The Loneliest Muse

( 2 )

Overview

Even though she is over two hundred years old, Hope is the youngest of the nine Greek Muses who live on the island of Leisha. Hope wants nothing more than to please her sisters but she alone faces the greatest challenge a Muse has ever known: she lacks a talent in which to inspire others.

Delphi, the blind Muse of Prophecy, foresees that in order for Hope to find her talent and fulfill her destiny she must do what no other Muse has ever done, she must leave the island of Leisha....

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The Loneliest Muse

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Overview

Even though she is over two hundred years old, Hope is the youngest of the nine Greek Muses who live on the island of Leisha. Hope wants nothing more than to please her sisters but she alone faces the greatest challenge a Muse has ever known: she lacks a talent in which to inspire others.

Delphi, the blind Muse of Prophecy, foresees that in order for Hope to find her talent and fulfill her destiny she must do what no other Muse has ever done, she must leave the island of Leisha. Hope is uncertain but is assured by Clio the Muse of History she will not go alone. Aided by a magical, golden swan boat, Hope bravely sails off into the approaching dawn, uncertain of where the beautiful swan boat will take her.

In this extraordinary fantasy tale, Hope embarks on an adventure filled with Fairies, Dragons and other mystical creatures that will teach her more about herself and her hidden strengths then she ever imagined.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781469791814
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/29/2013
  • Pages: 180
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Read an Excerpt

THE LONELIEST MUSE


By Tyger B. Dacosta

iUniverse, LLC.

Copyright © 2012 Tyger B. Dacosta
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4697-9179-1



CHAPTER 1

DESTINY'S CHILD


On the Island of Leisha lived the muses, Greek goddesses who existed solely to inspire humankind. Each was gifted to bring their talents to those who needed them most. Clio was the historian gifted with the ability to write all of history, once it had become the past. She did not, however, possess the power of prophecy, as did her sister, Delphi. Clio's job was simply to record events accurately, so that future scholars could learn from them. Signa is the muse of song and dance, inspiring those who dreamed of the performing arts. Calliope is the muse of musicians, Urania of astronomy, the twins Flora and Fauna of horticulture and animal husbandry, Thalia of comedy and tragedy. The youngest of them all was Hope. The rules were simple: one muse, one dream, but no more. The reason for this rule was the fact that there were so many people in the world who needed them, so all should be given a chance.

However, there was one who deserved and needed the muse's help, but for all their powers, they could not help her. It was their little sister, Hope, the loneliest muse. In human terms, Hope looked to be no more than a child of six or seven years of age, but in actuality, she was over two hundred years old, although that is not at all old for a muse. Hope was a wonderful child. She was warm and caring, as well as highly intelligent because of her natural curiosity about the world in which she lived. Even though Hope had her own dilemma, she never became discouraged. She always put aside her own problems in order to help others she felt were more deserving.

You see, Hope had the greatest problem a muse could ever have. Hope lacked the talent to inspire others. Hope excelled in all other aspects: archery, history, music, astronomy, math, plant and animal life, as did all the muses, but each of them specialized in one specific talent.

Hope, on the other hand, did not, and although this was troublesome for her, she never let it show. This concerned her sisters so much that, unbeknownst to Hope, they called an emergency meeting. Clio spoke first, as was her right as the eldest.

"As you are all aware, I have called this meeting to discuss how we can help our littlest sister in her hour of need."

"Where is Hope?" Asked Signa.

Clio replied, "Flora asked Hope to gather some special herbs that grow only on the other side of the island, so that we have enough time for discussion." Flora nodded to her sisters.

"Besides," continued Clio, "This matter concerns her personally, as it does us emotionally, and I have asked her to join us when she returns." The muses agreed. "I am certain she will be here soon."

Clio glanced at Delphi, the muse of prophecy, and Delphi spoke.

"As it comes to pass, so shall it be written." Clio was quick to write a note in her tome for future reference.

"Sisters," Clio said, "You are very much aware of the plight our youngest sister Hope faces. She has existed among us for two centuries and has brought great joy to us, her family. Who among you disagrees?"

