THE JUNKIE MUSE – by Isabelle Carruthers

Wanna read one of the first stories I ever edited? Way back in 2000 I became well acquainted with an exceptional young writer going by the pseudonym of Isabelle Carruthers. She wrote dramitic, psyhologically dark stories that had me and others in our little community at Zoetrope gushing. I selected my fave or hers, “The Junkie Muse” for publication in Zoetrope: All-Story Extra’s 23rd issue in May 2000. All these years later I’m still in love with the story and reflect on it with pride.


She tried to examine her reflection in the grimy side mirror. Too much mascara, and lipstick too dark, but this was what they liked. Her black dress was damp from the oppressive humidity and clung to her skin like a fungus. She pulled at the fabric awkwardly as she crossed the street to the bar.

The Terpsichore Inn. The lettering on the sign was a dirty smear, barely legible in the glow of a dysfunctional street lamp salvaged from another century. She recognized the name of the Greek muse Terpsichore, the whirler. Classical mythology had once been a great passion, but now this was just a leftover scrap of knowledge from a past life.

Laura shifted the worn denim bag on her shoulder. It contained everything she owned, which wasn’t much. Everything but money, because today they had spent the last of it for nothing, for a high she barely felt. “The Fatal Underdose,” Hayden called it. It was a condition she knew well.
Copyright © 2000 by Isabelle Carruthers
For more, read: The Junkie Muse

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