by LULU KIMMEL-MINER (United States)
Issue 1.3 December 2019
A bottle of ink sits on a very nice redwood desk, smooth and polished, ready for someone to sit down and write with it. Next to the bottle, scattered about, are a hairpin, a shirt button, a beaded necklace, and a half-empty tube of lipstick. Now these items were considered very important by the others in the room, because they were given prime position on the desk. The tube of lipstick was very fond of telling long, lavish stories about who wore her where and describing the color of herself to anyone who would listen. “I'm a very bright red,” she said importantly. “Like coquelicots. That's french for poppies you know. I remind some people of rubies of course, but I prefer natural things. They sound more modest.”
“Yes, you are very bright dear,” said the ink bottle. They are a couple. “I myself am more like the darkness of night, mysterious and deep, but embedded in me are stars.”
“But dear, you don’t have stars inside you, surely?”
“No darling, it’s a metaphor. The stars are the words I create.”
They continued talking for the better part of the morning. The necklace and the hairpin, who were, if possible, even more elegant and stuck up than the first two, were whispering to each other about the shirt button. “I don't know why he’s here,” said the beaded necklace snootily. “He is not even useful anymore.”
“I quite agree,” the hairpin replied. “We do our duty for several years, but him! One bite too many of pudding and pop! He’s gone.”
“Slacker,” the necklace said in a stage whisper, nodding as best as she could. “Ought to be ashamed up here with us.” They continued in this fashion for perhaps a longer time than the ink and lipstick, although, neither pair were aware that they were not alone. The bathroom around the corner housed other inhabitants, some more happy than others.
It was a nice bathroom, blue and airy. A toothbrush stood in a cup with a spoon. A washcloth had been tossed halfheartedly at the laundry basket, where it now lay on the floor. A flashlight had been set on a shelf above the bathtub, for reasons none of them could explain. “Ah. . .” sighed the flashlight. It was lonesome being stuck here in the restroom for no reason, away from his friends the batteries.
The washcloth snorted from the tiled floor. “Don't sigh like that. Some of us have real problems down here. At least you are dry and up on a shelf.”
“But I do not belong! There is nothing worse than not belonging.”
“Pah!” scoffed the cloth. “What about the spoon up there! She doesn't belong either, but you don't see her complaining!”
The spoon looked down at the washcloth. “If you would be so kind, we are on our honeymoon,” she said.
The washcloth scoffed again. "There's no point,” he said. “You'll soon be taken away to be washed, then where will you and your husband be? Separated that’s what!”
The spoon said to the toothbrush, “Darling, are you certain we couldn't go anywhere else for a fortnight?”
The toothbrush comforted his wife. “There there,” he said. “The washcloth will soon be taken away. Let's enjoy the beautiful sky today darling.” And with that, they both looked up at the peeling blue paint.
LuLu Kimmel-Miner, 15, is a sophomore in high school, a cat lover, an avid reader, and a stress baker. She writes so she can express herself without fear and doubt and to create her own narrative that helps her understand the world. For this piece, she drew inspiration from the writings of Hans Christian Anderson, whose books were always present in her childhood.