| WARNING: This includes sexually explicit material.
Please note any unfamiliar spellings and phrases may be due to the fact
I am English, not American.
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This is my entry to the contest to find an explanation for Celeste's
departure.I would like to apologise in advance to the purists if my lack of
a classical education is evident. However, who can know how things may
have changed since Homer's day.
All actions and speech attributed to Celeste are completely fictional.
REPOST NOTE: I tried to find out if Celeste would object to her personality
starring in a sex scene, but didn't get an answer so I left the sex scene
out originally. As she hasn't voiced any outrage at the other stories,
I've stuck the sex scene back in. Don't ask me where I came in the
judging, it totally confused me. I didn't win that I do know. The winner
was either Janey or Nick, I think.
Celeste nervously adjusted her robes and tried not to fidget. As
waiting rooms went this was quite a nice one. There was a nice view over
Mount Parnassus and the pleasant sound of the fountain Hippocrene tinkling
in the background. It was difficult to relax when your whole future was
about to be decided. She remembered the last time she had been here,
several years ago.
She hadn't been alone then. Three others had qualified to the final
stages of their application to become Muses. The position was advertised
regularly but only once had anyone been successful. The screening process
was the one of the toughest around, even worse than applying to be one of
the Furies. Calliope had lined them up and given a long lecture. She had
made it eloquently clear that although they were forced by the new policy
of open market to abandon their former policy of nepotism they were not
happy about it and had no intention of making it easy for the candidates.
Clio had then taken over and given them a brief history of the Muses
functions, with emphasis on the importance of their role. The rest of the
Muses had stood in the background looking stern. Even Technicolouria, the
new Muse of film, had not looked welcoming. Finally they had been given
their assignments and the date of their final interview.
Celeste's heart had sunk when she examined her assignment. She had to
inspire a newsgroup devoted to sex to produce something that could
be classed as 'good literature'. She was at a loss where to start. She
had only a vague idea what a newsgroup was; something to do with the new
information medium called 'The Internet'. She had managed to follow her
directions and had found the group. Her despair had intensified. The
stories were designed to arouse human's sexual feelings. It didn't need to
be great literature to do that, just a rough description of a fantasy would
do. Why would anyone looking for this kind of stimulus care how well it
was written or if the grammar was correct? For a moment Celeste had
considered giving up, then her natural stubbornness had asserted itself.
She had always known it wouldn't be easy to become a Muse. She would just
have to do the best she could.
Now waiting while they reviewed her assignment she wondered if she had
done her best. Was there anything else she could have done? They
certainly seemed to be taking a long time discussing her work. She had
passed the other two applicants on the way up Mount Parnassus and it had
been obvious from their tear-streaked countenances that they had not been
At last they called her in. Celeste stood in the centre as they took
turns firing questions at her. Why had she chosen to review the in
the way that she had? Why had she created a persona as a schoolteacher for herself? Why did she give marks of 10 so freely?
Celeste answered the bombardment of questions as best she could until
eventually they stopped. Calliope walked forward and stood directly in
front of Celeste.
'Two final questions. Given that the majority of the newsgroup ignored
your suggestions and continued to produce poorly written pieces do you feel
that you made a success of your assignment?'
'My assignment was not to convert the whole group but to inspire one of
the writers to produce something that could be classed as 'good
literature',' Celeste began slowly, ' I was amazed at the talent I found.
There wasn't just the occasional good but many. Some were without a
doubt worthy of a much larger audience and were better than some pieces
that are recognised as 'good literature'. However my main aim was not just
to create awareness of the need for correct grammar but to encourage the
readers to provide feedback to the writers. The thrill that a writer gets
from knowing that someone had read their words is indescribable. It is
possible that someone who has written something grammatically incorrect and
with a ludicrous plot may with enough encouragement keep on writing and
could one day produce a classic piece of literature. If nothing else I
find it reassuring that in such a visual age that so many humans are taking
the time and effort to write stories. They all deserve the reward of
knowing that someone has read their words.' Celeste stopped speaking,
unsure whether she had actually answered the question or just got carried
away with her thoughts. Calliope obviously considered her response answer
enough and moved on to her final question:
'What would you say is the greatest piece of literature ever?'
Celeste's mind went blank as she desperately tried to think of an
answer. How was she supposed to know the answer to such a question. She
took a deep breath and gave the only answer she could come up with:
'That's a trick question, there is no one greatest piece of literature.
What one reader loves another can hate and what appeals to someone in one
mood could bore them when they are feeling differently. No one can answer
that question.' For a moment there was silence and Celeste thought it was
all over. Then Calliope's face broke into a smile.
'Well done Celeste and welcome. You are our newest Muse. Come in and
relax while we wait for Apollo to arrive.' Unable to keep a big smile of
relief and joy off her face, Celeste followed Calliope inside to where some
refreshments were laid out. The Muses all milled around, helping
themselves to food and saying a word of welcome to Celeste. Clio found a
moment to pull her to one side.
'Now I have to get a report from you as soon as possible on your
reactions to today's events. Be perfectly honest. I have to make a record
for history and the more accounts I have from different viewpoints the more
accurate it will be.' Clio pulled out a laptop and brought up a document.
She saw Celeste's look of surprise and laughed. 'I know, you were
expecting a scroll. Calliope still messes about with quills and parchment
but I have to keep up with the times. Now you won't forget to make some
excuse to the newsgroup to explain your departure, will you?'
'My departure?' Celeste echoed.
'The assignment's finished, I'm afraid you have to say good-bye. I'll
leave you to handle it however you feel best. This is my e-mail address,
just send me your report when you've written it.' Clio whirled off, leaving
Thalia and Erato to take her place.
