W.I.D., part 22: All Because of a Burger

Well, here’s the next part! I’d love to hear what you think!

Whatever I Draw

by Eliza May

When evening fell, the truck and its little motorcade slowed and the riders jumped out of their vehicles. Several small fires were built with brush, and Thompson, Julia, Kirk, and Tullier all sat around one. From a pocket, Thompson produced several thick biscuits and handed one each to Kirk and Tullier. It looked just like the ones that Jason had had.

At the memory, Tullier’s stomach turned. “No. I won’t eat that.”

“Why not?” asked Thompson, surprised.

“Look, you guys all have pencils, right?”

“Some of us.”

“Then draw something that’s actually edible!”

Thompson and Julia lapsed into a stunned silence. Then, timidly, Julia said, “There’s… there’s rules, you know. You can’t just use pencils whenever.”

Tullier drew his eyebrows together. “And why not?”

“Because. There’s rules. Things could get very dangerous if people just drew whatever they wanted.”

“Well I’m not eating that,” Tullier growled.

Sensing the rising tension, Kirk intervened. “Thompson, Julia. You’ve got to remember, Tullier has no experience with such rules. He’s been on his own.” Turning to Tullier, he said, “But Tullier, you’ve got to respect the rules. You’re with the Pencils now.”

“What if I don’t want to be with the Pencils?” Tullier’s voice was rising. “You know what, I want a hamburger, and you’re not going to stop me from having one.” He drew out his pencil and fished around in his pocket until he found his last scrap of paper.

“No!” cried Julia and Thompson simultaneously.

Surprised at the panic in their voices, Tullier paused. “Why not? It’s just a hamburger.”

“Just… don’t,” Julia pleaded. “It’s dangerous. Why, anything could come from that piece of paper. Anything.”

“I’m drawing a hamburger,” Tullier said with sarcastic slowness.

“Just… just let Thompson make you one. He’s a Pencil expert.”

“Y’know what? I’m probably better than both of you combined! I can draw myself a hamburger! And I will!” He quickly scribbled a hamburger on the paper, and said the words. “What I have drawn, may it be made real.”

Nothing happened.

Tullier’s eyebrows knit together. “What I have drawn, may it be made real!”

Still, nothing.

For a moment, there was absolute silence in that corner of the Wasteland. For a moment.

Tullier stood, slowly. “What. Did. You. Do. With. My. PENCIL?!” he screamed.

“Calm down!” cried Thompson, leaping to his feet. “Your pencil’s safe, Tullier, but there’s rules! We can’t let you have it. We don’t know if you’re completely with us yet. Just… just calm down.”

Tullier snapped the pencil that Thompson had given him, apparently just an ordinary #2 pencil, like any student would use for math homework.

“Give it to me. Now.”

“I-I can’t.” Standing straighter and puffing out his chest, he said, “I won’t.”

“It’s mine!” Filled with frustration, Tullier burst out, “You know what, you’re just like the Pens! You want to control everything, take our pencils away! Take my pencil away. Give it to me. Or I’ll kill you and take it from your body.”

Swallowing hard, Thompson shook his head. “I can’t. Please, Tullier, I can’t. You’ve got to understand. I didn’t make the rules.”

Striding over to where Thompson stood, Tullier shoved him to the ground.

“Kirk! Come on, Kirk, help me out here!” Thompson begged as Tullier stood above him, his face dark with fury.

Kirk stared at the fire for a moment, and then, in a quiet, serious voice, muttered, “Give him the pencil, Tom.”

“W-what?”

“The kid’s right. We’re acting just like the Pens. He’s a responsible guy and hasn’t destroyed anything yet. It’s the Pens and Pencils as a group who’ve done all the destruction and caused all the problems. Give him the pencil.”

Thompson hesitated for a long moment. Then, from a pocket, he slowly drew out the pencil.

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