For Sale… one muse. Best offer.

The advertisement in the window caught my attention as I procrastinated after shopping, knowing I should be home finishing my story if I were to meet the competition deadline, but filled with sabotaging self-doubt.

Perhaps I needed a new muse. My old one had served me well, providing excellent inspiration, but I feared he’d become stale and unfairly blamed him for my recent lacklustre performance. Another muse would be company for him, I justified.

The seller wasn’t encouraging. “I’ll take whatever you offer,” he said. “He’s a waste of space.”

“He doesn’t work?” I asked.

“Totally inefficient,” he grumbled, indicating enough rejection slips to cause the demise of an entire forest.

In a dark room he pointed into a cobweb-lined corner.

My heart went out to the shivering muse. I carefully picked him up before venting my anger at the not-so-gentle-man. “No wonder you have rejection slips. Look how you treat your muse. If you nurtured him, offered encouragement occasionally, he’d serve you well. You’re a disgrace to muse caretakers.”

He snatched my proffered coins and slammed the door.

“You’re safe,” I told the frightened bundle. My conscience suggested perhaps I’d also neglected my muse. Had I thanked him for ideas? Shared credit for my successes? I resolved to change my ways.

The muses became best friends. They brainstormed ideas, pitched them to me, and I duly thanked and praised them lavishly. My story was a winner; we celebrated in style.

The new muse flourished and is now confident and happy. Sadly, I know our time together is finite. No writer should have more than one muse; that would be greedy and unfair to the muses who revel in their own free spirit.

So, if you need a muse… call me. He’s free and doesn’t ask much, just respect and due praise for a job well done. And if, like me, you realise you’ve neglected your muse, beg his forgiveness and nurture him with care; they’re a forgiving breed and will serve you well if you treat them right.

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Voice-Team (@voice-team)
6 months ago

From the opening line,we were hooked. We loved the concept – that you could negotiate to obtain your muse. We all feel our current muse has become stale and lackluster, and yearn for a new one. So, what do we do with our old, used muse? We constantly read looking for literary devices; half of this story is a metaphor! Loved it.

Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills (@greene-m-wills-2)
7 months ago

I imagine these muses as pets: those we love, nurture and appreciate. We give them so much but they reply in kind. I really love the story!

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
7 months ago

My muse is a real chatterbox, usually in the early hours of the morning. Definitely not conducive to a good night of sleep. Really enjoyed your tale of two muses. They should certainly treat them with respect.

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Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
7 months ago

Hello Sandra, this really is the part I love, reading the stories, and also the comments by those who see the the story in different interpretations. I love your story for the simple fact you show us that you are no different to anyone else in the struggle for ideas. I understand the feeling of waking up in the early hours with this fantastic thought, saying I’ll remember that when I get up – but we never do, the spark has gone. I like the way you address the feeling of self doubt, (we have all felt it in its many forms) This is a lovely knowledgeable and honest write Sandra, one I’m sure everyone will enjoy reading, connecting with, and learning from.

Alan Kemister
Alan Kemister (@alan-kemister)
7 months ago

So that’s my problem, I don’t have a muse, and now you’re telling me two are better than one, but having two is greedy. I hope they aren’t like dogs and cats, causing allergic reactions in some people, because if I get one and she causes sneezing, I’ll end up in the doghouse along with my muse. Good story, I really liked it.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
6 months ago

I enjoyed reading your story, Sandra. It’s not only fun, but there are some deeper aspects to it as well. I would also be tempted to buy a new muse if I saw one for sale, but on the other hand, what I already have should be nourished, given time and care. Writing takes a lot of patience and persistence. There is great wisdom in your story!

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
6 months ago

And now, I see what is the problem with myself. I don’t have my muse. I learn from it and I love it.

Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti (@dipayan-chakrabarti)
6 months ago

The story is refreshing in the newness of its central idea.

Katy Bizi
Katy Bizi (@katy-bizi)
6 months ago

How we all need a muse! Hopefully, this story will teach us to be open to the idea and search for something to inspire us.

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