(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Jennifer was written by Jennifer Sharp.)
Kelly tried not to make it obvious, but it was hard not to stare. The Palace of Versailles was amazing and so very inspiring. As she wandered the Hall of Mirrors, she could just hear the whispering of stories to her mind. It really wasn’t a good idea to put a Muse in such a place where ideas were abundant. She’d end up taking the ideas back home and sharing them with everyone.
However, she wasn’t here as just another tourist. No, she had a meeting, and she almost missed the portal opening up beside her because she was too busy just staring at all the details of the room. But she did notice and yanked her eyes back down to the portal in time to see Jennifer Sharp stepping through. She looked awed by their surrounding as well. Kelly smiled, glad she wasn’t the only one awed by it, and she approached her, stretching her hand to shake Jennifer’s. “Hi, Jennifer. How are you? This place is breathtaking. You said you’ve been here before? Or at least the city of Versailles?”
Jennifer quickly took in the familiar sights around her, smiling and feeling that same sense of wonder she felt before standing in this very place. She smiled wider at Kelly and took her hand, shaking firmly. “I’m great! I hope you are as well? ” She looked around again, eyes shining. “I’ve been here once. In the palace and in the city. Didn’t get too much time but it was a place that has stuck with me ever since…”
“I can see why!” Kelly exclaimed as she swirled around, still taking in their surroundings. Thankfully they were the only ones in the palace–a little perk to being the Muse. Kelly grinned at Jennifer. “We’ve got the whole place to ourselves, so shall we explore? And as we do so, tell me about yourself. What is it that you do?”
Jennifer nodded excitedly at the invitation to explore. “Yes let’s!” She walked with her, taking in some smaller details she hadn’t the chance to see on her visit here before. “I’m currently not doing too much. Trying to find stable work, and wrestling with random plots that come up into my head. Also trying to tame my new kitten. You know, just living life as best I can.”
“Oh kitten!” Kelly had to grin. “Sorry, I love animals. But anyway. Totally understand about trying to find stable work. What kind of work are you looking into?” Then she cast Jennifer a glance. “Don’t worry, we’ll get to talk about you as a writer and your story, but I want to get to know you as a person too.”
“That’s perfectly fine! I’m quite fond of animals myself. Before I got here I was squealing over a picture of baby foxes.” She chuckled. “That’s understandable! Getting to know the writer is just as important as knowing the story, I think. Honestly, and not many people feel this way, I’d love to go back to being a barista. Making something with my hands all day… Watching people. Getting to know their stories. Coffee is an art, as is the customer service that goes along with it. I find I am the happiest in an environment like that.”
Kelly smiled at Jennifer. She loved the energy she had but also her simplicity. “You know what? You’re right. Not only do you work with your hands, but it also is the perfect opportunity to watch people. I hope you manage to do it again.” They turned down another corridor that had huge paintings on the wall. Kelly gawked at each one, imagining the character of each image.
Then she yanked her eyes away from the paintings to looked back at Jennifer. “So, when did you start writing? Or have you always just been a writer?”
“Thank you, I hope so too.” Jennifer stared at the paintings in the room, walking up to and hesitantly touching it, looking around after making contact and seemingly relaxing when no blaring alarms around or SWAT teams appear.
“I think it’s always been in me. At least the story telling aspect of it. As a kid I’d go with my mother to get her nails done. It was long and boring. I started entertaining myself by telling her nail artists that I was the lost princess of Jupiter and I was waiting for my family to come back and get me. I had the whole world created. Every two weeks we’d go back and she’d ask me more, and I’d just make it up there on the spot. That part of me followed me into whole school career and now up into adulthood.”
Kelly had to grin at the story Jennifer told. “Ah, children’s imagination are certainly the gem! But when did you get really get serious about writing?”
Jennifer looked thoughtful. “I remember writing stories as young as 8 years old or so. I loved the idea of making my own worlds and people. It started simple, just stories about my day or imaginings of things I wanted to happen. When I was in middle school I started writing stories with characters and plots. Simple plots, and to be quite honest, really cliche characters.” Jennifer chuckled then, and shook her head. “But I wrote and wrote. I loved it.”
“That is fantastic! So now what kind of stories do you write? Have you published anything?” Kelly motioned for Jennifer to follow. She wanted to explore more.
“I’ve actually never published anything.” They walked further into another section of the palace, Jennifer could recognize it as the Hercules Salon. The walls were a muted red, marbled with white, gold accents everywhere you looked. Jennifer looked up at the ceiling, taking in the giant painting of clouds and winged figures, looked like something very important was happening in the heavens.
