Flash Fiction – Lost Muse

Where was she? Would she ever find her? The muse didn’t have the answers. That morning she appeared on the sidewalk with no memory of who her person was. She knew only, as a muse, she has to find him or her as quickly as possible. They would have no creativity without her.

She roamed the city for a while, eventually finding herself back where she started. As she glanced at the passing strangers she decided it was time to do something. Grabbing the arm of the closest person she whispered in his ear. He stopped, startled, then a bright smile lit his face and he walked away. The muse knew she’d given him inspiration but felt a little strange. He must not be her person.

Disheartened she searched for someone else to help. A nicely dressed woman stood staring into the window of a nearby store, frowning. The muse concentrated on the lady’s thoughts. This place use to have the most beautiful displays, whatever happened?

Thinking maybe this was the one, she brushed a finger against the woman’s hand and sent her magic out. The frown disappeared and the person hurried away.

The odd feeling washed over the muse again. Disappointed she tried again. She spent hours helping everyone who appeared to need it. Each gave her a peculiar sensation. After a while she felt a little faint and realized helping all the wrong people was making her problem worse. She couldn’t quite remember why she was trying so hard.

In desperation she sent a wave of inspiration through the throngs on the sidewalk, hoping her person would be hit by it.

The muse fell to the ground exhausted. She couldn’t see the crowds anymore. Her person must be gone. Lying there she held up her hands and could see through them. She was losing herself and didn’t know how to stop it, or if she should even try.

From inside the store with the less than attractive window display, she heard Jessica scrutinizing her work with dismay. This looks terrible! When did I stop trying? Surely I can come up with something more creative? She began changing the mannequins.
Outside, the muse stood, relieved to be whole again. She brushed herself off and walked to the window. She watched as her person rearranged furniture and redressed the forms. Maybe we should use the red dress, she whispered.

Jessica tilted her head in contemplation then grabbed the red dress for the centerpiece of the new display.


This piece was the first of five I wrote using Holly Lisle’s method. It is also the only one under 500 words. Flash fiction is hard to write but staying under five hundred is particularly difficult for me. You have to leave out so much for the sake of a word count. After writing this one and worrying so much about that I decided that I wasn’t going to be upset if any of the others ended up longer, and they each did lol.

There is only minimal editing on this one because I was afraid I would revise forever and not end up posting anything. I don’t know which of the others I will post next but I felt like each one got better than the one before it so maybe I’ll post the actual last one I finished. We’ll see.

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