All in attendance sat silent, as Clio well knew they would. Her statement was just a formality, and she was silently pleased by her sisters' acknowledgement that Hope was indeed loved by them all.

"It saddens me that in all this time, with as many times as she has helped us, she cannot help herself. My heart breaks," continued Clio sadly, "That one as special as she cannot find it within herself to recognize her special talent. Truly, among us all, she is the loneliest muse."

Once again, as was becoming the norm, the muses sat silently helpless. As Clio concluded, all the muses, as if in an orchestrated movement, lowered their eyes to the ground, for they knew Clio spoke the truth.

Fauna, after what seemed an eternity, spoke with a forcefulness not usually seen among them, let alone heard.

"And what of the other gods, what do they have to say about all of this? Or do they choose to sit idly by high on their mountain top? Are we still considered nothing more than an Amazonian petting zoo?" Fauna concluded.

"Sister, please," Clio said, trying to calm Fauna.

She understood the frustration Fauna was feeling, for the male gods had once treated them as such, but that was before the great rebellion, when gods fought gods. Clio shuddered at the remembrance.

Flora spoke.

"Sister, although we are identical in appearance, it is obvious that we are different in thought. Must we run to the other gods to solve our own problems? Are we not goddesses in our own right? We have inspired so many; can we not inspire ourselves for once?"

Fauna looked into her twin sister's eyes and knew she was correct, but what were they to do?

"Maybe," said Fauna, "That is it!" She exclaimed so loudly that she startled those around her. "Clio," Fauna said excitedly, "I assume you have already consulted Delphi in determining Hope's talent?"

"That is correct sister, but I ..." Before Clio could conclude her statement, Delphi interrupted her.

"And as I explained to Clio, I cannot see what should be seen, for now I am truly blind."

This statement of Delphi's was utterly remarkable, thought Fauna silently. Though she was physically blind, Delphi could navigate the island by herself and describe everything she saw, or rather did not see, in perfect detail.

"Come out with it," Flora said.

"Yes!" The others chorused eagerly.

"I will tell you," said Fauna. "Or rather Delphi will." She smiled. "Sister, what needs to be done for Hope to find her talent?"

The muses were shocked. They were so certain the answer remained in the past; they completely forgot to ask about the future.

"Ah, the way is clear, but it brings much sadness," replied Delphi.

Signa cried, "You do not mean ...?"

"No, dear sisters," Delphi continued, "As is often the case when one inquires about the future, it can be misunderstood. When I spoke of sadness, I spoke the truth, but it is not Hope's sadness; it is ours. In order for Hope to find her destiny, she must do what no other muse has ever done. She must leave our island."

CHAPTER 2

THE DECISION


"What?" Asked Calliope quizzically. "Is this true?" Asked Urania. "Are you certain?" Asked Signa. "Sisters, please," said Clio.

Delphi understood her sisters' confusion, for how could they be expected to feel otherwise? They could not understand that, while the future has many paths, there is but one answer. Delphi sighed inwardly and felt it was her duty alone to explain, that which was not the answer they were seeking. Delphi explained that it was indeed true, that she had checked all the timelines possibilities and all led to the same conclusion: Hope must leave the island.

"I am certain," she said sadly, "As certain that the youngest of us now approaches."

Hope was returning from collecting the rare herbs her sister Flora asked her to find. Actually, thought Hope, it was no trouble at all. Yes, these herbs only grew on one part of the island, but Hope so enjoyed helping out when she could and enjoyed exploring on her own. Oh, was that bad of me to have that thought? She asked herself. No, she did not think so. She loved her sisters dearly, but being only two hundred years old, her sisters all believed that it was their duty to mother her, and sometimes she felt they were overprotective. She giggled. For once in her existence she felt truly human, even though that was not the case. Muses are not born like human children. They have no father or mother in that respect; rather, they are created collectively by the thoughts of those who share the same needs.

Sadly, she said aloud, "I wonder who created me? What are they like? Are they even aware of my existence?"

Humans were so silly like that. They did not realize that thoughts and words hold power, in which everyone's dreams create another reality where life has meaning, and harsh words should never be spoken lightly or even at all. Delphi was always telling her,

"Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it."

