Part two of my fun little urban fantasy project that was born from the question, “What if you could rock up to a bar and buy the services of a muse?”
Part one can be read here.
Muses take something from the artist in exchange for the inspiration they give. Some feed on hopes and dreams, others take your deepest darkest secret. Girls like Callie use intimacy, then there’s blood-workers. A famous author once said that writing is easy, you just slit your wrists and bleed onto the page. They meant it figuratively, girls like Elle make it literal.
The addict licked his lips and looked between me and Elle. He swallowed hard and ran his thumb over the deeper bite mark on his forearm, I’d bet anything his abdomen, back, and thighs were covered in claw and knife wounds. There was a reason they didn’t license muses like her. “I’m one hour away from my masterpiece. I just need another two hundred bucks and then, and then I’ll finish it. Everything will change.” He said rapidly.
I patted him on the upper arm, knocked back the last of whiskey and said, “Good luck with that.”
There was no help for him. Elle was never going to give him his masterpiece, judging from the state of him he barely had any talent, she’d bleed him dry and leave him to rot somewhere. I shoved my hands into the pockets of my jeans and left, I’d seen enough. I’d never understood why the untalented went to the muses, they were never going to produce anything. Then again, I’d never tried it myself, maybe there was something about it, that hit of inspiration. It was supposed to be overwhelming, but the untalented couldn’t get it out, there was no outlet, so it built in their minds and turned them mad. I shrugged, more to myself than anything, we all have our flaws.
The night was dark and quiet. I needed to figure out what the fuck I thought I was doing. Everyone knew the owner of the bar owned the muses, they were nothing more than slaves, livestock. They deserved better and I was dumb enough to believe I could help. I squeezed my eyes shut for a moment and leant against the metal pole of the traffic lights as I waited for the crossing to turn green. Even if I did free them, where were they supposed to go? An unlicensed muse couldn’t feed, they needed artists as much as artists needed them. Was I really willing to give girls like Elle a death sentence, in the vain hope of saving the more… acceptable muses?
I shook my head and crossed the busy road and headed for home. There were other things I should have been throwing myself into, such as the mountain of paperwork that had been piling up on my desk, or the werewolf sanctuary inspections. I’d signed up to be an enforcer thinking it’d be a glamorous job, I’d be saving people and kicking ass. Instead I was mostly paperwork and safety checks.
I wanted to make a difference, at least that’s what I told myself while I tried to figure out how to get those girls out.