This story contains material that may offend some readers. It is recommended for ages 18 and up. This story Copyright 1997, James Morgan Iley (a.k.a. Ruggles Fishweir) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Paul Jungman tossed the crumpled rejection slip at the over-stuffed wastebasket and watched it fall to the floor onto the pile of failed writing attempts. "What do editors know? I bet they wouldn't know a good story if it bit them on the butt!" he muttered. "My best work, too..." "Frustrating, isn't it?" Paul had been so caught up in reading his mail that he had forgotten to shut his apartment door. He looked up. A well-dressed older gentleman was standing just outside the door. "Who are you?" he asked. "If you're selling something, I'm not buying..." Actually, I'm interested in helping writers," the man said with a smile. "I'd be happy to lend a hand if you've got time." Pulling a business card out of thin air, the man held it at arms length. "My card," he said, completing the gesture. Paul snatched the card from the old man's bony fingers. He glanced at the card and then back at the man... Ruggles Fishweir MUSE Specializing in tales of HORROR "Well, I NEVER met a muse before," Paul said. He didn't try to hide the sarcasm in his voice. He motioned for the old man to come in. Ruggles Fishweir stepped into the apartment. The smoke alarm began to scream as the old man took his first step into the room. Paul worked quickly to put an end to the noise by removing the battery from the electric banshee. The scream died away with a final peep. "I'm terribly sorry about that. It's never happened before. Now, where were we?" Paul offered the old man a seat. "I was just about to explain to you how I help writers," Ruggles began. "More precisely, how I'm going to help you." "What makes you think I want or need your help?" "You need my help...whether you take it or not is your decision. I can always find someone else who is interested in my services." Ruggles Fishweir stood up then, and took a step toward the door. "Good day," he said. He tipped his hat. "Excuse me. what services do you provide?" "We muses can't publish our own work. It's my job to inspire you, the writer, to do any less is a violation of my very nature, and the Rules." "What price must I pay for this inspiration? My first-born son or perhaps my soul?" Paul asked. Somehow, Ruggles Fishweir was beginning to look a lot like RUMPLESTILTSKIN. "You've been reading too many fairy tales. My services are free, but you must NEVER forget where your stories come from or there will be hell to pay! Do you have any blank disks?" Ruggles Fishweir took the disks and placed one in the word processor. He placed one hand on his head and the other he placed lightly on the keyboard. Ruggles began to concentrate, presently the machine began the familiar clicking and humming it always made when data was being copied. After what seemed an hour, Ruggles Fishweir was finished. "That looked like hard work." "In the old days we had to write it out by hand. Print this and read it. I'll come back tomorrow to see what you think of my work." With that, Ruggles Fishweir was gone. Paul Jungman watched as the title page printed and fed itself out of the top of his word processor... "RAGING WHORE MOANS by Paul Jungman." He wondered how the Muse had gotten his Social Security Number, but he forgot all else as the story unfolded before his eyes. The smoke alarm announced Ruggles Fishweir's presence as he entered the room the next day. "I NEVER expected that to happen again," Paul apologized as he removed the battery once more. "That's the best novel I've ever read." "So you approve of my work. Why don't you send it in. There's no reason why your first published work can't become an International Best Seller!" "But I don't feel right about it. Wouldn't it be plagiarism or something?" "At first Poe and Lovecraft were hesitant, but after a while they were glad to publish my work under their own names." "You wrote for Poe and Lovecraft? I guess you're older than you look, have you always specialized in horror?" "I worked with Joe Smith once, his work is quite famous." "Joe Smith? Never heard of him." "Ever hear of Joseph Smith...THE BOOK OF MORMON?" "Next you'll be telling me you wrote the BIBLE." "Nope, I can't take credit for that one," Ruggles Fishweir countered, "but I do have something to show you." He grabbed a dusty BIBLE and began to leaf through the onion skin pages. The gold leaf made the pages stick together, but presently he found his place. "Here it is... 