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J (Proudfoot) Taylor

"To Be a Musing" by J (Proudfoot) Taylor

SciFi/Fantasy text 22 out of 34 by J (Proudfoot) Taylor.      ←Previous - Next→
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The creature is mentioned all the time at Elfwood...but what exactly is a muse? What does a muse do and what does it do when it is not weaving its typical inspiration?
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←- Shifters Apart | My Demon's Heart -→

To Be a Musing


            I wander without reason, without choice.  What lies ahead is beyond my understanding for that is not my life.  I float: colorless, formless, soundless, odorless, tasteless, and textureless.  Surrounded by nothing; that is to say: everything.

            Everything is mine if I so choose.  There is a stray thought.  There is a pondering idea.  There is a question searching.  There is a firm declaration.  There is a spur of imagination.

            \What is it I wish to work with?/  Fickle is the creature who wanders about of its on accord; coming and leaving as it so pleases without concern to the other.

            Anyone is mine if I so choose.  There is an innocent baby.  There is a curious child.  There is a troubled preteen.  There is a forlorn teenager.  There is a lost adult.  There is a satisfied elder.

            \Who is it I wish to entertain?/  Fickle is the creature who ponders that which is not its own.

            Nothing is mine for I only borrow it.  Nobody is mine for I am only borrowed.  I only exist if I am wanted; even if I am wanted, sometimes I do not exist.  I am the inspiration.

            My eyes glance upon something I adore, but, when I come close, I see another sitting there on his shoulder.  \You can have him!/ I call down to the little creature who sits on the shoulder of the five year old.

            \Fine!  I will!/ shouts back the creature who looks like a miniaturized adult lion.

            With my strong muscles, I swim through the torrents that are the worries that are a parent.  Even as she sits with her husband on the picnic blanket, watching her child play, her mind races with so many other things she must attend to keep her family healthy and comfortable.

            I scale the steep walls of rock that are the thoughts of the husband.  Even as he comforts his wife at this moment, his thoughts remind him of all the duties he needs to keep his family healthy and safe.

            As soon as I set foot onto the compact soil at the top, a slide down to the bottom of the other side appears before me.  Another child runs by screaming her love of the falling autumn leaves.  Sliding down, I find myself lost in a huge pile of leaves.  The child shouts for her uncle as she attempts to find her way out with me riding upon her head.  \That way!/ I exclaim, pointing toward the tiny stream of sunlight that somehow peeks through the maze of dead flyways from the trees above.

            She turns the opposite way of where I point.  I feel my appearance change as we travel through the leaves.  My face elongates just slightly, giving me a soft, pink nose that remains wet.  My nose sniffs as triangular ears of black appear on my head, while a tail draws off my now very flexible spine.  The rest of my body grows fur of the darkest kind, as my eyes begin to bring in the little amount of light that peeks through the leaves.

            Leaping from the pile of leaves, the child lets out a roar as her tall uncle comes over.  She tackles his legs with the wild instinct of playfulness overflowing from her heart.

            “Uh-oh,” says her uncle with short black hair.

            “What?” the girl asks, lifting her head to look at him.  Her brown eyes glimmer, while her curly brown hair filled with dry leaves is blown by the wind.

            “I think something’s wrong,” he says, looking at his big tanned hand.

            I see it before the little girl does.  A little creature appears on his shoulder, transforming just as I had done only a moment before.  A snout with a dark brown nose grows from the blank space that was previously there.  Dark fur grows on a canine body with a wildly wagging tail.  His blunt claws dig into the man’s shirt.


            The girl becomes startled at my words, but she does not move until her uncle shouts.

            “Bark!  Bark!”

            She and I both jump.  She turns and runs toward the play area of the park, making sounds of an angry cat as her uncle jogs after her.

            \Raa!  Raa!/ hollers the creature on the uncle’s shoulder.

            \Mrow!  Fffft!/ I hiss as they come closer.

            She leaps onto the dome-like jungle gym while yelling behind her, “You can’t get me! I’m in a tree!”  Her hands and bare feet grip the white bars, her eyes barely noticing the colored spots that hold the bars together.

            Even though my mind frantically climbs with the girl’s imagination, I have a moment to consider that the spots remind me of the brief moments of color that flash through the subconscious collective.

            “But I’m a dog who can climb trees,” insists her uncle, bringing his two hands and one covered foot onto the bars.  A sly look comes upon both his face and the face of the miniature dog that now stands on his head.

            Along with the girl, I frown at his suggestion.  “No, you can’t,” she counters.

            “Aw, man,” he complains, drawing away from the jungle gym.  His bright blue eyes look up at her curiously, trying to find a way to bring her down.  “Well, you’ve got to come down sometime.”

            “No, I don’t,” she says stubbornly.

