The Muse, 6


After the sun rose on Paris this morning, by the time the giantess muse manifested by the building, Weldon had already been standing on the balcony for half an hour. He clutched a few pages of new manuscript, with only his inner fires bolstering him against the chilly dawn breeze.

Rumpled under one forearm was his ode to Anaïs, his muse, his lifeline.

He had poured everything he knew and loved about her into these pages: her intelligence, her insight, her supernatural intuition of the human condition. In these words he attempted to describe his appreciation of her capacity to support mortal creatives. He marveled at how she always seemed to know what he needed, even when he was unable to read himself.

Laced throughout was praise for her beauty. The way her long, thick tresses flowed in the wind, how her eyes glinted mischievously right before a bout of playfulness, regardless of whatever else was going on. Her majestic stance, her masterfully sculpted features, the way her voice shook the air like thunder, rattling every cell in his body.

It was weak and obvious to say he’d ever met anyone like her before, and it was a safe bet to suggest he never would again. Over many nights he pounded away at his typewriter, searching for multiple ways to say the same thing, paring these down to elegant (or not) concepts, trying to pack as much energy into a turned phrase as he was capable of.

There were plenty of false starts and the roughest of rough drafts.

Anaïs, you are more than just a muse to me. You are a beacon of hope, a shining light that guides me through the darkest of days. Your presence in my life has given me purpose, and without you, I fear I would be lost.

Your wisdom and your beauty are unparalleled. You tower over me, a giantess with the power to crush me in an instant, yet you have always treated me with kindness and respect. Your grace and your poise are a testament to the depth of your character, and I find myself constantly in awe of you. I have never met anyone as beautiful as you, and every time I look into your eyes, I am struck by the sheer magnitude of your loveliness.

Even to him, that was embarrassing, but like the famous writers say: you can’t edit a blank page. He had to start somewhere, sticking his fingers down his creative gullet and vomiting on the page to begin sorting the runny dribble from the meaty chunks. If that was a disgusting analogy, Weldon felt it was appropriate to the frankly visceral process of revision.

What hauled him over the obstacles of awkward, purple prose was the dream of a life with Anaïs. To live with her, in her hand or by her foot, this drove him through the forests of uncertainty, the swamps of self-loathing, the rocky fields of doubt. At times it felt as though a special supplementary muse had been generated to poke him in the butt and urge him onward, to complete his paean to the primary muse. As bad as it got, as hopeless as he felt, as disgusted as he became at his overwrought prose, there was always the dream of stretching his arms out to embrace her fine neck, resting his cheek against the thrum of her jugular; there was the hope of gazing into one huge eye and seeing in its iris love reflected and radiated. A world in which they could be more than writer and muse, but tiny man and giantess, lovers.

He spent a sleepless night polishing it up to the extent his threadbare mind could perform, and he shivered on the balcony to cleanse his mind and body of any other thought than focusing on his beloved Anaïs. Doubts drifted by, of course: What if she laughed at his paltry gesture? What if she was even offended by his desire for anything beyond artistic inspiration? What if, as a direct result of his reaching out for her, she disappeared forever?

None of this dissuaded him. None of these grim outcomes could lure him back inside for one more revision… or to set the damnable mess aflame in the hearth. He was all-in and committed to his gesture.

And there she was, simply coming into being without fanfare or disruption, almost as though he’d simply failed to notice her. Anaïs beamed her cheery grin at him, but the twitch of her brow showed she immediately detected the harsh edge to his demeanor. Sometimes the tiniest being could present such trouble. Her head tilted slightly, submitting to him an unspoken question; in return, he held up the feeble pages.

“Will you read this,” he said, surprised by the roughness of his own voice. “It’s all about you, everything I know and suppose, everything I love and admire about you.”

The giantess’s large hand hovered by the balcony. He placed the papers between her thumb and forefinger. She sorts them before her eyes: they did not catch in the breeze and zip away to the river and residential area. She doesn’t need glasses, she doesn’t squint. Her countenance is almost completely blank as she reads.

