The story came to her in the early morning when her mind was still fresh from dreaming.
She had almost caught it when her alarm clock screeched and the story fled in terror.
It slipped beneath the crack of her door as she struggled to pull on her pants. She wasn’t far behind, but it was far enough.
Down the stairs, past the old library, she searched. Nothing. Her heart ached to lose such a story. Her fingers ached to write. Her mind longed to lose herself inside it.
She pulled back the coats in the old closet, whispering into the cedar scented shadows. “Story?” Nothing answered but the scritch of mice in the walls.
She crept into the wizard’s room, the one he rented by the week and reeked of charcoal, skunk, and sour feet. He was out.
She peered inside a blue potion bottle. Empty. But she could still make out the faint scent of the story. It had been there, no more than a minute or so ago.
She closed the door with a click and hesitated. She crouched, checking the key hole. Dust. Pieces of a crushed and tragic spider. No story.
Her stomach growled.
The fridge. She hurried to the kitchen, grunting as she yanked at the door. There. Behind a plate of leftover ham. The story she’d been hunting. The one that escaped her.
She lured it out with a handful of papers and a promise of ink from the bottle in her pocket. Quiet, stealthy, she wielded her pen, her face a study of concentration and delight. The story relaxed at last, snuggling into the snow-white paper beneath her hand, knowing it was home.