My muse flopped onto the bed and let out a deep, pitiful sigh. "I'm bored."
Uh oh. It is never good when a must gets bored.
"When will you finish school, for Heaven's sake?" she demanded, lifting her head to stare at me.
"Um... March. I think," I replied. "If all goes well."
"March?" Every snake in her hair glared at me. "Are you serious?"
"Yes, I am."
"March is four months away!" Her head fell back on the bed and she stared at the ceiling. "Four months... I can't stand it!" She bounced off the bed and stood. "You have to stop immediately."
"Stop? I can't stop now. I'm almost done."
"But you won't be done for months! This is impossible. I can't live this way any longer!" My Muse sank to her knees and clutched her head. The snakes entwined themselves around her fingers and wrists, hissing gently as if to comfort her.
"I'm sorry. I know it's hard..."
Without raising her head, my muse wailed, "You have no idea how hard it is."
"Not much longer. Really. It will be over before you know it."
"And then what?" Her golden eyes were filled with tears as she looked at me. "When you finish school you'll get a job. Then you'll be working all the time, with no end in sight. I've seen it before. An artist spends all her time at work, then at home doing laundry, and before long 20 years have passed and she hasn't written a damn thing. And then what becomes of me? Do you really think I'll just sit around and wait until you retire at age 65?"
I met her gaze and felt twinges of cold harden my toes and fingers. "I'm sorry. I know this must be difficult."
"Difficult?" My muse angrily swiped the snakes away from her face and rose to her full height of 6 feet. All the snakes hid on the back of her head. "Difficult?"
"Yes. And I appreciate your patience..."
"I am not the muse of a school teacher!"
"I am the muse of a writer. Do you know who else I have inspired?"
"Leane Zugsmith! I was the muse of Leane Zugsmith."
She ignored me. "And before her, Margaret Oliphant. I have inspired countless others through the centuries, creating some of the greatest work in the Western World. Does that sound like the muse of a school teacher?"
The cold from her gaze had creeped up my arms and into my neck, forcing me to look away. I studied the floor and listened to her snakes hiss louder as she ranted. A pissed off Muse is not a pretty sight.
Suddenly, my Muse was quiet. I glanced up and saw she was sitting on the bed again, looking tiny and pale. "I like you," she said, staring at me with sad eyes. "I really do. I saw a deep potential in you, inhibited only by your lack of confidence and your insistence that you are undeserving of any measure of success. I thought with my guidance you'd uncover your talents. Instead, you've decided to become a teacher, giving up writing plays and novels for the comfort of a steady paycheck and a retirement fund."
"That's not true..." I whispered.
She stood and studied me closely. "It isn't? Are you sure?"
I met her unblinking eyes and nodded. "Yes. I'm sure."
"Then prove it." Suddenly, my Muse vanished.