Flash Fiction: Lost Pens

“Demons aren’t real.” he told his nephew, Tim. “They are just made up, like on the T.V. Someone made the whole story up.” This is what he gets for playing video games whilst Tim has unlimited access to late night T.V. “Look, someone made up the story- it’s not true. Like how I make up my drawings. You know, like Bravewing or Spiderman.

Tim said: “You said you SAW Spiderman.”

This is what he gets.

Tim continued: “And nobody in the movie believed the boy there either. THEY all said it was all made up.”

There are two entities, somewhere in space and time, watching this moment in the video game playing artist’s head, and laughing. The first one is large and powerful and can exist in many places at once. “That was funny little one. Eerie even. But still it is a minor inconvenience, the function you perform.” The smaller of the two laughs, looks at the larger entity and says:

“It must be nice being created by people’s doubts in their own abilities. Such a common, wide-ranging, hell- you could even say ‘universal’ insecurity- and that was a pun.”

“Hah. A pun. yes. I am what I am, and I do what I do, which makes these mortals…do not. Get it? They don’t because I am!” The larger one continued to laugh. The smaller one would have rolled his eyes if he had any.

“Yes you truly are one of the most terrible. But let me show you something.” The smaller so-called immortal brought their view to a series of comic books, paintings, sketches and illustrations. “Bravewing was only the first hero he would have given birth to.”

“Would have?”

“Indeed. These works are only potentials and were part of the previous time stream till I- humble and limited as I am- did MY work.”

And he showed the larger demon of self-doubt his collection- millions of pencils, paintbrushes, and pens.

The little one said: “You might be the demon of self-doubt, but I, limited as I am, can still cause physical rents in their universe, can still take their pens and brushes- they fear me, they fear that their stationary disappears into a black hole! It’s brilliant; do you have any idea how few of us can actually affect the physical world? But because they think it all disappears there is no evidence left that I broke any of their laws! Nothing at all.”

“Yes, very nice little one. But the non-physical world can be very important to sentients, as you can see.”

“Yeah phenomenal, you’re huge. But you know what, you know what I’ve prevented from ever happening?”

And he showed the larger another series of creations that would not be- books on shelves in libraries that never were, music unrecorded- forgotten as musicians searched for their instruments, passing moments not captured by cameras. The larger one regarded his smaller companion: “How?”

“The trick is to be precise. To choose your targets well- the ones who are right on the cusp, right on the edge- the ones who give up after a few minutes of not finding the pen and go back to playing video games. All it takes is a few more minutes and its over. Their will dies, and so does their work, and sometimes if you’re lucky…their ideas too.”


I wrote this after losing yet another pen, just as I had to write something down. It seems to happen with alarming frequency- and I suspect I’m not the only one. Placing pens and pencils all over my home and person sometimes helps but once and awhile that little bastard somehow finds a way to disappear those too.