Hope wished she could find those who created her; they might know her secret talent or whether she even had one at all. At that moment, Hope realized it was getting late and she ran as fast as her tiny legs could carry her. Silly me for daydreaming, she thought, and giggled once more. On the way home, Hope could not help wondering if her sisters suspected the problem she faced. Lately, it seemed normal for one of her sisters to ask each day how she was doing. Hope always answered, "Fine," because she did not want to worry her sisters, when it was more important for them to inspire those who needed them more.

Hope had studied Clio's "Tome of history." Although it was small, it appeared to have endless pages. She had read about all the great people her sisters had inspired. Clio inspired people such as Plato and Socrates; Galileo and Mobius were inspired by Urania. Flora and Fauna helped to inspire genetics by introducing plants and animals to save lives, and Delphi inspired Nostradamus. Each one had a purpose in life that gave her existence meaning. All of her sisters had a special talent except for her, and she could not understand why. As brave as Hope was, it was in rare moments like this when she allowed herself to cry.

"Stop it this instant, young lady!" She said to herself. "You are just being silly. Muses are not born to live our lives; we are born to help others so they can live theirs. We are simply a thought or perhaps a whisper to inspire those who dare to dream."

Hope knew in her heart that, sadly, this was true, for the gods and goddesses of Olympus had decreed this long ago. What good is being a muse, if I lack the talent with which to inspire? This last thought made Hope even sadder. Again, she was beginning to cry, and was wiping her eyes with her tunic when she saw a cocoon on a nearby branch and suddenly realized a small miracle was about to happen. Hope continued to watch in utter amazement as the silken sac began to break apart before her eyes, slowly at first, and then faster, as if that which was inside wanted desperately to be free. In just a moment longer, the once imprisoned creature who fought so hurriedly to be freed from its restraints revealed its wondrous transformation from a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly.

"Ooh!" Said Hope, as she picked up the butterfly in her hands gently so as not to hurt it. The butterfly was still quite young and was equally as curious about the person it beheld. "No little one, I am not your mother, but I will be your friend."

The young butterfly seemed to ponder this a moment and, sensing no threat from this strange being, climbed to her shoulder and continued to dry itself before it attempted to fly. Hope saw the myriad colors on its wings: red and blue, yellow and orange, green and purple.

"You are a living rainbow!" Hope exclaimed.

The butterfly's maiden flight was wobbly at first, but then the lovely creature became more confident. The butterfly circled her head once as if to thank her and flew away. The miracle of life never ceased to amaze her, and she could not help thinking this was an omen. This minor miracle gave Hope strength in the belief that all living things had a purpose, even a talentless muse. As Hope continued her hurried stride home, she failed to notice a spider inspecting the shell from which the butterfly had just emerged and realizing, had it been there just moments earlier, it would have dined extremely well. For now, though, it had to be satisfied to wait another day.

Hope realized that it was getting late, for the sun was already setting and if she did not arrive on time the other muses would be extremely worried for her safety. She arrived home and was surprised to find no one there to greet her, so she went to her room. As Hope was placing the herbs she had collected for Flora in separate containers, she noticed a note written on parchment in Clio's script. The note said,

"Dear sister, when you are through with your task, please meet us in Nia's observatory. It is extremely important."

"Nia's observatory," said Hope. Nia is the muse of astronomy; although her true name is Urania, it was simpler to call her Nia. The last time Hope and the others went to the observatory, Nia had pointed out a new galaxy being born. Maybe this time, she thought, she would see some falling stars. Hope so enjoyed the way they became brighter and brighter before flickering out. To Hope, it was as if each one was celebrating its own independence in life. Hope arrived and immediately saw her sisters sitting within the open cylindrical columns. Hope hugged each one as she made her way to her seat.

"Sisters," Hope said, "I apologize for being so late. I was enjoying the scenery and was picking these herbs for Flora and lost track of the time. Are these not the finest specimens of plant hood you have ever seen?" Hope passed the vials down to her sister.

Flora stared at the collection of herbs and then lowered her eyes, saying sadly,

"Thank you, Hope; as always you place others' needs before your own."

