Today, I’m going to tell you a story, a bit of fiction. The muse is a myth, and the reality of writing poetry or anything is simple–kill your muse.
In this story, I named my muse Winifred Eugenia Blowfish(just in case you missed it, her first and last initials are WB aka writer’s block).
Kill the Muse
It was a dark and stormy night. The words blinked on my keyboard like small black, dull ants. Worn out ants with crutches, half-blind. As I watched the cursor keeping time like some infernal metronome, her liquid poison words broke the silence.
“Oh, what a beautiful, original, unique, magnificent sentence! So full of artistic skill, oh, you have honed your craft. Now, why don’t you just go relax?” She brushed my shoulder with her icy hands and her long perfect fingernails. Of course, she didn’t have to bite her nails like I did. No one ever sent her rejection letter after rejection letter. Damn, that bitch was perfect. And on that dark and stormy night, she wouldn’t perfect for much longer.
Perhaps, I should explain. I started writing when I was six. An old Kay-Pro computer, a story about unicorns, and the hopes for a Pulitzer(fine, I didn’t have a clue what award I wanted, but just go with it), then she arrived. Her name was Winifred Eugenia Blowfish, and she looked like a faery queen. Her perfectly curled(translation: 80’s permed) hair, violet eyes, and boxy power suit, Winifred exuded confidence and style just like every little one wants. I’m fairly sure that she brought me a purple unicorn to seal the deal.
“Oh, what a beautiful, original, unique, magnificent story!” She gushed, and I smiled. Finally, some grown-up acknowledging my hard work with appropriate adjectives befitting my talent. Most adults read my carefully written sentences and ended the conversation with a dismissing “that’s nice.” Not Winifred. Everything I did was amazing. Every word astounding.
“Of course, you need me to stay, right?” She hugged my neck so hard I thought I would puke all over her navy and hot pink pumps.
“You can stay as long as you want,” I said.
“Good, that’s exactly what I wanted to hear,” she said. Instantly, she set up residence in my house; then she moved with me to my dorm room in college; and my first and second apartments harbored her belongings. Finally, she came to live here at my marital residence. Only now, she had lost the faery quality.
Her violet eyes only critiqued my hard work. She scanned my haggard pages, smile with her tight botoxed lips, and hand it back.
“Well, I guess you weren’t as inspired today, were you?” She laughed, and it sounded like the pains of a mama cat birthing kittens.
“But that’s your job. If I’m not feeling inspired that’s why I have you.” I pleaded. Why else would I invite this harpy muse into my life except to help write?
Tonight, each rain drop pelted down. Still Winifred said nothing. She kept trying to usher me away from the keyboard with a cozy blanket, a cup of warm cocoa, then finally the promise of wine and another episode of Downton Abbey(she would gush about the beautiful storytelling that she inspired. Nothing but pure bullshit from her.).
And that was the moment, I decided to kill Winifred Eugenia Blowfish, my muse. I’m sure other writers will one day thank me for my ensuing actions. Some, of course, would wish that someone had taken such drastic measures sooner. Who else could make Edgar Allan Poe insane with grief? Cause Hemingway to shoot himself? Or fill poor Virginia Woolf’s pockets with rocks and push her in the lake?
“Oh, Winifred, you work to hard. Why don’t you rest a minute on this chaise, and I shall fetch you a bit of light refreshment?” I pulled her to the living room and tucked her in secretly with her shroud, oh, I mean blanket.
“Now, don’t you go anywhere.” I smiled and hurried into the kitchen. I opened my kitchen drawers slowly so the creaky mechanisms wouldn’t alert her royal harpyiness to my intent. Knives, too bloody. Rat poison, cleaners, too cliché. Damn, this murder thing is just as hard as writing. I looked through my cabinets trying to remember if she had allergies. But nothing came to mind. I put the kettle on and waited for the water to nearly boil. I wrack my brain as the tea steeps, then I put out usual condiments—lemon, tea biscuits.
“Here you go. A nice cup of tea,” I said handing her the tray.
“Oh you’re such a dear.” I never could get over how she slurped her tea. The abominable sucking noise would drive anyone crazy.
“I’m going to bed.” She was too involved in the latest Downton episode, and I absconded to the office. I had a more pressing matter—how to kill this muse.
Hours passed. I could hear her snoring from the living room, but morning would awaken her anew. It must be tonight. Every killing method, she already knew, and worse, would expect. I stared at my blank screen, Googled killing the muse, but nothing. Then as if by my own pure genius, I started writing this:
It was a dark and stormy night. Winifred Eugenia Blowfish tucked inside a blanket became too warm. Her skin roasting, sweating, but she couldn’t get out of the blanket, or what she would soon be calling her shroud.
“Oh my,” my harpy shouted. “It’s so hot in here. My dove, please open a window.” I sat amazed and kept writing trying to ignore her screams.
Now, poor Winifred felt a crawling, slinking emerging from her shroud. Out from underneath its masses, the deadliest viper of Ancient Greece. A bite from this snake would render its victim mute and paralyzed, never to be heard from again. Of course, Zeus never imagined that this viper would turn upon the gods or worse the beautiful witch muses. The viper opened its mouth, fangs wide, and grab the nearest piece of flesh—Winifred’s perfect nose. Now, gone.
The living room, now eerily silent. I heard her gasp her final breath. The viper, the ice shroud, and Winifred disappeared back inside my imagination. And I kept writing.