Beth Avery

Beth Avery Beth Avery is the winner of Flash! Friday Round 20.

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Winner Round 20

Don’t Fight the Muse

Ronald was furious. “Look at this crap that gets published. You’re supposed to be my muse! I know I’m capable of writing something better than this hack! What do you think you’re doing just sitting there staring blankly while I’m struggling to write. Start doing your job!”

Even after this impassioned plea, Ronald could not get a response out of Helen. She continued to act as if she could not even hear him. In the past she used to offer advice, suggest ideas for stories, or give him quotes that were supposed to inspire his creativity. Ronald rarely used her ideas and often blamed her for leading his writing astray, but at least in the past she had acted like his writing mattered to her. Now she treated him like an invisible spirit whenever he sought her help. Her behavior was completely unacceptable!

“Are you going to answer me? Look at this tripe! I am definitely a more accomplished writer than this fool. Why is C.J. Whittaker getting published when I’m not? Are you deliberately sabotaging me?” Ronald continued to rant until his throat was sore, but Helen never even blinked. After an hour of yelling, he stormed out of the house and spent the rest of the evening at a nearby tavern.

Helen sat silently for several minutes after he’d gone, then she calmly went into the library and sat down at the typewriter. She had a new idea for a story, and she knew her editor was anxiously waiting for another piece from C.J. Whittaker. As she began typing, she wondered vaguely if it had really been necessary to choose a pseudonym so different from her own name. After all, Ronald apparently wasn’t smart enough to realize when he was reading a description of himself.

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