Destroyer of Words -- a bit of funny fiction
Curious about the world of Mythia? The Worst Story Ever Written will be re-released in September.
It’s the last day of summer. Sweat drips down my back in the blistering heat, which does not help my mood. At. All.
“Thunderation!” Jorden growls as he rakes his pen against the parchment. My human author is feeling the heat, too, with tomorrow’s deadline.
Unfortunately, stress makes his annoying habit of ineptly borrowing out-dated words worse.
“What a fopdoodle muse you are!” The biting slur might spur a lesser fairy, but I’ve been around long enough to know authors and their tempers. Although, Jorden P. Barks, “Best Selling Author,” is the worst of the lot.
“You write biographies,” I state flatly. “They’re not particularly inspiring.” I flap my small butterfly-like wings in irritation, hoping some sweat will miraculously fling his way, even if it is glittery and strawberry-scented.
Some people are nice to their muses. Shower them with gifts. Lavish them with adoration. Or build a miniature palace out of marshmallows, with ornate chocolate screen dividers and strawberry ottomans. Just sayin’.
But not this Destroyer-of-Words. No, a penny-pincher even when his books sell, he can’t even be bothered to buy his muse decent food.
His meaty fist, which should be writing instead of harassing me, slams into the table. I bounce as the table shakes. Rolls of fat on his arm wobble as if spelled to slow motion. He gets plenty of food.
“Biographies are a noble calling, forsooth!”
He was supposed to be writing news briefs for the broadsheets everyone reads. I grit my teeth and take one more stab at helping him, although at this point it’d be less painful to stab myself. With a barbed letter opener. In the eye. “What about obituaries for the broadsheets? Who chooses to write about a shape-shifting sheep, anyway? I mean the alliteration itself—”
“An extremely rare creature. Verily, their biographies even more so.”
For a reason. I sigh and cross my arms, leaning my shoulder against his cool tankard. Goddess, that’s refreshing. I plaster myself to the side of it, shameless, like some desperate thing that hasn’t had social contact in months and any ole inanimate thing will do. Next, I’ll start having conversations with his ink pot.
Truth, Ammi right, Inky?
I flip, cooling my back, and make the mistake of opening my eyes.
Jorden’s burning stare roasts me, and I swear my wings wilt. I sigh. “I can’t think in this stifling sauna. Why are we indoors, anyway? It’s cooler outside.”
He continues to glare. “’Tis called a process. All famous writers partake of it.” Turning back to his paper, he mumbles, “’Tis a good thing I’m a Best Selling Author.”
I roll my eyes. Stubborn and stupid is never a good combination. “You won because your book was so hard to sell. The judges were amazed you sold any at all, ergo, they called you the best at selling.”
The Pulverizer-of-Perfectly-Good-Paper narrows his eyes.
I put my hands up in a don’t-shoot-the-messenger fashion as I buzz behind the shelter of his tankard. Why should I help him when he doesn’t listen to me, in these rare instances when he can actually be bothered to work? How he even got assigned a muse is an enigma worthy of a mystery writer. Or maybe a fantasy writer.
I need to be reassigned. Thirty-eight days ago.
Sweat dribbles down my face. I’m eyeing his drink for a quick splash—a beer bath is not ideal, nor is a pickled muse, but something’s gotta give, when he announces, “It is complete.”
In half a candlemark? This can’t be good. I flutter closer. “Your title is ‘Sheep Shape-Shifter Squid of Olde?’ Are you aware your audience is mainly vicious werewolves and vampires? Although I’m tempted by the logistics of a water animal and a land—ugh, no!” I vehemently shake my head. “It sucks.”
“What? This is horrible! The end of the world!” His voice trails off in a yowl.
Missed-His-Calling-for-the-Theater needs serious redirection. Away from books. And people. I fan myself, even though it’s an exercise in futility—just more warm, dank air. “You know, the last gal I mused for wrote an instructive book on mining. Your big hands would be excellent with a pick-axe.” I throw up slightly in my mouth.
His eyes get wide. “Halt!”
I continue fanning myself. Not in this heat. And, please, do not voice what you’re think—
“The end of the world! What am I doing, wasting away writing biographies? Monsters shall take interest in an apocalypse, surely!”
I groan. It’s one thing to be stupid in his inconsequential little pond. Trying to write fiction with the big fish? No freaking way.
I shake my head, more in stupefaction than dismay, because I really couldn’t care less for his career, much as my own is tied to it.
Slayer-of-Plots’ pen flies across the parchment, the scratching noises busier than a family of mice eating through a carton of cornmeal. “A fairy that granteth a wish gone awry, causing a storm of maligned toads. No, pissed-off blunted unicorns whose stampede causes the earth to quiver and water to rise.”
“Just make the unicorns pissed from too much drink and turn it into a comedy.”
“Needs fire and brimstone, alas...”
“You really should think about mining.” Deep in the earth and away from other humans.
“It’s a lot like writing, whittling away the superfluous for that gem.” Which you have yet to find.
“Speedy transportation snails gone mad, teleporting to new dimensions!”
Oh, dear goddess! “I quit.”
His brow scrunches as he stills. Now that’s a stupefied look. “Muses can’t quit.”
“And some writers can’t write. Word of advice—listen to your next muses’ advice.”
I buzz away, into the slight draft of air that has been calling my name for the last three candlemarks, under the door and out into freedom.
And smack right into something big. With nice, firm muscles.
The pouf of glitter from my wings dissipates as he catches me in his hand. “Whoa, there, beautiful. Are you okay?”
Hello Tall, Handsome, and An Aura So Dark It Makes Me Want to Glow. Thoughts of evil whirl about in his mind, a dizzying hurricane I want to get lost in. A smile reveals the tip of a fang. A dreamy sigh leaks out of me. Of course he’s a vamp.
Now this is a being that knows how to treat a muse. My-Ticket-Out-of-Here holds me at eye level, studying me. Hazel eyes as complex as a golden beryl gemstone radiate a spectrum of yellow, green, and brown.
I’m completely dazzled. And a wee bit lightheaded from all the sweating. Has he noticed the sodden armpits of my dress?
“I could write a whole tome of poetry dedicated to your beauty.”
Oh, my, he’s a keeper. And … “Wait, you’re a poet?” A slow grin blossoms on my face.
“Shane Doomsday, hate poet, at your service.” He sketches a courtly bow while keeping his hand still and my heart flutters.
Awed eyes find mine again when he straightens. “But you inspire me …” He shakes his head slowly, never dropping my gaze, as in disbelief. “I feel indomitable in your presence.” His deep, powerful voice–one surely meant for oration–is pure heaven, his look full of wonder. It’s as if angels have conspired to gift me this despicable, gore-slinging, fiend of hell.
A hate poet! I just know this Shane will listen to my advice, and this world hasn’t had a good hate poet since Pickles the Ruthless started frothing at the mouth during his recital.
My magic swells, a connection already forming as I get into my muse groove. I’ve struck gold with Looks-At-Me-Like-I’m-24-Karat. I stand with a smile, cocking my hip and leaning against his delicious smelling thumb. “Darling, you and me are going to rock this world.”
His eyes get wide, and our instant connection gives me a window into his apocalyptic thoughts. “What kind of fairy are you?” he gasps.
“Why does everyone go straight to gloom and doom? I’m a freakin’ muse!”
A smile brighter than a diamond erupts over his handsome face, just as the summer sun sets behind him.
The last day of summer is over but I have a feeling we’ll be reaping quite the bounty come autumn’s harvest, and a muse’s intuition is always to be trusted.