“What instrument shall I use, and what medium to convey my deepest and most honest wishes?” Annalisa, one hand holding her elbow, the other holding her chin, scanned the open drawer filled with seven different kinds of pens (one with eight different nibs for calligraphy), a half dozen different colored inks, brushes of many sizes and an uncounted number of acrylic paints (some rolled tight into tiny secret snails of color, others fat and shiny like a slug that didn’t give a shit), a box of 50-count soft pastels (none broken, but all tested and of different lengths…a lovely diversity), and no markers of any kind as she detested them.
Her tabletop was scattered with a small untested, but freshly gessoed canvas, three or four half-filled sketch books of varied shades and paper grade, a tumbled stack of college-ruled note paper, a dusty box of floral stationery in a neatly-sealed box, her laptop with graphics and word processing software bursting its seams, pencil stubs varying in hardness and worn down to near nubs (note to herself to visit the art supply shop soon), and a stack of smudged but serviceable 3” x 5” Post-it notes in pedestrian, canary yellow.
And there on the windowsill, behind an abandoned cobweb, was the fountain pen he’d given her, back when he still believed in her, and she still loved him, before she’d overheard him disparaging her life’s work to his colleagues, just after he’d been denied promotion…again, and just before he’d left for a week-long professional conference.
Annalisa grabbed the post-it notes, poked her forefinger and thumb through the web, and grabbing the fountain pen, cracked it open and tested its ink on a corner of the top note, muttering “Still wet and serviceable enough, unlike our love.”
The note was brief and to-the-point and was easily contained on one Post-it; she would pack her things tomorrow and be gone before he returned.
© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2021)
The challenge? Write a story in 6 sentences, no more & no less, and if you’d like, share your creation or just visit and comment on others’ ideas, with GirlieOnTheEdge, Denise. The prompt is “FOUNTAIN”, and here’s where you join the party: Six Sentence Stories