Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Special October Feature, Though It's November: Aku Sebatang Pensel (Part 3 of 5)

"Someone bought him last night. And now he's gone. Which part of that don't you understand?"

Little Pencil squinted at Thirty Seeam. Something didn't seem right here. The Pakistani eraser had disappeared, just like that.

"He was still around when the shop closed," he said. "Besides, why would anyone want to buy him, instead of the new erasers?"

"Maybe the shopkeeper took it for himself," Mr. Blackpen appeared. "Maybe it was some homesick Pakistani guy. And maybe you're asking too much."

Little Pencil glared fiercely and walked away. "If you're not going to give me answers, I'll find my own."


Little Pencil paced up and down, restless from the heat of the night. A dog outside was barking at the shophouse next door, which was strange because it had been abandoned for weeks.

He dragged himself up a ledge, eager to check things out.

Too dark to see. He tried going closer, when a scratchy voice caught his hears.


Abruptly he looked down and gasped in horror. Wedged between the wall and shelf was the Pakistani eraser, on his last legs. His body was almost severed in half.

"Eraser! Who did this to you?"

"T-they tried...tried to silence m-me. They c-cut me up."

"Here." He handed him another note. "'s the last one."

Little Pencil unfolded it and scanned through quickly. His father's handwriting, all right. But this one was in very bad shape to read.

"He...he was a good pencil...I-I knew matter what the others say...he never m-meant to do it."

"A-and...he's still alive. Find him! Then...I can"

He exhaled one final time. And died.


Sepejam mata, babak ngeri itu berulang. Terasa diriku kotor benar. Sungguhpun tidak berniat, hakikatnya aku yang telah melakukan. Sampai bilapun aku kena menanggung dosa.

Alat-alat tulis lain pun mula meminggirku. Pedih hatiku melihat mereka menyebar khabar angin dan melempar ejekan.

Akhirnya aku membuat keputusan. Aku akan mengasah diriku.

Ya, pasti itulah jalan penyelesaian. Tiada erti lagi aku terus berada di sini.

Pada malam itu...tamatlah riwayat aku sebagai sebatang pensel.

Translation: Each time I closed my eyes, the hideous scene replayed itself. I felt so dirty. Though it wasn't my intention, I was the the one who did it. I would bear this guilty truth all my life.

The other stationeries started to distance themselves. It pained me to see them tease and gossip about me.

At last I made up my mind - I would sharpen myself.

Yes. That had to be the only way out. It made no more sense for me to be here.

That life as a pencil ended.

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