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National Save The Quill Day

Sharon Poppen

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"Hear ye, hear ye," announced the newscaster from the always-on TV. "Tomorrow is National Save the Quill Day (NSQD)."

Travis looked up from his computer. "National What Day?"

Dustin shrugged. "Wasn't listening." His fingers were flying from button to button on the computer-game controller. "Die, you dork, die."

"Hey, log off. We're supposed to be doing our term papers. They're due tomorrow, dude."

"Yeah, yeah, oh shit!" An offensive raspberry sound emanated from the game.

"Trav, you broke my concentration." Dustin swiveled around in his chair and slid across the room to dock next to his dorm mate. "Now what's this about a holiday?"

"The guy on the news said something about quills."

"Like on porcupines?"

"Don't know, but I'm doing a Yahoo search for it now." Travis scanned the page that flashed into his monitor. "Look, Dust, it's a writing pen."

"A pen?"

"Yeah, like how they used to write before computers."

"No kidding. How did it work?"

"Well, the original quill pen was from a bird of some sort. They filed one end down to a point. Then they made a black dye and dipped the point into the dye. Finally, they drew on paper with the wet point to make words or pictures."

"Wow. Cool. How did they check spelling, pull down from the thesaurus, cut and paste, delete mistakes and email?"

"Don't know."

Dustin turned back to his game only to pull up short at Travis' next bit of information.

"Well, guess we'd better learn, because this site says that on NSQD anyone caught using their computer will be forced to use only the quill until the next NSQD." Travis returned to his term paper file.

"When does it start?"

Travis looked at his watch. "Right now."

The half-finished term paper disappeared from the screen to be replaced by a banner announcing NSQD.

Dustin stared at the banner. "We're screwed."


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