The Muse, 3


Weldon is still dissatisfied. He pours himself two fingers of Redbreast and sits at his large wooden desk. 

There is an antique typewriter sitting on it. The desk is in the center of the room, facing the balcony with French doors. That is where Anaïs appears, when she comes. 

To the left and right of the doors are two large bookcases: the left holds all of Weldon’s favorite authors, and the right is full of style guides, reference material, and how-to guides for writing fiction. Behind him to the right is his bed; behind him to the left is his kitchenette, and directly left is the door to the bathroom. 

Weldon sighs and looks over the typewriter out the window, where he can barely see the city. He enjoyed touring the city with Anaïs, but they didn’t really talk about who she was, and she never asked him about himself. Of course, maybe a muse already knows this… 

He puts his hands to the keyboard and starts to write a story about a woman who finds a tiny man in her house. He wonders if Anaïs will understand it.

As Weldon begins to type, he hears a faint tapping on the balcony. He looks up and sees Anaïs’s smiling face peering through the French doors.

“Bonjour, Weldon!” she calls out cheerfully.

Weldon can’t help but smile at her enthusiasm. “Bonjour, Anaïs,” he replies.

Anaïs gracefully steps into the room, her giant form towering over the apartment. She walks over to the desk and leans in, her hands resting on the wooden surface.

“What are you writing about today, mon écrivain?” she asks, her voice as musical as ever.

Weldon shows her the first few paragraphs of his story. “It’s about a woman who finds a tiny man in her house,” he explains.

Anaïs reads it over and nods. “Interesting. I can’t wait to see how it turns out,” she says with a grin.

Weldon can’t help but feel encouraged by her words. He continues to type, lost in his own thoughts and the clack of the typewriter keys. Anaïs sits down on the floor, her legs crossed, and watches him work.

After a while, Weldon looks up at Anaïs. “Can I ask you something?” he says hesitantly.

“Of course, Weldon,” she replies.

He takes a deep breath. “Who are you, really? I mean, what’s your story?”

Anaïs smiles enigmatically. “I am who you need me to be, Weldon. I am your muse. My story is the stories you write with my help.”

Weldon nods slowly, taking in her words. He understands what she’s saying, but he can’t help but feel like there’s more to her than she’s letting on.

As he continues to write, Anaïs sits quietly, watching him work. Weldon can’t help but feel like she’s somehow connected to his writing, like she’s a part of it in some way. And maybe, just maybe, that’s all he needs to know about her.

“Hold on a sec,” says Weldon. “You are the stories I write?” 

“In a way, yes.” Anaïs giggles musically. 

“So if I write sad stories, for example, what does that make you?”

“It makes me the embodiment of the emotions and experiences that you are trying to express through your writing,” Anaïs explains. “I am a reflection of your creative process and the inspiration behind it. Whether your stories are sad, happy, or anything in between, I am here to help you bring them to life.”

Weldon nods, taking a sip of his whiskey. “I just wish there was more to our relationship than that. You’re always so playful and never seem to take my struggles seriously.”

Anaïs’s expression softens. “I understand how you feel, Weldon. It can be difficult for me to relate to the struggles of a human writer, given my unique perspective on the world. But I am here for you, and I am always listening.”

Weldon smiles faintly, feeling a bit better. “Thanks, Anaïs. That means a lot.”

Anaïs smiles back. “Of course, Weldon. Now, let’s get back to your writing. I’m eager to see where this story goes.”

“But did you see, in the story,” Weldon stresses, “that the woman who found the tiny man was delighted by him?” 

“Oui, oui, that was cute!” Anaïs giggles. 

“And did it come across that the tiny man wanted to be loved by her?” 

Anaïs blushed. “Oui, that was so sweet.” 

Weldon sighed. “So what does that tell you, when a tiny man wants to be loved by a gigantic woman? Does that ring any bells for you?”

Anaïs paused for a moment, thinking. “I suppose it could be interpreted as a desire for connection and intimacy despite differences in size and stature,” she replied thoughtfully. “It reminds me that even though I may seem unattainable or out of reach to others, there is still a possibility for a meaningful connection and understanding.”

Weldon smiled. “Yes, exactly. And that’s what I want from you, Anaïs. I want to understand you, to connect with you beyond just the writing process. Can we do that?”

