I'm not sure how it even happened. Well...actually that is a lie
as I do, but in any case it was not supposed to happen. First, there is the
rule strictly forbidding muses to fall in love but second and most importantly
I didn't even think it was possible. I still am not even sure if this is truly
love but what else could it be? I have been around these humans for so long
"No, no, no! We have already covered this many times before. Nothing more
about your litter campaign – it’s jobs. The people want to hear about
jobs," I secretly communicated to my politically motivated human. Kay as
they called her had a good head on her shoulders – mainly due to me, but every
time I took my trained eye off my musling it seemed she easily lost focus.
"There you go, Kay...I wonder where you got that idea?" I thought as
I watched her pitch the first draft of the speech in the rubbish and began a
new one on my aforementioned subject matter.
Comfortable with her new line of thinking I settled back in to the train of
thought I had been on earlier as I rested my head lazily on my propped up arm.
I would check in on her again sooner than later I told myself as I lay
restlessly on my humans shoulder. After all,as amuse I
existed solely for the purpose of inspiring my humans. Kay was actually my
thirty-third human, though my first politician. Invisible to the humans, the
purpose of our miniature yet similarforms and feelings were
merely so that we could better understand them and in turn offer better inspiration. It was assuredly a 24/7 job as they
required constant attention, otherwise they would end up in jail or working
full time at the neighborhood seven eleven.
Having been around them for so long, I felt I had a pretty good hold on this
race now though I never in the world thought I would fall prey to my own
human–like feelings. I guess I had become so involved with guarding Kay's that
I had completely forgotten that I was subject to the same dangers as her:
sorrow, happiness, and above all love.
Though it's not like there are many opportunities for me to feel these
emotions. Generally I never get to see other muses as all my time is devoted to
my muslings. However, every once in a while - thirty-three times to be exact -
I have had to return to the muse's center and
pick up another musling.
The first thirty-two visits had been non-eventful as I was so excited to
receive my musling’s profile and learn about their destiny that I would
daydream all the way up to the time I received their information packet.
Afterwards I walked out fully immersed in reading about my new subject and
ready to begin my new project. Occasionally I would brush against another muse in the hall and even more rarely I would nod at
another one who happened to be looking up at the same time as me, though that
was generally as far as my interaction would ever go aside from talking with
The last time started just as the others had. Walking in to the application
center's bright lobby, I was excited about receiving a new musling and was
already picturing myself inspiring a legendary artist or the next president of
the United States. I had never been issued a politician or artist of any form
before, so the anticipation of being assigned such a case was exhilarating.
Finding my way towards the main ticket counter, I pushed the familiar blue
button in order to receive a number indicating my place in the queue.
My eyes lit up as I pulled the stub from the dispenser and discovered that I
was only five numbers away from being called. My curiosity would only have to
hold for a short while longer. In fact, it felt like I had just sat down when
number eighty-two was announced from the window. Quickly rising from my chair,
I walked briskly towards the application counter with the sign "Human Muslings"
posted over the top.
"Thanks, Hon!" Fran said cheerfully as I excitedly handed her my
number and she quickly scanned over my work track record. The wrinkled face
receptionist had been here since my first visit and was still as cheerful now
as she was then. After a couple hundred years at the same job I know my
muslings would surely not have maintained such a delightful disposition.
"Hon? Where did you learn that, Fran?" I asked.
"Oh, I picked up the term from a muse a few
years back. I'm still trying it out, you like it?" she asked gleefully.
"Absolutely!" I said.
Smiling cheerfully back she went on, "So everything looks in order and you
had positive feedback on your last human's lifetime inspiration review so
you’re free to proceed to the pickup window now. Have another happy lifetime!
Oh wait, don't forget your number," she said sliding my ticket back across
Grabbing the stub, I smiled at Fran as I hurriedly left for the pickup window
down the hall. Arriving at my destination shortly after, I was elated to find
it free of any line. Depositing my ticket in the bin at the window, another
smiling muse picked it up and disappeared into
the forest of shelving. This one never spoke – to me anyways. Emerging from the
room rustling with files, the muse then presented
me with the familiar blue folder.
