General Fiction posted September 22, 2021

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A Writer's Helper

The Visit

by irishauthorme

The Visit

He got out of bed at 4:00 am and had been staring at the blank screen for thirty minutes when she flowed into the room.

At first he felt the warmth, then there was that glow on the dark window pane in front of him. She put her hands on his shoulders. Her voice was low, melodious, with that lilt, a hint of the effervescent, confident spirit she was.

"And what is it that is bothering you, bucko?"

"I am stuck."

"Is it that you cannot start the story?"

"Just cannot write that first sentence."

Her hands were warm through his pullover. "Do you remember what Hemingway said when he couldn't get started?"

"I think so, but tell me again." He felt her smile.

"All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know."

"Yeah, sounds easy, but-"

She squeezed his shoulders. "John, today you are dwelling too much on all those you have lost, and that is holding you back."

He took his hands off the keyboard. "How do you know all these things about me?"

"That is my purpose."

John looked at her reflection in the dark window. The white robe, gold forehead band, long dark hair falling on her shoulders, smooth, shapely arms, firm hands. "Why can't I see your face?"

She laughed. "You will, someday."

"After I die?" He scooted back in the armchair. "Are you really real, or are you just someone I created?" He ran a hand through his hair. "And what can I call you?"

She laughed again. "What do you think, John? Can you not feel my hands? And you can call me Thalia, for want of a better name."

He put his hands on the chair arms. "Well then, are you someone I knew in real life here? I know you have an Irish accent."

She nodded. "A clever guess, and do I have to remind you, there are questions I cannot answer, and if I even started to, I would be replaced by another muse."

John shook his head. "Do you like your job?"

"It's not a job, John, it is an assignment I volunteered for."

"Are you an angel?"

The small laugh again. "No, I am just a muse." She turned her head sideways. "Do you remember when I first came to you?"

He bent his head and thought for a moment. "No, not really."

"It was just after your wife, Jan, passed and you were contemplating suicide, remember?"

"I do now; you were just a voice in my head for a while."

She squeezed his shoulders again. "Because that's what you needed right then."

He shook his head again. "But why was I saved and left here?"

In the window, her image head lifted. "All I can tell you is there is always a reason for everything, and soon you are going to write something important to mankind."

He waited, swallowed, then asked, "Will I ever find someone to love again?"

Thalia's hands left his shoulders. She was fading. "That is up to you, John. When you are ready to share your life, you will reach out and someone will find you."

Her last words echoed in the empty room: "Luas dia, agus anois is feidir leat scriobh."

He translated the Gaelic: "God speed, and now you can write."
"Yes," he thought and smiled, "I can write about you!" He felt the return smile.



Your choice, fiction or reality? Perhaps you have a Muse and you don't even know it.
Thank you, Cleo85, for the beautiful image in a cloud!
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by cleo85 at

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