Author:  Dr. Demonic

Rating:  PG

Genre:  General/Drama

Summary:  I know it's normally against my policy to post originals; I don't want to be ripped off.  So please, if anything in here appeals to you for either a fic idea or for something on your website (*snorts* like that'll ever happen), I beseech thee—please let me know that you want to use it in your review.  Leave your e-mail address, if you don't mind, and I'll get back to you.  Oh, yeah, the story is about the fact that I've been wondering for some time whether or not I have a muse.  It occasionally appears that I do, but then again, other times it just looks like I'm on something really strong.  This is something very weird, and it's kind of hard to say what inspired it.  It explains a little bit about me.  And I've never written anything like it before, so I'm not sure about exactly which genre to list it under.  Ah, well, just read it already.  And a warning to those who care, this is building up to something somewhat explosive, which will occur in another fic, which will probably come this weekend if I can get it up.

Disclaimer:  Ha!  I own this fic.  Completely.  *sticks out tongue*  Nyah, nyah, nyah nyah, nyah!  You can't sue me!  Wow, that felt good!

            Demonic crept quietly along the leaf-covered pathway that twisted and turned deeper and deeper into the woods. Shadows flickered overhead amongst the oak and maple trees which almost entirely blocked the view of the sky, allowing only the smallest golden rays to enter and dance at her feet as the sun set.

            Oddly enough, she wore jeans and a grey tee-shirt—a sharp contrast from the white lab coat over a semi-Goth ensemble she always wore.  A long, black coat was draped from her shoulders and swung at her ankles.  She carried nothing save a backpack over one shoulder, which held her schoolbooks and a portable CD player.  The CD player contained her copy of Stravinsky's Le Sacre Du Printemps.  Few knew that Demonic had a taste for classical music, besides her passion for rock by U2 and the Beatles.  Besides works from the classical and romantic eras, she enjoyed listening to baroque stuff, and adored Bach.  She was slightly embarrassed by this, as it often struck her as not-exactly-hard-core evil.  Well, Beatles and U2 weren't exactly the most malevolent music around, but at least modern candidates for world domination admitted to listening to U2 along with heavy metal.  The only angry or depressed rock Demonic could lay claim to listening to was Garbage, and that was only angry or depressed half the time.  On top of that, she absolutely hated Nine Inch Nails, which was a definite violation of the Evildoer's Code if there ever was one.

            Interrupting her own thoughts, she kicked at a pile of leaves resting on the dirt path and sent them flying.  These woods were of her own creation, a small pocket dimension she'd discovered in her subconscious that provided relief from the ordinary stress of life, plus a quiet place to think and begin stories.  She often chuckled at the realization that given her name, one would expect either a high-tech lab or a magnificently tall tower in Germany inside of which she would be inspired to write, but for some reason or the other, her mind had produced a small, tranquil forest.  It worked suitably for her purposes, whether she wanted to create or just escape, although she didn't come here often on her own.  However, once in a while, she found herself walking along the narrow dirt path that led to the center of the woods—often after a spell of involuntary daydreaming.

There was no life in this tiny world other than Demonic, when she traveled in here.  The trees were not real.  The dark, elusive shapes she saw flying above her—originally thought to be birds of some sort—turned out to be ghostly shadows of her real world, barely piercing the thin walls that separated real from imagined in her mind. 

Now she knew was almost at the center of this world; not because she could see it, but because she could feel the unseen force which flowed within tugging at her soul.  It evoked a myriad of images, faint and but seen, from the darker recesses of her mind.  Thoughts, sounds and pictures began to cyclone into what soon formed a whirling, roaring vortex inside her head as she drew ever closer to the center.

Everything she saw or heard spinning inside was the imprint on her brain of everything that had ever affected her life.  It was, quite literally, a brainstorm.  Everything she had ever put on paper or in a computer had come from this massive thundercloud of information.

She reached a small clearing with nothing inside.  Leaves blowing from a slight breeze in the trees circled the edges of the clearing, held back by an invisible shield.  Demonic was the only thing inside that could penetrate this shield, and she did so now.  She looked at the center of the clearing, which was actually the center of this whole miniscule universe: a deep, seemingly bottomless ravine out of which streamed the endless flow of memories and imaginings she'd ever had.  She pressed the stop button on her CD player and took three slow, deliberate steps to the edge of the ravine.  She stopped as her foot pushed several clods of dirt into the chasm. 

As they gently tumbled down, all movement was arrested around her.  Every idea represented in the vortex was frozen in place, hanging as if from hooks in the air, waiting for Demonic to pluck one--or several-- and weave a story, a poem, or anything else she wanted.  As they hovered there, they began to vibrate, seeming to yearn to mature beyond their present state of being just a thought.

However, Demonic wasn't here to write, or even just sit and think.  She'd had a question for some time now, and she was waiting for the right time to ask it.  A certain course of events seemed to have led her here, and she figured now was as good a time as any.

She flattened herself along the ground, her legs and waist anchoring her down while she leaned her upper body over the edge of the ravine.  Her hands grasped at the rounded edge, preventing her from falling in.  She took a deep breath, inhaling the sweet, vaguely spicy air which floated into this dimension, and prepared to ask the question.  She was aware that she was nervous.  She'd never done this before; she didn't know if this would even work.  But she had to know.

She opened her mouth, and was silent for a few seconds.  Then she steeled her nerves and called down, "What inspires my writing?"  She paused.  "Do I have a muse?"

For a few agonizingly long seconds, there was no answer.  Then a deep, low rumble was emitted from the dark bottom, rising upward and expanding as it did so.  It pervaded the tiny forest, causing the suspended ideas around her to vibrate even harder.  The sound threw itself at Demonic's eardrums, its pitch sounding lower and lower until she could barely hear it, and it melded from a sound to a feeling that hammered in her rib cage and rattled her heart.

Then it stopped.

Demonic waited, her breath halted.  Darkness settled over the forest, a sort of bright darkness that somehow changed her vision, rather than prevented it.  The air shimmered before her eyes and she didn't know whether it was her imagination or a response from whatever dwelt down in the ravine into which she had never before peered in her whole existence.  She blinked, and continued to wait.

Nothing happened.

She leaned over the edge for a few more minutes, refusing to give up so quickly.  She had come so close to discovering if there was something pushing thoughts and feelings into her, converting them into words she could produce at her fingertips.  She had almost managed to confront that something, talk to it, find out what the hell it was.  Find out why it couldn't help her achieve what she wanted most.  Make it help her.  And still it remained hidden from here.

The darkness slowly dissipated, dwindling down to the black mass within the ravine where it had always been.

A single, dry, ragged sob of longing and frustration wrenched itself from Demonic's throat, but no tears flowed.  She pushed herself up and solemnly turned towards the path leading out of the woods.  She left the clearing with her headphones on and sadly walked back into the real world.

A shaft of light broke through the ravine and extended beyond the top of the trees.  Heat emanated from it, equaling that of a small sun and getting hotter.  The trees did not catch on fire, and the leaves did not smoke, but their color deepened and became richer.  The shadows from the outside world were no longer visible.

The light grew brighter and brighter until, like the rumble from below, it was suddenly stopped.  A sigh whispered through the woods, and the air grew still again.

And at the bottom of the ravine, something awoke.