Thursday, October 19, 2006

Special October Feature: Aku Sebatang Pensel (Part 2 of 5)

"You know my father?"

"Of course. Quite good friends, we were."

"Why did he write this?"

The Pakistani eraser stared at Little Pencil's note. "You could call it a warning. To the future generations of pencils."

Little Pencil frowned. This eraser was speaking like a character out of The Da Stationeri Code.

"Your father is not dead yet, you know. I saw him last month. But he wasn't the same as before, not at all. And I don't think he ever will be. Not after that man bought him."

Little Pencil's mouth went round as a mirrored sharpener. His father was not dead yet. "Where is he now?"

"I don't know. They haven't caught him yet."

"Caught him? For what?"

The eraser glanced left and right nervously. "Come here. I'll show you."

Little Pencil followed him to a disused glass case. "Here," he nudged out a sheet from the edges. "The second part of your father's note."

Akhirnya sampai juga kami ke kedai buku. Ah! Memang ceria suasana di situ, seperti yang aku jangkakan. Ramai alat tulis lain disusun rapi mengalu-alukan kedatangan kami.

Tidak beberapa lama kemudian, kawan-kawanku mula pergi satu demi satu. Setiap kali pelanggan melangkah masuk, kami tahu salah satu kawan akan berpisah. Masing-masing berdoa di lubuk hati yang bukannya dipilih.

Namun, tiba juga giliranku akhirnya. Suatu petang, seorang lelaki bermisai hitam masuk. Dia menoleh ke arahku.

"Pensel kasi satu." ujarnya dengan kasar.

Tuan kedai mengangguk dan terus memetikku dari kelompok pensel. Lelaki tersebut menghulurkan wang kepadanya dan meninggalkan kedai denganku.

Aku mempunyai tuan baru.

Translation: At last we reached the stationery shop. Just like I expected, it was a barrel of fun. The neatly arranged stationery welcomed us cosily.

Soon after that, my friends started leaving one after another. Every time a customer stepped in, we knew someone was going home with him. We all silently prayed it wouldn't be us.

Alas, my turn eventually came. One evening, a moustached man entered. He looked my way.

"Gimme a pencil." he said gruffly.

Mr. Shopkeeper nodded and plucked me out from the cluster of pencils. Just like that, the man paid for me and left.

I had a new master.

The note ended.

"'s still not complete."

"Well, yes. There is...oh, no! Go away! Go away! He's here!"

Little Pencil swiftly rolled underneath the glass case. Just in time to see a towering black pen step up to Eraser.

"What are you doing here?" he narrowed his eyes at him.

"What else? Keeping the place clean, as usual."

"Some of the others told me you were talking to that new pencil. I hope they were wrong."

"Bah. Of course they are."

"Good. The last thing we need is for him to start researching his father."

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