Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Sewing (02/22/07)
TITLE: Total Pinheads
By Corinne Smelker
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He’d found the store completely by mistake. Down a back alley (and the city was filled with those) and lurking in its brown brick entry, the dull green door was easy to miss, and Taylor had walked by it probably a thousand times on his way to and from work. His attention was only grabbed when a furtive looking character sidled out, and lurched away but not before accidentally dropping a magazine that Taylor automatically picked up so that he could hail the fellow and return it. His attention was arrested by the title, “First Steps in Pins”. Slowly he opened it and found his entire world opening! For years he’d secretively collected pins, never wanting anyone to know that his name had affected him that radically – but it had. A pin was not just a pin – it was so much more and this magazine validated that. And those ignoramuses who compared a safety pin to a straight pin, or who said a pin was a needle with an identity crisis, well, he just wanted to....
Slowly he brought his breathing back to a more normal pace and then timidly opened the door the other had so recently exited. He was immediately stopped by what he guessed was a man, although the words, “impregnable” and “wall” sprung to mind.
“Name?” the wall growled.
“Taylor Tailor,” Taylor sighed, expecting the inevitable stunned silence that usually accompanied an introduction. No such thing happened, instead the wall consulted a list and graveled, “Been expectin’ youse. Go.”
Puzzled, Taylor walked down the dim passageway and opened the only door. Dazzling light refracted from all corners and he momentarily covered his eyes to shield them from the rainbow of colour. As his eyes grew accustomed to the gleam he made out shapes of magazine racks. Row upon row of brightly coloured magazines, and, this was the important part, all of them were about pins! Why had he never seen them before? Here was Pins Monthly, Practical Pins, Pins World, International Pins, Modern Pins, Pins Through the Ages, Adventures in Pinworld…
He noticed others perusing the aisles, all carried that same furtive look he’d seen just minutes earlier. They were all male. Obviously women were not natural pinheads. He found a magazine Total Pins that was not in the same league as the others, it was badly printed and laid out, and the editor must have had an aversion to punctuation, but it had about it a purity, as though unsullied by the glossiness, the pictures that the others carried. He took it to the front of the room where the shop’s owner, a huge bearded man with dreadlocks and a beer belly belonging to three other people and the words, “Pinheads United” tattooed on a bicep, picked it up and looked sternly at Taylor Tailor. “Are you sure you want this one? I can offer you,” and here the man winked and dove beneath his counter briefly before showing Taylor a plastic wrapped magazine, “Back Alley Pins.”
“Ummm…” Taylor mumbled.
“Look sir, it has lots of pictures of young women in leather, although to be fair they’re generally holding pins…”
“No – I will stick to this one I think,” Taylor said.
“All right sir, although I have to tell you that we all think the editor is a bit, how shall I put it, a bit weird about pins – you know, kind of went overboard you know.”
Taylor looked around the shop and back at the owner.
“Really?” he said.
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