Fucking Inspiration

Babes

“Fuck,” I hissed.

“Fuck!” I spat.

“Fuck. Fuck! Fucking fucken farken fuggen fuggin farking FUCK!” I screamed, pounding my fists upon the keyboard in time with my tirade.

Writer’s block. Everyone gets it. Some get it worse than others. Some suffer it shortly, for a day or an hour. Some suffer for months, years, significant proportions of a lifetime.

I was right in the grips, deep in the doldrums of the very worst kind of writer’s block. And I was not taking it well.

It had started with my hobby-writing. The short stories, novellas and longer works that I do in my spare time – I couldn’t get anything new to fire, I was getting stuck on pieces I’d had on the boil for a while, I was grounding myself at crucial junctures. I was unable to make plotlines align, my characters refused to behave, their dialogue lacked sparkle and began to clang. Exactly where I wanted and needed the momentum to push through an important scene, I would get snagged on the smallest detail and would be unable to work around it, past it or through it.

Then the dreaded ‘block’ hit my professional writing, too. I write for the Business section of a major city newspaper; short spot-pieces which I normally cranked out over a coffee-break were taking me an hour, two hours, most of a morning or afternoon would be wasted trying to fix them. Then my more significant works – my weekly opinion column chief among them – also began to suffer; pieces I would normally luxuriate over through the course of the week were neglected due to my troubles with the spot-items, and so would be cranked out hurriedly just before deadline, totally lacking in my usual wit, pizazz and turn-of-phrase.

My chief editor had noticed and she’d called me in, demanding better of me. I was on the big bucks, she reminded me. There were scores of people out there who bought the Friday newspaper purely so they could enjoy my latest pointed, pithy poke at Bernanke’s newest blunder, or Europe’s continuing descent into a new dark age, or Chairman Mao’s latest grave-spinning commu-capitalistic triumph – so I’d best return to form soon, or she’d not hesitate in finding a new business-pages shock jock worthy of my six-figures-a-year.

And now here I was, at one o’clock of the morning, eight hours before my latest Friday column was due… and I could barely even string together a sentence.

It wasn’t funny anymore. It had gone beyond a joke. My livelihood was at stake and my Muse was on strike.

I sighed, and gave up. My violent outburst had rendered my keyboard unusable, bereft of several significant consonants and spelling out “kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk” on the monitor, so I switched it all off and called it a night.

I’d imbibed far too much cheap and nasty coffee for sleep to come by natural means, so I stopped by my medicine cabinet, shuffled through my many bottles, and swallowed a half-a-sleeping-tab and a half-a-Valium. Then I nipped across the hallway in my apartment building, rapped on door 14C, and bummed a puff on my neighbour’s spliff – my neighbour being the stoner-yuppie type who could always be relied upon to have a doobie blazing, any time of night – and then I shuffled back to my bedroom, the warm and welcoming embrace of sleep descending even as I took the final steps towards my bed.

“Fucking Muse,” I remember mumbling as I launched myself towards my bed. “What I would do, if I could get my hands on you…”

The above may explain how I came to find myself sitting in a forest clearing under the soft light of a pleasant day, the sound of a breeze flitting gently through a million leaves.

I blinked, and allowed it to make sense. In the back of my mind I knew I was dreaming; closer to the front of my mind – from somewhere perhaps in the region of my occipital lobe – came a gentle warning that, should I recognise this to be a dream, the dream-state would be broken.

Right. Fine. Understood. ‘So here I am,’ I thought, slowly and carefully, ‘sitting in a clearing.’

And something stung my ear, light and fleeting as it flitted past.

I blinked, but I did nothing. I was still wary, not sure of what I could and could not hope to get away with in this tenuous state of being. So I let it lie.

Something else whipped past me, glancing off my bicep before thudding into the ground; it stung quite a lot harder, feeling as though it took a small piece of flesh with it on its journey.

I winced but remained still, resolved to holding steady. I sensed I was being tempted to turn around, to seek out the source of these unseen, unknown missiles – I also sensed that turning around would be a capitulation on my part. I was being tested, and I desperately wished not to fail.

Then something small, round and hard thunked dead-centre off the back of my skull, making a sound like a ball-peen hammer striking a globe of solid ivory.

“Ow!” I yelped, and I turned immediately to spy my tormentor.

