Welcome back to PEP! It’s Short Story Monday! But before I get to today’s story, let me pause here and give you the link to the Sunday story on Medium. It is one that has been on here but it’s been edited and looks slightly different. Plus, I can really use the views and reads on Medium. Even if you just scroll to the bottom because you’ve already read it, that will greatly help me. Thanks!
Without further ado, here’s this week’s Monday Short Story:
“Cool, a free pen!”
Kevin bent down and picked up the pen lying innocuously in the gutter. It may not seem much but to a down on his luck college student, anything free goes a long way. He didn’t know how much ink there was in it, it may not even have any since it was on the ground. But it might be full and fell out of someone’s pocket. It should at least be able to take a few notes.
With that thought, he ran to catch his bus before it took off without him and he was late to his 8 o’clock psych class. Again.
Sliding into his class just before the bell rang, he pulled his psych book, and a note book out before pulling his free pen out. Might as well try this pen out before he used his purchased pens.
He was pleasantly surprised to find it glided across the paper well leaving a smooth line of black, comfortable in his hand and appeared to be full of ink.
Three days later, however, he was beginning to question his found pen. He’d gone through three days of classes, using the same pen for notes in every class except his calculus and it didn’t appear to be running dry yet. He was in class from 8 am to 5 pm, pages of notes in every class, handwritten since he couldn’t afford a laptop like half of his classmates.
Another clue that this wasn’t an ordinary pen came in his last class of the day. The teacher passed around a sign up sheet for anyone who wanted extra credit. Anything to help his grade in any class, even Uni 101, he was signing up for. But his signature had never looked like that, not even when he took his time signing his full name, and especially not when he was scribbling it quickly so he could pass the sheet to the next row.
Yet, there it was, Kevin Brown, in smooth calligraphy as if he’d signed an autograph book and not a sign up sheet. He decided to play around with the pen after class.
Kevin called out when he entered his apartment, a part of him didn’t want his roommate to be home and a part wanted someone to see what happened if this was what he was beginning to suspect. No one answered and he figured his roommate must be at class or work. He could never keep his schedule straight as it seemed to change weekly.
He pulled out a piece of paper and signed his name once more. It looked exactly like the sign up sheet. Then he signed Mary-Anne Brown.
His jaw dropped, there on the paper was his mother’s signature looking just like it would on field trip permission slips when he was kid. He signed his father’s name, Kevin Brown. Sure enough, even though it was the same name, somehow this pen picked up that it was two different people and this name looked like his father’s signature. He then started signing random famous people’s names and every single time, it turned out just like he’d seen in magazines or on star walks.
He stared at the pen, it didn’t even feel like the pen was guiding his hand, it was as if he was writing his ABCs but yet the handwriting style changed every time.
He tucked the pen safely in his room where his roommate wouldn’t find it. He didn’t know what to do with it yet but had no doubt it would come in handy and he didn’t want to use it up or have his roommate walk off with it.
He moved onto his homework, not giving the pen another thought.
But the next morning, he sat up in bed after slapping the alarm off and immediately froze. There, lying on his nightside table, was the pen. Never mind the fact he’d tucked it into a drawer in his desk and it should still be there, no one had been in his room since he’d gone to sleep, the door was closed like it always was, there was no way the pen should have moved.
He put it in a different drawer before getting ready for the day and heading out the door, purposely pushing the pen out of his mind.
He’d managed to do so successfully until the last period of the day when he reached into his backpack for another pen as the one he’d been using had dried up and his hand came out with the pen. He knew it was the same pen, none of his pens had the rubber grip it did and sure enough, when he drew it across the page, it left the same smooth trail as always.
He pulled out another pen, leaving it on the desk, still staring at it. He began writing with the new pen and nothing happened.
But he stopped writing, pen still in hand, as the teacher pulled up a video for them to watch and dimmed the lights.
Kevin looked down when he felt something nudging his hand. Brows furrowed, he wasn’t sure what was poking him at first. There wasn’t anyone’s hand there nor did there appear to be anything moving. He looked away only for the nudging to begin again.
This time, he looked down in time to see the pen moving on its own, poking him in the hand, as if it was wanting him to put down the inferior pen and use it instead.
Testing it, he shifted it to the top of the desk and looked away. He peered down without moving his head and watched, skin paling, as the pen rolled down and turned so its point was aiming at his hand and began poking him again.
Suddenly, he had a feeling why this pen had been in the gutter.
-Fin (For now)
Well, that’s interesting. Where did this pen come from? Will Kevin begin using it again? If so, just what will he do with it? What kind of trouble could come from a magic pen that can not only imitate anyone’s handwriting but appears to have a mind of its own? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below! I’d love to see what you think could happen. Also, what would you do with a magic pen?
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