Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Pen and Paper (07/17/14)
- TITLE: Passing the Pen
By Ennis Smith
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Garrett paused for effect and made eye contact with several people in the 150-person audience, before driving home the main point. He reached into the chest pocket of his tan sport coat and produced a beautifully crafted wooden barrel pen with gold trim. Pointing the pen toward the ceiling, he closed his eyes and bowed his head slightly. Sunlight gleamed through the overhead skylight, and glinted off the polished gold trim of the pen. A collective gasp flowed through the audience. He had them.
“But give me the pen and paper; those ancient weapons against the morbid enemy, ‘Illiteracy’. Yes friends. Give me pen and paper, and watch me dazzle you with tales beyond imagination. Every writer has a special place, or luck charm to fall back on, when the time of great creation is upon them. For me, its this.”
Garrett held the pen out toward a brunette, left of the podium. She took hold of it and stared as if it were a fabled golden egg.
“I assure you my dear, it is mightier than any sword crafted on this earth,” he said. “Its no ordinary instrument.”
“What makes it so special?” She asked. “Its beautiful, but its just a pen.”
“To you maybe. But in my hands, that pen has written the last five of my six best sellers.”
The audience murmured.
“In my hands, that pen…which you should pass around the room please,” the audience chuckled, “…is a portal to different worlds.”
She passed the pen to a pimple-faced youth seated next to her. From the back of the room, a young man called out.
“Mister Jenkins, do you expect me to believe you don’t use technology to write your novels?”
“Don’t misunderstand me young man-”
“Ezra,” he said.
“Ah Ezra; like the Old Testament scribe, charged with rebuilding the Temple of the Lord after the return of the exiles, to Jerusalem.”
“Yes sir. Just like that Ezra.”
“I put technology to good use every day, Ezra. I can’t make a single move without my smartphone. But, when the spirit moves me to write a compelling tale, I use the pen and paper. No edits; no rewrites; no whiteout; what you read, is the only draft written. The process works for me, so I stick to it. The tool may be an ordinary pen to you folks, but in my world, its an instrument sent by God Himself.”
The audience whispered at the bold claim.
“I know how that must sound. But its my truth. As with any blessing, God calls for us to share in our abundance. That’s why I make no reservations on passing my instrument of success around a room this size. Lay hands on the pen, just as I once did, before it was given to me. Perhaps someone in this room is about to encounter a breakthrough in their writing.”
The speaking engagement and book signing lasted until 9 PM. Garrett packed up his materials and shook a few hands, before walking to the front door of the library. Ezra sat on the front steps, and stood as Garrett approached.
“Ah, the young scribe,” Garrett said. “What’s on your mind son?”
“Call me Garrett, Ezra.”
“Alright…Garrett. I came here tonight because I’m thinking of giving up on writing. It just doesn’t seem to work out for me. I think I’m pretty good, but no one seems to notice. I was hoping to find some inspiration tonight.”
“Yep. You’re the one.”
Garrett reached into his pocket and pulled out the pen.
“This was given to me, at a time in my life when writing wasn’t working for me either. This morning, the Lord told me it was time to pass it on.”
He placed the pen in Ezra’s hand.
“Its nothing more than a pen, Ezra. But it’s all the inspiration you’ll need.”
As Garrett walked toward his car, Ezra stared at the pen. Fantastic ideas suddenly flooded his mind. He looked toward Garrett, who simply smiled back as he pulled out of the lot.
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