The muse, donning skin tight jeans and a flogger steps back to reveal my metaphoric bare backside, now marred with raised red welts from where the flogger came down against my emotional flesh.
“Where are we?” he asks.
“Yellow,” I tell him, fighting back a whimper.
He lifts an eyebrow, knowing I’m rather masochistic, so when I say yellow, I’m on the verge of collapsing, breaking down, and using my safe-word.
“Why yellow?” It’s the habit of Doms to want to get into your brain and make you examine every thought and feeling. My muse is no exception.
“I’m going to miss another deadline and no amount of punishment is going to make the book manifest any faster,” I explain. “I had to rewrite huge swaths of the beginning to make it a better book. We’re looking at mid-July now. Almost a month overdue.”
“Those rewrites didn’t take as long as you imagine they did. Why has it taken you so long to finish this book? I’ve given you ample time to complete the task. I even gave you an outline,” he says, his voice teetering on the edge of accusation.
“Well first I was late on DOM359, then Drawing Down Belial jumped in there and forced itself on me. I had graduations and gatherings to attend. I’ve had bathrooms to paint, garage sales to manage, and gardening to-do’s. My mom had shoulder surgery and needed me for a few days. I still work a part-time day job, plus I can’t just stop living. Without a formal publisher, deadlines are more flexible…”
He holds up his hand, the one not holding the flogger, to stop me. “These are excuses. What’s the real problem?”
My stomach spirals into a knot. I know if I don’t tell him, he’s going to give me another lashing or ten, and if he does, my psyche will break and I’ll end up spending hours in after-care trying to process it all.
“I am worried about whether or not it’s any good,” I finally admit.
“It’s a good book,” he assures me, shaking his head. “Just write it. Finish it. That’s all you can do.”
I nod, feeling his strong but gentle energy as he unbinds my wrists and sets me free.
“Now get back to work and if I catch you sitting around moping and feeling sorry for yourself, we’re going to have another talk, and next time it won’t be nearly this pleasant. Understand?”
“Yes Sir,” I say, sitting my butt in the chair and putting fingers to keyboard.
“Now type this…” he begins.
I take a deep cleansing breath and begin typing.