'You'll get used to Clio,' Thalia said, 'she's always in a hurry. Now
you must have a thousand questions. Is there anything we can help you
'Well I'd like to know what happens now?' Celeste responded.
'To be honest we don't really know. When Technicolouria joined us she
served as an apprentice to each of us in turn before being given her own
'You need to understand how each of our departments work because they
all overlap to a certain extent,' Erato explained, 'We often help each
other out, sometimes with varying success.'
'Do you remember when Urania helped Calliope out with an epic?' Thalia
giggled, 'The trouble is Urania tends to keep things factual.'
'Do I hear my name being taken in vain?' Calliope asked, joining the
'I was just telling Celeste about what happened when Urania gave you a
hand with 'Moby Dick'.'
'There's nothing wrong with 'Moby Dick',' Calliope said stiffly, 'it's a
classic of obsession, the struggle between light and dark.'
'It's also a good whaling manual.' Thalia added, laughing at Calliope.
'Well it's not as if all your collaborations have been a success,'
Calliope fired back, 'What about when Polyhymnia gave you a hand? She took
one of your wittiest comedians and turned him into Mr Bean!'
'You had to bring that up, didn't you?' Thalia asked in disgust, 'You
never forget anything do you? Honestly you're worse than Mother.'
'It's not always a disaster though,' Erato interposed, trying to calm
them down, 'Look at Shakespeare. I think just about all of us gave
Calliope a hand with him and look how well that turned out.'
'True, he is one of our success stories. Have you seen what
Technicolouria has done to him though? I'm going to have words with her.'
'You mean 'Shakespeare in Love'?' asked Thalia. 'I gave her a hand with
that. I think it's excellent.'
'You would,' Calliope retorted grimly, 'Look at that abomination you
call the 'Reduced Shakespeare Company'. It's sacrilege.'
'Yes but it's very funny sacrilege.' Thalia told her mischievously.
Just as the argument was getting louder Celeste felt a touch on her elbow.
She turned to find herself face to face with Apollo. She had heard all the
stories about him and even seen him once from a distance but nothing had
prepared her for how stunningly handsome he actually was. He led her away
to a small room so that they could talk privately. Celeste was so
overwhelmed by him that it was a while before she could concentrate on what
he was actually saying. It finally registered that he was explaining that
she would be apprenticed to each Muse in turn.
'We'll probably start you with Technicolouria.' Apollo was saying, 'She
knows what it's like to be the newcomer and she'll help to ease you in
gently. As you work in each department we hope you will find an area that
you would like to have special responsibility for. You may already have
'Well I did have one idea,' Celeste said tentatively.
'Go on,' Apollo replied encouragingly.
'I was wondering about computer technology. It is such a creative
medium. Not just tools like newsgroups and word processors but the things
they do with Java and Visual Basic. The games they create that are a
completely new art form. The way they can manipulate images to create the
most amazing pictures. It does seem to be an area that is neglected.'
'Well that seems to me to be a very good idea. If all goes well you may
be our new Muse of technology. Now is there anything I can do to help
settle in to your new life. The Muses can be a bit overpowering when they
get together and start arguing.'
'I didn't mind. It was almost like ASSD. Less Spam and no trolls
'ASSD?' Apollo queried.
'It's just a newsgroup. That was one thing I would like to ask you. Do
I really have to leave my newsgroup? Can't I keep visiting in my spare
'You're going to find that you don't get that much spare time. I'm
afraid it would be best if you did leave so that you can concentrate on
your new projects. Did you enjoy your assignment then?'
'Oh yes. It was fascinating to read some of the things the humans
'Really. What for instance?' Apollo asked, smiling down at her.
'Why don't I show you?' Celeste suggested as she slipped her hand inside
his robe. Apollo's smile grew deeper as he removed her robes and began an
intimate exploration of her body.
'There was one I read where they did this,' Celeste told Apollo,
'Umm, that's good,' he murmured appreciatively.
'There was another where they described something I thought was
physically impossible but I'd love to try. Put your hand here, now my leg
goes there, twist a bit, now push. Aahhh, yes, yes, don't stop.'
'Um, I'm sorry I have to,' Apollo grunted. 'I may be a god but even so,
there's only so long I can stand on one leg supporting two people's body
weight. I've never tried it quite like that before.'
'That's a shame it felt wonderful,' Celeste sighed. 'Not that what
you're doing right now doesn't feel fantastic.'
'I've never had any complaints, Apollo replied smugly. 'What other
novel ideas did you pick up on this newsgroup.'
'Well there was one where they used a pineapple in the strangest way.'
'A pineapple?' Apollo paused for a moment.
'Yes,' Celeste panted, trying to concentrate both on the conversation
and the delicious sensations Apollo was expertly creating in her body. 'I
saw one on the table. I could get it if you like.'
'Too late,' Apollo gasped as he brought them both to orgasm. As they
rested from their exertions he commented thoughtfully: 'You can't possibly
have read every posted yet.'
'No, there's lots that are still on my 'to read' list, not to mention
the new ones being posted every day. If only I was allowed to still go to
the newsgroup it would only take an hour or so each day to see what was
new. If I came across anything interesting I could share it with you. But
you said it wasn't allowed. A pity because I know the author who wrote
about the pineapple had a new on the way and he is very inventive.'
Apollo was silent for a moment as he thought.
'You know I think it would be good for you to keep up with your
assignment. After all it gives us a valuable insight into human's creative
instinct. Only a couple of hours a day mind and I want you to report each
week to me personally on whatever you find.'
'Really?' Celeste's face broke into a big smile. 'I don't know how to
thank you. Actually I do have an idea. There was one I remember
reading where a woman thanked a in a very unusual way. Let me show
you. Put your hand here, and one leg here, now my mouth goes here and my
Copyright Vickie Morgan, 1999 firstname.lastname@example.org
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