I know I am but a mere mortal, with limited understanding of the world beyond our own. But in your presence, Anaïs, I feel as if my mind is unlocked, my eyes opened to a new realm of possibilities. Your wisdom and insight have been my lifeline, pulling me out of the darkness of my own thoughts and into the light of creativity. Without you, I am lost.

And yet, my heart aches with a yearning that I cannot ignore. Your beauty is undeniable, your grace and power like nothing I have ever seen. I cannot help but imagine a life together, a life in which I am yours and you are mine. I know that such a thing is impossible, but the heart wants what it wants. And my heart beats for you, Anaïs, beats with a passion that threatens to consume me entirely.

I am torn between the gratitude I feel for your inspiration and the desire that burns within me. I cannot help but wonder if there is a way for both to coexist, if there is a way for us to be together without sacrificing the creativity that you have sparked within me. Anaïs, I know that I am but a tiny man in your eyes, but I hope that my words may reach you, may touch you in some way, and that perhaps you may feel the same pull toward me that I feel toward you.

She covered the pages in the pinch of her fingers, without finishing the pages. “Weldon, you know that I am not like you.” Her voice was soft, but not soft enough. “I am a muse. I’m not capable of human emotions like love, not the way humans feel it.”

“I know, I know.” He waved the air in front of him. “But maybe you could see me as someone more than just a writer. I think we could be more… together.”

Anaïs could only stare at him, as if she were somehow at a loss for words. Her huge, glassy orbs twitched as they search his face. Shades of concern lined her features, sympathy for his longing and the deep ache that has driven him to write all this. He valued her for her inspiration, but now he was calling for something that went beyond the creative partnership. What he needed was impossible, and he steadfastly refused to acknowledge this. If there was any measure of caring for him in her, it was demonstrated by the fact that she didn’t laugh at him, smite him, or simply return to her ethereal plane without another word.

“I understand that you feel a deep connection to me,” she said, speaking louder over his attempt to interrupt. “But what you’re asking for is not possible. I am not capable of returning your feelings in the way that you want.”

Whether he truly internalized this or not, Weldon’s stance began to slump. Finally, the chilly bite of dawn ran through his muscles and touched bone. Anaïs’s hand rose slowly, as though to place one consoling fingertip upon his shoulder, but she knew contact would not improve anything.

“I’m sorry, Weldon,” she iterated. “Please understand that I’m here to help you create, not to be your lover.”

He frowned for a second, turning away to look at the sun completely risen above the horizon. It would be the same with any mortal woman: if she wasn’t into you, for whatever reason, you had to respect that and move on (contrary to what Hollywood in the ‘80s programmed us with).

His throat was dry. “Anaïs… come on. There’s always a way. How many times have you haunted me with that line? Always, you’re telling me that nothing is impossible.”

Her broad lips pinched, and his hair waved at her as she sucked a long breath through her nostrils. “Of course there’s a way. Only one.”

The admission rekindled his inner fires. “I knew it. I knew it!”

“But it will destroy you.”

He laughed at her drama, until he read her expression. “You’re serious. I’ll die?”

She snorted gently at his mortal gift for understatement. “You will absolutely not exist in any sense.” There was no twitch of her lip, no bead of sweat on her brow: she stared stone-faced at the tiny little writer on his tiny little balcony. She was speaking plainly, and there was no room for interpretation in her words.

Weldon inhaled, studying the City of Lights one last time. “Very well. I commit.”

Anaïs raised one eyebrow. “You submit yourself to this experience?”

He nodded at her, suddenly calm. “I’ve lived without you before, and if I had to do it again, I would rather be erased. Strike, delete.” He gestured in the air, stabbing at a moment of mirth.

He wasn’t sure if Anaïs looked sad in the moment she raised her broad, open palm to the balcony and uttered, “Climb aboard, mon petit amant.”

Weldon would have liked the luxury to hesitate for one moment, knowing how good that would have looked on a screen, but it would only mar his arguing and pleading up to this point. Much of him wasn’t sure if this was the best decision, but when he looked at Anaïs’s huge, gorgeous face, the reflexive idea after never seeing that was craving oblivion. He heaved himself over the iron balustrade and threw himself into her hand. Her long fingers wrapped around him in a comforting embrace.