She was a woman. She stood on a branch high in a tree, lithe and nymph-like and very extremely naked: skin ebony-dark, ataşehir escort hair long, straight and blazing brownish-red in the filtered light of the forest. Slung over one shoulder and braced against her hip was what looked like a leather satchel filled with marbles, and in the other hand was a blow-pipe.

She beheld me with a peculiar, particular light in her eye: quizzical, imperious, impetuous and challenging, the very definition of knowing cheek. I saw her chest rise, her nostrils flare as she inhaled, in preparation for speech:

“Bounced right off you,” she sneered.

I frowned back at her.

I knew her.

I’d never met her, never met any woman like her in her life – meeting a woman like that, dark and tawny, naked and spectacular, I would definitely remember. But I knew her. I knew exactly who she was.

“Muse!” I hissed, in a sneer of my own.

My unkind greeting served only to heighten her haughtiness – her nose raised higher, her shoulders squared up, and I watched her breasts rise as she puffed up her chest again. “The contempt,” she observed, as she reached into her satchel and pulled out a stone, small and round. “There was a time when you and I worked well together.”

“You’ve abandoned me!” I accused.

“Nonsense!” she admonished; I watched as she slipped the little marble into her pipe. “You’ve closed your mind.”

“Bullshit,” I spat in return. “You’ve left me with nothing. You’ve taken all I had. Exactly when I needed it, exactly when I needed you – you’re gone!”

Her eyes narrowed, and quick as a flash her pipe was back to her lips. I knew it was coming, I knew she was going to fire off another shot, but it hit me before I could move. She was too fast, dodging it was like trying to dodge a bullet – it collected me smack in the forehead and I reeled backwards, staggering and trying to regain my focus.

“Aaaargh!” I cried. “Dammit, bitch – why are you doing that?”

“You think this is a weapon?” she asked of me, strolling casually along her branch to approach me. “Do you think I seek to injure you?”

“Definitely seems the case so far,” I quipped unkindly.

“This,” she began, as she pulled out another marble and pointed it at me, “is Inspiration. This is what fires you, motivates you.”

I squinted at the proffered stone. It looked for all the world like a marble: spherical, polished, grey in colour. Utterly unremarkable.

“Usually when I fire them at you – and when you’re in a receptive frame of mind,” she went on, “they pass through your shell and are absorbed.”

“‘Inspiration’, eh? So that’s a bag full of ideas, is it?” I asked of her. “Got any good ones in there? Reckon you could reach in and find the next ‘Harry Potter’ for me? That’d be good,” I added, smirking sardonically.

“These are not ‘Ideas’,” she returned, with a hard glare for my mockery. “These are ‘Inspiration’. You are operating under a misapprehension; you do not properly understand the role of the Muse.”

“Please: enlighten me,” I asked of her.

“I am not your puppeteer,” she told me, sternly. “You seem to think I pull the strings. You seem to credit me with your creativity and to blame me when you suffer, as though I am the originator of your ideas. But that is not my purpose. I serve only to provide Inspiration. I do not give you your materiel, I do not create your concepts – I simply provide you with the urge to create. I give you ‘Inspiration’,” she said again, wielding the marble like a precious stone. “I fire off the Inspiration, and you soak it up. It’s like a pellet of fuel, it stokes your fires and moves you to creativity.”

“Hurts like a bitch, too,” I cut in.

“It’s not supposed to!” she nearly snarled – it seemed she was as unimpressed with me as I with her. “It’s never bounced off you like this before! Usually – when you’re in a proper creative frame of mind – it slips straight into your brain, it passes through your exterior and is absorbed, drunk up, consumed wilfully, greedily! When you’re firing properly, when you’re deep in the creative zone, you drink up these little pellets of Inspiration like they’re going out of style. And if you’re not in the mood and I try to shoot one into you, then it just passes straight through, harmlessly and unheeded. But now: they’re bouncing!” she lamented.

“I know!” I agreed, rubbing my forehead angrily. “I think you dented my skull with that little marble-bullet of yours.”

“You’ve changed,” she nodded, all wise and sage, which only added to my vexation. “Your mind is closed. You’ve turned away from your creativity; you’ll no longer accept my Inspiration.”

“What crap,” I returned.

“It’s true. I’ve seen it before, many a time over thousands of years,” she said again. “You have given up on your creativity. You have set your mind to other matters, you’ve snuffed out your own spark.”

“Bullshit!” I replied, arcing up again. “Turned my back on my creativity? Writing is my life! My lifeblood! My living! If I can’t string my column avcılar escort together, I will be fired. I’ve wanted nothing more than to get published, to publish a work of fiction – it’s my dream! And you’ll have me believe your marble-bullets are bouncing off me because I don’t want that anymore?”

