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She was pacing across the floor when the doorbell rang. A policeman smiled at her and held up his badge.

“PC Hethering, ma’am, you called to report a theft?”

She nodded. “Yes, yes. Come in.”

He looked at the door as he walked through, and glanced around to check the windows and the state of the room. It didn’t look like the scene of a burglary; no signs of breaking and entering, no drawers pulled out and emptied, obvious valuables still on display.

“Through here,” she said, leading him to a study at the back of the house.

“This is where you usually keep the item in question, is it?”

He looked around. Still no signs of forced entry, and although the study was messy, it just looked lived-in messy, not turned-over messy. He glanced down at his notebook, where he had noted the details of the call – she had apparently been quite vague on the phone.

“What exactly is it that’s been stolen, ma’am?”

She gestured at the computer screen. A word processing program was open on the screen, its blank page glaring out, the cursor flashing at the top left.

“My inspiration,” the writer said. “It’s gone. Somebody must have stolen it!”

© Kari Fay