d cling to her, follow her everywhere hoping to be just like her when I grew up. Gardening, for lack of a better word, comes as easy to my Mother as breathing, naturally I expected to follow in her footsteps, make her proud of me. Create something beautiful.
Actually that’s what was on my mind that day. I was giving myself a mental scolding after another unsuccessful attempt at growing something. I’ll never be like her, she could wave her hand and just like that, the most perfect roses in a shade of red unlike no other would appear.
Me? I could barely walk through the woods without tripping over an unseen tree root.
I was not the daughter my Mother deserved.
My thoughts grew darker as I walked through a field of forget-me-nots, coincidently one of my favorite flowers, so engrossed in the pity party going on in my head I stopped paying attention to my surroundings.
And just my luck, that’s when Hades appeared and stole me away.
To say it’s complicated doesn’t come close to describing my relationship with Hades.
I know all the stories out there; abduction, rape, trickery and deceit. Hades gets a kick out of them, it adds to his reputation, he says. I say it all depends on the way you look at it.
My Mother insists it’s just a stage I’m going through, that every girl goes through a Bad Boy phase and eventually I’ll grow weary of the Underworld. She said if Hades loves me as much as he says he does he’d let me go for more than a few months a year to make me happy.
But that, me being happy, was the whole problem.
Because no matter what I did, someone would be hurt. The thing is, I like it down here in the Underworld. And I wasn’t a girl any more, I was a woman.
Besides, what’s not to like? Down here I’m treated like a Queen. Hades showers me with anything I desire. He even got me a kitten knowing he’s allergic to them. Just because he rules Hell doesn’t mean he doesn’t have allergies too.
See what I mean? Just like my Mother says, I’m always making excuses for Hades.
The problem is I’m torn.
I’m a Mama’s girl in love with every Mother’s nightmare.
I’m also a people pleaser and that’s why it’s
mostly all my fault.
I knew what I was doing when I ate those pomegranate seeds. I knew I was going to have to split my time between two different places, two different lives.
What I didn’t know was that the walls of both places were going to start closing in on me.
There was only one thing I could do, my Mother had sent Thelxiepeia and her Siren sisters to find me and Thellie had been the only one to find me. She was also the only one who knew my secrets.
It was time for me to call Thellie.
AUTHORS NOTE~ this is my response to prompt ‘a tale of two cities’, I couldn’t stop thinking about Persephone and her living in two different places hence my response…although I have a Persephone series/WIP, this is a stand-alone story but does not contradict anything else I’ve previously written.
AUTHORS NOTE: Lizzie is kinda pissed James didn’t mention he had a twin brother…ooops
“Huh? What are you talking about? What do you mean you haven’t heard from James?”
“Sweetheart I’d be glad to answer all your questions but do you think you can ease up a bit with the knife?”
He looked so much like his brother I was finding it hard to tear my eyes away from his face.
“I’ve already been circumcised luv but I’d be happy to show you if you don’t believe me.” His James-blue eyes were filled with laughter which did nothing but piss me off more than I already was.
“You’re disgusting,” I hissed as I punched him in the face one more time, only not as hard as I did before. His stupid James-face was making the punching part less fun than it should have been.
Then I remembered the way he imitated James before and I wanted to stake him. But I punched him again instead.
“What the fuck was that all about before? Why the asshole act?”
My ego was still stinging from his insulting behavior before. I was also more than a little pissed off at James for neglecting to mention his brother was not only a vampire but his identical twin. My life was a bad soap opera.
“We can stay like this as long as you want luv, happy to be on the bottom but if you keep wiggling around like that don’t blame me if I flip you over and- owww!”
I was so infuriated I forgot I was straddling him and it was becoming apparent that he and James were identical, at least physically.
“Stop being a pig and what do you mean you don’t know where James is? And,” I waved my knife in the general direction of his James-face enjoying his barely discernible discomfort. “Don’t think you’re gonna get away with that little scene before either.”
“I-” he began.
“Shut up. Where is your brother?”
“Don’t “you” me!”
I could hear myself making no sense and screeching like a harpy.
Still sitting on top of what looked like James, who always made me melt.
I punched him again.
There’s nothing I hate more than stereotypical bullshit and there I was, a walking talking cliché.
Make that a straddling cat-got-my-tongue cliché.
He wasn’t helping by finding this funny.
“What are you laughing at?” I try to sneer but can’t quite pull it off. He is as exasperating as James can be, and I was beginning to see the resemblance might be more than physical.
I gave myself a mental mind shake and pushed off of him, it was becoming evident that he was enjoying me pinning him down a little more than he should have been.
“You’re an asshole,” I said matter of factly.
He was chuckling as he stood up. Brushing off his jeans he stood next to me, James-height and all.
“Sweetheart, the look on your face was priceless.”
The more he laughed the more I fumed.
“Oh shut up,” I shoved him and he tried to hide his smirk.
“What the fuck is going on and where’s your brother? I mean your twin brother! He is so dead!” I hate when I yell. “You’re dead too!” I poke him in the chest for emphasis. It’s just as toned as James- argh what was I thinking?
“We already are luv, you know, undead and all that,” he taps his head as if to infer I’m an idiot.
“You sure are a feisty little thing Elizabeth, James neglected to mention that,” he frowned.
When did James mention me? They were barely on speaking terms far as I knew.
