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No prob-llama

A lost queen

By Emmy BPublished 4 months ago Updated 4 months ago 4 min read
No prob-llama
Photo by Ander Burdain on Unsplash

I’m naughty. I know I am. But the best kind of naughty. A race car red, runs-all-sorts-of-hot kind of naughty. I’m bright and I light up her world. We’ve been on many adventures together, travelled the world together. Wherever she goes, I go. It’s been that way for as long as I remember, since she plucked me from the squeaky clean plastic shelf where I waited patiently. On that shelf it was hard to differentiate myself. I was just another one of them, same colouring, same metallic sheen, same lick of flame. But no, no, since she picked me up I have become quite the globe-trotter. More than I had ever dared to dream of. 

It’s a partnership, really. She helps me explore: I have seen an incredible amount of buildings, bridges, pubs and clubs. She always holds me so tight. She keeps me close to her, within reach, always. On the other hand, I help her make friends, new connections outside in the cold, in the rain, even in the snow. I break the ice and she calls me: 

“My lucky lighter.” 

She will never let anybody take me. She shows me off to her friends, so proud of my little slogan: “No prob-llama.” I didn't understand it at first but it makes me all kinds of popular. She vehemently fights to get me back every time someone takes a look for too long, at my flame, my curves. People call me “cute,” they call me “funny.” There was even that one boy who said I “work so well!” I’m the best, really. Her favourite. It’s me and her, her and me, forever. 

Well, she just must have forgotten me today. It does happen from time to time - she leaves the house in a rush, changes her jacket or her trousers at the last minute, leaving me to sit on the floor until she returns: “There you are! I’ve been looking for you!” Those sweet, sweet words. Sometimes I find myself in the bathroom for hours - the toothbrush and I have started talking. We both are essentials, and must stick together after all. I have also become great friends with Lacy - her little red purse. We never are far from each other - almost like we were meant to be together. Oh.. I miss Lacy. She had that one zipped pocket, which made me feel so secure. It had a soft worn leather interior, keeping me from the cold, from the hot, from all of those grubby hands who inevitably tried to steal me. But nobody tried to steal Lacy. I must be some other kind of special.  

But now I am not with Lacy. I don’t remember this pocket either - am I even in a pocket? It’s hard to move without her. We are a team, after all. I try to shift, but feel my spark wheel fill with a dusty film. I cough but the long hairs and accumulated particles slowly fill me, against my will and my design. Where am I? There is nothing but silence.

Finally, I detect some footsteps, what seems to be a door opening. I’m familiar with doors - I have crossed many in my time with her. They are always portals to new adventures, for my time to shine. But this time the door opens and I remain, facing the darkness. Every once in a while, I swear I sense someone or something join me in this dark corner, but nobody talks down here, nobody interacts - it is impossible without her.  

Days pass by. My shiny paint is coated with sticky, invasive pieces of lint, intent on swallowing me whole.

“Do you mind if I smoke in here?” A voice! A voice! I’ve been here so, so long - maybe 40 hours! Who knows? I usually see light so regularly, the darkness is disorienting. 

“Sure - just sit by the window and crack it open please!” It’s her! I’m here!! I scream my silent scream. 

“Do you have a lighter?” Oh those sweet words, I am certain she will find me now. Those words are my cue, my calling card. My way out, every time, without fail. 

“Yeah, hold on.” I’m waiting, I’m waiting. The seconds feel like hours. Where is the warmth of her fingers? Where is that incomparable sensation of flying into a new world, new faces peering down at me as I shine brighter every time. 

Shk shk. What is that? What is that? That’s not me!

“Where’s your llama lighter? The red one? This one is shit.” Thank you mystery person in her room. It is shit - they are all shit, except me. Seek me out. I am here! 

“I don’t know. I think I lost it somewhere in the street yesterday. I loved that lighter, but you know how it goes.” 

“Yeah - there one moment, gone another.”

“I know! And you either always have 10 or have none!” 

Their laugh chills me. I hear the flick of the evil replacement lighter in the background getting fainter and fainter. I remember the one before me now, a see-through, light blue rectangle. There was a piece of gum stuck to the bottom of it,  blackened by friction and grime. How had I forgotten it? It hadn’t really stopped working - she had found it a couple of days after buying me. But it had stayed on her desk until it disappeared, never to be found again. 

Now that I thought about it, it had been me and her, but there were always others, the ones she handed to friends and didn’t care about getting back. The ones that made me feel special for the way she fought to keep me. 

Did she even try to look for me? How long did it take before she stopped in that shop, the same shop weeks ago she had so excitedly plucked me from the plastic shelf? 

My heart sinks in icy realisation. My own "no prob-llama" mocks me now.

I am replaceable.

I am a lighter. 


About the Creator

Emmy B

I write some of my truths, and use words to weave stories and ideas together. Writing is a passion and an outlet for me and I hope to inspire, challenge, or simply be a reflection of others's experiences - to make people feel seen!

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Comments (2)

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  • Rick Henry Christopher 4 months ago

    Very good! You have quite the talent for storytelling. I love how you brought an everyday inanimate object to life. Excellent work.

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