Stationery friend or foe

My stationery friend has to be the retractable pencil – it never needs sharpening and is always ready to make notes.

My foe on the other hand has to be the desk sharpener…

pencil sharpenerThis innocent contraption instills fear in me. It stems from a childhood memory…

I was at a party and there was a friend, well sort of friend, and she had incredible fingernails. We must have been less than ten years old, yet hers were always painted, usually in hot pink. Anyway we were in a friend’s house and the party was pretty dull so we all filed into the playroom. There was this huge Cindy apartment, a toy I had never seen before. There was even a lift. Except the girls I was with didn’t show the slightest admiration, instead they sneered at me and started to do their nails. Emily’s were of course the best and a hot pink colour. Mine were non-existent, I’m a biter, so I just hid them and checked out the doll’s house. But I listened.

“Em, how do you get them like that?”

“Mum and I grow our nails and then go to the salon to get them shaped and painted.” Emily had only just moved to the Midlands and her accent sounded really posh.

“Shape them?” one said.

Emily nodded. “I’m thinking about getting them pointed.”

I’d grimaced at that. Even back then I hated long fingernails. Why get them pointed? Unless she wanted to attack people. I looked over my shoulder and glanced at Emily, she didn’t look too scary.

“We have a machine that makes things pointy,” the girl whose party it was said.

“Where?” Emily demanded.

Suddenly I am alone and I can hear giggling from the other room. Having nosed around earlier I think it might have been a study. The giggles turn to screams and I get to my feet and dash into the room. A mum has arrived before me and the girls are being rushed out of another door. Emily is holding her hand and crying.

I go over to the desk and there is a drop of blood on the green leather top. It shines and I feel slightly sick. That drop is next to another and I see that a little trail is glistening in blood. It leads to a pencil sharpener. The type that is stuck to the desk and you use a handle to sharpen the pencil.

I look quickly toward the door, I see no one but I can hear the cries. I stare at the sharpener and put my finger to the hole. It would fit. But would she? The blood says she did.

And she had. She sharpened her finger. And although it healed it never looked the same, and it gave me a fear of sharpeners. I still have one though… And I do use it, but carefully, even though my finger is far to big for the hole.

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