Why not end the summer with a small disaster, right?
I was quietly working away at my desk, handwriting a story I’ve been wanting to write for months. I didn’t have any upcoming deadlines with my freelance work, the kids were all occupied, and everything was perfect.
Then my pen ran out of ink. That’s not really a problem, since I keep several bottles of fountain pen ink on hand (and I’d love to have many, many more, like this one). But just as I set my bottle of Noodler’s North African Violet on my desk and turned to the shelf to grab a secondary pen to fill, the cat jumped on my desk.
Now I should say here that I’ve let him on my desk before. But I’ve tried to stop this habit, since Elwood has very little concern for what he might knock out of the way to make himself comfortable. He oozes out over the surface of the desk, pushing aside my computer and my notebooks, sending my planner slipping down between the cracks of the furniture, and has even once spilled an entire (and rather large) cup of water in my desk drawer. Then, of course, there are the necessary deposits of fluffy orange hair he leaves behind.
This time, the ink was the victim. It crashed to the floor, cracking the cap and sending purple ink splattering all over the vintage hardwood. The thin finish had no chance of keeping that dark liquid from seeping into all the tiny cracks. My kids came rushing in when they heard the commotion and readily volunteered to help. They brought paper towels and rags as we assessed the damage, discovering that North African Violet had splattered onto the rug and splashed onto the sofa. We scrubbed drops of purple from the bottom of my desk chair and our feet and the fireplace hearth.
That was enough of a catastrophe, but amaranthine streaks on the kitchen floor (three rooms away) indicated that the mess had become mobile. Two of my dogs, who’d been so faithfully resting under my desk at the time of the incident, now looked like they’d tried to steal an expensive coat at Macy’s.
Is there an upside to any of this, you may be asking? Well, yes. The dogs needed baths, anyway, and the ink came out of their fur better than it came out of anything else. The rug is heavily patterned, so the hundreds of little purple spots aren’t all that visible. And it’s always an excuse to buy more ink, right?
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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois. She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University. Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keeping and The Graveside Detective. Her short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Paradox, and Subcutaneous. Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world. You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.