“Look inside yourself,” she instructed – imperious, challenging, demanding. Long, lithe, and limber. Fit, fabulous… and utterly fuckable.

“Go on and look!” she yelled, shaking me from my pervy stupor. “You know it to be true! You crunch numbers and observe markets and follow policy, you lose yourself in dollars and cents, you fill yourself with caffeine day by day and you rely on a cocktail of drugs to find sleep at night. You are lost. You have lost your creative spark, you have turned away from it, you’ve let it sputter and die! You’re too far gone – I cannot inspire you anymore! My ‘bullets’ bounce off you!”

“Really?” I asked of her – not believing a single word of it, and not caring about any of her cutting, uncomfortably-close-to-home accusations either. “Well, cool story babe. Thanks for letting me know. But, if I may ask: why am I here? Is there any reason you’ve called me to this wonderful place, other than to gloat and berate me and bounce marbles off my skull?”

A short pause, while she beheld me. And there it was again. That look. A taunting look. Teasing… yet somehow, beguiling.

“I’m giving you a chance,” she murmured; she took another step along the branch, starting again on her slow, steady advance. “A chance that most of my charges never get. As a Muse, I am allowed to reveal myself to a charge only once in a millennium.”

“Lucky me,” I growled – but I stepped too, closing the distance between me and her tree ever so slightly.

“Damn straight,” she returned, still advancing. “And I suggest you make the most of this chance, because you’ll never again have an opportunity to win back your spark.”

“Uh huh,” I returned, dubiously; we had closed the horizontal distance between us, but I remained on the ground and she in the air, balancing lightly and effortlessly on the branch above me. I was forced to look directly up at her, and she to look down at me through the gap between her feet – and it need not be mentioned, the eye-catching distraction that lay between us.

“So then, tell me,” I invited her. “How exactly do I win back this ‘spark’ of mine?”

She said not a word – but the look in her eye spoke volumes.

I grinned; ‘I love dreams like these,’ I dared to think. “Very well,” I said.

I made to turn away, dropping into a slow crouch as though I was reaching for something on the ground – but then I suddenly sprang, jumping as high as I could in an attempt to tag her feet on the low-ish branch. She was quick though, leaping up just in the nick of time; I caught a fingerhold of the skinny branch and it sagged beneath my weight, sinking a little further when she landed nimbly back upon her perch, grinning at my fumbling efforts.

I squinted a little at her, and without warning I released the branch; I fell to land in the soft long grass, watching as the branch whipped upwards and threw my Muse into the air. Not that it fazed her any – she did an extraordinarily high, slow backflip, arcing through the air to eventually land in the grass about ten feet clear of me.

I scrambled to my feet and watched as she tensed herself, ready to flee. “Must this be so hard?” I asked of her.

“Must you demand that everything be so easy?” she returned fire, her teeth gleaming white against her face, her skin so dark that the daylight reflected with a bluish tinge.

“Ahh, my dear Muse,” I said to her, allowing the cold hard hatred that I held for her to colour my voice. “The things I’m gonna do to you when I catch you.”

“If you want it,” she told me, in a low slow voiced that purred like a pleasured puss, “you’ve got to prove it to me. You’ve got to show me, leave me with no uncertainty, that you want it. That you want it back. That you need what I can give you.”

“Oh, I’ll show you all right,” I told her. “I’ll leave no doubt in your mind, my dear.”

She grinned hugely at that. “Gotta catch me first,” she teased – and then she turned tail and bolted.

I leapt immediately to the chase, having been steeled and ready to pounce throughout our encounter. As my bare feet scrabbled at the soft earth and pounded the long, luxurious green grasses flat in my pursuit, my heart leapt and my mind sang at the thrill of the pursuit.

She flitted quickly through the forest ahead of me, maintaining the distance between us with apparent ease. We ducked and weaved through the trees, leaping to clear low shrubbery, splashing through a babbling brook – I the hunter, my Muse the prey.

