Taking a Breather

Disclaimer: Tamsin and Sable belong to me, I suppose... as does Hutch, natch. Pinocchio is at the WC courtesy of Seraph. Cyberpunk is a TM of R. Talsorian Games, while 7th Sea belongs to Alderae Entertainment Group. Eric belongs to himself, though he owns a fair chunk of my heart. Three Kings is a really good movie put out by Warner Brothers. Go see it!

Writer's notes: Oh ye gods and little fishes, I wrote something. Seriously, this is the first time I've punched keys for something other than an archive, or an email, or work, in weeks. Caught up on a bunch of SC stories today, so that's where this comes from, more or less. It's cathartic. Good ol' Tamsin.

Feedback is greatly appreciated at hutch @ jazmer.com.

Thank the gods for the Writers' Cafe, Hutch thought to herself as she gave Pinocchio a nod, headed up the steps and into the main room. Normally, she was intimidated by most places of gathering, but here she felt right at home. Even if I haven't written anything in forever.

Within a few minutes, she'd ensconced herself in a booth and ordered a drink and an appetizer of mozzarella sticks from the waitress. Settling her head back against the board, she let out a long sigh. Damn, but she was glad the Writers' Cafe had been reestablished. It would have been too much of a pain to try to get into the Subreality Cafe -- and then she would have had to deal with unruly fictives demanding to know when they'd be written next. That was just one more bit of stress she didn't want right now.

A body appeared at the table, blocking the light from the room. Hutch glanced up, expecting it to be her drink -- but no such luck.

"May I have a seat?"

"Of course," the Writer agreed heavily, watching her Muse slide gracefully into the seat opposite her.

"Isn't often we see you here," he noted, violet eyes level on hers.

"Oh, cut out the niceties," she snapped, and then sighed. "Sorry. You should know better than anyone else how stressed out I've been."

"I know." His voice was dark. "None of what I've been giving you has taken any hold."

"Well, I haven't had any time to write." Rather than plaintive, her tone was straightforward as she laid out her thoughts. "Between work -- not knowing what's going on there, whether I'm going to be laid off, not to mention the stress of knowing I'm to be a lead instructor -- and the OKEBFFA... and Eric, and bills, and the MUSHes, and FF8, and--"

One dark eyebrow went up. "That is not a stressor."

Two can play the Spock game. One of her eyebrows shot up in return. "Try being wiped out by Cerberus three times in a row, and then ask me that again."

Tamsin rolled his eyes. I'm being put aside for video games. What is this world coming to-- "But now you've got other people helping you out with the archive, right?"

Hutch nodded, giving the waitress a smile as she approached with her amaretto sour and mozzarella sticks. Taking a bolstering drink of the cocktail, she went on. "Yes. And that's helping a lot, more than I actually thought it would. Can you believe my little site's had almost 5000 hits?"

The look Tamsin gave her this time was that patronizing kind of glance one bestows upon the less intelligent. Hutch glared back at him. "All right, fine, I won't be enthusiastic about it."

"You once said you never cared about getting visitors to your page."

"I lied." She quietly consumed a mozzarella stick, ignoring the marinara sauce. Waiting.

Finally, Tamsin gave in. "All right. So are you telling me that you're ready to be inspired again?"

Pushing back a lock of dark hair, she glanced up at him. "I think so. Now, don't be sending me eight ideas at once, mind? And I want to finish what I start. I don't have that much time."

Tamsin merely smiled. "You'll make time."

"No, I won't!" she protested. "Eric already got ideas from Three Kings for his Cyberpunk game, so that means I'm going to be playing at least one, maybe two characters in that -- and I've still got 7th Sea, and--"

Elegance personified, the Muse stood again. Off his Writer's protests, he walked away, disappearing like a whiff of smoke halfway across the room.

Sulking, Hutch scrunched down into the seat again, crossing her arms. "I won't," she muttered, then: "Hey!" as a bright green muzzle poked into her remaining mozzarella sticks. With a little yipe! of startlement, the tiny dragon leapt up from the table, scolded Hutch thoroughly in dragonspeak, and then darted off.

The Writer's gaze followed the bright spark of dragon, already going distant. Somewhere else, a Muse smiled. All was well with the universe again.


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this page last updated on 18 january 2003