Fiction · Flash Fiction · How to be British


Saturday, August 5, 2017. Daily Brit Wit.


Adjective, informal

(Of a person) tending to talk too loudly and in a blunt or opinionated way.

*My Muse says hello humans! And welcome to the third piece of the Inside the Mind Palace series. It's Not On was last week's; I suppose one doesn't need to read the whole series to get the gist of it…😳

"You are fretting, which is mildly ironic had your head been in a clearer state to appreciate, because your anxiety is for your AWOL muse. She's refusing any and all forms of communication for going on a month now.

At first, you were busy with the follow-up from the conference and didn't think about the reprieve. When you were in the mood for some creative outlets for about two to five days somewhere within the last month, Musie wasn't feeling it. So you struggled through solo until a new work project gained your attention.

But Musie is a gobby one and silence on her end generally does not bode well for you. For one, it implies she's up to devious plans. Then again, Musie has worse patience than a hangry toddler, so she'd have sprung her attack several weeks ago. You don't believe Musie has a grasp of long-term war strategies: she's a more live-in-the-moment, let's-see-what'll-happen-next type than a purposefully deceitful shrew. She's more spontaneous, resourceful, and lively. Her streaks of ambition aren't long-term. The silence could also mean she's back on heavy-drinking binges again. Though, Musie's an amusing drunk and if balanced properly, she's chattier and sassily charming; but when she's trashed, your muse tends to fall into a coma.

Perhaps that's where she's been all along?

You attempt to enter your mind palace to investigate Muse's whereabouts. And find all entrances jammed. Briefly, you wonder if it's your anxiety denying your admittance. Even the entertainment of zen causes you to twitch, so that's a no. You try again and this time it's as if your mind doesn't even have a proper structure. Can one accidentally swipe clean one's own hard-drive? Yikes, you hope not.

'Musie?' You ask aloud, not caring if you're overheard. (Not that you would since you're tucked away in your yoga room at home.) 'Hon, are you in there?'


Not even a prickling at your temples. Come to think of it, you've not had a peculiar and random headache recently either.

'Musie, when I said you deserved a break, the implication was a small one. Not some long haul holiday that encouraged your negligence.' You gripe.

She doesn't even rise to the bait.

'I'm really worried about you, Muse.' You admit.

You rearrange your position until your back is against the wall under the window. You sit on a lilac yoga block and support your knees with two sofa pillows.

Your intentions are not to infiltrate but to gain entry into your meditation rooms. You're not even contemplating anything nefarious once you get in; no, certainly not. You simply need to mellow from this dreadful anxiety and your mind shan't refuse sanctuary when it's honestly needed.

It only takes three and a half minutes to slip inside the pure white zen room. This surprises you because the beach scene is the go-to room for impending anxiety. You shrug and stand up, stretching, not bothering to hide your chuffed smile. Problem with this particular room is how bloody camouflaged is the door; an all white room is literal and there's not even brass knobs to guide you. Where is it?

South side, a voice echoes.

You pivot one hundred and eighty degrees and pace toward the area you now recall houses the door. To exit, you have to slide open the pocket door and it's tricky because it's so inconsistently used that the door likes hiding to keep you inside longer.

Your fingers slip off the cavity. You try three more times with the same results.

'Come on,' you grumble. When a fifth attempt flounders, you want to feel anger but experience an old friend: claustrophobia. 'Open the damn door!' You shout, but the command wobbles and doesn't sound threatening to your own ears.

You start banging on the door.

'Musie!' You cry out.

You've completely disregarded your plan. Can't even cook up another. You refuse to give in to fear of being boxed in, especially as you (mostly) overcame it years ago. Yet the panic intensifies and the banging escalates.

'What part of "do not disturb" don't you comprehend?' Her agitated voice mumbles on the other side.

'Muse!' Your cry is one of relief. 'Please, open the door.' You press against the wood to listen. You hear nothing over your erratic heart-rate. 'I've missed you.'

She sighs dramatically and a weight falls into the door, jostling you. She slides down and you mirror her. With your backs against the door, you wait her out.

After several moments of pressing nothingness, you fidget and fret some more. You open and close your mouth.

'Just spit it out,' she states blandly.

'Are you all right?' You finally ask.

'Not really.'

'Will you tell me what's wrong?'

'Not happening.'

'Maybe it'll help?'

A scoff. 'You're cute when you're ignorant.'

You stay silent.

'Anyways, it wouldn't help.'

'How'd you know?'

'Because I just do know, tiny human.'

'You help me all the time.'

'That's different.'

'It's not different.'

'Is too.'

'Then tell me how?'

'I can't.'

'Can't or won't?'

'Change your line of inquiry, we are not having a clichéd heart-to-heart like some B-list movie you only find on telly in the middle of the night.'

'Oh. Do you have those problems, too?' You're surprised. 'I never realised.'

'You can't help me.' She reiterates with strong conviction.

'Why not? Because you're so bleeding stubborn?'

She growls warningly on the opposite side. 'Watch it, woman.'

'Tell me.'

'Humans can't help Muses!'

You can't help it: you giggle. 'Says who?'

Her head knocks into the wood. 'Says Every Muse who has Existed Ever.'

'So just you, hey?'

'Piss off.'

'Not till you talk to me.'

'Huh. 'Pose I can leave now then, right?'

'We're not talking, you berk; we're bickering.'

'Did you just call me a mean name?'

'Get over yourself, Princess.'

'Excuse you! I am not posh.'

'Excuse yourself, Musie, because you've been a real slacker.' You pause and smirk casually. 'You know what?'

'…what?' She questions reluctantly.

'I ought to report you to the proper channels for being such a piss poor Muse lately.'

She gasps and from the sounds of it she pushes off the door. 'How'd you even know about that!? I never said anything to you about the like. You can't do that!'

Your smirk broadens.

She bangs on the door now. 'Hey! You listen to me–'

'I don't think you're in the position to boss me around, don't you?'

She shrieks indignantly.

'You want to tell me what's bothering you?'

'No!' She snarls.

You shrug both shoulders. 'Then I guess we're at an impasse.'

'Wait! No, please!' She taps repeatedly and sniffles. 'It's the mimosas.' She wails pitifully. 'I got into a slump and took up the drinks again hoping they would spark something, you know? Like Jack Kerouac minus the drugs. But it didn't; they didn't. So I spiralled outta control. And pushed you 'way because I- I didn't think I needed your help.'

You sigh softly and turn on your knees, pressing palms against the door. You don't allow yourself to speculate over Muses getting into slumps, too. 'Musie,' you whisper. Your head rests there and eyes close.

You face plant on the floor when the door opens suddenly.


'Oooh, no! Crap! I'm sorry! Here, let me help you!'

Muse rolls you onto your back and flutters around you like a buzzing fairy without the pixie dust.

'Would you stop mixing up your fairytale creatures?'

You grin. 'But that's what I've you for, Musie.'

Her head tips back on a groan. 'I suppose I can't really leave you alone, can I?'

'Nope.' You answer and pop the last consonant.

She chivvies me around until I'm standing up. I slap her hands when she fusses some more. She pouts.

'Let's find ice cream and biscuits, yeah?'

Her eyes light up and prompts bouncing around. She hooks her arm with yours and tugs you down the hallway. 'I know just the place. Plus,' she grins over her shoulder. 'Maybe you can lock up all the drinks? So that way only you can give them out?'

I nod and follow after her."



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