By Mary Potts, AKA Queen of the Capes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: November 2004
Summary: For those who ever wondered what happens when a muse visits.
It would have been an odd sight, if anyone had seen it. A sixteen-year-old girl sat in front of a computer, staring at the screen as though she were trying to telepathically cause words to appear. She was a tooth-pick of a girl, not too tall. Her brown, roughly shoulder-length hair had only a vague idea what shape it was supposed to be and just hung on her head, waiting for the girl to purchase a user's manual for her hair care products.
It was 1:00 a.m., and most sane people were asleep. Still the girl sat there, staring at her monitor, waiting for *her* to show up. She tapped a finger impatiently.
Finally, the door creaked open, and a strange character in a tutu and bunny slippers waltzed up to her. "Hi!"
The girl rubbed her eyes, silently wishing that her visitor would come more often during the *waking* hours. "Hey. Do you have it?"
"Yeah. It took me a while, but I finally have it. Here!" The strange tutu-wearing person handed the girl a sheet of paper.
The girl smiled, snatched it, and began to read. "Okay, let's see. Kryptonite, blah, blah, blah, coma, blah, blah, blah, Snoopy doll, blah, blah—hey…"
"This is from that story Julie and I were writing a long time ago!"
"Yep! I've finally got an idea for the next part!"
The girl pasted a tight smile on her face. "Well that's nice, except you're supposed to be working on One Strange Year!!!!!"
The bunny-slippered one gave the girl a blank stare. "Which one was that again?"
"The one we're currently working on? The one that's *way* over due for a next post?"
"Oh! That one!"
"Yes! That one!"
"I'm thinking we should start that over from scratch."
The girl's eyes widened. "What?!"
"I mean, let's face it, you really don't know that much about the Wild West."
The odd person went on. "I still kinda like your beginning, but I think we can do it better. As for the rest, instead of just having 'the Church Gang', maybe we can introduce Luthor as some kind of land-baron who wants to take over the Star Ranch…"
"Hold it! That's Guys, Gals, and Guns! I'm not talking about that! Look, I really have to finish—"
"Heroes Take Warning, I know. You know, you really should get that done soon; otherwise, people won't get the title of the first one. I think that's a really neat idea, by the way, having a series of vignettes with titles that connect to make a little po—"
"Okay, shut up about those! I need to work on the next part of- —"
"Did you ever wonder what would happen if Batman and the Joker were twin brothers?"
The girl smacked her forehead. "No Batman! All right? This has nothing to do with Batman, Wonder Woman, or anyone else! This is just a *Superman* story! So please, focus!"
The tutu-bunny-slipper person put a hand on her hip. "Make up your mind!" she said. "First you want me to focus on the movie you're making in film class. 'Storyboards! Storyboards!' you holler. Then you want me to focus on your art history report. Something about a group called Situationist Incorporated—"
"If we had the clips, we could probably make a Lois and Clark music video to Pink Floyd!"
"AAAAAAAHH!!!" The girl banged her head on the keyboard, causing gibberish to appear on the screen.
"That reminds me. Weren't you also trying to write that Mxyzptlk story?"
"I need to finish One Strange Year!"
"Then there's that one about the baby from Family Hour…"
"I need to finish One Strange Year!"
"And that dream you had about the little orphan girl would probably make a cute story!"
"No, it's stupid. And I need to finish One Strange Year!!!"
<Give me strength!> the girl pleaded, and she raked a hand through her hair in imitation of that guy Yvonne is always torturing.
"I've got a neat idea for the sequel to Phero-Moan My Lovely; want to hear it?"
"What about the really cool epic with Superman's descendants?"
"No! I have to write One Strange Year!"
"No! One Strange Year!"
"Okay, okay." The muse finally conceded. "I will give you a wonderful part for One Strange Year; a part so long and so wonderful, that all who read it will be moved to every emotion imaginable, and they will hail you as the greatest writer since Shakespeare. Ready?"
The girl leaned forward, intently.
The muse opened her mouth and began to speak, but before she could utter one syllable, a clock chimed.
"What was that?"
"Wow. 2:00 a.m. already? I'd better go!"
"What?! No, wait! What about the part?"
"Mary, it's late. You need your sleep. I'll tell you tomorrow- — if I remember. Goodnight!"
The muse flitted out the door, and the girl snorted. Of course she wouldn't remember—her muse had the attention span of a gnat! Reluctantly, she started shutting down the computer. She bet other FoLCs didn't have this problem!
THE END, sort of.