It took me a while to realize why he gave me the pen. I was walking home in a dream half-forgotten where I was. Going up the street I never realized what was about to happen. As I walked, I slowly anticipated a man beside me. He seemed to move in cut up fashion, a haphazard screwy feeling was about him. He jumbled a pen from out of his jacket pocket. Short thing, overall. Kind of reminiscent of those green laser pointers. Heavy, and silverish.
“Flick it,” he said, hurriedly.
“Flick it? What do you mean?”
Suddenly a brilliant light flashed from the tip, shown in my eyes.
I found myself walking beside him again.
“Now, do me.”
He handed me the pen again. Somewhat less cautiously I pointed the pen at him and flicked the button on the end.
The light shown and darted from eye to eye.
I took this moment to dart myself forward, scramble onto a moving car and hold on for dear life.
I had the pen. His pen. And I thought I knew what it did.
I quickly flashed myself again, then again, then again. He was a few paces behind me and I needed all the space I could get.
Each time I was making a copy of my mental state and saving it in the pen, which traveled back in time and imprinted it on my past self.
Each time I flashed I was buying myself future time.
He had jumped on another car, riding it like a surfboard as compared to my silly hanging-on.
“You can’t take what’s not yours!” He reached with an outstretched hand.
That gave me an idea.
On top of the cars I slowly aimed that beam of light right on his eyes. I found myself with two pens. I shown the light in my eyes.
“I will give you these pens,” I say to no one in particular, “if you can snatch them out of my hands.”
Holding them in my right hand, rolling them between each other, they move, getting closer in time and space.
Each pen sends you back. Both pens copy you.
I found myself telling a story.
“You can’t take them from me, because I can anticipate every move.”
“Don’t you see? I was never trying to take them from you. I was trying to build a story of how to take them from myself.”
The moral of the story? You can’t take what’s not yours.