Magic Carpet

by Pamela Jean Herber

My muse came to me this morning. She looked out over the landscape of my novel. Through her eyes I saw a fantasy land where the primary settings of my story were large in proportion to the rest of the land. The hills and valleys rolled. The rivers flowed. Birds flew in playful swoops and chirped mirthful songs. I also saw deep dark wells of mystery, where spiders and weasels and bats and snakes lived, their eyes glowing. She allowed me to admire what I had created, what it was that I was bringing to life.

I felt myself pull back from the vision. It wasn’t real enough. I wanted my characters and the place to feel as real as this life I’m living now. My muse smiled at that thought. She then knelt down. She grasped a piece of the landscape in one hand and a piece in the other. She ripped the terrain loose from its holding. What tore free was a magic carpet of sorts. It pulsed in the air, a rollercoaster of motion. The fringed ends fluttered. Gold embroidery glinted beneath dust and grime. My muse shook the carpet violently. All sorts of chunks of things dusted up and fell away, disappearing into the blur below. I saw people falling and screaming, and goats bleating. Chairs and dining room tables and sofas and kitchen sinks flew helter-skelter.

She gave the carpet a few more hefty shakes. As the detritus fell away, the carpet began to show its true nature, all of its splendor, and began to take hold of itself. It no longer needed my muse to clean it up. It no longer needed my muse to tell it where to be or to flop it around.

I reached to take it back.

My muse sensed this and let go of the corners it had grasped so tightly. The carpet sped off into the distance.

I was furious. My novel needed armor to protect it. I would go after it. Find it. Build that armor. But I didn’t know how to go where it had gone.

My muse offered a hand to me. I hesitated before taking it. We flew across many landscapes until we reached a world, out in space, in its own orbit. She motioned toward it. She didn’t say a word to me but I understood. This was the magic carpet we had woven. It was whole. It was alive. It was perfect.

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