“What’s your name anyway? James ‘neglected to mention that’ to me,” I snapped.
I was embarrassed, pissed off and I had to pee.
“You know what? I don’t even care what your name is right now. I’m sick of the lot of you… James is always disappearing and being all mysterious and you! You’re a dick and don’t fucking laugh at me and fuck you I’m going home.”
“Liam,” he called after my retreating form. “My name is Liam, and I think we got off on the wrong foot.”
I started laughing, hard. I couldn’t stop. You know that laugh you get at inappropriate times and you can’t stop no matter what? It was that.
I was doubled over holding my stomach, laughing at the ridiculously stupid that is my unlife.
“What? It’s short for William,” his voice was part confusion, part soothing as if he was dealing with a crazy person.
That made me laugh harder and Liam looked like he was about to bolt and I snapped out of it.
I cleared my throat as if I was having a coughing fit and wondered when my life turned into an episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
to be continued…
Keeping myself busy while James was gone kinda sucked, no pun intended.
I was bemoaning his absence to myself because everyone else was sick and tired of hearing me whine about it out loud. Even I was getting sick of hearing me talk about him, I was making my own damn self cranky.
“Fuck this,” I said to my reflection as I applied a coat of Chanel red to my pouting mouth. That whole vampires-have-no-reflection thing was really nothing more than a parlor trick we used when it came in handy. I mean really, how the hell else would we put on makeup without a mirror?
“I’m out of here Rupert. I’ll be back before dawn.” Rupert, as usual, ignored me as he continued licking his paws. He really needed his nails cut but I refused to get him declawed; his nails were his protection whenever he snuck out, declawing my cat would be no different than me being defanged.
It was a beautiful fall night, the moon was half full surrounded by a sky full of stars, the temperature just chilly enough to wear my new favorite leather jacket. I do look good in red.
I decided to walk to the bar, it was just a few blocks away and I was hoping the walk would cool me down because I was nearing the point of fuming. I mean I get it, I understand that James has obligations, it comes with the title of Master Vampire but he’s been gone a little too long for my liking.
I miss him so much.
As I turned the corner I saw him. Leaning back against the cold brick wall we’d leaned against so many times, one hand in his front pocket, the other hand cupped around a cigarette.
“James! You’re back!” I couldn’t contain my excitement, my whole world changed when I was anywhere around him so I jumped up into his arms.
Only problem was he didn’t hold his arms out to catch me and I landed hard on my ass.
“Oh Elizabeth, you make it so easy to fuck with you,” he was laughing at me and if there is one think that drives me crazy is when someone laughs at me. But James?
“Come on Lizzie, I know you’re a little slow on the uptake but what’s it going to take to penetrate that empty head of yours?” He took one last drag of his cigarette then flicked it near me. “Let me say this in words you can understand, leave me the fuck alone.”
Without waiting for an answer James turned his back on me and walked away.
“James?” I tried calling after him but nothing came out. He’d shocked me into silence.
I stood frozen in shock. This made no sense.
Something was off. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but there was no way in hell James would speak to me like this.
Even at his worst, he wouldn’t, he couldn’t, not my James.
As I watched him walk away from me, crossing the street into the cemetery I replayed the scene in my head. He’d been gone before but he always came back and we always-
“Wait a minute,” I mumbled. “That son of a bitch! I’m going to kill him.”
I tore after him hoping I could keep my temper in check long enough to find out where James was before I kicked his twin brother’s undead ass.
Of course they were identical because my life was turning into one big cliché. Unlife. Whatever.
My mind was churning as I dashed after him wondering why James neglected to mention his brother was his twin brother.
I didn’t take kindly to being made to look the fool but trying to pass himself off as the dick-version of James really pissed me off.
He was so cocky as he walked away he didn’t even notice me until he was flat on his back.
I have to admit the sound of his head bouncing off the ground gave me more pleasure than it should have.
Grabbing him by the collar as I straddled him to hold him down, I leaned into his face , I couldn’t believe how much he looked like James. Speaking of…
“Where’s your brother you fucking asshole?”
I was pissed. Anger is a good strength multiplier, as much as he struggled he couldn’t get loose from my grip.
“Lizzie, come on, calm down! I was joking, lighten up!” He was laughing again, bad for him.
I had caught him off guard when I first dove at him out of the darkness but it was the knife I held to his throat more than me holding him down. I pulled back a little, blade with me, and punched him in the mouth with my other hand.
“Ow!” He was still laughing and I was not happy. “Knock it off Liz, I was just fooling around!”
“First of all, fuck you,” I said calmly. “Second of all,” I punched him again. “And thirdly, where’s your brother?”
He looked at me like I was nuts as my knife was now perilously near his own.
“Hey! Watch where you’re pointing that thing! And what are you talking about?”
The last shred of control I had over my temper was about to snap.
“You called him for help, what was it this time? What did you do now? You know he always comes running to your rescue whenever you call him to get you out of your latest mess, grow the fuck up already!”
I gave him the glariest glare I could muster. “Now where is he?”
James’s face stared at me, pale and serious, but it was his twin brother’s voice that came out of his mouth.
“Lizzie, I didn’t call James. That’s why I’m here, I can’t get in touch with him.”
AUTHORS NOTE: Lizzie and James have been working undercover, I was inspired today by my deliciously evil muse Alice, so here is, as Alice says a “fragment”…because Muses know special things…
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…