'For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and love, and of a sound mind.'...Yep, God won't help you. He dosen't give THE SPIRIT OF FEAR, if you want to write horror, you need Ruggles Fishweir!" "Okay, I'll send in the manuscript," Paul conceded. "I'll be seeing you," Ruggles said as he made his exit. Paul Jungman stood looking at the display with his head tilted to one side like a curious puppy. "Excuse me, are you Paul Jungman?" "Yes I am!" "I loved your book, in fact it's my favorite horror novel of all time," raved Dianne Metcalf as she offered her delicate hand. Paul shook her hand, noticing her pale green eyes and the wave of auburn hair that framed her lovely face. Dianne had freckles and her nose wrinkled when she smiled. Paul smiled back. He was beginning to like being famous, and meeting Dianne was the icing on the cake. Paul spent two hours signing books. The turn out was better than the staff at Barnes & Noble had expected. Every copy of RAGING WHORE MOANS sold and he spent the last thirty minutes signing blank paper. Dianne Metcalf managed to be the last one in line. She handed Paul a sheet of paper and he was about to sign it when he noticed her name and phone number. Dianne's apartment was tidy except for the clothing strewn about the floor...clothing that had been thrown off in the heat of their desire. Paul caressed her pale shoulders and Dianne kissed him firmly on the mouth. "You're so sexy!" breathed Paul as he bent to kiss Dianne. Their tongues danced as passion rose to a fevered pitch. The only thing that mattered was this moment and the feeling of total abandon they felt. They shuddered as gentle hands explored willing flesh. Paul's tongue landed butterfly soft and fluttery on the moist flower petals of female flesh. There was no stopping the waves of orgasm that began to build until they broke forth in moans of exquisite completion. "Was it good for you?" Paul asked with a smile. "Of course it was, silly, couldn't you tell?" They laughed then and held each other close. As Paul looked deeply into Dianne's eyes, he realized that he enjoyed having her around. Monday the phone rang. "Paul, it's time to get started on a sequel to RAGING WHORE MOANS. The good news is your next novel will get you a bigger advance. I can hardly wait to read it." "No problem Steve, I'll get right on it," Paul said as he hung up the phone. "A baboon could write a better novel than me, what am I going to do now?" Paul parked himself in front of his word processor and stared at the barren page. Minutes later, he called Dianne. "That's wonderful, I want to be the first one to read the new novel when you get finished." "Problem is, I'm suffering from writer's block and I can't seem to get started." "Come over big boy, and I'll get your motor started," Dianne crooned. Five minutes later they were throwing off clothes and inhibitions. "That's right make me come!" Next day, Paul was at home again. The word processor wasn't any help. The words refused to type themselves onto the paper. Before, he hadn't noticed the muse's card had no address or phone number on it. Now that he needed help, he had no idea where the muse was. Just as he was about to nod off, the door bell rang. "Ruggles Fishweir am I glad to see you!" "I figured it was about time to work on a sequel," said Ruggles as he entered the apartment, making the smoke alarm yell. "I'll take care of it." "You are right on time, my girlfriend and my publisher both want me to show them a new novel." "Maybe I could rustle up the first chapter or so." "Anything to get me started." "This girlfriend, is she beautiful? I have this weekness for beautiful women," Ruggles said with a wink. "I would like to get to know her sometime." "What do you mean?" "You know how we are, share and share alike." "You're just a dirty old man!" "And you my friend are a fake, and I'll be happy to tell Dianne all about it!" "You wouldn't dare," Paul said through clenched teeth. "You said you wouldn't forget where your stories come from, and now you refuse to let me in on the action..." With that, Paul grabbed Ruggles by the throat and began to squeeze as hard as he could. The sinewy neck felt dry in his hands as he strained with all of his might. Ruggles Fishweir just dangled there with a surprised look on his face, eyes bulging, tongue swelling up and turning blue. The muse was dead. Paul kicked him to make sure, but the old man wasn't breathing. There was no pulse either. "What have I done? Now who'll write my stories