"Thanks!" I said as I whipped around with my folder in hand and
looked at the name that appeared on the first page of the profile. "John
Landon Dent, now that's a presidential name if I ever heard one," I
thought to myself.
Quickly turning to the next page, I furiously scanned over John's profile as I
walked towards the shuttle that would bring me to my new musling. However, the
excitement that had flowed within me up until now quickly subsided and was
replaced with disappointment instead.
"A secret service agent!" I said aloud.
Having been so engrossed in reading, I had not realized that the hall was
actually full of other muses walking too. They all looked up with what the
humans would call the “deer in headlights gaze”. I had never seen so many
fellow muses in all my lifetimes. All of them curiously looked at me for
anything out of the ordinary but shortly returned to reading about their new
muslings while moving towards their former destinations.
Bringing my eyes back down to the pages before me, I looked again at the future
life I was to help my musling pursue. It's not that I had anything against
secret service agents; in fact, this life could be somewhat exciting at times.
It’s just I had already been a secret service agent – twice. Not to mention a
sheriff, a career soldier, and even a bodyguard. It was almost as if I had been
type cast if there was such a thing for a muse.
I could just do it, I guess, I mean what was one more lifetime. After all,
there would be other muslings...though…what if they were all gun wielding
humans too? Would I be stuck helping my muslings protect others throughout
eternity while other muses were afforded the chance to inspire not only their
musling but others humans as well? No, I had to do something...even if I didn't
get a new musling this time at least…at least I could request a different sort
for the next time.
“That’s it, it was decided!” I told myself. I would at least file a
complaint or rather a request for the future...though...where?
I had never had an issue before with my musling. Usually I just proceeded on to
the shuttle and left the muse center only to
return when it was time to retrieve another one. I wasn't even sure this place
was set up for that sort of thing...had this even happened before?
Glancing around the hall, I found no doors or signs that aided me in answering
any of my questions. I was standing at the "T" of the hallway and
only three signs existed. The one pointing to the right said “Shuttle”, the one
to the left read “Application Center”, and the one pointing back from the way I
had just came said “Pick Up”.
"Wonderful!” I silently exclaimed. At least in the human world there
would have been an info booth or a passing worker to ask. I didn't even think
twice about asking one of the passing muses as those going to the right had
their eyes fixated on the files clenched in their hands while those flowing
from the application center to the pickup area had their minds spent on
dreaming up their future muslings. I knew the looks and feelings too well, they
were no more knowledgeable than I about this place. It was a system, a system
that was not meant to be broken...or at least so it seemed anyways.
Deciding not to give in so easily, I returned down the hall to the pickup area
where I had received John’s file. Only one other muse
was waiting in the area so I decided to wait until his file was issued before
proceeding back to ask the speechless muse if
there was anything I could do about my unusual predicament. After watching the
over jubilant muse receive his file and proceed
down the hall, I then walked back over to the window. The muse who worked the window had disappeared into the
forest of files again so I set my file on the ticket bin as I had nothing else
to put down and walked over to the waiting area. Looking at my surroundings as
I fell into the rigid chair, I was amazed at how boring and bright everything
was. The walls were painted a brilliant yellow and the floor was made of
sparkling white marble. No posters or advertisements hung on the walls as was
the custom in most of my muslings’ waiting room experiences.
Hearing a shuffle behind the counter, I rose from my chair as the speechless muse reached for the file but stopped short of grabbing
it. Poking her head around the corner, I waved an awkward "hello" and
headed back to the counter. Her mouth still did not move though her eyes
quickly went from glancing at the folder back to me while showing signs of both
curiosity and panic.
"Yeah...I have a question regarding this musling...and a request regarding
my future muslings. Is this something I speak to you about or…?" I asked
wondering if I would actually get to hear the muse's
Continuing to stare at me, the muse made no
attempt to answer but handed me back the file while pushing something on the
other side of the window. In another instant, a portion of the wall to my left
opened revealing a cleverly hidden door that had seamlessly been installed to
blend in nicely with the other sections. Looking back at the still mute muse, she quickly glanced at the door and then
retreated to her secret destination amongst the shelved files while glancing
back in my direction the whole time.
