Poor pencils.

"Hello?" I call out for the umpteenth time into the world, which has conveniently been blacked out. I shiver again as a current of wind abuses my skin. Where is everyone?

"Is anyone out there?" I shout, trying desperately to roll around onto my back. I fail, of course, and just end up staring down the gutter.

Where was my owner? I had just seen him, not even ten minutes ago. Where had everyone gone?

"He-ll-ll-ll-o?" I try again, drawing out the word as much as possible.

"Hey!" I hear someone shout back.

"Yes!" I shout. "Hello! Where are you - ?"

"Look! A pencil!"

Rough hands snatch at my skin, yanking me abruptly out of the gutter. I see a face - not my owner's - examine me.

"Does it have lead?" the human's companion asks excitedly.

The human clicks my head, pushing down hard. I search for the graphite in my body - but find nothing. I just had it! Where did it go?

"No," the human says, crestfallen. With a sigh, he lets me fall back to the ground. I cringe as the cement meets me - hard.

"No-o-o-o!" I cry out into the wind as it rolls my back into the gutter.

I hate being a pencil.