3nd Place in Derby #518: The '90s with 171 votes!
Once upon a time there was a little pencil named Prince Graphite. And he was happy in a pack with his brothers and sisters. But then came the day when he was to be crowned. He thought it would be exciting and magical, but the High Priest pulled out a tiny box and... well, it was a ritual that made him sharper. But he looked at the tiny shavings of innocence and wondered about what he had lost.
It was later in that year when he met a young cassette tape in the garden of Castle Pencil Case. She was of a different house, and she ran blushing when he saw her. And yet, he knew right away that they were two sides of the same coin.
With joy, the Prince ran to find others and tell them the good news. And what did they do, his court? The Protractor Duke? Lady Eraser? Sir Scissors and Good Stout Sharpie? They laughed. Laughed! It fell on Lord Emergency Quarter to take Prince Pencil aside and explain the situation. For Prince Pencil was a device made for education and note taking and tests. While that common cassette in the garden? She was just a pause tape someone made from the radio. She was a distraction, and not for the likes of the Prince.
And so, the Prince tried. He tried to focus on filling in bubbles with marks that were heavy and dark. He focused on sport, breaking others dreams by cracking them with his stout midsection. But nothing worked. All he could think about was the sweet cassette tape. What song did she begin with? What song ended Side A? Who WAS she?
Finally came the day when the Prince crossed the garden and found the poor cassette tape lying there, slightly unwound. She had tripped while playing, and her delicate spools had become unsynchronized. Lord Emergency Quarter was there already, clucking his tongue. "Poor thing. She'll never play again."
Prince Pencil looked at Lord Emergency Quarter. Then he looked at the cassette tape. He made a decision.
"This may feel a bit shocking," he whispered in the cassette tape's ear, "But trust me."
The cassette tape nodded, then smiled a trusting smile. "I have no fear of you, sir. Do as you will."
In the summer they were wed.
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