Just so you know. This is the kind of thing that happens when I’ve got a piece of flash fiction due and the trigger word isn’t triggering anything:
Muse (Dressed as Biker Chick. No flowy robes or any of that crap): Not Happy.
Writer: Are you ever? So where’s my inspiration for this story?
Muse (making obscene gesture): I got your inspiration right here. Step closer and I’ll emphasize it for ya.
Writer: See? That’s the problem. You’re supposed to be my Muse, and all you do is snap at me!
Muse: I do what helps you the most. This is helping.
Writer: No, it isn’t! I got nothing.
Muse: This is my fault…why?
Writer: What part of “Muse” do you not understand?
Muse: I should ask you that. Apparently, the answer would be “all of it.” Listen, chump—I’m not real. I’m a metaphorical device. I know it and you know it. I only exist as some whimsy in that twisted noggin of yours. I can’t give you what you don’t already have, m’kay? I may help you recognize the fact you already have…whatever it is you think you need. I may even help you focus on one specific over another. Past that, you’re on your own. Now, what was the word again?
Writer (sighing deeply): Yield.
Muse: In your dreams.
Writer (sighing even deeper): No, that’s the word.
Muse: And that’s a problem…why?
Writer: Haven’t you been listening to me? I got nothing.
Muse: You can’t lie to me, because I know better. You’re just afraid you’re going to put words down and everyone who reads it will think it’s terrible. The truth is, you could put down something random and then build on it.
Writer: You mean like, “Yield, varlet!” and then try to justify it?
Muse: Well, let’s not get crazy. You can do better than that. Word of warning, though: You start typing the lyrics to “Men of Harlech” and I’ll pound you.
Writer: Fine, but in my defense, it does have the word “yield” in it. As in never do it.
Muse: Stop stalling. You’re always like this, and frankly, you’re working my nerves. I’ve got other aspects, you know, beside “Biker Chick.” Should I introduce you?”
Writer: Ah…no, thanks. I’ve met a few already. I’ll be good.
Muse: Good is for second and third drafts. Just get started.
Writer: How about, “The last of the Ships of the Line was taking on water, its sails shredded. “
Muse: Who are you, Horatio Hornblower? Get serious.
Writer: I’m always serious. Especially when I’m not.
Muse: Don’t pull that zen crap on me now. Your bullshit doesn’t work.
Writer: Okay, fine, you win. You always win.
Muse: Sure, but it would be nice if you’d just realize that up front and save us both, meaning you, the aggravation. Now, get to work!
Writer: How about this: “Contrary to the myth, banshees have been known to laugh.”
Muse: I’m listening.
Writer: “However, they only laugh in very specific circumstances. This is what happens to someone who makes a banshee laugh.”
Writer: And that’s 500 words.
Muse: You’re a bastard. You know that?