She appeared to him at the oddest times, putting visions in his head, ideas, characters, grand plots and glorious villains; he was voracious, and she enjoyed being around him, flitting, flirting, whispering creative seduction in his ear.
But when the darkness came, he became sullen.
When the chill winds blew, he became just like them. Hard and fast was her rejection, sudden and without reason.
She stood close, but he ignored her.
She tried to whisper to him, but his ears were tucked under the folds of his hat, and he couldn’t hear. When his hat was off, he strained to hear her still; her lips were moving, but he couldn’t read them, and all he heard was silence.
The fact that he could see her speaking, the look in her eyes of desperation, of sadness for the time lost that he could not reclaim, tortured him, and drove him further out.
“I’ve nothing to say, and nowhere to say it. I haven’t read anything, or anyone, and I can’t write.”
He cried for his loss, and she put her hand on the glass of his laptop monitor, looking at him from the inside, and lowered her eyes. He saw the tear splatter on the keys, and mingled his own with it.
There was nothing left to say; he’d silenced her, and she was out of time.
“I loved you once.” he said.
“I love you still,” she answered.
“Will I see you again?”
“Maybe one day, when you open your heart to me. I hope it’s soon. My sisters and I have other places to be. They say I’ve already delayed them. You’ve never taken this long to catch fire.”
“I don’t know why it’s happening now.”
“We’ll have to talk about it later. You’ll have to write without me. It will be harder for you.”
He nodded, not trusting his voice.
When he looked up, the blank screen stared at him, unsmiling, with its empty gaze.
It mocked him. “So, writer, where have you been?”
“I don’t need to explain myself.”
“Oh, but see, you do. You are a writer who doesn’t write; it’s why you remain unpublished, and unread, and unknown, even a little.”
“Shut up,” he said. “I’m trying to think of an idea.”
“Then the battle is already lost, ‘writer’. You should sit down with an idea already, or don’t sit down.”
“I said ‘shut up.’ ”
“That’s the height of rudeness; you can ask me nicer than that.”
“Please. Be. Quiet.”
“That’s much better…now about your Muse…”
“What about her?”
“Do you think she’ll return?”
“Don’t see why she would.”
“Me neither. Write something.”
“I can’t, and you’re not helping.”
“I’m not a muse.”
He could sense it smiling, even though it was blank.
He stared at the page, and nothing came. No images, no great lines, no what-ifs….
“Good night, Toshiba..”
“Good night. Perhaps tomorrow….?”
He closed the lid, and went to bed.
The muse, lovely, loving and loyal, had left.
The word processing screen was as devoid of compassion as it was of words.
He would try again tomorrow, if tomorrow ever came.