“Are you ready?” Anaïs’s voice boomed around him, her lips moving in slow motion as she spoke, suddenly not matching the words he heard.

Weldon nodded. She couldn’t see him, in her fist, but he knew she knew.

With that, the giantess closed her eyes and began to concentrate. The world around them blurred and faded. Those are accurate words to describe it, but it does not impart the unholy majesty of an entire fucking world blurring and fading away. It’s more appropriate to turning off a screen, which can be casual, absent-minded, or even a small relief. To experience the entire world, all of reality simply washing away was a thrill and a terror exponentially greater than throwing oneself off a cliff or stepping before a locomotive barreling up at full speed. His mind screamed that he’d made a mistake, but he knew this was basal reflex. He knew what he wanted, and he was committed.

The wind died. The sunrise lost its color and vanished. Even the large hand around him turned to vapor. All he knew was lying without weight or mass upon a frictionless surface. To describe the surface as “white” or “blank” was still applying too much vividness to it. Its hue was as absent as was its features: the sky bled directly into the land without the suggestion of where a horizon should be. Weldon was not warm or cold, hungry, panicked. He barely was anything.

“It starts, mon adorable petit écrivain.” Anaïs’s voice resounded around him.

He leaped to his feet and spun around. There was Anaïs, all 200’ of her. She stretched above him into the empty heavens like a skyscraper. He stood between two huge, bare feet, and he saw that she wore not a stitch, and he realized he too was completely nude. That was an inappropriate word to use, however, as it implied the existence of some other state, yet Weldon could not latch onto any notion of clothes. It was hard enough to feel like he had a body, except for the giantess against whom he could readily contrast himself.

The giantess’s toes twitched in anticipation, a tiny gesture that commanded his attention.

“You’re not going to step on me, are you,” he said. “Because that would be awfully anticlimactic.”

Anaïs gazed down at him across the vast, stretching expanse of her own body. “No, Weldon, we’re going to make love.”

“Wait. What.”

“We’re going to make love with each other, giantess and tiny man, if not writer and muse any longer.” She sighed, and he couldn’t help notice how out of place that gesture felt, coming from her. “You were too in love with the process, little Weldon, rather than the amazing things you created. That is what permits us to come together like this, in this nowhere place: you loved the process and rejected the gift.” She shifted her considerable weight, like a building having been given motive to topple.

Weldon stared up at her, struggling to take in this information. “I don’t understand. How can we..?”

“We exist beyond the realm of what you humans understand as possible. Now that we are here, removed from reality, I’m just a little more like you and you’re a little more like me. Or I’m less like what I was…” She smiled, almost shyly, which felt incongruous on a gigantic being.

And now, unlike any moment prior, the reality of making love to a gigantic woman dawned upon him. “I’m not sure I’m ready for this.”

Anaïs knelt down, lowering her huge face just above his tiny body. “You’re ready, Weldon. Part of you was always ready; now all of you is. You just needed to convince yourself.” She extended one finger and brushed its tip up his spine, rubbed his little chest in a wide, slow circle. He shivered, not from the absence of heat in this realm, but from the contact. It fired in his nerves a completely unfamiliar sensation, or else he was now equipped with different receptors.

“This is it,” Anaïs whispered, her voice a gentle breeze running through him. “This is what it feels like to truly connect, to create something really important and new. Are you with me, Weldon?”

He thought about what he’d left behind: new restaurants, sunrises, a glimpse of a cute butt in a crowd when he least expected it. These were certainly worth living for.

But there was also rent, bill, fines, and always that one asshole who seemed to get out of bed and mix with the public for no reason other than to ruin his fucking day with some small gesture.

Here was Weldon, in some other realm, locked away with his giantess muse. She was colossal, nude, and asking him if he was ready. What the hell was he?

“I am yours, ma déesse. I commit.”

That day the world lost one writer and one muse, and they had nothing but each other.

Written in collaboration with ChatGPT

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