It was one of those sad occurrences in life Charles had to be man enough to face up to.
There was no lead left in his pencil.
It wasn’t such a big deal when he thought about it, as he didn’t have a lot of life left in him either.
The years were slowly ebbing away, and each year the number beside his name rose, but there was little he could do about it.
As for his pencil, he discovered after attending a meeting at the local community hall, that there was something he could do about that. If he so desired.
There was a speaker in attendance that day, a smart looking young man called Hilton.
Hilton was all enthusiasm and excitement and went on at his captured audience about the latest pharmaceutical designed to help men like him.
Around him men sat glumly, there was no joy for them in their age for a problem they’d rather not talk about that suggested they were not the men they might once have been. They didn’t need to be told that, it was obvious to them and their partners and they tried hard on a daily basis to stay in denial of nature’s cruel development.
Most of them remembered their youth, prowling around the town eyeing off the girls and hoping to get lucky. Nowadays it was a case of being lucky to be still breathing.
But Hilton, full of expectation that he was offering every man present an opportunity too good to be missed, ploughed on extorting the virtues of the small blue pills he had for each and every man.
Charles thought Hilton was a mad man. Charles had been single a long time. He was set in his ways. He had no prospects when it came to romance, those days he knew were long gone. His pencil’s surviving function worked ok, most days and a lot at night.
At the end of the meeting, he went home, his sample in his pocket. He thought about it as he wandered along and thought he’d give it a try just to see if it worked and how much lead it might produce. After all, if it did work, his pencil and he would be surprised as neither had celebrated much in recent years.