Whatever I Draw
by Eliza May
“If they only wanted the pencil, they would have killed you long ago and taken it from your cold, dead body.”
Startled, Tullier looked up at Kirk with a strange expression on his face, as if everything in his confused life was suddenly coming together. “What do you mean?” he asked slowly.
“I mean this. You and I both know how the pencil works, but because Stef and Luger are newer to the whole idea, let me clarify. To work the pencil, you need to draw exactly what it is that you want to become real, right?”
“But sometimes, it’s hard to draw something correctly, especially if it’s a complicated thing or something entirely made up, even. Which is why you made this candle, correct?”
“Yeah. Easier than a flashlight.”
Kirk nodded. “So,” he continued, “say you wanted to draw a – a – a cat or something. If you don’t draw it right, it could become a dog. Or a better example would be if you draw a dog and it becomes a wolf. Then you can see how dangerous such a mistake could become. It takes some serious skill to be able to correctly draw something. Which is why they need you, Tullier. You have that skill. It’s not just a matter of being able draw something realistically. It’s a matter of being able to get across an idea on paper. And quickly, too, like you did with that candle. What you said before about me making a banana instead of a candle is probably not far from the truth. They could always get someone else, of course, but you’re already used to using it, and they don’t want this pencil to be common knowledge. No offense, but you have no one who will miss you if you suddenly disappear to work for some secret government agency.”
Tullier’s face adopted a look of shock as he processed this new information. He stared at the table but was not looking at it. His mind was working feverishly and his chest rose and fell heavily. Inserting this new information into all the scenes of his life made everything suddenly come together, made everything make sense. Squeezing his eyes shut, he strove to organize the torrent of new information, but to no avail.
Respectfully, Kirk and the others waited silently, watching him.
Finally, Tullier breathed deeply, somewhat calming his hyperactive mind. “I can’t believe I never realised that before,” he said. “I mean-” here he laughed mirthlessly- “it seems so obvious.”
Kirk’s expression was serious as he studied Tullier, whose face had changed in the last two minutes. The teenager now had a look of hardness, but also, it seemed, doubt. After shifting his gaze around the room awkwardly, Kirk murmured half-jokingly, “Are you thinking of going over to their side now?”
Staring into space, and talking more to himself than to Kirk, Tullier whispered, “Either that or run forever. Before, I was running for my life. But now… running… running…. running… with no end…. It would be better to die than to jump at every strange sound, to analyze every busy street corner for potential enemies…. Forever…. With no chance of a merciful death….” He trailed off.
After biting his lip hesitantly, Kirk decided to speak again. “Would it be better for them to have the pencil, then?”
Tullier’s eyes flashed suddenly, and his spaced-out expression focused. With unnaturally bright eyes he stared hard at Kirk. Slowly, emphasizing every syllable, Tullier said, “We cannot let them get this pencil.”
A wide grin broke out over Kirk’s face. “And that’s how we can help you,” he said. “We can assist you in keeping it away from them.”
“Wait just a sec,” Tullier broke in. “What we need to do is destroy it.”
“Destroy it? I thought it couldn’t be destroyed.”
Tullier raised one corner of his mouth in a sort of smirk. “Well, it can, though probably not in the way you were thinking. You’re right, it can’t be simply broken or burnt or anything like that, and hiding it would only mean that it would eventually be found, even if it was centuries from now. But what we can do is use it. I have already had to sharpen this pencil twice, even though I have used it sparingly. Each time I sharpen it, it gets a little smaller, just like any other pencil. Once it is used up, then it is used up.”
Kirk’s expression was almost laughable. It was one of supreme astonishment, the mouth hanging open slightly, and eyes wide. “So,” he slowly, after a long silence, said “why don’t you simply sharpen it and sharpen it until it’s nothing but a stub?”
“Because you can’t. Believe me, I’ve tried. You simply can’t sharpen it unless it is unusably dull.”
“Well then scribble with it until it’s completely used up,” suggested Luger, speaking for the first time. His voice was the quiet kind that could nonetheless pierce through any conversation.
Tullier was ready with an answer, seeming to enjoy refuting their ideas. “The pencil always creates something when drawn with. The scribble would only become something, for all you know it could be an invincible blob the size of a skyscraper.”
Luger raised his eyebrows and sank back into silence.
“Well-” Kirk began, but he cut off what he was going to say there, holding a hand up for silence. With a surprising lack of noise for a man his size, he moved to the window, covered with a dirty rag of a curtain. Cautiously, he peered out, and then in a sudden movement drew his bulk away from the window, breathing heavily. With fury he hissed at Tullier, “I thought you said you lost them!”
Ooh, it’s getting exciting! 🙂 Stay tuned to find out what happens next….