Aira sat on the coarse, grimy concrete steps in front of the library. The grand, stone building rose up behind her, but she was oblivious to its presence. Multitudes of people swarmed around the library, ignoring the eccentric looking girl on the steps.
Aira was, indeed, eccentric, but her appearance was fairly calm compared to other days. Aira was wearing a black sweatshirt that slid off one of her shoulders. The too-big sweatshirt was covered in random patterns of paint, and a few holes dotted the bottom and sleeves. Her dark grey leggings were no better. Charcoal smears covered them, an ink stain on one thigh. Paint was splattered all over the leggings. Aira's plain brown hair was pulled back in a messy bun, a few strands framed her thin, pale face. Balanced precariously on one knee was a notepad, nine figures scrawled across the top: Chapter 11. Aira twirled a pen in her ink covered fingers. The strangers passing her stared at the intelligent green eyes, moving away quickly when the eyes stared onward.
Aira was an artist of many mediums, and this was proved, not only by her eccentric appearance, but by the brown paint stained shoulder bag. The words Art bag were stenciled on the front flap with black fabric paint.
The girl didn't notice when someone sat on the steps next to her and tried to get her attention. Aira jumped out of her skin when he poked her roughly in the side.
"Why you uncouth barbarian!" Aira screamed, stopping abruptly when she saw who was sitting on the steps, a silly grin plastered on his face despite her insults.
"Really? 'Why you uncouth barbarian'?"
"Yes. Luc! What are you doing here?!" Aira said, reaching to pick up the pen and notepad from where they had clattered to the ground.
"Um... Talking to you?" Luc asked, smirking.
Aira scowled at her friend, tempted to slap his arm. Luc was an essentially average person, a simple face, nose, and dirty-blond hair. The only thing really extraordinary about him were his eyes; they were an icy blue and could pierce the soul. Luc's clothes were simple as well: a skinny pair of dark blue jeans, a few home-made rips on them, a black, frayed, faded, and boring shirt. Luc had moved to town a year before, and the two had struck up an usual friendship. They were like brother and sister in the way that they bickered constantly but were there when the other needed them.
"So... what are you doing here?" Luc asked, stretching out on the steps.
"Trying to find inspiration. Or a muse. Or ANYTHING!" Aira threw her note pad and pen into her bag and folded her arms angrily. Luc raised an eye-brow, so Aira continued. "I'm trying to write Chapter 11 of my story. Technically, I'm supposed to have Chapter 12 into my editor yesterday, but I haven't even started Chapter 11!" Aira hissed, voice dripping with rage.
"Okay then," Luc said. Aira pulled out a block from her bag that looked like it had once belonged to a child. On it was a messy 'w'. The block was fairly small, and could fit easily in the palm of Aira's hand. It was chipped from years of usage, and the blue pain was almost completely gone.
"What's that?" Luc asked, plucking the block from Aira's long fingers and turning it over in his own.
"Writer's block," was her simple reply. Luc shot her another look. "Writer's block. It means that I can't write.. at all," Aira said, taking the block and staring at it as if she were willing it to give of inspiration as a light.
Suddenly, she stood, picking her bag off the ground and striding off onto the green surrounding the library. Luc rose and followed, his long legs quickly catching up with Aira. The odd pair wandered the green for about half-an-hour when Aira dropped her bag and fell onto her back, spreading her arms out on the luscious grass. Luc lay down as well, but folded his arms on his chest.
Luc waited a minute, biting his tongue against the silence, then, "Anything?"
"No," Aira growled, standing and picking her bag up. She began to stride off, not bothering to wipe the few pieces of grass from her sweatshirt. Luc stood, and being one who cared more about his appearances, brushed off the grass and then followed Aira.
She was walking with determination, and exited the green at a small shopping centre. She surveyed her options then entered a quaint café. The walls were covered with a faded red pinstripe wall paper, a few landscapes in gilded frames giving life to the place. Round metal tables were sprinkled throughout the café, and a few people were enjoying a coffee or tea with cream. Aira walked up to the counter and studied the menu.
"I doubt you're going to find inspiration here," Luc said, looking up at the menu as well.
"Actually, I'm hungry," Aira snapped, ordering a lemon scone and black tea to-go. Luc shrugged his thin shoulders and ordered a blueberry muffin.
A few minutes later, the pair emerged from the café and Aira walked onward, journeying to a park just beyond the shopping centre.
The park was small, only a few swings, a merry-go-round, and a jungle gym. A hill with a tall sycamore crowning it overlooked the park, and Aira sat there, knees pulled up to her chest. Luc sat beside her, legs out, hands behind him. Aira's intelligent green eyes watched the children screaming with joy and the parents with their ever-watchful eyes.
The sun was sinking toward the horizon, brilliant hues of yellow, orange, red, lavender, and pink lighting up the cloudless sky. Aira took a deep breath and leaned her head on Luc's shoulder, her hair moving slightly in an almost non-existent breeze.
Snap! Aira looked up and saw a lanky man on the crest of the hill behind them, an old-fashioned camera in his hands. A few seconds passed and a square photograph appeared from the camera. Aira leaped up and paid for it, then sat back down, smiling. The picture was of opposites, an artist and a rebel, sitting on a hill, watching the sky.
"I've got it," Aira whispered, ideas forming in her mind.
"Congratulations," Luc said.
"Couldn't have done it without you."
From the bag Aira had set on the ground, a small object appeared and began to roll down the hill. She wouldn't need the little block anymore. She had a muse.