As we ran, I drank in the intoxicating sight of her form. Her legs, strong and muscular, pumped and powered her through the undergrowth; her rump, delightfully perky and shaped like an upended heart, quivered and flexed with her every stride. avrupa yakası escort Her arms swang free and easy, her hair rampant and free – and every now and again she would swing about to sneak a peek at me and my progress, treating me to a glimpse of her bosom, fulsome yet muscular, the beam of her grin and the glint in her eye, the glint that called to me, egged me onwards…

I called on new reserves, tapping into long-unused tanks of adrenaline to surge forwards. I was closing the gap, but she would not make it easy for me: she would grab and snatch at twigs and branches as she passed such that they’d whip back at me, stinging my face and slicing holes in the sweatpants and t-shirt I’d worn while awake, while I’d been attempting to write. She was leading me across rougher terrain now, swerving easily around unseen obstacles that I’d stumble over and into – holes, roots and rocks chipped my toes and tried to twist my ankles.

Yet onwards I ran, sucking in great burning lungfuls of clean cool air and pounding down upon my quarry. All of a sudden she tried a new trick – leaping into the air like a ballerina, she pivoted about and even as I realised she had her blowpipe at the ready, I found myself blinking as a solid little pellet of ‘Inspiration’ grazed my cheekbone and nicked at my ear.

I watched her land gracefully and regain her speed, but the fancy manoeuvre had cost her some time; as I watched her reach into her satchel and reload her pipe, I closed the distance ever-more, bringing the gap down to a few scant feet. I could see the sweat gleaming dully upon her dark skin, I could hear the heavy breathing of her exertion; I was nearly upon her and she didn’t seem to realise how close I had come.

We were about to crest a small hillock, and I saw her tense up, preparing to pounce – I dived, throwing myself forward with all my might, and just at the very last second I managed to tag her ankle. She stumbled and fell; I had managed to tuck myself into a ball, but she did the same, and separately we tumbled down the other side of the hillock, still in pursuit.

But I had her, I was sure. As her speed washed off I kicked into the ground and sprang over her; quicker than what was human, she had turned about beneath me and she kicked hard, connecting with my stomach and adding unwanted momentum such that I flew onwards and hit a tree hard enough to bounce off it.

“Aaaargh,” I groaned, rising to my feet. I was all set to launch into a series of unkind insults when I realised she was upon me, fists balled and punches flying, connecting shortly and sharply with my arms and chest before she cracked me a cropper right across my jaw.

“Come on then!” she yelled as I reeled with surprise. “‘Wait til I catch you,’ he says – well then, go on. Show me!”

She threw another jab at me, but I was ready now to roll with the punches – I poked a forearm out to deflect the blow, and then I raised a knee, though the lingering remnants of my chivalry saw me sink it into her fleshy thigh rather than the more intimate spot I might otherwise have aimed for.

My knee connected fairly hard, all the same, and she was forced to stagger back heavily; I advanced on her slowly, arms raised more defensively than aggressively, and she picked up on my hesitance.

“You’re not going to win back your ‘spark’ if you treat me like a lady,” she advised, with a grin and a wink. “Let me assure you, I am no woman – I am a Muse, a spirit, unreal and eternal. So come on, man! Show me what you’ve got!”

And she came at me again, fists flying – her first jab caught me on the back-foot, another crack to the face which I managed to roll away from, turning it into more of a scrape against my cheek. She put all her momentum behind the second thrust, totally committing to the blow, which gave me a window – I let her second blow slip between my arm and my body and I clamped down, locking her in place for a rather nasty head-butt, my forehead connecting with her nose with a satisfying ‘crack!’

I felt her stagger, and I reared back to swing a punch; all the while I had to goad myself, ‘she’s your Muse. She’s your Muse. The bitch has been holding out on you. She’s made your life hell! Give her hell man! Smack the bitch! Smack her hard!’

Whether I had hesitated again or whether she was too quick for me, I don’t know – either way, I’d hardly begun to swing before she’d whipped her arm out of my clamp while simultaneously connecting her knee with my manly-bits, putting a stop to my attack and leaving me to crumple winded to my knees.

“You don’t want it,” she taunted as she danced away, hackles still raised. “What is this shit? Where’s the fight? Don’t you want it, boy? Don’t you want your spark back?”

I was about to formulate a reply when I saw her hands move, and hardly had I even prepared myself for it, the too-familiar crunch of a marble-bullet rang off my forehead.

“Still closed to my Inspiration!” she cried. “I’m wasting my time. Once in a thousand years, I get the chance to face down a failing charge of mine; once in a thousand years, and yet another wasted effort. I thought you’d be better. I thought you’d turn around, you’d open yourself to me and take in my Inspiration once again – but your bitterness and arrogance have won out. Forget this,” she said, and she turned away. “I’m gone. Enjoy your life, boy.”

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