I have always half-believed myself to be at the mercy of capricious spirits, buffeted between the abandon of Aphrodite and the anger of Ares. But that was always in a merely metaphorical sense - I certainly never expected to come into direct contact with my Muse.
Nor was I prepared for the details of her physical manifestation. The stories and the statuary always portray the Muses as tall, beautiful women. Human women, clothed in white robes and dazzling glory.
My own Muse arrived from behind, suddenly, the thump on my back coinciding with the sharp pain of claws digging into my shoulders.
"Agh! Get offa me!" I screamed, flailing my arms in panic. A long-muzzled, scaly face craned around into my sight on a sinuous neck. Her beak opened wide so I could count her pointed teeth and smell her ketone-laden breath.
"Not a chance, flesh-boy," she croaked. "I'm yer Muse, Kakophoné, and you are henceforth in the service of Art."
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