The Muse--er, Imaginary Friend
The Muse--er, Imaginary Friend

Author's Notes: This is something I did a while ago for an 8th-grade (I'm entering 9th as I write) English assignment, and it turned out better than I had hoped. It was part of a larger project, our "Literary Portfolio." My Portfolio was on art, so I wrote a short story about muses. Hope you like it!


I'm a tease, just a trick of the light. I'm sunshine on rain and clovers that adorn the edges of a computer screen. I look perfect in snow and perfect sunbathing. If I give a compliment it's always examined twice. If I give a criticism it's analyzed and then thrown away to be torn apart in an abyss of forgetfulness and forgiveness. I am next to indescribable.
I'm a pretender. I pretend I don't love my job. I pretend I don't love my imaginary life. I pretend I don't love my master. I pretend she is not my best friend. She sees through my pretending, though, like she sees through my skin. I can't hide from her.
That doesn't mean I can't give her a hard time, though.
I am member of a rare race known simply as the "Muse." It hasn't got anything to do with Greece or mythology, but I guess I might have some Greek blood in me somewhere. That's not really the point, though. The point is, I'm a Muse, and live inside somebody's head and inspire them. In short, I belong to one person and that person alone. And that person also belongs to me, which gives me free reign to do some pretty interesting things. Right now I'm calling mine my "little slave girl" and watching her reactions.
There are two types of Muses. One of them is a figure of speech. The other is a figment of the imagination. I am of the latter type. I always make sure my little slave girl calls me an "imaginary friend" rather than Muse, because it's fun to watch her squirm as she tries to admit to "normal" people that she has an imaginary friend.
I like to stretch my limits when it comes to my little slave girl. I mean I really push every button. I act insane at every possible occasion. Sometimes I start hollering at her in the middle of the night, or I make up stupid rhymes and read them to her when she's supposed to be concentrating on schoolwork, or something like that.
I always wonder about her reaction to everything. Every angry growl, every irked expression, every exasperated sigh of hers is precious to me. I want to see everything. I wish I could dissect her heart and find out the meaning of every little tiny emotion.
You might wonder why I'm so curious, and you might think I'm a little strange. You're darn right about the strange part. I'm the weirdest little Muse you ever did see. I just don't think it's fair that she knows everything about me and I know almost nothing about her. She created me, and yet every time I yell at her for slacking off, I feel like I'm talking to a stranger.
"But I don't know everything about you," she insists. "You are totally free to do whatever you want, and you even shock me sometimes." Wow. This girl has some serious mental problems if she's shocked by a figment of her own imagination.
Most of the time, our conversations are about work. She does the pleading and I do the yelling. I want her to be dedicated to everything every second of the day, and sometimes she would just prefer to take a nap. Sometimes I have to give her quite a few mental slaps before her lazy brain will budge.
My job as a Muse is not to hand out ideas. I'm more like a cheerleader. When my little slave girl's mind is too tired to go on, I just have to tickle it in the right place, then shout my lungs out to get it going. This is the key to "inspiration," as you might see. I prefer the term "mental screeching."
Sometimes I feel sorry for that poor girl. The stresses of life seem to take their toll on her, which is sad because she's so young. I encourage her to draw whatever comes to her mind, when she comes to me lost in disappointments. Instead of forcing her, I--help her. It's strange.
I've been doing a lot of the helping thing lately. Usually, I only mess with my slave's work when she wasn't feeling up to making art. Things change, though. These past few months have been a pretty confusing experience for me.
I've known my slave for what seems like forever. I remember her silly stories about Amazon cats, and I can still feel the thrill of getting up early to watch Pokémon air. I envision the conversations we had about the images in her sketchbook with more accuracy then she can. I was so much older then; I was much more loving and caring. Somehow, I feel as if a rise in my slave's maturity (I never called her my slave or did anything cruel like that back then) meant a decrease in my relative maturity. Perhaps I was rendered childlike because her growing up meant that she fleshed me out and added more reality to me, and the new experiences dazed me. Or maybe I'm just a better motivator if I'm at the right age to be her peer. There isn't a real answer, just a list of possible reasons for an answer.
The most shocking experience yet was just recently, when she started drawing me, or at least what I would be with a physical form. "Why me?" I asked over and over again. I couldn't begin to think of any reason, but then I started having an idea of my own. If she draws me in her precious little free time, I must be important to her. It was at the moment I started believing it might be true when, for an instant, I though I could see her heart though her skin. Then again, it might have just been another trick of the light.