for me!" Paul had to decide what to do next. As far as Paul could tell, no one saw him carry the body down to the basement incinerator. The muse burned like he was made of dry grass. Paul did some laundry and kept an eye out for anyone who might pay an unwelcomed visit. For once his luck held and he went upstairs knowing that there wasn't much left of the muse to find. Paul heard sirens screaming outside as he rushed to the window to peek through the blinds. The police cars kept going on their way to a crime scene across the tracks. His hands were shaking when he pulled himself away from the window. The night promised to be a long one with little sleep. (If only Dianne were here.) The doorbell rang. "Dianne I was just thinking about you. Boy, am I glad you're here!" "Missed me, did you?" "You bet I did, I was hoping you would spend the night." All during Dinner, Paul wondered if he should tell Dianne about the muse. He would when the time was right. They snuggled and watched TV for a while. As they kissed, Paul decided that now wasn't a good time to tell Dianne about Ruggles Fishweir. Dianne pulled the tight fitting t-shirt over her head and her auburn hair fell in waves, nearly hiding her firm breasts. Paul was quick to respond to her need for attention and soon they were rolling around on the couch. Somehow they ended up in the bedroom. Take me NOW," Dianne ordered, she stuck her shapely tush up and curved her spine downward in invitation. Paul guided himself into her tight hiney hole. For a moment he forgot all about Ruggles Fishweir. Afterwards, Paul excused himself and went to the bathroom. When he got back he saw Dianne sitting up in bed, she had her tiny hands under each full breast as if presenting them to him as gifts. "Do you like what you see?" she asked. "I love everything I see," he answered. "Will you still love me when I am old and wrinkled?" Dianne asked and then the breasts she was holding began to wither and shrink until they were all but gone. Dianne laughed then and the laugh went from feminine to deep and throaty. Paul watched as the transformation continued. Dianne's face contorted and changed to the face of Ruggles Fishweir! "No, you're dead. I burned you myself!" "A useless shell, cast aside at the last moment," Ruggles explained. "I can become an ANGEL OF LIGHT if I want to." "Where's Dianne, what have you done with her?" "There never was a Dianne, I made her up to fool you." "You're lying, the smoke alarm never went off when Dianne was here," Paul said as he took a step toward the muse. "Doesn't work without this!" Ruggles said as he held up the 9 volt battery in his bony fingers. Paul felt sick and confused. "Now it's time to publish a new book," Ruggles said as he showed Paul a manuscript. "One that will bring about a new era of death and destruction." "The NECRENOMICON, I thought that was something that H.P. Lovecraft made up for some of his stories." "You will be blamed for the death of millions when this gets published. Too bad it's going to be your last book." "Not if I can help it." "Once you've crossed me, there's no escape," Ruggles said with a sneer. "It wasn't drugs, booze, or rabies that killed Poe, I drove him insane myself!" "I believe you." Ruggles wrapped his hands around Paul's throat and began to squeeze. Paul tried to break free, but the old man was far stronger than he looked. Paul gasped for air and continued to struggle. The room grew fuzzy and Paul felt like he was going to pass out. The door burst open. "That's the man that tied me up," Dianne yelled as she led the police officers into the bedroom. Ruggles let go of Paul. Dianne ran to Paul and threw her arms around him. "You're not hurt are you?" "I feel better already," said Paul as he rubbed his neck. "I love you Dianne." "I love you too. I love you even if you can't write." "Ruggles must've told you." They were so excited to see each other that they had forgotten about the muse. "A man can't just walk through walls, there's gotta be an explanation..." "I saw it too," said the other officer. "Maybe we can catch him before he gets away." "What if Ruggles Fishweir comes back?" Dianne asked with a look of concern on her face. "We can put smoke alarms up in every room, at least we'll know when he shows up." "That just might work. Now, when do we get married?" THE END ___________________________________________________________ For Patricia with love. Thanks G.E. Stanley. Copyright 1997, James Morgan Iley (Ruggles Fishweir)
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