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There once lived a girl who liked to tell stories.

Her teachers scolded her, towering their impressive frames over her, their bosoms threatening to burst the buttons on their tight blouses, glaring with their get-in-line eyes, pursing their brightly colored lips.

Her parents sighed when they heard the beginning of a new story. They poured glasses of cheap wine, pulled at their hair, burned dinner.

Her friends laughed and asked for proofs. But of course there were none, for the stories were mostly lies. Although some weren’t—these came to her in dreams, and we all know dreams are true.

The girl saved the dreams in a little box deep in her heart and, on the days she visited her grandma on the other end of town, she would let the dreams out, one by one, and spin their stories into the air of Grandma’s kitchen. The stories mixed with the smells of cabbage and onions, twined with the stories her grandma sometimes told, flowed out the open window, brushed the metal rooftops of St. Petersburg where stories are known to hover since the time of Pushkin, and seemed nonetheless to become impatient. They would swoop back in and tug at her sleeves, her ears, her hair.

One day when this happened, the girl decided to write the story down, only to discover the story’s restlessness ceased. And so the girl learned that when a story became impatient, it wanted to be written down.

When her friends read her fresh-written tales, they didn’t ask for proofs. Her parents shared the stories with friends over coffee. Her teachers stopped glaring and gave her B grades for too much creativity.

The little girl grew up and never stopped writing her stories down, for it is only through this that her stories became real, and with them, so did she.