Sliding the file into my right armpit, I walked towards the door and through
its archway. Once through the archway, the door closed behind me without a
sound and no way of opening it from the inside. “I guess there is no turning
back now,” I muttered to myself as I slowly proceeded down the dimly lit
hallway towards a light at the end.
The hall was nothing like the ones in the rest of the muse
center, the paint on its sides were a faded yellow peppered with tiny black
spots while the floor was bare cement. As I approached what I figured to be a
room, I began to hear something that I had not encountered in the muse's center before. I slowed my pace to make sure my
ears were picking it up correctly but the sound was unmistakable– someone was
crying. I knew the sound all too well from my lifetimes inspiring muses at
crime scenes and battlefields.
Picking up my pace, I reached the end of the gloomy hall that opened up to a
small square room decorated in the same awful colors as the dimly lit corridor.
There was a window to the right just like in the other rooms, except this one
seemingly had no lights or attendant behind it. In thirty-three lifetimes, I
would have never thought a place so depressing would exist in the muse’s center. I would never have expected to find a
crying muse either, I thought, as I looked to my
left and found a female muse sobbing with her
head cupped in her hands.
Staring at the upset muse, I was unsure of how to
greet her. I had watched my muslings many times over comfort others, but
actually to do it on my own was a different case altogether. There was usually
lots of hugging, shoulder rubbing, and stories on how to overcome the problem
or how that person had experienced something similar. I didn’t know how to do
any of that on my own or…
“Oh my goodness!” the sobbing muse gushed while
wiping away tears from her eyes and simultaneously jumping up from her seat.
“You’re back, how wonderful that you’re finally back!”
“Back? What do you mean back? I just got here for my first time not seconds
ago,”I said a little surprised by her sudden emotional change.
“You mean…you’re not…here to work the window?” she said while stifling
sniffles. Her eyes were welling up again as if ready to burst depending on my
I did not want to tell her “no” and open back the flood gates,though
I couldn’t lie either. “No, I’m sorry but…” was all I could get out before she
sat back down in the chair and resumed sobbing like before with her head in her
hands. This was surely worse than I imagined.
Sitting down beside her, I hovered my left hand over the upper part of her back
and my right hand over her shoulder as I had watched my muslings do before, but
could not make myself bring either any closer than a few inches from her
“Miss–miss is there anything…can I get you a…why are you…” I tried saying while
going over all the lines my muslings had used but never able to settle on which
one was appropriate. Though after my eighth attempt I didn’t have to as my
fellow muse stopped with her endless sobs and
turned her head in her hands so as to get a look at me.
“Your muslings must all appear to have speech problems if you pass them lines
like that all the time,” the fellow mused quipped.
Slowly sitting up in her chair, the muse wiped
her eyes with the sleeves of her silky looking blouse while shaking her head
and pointing at the window in disgust. “They’renever coming
back, you know. Never! It’s all just a bunch of hullabaloo if you ask me. You
ever wonder why we never see this place outside, because they don’t want you to
know it exists or even think about messing with the system," she began in
a sudden rant. "We’re just supposed to cheerfully walk up and down these
halls once or twice a century and take what they give us without so much as a
peep,” she continued with a hint of passion while clasping her lips closed with
her fingers to emphasize her last point.
Her face was still red from all the crying though she had wiped away all her
tears now. Her hair was a light blonde, definitely closer to white than brown,
and curled all the way down to her shoulders. A few locks fell over her
forehead as she scanned the room again for anything new that might have
appeared during her crying session. As she scanned my side of the room, I
noticed a mole on her left cheek and what appeared to be bright red lipstick on
her lips giving her that 20s starlet look, the 1920s that is. I remembered that
era well as I had always thought the women from that time were attractive as
far as humans go. I knew that would be the type of girl I would go after if I
was a human.
