Rough Drift

"Small" writing challenges for my small writing talent. Hotel note pads are the only space allowed. Let's see if I can strip it down and tighten it up to learn something. Improving my skill of weird fiction.

60.) Auction lot number twenty-seven.


Lot number twenty-seven generated a stir ever since the printing of the auction house catalog. Their catalog description suitably talked up the significance so much that representatives of wealthy collectors, known and anonymous, clogged the hall, ready to put their client’s money in play. One rep of a wealthy CEO, Marcia Tuppence, knew exactly what the article at hand really was – not just what it represented.

He only meant to obtain the historical document at whatever the cost but it sure sounded like he wanted it stolen.His passionate orders for art and collections is something Marcia was very capable of carrying out. That collection grew in orders of magnitude due in part to her efforts to track down people, places, and things, and make the deals of their lifetimes.

Lot number twenty-seven, rarely displayed, presently sat within a protective box that sealed against oxygen and filtered any harmful rays of light. Swarms of bidders looked upon what they have never seen before, marveling at what the catalog declared important. This concerned Marcia for some time since the catalog said nothing of what it actually was. She gazed at the paper, the last known type before global economies altered what now passes for paper. The handwritten strokes from pencil moved beautifully across the page. Marcia was a rare kind. She could read the writing where the many bidders couldn’t. They weren’t history students in a graduate program and therefore never learned the cursive script. The collector world knew Lot twenty-seven as art. A piece where the texture of both paper and pencil melded into a substance of beauty. The words upon it were never mentioned.

Some time had passed since Marcia last saw it. Auction staff shouted for order and behavior but Marcia wouldn’t let anyone force her away — she continued to stare at it and read the words again. She pondered its significance. She privately disagreed with her boss but could see where he came from. As he said, “That’s not history, it’s an important piece of art history!” He was right on that level but nobody cared for the document’s history.

That paper represented the last period of real paper. The pencil across the page made when real pencils were manufactured. Both products were known as the best ever created and the last of their time. The author of the document, the man with great penmanship, unknowingly created a combined visual not found anywhere else.  The pencil line left it’s own textures of darks and lights and graphite composites on the page – the same page whose texture filtered through the pencil line’s twists and turns. Something pen and ink never did to the same degree. If today’s version of paper and pencil were transported back in time, it would be thrown in the trash; unrecycled trash at that – savages. But Marcia kept wondering, what’s the point of this auction?

Paper, created to carry a medium of expression; Pencil, used upon a surface to convey words, shapes or meaning. Both are dedicated to an expression and protect it for as long as the user wants. This acid-free paper in the air tight box would never yellow from impurities and the penciled script rarely fades and itself has no acid within. The words on the page are what the two combined to create and protect forever, yet the sharks in the room only wanted it for the appearance and not for what it is. A letter, significant to Marcia far more than anything else of the time. A troubled letter to a lover.

The auction commenced with a whirlwind of shouting and hands thrust in the air, driving the price ever skyward. Marcia’s concern wasn’t in winning the game – she would manage that unflinchingly. Her boss wanted it in his office, where Marcia spent most of her working hours and would be able to view it. It’s only paper and only pencil to him but to her, the words mattered. She recited it in her head. The words matter. The words matter more.

She won. The paper and its container shipped to her boss’s office the next morning. She was, in fact, happier than her ecstatic boss. It would be in his office. There was so much history attached to that letter. It was indeed a love letter – a letter, when discovered generations ago, had brought down an entire family, forced resignation from office and toppled a corporate empire, now run by a man for whom Marcia just won an auction.  For whom she brings a letter. The Tuppence Letter.

(Authors notes) May 19th, 2016: in the air, hitching a ride home.

I had been looking for a better pen to write with; A better paper to write on as well and have stumbled into the world of fine writing pencils, papers, pens, fountain pens, weird journals of ghastly expense and things whose enthusiasm for honestly make no sense to me. One particular video review of a fountain pen spent many minutes speaking of it’s measurements to the tenth of a millimeter and weight in grams. It occurred to me as he began to write in flourishing script, that this person was in love with journaling as a creative piece of art and not because he actually had something to say. I really don’t know many people who write novels on fine parchments with fountain pens. I’m personally looking for a fountain pen to experiment with but in no way is it to impress others or to commune with a world akin to scrap booking. A good pen with a great page interface on decent paper is all I’m looking for but for some, it’s not about the words. That was my attempt here.


One comment on “60.) Auction lot number twenty-seven.

  1. scribeofstories
    May 20, 2016

    I personally write with fountain pens now. Most of them are a little pricey, but look into the Pilot Metropolitan line. They’re about $15 for one pen and they’re very good for beginners. As far as paper goes, I don’t normally spend that much on paper. Fountain pens will bleed through or tear through cheap paper. (Like $1 notepads). But if you spend a bit more heavy duty paper — and you can find that stuff at a Walmart or Target — your fountain pen will do fine. Just make sure you take good care of it. It has to be maintained and washed.


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This entry was posted on May 20, 2016 by in fiction, future, historical fiction, love story, near-future, observational, pencil, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , .
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