I erase an entry on my writer’s to-do list, conveniently written on her wall-sized whiteboard. Hmm. I grab a marker of a different color when the outside door to her writing office swings open, sucking air past me.
I turn to see my writer, eyes wild, storming toward me.
She cocks her fist and hits me.
She actually hits me. In the shoulder.
“Ow!” Damn, she’s got an arm. That’s gonna sting for a while. “What the bloody hell was that for?”
Hands in fists at her sides, she growls and stomps in a circle. “Damn it!” Another circle, another growl. “Why the fuck didn’t you suggest that earlier?” She hits me again. “Do you have any idea how much stuff I have to change now? I’m four revisions in, I’m supposed to submit the story in a week, and you pull this shit?” She draws her fist back for another go.
I catch her hand this time. “Whoa. Hey. Stop that. Why are you so wound up?”
She wrenches her hand out of mine and shoves me into the board. “You. Oh. My gawd. Arrgh!” She moves to shove me again.
I catch her. Again. This time I pin her arms to her sides. She’s close, and creative energy is pulsing around her. Very un-Muse-like thoughts begin to gather in my head, thoughts that toe an uncrossable line. Damn. I shake them away. “Stop that, love.”
She struggles. Apparently she forgot I’m a Muse; she won’t get loose until I let go.
“You …” She shoots me a glare that I suspect is intended to kill or maim me. “Damn it!” She struggles again. “Let me go.”
“Promise you won’t hit or shove me.”
Another growl. “Yes. Fine. I won’t hit or shove you.”
I release her. “Calm down, love.”
“Really?” She storms in another circle before stopping and stabbing a finger at me. “You.”
She throws up her hands. “You know I’ve been struggling with this story for forever, and now–NOW–you suggest the plot item that brings everything together? After four revisions? I planned to turn this in next week. This piece means I’ll have to rewrite a quarter of the book.”
She shoves me into the whiteboard again before I can catch her. A marker falls off the sill. “You could have suggested this a month ago, before I started the fourth round of revision. I could have fixed everything during that go-round and had more time to tweak it before I turn it in.”
Time to redirect her into something productive. “Your writing teacher isn’t going to dock you points if you turn it in a week later.” I point to a recliner in the corner, where her laptop is waiting. “Get started.”
“Fine.” She aims herself at the recliner.
“What?” she barks.