            I shake my head in agreement with her and take a seat on her shoulder.  Curling my long black tail tightly around my body, I gaze down at the black lab, who seems very perturbed by my actions.

            “Are you hungry?” he asks, a smirk upon his face.

            The little girl immediately starts climbing down the jungle gym on just her two feet.

            \No!  Do not leave me!/ I plead, beginning to lose the form of the brilliantly constructed black cat.

            “Bark!” the uncle exclaims, catching the little girl in his arms, proceeding to tickle her.

            \Rauf!/ the black lab barks, pouncing me and catching me between his two front paws.  He begins licking me all over while I struggle to squirm away.

            “Moow!  Mrow!” the girl manages to squeak through her laughter.  After giving her a raspberry upon her belly, the uncle sets her back on her feet.

            “Come on, let’s go,” the uncle says, reaching his hand out to his niece with a large smile upon his face.

            Both he and I begin losing form.  My eyes begin to blur as the illusions created by the two family members fade.  \Maybe we shall meet again,/ I whisper in hope to the little girl.

            I hop from mind to mind within the park full of playing children and conversing adults.  Almost all the children who run about the play equipment have colorful, animated creatures upon their shoulders, displaying their actions and thoughts.  Most of the adults, however, have miniature versions of themselves, working on calculations and problems of their lives.

            A flash of bright color comes to me from a bench far removed from the rest of the people.  A teenage girl sits alone on the bench with her pencil raised just a few short inches away from the paper.  \What is it?/  I flit upon the current that draws me in toward her.  Taking a seat upon her shoulder, I look down at the words written in dark pencil marks upon the paper.  Gradually, I feel myself change to a familiar form that I have seen so many times before when watching and reading cartoons and comics with children.  Blonde hair sprouts from my head, while I find myself obtaining large blue eyes, along with a small nose, mouth, and pair of ears.  My skin was the familiar soft peach and was soon covered by a familiar school uniform, which included a long blue pleated skirt.

            As I look down to study my form, I lose balance from her shoulder and scream, falling until I hit the open page.  \Ouch!/ I whine, rubbing my behind and looking at the giant pencil that towers over me with its tip resting just slightly on the paper.  Rising, I look over the words that are already written in big, dark pencil marks.  \Like this,/ I yell up to the teenage girl who sits, staring at all the children playing in the playground.

            Her face lights up as her pencil begin flowing across the page in wild strokes.  As she writes each word, I act out each character.  Each time a new character speaks I have to change forms to display exactly what I mean.  Finally she comes to a part where description is needed.  I hear her sigh and I jump up as I begin to lose form.  \No!  Keep writing!/  I continue to lose my shape, but I insist, \Watch!/

            She looks back down to the page and I feel myself begin to change as she imagines how the building would look.  Like a child reaching for the golden object hanging from his mother’s neck, my hands reach up toward sun, forming the tallest towers of the grand palace of the newborn kingdom.  The rising sun brings a new adventure: a new tale to share with the world.  The people begin to rise, making the silence of the early morn dissipate with their morning rituals.

            As the morning continues on, the sun climbs higher, sending glistening rays of care upon the people who set out for work, school, the days chores, and games.  The sky devoid of clouds greets all with a smiling face: my face.

            \Hey!  What are you doing here?/ shouts a voice, disturbing both my concentration and the pencil of the girl who writes.

            When I look up, I see nothing, but I hear the voice.  \Helping,/ I reply matter-of-factly.

            \This is my story!  I started it!/  The voice begins to form into the body of the same female hero as I had been just a few moments ago.

            I scowl, bringing dark clouds into the sky that had just been serene and loving.  \You left!/  Even as I spoke these words, I could feel my form fading into nothing.  \Hey!  That is not fair, girl!/ I holler at the pre-teen, who sits unknowingly with her pencil tapping the paper.  \Do you not see the beautiful scenery I have created for you?/

            \No,/ snaps the other creature, now fully in the form of the hero, \she doesn’t.  It will just be thought of as sudden inspiration./  A sneer comes to the creature who now has the cute face of a bright eyed girl.  \Inspiration from me./

            \I hope this inspiration has a short life,/ I spit on the paper before glimmering away in the bright sunbeams from above.

            She, of course, is not the only one writing a grand fan-fiction filled with characters who experience unintended events.  Floating upon a white fluffy seed in the wind, I observe that here in the same park, there are others writing original works of the same grand proportions.

            “It’s a wishing spider!” shouts a little boy from where he stands near the slide, awaiting his turn to go down.

            As soon as his words escape to the air, I feel myself change form just slightly.  Just enough to make the floating seed look like a white spider.  I watch as many other children, along with the one who first announced it, go chasing after me.  Coming lower and lower to the ground, the children scamper around, shouting and shrieking in excitement.  Finally, small hands clasp around me: the wishing spider.  It is dark within the confines of those tiny hands.  There is barely room enough to breathe as the children talk amongst themselves.

