The White Muse

Inspired by this image:

“You. Yes, you, the one staring at me.” She spoke clearly, but her fuchsia-touched mouth didn’t move. “You don’t know the word ‘telepathy’? God, did I get stuck with another stupid one?”

“No,” I protested. Indignation overcomes incredulity. And good sense. “I’m not stupid and you’re not stuck, or certainly not with me. What’s got your panties in a wad?”

I heard a small chuckle. “Grew a pair, did you, girlie? All right, let’s see what the bitch with the cojones can do, shall we?”


“Well? Produce.”

“Produce what? Why should I? Who are you anyway?”

“Shit! You’re supposed to be prepped beforehand. Somebody screwed up again.”

“Maybe not. Maybe you’re just being unreasonable?” Good sense hadn’t returned.

“Oh, breaking you is gonna be fun, slut,” she proclaimed. “I’m Nuala.”

“And …?”

“Dagda help me, you’re that ignorant and you think you can write? Nuala. For Fionnuala, daughter of Lir?”

When I shook my head, she trembled for an instant, then stretched calm over herself, spandex for her temper. With stage patience, she continued, “Know what a muse is?”

“Oh shit. Not you.”

“Exactly what I said. I’m being punished for some demigod’s bruised ego. Get to work.”

“On what?”

“Who’s your deity?”

“Huh?” That had been from so far in left field it was like having a polo pony materialize and steal home plate during the World Series.

“Deity. God. Who do you worship?”

“Nobody much. The universe.”

“You mean I can’t insult your god? That’s it. After I’m done with you, the Dagda can suck his own dick.”

“Oh, deities for profanity? Any of them, then. But I was raised christian.”

“Aaahhhh. Christ, you’re stupid. Get to work, damn you!”

“On what? Isn’t it your job to inspire me?”

She howled. “NO!! It’s my job to goad you, to make sure you don’t have a moment’s peace until you finish whatever you’re working on.”

There was a rumble. Not loud, but attention-getting. She closed her eyes. “All right, all right, yes, I will. … Yes, I do. … Very well.”

When she opened her eyes there was something there that hadn’t been before, an echo of fading submission gone before I was sure I’d seen it.

Nuala smiled.

“He made a promise I want him to keep,” she said softly. The softness didn’t last. “So, bitch, get back to it.” She paused a second before spouting: “A sloe-eyed kid, just barely old enough, walks into a pawn shop holding a necklace that’s got a seashell pendant. A rare seashell, called a dragon’s tear. The guy behind the counter gulps and pulls an identical necklace from inside his shirt. Now what happens?”

“I don’t know. There’s not enough there. Who is the kid? Where did he get the necklace? I need more than you’ve given me.”

“I knew you couldn’t write! I’ve given you far more than enough. That new adult video you’ve been wanting to download? Write something decent and that video will be free for a few minutes. Does that thought inspire you in the least?”

I shivered and began:

The small shell looked fragile, clasped in its twisting silver housing, but the energy emanations made it almost hot in Doug’s palm. He knew that even if he could break it, he never would.

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