When I found out what my mission in life was, I was none too pleased. And understandably so, I think. But what could I do? I was at the mercy of my makers.

I remember the looks of pure sympathy that were thrown my way by my associates and the tales that accompanied those looks. I was told of the fate of my predecessors: forced to carry too much and buckled under the pressure; stretched and twisted until they were unrecognizable; sucked on and chewed until frail and mangled. These were the tales of the fate that awaited me. I can still remember the chills that ran through me as I tried to ignore the piteous stares.

I have tried to forget but the memories stay with me. Particularly clear in my mind was the day when I, along with 99 others who share the same fate, was sealed in our box awaiting purchase. It didn’t happen right away. The days and nights seemed to drag as we clung to each other in the darkness, scared of the day when we would see daylight again for we knew what it would mean. And then it happened.

We felt our box being lifted and as the lid was opened we fought each other to get to the bottom of the box. I didn’t succeed. I was the first to be taken from our box. I can not describe the sheer terror that coursed through me as I remembered the tales of my predecessors. I was not to know at that time that I would be spared. In my new owners haste to force me into labor I was dropped. Grumbling he moved on and tried for another.

I lay on the floor staring at the ceiling, wondering how I had been so lucky. But it was short lived. I was soon spotted by a cleaner who picked me up and deposited me in a drawer. And that’s where I have my life until now. Lazy you might think, but the fear that grips me every time someone opens the drawer is crippling. I am frightened that someone will touch me, pick me up and try to use me. As I have grown older my skin, that used to be a brilliant pink, has now faded and become brittle; I’m even a little rusty underneath. If ever I was moved, bent or stretched I would break and my life would end. Yes, ‘tis a poor life being a paperclip.

Categories: Short Story