The blonde muse raised her arm now and slowly
swept it across the room as if making sure to highlight everything. “You see
how they painted this place; it looks like a dang beehive with a bunch of
stingers ready to come at us at any time. Don’t you get it, it’s all a plan to
make us give up and carry on as we had before. I thought fat chance, who cares
if the walls make me uncomfortable? I can wait them out, but you know…I’m
starting to think its going to work as I can’t take much more of this,” she
said while dropping her arm back into her lap.
“More of what?” I said figuring that it was safe to talk now.
“Of this,” she said pointing at herself sitting in the chair “Waiting, because
that is all we can do…that is unless we choose to move on like we are supposed
“I’m still lost,” I said shaking my head in confusion. Suddenly I missed being
on the hidden end of the conversation.
“Go read the letter on the window over there,” she said nodding at the window
while folding her arms across her chest.
I had not noticed the laminated letter hanging on the opposite side of the
dusty window before. Walking over to it, I quickly read the letter and now
understood at least part of what she was saying.
Greetings Fellow Muse,
It seems there is some sort of issue that you wish to take up with us here at
the muse’s center or else you would not have been
led to this window. Unfortunately, those of us in charge of this department
will be away for a few years and we were unable to find a proper replacement in
our absence. The door across the room leads to the shuttle area which will
bring you to your awaiting musling so feel free to carry on with your current
musling and try again later if you must. However, if you wish to wait, please
take a seat and we will return when possible. In the meantime, take this
opportunity to contemplate your current dilemma and make sure it is worth your
and your musling’s time.
Alouis B. Smildly
“How long have you been waiting?” I asked while
turning back around to face the blonde muse whose
grief stricken face was now staring at the door leading to the shuttles. She
was biting on one of her fingernails while contemplating my question.
“I don’t really know. Doesn’t matter though as it was all for nothing. They
were never coming– they just wanted it to appear like they would help. Look at
me, bet I’m the only dope who waited this long to figure that one out. Yep,
there is no way around it; I’ll be a political muse
for eternity.” She said disgustedly while getting up from the chair, her eyes
still fixated on the door to the shuttles.
My heart leapt at the mention of the word and without thinking I lunged across
the dry cement floor. “Wait!” I said reaching my hand out to grab her arm and
stop her from passing through the door that she had started walking towards.
Did…did you say ‘politics’?”
“Yes, why? Is that what you are trying to escape too?” she said a little taken
aback by my sudden advancement.
“No, why would I do that? I would give anything to inspire a politician.” I
said amazed that she would even think about giving up such a grand musling.
"Are you crazy? It is the worst musling to have, constantly having to
monitor what they say and do– even during their youth as the humans seem to be
able to dig up anything these days. My time is stretched so thin between
focusing on their career aspirations, preventing foot in mouth incidents, and
gauging my opponent’s strength and weaknesses that I barely have enough time to
help them work on their personal relationships. Two of my last three ended up
with divorces and the third didn't even bother to get married. It's a dirty
game and I just want to be rid of it," she said while again looking at the
"I had no idea. Is it really that bad?" I asked a little saddened by
"You wouldn't believe the shenanigans," the muse said almost
laughingly as she turned away from the door.
"Still, it has to be pretty awesome being able to help your musling lead
so many people and make such important decisions?" I persisted.
"It certainly has its moments," she said with a smirk. Her features
were definitely more relaxed now and her redness was all but gone as she went
on clearly eager to share more with listening ears. "I'm not saying I
wouldn't do it again, it's just...I would like a break you know. Something more
adventurous would be nice. Still important but not so...so...public, where you
always have to worry if others are watching. A CIA agent could be exciting, or
a sailor in the navy, or maybe even a firefighter."
"Or a secret service agent," I said sarcastically from under my
breath as she had listed all the muslings I was trying to avoid.
"Yeah, something like that. My muslings are always surrounded by them. I
always wondered what it must be like to inspire one of them; I bet it would be
"Every once and a while maybe, though most of the time you are just
worried about when and if something will happen," I said glumly.
