Flash Fiction: The Pen

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Julia Campos also known as JC lives in the middle of Bridgeport, New York, an active city where it is difficult to locate a writing occupation. She just graduated from a junior college and has submitted short stories in the big apple to gain recognition. However, none of the magazines or the newspaper companies acquire her work because of her writing skills. Julia use to write short stories in college and nobody never paid attention to her work because it didn’t make sense and her grammar skills were poor.

Julia is walking around New York. The streets are crowded with cars and people. She stumbles upon an antique store. She enters the shop and looks around. Julia is frighten by the statues and ancient some of the items are. An old man appears in front of her. She observes him and notices his long beard. He is thin and is wearing a 1950s suit. His shoes are polished and when he smiles you can see a gold tooth.

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“Hello and welcome to my shop. What assistance can I offer to you?” The cryptic man says. Julia becomes anxious and smirks.

“Thank you, but I am just looking around your shop.” She says. The man smiles and bows his head to her.

“I have magical yet cursed items you may want to view?” He says. She looks around and wonders what mysterious object he may have in store. She is not buying his sarcasm.

“Magical items? Curse items? What kind of shop are you running here sir?” She says in a humorous tone.

“From what I can see you are struggling to obtain a gift. I suppose you are a writer or journalist.” He predicts. She flinches and her heart starts to beat.

“How do you know that?” She says fearfully. He giggles. And then he adjusts his suit.

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“I am not psychic, but I can see that you are holding a journal and a pen. So, I inferred that you are a writer?” He says. She feels foolish and wipes the sweat off her forehead.

“Yes, I am struggling with my writing skills. I wish to have expert abilities to be the best writer in New York.” She raises her voice. All of a sudden he face becomes serious and his tone of voice changes.

“Hmm…I may have something that will make you a better freelancer, but you’ll have to guard this item with your life.” He says in a soft voice. Her excitement takes over her and she wants to celebrate but stays calm for the moment.

“Wait here, I’ll retrieve the item in the basement.” The man walks to the back door of his shop. Julia waits patiently for the man to return. Ten minutes pass by. The old man comes to her attention. He pulls out a gold plated fountain pen that seem to spark every time the light hits it. She glances at it and can’t take her eyes off of it.

“Miss, this pen will help you achieve great abilities that you can obtain from writing. However, there is a consequence.” He says to Julia. She has a puzzle look.

“What do you mean? Consequences?” Julia says. He puts the pen back in his pocket.

“Pens never last forever. Once it’s out, it is out. Meaning when someone cuts corners or cheats they will eventually break.” The man says. Julia ignores the man. She named a price and the man sells her the pen. Julia is happy and thrilled about the pen. She can see the dollar signs appearing in front of her.

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A few months pass, and Julia has published almost a hundred short stories, novels, blogs, and journals. She is on a roll and becomes one of the top ten writers in New York City. Julia started her own blog and decided to self-publish all her work. She hires a team to help her blog get out there. However, she uses the pen whenever she proof reads her employee’s posts or write her own blogs. Her employees rate her as the number one proof reader in the big apple. But, Julia is nervous because she hired an employee that writes with passion and has never made any mistakes in her writing.

Julia is proof reading an employees journal with the magic pen. She writes an error mark and then the worse happens. The pen runs out of ink and then the gold color changes to stainless steel. Julia starts to panic and scribbles on the paper. She stabs the paper trying to make the ink come out. Her angry and anxiety take over her and she begins to sob. She feels like world is coming down on her.

An employee walks in and sees that she is having a mental break down. Her writing skills are in jeopardy. She is frustrated and irritated at the employee.

“What do you want! Get out of my office!” She shouts at the employee. The employee gets offended and walks back out. That employee is her best writer and has been threaten by her attitude. The person walks out of the building and quit their job.

A month passes by and Julia’s business is crashing. She had been let go from publishers, magazine and newspaper companies. Money is tight and her employees are leaving her company. She eventually closes her business and is jobless. She walks around New York and can see that they are hiring a writer for a new business that had just opened. She gets excited and runs to the building to apply. When she gets there she asks to see the manger and her requested is granted. Julia walks to the back office and sees her ex-employee she told to get out of her office. It looks like that ex-employee made her own business with her talent. But one thing that caught Julia eye was her ex-employee had a fountain pen that is gold plated.

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“Hello, Julia what do you want? Oh nothing…Get out of my office!” The ex-employee shouts at her. Julia saunters to her and whispers, “talent doesn’t last forever.” The ex-employee chuckles and says, “Yes, it does because I am a natural writer not a terrible one.”

Julia walks out and feels so low that she never wrote again. She had a special gift that lasted a few months. Julia panic and lost everything if she would of stayed clam she would of still been on top. Attitude can affect everyone and everything around us. . .

©️Daniel Sanchez 2019

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