Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Muse Back On Her Feet

She was still weak, but my Muse now sat without assistance on the end of the bed.  Her frail arms braced herself against the mattress as stringy hair fell into her face.  It wasn't a full fledged recovery just yet, but it was loads better than she'd been in over a year.

"So, he's killed his first alien," I offered.  "Does that satiate his bloodlust?"

"No.  He still feels empty.  Just like his life since burying Jen and Tyler, his first kill was more going through the motions than it was a conscious act.  He's going to need a lot more before he has control."

Turning back to my keyboard, I started typing again.  "He can't just go around killing them all with a knife.  Readers can accept a fluky first strike, but the entire planet has been overrun.  It'll take more next time."

"Think for just a moment - what was David's profession when this all began?"

"He was in the Army," I said without hesitation.

"What does that give him knowledge of?"

It was as if she struck a match in front of my face.  "Weapons!  He'll know how to get his hands on some and modify them appropriately.  How could I be so stupid?"

"I can think of a few reasons," my Muse murmured.

Spinning in my chair, I looked at her.  Her skin was pale and clammy, but there was a fire in her eyes I hadn't seen in a while.

"You're still upset I ignored you."

"Turn back around and look at what you're writing," she snapped.  "I'm getting better, but the only way I can ever fully recover is for you to keep writing.  You know, the whole habit forming thing."

She was right.  I felt ashamed of how I'd ignored her the past 16 months.  That neglect nearly killed her, and it certainly led to her not coming the rare times I called.  So I spun back and started typing again.

"What else can you give me?" I asked.

I sensed the sigh more than I heard it.  She said, "I can't just tell you.  This is about self-discovery, not dictation.  I whisper the ideas, and you give them form.  Are you really so much out of practice that you've forgotten this?"

I didn't answer, but she had a point.  Other life events had gotten in the way, so my edge had dulled.  It would take me a while to remember how this all works.  Hopefully, with greater back and forth, she'd get better and our interaction wouldn't be so contentious.

To keep her interested(and talking), I spoke as I typed.  "You can fill M203 shells with a napalm like gel to make them ignite on impact.  The formula isn't that hard to discern."

She stared at me, offering suggestions and prodding as I wrote.  All the while, her vigor grew ever stronger...

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