"You talk as if you have been one before?" She asked inquisitively.
"A couple of times actually, amongst other similar professions," I
"That is fantastic. I didn't figure you as a politician with your
stuttering earlier and actual desire to be one, but an agent, I had no
idea," she gushed.
"It's nothing to get excited about, in fact, that is why I am here. I want
a change, just like you. And by the way, I don't usually stutter it's just I
have never really talked to anyone directly before, let alone a crying muse," I said.
"Oh, well come to think of it I kind of surprised myself as I had never
cried before. I had just got so frustrated and then all of a sudden my eyes
started squirting out tears. I guess we are more like the humans than we
thought," she said walking back over to the chairs and plunging down in
one of them. "So what do we do now?" she inquired looking up at me
unveiling big blue eyes.
I paused unable to answer again, for some reason my would be heart quivered
under her stare. Quickly looking down at the floor, I shuffled my feet and
answered "I uh, don't know. We could always go back to the way things
were...but...I really don't want to."
"Me either," she quickly agreed "I just wish there was something
we could do."
"Yeah, it would be great if we could just trade our muslings and be done
with it," I said plunging into the horribly hard chair beside her.
"That's an idea! Why didn't I think of that," she said excitedly.
"No, I was just..." I started.
"It's perfect! We each have something the other one wants and those who
run this place obviously do not want to help us. What have we got to lose, do
you really want to go back to doing something you have already done as many
times as you have?" she continued on, thrilled with the new idea.
"Well no, but yours is a girl and mine's a guy...wouldn't that be wrong?
And what if they found out?" I asked beginning to worry that this might
"So, their feelings are the same most of the time and we can adapt easily
enough. Plus, don't you think if they were watching that they would have come
down here and stopped us from talking about it by now? I think we should do
it," she said sitting straight up in her chair and turning to me with an
My chest was pounding again now, though for a different reason. I anxiously
thought about what the consequences of such an action might be but as I looked
at my female counterpart’s joyful anticipation I knew I would not be able to
"Ok, let’s do it," I said reluctantly.
Smiling as the words slipped from my mouth, she lunged forward throwing her
arms around my neck. Pulling me in for a bigger squeeze, I slowly let my hands
touch her back this time as strands of her blonde hair brushed across my face.
"Oh thank you, this is going to be wonderful. You'll see," she said
letting me go from her embrace and sitting back in the chair. "I'm sorry
for doing that, but I just had a sudden urge to hug you. I had always wondered
what that would be like," she said with a big smile."Shall we trade?"
"Uh sure," I said handing my file over in exchange for hers.
"Shirley Elaine Robinson," I read aloud as I nervously leafed through
the profile. I finally had my politician though I didn't possess the excitement
that I thought I would have earlier in the day. The whole thing made me anxious
and what's more is I was not actually ready to run out of the room and start a
new life with my muse. I...I was actually
sad to have to leave this room and my new acquaintance. No one had ever really
talked to me directly before – well aside from Fran but that really didn't
"Well, John's life sounds perfect! I can't wait to start," she gushed.
"Are you ready to go inspire your politician?"
"Yeah, I guess," I answered.
"Everything alright? You don't seem as excited as you were before
when speaking about your prized musling," she asked rising from her chair
and beckoning me towards the door with her.
"No I am, just nervous I guess," I quickly lied.
"I'm nervous too, but that's what makes it exciting," she said.
I only nodded.
"I can't thank you enough for listening to me and...well...showing up. It
almost makes me sad to leave. Had you not arrived I'm not sure what I would
have done," she said as I reached her by the door. Throwing her arms
around me once more and squeezing tightly she whispered in my ear, "I hope
we meet again. Who knows, maybe we can meet here or maybe my musling will be
assigned to protect yours."
Embracing me for a moment more, my chest pounded again not only from her touch
but the thought that she also wanted to stay too. Though she let go of me with
a tear in her eye, she smiled and waved goodbye as she stepped through the door
to the shuttles. "Don't worry, this time they are happy tears," I
heard her say as she disappeared to the other side.
