This is the 62nd in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.
The Magical Pen, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 1st February 2013
Word count: 625
“This my friend is the most amazing pen in the world,” the old man said fetching down a battered old box. “They say it can write whole worlds into being.”
The kid looked upon the box with wonder. He was thirteen years old and had a new life’s ambition, become a famous author. He’d gotten fifty pounds for his birthday, and rather than a new game, he decided to invest in things for writing, so he found old Alexander’s shop looking at pens.
“Some of the most famous writers in history have held this pen, and wielded their mighty words with it,” Alexander the shop proprietor, and only employee in over twenty years, ramped up the desire.
“Like who?” the kid asked in wonder.
“Well some say Earnest Hemingway others say Huxley, Wodehouse, Kipling, the list goes on. They even say that the pen occasionally has magical powers, both to inspire and sometimes even to create what it writes. Who knows, it might even be true.”
“Really?” the boy said looking on in wonder.
“I don’t know, it never did it for me, but I’m not a writer. It is a very fine pen regardless,” the shopkeeper said.
The boy looked at the box with growing reverence, “Can I see it?”
“Of course that’s why I brought it down. Go on open the box,” Alexander urged.
The boy warily lifted the lid, disturbing dust as he did, then he carefully moved around the paper the pen had been packed with. He reached in and got his fingers on something cold and hard, and slowly pulled it out.
“Wow,” he said. The pen old looking, the top half of the shaft was brushed metal, the bottom half was coated in what looked like red leather. The lid was a combination of brushed metal and red leather too. It was a heavy sturdy scribe.
“This is amazing,”the boy said.
“Here go on, give it a try,” Alexander handed over some pieces of paper.
The kid did a scribble at first, then wrote his name, “Keith Hammersmith” , then “This pen is amazing”.
“What do you think?”
“I love it,” the boy said unreserved joy for a moment, then a shadow crossed his face, “But I don’t think I can afford something like this.”
“Hmm…” the shopkeeper paused for thought, “How much have you got?”
“Fifty three pounds,” the boy said depressed.
“I think you’ll be a famous author one day, Keith is it? Yes?” the boy nodded. “Well in that case, I want to encourage you, be your patron fit for a moment. If you promise to remember me in one of your books when you’re famous, I’ll sell you the pen, some pads, and some tippex, everything you’ll need for your first story, for forty five pounds,” Alexander said all smiles seeing the kids face light up again with hope.
The boy pulled the money from his pocket and put it on the counter. Alexander put all the things he had promised in a bag.
“Here you go,” he said handing over the bag and he then counted up the money, or it in the register and removed five pounds and handed it back to the boy. “Happy writing,” he said concluding the deal.
“Thank you, your the best,” the boy said as he left the store, firmly grasping the bag.
Once the boy was out of sight, Alexander reached under the counter and pulled out another battered box and placed it up high on the shelves behind him.
He didn’t feel guilty, in fact he felt quite good, he’d made a decent profit, and one of these days one of the kids would find success with one of those pens and remember the pen seller fondly.