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The World Of Discarded Drawing


Caterina Kenworthy

I opened my eyes, and the first thing I saw was a tall stick somehow balancing upright on the ground in front of me. My head ached, and when I tried to sit up, the world shuddered and spun around me.  I propped myself up on my hands and looked around. The bottom of the stick divided in two and stepped slickly away from me. Two skinny black arms branched from its side, and it sprinted in the opposite direction of where I was sitting, disoriented, on the ground.  

There were sharp black points all over the floor, like dark pins sticking out of the ground. When I stood up and started to walk on them, they bent like leaning dancers beneath my feet. All I could see for miles were tall, skinny black buildings and a harsh white sky. Stick figures and other scribbled characters like the one that had stood in front of me before were milling around on the streets. Their steps were long and deliberate, their feet rising up in an elegant arch before perching gently back to the pavement.

I couldn’t see any colors, and as I held my hands out in front of me, I saw that they, too, were taking on a grayish color that reminded me of pencil smudges that had been poorly erased. The air slipped cleanly into my lungs, like a fresh stream slips between grassy banks. Everything was clean cut and arranged in an orderly fashion.

I walked from where I stood in the black park to the gray pavement. The lines that separated each block were jet black, and I felt like I was walking through a cartoon world. I slowly ran my hand along the building beside me, it felt cool and smooth, like white glass beneath my fingers. I inspected at my hands again and  cringed inwardly upon noticing  they were unmistakably thinner than before, and the gray was darkening.  I hugged my arms around my waist. It felt smaller, like that of a doll.

As I walked down the street, I saw a wide man with a crooked smile and straight vertical lines for eyes that disappeared completely when he blinked. As he walked by me, I saw that he was completely flat, as if run over by a truck. The trees along the streets bore pink and white eraser shavings instead of leaves; they looked like spaghetti on the end of long, thick forks. When the lukewarm winds blew, the pieces of eraser bounced off each other and sounded like buoys bobbing up and down in the waves of an ocean.

        I came to a small store that appeared to be an ice cream parlor. When I walked inside, I saw that all of the tables were checkered black and white, and the various flavors of ice cream were all the same: dull and gray. Just like my hands. A small man came bustling out of a door behind the counter; he quickly put on some rubber gloves and then stood before me, hands at his side.    “Yes?” he said, rubbing his nose, “May I help you?” I looked down at the bleary flavors beneath the foggy glass. They had little cards next to them written in black ink.  “I’ll have strawberry, please,” I said. Maybe if I put some food in my growling stomach I would return to normal. I had almost forgotten what normal was…

As he turned to scoop the ice cream into a colorless cone, I saw that he was paper flat, as all the others were. I suddenly felt sick; I bolted out of the store and to the nearest trashcan I could find. I hurled into the white trash can, and it felt as if tar was leaving my lips. Thick, black tar that stung my insides as it coursed through me. All around me, the people were flat and colorless. I tugged my hair in front of my eyes, trying to hide from what I knew was inescapable. The hair covering my eyes looked like a little bundle of gray straw. I started to run blindly down the streets, desperately panting. I had to get out of this cursed place and back to…     I realized with shock that I had no recollection of anything or anywhere before this haunted world.

As I ran down the streets, the flat people were marching, closing in around me. They walked towards me, arms outstretched, their eyes wild. I backed away; straight into the arms of a round-bosomed woman with skinny legs. I knocked her over with a start. She fluttered to the ground like a piece of paper. Suddenly I felt cold hands around my throat. My breath stopped, and the creatures faded.

I awoke an hour later, completely colorless now. I was lying on a pale stretcher in an empty room. As I sat up, I felt my back peel off the white sheets. I was flat. I tried to stick my stomach by expanding my muscles. I felt nothing move inside me and I was just as flat as before. I walked shakily on newfound feet outside into the streets and wiped a few black tears from my soggy cheeks. It looked as if I was crying after wearing too much mascara. I steadied myself against one of the buildings and made my way down the street and into the ice cream store. The man behind the counter smiled at me.

“Yes?” he said, “May I help you?”

I looked at the ice cream flavors below the foggy glass. They didn’t look so bad anymore.       “Strawberry, please,” I said, and I settled down a table to wait.

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