While saddened to see her go, I knew that our departures from this room were
inevitable whether it was now or the near future as I scanned the glum space.
What could I have hoped to happen in such a place anyways, I thought as I
walked through the door and into my new musling’s life.
Coming out of my flashback, I returned to my musling. "Check
your spelling, Kay, be precise. Don't allow yourself to become lazy," I
encouraged Kay secretly as I scanned over her progressing work. It was coming
along nicely if I do say so myself.
This lifetime had surely lived up to my expectations. For once I didn't have to
worry about who appeared dangerous and what time I had to have my musling here
or there. Instead, the ones around us were busy doing those things while Kay
and I focused on bigger issues such as taxes, jobs, and lately foreign policy.
We had just finished our second term as governor and were now heading into the
senate race. The next few days were extremely important and the excitement
surrounding it was such that more agents had been assigned to both parties.
The next morning came early, partly because Kay and I had stayed up well into
the night finishing her speech and partly because of her anxiety surrounding
the event. Normally I fell asleep as my musling did, though on eves such as
this I stayed up a while longer. Not for the same reason as Kay though, rather
I was wondering who would be in our new detail of security. Every time new
agents rotated in, I couldn't help but get excited. Still, even if her musling
did appear it's not like much could be done as muses were forbidden to inspire
for any personal gain. Still, to know she was near would be something- I
wondered how she felt.
Riding in our customary motorcade, we arrived at the auditorium and entered
through the back to avoid the developing crowd at the main entrance. My
would–be heart pounded as we approached our additional team of agents though as
the head of security introduced his team, John's name never came up. "Just
as well," I thought as I quickly moved on to helping my muse prepare for delivering her speech.
The deafening applause was certainly welcome in Kay's profession and gladly
exchanged with a slow wave and silent thank you with the hand over her heart. I
knew the speech had been good and delivered well but the results were far
better than expected. Proceeding away from the stage I could feel my musling’s
excitement when a sudden stranger appeared out of nowhere at the bottom of the
steps we were descending. The man appeared to be dressed in an agent's garb
though I did not recognize his face from the introductions earlier.
"I'm sorry, Governor Robinson, didn't mean to startle you. I am assigned
to your detail but asked to not be introduced until after your speech."
the man said.
"And why is that mister..." my musling responded.
"Dent, John Landon Dent," the man replied.
"Well miste..." my musling started but I took over without thinking.
"Is it you?" I made Kay ask.
"Is it m..." John started before clearly being interrupted. "Who
else? How many muses you think I've traded with besides you?" she had her
"Right...well...how have you been? Why did you...uh...wait until now to
introduce yourself?" I asked excitedly.
"Well, I was worried that the stuttering would start back up. Clearly I
was wrong," she quipped through her musling.
I could picture her in her silvery blouse, smiling as she said that. I suddenly
wished we were back in the room where we had met.
"Governor Robinson, are you ready?" a voice called towards my
Letting go of the reins on my musling, Kay quickly snapped back into action and
answered the calling voice. "Yes, I'm ready," she replied, "I
must have checked out for a moment."
I noticed John had reverted back to his normal demeanor too, displaying the
typical serious features of most secret service agents.
In the coming months, our talks occurred in much the same ways. Whenever we
found an opportunity where interruptions were unlikely we just chatted away
about our musling's lives, and then moved onto previous lifetimes and hopes for
the future. We also agreed that no matter when our muslings passed on or what
our next musling was, we would wait on each other in the same room back in the muse's center to meet and talk face to face. It was not
a grand setup, but it was the closest thing either of us had ever had to a
personal relationship and neither of us wanted to let it go.
Tonight was rough, Kay had been on this speech for sometime now and had hit a
brick wall when trying to counter some of our opponent’s accusations in recent
weeks. They were all untrue though the negative light that had been cast on her
had left us in a pickle on whether to retaliate with scandals she had on him or
whether to continue on with the clean campaign she had started off on. I was
always for the clean route though the latest round of remarks about Kay had
left me closer to changing my mind leaving me and thus Kay slightly on the
fence as well. The fact that all I could think about was when the next talk
with my friend would take place was also not helping things progress any
"Just concentrate," I told myself.
