Short Story Saturday: Chapter One

Welcome to Short Story Saturday! Each Saturday, I will be posting a chapter of my new serialized short “Bemused”. “Bemused” will follow my Muse Lorelei as she goes through her training. As I mentioned in my post with my blog schedule, ever since I gave my Muse a name, she’s been demanding her own story. In order to keep her happy and cooperating with me, here it is . . .
“O Muses, O high genius, aid me now!
O memory that engraved the things I saw,
Here shall your worth be manifest to all!”
~Dante Alighieri, Canto II of The Inferno
(Anthony Esolen translation, 2002)
Chapter One
“You want to study where?” Lorelei’s father asked in amazement.
“At the Temple of the Muse,” Lorelei told him.
He visibly paled. “Isn’t that all the way in Greece?”
She laughed. “No! They’ve moved it since ancient times. It’s in L.A. now.”
“You want to move to Sin City?”
“Dad, Sin City is Las Vegas, not Los Angeles.” She shook her head. Her dad could be so clueless sometimes.
“Then what’s Los Angeles?”
“It’s just . . . Los Angeles. The City of Angels.”
“Why would the Temple be there?” he asked.
“Well, it’s a creative center. You know, with all the actors and models and designers . . . it seems like a logical place.”
“Why do you want to study with the Muses?”
“I’ve always wanted to inspire people. I love to create and to help others do the same,” she said.
“What would you be studying?”
“I’d be studying epic poetry under Calliope. You know that writing is a passion of mine, especially epics. I think it started when I read Beowulf in middle school.”
“I can’t talk you out of this, can I?”
Her expression softened as she looked at her dad. He seemed so old in that moment. “No, Dad. I’m sorry, but you can’t.”
“I shouldn’t even let you go. You’re only sixteen.”
“I’ve already been accepted. My bags are already packed. You can’t deter me. I know this is what I’m supposed to do.”
He stood and faced her. “I know, Lor. It’s just that you’re my only daughter . . . my only child.” He paused, then sighed. “We can leave tomorrow.”

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