Hope felt that something was terribly wrong by the way everyone reacted to Flora's statement.

"Is something the matter? Am I in trouble?" Hope asked.

"Child," Clio said, "I am afraid we have some bad news."

"Clio, stop being so melodramatic," said Thalia. "You are scaring her," she scolded.

"I agree," said Nia, the muse of astronomy.

"Forgive me sisters," Clio said, "But as you are all aware, the words are not so easily forthcoming. Hope, although you have chosen to keep silent about your problem, we are family and are quite aware of what troubles you."

"You are?" Asked Hope meekly. "Then you realize I have no special talent," she said mournfully.

"You are very much mistaken," Delphi said adamantly. "Even though your talent is shielded from me, have no misunderstanding as to what the future brings."

Hope suddenly looked into the eyes of her sister of prophecy and for once could see a glimmer of hope as Delphi continued,

"Everything and everyone has a purpose in life, child, although it may not always be so easily understood."

Hope remembered the butterfly moments ago, when she was gathering herbs for Flora.

"What am I to do?" She cried.

"Delphi has foreseen that the only way for you to find your talent, and secure your destiny, is for you to leave the island," Clio stated flatly.

"Leave the island, but why? This is my home," said Hope.

"Gilded walls and marble floors do not a home make," said Clio. "It is the love one shares with others. Remember, little sister; the future is built on the foundations of the past."

"I am sorry, but it is the only way," said Clio.

"When must I leave?" Asked Hope.

"Tomorrow at dawn," Clio replied.

An eerie silence fell, as if the inhabitants of the island knew something monumental was taking place, and its outcome could affect their existence as they knew it. Hope felt restless and could not even think about sleeping. Try as she might, all she could do was look at the constellations in the sky. The cascading waterfall in her room, with its glistening water that reflected the moonlit sky in an iridescent blue, had soothed her so often in her short life, but could not do so tonight. Hope's mind was wandering. In all her life, never had she felt so alone and afraid as she did this night. She knew that, had there truly been another way, her sisters would have found it, but their assurance was still no less comforting. Hope could not help feeling responsible for this problem. Being a child, even an immortal one, she held the childish belief that if she had not been born, things would be better. Unknown to Hope, mortal children also felt at times that this was true. If they were an embarrassment to their family, for instance, they believed that life would be much simpler had they not been born or if, suddenly, they simply ceased to exist. This last thought made Hope more human then she would ever know. The last thought was never expressed by her sisters. Being a child, however, she could only see the negativity of the situation.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from THE LONELIEST MUSE by Tyger B. Dacosta. Copyright © 2012 Tyger B. Dacosta. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, LLC..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents


Chapter 1: Destiny's Child, 1,

Chapter 2: The Decision, 5,

Chapter 3: By Dawn's Early Light, 11,

Chapter 4: Castles in the Sand, 16,

Chapter 5: Beached, 21,

Chapter 6: A Wing and a Prayer, 24,

Chapter 7: Winging It, 29,

Chapter 8: Horse Sense, 40,

Chapter 9: A Hughe of Color, 62,

Chapter 10: The Bigger They Are, 83,

Chapter 11: Flight of Fancy, 89,

Chapter 12: Now You See Me, 96,

Chapter 13: Enigma, 107,

Chapter 14: Dearly Departed, 119,

Chapter 15: Splash Down, 126,

Chapter 16: Ssso Long, 137,

Chapter 17: There is Gno one Gnome, 143,

Chapter 18: Family Affair, 156,

Chapter 19: Journey's End, 166,

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2002

    Inspiring for all ages

    ThE LONELIEST MUSE was an exciting book to read. I especially liked the way each character had their own unique personality but I find myself especially relating to the grumpy fairy named IGGI. This would make an excellent animated movie.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2002

    Not necessarily for kids

    While the story of MUSE is cute and simple and very much on the level of a young child, the writing style is overwrought, using very little punctuation and seemingly random rules of grammar. I don't think this is the best example of the type of writing we would like small children to encounter. It will at best be confusing and at worst lead to back writing habits amongst the younger ones.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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