Friday, October 28, 2011

Thursday Fiction on Friday

Apparently I was a slacker yesterday. And I had to work, which always seems to complicate everything. It’s that whole, “we interrupt this wonderful life with work” thing. Blah. But mostly because I really wanted to polish up this little tid-bit and make it all pretty and shiny.

Well that didn’t happen. I got hung up trying to get the Out of the Dungeon cover to appear as a reasonable size (FAIL) and connecting up the buy-links and such. (Out of the Dungeon is available NOW, btw, at Smashwords and Amazon’s Kindle Store)

Before I share some drafty fiction… I am trying to think of a catchy “Thursday” themed name – i.e. Thursday Threshold, or Thermal Thursday, or (my favorite) Three-way Thursday – except I can’t be always writing about hotties and ménages – because one must at times climb out of the pit of perverted depravity and um, well, at least pretend to function in the real world. You know, all the regular crap we have to do like providing food for the children and attending parent-teacher conferences…

But I digress. Other words I am playing with are: thoughtless, thoughtful, thankful (thankless?) Thank God it’s Thursday, Therapeutic Thursday (can’t guarantee that, really), and Theoretical Thursday (what would that mean, anyway?).

Of course, Thursday Fiction on Friday has a nice little ring to it – sort of like Eighth Street Video on Ninth Street. (Yes, it’s a real video store in my hometown). Maybe I’ll live in slackerville and Thursday Fiction on Friday will reflect that…. Hmm.

Okay, here’s my drafty draft:

The Muse

She flew on silken, silver wings, sometimes gossamer, sometimes feather traditional. Her laughter could be heard now and again, light and musical, and it was silver, too.

She didn't treat her charges equally, and she didn't treat them all well.

This one… with the black hair and black make-up, and eight different piercings (twelve if you counted the ones nobody knew about) showed on the outside how tortured she was on the inside. The muse held her sometimes while she slept, even sang her a lullaby or two, but offered no comfort while the child was awake.

Then there was the one she thought of as The Crane – so tall he stooped in most company. He was all sharp corners and long angles, and so filled with self-importance that sometimes even the muse had to grit her teeth.

He was mentally ill, of course. So many of them were. He claimed he would one day be great  – "I'll be the next Rembrandt, or the next Chi," – though he was, in fact, a terrible painter. It was the fact that he worked so hard and had such determination that the guardian took pity on him and graced him with a beautiful singing voice, that, when he chose to share it, offered hope to many who were lacking that. It seemed like the least she could do. She did not visit him for long because he made himself miserable putting pigment to canvas and all but ignoring her gift.

Ahh, yes, the writer – there – mid-November and the writer accepted the guardian's gift, has already made it into a thing of her own, fingers tap-tapping the keyboard and imagination at full tilt. Wonderful. She had so much work to do that she wouldn't need tending for awhile.

Oh! And There was one watched from a distance, wailing in despair, begging the silver-winged muse for help, for inspiration. But no, that one had raw talent, undefined, the sort that couldn't be granted, but must be dug for, mined with tears, collected in agony, and refined with just a shred of salvation. The demons were in charge of that one. The muse shook her head in sorrow even as the artist scratched gouges in her own cheeks, tore clumps of hair from her head, and screamed, "Why? Damn you, why?”

The muse wept. It was so easy to drop unexpected inspiration on those who willing to do the work, worthy or not. It was nothing to cast bits of talent over the earth, shared among many.

But there was nothing she could do to ease the suffering of the ones who would be truly great, known the world over for their words, their voices, their pictures… driven by their demons to greatness, the same demons who snarled at the comforts of the muse and chased her away. "This one is ours," growled the demons, "and we will pummel her with our claws, and slash her with our teeth, and destroy all that is human to set the artist free."

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