One expected growth, change; without it, the world was less, the well of inspiration dried up, the muses fled
Their sense of community had come apart long before Kathy’s death, but for him, Kathy’s dying had been the final stage of the story collection they’d started when they all first came together in the early seventies.
Most of them still had their stories, and the stories went on, but they were rarely to be found in each other’s pages now. It wasn’t just a matter of having grown apart. One expected growth, change; without it, the world was less, the well of inspiration dried up, the muses fled. But Alan never expected there to come a time when most of those companions of his young adulthood would all be strangers. He hadn’t expected the bitterness of the estrangement that had wedged its way in between so many of their relationships.
He was still standing at the window when the telephone rang. He almost let his machine take the call, but finally turned back in to the room, crossed to his desk and lifted the receiver.