The pencil had a mind of its own. Or rather, a soul of its own. A groove that it continued to hammer on the desk. A thinking beat, a thump-thump-thump-thump in rhythm with his heartbeat, with his anxiety, with his dread over this poem due in the morning.
He stared at the blank paper, mouthing an empty epithet at his dad for not letting him type out his rough draft. At the PC, at least there was an Internet to help, to distract, to entertain. At the kitchen table there was nothing but this blasted pencil with the happy feet. The smell of coffee was strong in the kitchen, too. He hated coffee. And the lingering aroma of dinner, just KFC chicken and fixin’s, and it had been so good… thump thump thump thump the eraser kept time to his thoughts and digestive gyrations.
He wrote in big heavy-handed script. “My Poem”, dead center of the top of the white college-ruled page. It was a start. Thump thump and he knew that starting was probably the worst thump thump of it, almost thump thump looking forward to the assignment. But he wouldn’t tell thump thump his dad.