It’s not exactly nerves simmering in my stomach this week when I enter the Home for Wayward Writers. Anticipation is a better way to put it. What will greet me on the other side of the door? I step inside.
The first thing I notice is the rain pelting the tall windows in driving waves. The room is loud with the sound of the storm outside. I am mesmerized by the mottled shadows cast by the water on the glass. They ebb and flow along the surfaces of the tables.
My eyes catch on an object lying on one of those tabletops. As I get closer, I see that it’s a notebook. It’s lying open and words are written across the pages. Someone has been here, I think with a smile.
Lightning brightens the room. Thunder shakes the sky and the window glass. For a flash I feel like someone is watching me. When I look around there’s no one. I do notice that we seem to have acquired another door. This one is in the right wall. It’s open.
As I approach, I see a hallway beyond. Of course I take it. The lighting here is soft, inviting in a way that pulls my steps forward until I come to a door done in deep red. Gold letters form the words ‘The Den.’ It opens for me without a sound. I enter.
Inside I find the space draped in sheer fabrics, accents in the same red as the door, fringed in gold. Large cushions lie around a low table, begging for someone to sit in sensuality, to explore the finger points of writing sexy. The air smells of spicy incense. In the center of the room is a black pedestal, atop which rests a red cushion. There sits an old, black lamp.
I pick up the lamp with reverence. For a moment, I just hold it as fond memories play of the first time we created this room. I’m smiling again when I rub the dark metal.
In an ethereal stream of smoke he appears, ever in his white linen pants that fade away where there should be feet. The brown skin of his upper body radiates like a long, desert sunset. His glowing amber eyes flash when he sees me. The long waves of his hair glint red in the low light from a source I don’t see. His black metal bracers catch a dull gleam.
“It’s gorgeous, Genie. Are you happy now that you have your room back?” I say, an amused curve possessing my lips.
He says, “I have been waiting for you to visit me. I’m beginning to think you like the Muse more than me.”
A mock pout sits on his full mouth and he crosses muscled arms across his smooth chest.
“You should know better, Genie,” I answer with a lifted eyebrow and a tsk. “You are both my beautiful creations. I presume this week you will be returning to your roots?”
I let my gaze drag downward in blatant appreciation. When my eyes return to his, the pout has become a steamy smile.
“Indeed, Master is always astute. Writers, this week I have for you a word, one of my favorite words,” he says, uncrossing his arms. As he does the room goes hot, and the air heavy.
“Just a word? The Genie is a tease,” I say.
“Just a word, but Master is correct. Your word is sultry. You may choose to explore the weather definition, or you may choose the passionate nature of a person. I hope you choose the second. As always you may use existing characters or create some. Though my preferences always tend toward more sexual writing – that is why I was created, after all – it is not a requirement. There are plenty of ways to play with this particular word without writing about sex or romance. You may even choose to practice writing environment. You could write a poem, a character description, a conversation. You might just run with whatever comes to mind when you hear me say sultry. Have fun and be creative. Whatever you choose, happy writing.”
“Well done, Genie. Perhaps I will have to find a proper reward for your performance,” I tell him, running a finger along the spout of the lamp.
His eyes flash and he says, “Be careful, Master will make me blush.”
“Can you blush when you are composed of fire?” I ask, again arching an eyebrow.
“Would you like to find out?” he says, his tone sliding downward in pitch. I swear the room gets even hotter.
“Easy, Genie. Maybe next week if you are well-behaved.”
“As you wish,” he whispers as he disappears into a cloud of smoke.