A Glimpse Inside The Muse’s Ambush

Last week, I wrote (okay, I whined) about how Myrtle the Evil Muse ambushed me with a novel I hadn’t planned on. Heck, I didn’t even know it had taken up residence in the back of my mind. For the first time in a very long while, I was completely taken over by the muse and by a story I didn’t want to write. . .  at least not just then. Now the story is firmly planted in my brain and, yes, there are two more books in the series. I know the general plot for the second and the kind-of, sort-of “this is what happens” for the third. Because you bore with me on my whinging last week, here’s quick peek into what Myrtle ambushed me with. This is completely unedited, stream of consciousness from the main character’s POV. Fair warning, it was very much as if she was dictating the entire 25k words to me. It isn’t anywhere close to publication ready. But now you get to see why I keep telling you guys Myrtle is an EVIL muse.

Remember, I warned you. There is no sanity here. I’m not sure there is any in my head right now. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a character demand so strongly to let me tell their story, much less want to dictate the basic story to me as if we were sitting down over coffee talking about it. What follows is the introduction as “she” told me. The cover mock-up is not the final one. I’m not happy with the image, even though Myrtle is. Sigh. Stupid muse.

Welcome to Hell

That was the last thing my mother said to me on my thirteenth birthday. It might not have been Hell in the biblical sense of the word, but it certainly was in every other way.

And it’s been my life for the last decade.

One day I’ll break free. When I do, I’ll show her what Hell really is. She should have killed me that day. It would have been kinder than the life she sentenced me to.

Let me introduce myself. My name’s Brighid “Bree” Walsh. That hasn’t always been my name. I started out in this world with the pretentious and oh-so-proper name of Adriana Grace Hansen. The eldest child, and the most rebellious of Rebecca Chambers Hansen and Charles Desmond Hansen, two of the most vile, hate-filled people to ever walk the face of the Earth.

The first thirteen years of my life were normal. Well, as normal as any life can be in a world that suddenly found itself chewed up and spit out. A world where your parents have no qualms sacrificing anyone, even family, to gain what they want. Not that I realized just how bad they were back then. But that goes back even longer, to a time before my birth. Since it’s important, I guess I ought to say something about it and about my family.

We were nothing special. At least not to my mind, looking back on the family history. Of course, I wrote that history so make of that what you will. We were teachers and shopkeepers. Oh, there was a doctor or lawyer here and there along the family tree. Even a few politicians—more about them later. But, on the whole, we were hardworking men and woman, just looking to eke out the best life we could for our families.

That started changing two, maybe three, generations ago. Grandpa was happy being a teacher. He saw the importance of educating kids, teaching them to think for themselves. But Grandmother—hell, let’s be honest here. She hated to be called “mom” or “mother”, much less “grandmother” or, heaven forbid “grandma”—she was something different. She wanted to be more. She wanted my grandfather to be more. When that didn’t work, she started working behind the scenes in local politics. She liked to think of herself as a mover and shaker. What she really was was a worker bee, one who trained her son to put his own good and his own desires above everything else.

Which he did, with ample help from my mother. Anyone who knew them, knew they’d sacrifice anyone, no matter who they were, for a political deal. Saving political face? Hell, daddy dearest didn’t care if he had to disappear someone or make sure they never breathed another breath. I learned early on not to cross either of them.

That wasn’t all that difficult. After all, they only wanted me around when they needed to parade out their perfect little family. Otherwise, I was shoved off to nannies and tutors and eventually boarding school. Not that that lasted long.

And that is where what happened to change the world comes into play. You see, Grandma—or when I’m really not in a generous mood, Granny—tried to make her power play. The world went to bed one day and everything was normal. Humans, or Normals, shared the planet with animals, insects and plants. When they woke up, everything changed. The things of movies and books and, yes, even nightmares suddenly existed. Some were ablet to keep up the appearance that they were human, but others couldn’t. After all, it’s difficult to explain away a ten-foot tall, one-eye cyclops or a ghost.

There were others as well. Elves are real. In fact, I have a feeling they’re responsible for whatever happened. They always seem to be trying to push the boundaries, especially when it comes to manipulating the world around them. Whatever happened, the veil between normal and paranormal was ripped away and we got to see the worst in everyone, especially humans.

And especially my parents.

Which gets to my story.

