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Ink Blot stared, appalled, at the new-fangled machine on the table next to him. He had seen the man tapping on it and creating words on paper that curled magically as he worked so he knew the thing must have ink, but where? Ink Blot himself had been created from a bottle of ink that the man had dropped. He had cursed mightily but Ink Blot was happy. Being a permanent mark on the wall seemed more important and certainly more immediately noticeable than contributing to words on a page.
He looked again at the machine. Coronet – was the man expecting ennoblement? Ink Blot could read but he didn’t understand the context of the words unless they were read out. The man frequently read aloud what he had produced and sometimes he smiled. More often he swore and crumpled the paper and threw it across the room. The floor was littered with cast-off pages.
Ink Blot didn’t like the machine. He disliked the awkward tapping and displeasing lack of rhythm of the keys. The gentle sound of a pen nib scratching was soothing and the man didn’t have to use so much energy, either in the writing or the scrunching of the paper. The machine clung on to the pages so that they had to be wrenched forcefully from its grasp with a snatching sound.
Ink Blot noticed that the man had attached the machine to the wall with a lead. Was that because it would wander away if it wasn’t fastened? Might it be dangerous if it were allowed its freedom? Ink Blot didn’t know but he was glad that it had been made to stay in one place. He didn’t like the way it hummed, either. Still, he was content. He had made his mark. He felt he would be here long after the machine had had its day. He smiled.
The man had gone away. He had been gone for a long time and Ink Blot was relieved when he saw him return. He wondered what the man was carrying. What did it say?
P A I N T
Ink Blot didn’t know what that meant. The machine whined maliciously. Ink Blot glared and then there was oblivion.
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