|Doris the Doornail. (standard:fantasy, 1303 words)|
|Author: Oscar A Rat||Added: Jul 22 2020||Views/Reads: 288/178||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Ever heard the saying, “Dead as a doornail”? Well, don’t you believe it. This is from a challenge when I mentioned I could base a story on almost anything.|
Doris the doornail lay in her last door. It was in a junkyard and under a pile of fancy carburetor parts. Although she was out of work at the moment, her current residence lying on sawhorses to hold the display, she still felt strong and useful. Doris flexed her square points -- yes, she was very old by human standards -- and felt wood fibers move as strongly as in her youth. “A little rust never hurt anybody,” she lied to herself. She knew that, although over 300-years-old, her future years were now numbered. The rain and humidity of her new home would eventually turn her still-strong body to rust. Further, to her chagrin, her square head was pointed downward. Although there was a lot of activity above her, she could only see an occasional human foot. Right then, all she was able to do was watch a string of ants working industriously below her. Being a female nail, she was a busybody, wanting to watch everything around her. In her normal position she had seen many sights over the years, and Doris had a good memory -- although her short-term memory was becoming shorter.... *** “Perfect, Joseph.” Her creator was complimented. He had been a real craftsman, not like the newer nail-making machinery. Joey had taken an iron rod, laboriously heating and pounding it into an ever thinner wire. He'd continued heating and pounding until the wire became the proper thickness for a good ten-for-a-penny nail. Then Joey had, after wiping his hot brow, carefully measured and cut the wire into the proper lengths. At that point, Doris had many brothers and sisters. It was a miracle, almost as though Joey were their mother. After that, Joey had heated Doris again. Picking her up, he had put her in a vise and pounded a head on one end, carefully trimming the excess iron off to make her pretty. A few further nudges with the hammer gave her a good point. Doris was then a complete ten-for-a-penny iron nail. She was put into a large barrel with her many brothers and sisters, along with other such families. She didn't like that because she became separated from her own relatives. Later, the barrel was sealed for a very long time, giving her a chance to get acquainted with the others and to lose that lonesome feeling. Her next sight, after the barrel was opened, was a tiny shop. Being able to understand English by that time, she heard a worker say it was a place called Salem. Again Doris spent many months watching her friends being put to work while she still lay in a wooden box. She was becoming anxious, wanting to begin a proper job. “Pick me. Pick me,” the nails cried when they saw a human hand approach. Finally Doris's day came. A roughly calloused human hand picked her up. It carried her to a wooden door panel and, putting a hinge down on the edge, positioned Doris and hit her on the head. “Hey, cut it out, that hurts,” she cried. It didn't do any good, because he struck her a few more times. She could feel her point separating wood fibers as he hit her. In a real sense, it felt good to feel her point bite in -- but her head still hurt with every blow. Just when she'd begun to get over her headache, the pounding started again. Two more nails were hammered through holes in the hinge. She could hear others scream at the pain, even as she watched the huge hand wield its hammer. Later, Doris was glad, because they were close enough to talk to. It was better than being all alone. One of the other nails was named Jacob and the other called herself Mary. Mary was always complaining. She had been near a knothole in the barrel and had expected a shipboard job. Being a doornail was somehow beneath her. Jacob was a nicer companion, however, which was good because they spent about two-hundred years in that door. Click here to read the rest of this story (72 more lines)
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