Like I said, I had a normal—for qualities of normal—life up until I was thirteen. I knew my parents were extremely anti-para. Daddy dearest introduced bill after bill in first the state legislature and then the national, to limit their rights and, in some circumstances, to imprison them to “protect” the innocent humans. He did this despite the protections put into place after an uprising by the paras at least a decade before my birth in which they proved they could take over the country and the world without too much bother as long as the normals didn’t resort—foolishly—to the nuclear option.

What I didn’t know—hey, I was a kid, after all, and my parents made sure I didn’t know any more than necessary for those few times when they trotted me out before the cameras and other politicians or campaign donors—was they didn’t stop with their attempts to control paras through legislation. There was a dark side to our country that people like them built, one not officially recognized by the government because it wasn’t a “part” of it.

Not that certain members of government weren’t more than willing to use it for their own gains or for what they saw as being “beneficial” for the country.

I found out about that dark part of our lives—not to mention my parents’ role in it—when I turned thirteen.

When I woke that morning, I’d been any normal girl looking forward to becoming a teenager. I was on my way to adulthood and the chance to finally get out from under my parents’ thumbs. You see, I wasn’t a compliant kid like my younger sister or the anointed one like my younger brother. I was the rebel, the kid who wanted to spend time with friends who might not happen to be “human”. I didn’t want to play the good daughter for appearances sake only. I wanted to be heard and I wanted my opinions to listened to.

Something neither of my parents wanted to do.

What I hadn’t expected was to be dragged out of bed and given little time to dress. From the moment my parents—yes, both of them—appeared in my room and demanded I get dressed, I knew this wasn’t going to be the sort of day I wanted. If only I’d known the truth. I certainly wouldn’t have gotten into the car with them. I sure as hell wouldn’t have gone inside the non-descript building where they explained I was going to have a physical because I was now “of that age”. I’m not sure what I would have done, but it wasn’t let them lead me in like a sheep to the slaughter.

Because that is exactly what they did.

Betrayal, thy name is Rebecca Chambers Hansen and Charles Desmond Hansen.

That day ended my life as Adriana Grace Hansen. In her place was a number, someone to be kept caged and chained and brought out only when under complete control and then be forced to do things I would never do on my own.

But the day would come when I’d escape. Powerful as they became, my parents made the mistake of making enemies who hated them every bit as much as I do. And those enemies might not be my friends, but we had a common goal: making my parents and those like them pay for what they did.

But before that happens, I have to deal with a few “issues” or my new friends will put me down just as surely as my parents will if they ever manage to get their hands on me again.

What I didn’t know was that “physical” was putting me through some not-so-legal tests to see if I would remain human or if I was about to turn. What I didn’t know then was there were some types of paras who didn’t manifest who or what they were until the hormones kicked in. And boy were mine starting to kick in. Nor did I know my parents would do anything to keep the world from learning they had tainted blood—which they did. Otherwise, one of their kids would never have become a para.

We were there several hours. Bloodwork was run, different scans and psychological tests given. Then I was led into a room. My parents waited there with the “doctor” and two very large, very scary men. All looked so serious that I wondered if they’d discovered I had cancer or something. Instead, the doctor confirmed his findings to my parents. When he asked if they were sure about the course of “treatment”, both nodded. But it was my mother who took the lead.


Before I knew what was happening, the two men had me secured between them. The doctor was suddenly in front of me. He held a syringe that he plunged into my neck. The least thing I remembered for some time was my mother telling my father it was time to put this part of their history behind them. My brother and sister would soon forget they had an older sister. The world would be told I’d run away and that gave Daddy a new campaign platform to run with. The dangers this world presents to our children and how it is so easy to miss the signs. But they didn’t wany any other family to know the sorrow they do. Yada yada yada.

When I next woke, or at least my next real memory, I was strapped in a chair. I couldn’t move, not even my head. Leather straps at ankles, below the knee, the thighs, wrists, upper arms, chest, neck and forehead held me motionless. I couldn’t talk thanks to the gag in my mouth. I was nude, something no thirteen-year-old wants in front of strangers, especially one with the imagination I had.

I watched, refusing to cry and refusing to make a sound at the two men from earlier finished making sure my restraints were secure. Then they stepped out and the doctor and someone else walked in. The doctor simply checked my vitals and confirmed I was all right. The drugs they’d given me would keep me quiet and compliant, but the straps would enforce it just in case I managed to fight free of their effects. Now it was up to the second man to do his bit.