Anaïs looked down at Weldon, a contemplative expression on her face. “I don’t know,” she said softly. “I’ve never really tried to connect with a human before, at least not in that way. But I’m willing to try, if you are.”

Weldon’s heart does flip-flops in its cage. “Yes, Anaïs, I am very willing to try with you. I look forward to it.” He stands up from his desk and walks around it to enter the balcony. He’s very high up off the ground out here, perfectly level with Anaïs’s lovely face. The winds whip at his pants and mess up his hair. He grips the iron balustrade and reaches out to stroke the giantess’s nose.

Anaïs closes her eyes and smiles, letting out a contented sigh as Weldon’s fingers stroke her nose. “C’est bien, mon cher écrivain,” she says. “I am happy to try with you too. Let’s see where this takes us.”

She leans in closer to him, her warm breath caressing his face. “But first, we must get to know each other better, no? Tell me about yourself, Weldon. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?”

Weldon is taken aback. A question, a legitimate question! Anaïs is curious about him! “Oh, well, my gosh,” he stammered, looking out high over the city. “If I’m not writing… I love food.” 

“Ah, oui?” 

“Yes, I love exploring restaurants. I like seeing the best dish they make, and then I like to explore the experimental dishes. I was scared to try escargot, but then I had some and they were delicious!” 

Anaïs clapped her hands delightedly. 

“How about you? What do you like to do when you’re not musing?”

Anaïs smiled. “Well, I love to explore the world around me. Paris is a beautiful city and there is always something new to discover. I enjoy taking long walks and discovering new parks and cafes. I also enjoy reading books and listening to music.”

Weldon nodded, impressed. “That sounds wonderful. I’m sure you’ve seen and experienced so much in your life.”

Anaïs shrugged her shoulders. “I suppose so, but there’s always more to discover. That’s what makes life exciting, don’t you think?”

This was absolutely true, Weldon had to admit. Even on his worst days, when he hated himself and was bored with the world, he still knew that there was a mystery out there somewhere, or some fantastic, rare sight to be seen. He reached out and caught a lock of Anaïs’s hair, stroking it thoughtfully. “What is it that makes you sad, my muse?”

Anaïs frowned slightly, her expression thoughtful. “Sometimes I feel… alone,” she admitted. “I am very old, Weldon. I have seen so much, experienced so much. And yet, I am still alone. There are no others like me. No one to truly understand me.”

Weldon felt a pang of empathy. He too knew what it was like to feel alone, even in a crowded room. “I understand,” he said softly. “But you know, you’re not alone. You have me.”

Anaïs smiled warmly. “Yes, I do have you, Weldon. And that makes me very happy.”

“I would like to understand you,” he pressed. “I know you’re an ancient being, and I respect that. Maybe a mortal like me will never fully grasp what that means, in my 70 or 80 years on this planet.” He reached out and placed his tiny palm on her huge cheekbone, caressing her skin. “But I really would like to try. I hope you understand that. I can’t give you everything you need, but I hope I make you a little less alone.”

Anaïs smiled, her eyes softening as she looked down at Weldon. “You do make me feel less alone, Weldon,” she said in her lovely French accent. “It’s not often that I find someone who truly listens to me and wants to understand. Most mortals just ask me for inspiration and then forget about me.”

Weldon smiled back, feeling a warmth spread through his chest. “Well, I’m not like most mortals,” he said. “I want to get to know you, Anaïs. I want to understand your hopes and your fears, your joys and your sorrows.”

Anaïs leaned down, her face coming closer to Weldon’s. “And I want to understand yours as well, Weldon,” she said. “I want to know what drives you, what makes you happy, and what makes you sad. We can learn from each other, and perhaps even help each other grow.”

Weldon felt a thrill of excitement run through him. Could it be possible? Could he really form a true connection with his muse? He looked up at her, his eyes meeting hers, and felt a sense of possibility that he hadn’t felt in years.

Weldon grinned at her hugely. He wished he could kiss her. Instead, he spun around and ran back to his desk, anxiously hacking out a new story idea he just thought of. He had to write it out quickly before it was gone.

Anaïs watched him go with a bemused expression, then leaned down and peered through the French doors at him as he wrote. She felt a warmth in her chest, a feeling she hadn’t experienced in a long time. Perhaps Weldon was right. Maybe there was something to gain from this relationship. She decided to stick around a while longer and see where it went.

Written in collaboration with ChatGPT

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