Last week we saw Jenna disappear and her friend Rachel was trapped. What was the muse's plan? Find out today!
Slowly, Banshee watched as her form morphed into that of a beautiful young woman. Her body, so translucent she could almost fade into nothing, grew solid. Curves took shape, and her sparse and white hair, turned into a beautiful golden mane cascading down her back.
She smiled, admiring the effect trapping two of the authors and their friend had on her body. If only she had managed to snag all four, there would have been enough creativity to last her and her sisters another hundred years. Long enough to snare some other poor authors and drain their creativity for her family.
“Oh well. These three should last us at least a few years. They really had spark,” Banshee said as she admired her new body. The last authors to fall in her trap had been, sadly, lacking in creativity. Their ideas were mere copies of other’s works, with enough tweaks to stay out of legal trouble. The sister who had chosen those three had been severely reprimanded.
These authors had been fresh, and full of creativity. Enough so that her family could all look as beautiful and young as they had at the height of their power.
“Calliope, have you finished admiring yourself? Our sisters are waiting for you.” A voice, rough and creaking with age, came from behind Calliope. A woman, her form bent by time, stepped forward. Her skin was as thin as rice paper and her white hair almost nonexistent there was so little of it left. Calliope turned, and the woman moved forward until they stood only a foot apart. They looked a picture of the differences between young and old, beautiful and horrific.
“Tired of looking like a hag, Melpomene?” Calliope smirked as she looked down at the ancient figure in front of her. This sister had always been just a little more impatient than the others, although they were probably growing anxious as well.
“I am not the one who failed to gain the creativity of all three authors. Our sisters are not pleased.” Melpomene’s face morphed into a petulant pout, amusing Calliope at how out of place it looked on her wrinkled face.
“You’re just angry because you chose these three authors, and one of them proved too clever for your trap. I can only hope Terpsichore can select easier prey for the next time.” Calliope’s beautiful face turned into a mask of evil, as a sneer of anticipation twisted her mouth.
She thought back to how they had gotten here; the nine muses sucking the creativity of authors in order to survive. Once, they had been powerful women, with thousands of worshippers giving them offerings. They had relished in the creative spirit. Never thinking that, one day, the creativity they enjoyed would dry up. The sisters hadn’t thought about where their power had come from until, slowly, people stopped calling on them for creativity, and their bodies had started to wither. Each woman slowly grew older until they had all but disappeared from the world with the other lesser gods. The poets and the writers who still called on their ‘muse’ for help had saved them, and the sisters realized that they were being kept alive by these authors’ creativity.
Calliope watched her sisters wither for years, and their pain drove her to take desperate measures. Being their leader, she felt the pressure to save her sisters from what looked like certain doom. So she came up with a plan. She trapped three authors in a dimension of her own making, and stole their creativity. She divided their power amongst the nine muses, and they were able to gain a taste of what had been denied to them for centuries. But that power was never meant to last. They were able to make the creativity last for about fifty years before it wore off, and they became the hags time had turned them into once again.
The sisters scrambled to find another three authors who might fall into their trap, and were successful in taking their creativity for their own. With each author they trapped in Calliope’s dimension, they learned. Their minds also grew darker, and more twisted every time they stole power not rightfully theirs. They lost sight of their original purpose as goddesses, and became creatures of darkness: hungry for power and beauty above all else.
“Let us return sister, I grow weary of waiting for you to share what creativity you have gathered,” Melpomene said as she stepped around the younger woman to press a button hidden in the elegant swirls on the frame of the old mirror. The glass warped into a silvery liquid inside the frame. Melpomene walked into the mirror without hesitation.
Calliope turned and went to the wall of shelves to her right. She picked up a small ornately carved box and studied the letters etched on the lid. J.S. Marlo.
“Well Miss Marlo, I think my sisters will be very happy to see you and your friends.” Calliope grabbed the other closed boxes and stepped through the portal.
We would like to thank you all for reading, and we hope you enjoyed "The Muse's Revenge" on the Champagne Book Group Blog.
This week's piece was written by Kylee Howells.