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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Pen is Mightier than the Sword (04/08/10)

TITLE: Marvin To The Rescue
By Kimberly Russell


Tara groaned and slapped her laptop shut. Time to look out the window for a while. Maybe a distraction would help. Probably not.

She had promised her editor that the column would be on time this month-for a change. But life happened, her column didn't emerge, and the deadline loomed.
It seemed that no matter what she tried, the article just would not come together.

Maybe if she closed her eyes and relaxed. It felt so good to rest. Ready to try again, nothing could prepare her for what she saw as her lids snapped open: there was a little person sitting on the windowsill. Was she dreaming?

The thing wasn't exactly a person. More like a pixie. Not that she had a lot of pixie experience but it was an educated guess.

He sat cross-legged with a smirk on his face. Could pixies smirk? Might have to Google that one...

Only four inches tall, he was dressed in a red body suit with the letters "M M" emblazoned on the torso. Boots and flowing cape completed the ensemble. A super hero fairy? Whatever it was, he suddenly jumped up and glared at her, arms akimbo.

"Speak up, girl. What do you have to say for yourself?"

"Who and what ARE you?"

"If you were any kind of a writer, you'd know. What do you think these letters stand for?" he spit out, thumping a tiny fist on his chest.

Great. Now she'd ticked off the pixie.

"Sorry, didn't mean to insult you."

"I am 'Mighty Muse'. But you can call me Marvin."

The fairy plopped down and began to swing his legs, contemplating her like a bug under a microscope.

"Generally, I live inside you. I'm your creative side that strains to be unleashed and lead readers to places far away..." Marvin's voice softened as his eyes glazed over.

Tara ducked down to eye level and scrutinized her visitor. "Well, my perturbed pixie, there is no way you could possibly be my muse."

"Really? Why?"

"Because if you were my muse," she said with a tap to her heart, "You would be in here, helping me finish this column as opposed to hanging out in the window, soaking up some rays."

Marvin crossed his legs and leaned back, a slow smile spreading across his face.

"That's where you're wrong. It's not my fault you've been ignoring me. You just took off and left me behind..." As his voice trailed off, Marvin began to weep like his tiny heart would shatter.

Tara stared in shock. "Oh, Marvin, don't cry. I'm sorry I forgot about you-please forgive me. No wonder I haven't been able to write lately. The creative juices just seemed to dry up, nothing flowed but I didn't know it was my fault. I'll admit I haven't been doing my best work lately. I'm not even sure anyone reads my column anyway."

"What makes you say that?" Marvin said with a sniffle.

"I used to get emails from readers all the time. They'd tell me how encouraged they were by my writing or how it made their life better. It felt so good knowing that I might be helping someone. You know: making a difference. But now, I rarely hear from anyone. Maybe I'm just kidding myself and I really can't write at all." She put her head down and soon muffled sobs filled the room.

Marvin rolled his eyes as if calling on the heavens to save him from his plight. "Tara, listen up. As a writer, we need to trust that if we are called to write, we will reach those in need. God will use our words to touch others if we use the words He gives us."

Marvin flittered from the windowsill on gossamer wings and lightly landed. "Remember the column you sent in a few weeks ago about your Dad?"

Tara's eyes lit up. "Oh, yes, that was one of my favorites. Why?"

"Because of that piece, a lady across town was so touched, she reached out to her estranged father that she hadn't talked to in five years. They worked through their misunderstandings and are on their way to restoring the relationship. Just today she told him that he's going to be a grandfather for the first time. Still think you're a failure as a writer?"

Tears began to slide down Tara's face again but for a different reason. "Oh Marvin, I had no idea...."


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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/15/10
Bravo! I so enjoyed this little conversation with the muse. I'm glad to see you were in touch with your muse when you wrote this! It is so true, as writers we will never fully understand how our words can change the lives of those who read them.
Brenda Shipman 04/19/10
Loved the title, loved the story and definitely loved Marvin! Your description of your muse is exactly how I picture my muse. :) Too cute!
Beth LaBuff 04/20/10
Marvin made me smile! I totally enjoyed this tale (and was wondering if I can borrow Marvin sometime?) :)
Patricia Herchenroether04/20/10
A delightful story. Great descriptions and very real dialog. The amazing thing is that even though lighthearted, this is also a serious reminder and encouragement to all writers. Thank you!
angelos2 wark04/22/10
Well I suppose now I will have to come up with a name for my litle guy.
Very amusing and thought provoking.
Sarah Elisabeth 04/23/10
Congrats on making the top fifteen in Advanced, Kathryn!