I watched, eyes going wide—I can’t help it. I’ve always had a phobia about needles—as he set out needles, ink, and more. With his back turned to me then, I could only watch as he did something over the set up, chanting as he did. His words were magical. I could feel them against my skin. But that didn’t make any sense, especially when my mother walked into the room. She took in the chanting man and then me with a critical eye.

And that’s when I discovered her plans for me. This was now my home. Her “friends” would use me however they wanted. No, they wouldn’t whore me out. I wasn’t good enough to go fucking real men, human men. I was nothing but a para.

When she said that, the chanting man’s back stiffened for a moment before he relaxed. Interesting. He did not appreciate her attitude.

Mommy dearest wouldn’t let my “sickness” impact her life or my father’s career. Fortunately, there were places for people like me. I would be trained and then I would be used. If I wanted to live, I would do as I was told. No, she didn’t know what I would be used for and she never would. Once she walked out this door, she would never see me again. Adriana Grace Hansen would cease to exist. In a few months or a year, a police report would be released, showing how I’d died from a drug overdose. It wouldn’t raise too many questions or doubts since I was already known as a wild child.

But, in order to make sure I didn’t get into any trouble, certain steps were being taken to guarantee my compliance.

For hours that day, I sat there, restrained and unable to protest, as the second man tattooed me. Sigils were inked with his special inks that tied my powers—powers I still didn’t know about—until someone with the correct magical word/spell released them. But even then, they would be limited. After all, they weren’t going to run the risk of me being able to use those powers to escape.

The tattooist actually flinched when my mother lightly patted his head, just as if he was a puppy properly doing a trick. The hatred in his eyes spoke volumes. They’d bound him as they were binding me.

How many others had they done this to?

In the end, the sigils and other things I didn’t have words for were tattooed on my forearms, lower legs and between my breasts. The chair, which had been reclined, was straightened to an upright position. Mother watched as the tattoos were cleansed and ointment put on them. Then the tattooist was dismissed and told to return to his cell.

The next few minutes were as bad, worse even, than the previous hours. My head was shaved. Wide leather cuffs were locked around my ankles, wrists and throat. Then the doctor stepped forward. He placed the silver tray in my lap, adding insult to injury since I couldn’t even knock it off. The first thing he did was attach something to the front of my collar. I would learn later it was a tag with my new “ID” on it. They’d collared me like a dog and now my ID number hung from it.

Then he gave me a second injection. As he stepped back, Mother stepped forward. My vision started blurring as she reached out and grabbed my chin. Hatred shone in her eyes. Thankfully, the drug took the pain from the slap she delivered. Sounding like she was talking through a mile or more of mush, she told me I was dead to her and to the rest of the family. Then she turned and signed what I would later learn was an agreement with “the facility” to terminate me if I proved to be too much trouble to them.

At the door, she paused, the doctor at her side. I’m still not sure which one welcomed me to Hell, but I have no doubt it was mommy dearest.

And hell it was. The first few weeks and months, I was fortunately still in a fog of disbelief and a drugged fog. These assholes weren’t stupid. They knew better than to let a hormonal teenager just coming into her powers, whatever they might be, go unsedated, especially if they were trying to control her. But they didn’t leave me alone either. There was conditioning, more mental than anything. I never saw anyone but the doctor, so-called therapists and the two goons. I was never let out of my cell. Even at thirteen, I knew what they were doing. They were breaking me down and making me dependent on them. What they didn’t know was all it did was make me angrier and more determined not to give in to them.

It was my introduction to Hell and their introduction to just what sort of hellion I could be when I put my mind to it.

This is my life, with eventual training in what my power or talent or whatever the hell you want to call it is. Of course, my “hosts” call it my curse. The only cursing being done is by me and vocally, not arcanely. For one thing, the damned tattoos prevent that. For another, the one I really want to curse isn’t there. Well, the two. The two people responsible for making me into what I am: my parents.

But given a chance, I’m going to make sure they both understood the mistake they made. I might no longer be Adriana Grace Hansen but I was so much more than they thought.

And that is what you need to know to get started.

And this is my hell. Help me, I’m caught in a story and can’t get out.

Featured Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay


  1. This is an “interesting” start.

    Oh yes, I see why you call her the “Evil Muse”. 😉

    1. Somehow, I need to whip it into shape so it can be a start. That’s more of “her” telling me her backstory. And, yeah, it has to be given fairly close to the beginning so everything makes sense going forward. Sigh. There are times when I hate my muse.

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