The pen hovered over a simple sheet of paper, the only marks on it being red and blue lines meant to keep foreign markings from shifting off their destined course. Yet the lines felt as if they had no purpose on this night because there were no dark markings to guide towards a path that would lead to so many possibilities. The truth, however, was more cruel than what an innocent bystander would have thought if they were passing by the coverless windows and, by chance, looked into the darkened room with only a single candle burning, giving little light for the person hidden in shadow that appeared to be leaning over a simple desk covered by pages of unused paper, a single pen with ink like the night sky in their hand. The very page set before the shadowed figure was the very same page that was void of any sign of use for several months. This simple yet terrible fact was the silver pendulum swinging over the writer’s head like the sharpened blade of a guillotine starving for their neck and their life. Perhaps even their soul.
For what felt like hours but what was truly a meager three seconds the ink made its journey to the tip of the pen, waiting for the moment the writer’s fingers would guide the pen though it’s precious course where it would meet the page in a passionate yet gentle kiss. Yet this moment never seemed to come, and the pen continued to wait like a patient lover.
The writer lost focus for just a second, causing the pen to fall onto the blank pages before them. Looking down at the growing blossom of ink as it disregarded the barrier of blue lines and made its own darkened path, tainting the surface meant for words, the writer did nothing but watch as if in fascination or irritation, or perhaps a mixture of both.
Placing their face in their hands, the writer groaned at their misfortune. It had been so long since a single story passed through their eager mind and words fell from their graceful hands onto the fragile leaves of pages. They felt there was no hope that there would ever be another idea that would bring back the inspiration they so desperately craved.
A chill passed over the writers trembling fingers, bringing with it an overwhelming feeling of dread. The writer knew of only one person who could freeze the very air they breathed, of only one creature created from suffering and threaded with the threads of trickery.
“Well, well. well, it seems that you are in a tight little spot, my dear. Are you missing something? Or perhaps, someone? Did you miss me?”
A hand of polished marble rested on the writers shoulder like Poe’s raven, digging sharp ebony talons into their soft flesh. The pain was more than the writer could bear, yet they had little choice in the matter. There was never a choice when it came to this hauntingly beautiful creature that turned the writer’s chair so that they were looking into the dangerously angelic eyes they knew like their own soul.
Standing before the writer was the figure of a woman of strange beauty that few had ever seen. Pale yet gentle skin covered razor bones like a dagger hidden by silk. A gown of raven’s feathers and the night sky cloaked her elegant form, hiding all but her fine fingers and her Grecian features. Caramelized strands of honey hung past her soft shoulders and down her back like a golden waterfall. Her aquamarine eyes shone bright like the moon that hung above the ceiling protecting them from the falling stars in the form of droplets as her rosy lips curled into a sadistic smile at the writer’s suffering.
“Why were you gone for so long,” sneered the writer, anger biting the words that fell from their lips. “I have been sitting here for what feels like months and it may well be that long, I don’t know and frankly I don’t care. You were gone when I most needed you and after all this time you finally decide to show up without even a sign of remorse, just that stupid, sickly smile of yours. Do you feel any guilt for leaving me like this? Do you care about me at all? Do you even have a heart, or is there just an empty hole where it’s supposed to be?”
The muse glared at the writer, her eyes burning daggers into their skin. Her sharpened fingers dug deeper into the writer’s flesh until they cried out in pain. The muse soon released her deadly hold, velvety drops of scarlet slowly spilling from three tiny lines onto the fabric of the writer’s shirt, who cold only stare in shock at the very real marks.
“Do you peg me for a fool? Are you really that dense? Have spiders invaded your skull and made their nests in the hollow space where your brain is meant to be? I have given you this gift that many would take a thousand lives for, and this is how you treat it, how you treat me!? I only give such an honor to those I know are worthy of it and who will use it to their greatest potential. Did you truly believe that I would waste my time and gift on someone it would be wasted on? And might I ask, do you think I am a bird that can be placed in a pretty cage and told when to sing at your leisure? When I am gone, it is only when I have the confidence in you, the one you so severely lack, that you can create a masterpiece, and all on your own. Do you think you are alone in your struggles? I am always by your side, you just don’t see me because you are so wrapped up in your precious pride. Well, I’m here, when you need me most, as I always will be. Now, why don’t you tell me what is troubling you, my dear writer, and together we will spin this earth on its axis. That is, if you still want me.”
The writer gazed at their muse, seeing them as if for the very first time. Her words felt like a balm to their injured mind, painful yet soothing. The wounds on their shoulder had stopped bleeding a long time ago, and the writer could barely remember their existence, let alone how they came to be.
“You are right,” the writer confessed, their heart filled with bittersweet guilt, “you were always there for me. I’m sorry I have treated you so cruelly. I have no right to be forgiven.”
The muse tilted the writers face so that they had no choice but to look into the gentle eyes of their angel.
“Of course I forgive you, each and every day, just as I know you will always forgive me.”
The muse picked up the pen off of the now unblemished page and set it lovingly in the writer’s hand. For the first time in many months, the writer’s lips curved into a blissful smile. The pen eagerly caressed the lined page as it surrendered to the dark ink in a lovers promise, marking for all time the simple beauty of the words that would forever rest in the hearts and minds of those who would look upon the story of a writer and their muse.