Inheriting a Muse This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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I spread my wings, savoring the feeling the soft feathers left in their wake as they caressed the skin on the tops of my shoulders. I let my hand run through my light brown hair, slightly lighter than it was a few weeks before, before dropping my hand to his shoulder. My creator, the one I had helped all those years… gone. I had watched him play through his childhood, guided him in life and his stories, and even helped him choose how best to propose to his wife. I shook my head at the tears running down his pretty wife's face. He had made it to his seventies and I had helped him all the way.

I remember in the weeks before, he'd spoken of how he knew God was calling him home. The thought made me smile, even then. I couldn't feel his heartbeat anymore, my creator gone to wherever it was he was meant to go. I could imagine him standing with God, building and creating in heaven. I tried to will the thought and image into his wife's mind.

Even though I knew she couldn't see me, I sat down next to her and held her shoulder lightly, "It'll be alright, Becky, you'll be with him one day." I laid a light kiss on her cheek, wiping the tears from her face, then from mine. She touched her cheek with the hand not caressing his hair, and I like to think she knew I was there. I like to think she knew something was there and knew he would be somewhere good.

I looked at his family as memories about his past flooded my vision. I stood tall above them, not aging, as that was not my place. I still held the look of the twenty something year old angel with brown hair and blue eyes that never changed. I still stood at six foot seven inches as I looked at how they'd changed. The man had not lived an unfruitful life. He had left five sons and a daughter to carry on his legacy.

I jumped as I saw his granddaughter, one who was at his house constantly, the one he had shown his art, piano, pen, and building, to all the time. She was crying, alone in a corner of the room, looking far too scared to come forward. She wasn't looking at the people around her or even at her Bigjack, my creator. She was looking at me. She was looking me straight in the eye, a sort of kinship in her gaze.

"Who are you?" I could hear her even though she hadn't spoken aloud, "Are you an angel?" She looked at me, her eyes widening when they landed on my wings.

The tears rolled faster down my cheeks as I looked down once more at my creator, "Old man." I smiled at the endearment as I spoke it one more time. I looked back to his granddaughter, "Sort of. I'm a muse."

She smiled at me, looking around to see if anyone else had seen me, "Were you Bigjack's muse?" She corrected herself, obviously afraid I didn't know the name, "My grandpa, I mean."

I smiled back at her. He had willed me to his granddaughter. He had left me behind instead of taking me with him. I hadn't understood when he'd told me I couldn't go with him to heaven to help him. I understood then. He had wanted his ideas to continue on as he took them elsewhere. He had wanted me here, with his family, with her, "Yes, I was your Bigjack's muse. You're Lucy, right?" She nodded, her face mottled with tears. "Well then, now it appears he wanted me to be yours." She let out another sob, and I could tell she was obviously thinking of her grandfather.

No one in the room spared her another glance, her father's arm already having been around her, but he hadn't looked from my creator. She met my eyes, "You're mine?"

I smiled again, "I'm here to help you. You do know what a muse is, right?" She nodded again, and I thought she was probably having issues gathering her thoughts to speak to me. I moved to stand next to her, "Don't worry. He's happy where he is and you'll see him one day." I looked down at her, sitting in one of the few chairs the hospital provided in these cases, "But until then, I think he wanted you to carry on his legacy."

She smiled to herself, and I could tell she had a lot in common with her grandfather, "My name is Gale."

I'm not sure if I was the only one who could hear her laugh or if she had laughed for the whole room to hear, but it made me smile nonetheless, "I like that name." I could feel ideas and stories swirling through her mind in a whirlwind. I sent up a silent thank you to my creator as I looked down at the young teenager before me, "This'll be an interesting life."





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