Word Count: 268
” … the local home care worker reassembled the tiny body parts into a macabre but functional crib …”
Ralph pictured the tableau – little arms and legs as spindles; torsos sewn to make the headboard, desiccated eyes on misshapen heads as decorative rail caps. It was brilliant.
He’d tried to make it happy, becoming adept at shaping words to images, creating in black and white what his muse showed him in colors so stark his mind’s eye watered. It wasn’t enough. He couldn’t do what it wanted. 20 pages, 30 pages, 50,000 words and it wasn’t enough.
He could pinpoint the moment when his muse pulled up stakes and headed for virgin synapses. A month ago Tuesday, food and rent were more important than artistic expression. He stopped thinking about words, shoving them into a space of his mind already crammed with dying aspirations and decaying dreams. His muse suffocated in the closed confines of its time-out closet. It went insane, picked the lock, and escaped.
Two weeks ago a mailman carved up his family, arranging the offal in Dali-style grace.
One week before that, it looked like bored teens t-p’d a favorite teacher’s house, but the paper was intestines and family pets were missing from a two-block radius.
Muses of this caliber didn’t belong in normal people; normal people have peephole visions and their interpretations are too literal. It was looking for a permanent vessel of artistic death.
If Ralph wasn’t such a coward hiding behind words, that vessel could have been him.