010. Riffraff

by crfricke

*This post is part of A Grimm Project, a series of short fiction pieces using each of the Brothers Grimms’ Nursery and Household Tales as writing prompts. For more information about the project, click here. For more about the story which inspired this freewrite, click here.*

The pin wasn’t interested in anything long term, not at first, though the needle was sure when they met that she’d found “the one.” He took some convincing, which was fine, because the needle knew how to be patient. Later, she would make terrible jokes about this. “I kept my cool those first six months,” she’d say. “I never needled you.” To which Jeremy, the pin, would reply with a groan. “Please give that one up,” he’d say. “It’s never been funny.”

The needle, whose name was Melinda, had pictured often during those first six months how it would go when Jeremy would finally tell her that he loved her. He couldn’t bend to one knee, which was okay because despite her hopes, she didn’t consider herself a sappy romantic. But he could only barely embrace her, which was cause for some small grief. She so wished to be embraced. The most Jeremy could muster when he was feeling affectionate was to knock the yellow plastic ball of his head against the lower curve of her eye in a brief but sweet attempt at a nuzzle. And sex—well, never mind. It was never going to be just like the movies.

Yes, she’d often imagined a moonlit night, perhaps on a long weekend out of town—and all this had come to pass most satisfactorily, until Jeremy had too much to drink at the charmingly rustic tavern and fell on the stone steps, sustaining a terrible bend about a third of his way down. He was so inebriated that they had to go hitching to find a ride back to the bed and breakfast, and that’s where things got downright embarrassing. They’d laugh about that night eventually, genuinely and with gratitude for all that had come to fruit for them since, but only after the passing of several years in which Melinda insisted they not speak of it, ever.

Cate Fricke
November 2013