A good and relaxing vacation is what everyone needs every once in a while, even the Tutors from the cult of Euterpe. They were so strict and proud of their musical accomplishments and of their idea-inspiring muses who went off to the human world to inspire individuals into changing their world for the greater good. Most of the successful muses, who came back home after they accomplished their missions were humble and benevolent, but others were haughty. Success in the human world gave you status in Oneirus. It shouldn’t be that way, but the sociological devices work in mysterious ways. The more humans you inspire, the higher the rank in Euterpe’s cult you got. Often times I wonder if that was the case with the other cults.
My shoulder throbbed with pain and soft giggles registered in my mind. I snapped my attention back to reality, out of the haven of my thoughts and silence. I shot a look at my Tutor, Kalynth. I willed my gaze to be as intense as hers, to no avail. She was the expert muse at frowning and throwing you deep, threatening looks. I didn’t flinched at her gaze, but I knew better than to challenge her, so I dropped my eyes and muttered an apology for my distractedness.
“Apprentice Kishto, how many times do I have to tell you not to speak so softly? Speak clearly and loudly when you’re being addressed, otherwise, the other muses will think you lack confidence and you won’t succeed Ideón’s mission for you.”
“Yes Tutor Kalynth.” I made sure I pronounce every word clearly, and then chanced a mockingly innocent smile at her. She was furious, the flute she had in her hand quivered with anger. The other muses, my classmates, were stifling smiles. Whenever Kalynth was angry, her gray curls shook in her head. It was funny to watch.
“Well, I see this music lesson bores you young lady. Perhaps you should not join us for the rest of the lesson, seeing you don’t appreciate the trades of your craft. You are dismissed, go to the Courtyard and think through what you’ve done. I want a complete report of your thoughts and what punishment you think you deserve by sun down.”
I tried hard not to roll my eyes at her. I nodded and exited the music room. Within a few minutes of my exit, melodious music floated out of the room. Kalynth was playing the flute and the apprentices were using their voices to match the flute’s notes and registers. It was an exercise to train your hearing and train your voice. I walked down the hallway and out into the courtyard. It was a very beautiful place, everywhere you turned there were flowers of all types. I do love music, it’s in my making, and it’s everything I’ve known since I had memory.
I walked out of the courtyard, to the place close to the enormous tree that was something akin to our deity: Ideón. The same spot the muse Amaryllis talk about the world of the human beings, the world we so needed to help save. There was no one; everyone had lessons at this time. I looked ahead and saw the great tree that would give me my idea and would mark my journey to the human world. It was within a month of my sixteenth birthday and I wasn’t excited. I didn’t want to be part of this great scheme to save someone else’s world. I didn’t want to earn higher status in Oneirus should I succeed. I didn’t want to be labeled as anything. I wanted to be free; free from stupid legends bounding me to duties I never accepted, free from lessons that drained my energy, enthusiasm, and passion for music.
However, I never spoke of these inner desires to anyone. I would be banned from Oneirus, or worst, killed. I had to accept my fate with grace and silence, and tried to succeed at implanting the idea to my human protégée. The consequences of not doing so would mean death, not only for me, but for the human being I was supposed to protect. A death that went beyond physical death, it was the death of an idea, of hope.
Great, I thought, Kalynth teachings are being drilled very well into my head.
“Hey Kishto, what are you doing out so early?”
The sweet singsong voice of Drea rose above my thoughts. I felt her gathered the skirts of her silk tunic to sit next to me. All the muses were beautiful, but if I had to choose the most beautiful of the apprentices, it had to be Drea. She had a beautiful face, bright blue eyes, sumptuous, cascading blonde hair, and a full mouth. Her figure’s curves reminded me of a swan, graceful and beautiful. I looked plain and simple next to her, with my short black hair, sickly pale skin, and gray eyes. I didn’t consider her my friend, but we had something in common, we dreaded our sixteenth birthday. Drea was from Terpsichore’s cult –dance- hence her gracefulness.
“Kicked out of the lesson, yourself?” I was surprised to see Drea here.
Drea shrugged. “I heard Thelmis was going to record the occurrence between Apollo, Eros, and the nymph Daphne. I was mighty intrigued.” Thelmis being from Clio’s cult. Drea had a secret yearning for Apollo, the young Greek god of the sun and music. “You are so lucky he’s the god of your craft.”
I rolled my eyes. “Your fascination for Apollo is sickening.”
Drea shushed me and dropped her voice to a whisper, “not so loud.” Her eyes and demeanor were frantic, “someone might hear us. We could be banned. The Dark Muses will so want that!”
The Dark Muses were our counterpart, to balance the scale of good and bad in the world. Their mission was opposite of us, they gave malign ideas to humans; Ideón spoke of them as the major reason for the future, imminent decadence of the human world. We were supposed to stop that from happening.
As Drea kept speaking about her little adventure with the history cult, I glanced at Ideón and wondered what kind of idea he would give me.