"Hard to concentrate when your mind is preoccupied with another I'd
say," I heard a voice say, but not from Kay's world.
Standing up on my muse's shoulder, I turned and
found a grey bearded muse standing only a little
ways behind me.
"And that is precisely why there is a law forbidding muses to fall in love," he said sternly.
"Wha...who are you and how did you get here?" I asked in a panic. No
other muse had ever appeared like this before.
"My name is Alouis B. Smildly and I have come to take you back to the muse's center. It has come to our attention that you
and another female muse have violated multiple
rules regarding using your musling for personal gain, falling in love, and the
unauthorized swapping of muslings. So if you please, the female already awaits
us at the muse's center.”
My heart was pounding and mind racing. I didn't know what to think or do as I
wasn't sure what would become of me or even my female friend. Looking over
Kay's shoulder one more time, a tear surprised me and fell from my eye.
"What's to become of my musling? She will need a great deal of
inspiration, especially in the coming days," I said worriedly.
"A suitable replacement has been found and is already on the way. She will
arrive shortly after our departure," Alouis said. “The museling will be
fine till then.”
In another instant we were back in the black spotted room and it felt like déjà
vu as the female muse was again crying in the
chair. This time though I wasted no time and quickly sat beside her putting my
arm over her shoulder. "It'll be ok," I said sympathetically.
Not having realized that we had arrived, she quickly stopped her crying and
began wiping her eyes. "I'm sorry, it seems you always find me
crying," she said before raising her head and issuing a slow smile.
"You didn't stutter this time."
I smiled back and was about to answer before Alouis broke in.
"Well, I'm glad that you two are getting along nicely but we have a
certain number of things to go over beginning with how all this happened,"
he said sternly. "What on earth possessed the both of you to defy so many
of our rulings?"
"I accept all responsibility though you are not without blame either."
The female rose up quickly to say before I could reply. "I came here to
request that a new sort of musling be issued to me sometime in the future but
after what I can only reason to be years of waiting no one showed up in this
room. So when he arrived with the same complaint, we just began talking and I
came up with the idea of swapping," she said.
"That's not true," I said jumping up to stand beside her, "It
was my idea to swap the files."
"Maybe so but you were just joking. It was me who actually pushed you to
do it," she countered.
"No, I am just as..."
"Enough!" Alouis said staring at the both of us in wonder. "No
matter whose fault it was and how long you waited you both defied the rules and
must be dealt with. And how dare you accuse me of any wrong doing when both of
you are clearly at fault."
The usually confident and talkative muse did not
offer a retort this time. Her eyes were beginning to well up again as she moved
her hand to cup her face.
Grabbing one of her hands before it went up all the way, I held it in mine as I
stared back at Alouis.
"That is not entirely true. You gave us feelings so that we could better
understand our muslings and in turn offer better inspiration. While we are
indeed not humans on many fronts, you have in a way turned us partially human.
By designing this center and the system such that we have little contact with
any other muses, you were able to keep us from using any of these feelings for
ourselves. However, you did not think about what would happen should any kinks
occur in your system other than to create this dismal room and unmanned window
in the vain attempt to further the uninterrupted process. Did you not ever
think that something would come up or that one or multiple muses would visit?
Your lack of aid placed us both here and the feelings you gave us helped form this
love I feel towards her. Therefore I say it's not only partially your fault,
but entirely your fault, Mr. Smildly," I said angrily.
I felt a gentle pressure on my hand as she gently squeezed on it and moved her
body closer to mine. The grey bearded muse in
front of us was taken aback by my sudden retaliation and had his mouth a gap
while he continued to stare bewildered at the both of us. After minutes of
silence, he finally closed his mouth and began to stroke his beard in deep
thought before finally speaking again.
"I suppose some of the fault might lie with me after all," he said
still in thought. "I have just never witnessed any discontent with muses
since forming the humans’ division around three thousand years ago."
