Fiction: In the Temple of the Muse

Here is someone on Hlau’s list. Kumo is a villainess of this story, and she sees her crimes as a creative act.

In the Temple of the Muse, which was at the west end of the Mall and faced it in an eastward direction, Kumo had come early in the morning to get inspiration from the Nine-Personed Goddess. It was still dark, a few hours before the tourists, eager with their cameras, would come and crowd the large statue, hoping to get inspiration and a picture with her at the same time. The sun would rise soon and those few hardy souls, when the Temple was at its most beautiful, would be soon come to the Temple when it was bathed in the golden sunlight and reflected the pinkness of the morning sky. Kumo preferred to see the Muse at daybreak, but this was the time when she would have the Goddess to herself, before the devotees and then the tourists would take up her time.

She meditatively walked in a slow pace around the statue, occasionally looking up to one of the Muse’s nine faces. Each face represented a different art, a different aspect of the Muse, but one did not show deference to one countenance or the other when at the Temple. Each was part of the same source of inspiration, so it was only proper to acknowledge each one. One never knew as help could come from the most unexpected aspect or manifestation of the Muse. She just had to be open to hearing any of them.

After pacing nine times around the statue, Kumo sat down on the steps, where she could see the pool, the Mall, and most of Shusa. She took out a wirebound book of calligramme paper from her portfolio bag and then fumbled for a pencil. Once she had the pencil in her hand, she opened up the book and found a blank page. She wrote down the names of institutions and how she would hack their computers, and then she ripped out what she had down. Looking at a blank grid, Kumo looked at it to see which shape or pattern would come to her. After a few minutes of gazing at the paper, Kumo saw a tree and arranged her words as such. She arranged the words in the shape of those white blossomed trees that line the River and closed her book when she was finished. The sun was finally rising and those early morning pilgrims were starting to come in, one by one. Kumo had had her audience with the Muse, now she was going to enjoy the sunrise before getting on with her day and what she had to do.

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