Entertaining the Muses

I danced to the chorus of laughter. Too busy choreographing the next routine to notice the others. There was no group for me and no place to be.

Tripped by the dizziness of eternal lostness, I fell to the dirt. The only place I belonged. That was the day the birds arrived—the day stones were thrown.

The birds had a song—they had something to say. But who would sing it? Who would hear their cry?

The birds circled around the most talented and the most gifted. Hopelessly attracted to shiny objects, the birds gravitated to the girl of the stars. Her voice was angelic and moved as delicately as her perfect ringlets. Everyone loved her. Her parents were world-famous musicians, so she had all the connections. The complete package as they say. The birds flapped in excitement. She’s perfect!

The birds swooped into her bedroom and hid in the dark corners. In the middle of the night, when she was in the deepest layer of sleep, they sang their song.

The tune haunted the girl of the stars. It traveled with her everywhere she went. But the song was weird. It wasn’t like the others. What would people think? No, she refused to sing it!

The birds tried everything to get the girl of the stars to sing, but it was useless. She would never sacrifice her perfection.

So the birds had no choice but to fly on, traveling from one brilliant singer to the next—none willing to sacrifice what they had.

The birds went to the ditch to mourn their loss. No one would sing their song, and their purpose would be wasted.

That was when the birds met the girl of the ditch.

“Ew, what is that?”
“What is she wearing?”
“What is that foul smell?”

The birds gawked and laughed at the girl in the ditch. They threw rocks at her, which knocked her down.

But she didn’t seem to mind. She got right back up. You see, the girl of the ditch was used to being knocked down. To her, it was life.

The birds kept throwing larger and larger stones to defeat her, but back up she came. At first, the birds were frustrated. Then they became curious.

“Could she sing our song?”
“No way. Look at her. She’d be the laughing stock. She’d ruin it.”
“Yeah, but she’d actually do it. She doesn’t seem to mind what others think.”
“Can she even sing?”
“Well, she could learn. Let’s collect the teachers!”

Stones hurt, but what choice did I have? Stay down? My life had become a light switch. Every time it got turned off, I would get up and flip the switch back on.

Despite the pain, learning was worth it. The more I immersed myself in expanding my knowledge, the less the stones would come. And now the stage was set. Millions of fans waited. Everything was perfect except for the rock under the mic. I picked it up. It was once the training stone the birds used on me. It used to scare me, but now it was merely a pebble. I chuckled as I chucked it up in the air, caught it, and put it in my pocket. There was nothing left to fear. I grabbed the mic, and the song came out ... and the birds were pleased.

Entertaining the Muses
Story and artwork by Pi Luna

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