A Gift from my Muse

I was drifting off to sleep last night, and my Muse was playing around in the dressing-up box of my subconscious.

“Look, Mama,” she said, “I’m a little girl today.”

She’d got it just right – little-girl dungarees, scuffed shoes, too-long fringe getting in her eyes – and I laughed with her.

The little girl wandered around the house doing little girl things while the adults moved mysteriously above eye level. But now Mother sees a drawing on the wall of the kitchen. It’s a picture of a little girl done in red crayon. The girl is in trouble. She’s not allowed to draw on the walls. She is sent to her room.

Mother finds another little-girl drawing on the hallway wall. Even more trouble now, she’s not meant to leave her room. She sulks and looks at Mother through her fringe.

“It wasn’t me,” she says. Mother gets more angry.

“Don’t lie to me,” she says, “Who else could it be? Now go back to your room and stay there until dinner time.”

“No” says the little girl quietly.

“Do as I tell you,” says Mother, beginning to raise her voice.

“No. You have to do as I say,” says the little girl. “You have to do as I say now. I know how to make them come.”

Mother looks around and sees the little red people on the walls dancing in her direction.


“Very nice,” I say to my Muse. “I wasn’t expecting a creepy story, but that’s definitely got potential. Let’s work on it tomorrow.”

My Muse turns and looks at me with hollow eyes through her little-girl fringe.

“No, Mama,” she says. “You have to do as I say now.”


© Gloria Hanlon 2016 All Rights Reserved