“I really just kind of write what strikes me. I’ve written short stories about alternate universes involving Edgar Allen Poe but also stories involving vampires. Stories set in space with cute alien lizard babies. I try not to limit myself. But.. I’m very private with my writing, so that’s why I haven’t published…”
Kelly stared up at the ceiling while listening to Jennifer, but then she had to pause and give her a look. “Sorry, for a second there I thought you said, ‘vampires in space’. That would be interesting!” She brought her hand to her chin as she thought about this, but finally she shook her head. “Sorry, ideas never stop! And I understand about being private about your writing, but…I bet it’s still awesome. So tell me about one of your stories. I’d love to hear it.”
Jennifer laughed. “Vampires in space. That would be very interesting. Sounds like a nice B movie, really.” Jennifer moved to look at all the details carved into the mantle of the fireplace, tracing the etching of a face in the gold.
“Well, my favorite story is that of my vampire Christian. You’ve met him. Lovely fellow. His story is one of my favorites and I’m still in the process of fleshing it out. As well as the main story he came from, which is of another vampire character I have, Levi. Both of their stories are tragic but also happy. But Christian is my baby. He lives from the 1400s well into the 24th century. He’s seen it all, been everywhere.” Jennifer chuckled. “I actually have a scene, where Levi has decided to go back to college in 2014, and he’s annoyed by all the historical papers he has to write. He’s having trouble finding sources for somethings and he calls Christian, right? ‘Can’t I just write, Source: Me. I was fucking there.’ and Christian dares him to. I don’t know. I just love trying to take a realistic look into the life of an immortal and his friends. The struggles they face… Fears they have. Levi’s story is definitely a Love Story. Where as Christian’s is a tale of a vampire trying to find his place in the world and how to make it work. For forever. If that makes sense?”
Kelly laughed about the historical paper part. Having written historical fiction, it made a lot of sense. She wished she could have gone back to an original source, but she went on to listen to what else Jennifer said. She nodded as she came up to the fireplace and traced her hand over the carvings. “That makes a lot of sense actually. But what inspired this story?” She gave Jennifer a curious glance.
Jennifer moved along into the next room with a giant bed and a lot of tables and chairs, shaking her head and the weird customs of old. The walls were covered in what looked to be mint green silk, elegant designs scrawling over the surface. The bed looked large and uncomfortable… but the chairs. Jennifer moved to a chair and took a look around, grinning deviously before gingerly sitting in one of the chairs.
“What inspired this story. Hmm. Honestly, my friend challenged me to write something. Actually write something and stick to it. I’ve always loved Vampires more than the average person but I have always wanted to do my own thing with the lore of them. So I just started out with a typical love story. But Levi’s story went into a direction I didn’t expect and I had to create another character. Christian immediately sprung to life and demanded I get to know him and write his story as well. I was inspired by the muse himself for his story.”
“Don’t you just love it when that happens?” Kelly smirked. It was both annoying and yet liberating when characters just sprung to life and the story changed completely.
She walked around the room a bit, inspecting it, committing everything to memory. She noticed an old clock on the wall and saw it was still keeping time, and she frowned. “Our time is almost up. Where does it fly?” She shook her head, disappointed, but then she looked back at Jennifer. “But we still have some time! What are you hoping your readers take from your story? What makes it so different from all the other vampire stories out there?”
Jennifer frowned at the notice of the time. “It really does like to fly!” She smiled, thinking over Kelly’s questions.
“I’d love for my vampire story to be regarded as something unique. Different. They aren’t these perfect creatures that sit around in high fashion with swimming pools of money. They have trouble adjusting to the massive changes in each era. They get stupidly addicted to games on social media and spam all their undead friends with game requests. They experience heart break, anger, fear, confusion, and definitely loneliness. They’re ‘normal’ in a way. Just because we don’t understand something, doesn’t mean it’s dark or evil. Maybe they drink blood to live, but they’re a lot like us?”
“Suddenly I’m imagining them sending all their friends Candy Crush requests, and that is just evil.” Kelly chuckled as she shook her head. “However, I like your take on it. Unfortunately though, it’s time to go.” She frowned but waved her hand, and a portal opened. “This will take you home. Thank you so much for meeting me. This place is amazing, and it was just fantastic to chat with you. I hope you finish the story and get it published. It sounds awesome.”
Jennifer laughed. “Yeah, Christian almost lost a lot of friends over Farmville when that came out.” Jennifer stood and moved toward the portal. “Thank you for meeting with me. I really appreciate it. Thank you so much! I’ll be sure to let you know if I put it out there anywhere.” Jennifer smiled and waved spinning once and yelling out a “Wheeee!” Before jumping into the portal.
Kelly laughed at Jennifer’s exit then took another look around. This place was amazing, but for now she had to return to real life, so she stepped through the portal too.
Jennifer Sharp’s story is untitled and has no release date set yet, but check back often for updates regarding this!