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Learning a lesson

This time, I put the story into wordpress and saved the draft at the beginning of the week. Let’s not repeat last week’s flub.

I think I am going to attempt NANOWRIMO this year. I don’t know that it matters, but since I am about to start writing another novel, why not play along with the rest who celebrate National Novel Writing Month?

Settling on the idea is difficult. I just don’t know what to put on paper. There worse problems to have, but being indecisive isn’t going to get the draft written.

L. E. White

T. S. Eliot

Marnie pulled the ends of the ribbon and untied the thin, blue, pieces of silk that held the little black box together. She was careful, trying to keep from getting yelled at by her grandmother. The same ribbon held together every birthday present she had received for the last twelve years. It wouldn’t do to have it snap now.
“I hope you like it,” the old woman said.
“I know I will. You didn’t have to do this.” Her grandmother was poor. The kind of poor people made jokes about. Saying things about rubbing pennies together or how church mice would share with her. Marnie knew the gift would be small and simple, but her father had explained why these gifts were the best of all. Her friends never understood the meaning of her grandmother’s birthday presents, and she felt sorry for them.
“I will do as I please,” the feisty old woman said. “Now open it up.”
Marnie smiled as she lifted the lid. One of her grandmother’s white handkerchiefs covered something, so she lifted the ends. Below the cloth was a shiny black and gold cylinder inside.
“What is it?”
“Open it the rest of the way and find out.”
Marnie picked it up and twisted the cap off. A delicate fountain pen made of gold and silver rested in her hand, reflecting the overhead lights on Marnie’s glasses.
“Oh Nana.”
“I hope you like it. When I found it, I thought about how you got that poem published in the paper last year.”
“This is beautiful. How …” Marnie voice cracked before she could finish the question. She glanced over at her parents. Her mother was staring at the pen with wide eyes and her father’s mouth was hanging open.
“Now don’t you worry about how much it was.” The old sat up a little straighter and smirked at her granddaughter. “I found it at a yard sale. They said it is out of ink but that you can buy ink for it at the art store in the college.”
“Wow.”
“There is a card in the box too.”
Marnie’s mother moved over to the couch beside her and her father went to sit beside his mother. Marnie could her him whisper his questions about the price as her mom lifted the handkerchief out of the box to reveal a tiny yellow card. There were three lines of elegant, looping handwriting on the card and a picture of a circle on the back.
“The purpose of literature is to turn blood into ink,” Marnie read.
“By T. S. Eliot,” her mother said. “I wonder if this was his pen?”
“Couldn’t be. Could it?”
They both shrugged before Marnie gave her grandmother a hug.
***
Marnie sat at the desk, holding the pen above the paper and swirling it around like a dog trying to find his spot to sleep.
“I wish there was ink in it,” she said. Marnie put the pen to paper and pulled it along. She felt a tingling in her hand, and then a thick, black line began to flow from the pen.
“Yes,” Marnie said as she made a few loops before re-writing the T. S. Eliot quote. “Now I don’t have to buy ink.”
She began to write, a poem about gratitude appearing on the page.
***
Her father found her then next morning. Poems and pieces of stories surrounded the pale, stiff body slumped over the desk. The pen was still in her hand, the last drop of ink congealed to the tip.

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Categories: Flash Fiction, Horror, Writing
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