Funny feeling, isn't it, when you bust a tough one? Triumph sure. Maybe a little secret relief that you pulled it off. But there's a fine sweet sadness in there, too, because the golden moment is behind you. For a moment in there you were God . . . And now you are a guy who used to be God for a minute, and will be again some day. ~ Mike Callahan
The woman sat at her computer desk staring at the screen. She had her coffee on one side, her cigar on the other, and sat waiting for the inspiration to hit. Having just finished one story she wondered what the next one would be about. For some reason she never knew what was going to come from her fingers till she started typing. As always, when she finished a story, she felt a wave of depression roll over her. The same questions, "Was it good enough? Would anyone like it?" rolled through her until her world centered on them.
The only way she was able to get out of the rut was to force her self to start writing again. Once a new story started, the joy of writing would take over and she would feel as if she were flying. Taking a sip of her coffee she heard the voice that she knew would come, "You know they don't understand." Not looking up she pretended to not hear the voice. It was a game they had played many times before. "No one understands." The voice prodded her as if picking an old wound that would not heal.
"No one understands." She agreed not looking up. "They never do, not even the other writers." Lighting her cigar, she savors its smoky flavor and the rush as the nicotine hits her system. Taking another sip of her coffee, "can we just say we played the rest of the game and skip it today?" She paused and then added, "I am not up to it anymore."
The voice replied in a childlike voice, "Wadda matter? Liddle writer in the downy dumps?"
The woman looked up to the heavens as if speaking to the gods, "Why is it, everyone gets a helpful muse, while I get one with a twisted sense of humor?" She quickly adds, "Don't answer that." After a while she asks, "Why? Why am I cursed so?"
She could almost feel the gentle touch of a hand stroking her hair as the voice answered, "It is the curse that goes along with your writing abilities. To write you have to put your heart and soul into every word. Nothing held back, no reserve to keep safe; you have to lay your soul open for the words to flow."
Closing her eyes she felt the tears fall, "I'm just so tired. Tired of getting hurt, tired of the hate, the scorn, you're not good enough mindset." She rested her head on her crossed arms in front of the keyboard, "Why can't I just write and be like others. It's not fair damn it."
She could not feel the hand stroking her back but knew it would be there if her muse were real, "Life is not fair, you know that. I wish. . . I wish I could take the pain away. I wish I could make your life where you could write without opening up. But, I can not. We both know that."
Looking up she said, "Ohh I know some will not like, some will not understand and that will make them hate it, while few will enjoy the story." Shaking her head sadly she looked at her hands and said softly, "I just wished they understood."
"I know you do and perhaps one day they will. But, be that as it may, it will not change anything," the voice replied sadly. The voice paused, "No matter what you say or do people will love or hate your work. No one and I mean no one ever has written a story that everyone loved." The voice sighed, "The only way past this is to start writing again." There was a long pause and she thought that the muse had left her to her cup of woe once more. But no it was not to be, "let me help you."
Without any control on her part the woman started typing. It had been 20 years since the story broke about two brothers making an artificial person that once activated and assimilated into society was indictable from normal humans. Once it was found out that an AP could be made to pass through the world without anyone realizing, they soon flooded the market. It reached the point where you would never know if you were talking to an artificial or flesh and blood human. It is in this world that our story starts.
The voice said, "There, that should help you."
She sat there looking at the words on the screen and in her mind's eye the story unfolded. With a slight smile on her face she started typing, the depression lifting as her spirit once more soared. A few minutes later she said softly, "Thank you Carol," and could almost hear her dead sister's reply, "Your welcome."