Suddenly, the pen stopped working

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic


A little story, of a woman called Amelia.

Submitted: October 12, 2017

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Submitted: October 12, 2017

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It wasn’t a normal Sunday for Amelia, much like the past 260 Sundays – and yes, she had been counting, and she also knew that she had another 260 Sundays to go before she’d be free, at least…hopefully. You’d think that she’d have gotten used to it by now, after five years in this hell hole, but she hadn’t, and she didn’t think that she ever would. It was a stupid thing…a stupid mistake when she was young (she still was, but she…truly didn’t feel it, she hadn’t felt it for a long, long time).

This Sunday was like any other, she had sat down on the top bunk in her cell, watching the weather from the barred window right opposite her, it was a stormy day, the leaves were fluttering, all kinds of oranges and reds. Autumn was always her favourite season, she remembered, as a child, running through heaps and heaps of them with her older brother. But that memory was distant now, almost non-existant. It was difficult to accept how much she had changed, it was difficult to accept how much this hurt and how much she didn’t want to let it affect her but…she couldn’t.

Her notebook in her hand, she created wonderful images, cute and fluffy animals, warm fires and mountains, cabins and rivers, beautiful women and men all sprawled on the pages of the notebook, she had gone through far too many, and she kept all of them, stashed away in a little locker. It had been her dream – to become an artist, it had been her dream to see the world, all of it..but that was before the tragedy happened, the tragedy that by some stupidly, astronomically bad stroke of unluckiness landed her here, landed her in this place…

She kept drawing, today, it was a fox, a sly looking creature, but somehow she had incorporated the sly gaze of the orange vulpine into this beautiful, adorable fluffy being that seemed to adorn the page of lined paper, slightly yellowed at the edges as she so often pawed at them with fingers still dirty from the tough day of labour of the prison’s garden.

The notebooks that she kept, the drawings and the stories that she had created for them so deep in her mind seemed to keep her afloat, seemed to keep her going, seemed to keep the worst from happening…seemed to keep her fragile mind from completely breaking. That’s why…when the most unexpected thing happened to her…her mind seemed to stop for a moment, unable to process the information that had been given to her. The pen she had been holding – nothing special mind you, just a simply, blue biro by some unknown company – had failed her, the deep blue inky line begun stuttering, dotting on the page as she tried to connect the lines, as she tried to keep drawing, making this story in her mind of the fox.

She knew she’d be able to get a new one tomorrow at break time…she knew that she’d be able to work on her art tomorrow but…the thing was…in the moment, regardless of how stupid and pathetic the feeling of utter disappointment might have been, just over a simple pen…to her it…it felt like the world had stopped moving, stopped spinning. Amelia didn’t even realise the tears that were filling her eyes as her sight went blurry, she had been so happy with the drawing, she had been so happy just sitting here drawing and writing and doodling all night long…until lights out but, today…her mind went to a different place…she felt alone…she felt so, so completely alone in this world where she couldn’t put the thoughts to paper, where she couldn’t make them come alive. 

Any normal person would have just gotten a different pen, any normal person would have just gotten up and went to buy one, but she wasn’t a normal person, she wasn’t somewhere that was possible…and it hurt, it hurt more than anybody could ever imagine. It felt like the tiniest needles kept tugging at her feelings, bringing them out. Perhaps, it was a good thing, perhaps it is what she needed, maybe she needed to cry and accept all the bad things in her life, and somehow try to deal with them and live another day as she had lived before this…before that terrible night. It didn’t seem like that, it didn’t seem like that’s what was meant to happen. Everything set aside, she hadn’t ever broken before and the smallest…most stupidest things had just now begun getting to her…the moment that pen had stopped working…the flood of emotions overtook her so completely that she couldn’t keep the sobs down, she clawed at her chest, letting all of the worst of the pain out. To her surprise, nobody heard her, to her surprise her wails of anguish were silent and muffled by the lump in her throat, that had been there for far too long, that had needed to be let lose way before now, perhaps even before she had begun her first night here.

Amelia cried long, long into the night, into the darkest parts, where the monsters came loose, there even the tiniest light was shrouded by darkness. She let out the demons within her and the feeling of the sweetest release came with sleep. Sleep so deep and beautiful. Dreams of flowers and summery fields filled her mind, she felt the touch of grass against her fingers and the scent of daisies engulfed her nose. It was needed…so….so very needed…for the first time in 260 Sundays that she had slept the entire night until sunrise, until the bell went…and all because suddenly, the pen stopped working.


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