The phone rang on my way to the writing cabin this morning. “Hello. This is Bento* speaking – stop.”
“Hey Bento. I’m almost there, what’s up?”
“You have guest – stop. Miss Lorelei** is here – stop.”
“Why do you keep saying stop?”
“It’s standard telegraph etiquet – stop.”
“This is a phone, not a telegraph. You don’t have to say stop. What does she want?”
“She says she’s here to inspire you – st– she thinks you’re going to make up some lost ground today.”
“Give her some coffee or something, I’m almost there.”
“I already did. I’m not a barbarian,” Bento said.
I trudged in through the basement and put my boots in the soapbox. I slipped on my mocassins and headed up. Lorelei met me at the top of the stairs. She had on a short tight black witch’s dress and some black high heels. Her witch’s hat had the brim shaped to frame her face. I swear, she could make a throw rug look awesome.
I booted up my iPad and sat at the roll top desk in my paranormal room. Bento and Lorelei already had a fire started and the lights on. She opened the enchanted window and shooed Doubt*** outside. I smiled and turned away too late.
“Oh, he’s coming back. You need him, but not today. Today your job is to make the electronic ink fly,” she said.
Bento went to work on the alchemy artwork. It bubbled merrily from retort to retort and wound up smelling like a fresh tin of pipe tobacco when he finished.
I started writing, and my main character, Patty, suffered a terrible loss. She wound up alone in the dark with everyone mad at her. I even added some rain for her discomfort.
Lorelei swung the cauldron into the fireplace and added water. I watched her crouch down and stir. I hoped her dress would fail, but it managed to hold up somehow. This is what she calls inspiration, as if that actually works.
Bento added some pork and vegetables to the pot and disappeared again. The smells were delightful as the food mingled with the aromatherapy from the artwork.
I kept typing, but things were distracting. I put Patty through a major meltdown and a minor temper tantrum. I paused to pick my fingernails with the desk spindle, and had another idea. Another story element was born.
“When do we eat around here?” I asked. “That stuff smells wonderful.”
Lorelei ran her fingers through my hair and said, “Why don’t you give it another hour. You’re really making progress today. You’re going to lose some writing time in the next few weeks.”
A tingle ran down my spine, and I wanted nothing more than to make her happy. I went back to my typing.
“You know, I don’t know if I’m making this creepy and scary enough,” I said. I swung the coffee pot away from the fireplace and tipped the pot into my cup. I sat on the couch and blew the heat off the top.
Lorelei sat in the wingback chair and leaned way way forward. The view was mesmerizing. “I could invite the Stygian Witches for tea. They might give you some pointers.” She batted her eyes and smiled. “Or you could just keep going and see if you need them later.”
I walked to the desk and went back to work. “That isn’t fair, you know.”
“Aren’t you feeling inspired? I could whip out my Sharon Stone manuever.”
“Maybe when Patty has to confront the big bad evil. I might need some extra help there.”
She wrinkled her nose and said, “you’ve got it.”
Bento came back and set up a folding table I never knew we had. He tossed some noodles in the pot and set the table.
I wrote for another forty five minutes and asked, “So what are we having?”
“I call it pork noodles. I learned how to make it in Chinatown,” he said.
We moved around the table and Bento dished us up. The food was wonderful.
“So how did you do today?” Lorelei asked.
“Word count at 67,428. Holy cow, that’s 5171 words today.”
“See what a little inspiration can do?”
“Yeah, apparently so.”
“Don’t fall in love with your words,” she said. “You’ll have to get them past Doubt before you share them with anyone.”
* Bento is a supporting character from Panama. He’s coming to a Kindle near you if I can find a cover artist.
** Lorelei is my Muse. I’m pretty sure she actually knows the Stygian Witches.
*** Doubt is a raven, kind of. He was a gift from Lorelei and is supposed to be helpful.