Charlie’s Room: The Eraser

There was an eraser on the floor in Charlie’s room.   Isaac found it when he was vacuuming.   It disturbed the flow of his task, like a rock in a stream. He wondered how Charlie had missed it when he picked up earlier.

He turned off the vacuum and bent over and picked up the eraser. And then he paused. He was about to do something, but he forgot what it was. He stood up and looked around. Why was he in Charlie’s room?

He wandered down the hall to the kitchen. He opened the fridge and looked at the food inside.   Did he eat lunch today? What time was it? Was he hungry? He walked off, leaving the fridge open.

Where was he? This house didn’t look familiar at all. Who lived here? He looked down at his hands. When did they get so big? What was he holding? He dropped it and looked around again.

Oh, that’s right. This was his house. He lived here with Marianne and Charlie. He crossed the room and closed the fridge. Lunch was just an hour ago and he certainly wasn’t hungry again.

How had he forgotten so much so quickly? His eyes darted across the room. The eraser was on the floor where he dropped it. It didn’t look at all unusual, but that didn’t really mean anything.

He needed to put it somewhere safe for now while he decided what to do next. He shuffled through the cupboards and finally pulled out a large plastic bowl that they usually filled with popcorn on movie nights.

Then he rummaged through the utensil drawer until he found the metal tongs with the longer reach. He was a little nervous about the tongs. Metal was supposed to be a good conductor. Would it conduct forgetfulness? He’d just have to be quick.

He crouched down, set the bowl on the ground next to the eraser, and took a deep breath. Then he tried to grab the eraser with the tongs. Unfortunately, it kept popping out of the tongs and flopping back down on the floor.

Isaac set the tongs on the floor with a sigh.   This wasn’t working.   Darting a hand out, he grabbed the eraser. What was he doing here again? This bowl didn’t belong on the floor. He should put it in the sink.

He picked up the bowl and stood up. Where was he? He looked around, feeling a little lost. He dropped the bowl and eraser. That’s right. His house. The kitchen. He looked down. The eraser. This was going to be harder than he thought.

Maybe he should wear gloves. He went to the hall closet and took his gloves out of his jacket pocket. He pulled them on and wiggled his fingers. Hopefully he’d still be able to pick up the eraser, despite the decreased mobility.

Back in the kitchen, he crouched down and flipped the bowl right side up, then looked at the eraser. He took another deep breath and reached out. His fingers felt thick and clumsy. He managed to flip the eraser over and over, but he couldn’t pick it up. What was he even doing?   Why was he in the kitchen?

He stood up and then glared at the eraser. This wasn’t working. It was time to call an expert. He pulled a business card out of his wallet from Wendell, Wizard Extraordinaire.

Wendell answered his phone right away. Within a few minutes, Isaac watched as the air in the front hall unzipped and Wendell walked through. “You do seem to find a lot of strange things,” he said.

“I do, don’t I?” Isaac said. “The eraser is this way.” They walked down the hall and into the kitchen. “There it is.” He pointed at the eraser sitting next to the popcorn bowl on the floor.

“And it makes you forget things?” Wendell asked.

“Yes, the longer you hold it, the more you forget,” Isaac said.

“Hmmm. It certainly looks ordinary enough.” Wendell held his hands in the air above the eraser. “I don’t feel anything unusual.” He pulled out a metal rod and waved it in the air. “I’m not detecting any enchantments, either.”

“Well, there’s something wrong with it,” Isaac said.

“I believe you,” Wendell said. He reached a finger out and poked the eraser. He pulled his finger back quickly, as though the eraser was on fire. “That’s not good,” he said. “An anti-magic field and a forgetfulness charm. Why would someone do something like that?”

“I have no idea,” Isaac said. “So, now what do we do?”

“I’ll pick it up,” Wendell said. “Follow me around with the bowl, until I drop it. Then, catch it with the bowl.”

It worked. The moment the eraser landed in the bowl with a thud, Isaac set the bowl on the floor and stepped back. Wendell wandered around the kitchen in a circle, and then suddenly stood up straighter.

“Did it work?” he asked.

“Yes,” Isaac said. “It’s over there.”

Wendell took some gloves out of his picked and picked up the bowl by the edge. “Great.   I’ll take care of this. Thanks, Isaac. Oh, let me know if you figure out where it came from.” And he took the bowl, unzipped the air, and left. Isaac finished vacuuming Charlie’s room.

When Charlie came home, Isaac asked him about the eraser. “You found an eraser on my floor?” Charlie said. “I don’t remember using an eraser for anything lately. I have no idea where it came from. Sorry.”

Isaac wasn’t surprised Charlie couldn’t remember the eraser. He never did find out anything else about it. He was happy to just forget all about it, this time.

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