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She stared wide-eyed at the retreating back of the man. She was sure he had been about to approach her. She shrugged, she must have been mistaken. She had wanted to leave anyway.

This was the seventh day of her writer's block. Her brain had stopped producing ideas, not an ideal time as she was on a deadline. She had found the bar while driving aimlessly and had immediately liked its rustic ambiance. But the novelty and excitement had died once more.

As she left the place, she knew she wouldn't be back. For a restless being like her, things lost their appeal soon. This was reflected in her profession too; she hadn't found it in herself to be able to write any long narrative. Short stories had been her sole bread-earner.

She had this weird obsession of completing a story in a single sitting; she knew she wouldn't reach the same state of mind at another time. She would be a different person and that would lead to inconsistencies. And she hated inconsistencies. She had never been able to modify a story that didn’t satisfy her. It simply had to go away.

As she made her way to the car, her eyes got arrested to the bright yellow signboard announcing the world’s best ice cream. She rolled her eyes, but this clichéd line gave her comfort as it brought back the memories of her adolescence. Their crazy love for ice cream had been the icebreaker between her and her stepsister, Sylvia.

She laughed at the irony. “Why do you think is that man wearing a hat?” 

“Because it’s cold?”

“No. Because he wants to hide his baldness from his young girlfriend he is going to meet.”

At another time, “Why is that lady buying ice?”

“Because she is having a house-party with drinks.”

“No, silly. It’s to preserve the dead body she is hiding in her house.”

And she would burst out laughing. This was a game they’d played often. Sylvia won every single time. Her wild imagination spun the most bizarre tales about the world around. These stories would make her laugh and she would forget all her woes. But that was not to say that she wasn’t jealous of Sylvie. Sylvie was an amazing storyteller but had had no interest in penning them down, while her stepsister had struggled to write without much success.

The last time she had met her was when she’d kissed Sylvia. All the years of pent up attraction had finally broken down her walls of self-restraint. Sylvia had been livid, her handsome features contorted with disgust. All the attempts to contact her after that had been met with cold silence.

Her reverie was broken by the incoming call. It must be her editor, she thought with a sigh. She froze in her tracks when she saw Sylvie’s name flashing on the screen. She was rooted to the spot, staring at the phone that finally stopped ringing after a couple of minutes as it went to voice-mail…

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