"Did you say three thousand?" I asked.
"Yes, why?" Alouis replied.
"That is how long I have been a muse give or
take a hundred years. This was my thirty-third muse
after all," I said.
"Mine too," my female counterpart replied.
"Unbelievable!" Alouis went on. "You two must be the first of
Another moment of silence took place in the room as we all took in this new
information before Alouis started again.
"I must ask, why after all this time did you now have a problem?" he
"I guess we just got tired of doing the same thing lifetime after
lifetime. Just like our muslings, we too like a little variety," I said as
my friend nodded in agreement while still clutching my hand.
"I see. Well, I suppose a little restructuring will need to take place as
I foresee many more instances of discontent following in the near future if you
are in anyway an example of what's to come," Alouis said disturbed by the
"I think you might be right," I said as I turned to face my smiling
"Though I'm still not sure what to do with the both of you," Alouis
"What do you mean?" I quickly asked as both of us turned alarmingly
"Well, after everything that has happened I don't think I can just throw
you two back out there with new muslings. Especially since you know what it's
like to feel for yourselves and be in love," he said.
"I suppose not," my friend said laying her head down on my shoulder.
"So where do we go from here?" I asked not wanting to leave my
"I think I might have an idea. I can place you in the human world...as
humans. I can give you both good jobs and such and even let you pick your
names," Alouis said with a smile.
We turned to each and stared excitedly as we both spoke simultaneously.
"We could finally see each other outside this room," she said
thrilled at the idea.
"We would finally have names and think for ourselves. I could hold your
hand all the time," I said.
"Finally we could be togeth..." she started.
"Uhhmmm. I am glad that you are both pleased with the concept of becoming
human. Though, I of course will not be able to allow either of you to remember
this place or your past lives. Which in turn means you both will not know of
one another," Alouis said.
"Are you serious!" she shouted at Alouis "This cannot be!"
"Alouis, you must be able to at least let us remember one another," I
pleaded in a vain attempt to change his mind.
"I'm sorry. I would like to help you but I cannot risk exposing the
existence of muses which has been kept secret for the past three thousand
years. This is all I can offer you. You can take it or leave it," Alouis
My friend began crying again as it seemed was her custom in this room.
"After all this, to be back in this room with both of us unhappy again and
without a hope for the future. I guess happiness was not meant for us,"
she related through sobs.
Consoling her as she cried on my shoulder, I thought about Alouis's offer.
While I didn't want to think about our memories of each other being erased, I
knew I'd rather the chance to exist in the same world with one another rather
than end things forever here.
"Twice now we have found one another under unlikely circumstances. What do
you say we try for three?" I whispered encouragingly to her.
Lifting her head from my shoulder and staring into my eyes, she nodded her head
in agreement and looked with me back at Alouis.
"Ok, we will take your offer," I said coldly.
"Very well, what names would you like to be called in your new
lives?" He asked.
Sniffling, my female friend spoke "I have always liked the name
Tabitha. There were never enough girls named that in the human's
Shaking his head in
acknowledgement, Alouis then turned to me.
"I like John. It's simple, it’s presidential, and it reminds me of you,"
I said staring back at her as she smiled warmly in return.
"What age would you both like to be?" Alouis then asked.
Smiling, we both replied "thirty-three" and then leaned forward for
our first kiss.
What an incredible evening. I almost don't want to go to bed as I am so excited
but I have an early start tomorrow. The debate went excellent tonight; I don't
think my opponent even scored one point on me. I was just on fire. But that
wasn't even the best part. At the celebration, that girl I met. I had noticed
her in the crowd during the debate and at the gathering afterwards I couldn't
take my eyes off of her. She was like some movie star from the 20's with her
gorgeous blonde hair and beauty marked cheek.
The way she was patrolling the party I thought she was secret service or
something but it turns out she was a reporter. I let her through the throng of
others and we went from a quick interview to just talking all evening about
anything and everything and before we knew it the night was almost gone. I had
a good feeling about this one and she had one of those names I don't hear too
often. What was it...oh that's right...it was Tabitha.