Posted in Comics/ Books, Quiet Stories

Muse (Short Story)

The day has slept in. I have awoken before the world has and sit humbly with pen and paper on a rickety beach chair.

The early hours of the morning used to be a forbidden time, only ever greeted with resentment. But in this remote region I now reside in, where the world’s beauty stares you dead in the eye, I relish each sunrise. As the veil of black is lifted and perfection is revealed. I wake up this early because it is a time few others dare to wake and allows me and the world our privacy. I lay back and consider what will inspire me today. What will inspire me to put pen to paper and write feverishly until my hand cramps, the light dims and my pen runs dry.

I look around me and soon begin to regard this beaches trees with a newfound curiosity. The trees snake their way out of the sand. Standing like food deprived models at an abstract art exhibit, or perhaps the serpent like appendages of a creature far more frightening than conception allows. Yes, a monster. I like that. The small ferns, which jut up from the ground at regular intervals, are tufts of the beast’s hair. They seem delicate and idle when viewed at a glance but when a playful child rushes down and tramples on them……..

I put down my pen. What a pathetic excuse for literature. To think I still call myself an author. How humorous. I am a shadow’s shadow of the literary giant I once was. What I wrote at breakfast sold millions of copies around the world. An idea that sparked my interest over lunch inspired a generation of readers. But then I lost you. My friend, my lover, my partner in life, my muse. I spent so long moving from woman to woman. Using my wealth, fame and confidence to charm and arouse. Nothing more than a game. How many could I get, how quickly could I get them. No real feeling involved, other than immediate pleasure. This admitted mistreatment of woman’s emotions wasn’t entirely my fault. They just didn’t offer me anything that I believed valuable of my love. Or perhaps their flaws just outweighed their offers. They were too immature, unable to maintain a complex conversation. Or too submissive, always agreeing with me and feigning interest in whatever I said. So much so that I doubted they had a personality of their own. Or sometimes I just concluded they weren’t pretty enough to be seen with me. I’m not ashamed to say that my shallowness extended that far.

Then you came along. You were, in my mind, just like the rest. I knew little about you but still made the assumption that you would fall for me as easily as a rock falling from the sky. But you weren’t like that. We spoke over the phone for hours and hours, just as I did with every other girl. Yet you proved immune to my techniques. I persisted and persisted and all the while you remained ignorant, un-swayed. Then mere moments before I admitted defeat, you asked me out on a date. Something I would usually decline, due to its emasculating nature. But for some reason, I accepted. Once more I made the mistake however of viewing you just like I did every girl before. We met at a restaurant and I waited for the usual flow of things to begin. I pictured it in my mind. You would sit nervously, while I slowly but surely smooth talked my way into your pants. But once more you proved your uniqueness to me. You did all the talking, discussing your family, friends, your interests. In fact to my utter disbelief I was the quiet one and admittedly a tad nervous.

You were everything I desired within a girl. Instead of constantly having to make you laugh, we both entertained each other. Instead of having to suffer through discussing your interests, I found you and I shared a similar palette of tastes. At one point during the date you showed me a long scar that extended down your arm. I asked of its origins and immediately regretted. I was about to set you off on a tangent of insecurity. But instead you grew excited, daring me to touch it, bragging of how you got it while playing with a knife. Your confidence was refreshing. Throughout that date and our long relationship, despite your many flaws and my high standards, you proved to be everything the other girls weren’t. Everything I desired. Everything I needed. I can’t explain why I loved you so much. Your presence was decadent. You were my friend, my lover, my partner in life, my muse.

Before I had experienced success, but the words your beauty inspired when I wrote them made me a literary phenomenon.

But then I lost you. With time I grew careless, selfish and ignorant to the fact my jealousy was pushing you towards a life without me in it. I lost you. I looked for something else to inspire me, another muse. But nothing seemed adequate. I travelled the world looking for a beauty that could rival yours. I traversed one side of the globe to the next until I found myself on the remote untouched shores of Vaniwhakaluta. It is called the pearl of the world by travellers. The locals say that this is the land that bridges the earth to the heavens. It is not enough. Even here, it is not enough.

The sea is clearer than glass, shimmering on the surface, as it reflects the sun like the scales of a gargantuan fish. In comparison the waters of other shores look like tar. Yet your eyes harbour more beauty in their topaz irises. I dig my feet into the sand gingerly. It’s as if I’m sinking into liquid cotton, yet I don’t experience the same chills as when you pressed your delicate lips to mine. I breathe in and smell the sea’s salty scent. Fresh, cool, revitalising. Yet your aroma sent my nostrils into shock with its tantalising nature. The clouds begin to coat the sky in a foggy grey paint. Signifying that the world’s mood has shifted. Removing some of the beauty from my dazzling view. However no matter what mood you were in, you always retained your elegance.

I walk down to the sea and feel the water longingly grip my ankles, begging me to be inspired. I remain indifferent and begin the long walk down the beach back to my batch. In the distance I hear the malicious roars of the waves as they pummel the coral reefs, but by the time they kiss the shore, they sound like the fizz of a freshly poured beer. It’s soothing but once more to my annoyance cannot compete with you. The sound of your voice could send me into a transcendent bliss that I was never able to escape from. I view the entirety of what this world has to offer and it cannot compare. Nothing inspires me but you. However I am not willing to be a failure in the eyes of my audience. And without you I would never have written another book.

So yes, I still write. It has grown somewhat difficult now and the amount of books I publish is fewer and farther between, but I manage. I feel like writing right now, so I’m coming to see you. You’re still exactly where I left you, buried under my house.

I’ll dig you up, smell you, taste you, touch you, and study you. I’ll write words that have more power in them than the words of god. Then I’ll bury you again as our saviour watches me with jealousy. So that no other man experiences what I experienced. You will be forever mine.

You are my friend, my lover, my partner in life and you will eternally be my muse.

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