W.I.D., part 23: The Right to Bear Pencils

Whew! I almost missed posting this week, but I remembered at the last moment. 😛 Well, enjoy!

Whatever I Draw

by Eliza May

Tullier snatched the pencil–his pencil–that Thompson held out to him, then traced over the hamburger he had drawn earlier. “What I have drawn, may it be made real.” A perfect burger, just like the one he drew, appeared. Deliberately, Tullier took a bite, chewed, and swallowed. He nodded, satisfied, and finished it calmly, while everyone watched him closely.

Thompson chewed his lip. “Satisfied?” he asked sarcastically.

After licking his lips in an exaggerated manner he replied, “Yes, actually. The best burger I’ve had in ages. Much better than the biscuits you were trying to give me. Would you like me to draw you a burger, too?” Tullier asked in an ironically innocent voice, infuriating to Thompson.

“No, Tullier,” Thompson replied in an equal tone of voice. “But you’d better give me the pencil now. You’ve had your fun, and now you need to put your toys away.”

Tullier narrowed his eyes at Thompson. After a long, tense moment, he shook his head resolutely. “Nope. Sorry. It’s mine.” Then, without another word, he pulled a blanket from the truck, rolled up in it, and tried to sleep.

Thompson stared after him for a moment, debating whether or not he should do something. Finally, though, he shrugged resignedly. He and the others followed Tullier’s example and got out their own blankets.

After about half an hour, when he thought everyone was asleep, Tullier sat up. He packed a few things into a backpack and slung it over his shoulder, after making sure his pencil was safely in the pocket of his hoodie. He had no paper, but who said he needed to draw on paper to make the pencil work? He stole silently around the dying campfire, headed towards the vast interior of the Wastelands. Even dying there, in the middle of nowhere, would be better than staying with the Pencils. He had always been a loner, and he wanted to stay that way.

He was out of the circle of firelight when he heard Kirk’s voice. “Tullier?”

Tullier hesitated, unsure of whether or not he should answer. Finally, he sighed, “What?”

“Where are you going?”

“Away. Kirk, you know I can’t stay with the Pencils. Not if they’re going to take away my freedom like this.”

Kirk nodded slowly. “I understand. But I’m sure there’s a better way to do this. What are you going to do hiding from reality in the middle of the Wastelands?”

Tullier shrugged. “I don’t know. Think, maybe. But I’m going.” He paused for a long moment, and then added, “Goodbye. Thanks for all you’ve done for me.” Then he was gone.

Kirk sighed. “Bye, Tullier.” Then he rolled back up in his blanket, thinking, until he fell back asleep.

It was about 4 in the morning when shouts awoke the camp. Sitting up and rubbing his eyes, Kirk mumbled, “What’s going on?” Then he heard the cries of the guards.

“The Pens are attacking! It’s an ambush!”

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