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They sat listlessly around a pool, too tired to move. Their hair was lank and their robes were unwashed.

“I’m so tired, I can’t even think any more,” one said.

Her sister raised her head slightly. “I’m too tired to sleep,” she said. “This is awful.”

The surface of the pool shimmered, and a mortal woman came into view.

“Oh no,” said the first. “Not again!”

Her sister looked as if she might cry. “This is ridiculous,” she muttered. “How can one mortal be so demanding? She’s been calling on us every single day!”

“I just want some rest,” the first whispered. “Is that too much to ask?”

Her sister heaved herself towards the pool, falling on her knees to whisper into the water.

“Perhaps this will finally satisfy her,” she said to her sister as she sat up. “Perhaps we can rest now.”

Hopefully, they lay back, but before they knew it the pool shimmered once more, and the same woman appeared.

“No!” The younger sister sobbed, her shoulders shaking. “I can’t do this any more!”

Her sister heaved herself to her feet. “Don’t worry, sister mine. I have an idea to punish her.”

She paced around the pool, watching until the mortal woman fell asleep. She leaned in closer, examining all the details.

“Do you see, little sister? There, on the table beside her bed.”

Her sister frowned. “See? I don’t see anything there but the lamp.”

“Exactly.” She grinned wickedly. “No notebook, no pen, no modern gadgets for recording words. Now it’s time for our revenge.”

She leaned down to the pool and whispered; the seeds of a great story, a masterpiece without rival, were planted within the sleeping woman’s mind. She half woke, and groped across the bedside table for the notebook and pen she habitually kept there, then remembered that she had left them on her desk.

“‘Sokay,” she muttered to herself. “I’ll remember it…”

As she fell back asleep, the muses beside the pond laughed.

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: This morning I had the horrible feeling that I’d had a fantastic idea for a story overnight- but I couldn’t recall a single thing about it!)

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