Invisible Ink

Jenna Benoit

The pen - a simple tool created by mankind to transfer information from the wise to the young. I don't recall the factory of my creation, nor shipping or the wait. I simply recall the sharp snap of the scissors that tore away the clear plastic shell that I had been encased in. As a pen I am lucky, as we are brought into this world knowing full well the purpose we hold and the length of our ink measured lives.

In the hands of the artist our lives are short and yet fulfilling. Such was the case with my first holder, Sarah. Her aged and well worn hands held me gently and moved with precision that was both swift and smooth. Dancing across the page I felt as though I had ascended to the world of paint and bristles. I had become a paintbrush in the hands of my holder and she painted worlds of wondrous things. Children of mud and mayhem, petals of springs, fresh buds, gardens of vivid livelihood and landscapes of a world unknown to me. Her talent soared above all else, though the cost of my ascendence into the realms of creation were great despite the rewards. It sapped at my ink and before I was tucked away in the roomy, exotic arts drawer she had already taken half of my life span.

It felt marvelous having a muse as a holder, but before long my holder had become another. This holder was her son. "May I borrow a pen or two?" he asked Sarah while rummaging through her drawer of exotic utensils. His fingers fell upon my plastic body and ensnared me. She had offered him any pen he found interesting and he only responded with, "What does it matter? It's just a pen." With those last words I was carried into a new world. The world of a highschool student.

This world was quite different than what I had become so fond of. The world was bleak and lifeless, filled only with empty knowledge and difficult tasks. Time seemed to stand in one single and repetitive motion of his weekday world. My holder's hands were awkward while using too much pressure, digging me into the paper. His movements were sharp and erratic, much like the notes he took in his classes. With how simple the cycle was it was difficult to tell how long I had been in his care before it had ended.

It was during second period of a yet another day. I don't remember when the moment came. I had fallen from his grasp to the cold floor of the hall. It had been sometime before anyone even noticed I was laying lifelessly near the wall. It's a wonder if Sam himself noticed my absence. In one motion a hand swiftly clasped around my plastic cap and lifted me away from my solitude. The hand was small and delicate, and I was carried off to a nearby washroom. The first thing Ashley had done as my new holder was wash me. She had been very meticulous in this task and for the first week of being her pen I had no idea why.

She was a writer, and her movements were frantic, almost as though the thought would vanish if she didn't scratch it out immediately. Because of this habit there were quite a few three or four am wake up calls as she scribbled down a dream or sudden thought. My holder only had one flaw that marked her literary gift and that was her writer's block. When she was stuck in thought and unable to pull the specific word from her jumbled inner thesaurus, she would chew. Marking me and bruising my plastic with her sharp teeth in a desperate attempt to draw out written perfection.

Her writing was brilliant and she did have a gift like none other. Words were much like water, flowing seamlessly from one description into the next. I was ecstatic to have returned to the hands of an artist. She had found me with a third of my ink remaining and I had given it all to her masterpiece. She was a poet and novelist, and of all my holders, she was the most loved. She was the one to illuminate my full potential and enlighten me about my own being.

It was a Friday when I wrote my final story. She had been working on a short piece about her younger brother. At a young age, he had passed away under distressing circumstances, and she wanted to honor this memory in literature. She was in the last few paragraphs when my ink began to stutter and spurt. I held fast, pushing to help her finish her final dramatic sentence. My ink had faded with the 'E' of "The End". I had made it. With all of my ink dispersed I lay lifeless in my holder's hands. Grief ridden, she tried to revive me through scribbles and swirls but to no avail. I had spent the last of my ink, of my life's blood on her story and for once in my ink measured life I was not 'just a pen' - I was a friend.

The E