Mavis Returns

carpet bagAs we resume our story, we find Betsy wandering aimlessly through her brain, wondering if Mavis, the elderly Mary-Poppins-like career consultant who visited her on Wednesday as a voice in her head sent by the International Muse Council (see this post for details), will return as promised….

*singing* OOOOO Super-california-licious-blah-blah-ala-docious! Super–

Hello, dear.

Mavis, you came back!  *Betsy runs to watch Mavis float into her brain and land nearby* I thought you might have forgotten me.

Nonsense.  *Mavis puts down a large carpet bag* *adjusts the lapels of her sensible tweed suit*  I put you in my Blackberry.  *opens large carpet bag* *removes desk, desk chair, and visitor’s chair and arranges them in brain*  *Mavis settles into the desk chair behind the desk and gestures*  Please have a seat.

*Betsy obeys, perching on the visitor’s chair, hands clasped between her knees* Will you be staying with me longer this time?  Because that would be great.  I have some–

No.  *Mavis folds her hands on the desk*  After I spoke to you on Wednesday, it became apparent you would require close and constant supervision.  With all of my other clients, I simply don’t have that kind of time in my schedule.  Frankly, dear, you’re a hands-on case.

Oh.  * Betsy slumps back in the chair* Okay.

*Mavis smiles kindly* Don’t worry, dear.  The International Muse Council has some concerns about what you will do if you are left to your own devices.  If you want to know the truth, they’re concerned about your mental stability.


After I discussed your situation with them, they decided to assign one of their up-and-coming Quest Guides to your case.  *Mavis reaches into her carpet bag and pulls out a large cage* I’d like you to meet Harry.

Oh my God!  That’s a white mouse.

Hey!  *Harry glares*  *Opens the cage door and struts onto the desk*  *Stands upright with tiny paws on his hips*  I’m a freaking gerbil here.  Show some freaking respect already.

*Betsy turns to Mavis*  Are you KIDDING me?

Harry is an extremely experienced Quest Guide.  *Mavis’s gaze slides to the left*

So let me get this straight.  In mythology when people start out on a life-altering quest, they’re led by a white stag, or perhaps a white rabbit.  But I get an albino GERBIL?

*Harry swaggers towards Betsy*  What?  You gotta problem with that?  You prejudiced against gerbils or somethin’?

*Mavis looks pained*   You need a Guide.  Harry is a Guide.  And if he can guide a hopeless case like you down a productive path towards her goals, he’ll get a promotion.

Yeah. *Harry folds arms and looks satisfied*  I might finally make freaking rabbit status.  Or at least hamster.

Oh, that’s just great!  *Betsy throws up hands in disgust*  *gets up and paces away*  I have a junior achiever gerbil Quest Guide.

Hush up both of you and listen to me.  *Mavis glares*

*Betsy stops pacing and looks down*  Sorry ma’am.

*Harry sits on his haunches*  Sorry ma’am

*Mavis nods*  Much better.  Now, Betsy, Harry’s personal goals mean he will be as motivated as you to ensure the quest succeeds. *Mavis glares*  And since you’ve been fooling around for years, you really don’t have much room to complain.  Not every aspiring creative gets a Guide of any sort.

I know.  *Betsy kicks at the desk* *shrugs jerkily*  I just kind of hoped if I had a Guide for my quest it would be a white stag, you know?

Look, I can guide you.  *Harry hops over to Betsy and peers up at her*  I can guide the crap out of you.  Nora Roberts always said I had a knack.

I don’t think…You know Nora Roberts?

I guided her to the ladies room at a conference once.  It was a moment.

Oh.  Well, my Muse–

Your Muse is a good kid, but she’s all artsy-fartsy.  She ain’t gonna be there when you’re trying to find your way through the forest of publishing or whatever, is she?  She’ll be off eating donuts or finger painting or something.  You wanna figure out what the hell you’re doing all by yourself like you have been?  How’s that been working for you?


Look, I’m a stag trapped in a gerbil’s body okay?  Just give me a chance to prove it.

This entire conversation is a waste of time.  Harry is staying.  *Mavis stands*  *Puts Harry and his cage on the floor of the brain*  *Packs desk, desk chair, and visitor’s chair into carpet bag and closes it with a snap*  I must go now, but I’ll check back later for a status update.  And I EXPECT improvement.

*Mavis picks up bag, opens umbrella, clicks heels, and floats out of post*

Great *Harry rubs his little paws together*  *Looks around brain*  Where can we put my wheel?  And my cage needs some fresh straw by the way.

Terrific. *Betsy sighs* *picks up Harry’s cage*  Come on.

And can I get a salad or somethin’?  This Guiding crap makes me hungry.

*Betsy sighs again*  Sure.

*Betsy and Harry leave the post*


To be continued…..



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