10 June 2010
Hank and Nancy: A Magpie Romance
Hank found 1000 pencils in a box stashed in a back corner of Nancy’s Knickknack Nook. Eyes shining, Nancy said she found them in a box of poetry and prose peppered with magic. She raised her eyebrows when she said it.
“Uh, I was more interested in the uh, mug, uh, you know, for Guinness.” Hank felt the color rising in his face. Why was it talking to Nancy did this to him every time?
“Sure Hank, but I’m telling you, these here pencils? Magic. Something to do with the cup. Sharpen them.” Nancy grabbed Hank’s wrist, and looked him in the eye, “Needle sharp now, you hear? Then stick them in the cup with the sharpened end up. Do not be drinking beer in that mug Hank Sanders, or you’ll dull the magic.” She let go of his wrists, and looked down. “Sometimes it sticks, Hank. Give it a go.”
Hank remembers his heart racing when Nancy grabbed his wrist, but it’s the soft way she almost whispered at the end that made it skip a beat, still does today. Hank sharpens each pencil and puts it eraser down in the mug that never held a Guinness, until each of the final fourteen stands tall.
At one pencil per day, two weeks remain. Legions of women read his blog, Magic Pencils. Hank pencils all of his posts on pages of half-used notebooks and paper scraps from Nancy’s Knickknack Nook then takes pictures of his poetry and prose. Snapshots of magic, Nancy calls them. 986 posts inspired by Nancy. She thinks it’s the pencils, but it’s not the pencils. It’s her.
Hank started writing poetry for Nancy when he started sharpening pencils. He loves her, always has. Turns out, Nancy loves Hank, too. Hank figures some kind of magic stops him from tripping over his words every time he talks to Nancy. He attributes that magic to Nancy, too. Yup, this Magpie Tale has a happy ending.
Nancy wrote the sidebar ‘About Hank’ for his blog.
His name is Hank. He likes his beer dark, a smidgen below room temperature. He understands the underbelly of a woman the way most men understand the engine of a truck. His words make women purr.
It’s true. Nancy knows. Nancy knows she will keep purring whether Hank has magic pencils or not. And Hank? He knows that real magic is the stuff that happens when Nancy touches his wrist and whispers, and he whispers back in couplets that burn with desire.
Shout out to Magpie Tales for the prompt. Be sure to click the link and visit for other creative responses to this cup of sharpened pencils.