The doorbell rang. Elizabeth wiped her tears and went to let her parents in. She hated “onion duty”. Again, the thought ran through her mind: “Lost track of time my ass. He was late so he didn’t have to cut the onions.” She giggled to herself as she opened the front door…
“We spent all day yesterday cleaning the garage,” her mother handed her two notebooks. “I found these. They are pretty good, you should read them. You always did like to write.” Elizabeth took her old notebooks from her mother and started looking through them. They were all her old stories and writings: “The Bored God” where God created the world because he had nothing better to do and wanted to be entertained, “The Land of Morning Star” a magic compass transports the hero to another world where the sun had refused to rise and time was frozen, “The Boats of Valinor” her fan-fiction about a literary researcher who stumbles across evidence that Tolkien did not create Rivendell and the story of the elves, he had actually been there and heard the tales first hand. All her old stories were here, like old friends. “Thanks Mom! This is great.” Then she opened the small black notepad and read the first page.
“It happened again. A quick glance to the left and the shadow appeared in the corner of my eye. What is it that haunts me? I feel it; watching me; waiting. I feel my creativity flowing easily today, perhaps this shadow is my Muse? Even now as I write, I feel it behind me. I can almost feel the hand on my shoulder. It is not sinister, it is not evil. There is affection for me. It wants to protect me, I think. From what, I don’t know. I have always felt this presence; sometimes it is stronger than others. Every time I feel it, I find it easier to write. Strangely, it is during those times I also feel like something is missing; there is something I have forgotten or overlooked”.
A chill ran through her. She had written those words as a teen, sitting alone in her room. She wondered if her mother had read this. The blue notebook contained stories about other people, thing she had made up. This smaller book contained stories about her. It was a collection of her own thoughts and feelings. And it seemed her shadow muse had made appearances in the past.