            “Hurry!  Make a wish!  I want to make one too!”

            “Okay, okay!  I am!” the little boy who had originally announced it hollers back.

            Silently, I wait in the confines of his two small hands.  Finally, I feel a cool breeze sneak in as he opens his hands just enough to whisper to my ear.

            “I wish I had a puppy,” he claims softly before releasing me to the strong gale that blows.

            As I am blown away, I watch him walk back to the playground, while all the others who were chasing me before continue with their shrieks and exclamations.

            \May I?/ queries a voice on a near invisible grain of sand floating beside me.

            \Yes, of course,/ I reply politely, hopping off the seed just as he lands on it.  \I can only grant one wish a day, after all.  Have fun./  I wave him off and he waves back with a smile the form of a wishing spider.

            “Oh, gross!” announces a teenage voice from where she stood still.  The two cousins she had been escorting to the playground pause to look back at her.

            “What is it?” they ask in unison.

            \Is she going to do it?/ I wonder, coming closer.

            The girl lifts her shoe to show them the brown splotch that sticks to the bottom of her shoe.

            “EWW!” the groan.

            “Come on, help me out here,” she says after wiping her shoe off in the grass.  She holds up her thumbs together and I rush over in excitement.

            I grin and giggle as I take on the form of the simple thought of the most disgusting thing in the world to all three of them.  One of the two boy cousins cuts through the girl’s thumbs, and I dissolve on the air as a thought dismissed.

            I am again nothing, but there must be more out there to grant life to.  \What else?/

←- Shifters Apart | My Demon's Heart -→

7 Aug 200445 L. Shanra 'Usagi' Kuepers
Actually, the change from sketchy to solid is what makes it rather whimsical. Don't worry, that's coming across. That said, I'm quite torn between how I feel about this piece.

On one hand - I didn't like the beginning BECAUSE it was so sketchy. On the other - having read it all - that's what makes this story stand apart so clearly. It fits. You just need to read through the whole tale to realise that. That said, you can add me to the people who like it, but not quite understand it.

It's a beautifully poetic piece, as stated before, and I do admit to some of my favourite lines coming from the beginning I'm so torn about. The structure... well, like said it's simple. It's very nice, and I'm not sure how to give you any CC on this. There isn't much to give 12

An excellent tale. Very different from the standard and a lovely interpretation of a Muse. It was very cute to read about the changes. Well-done! ^-^

12 J (Proudfoot) Taylor replies: "Thank you for specifying all of that. The sketchiness at the beginnning is good and bad at the same time; I agree with that completely.

You said exactly what I wanted this to convey, really. "Not standard". One of my main goals when I write is to write something completely new and different.

I hope to continue to enjoy your wonderful critique."
2 Nov 2004:-) Tamra J. King
Nice, very nice. I have certainly gained a new perspective on inspiration. I just hope that I get some soon. Right now my thoughts are only dangling on a thin line, and I'm unable to catch a hold and bring them to myself.

:-) J (Proudfoot) Taylor replies: "Thank you very much for your compliments. I wish you the best of luck. Do not worry; it will all come to you in time."
13 Jun 2005:-) Natasha S Saunders
Back in your stories again, and I think I was attracted by the title of this one, to see just what your interpretation would be. The first bit especially reads very much like a poem, taking one concept, short verse on it, then moving on. The skittish, jumpy kind of style of this certainly is different, and while a little odd to read (one has to go fast to keep up, if you follow me), it seems to portray the liveliness and jumpiness of the muse itself very well. Friendly little character, send him my way won't you if you should come across him again 12

1 J (Proudfoot) Taylor replies: "The title of this one is a rather bad pun. I thought it would either attract people or make them groan in agony. At the very least, it gets people's attention.I have had a lot of people tell me the beginning is somewhat poetic, while others say it is very disconnected. I think it depends on how you look at it. It is quite quick in certain places, which I thought made it exciting. Most of the muse interpretations I've seen or read are very solid, so I wanted to show it a bit differently. The jumpiness of the muse comes from the fact that often, when one of my friends loses her muse, I get mine; or when I lose mine, somebody else gets theirs. You can borrow the muse any time you want. Sometimes you've just got to reach out and catch them though, just like a wishing spider. ^_~"
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'To Be a Musing':
 • Created by: :-) J (Proudfoot) Taylor
 • Copyright: ©J (Proudfoot) Taylor. All rights reserved!

 • Keywords: Artists, Aspiration, Block, Inspiration, Muse, Musing, Writers
 • Categories: Magic and Sorcery, Spells, etc., Mythical Creatures & Assorted Monsters
 • Views: 390

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