A woman comes home after shopping, puts her toddler down for a nap, and then stretches out on the bed for a short rest. She wakes up to find a strange man in her bedroom, staring at her….
Then my muse gets up and walks out. “Hey!” I call. “Where are you going? Get back here, right now!”
“Nope.” He lifts his chin and looks away. “I’m done here.”
“But we’re at a critical part of the book.” I sound a bit whiny. “You can’t leave now.”
“Can and will,” he replies with a sneer. “Remember last night when you were sleeping, oh so soundly, and I nudged you?”
My mind scrambles to recall. Oh yes, I was in the middle of a great dream. Everything was cozy; my bed was warm. “Maybe.”
“Well, you didn’t have time for me then, did you?” He is petulant.
“I was ASLEEP!”
“So? Maybe I want to sleep now.”
“There’s no need for sarcasm.” I’m trying to be the adult here. “Let’s just work together until we get to the end of this scene. What do you say?”
“Not interested.” He looks out the window, ignoring my distress.
“Why are you being this way?” I moan, hands still poised over the keyboard.
“Why? You conveniently forgot about last Tuesday? In the car?” He rolls his eyes. “I was inspired! I gave you a real plum. A gem of an idea. But did you take it? No.”
“I WAS DRIVING!”
“Always some excuse. That’s the way it is with you. Other writers pull over and jot things in a notebook. Or they have a mini-recorder. But noooo, not you. You expect me to just wait around until you’re finished doing this or that.” He heads for the door.
“You want me to wreck my car on your account?” I scratch my head, and then return my hands hopefully to their position above the keyboard. I am poised, ready, just in case he changes his mind.
“You’re being melodramatic.” He places his hand on the knob, turns it. “I’m tired of being a slave to your schedule. You know, it’s a nice day out there. Think I’ll go for a long, long walk.”
“Now? You pick now to go for a walk? What about my character? She’s just found a freaking weirdo in her bedroom! I know he’s evil. I know his intent is diabolical. I know her child is asleep in the next room….or is she? Wait! Did he hurt the little girl? Is he going to hurt my character? How will she get out of this jam? Will she get out of it? HELP ME!” My hands have dropped to my side. I turn to implore my muse, put on my most pathetic puppy dog eyes.
“Forget it.” He yanks the door open and then he’s gone. And I’m left with nothing.
I sigh. Ok, great. Now what?
A sense of defeat descends on me like a cloud. I open a different document and start working on character sketches while my muse is out, God knows where, pouting. Or goofing off. Or worse yet, inspiring some other writer. He’s been known to cheat on me before, or at least I suspect the occasional infidelity. He’s probably over at some other writer’s house right now, schmoozing up to him or her. Whispering in another’s ear. Prodding another mind with his sweet and seductive what-ifs.
Well, he can go suck eggs. I can do this without him. Who needs him? Two hours later, still staring at the mostly empty page, cursor blinking at me, mocking me, I have to admit he has me over a barrel. I get up from the desk and look for something else to do, something totally unrelated to writing.
I just hope he’s not drunk when he finally comes home.
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