Tuesday, October 9, 2012


“Alright then” she said as she settled in on my shoulder just below the lobe of my left ear; “There’s a murder of course, a certain Sergeant Terwilliker let’s say, only he’s not a military man but a traffic policeman from, oh gosh, Burma if that suits you.”

I wasn’t sure what to say exactly, so I just listened as the maiden was obviously just revving up.

“A train!” she said as if her own fire had suddenly been stoked. “No, no, a sub marine!” She both elongated and hyphenated the word as if to paint a picture of a very long underwater cigar, jointed in its center.

“Captain Jack in the Boson Mate’s bunk with a rum bottle” I said, referring to a popular children’s game.

“No, no, that wasn’t it” she answered, oblivious to my light jibe, scratching her head as if what I’d offered was close to her original idea, but not close enough.

“No Mister Clancy, that’s not it at all” she said looking directly into my eyes; “You see if Mister Ryan is to stumble upon treason in progress, he must be properly placed!”

“Mister Stringbreaker” I said. “There must be some mistake sweet woman, I am Bragi Stringbreaker and I’m writing in a time somewhat akin to the eighth century on one of the British Isles or its mythical counterpart which I like to call Dementia. Now what’s all this about a Mister Clancy and what in Amoria’s name is a sub marine?”

The poor muse was beside herself. She pulled a notebook from her apron and flashed through a dozen pages before she settled on one and read while tracing the lines with a long, black tinted fingernail.

“Oh dear” she exclaimed. “Am I not in the company of one Thomas Clancy?”

I smiled. There was no harm in her confusion and I feared strengthening her anxiety so I quickly said “just a moment M’lady, I have a call coming in” and proceeded to think of my own muses as ponderously as I was able. Within a few moments, Giggly Muse popped into place on my right shoulder and peered past my Adam’s apple to where the elder muse was still scratching her little head.

“MOTHER!” she cried out; “what are YOU doing here?”

“I seem to be lost” said the poor dear. “I’d been consigned to Mister Clancy today and somehow I ended up on this amateur scribbler’s shoulder instead!”

“My master is no amateur!” Giggles demanded. “He may not be published, but what is publishing anyway? Just some stupid popularity contest resulting in pots full of gold. A Leprechaun trick, I assure you!” she postured, “and nothing at all to do with the worth of the words!”

“I am though madam” I added, “a scribbler indeed.”

“I’m so sorry Bragi” Giggles said as she wound her index finger around her ear with her left hand and pointed at her mother with the same finger on her right; “I’ll need to take her back to the home so she can reprint a Google map to Clancy’s house. I can’t imagine how she ended up here instead of there.”

Oh I can imagine” I said. “Bragi, Clancy… they both end with the same sound after all, they’re damn near the same name!”

Giggles giggled. “Just for that” she said, “I owe you a story.”

I grinned, as I do on the rare occasion I’m not deep in thought pondering the most important of earth shattering concepts. “Make it a good one” I said as I gave her my palm on which to cross over to where her mother was in heavy conversation with her mother; “I think anyone who’s had to suffer through this silly tale deserves something more substantive served up as an apology.”

“My brain is already awash in dirty laundry M’lord” she chuckled. “I shall bless you on the morrow I am certain, or you may hang me out to dry! Now come mother,” she whispered to her kin, “you must get to Mister Clancy’s in time to give him his hour before leaving for Mister King’s! You know how Steven hates to be kept waiting! You wouldn’t want to see him write another Firestarter now would you?”

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