“Are you ready for the next item on the list, love?”
I close the door to my writer’s writing office, but the place is deserted.
Where the hell is she? “Julie.” She must be out back.
A window appears in the back door, showing a serene view of the lake, dark blue under the brilliant almost-spring sky. The Adirondack chairs are empty. I leave the quiet of the office and pass into the hushed environs of the lake and its surrounds. Nothin’. There’s just enough of a breeze to hint that the balmy weather–if you consider 40 degrees F balmy–will be short-lived.
Where the feck is she? “Julie?”
*She’s not here.*
Her damn book-dragon backwings onto the path between me and the lake, sunlight giving her scales sparkles like a first grader gone nuts with the glitter. She lowers her head and peers at me with glowing red eyes. *If you know, then why are you still looking for her?*
“Because she’s supposed to be here. We’re supposed to be going over her presentation for the conference. She’s supposed to be working on revising the plot for Book 2.”
*Did you look for a note?*
A note? “Why would she leave me a note? She never leaves me a note.” She just bloody disappears.
*Did you look?*
“I’ve known her a lot longer than you have.” Fecking junior muses always think they know more than you do. “She doesn’t leave notes. She just goes off to do who knows what, then shows up whenever she feels like it.”
*Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?*
I narrow my eyes. “Are you trying to say something?”
The dragon shrugs her massive shoulders. *She said to tell you she knows the next items on the list, and she will spare you the whole mis-direction part of the clues. You can thank her later.* She turns, spreads her sparkly green wings, and shoves off, climbing out over the lake.
Damn writers. No, my damn writer. I head back to the writing office. Julie never leaves notes. I suppose that dragon had a point, but I’m a Muse, with a capital ‘M’. I’ve been doing this gig long enough; I don’t need to …
Sure as shit, there’s a sheet of paper folded on the seat of one of the recliners. I grab a brew from the friggie before I read it:
If you found this note, it means I’m not there.
Yeah, no shit. So where are you?
Nice of you to show up when I’m not there. Timing. It’s about timing, and sometimes yours sucks.
Don’t hold back, love.
Figured I’d repay the favor. Check the top desk drawer if you really want to know where I am. And check the treat basket. And I was going to go all sneaky on the clues, but dammit, I’m tired, and I’m working on the new plot. Otherwise, I should be back tomorrow. I’d sign my name, but you know who I am. 😛
What the feck? Why wouldn’t she just tell me where she’s at? I’m by the recliners, so I check the basket first. Chocolate. More chocolate. Pickled peppers. Popcorn. A small envelope of flower seeds–forget-me-nots.
Flower seeds? She doesn’t grow flowers, at least not unless she’s got extra seed. I dig around more, but that’s about it besides more chocolate. And a bottle opener.
I toss the seed packet on the desk and pull open the center drawer. Pens. Pencils. Sticky notes. Highlighters. A picture of her niece and some guy. They look happy. I toss that on the desk beside the flower seeds. Index cards. Nothing else that shouldn’t be here.
The top desk drawer on the side holds her backup drive, about four notebooks–what is it with writers and their notebooks? Some writing book about emotional stuff by Donald Maass. The keyboard for her iPad. An invitation.
It’s a wedding invitation, but this one is dated the end of the month. We just started the month.
I check the picture on the desk again. Her niece and the guy. The flower seeds. A fancy flower seed packet now that I look at it.
I check the calendar on the wall beside the door. Her niece–the one in the picture–is getting married. Today. Julie’s going to a wedding today.
Fecking lovely. She couldn’t just let me know?
Fine. I drop into a recliner and get comfortable. The bullwhip looks nice on top of the desk. Maybe I’ll add the fedora for effect. If she thinks she can come back later and mosey her way back to work, she’s greatly mistaken.
Hey, what are you still doing here? Julie’s gone today, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to entertain you. Besides, your muses called. Get your butts in your chairs and WRITE!
Oh, and have a good weekend.