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#Misplaced Horror

By Andrea Corwin Published 2 months ago 11 min read
A. Corwin

Sloane doesn't know where I am, does she? I cannot understand how she misplaced and forgot me; I'm eight inches long, sharp, and shapely, for chrissakes!

I haven't been in her hand for such a long time, and it's lonely here; I miss the cutting, jabbing, and slitting we did together. Yes, I'm old, but not too old for her, and still able to do all my duties. I am more helpful than anything newer. As my last owner said, I'm also more unique and a conversation piece.

Here she comes; I hear her keys opening the lock, her footsteps in the hallway, and her purse dropping on the floor. The sound of her shuffling the pile of mail she brought in is music to me. Sloane is home! I'm over here, I cry out silently. I know she can't hear my non-verbal pleas, but I still try.

Her mother used me every day, and when she died, I moved here to Sloane's place, where I sat in the desk drawer for a year, unused, alone.


Finally, one day, Sloane had a small box to open. She opened my drawer, searching for a box cutter or scissors to cut through the packing tape but found me instead. She examined me briefly, her eyes running over my four-inch figure atop my four-inch blade. In one quick swipe, she slit the box open and laid me on the desk, pulling out the plastic air pillows protecting her items during shipment. She placed the purchased items on the desk and ran her finger down my blade, giving me chills. When she gripped me in her palm, I shivered with pleasure, but the best was when she took my tip and punctured those plastic air-filled packing pillows. The air left with a poof sound, and I snuggled deeper into her warm hand. It was heavenly how she grasped me; she used me to slice, cut, and jab items she needed to open.


Her phone is ringing.

"Hi, sure, you can come over. I'm just having some crackers and PB&J while I cook dinner. Go out? Hmm, I guess I could stop dinner and make it tomorrow. Okay, sure, sounds like fun. Where should I meet you? Oh, okay, I'll see ya in twenty."

So now she is going out - again?

She doesn't search for me anymore.

When she first misplaced me, she turned the living room upside down, cussing and tossing things around. Then she looked in the den where she kept her files but gave up after an hour. The file cabinet is still askew from her search. I was listening, deep in the spot she dropped me, but did she think to look where she had been sitting? No.


One Saturday morning, I heard lots of noise when she cleaned her place and reorganized everything. Lost in my lonely seclusion, I listened to her speaking aloud, saying, "Uneeda, where are you?" My cold heart stopped when I heard that, and I tried to show myself but couldn't. So, I called out, "Sloane, I'm over here, in the couch. I'm stuck; get me out." Of course, I am an inanimate object and don't speak as humans do. There was no hope she would hear me.


When Sloane's best friend, Gabby arrived, I eavesdropped.

"Gabby, Alec always comes to my desk, asking about you. He really wants to take you to dinner. Since the group outing, he has fallen hard for you."

"I'm not interested."

"Why? He's sweet."

"He's odd."

"What do you mean, he's odd? He is smart, funny, polite…"

"He is too quiet and nerdy for me. I don't want to entertain; I want to be entertained. I don't want to draw someone out. It is awkward. He is awkward, odd."

"Well, Morrie was super nice and took you to concerts, boating, and even the Bahamas. Then you started calling him odd. Look, life isn't perfect. You can't expect it to be exactly how you want it all the time! Are all the guys odd to you? Whoa, are you trying to tell me something else, Gabby?"

"I'm telling you to stop fixing me up and interfering in my love life. I can find my own boyfriend, and right now, I like not being involved. I don't want to go out with Alec. He is too nerdy, too quiet, too boring. End of story."


Boy, she was picky, that one. Of course, I wouldn't want Sloane to be with just anyone; it must be an extraordinary person, like Sloane is, a match made in heaven.

-- They've left now, yay. Girl talk can be so absurd sometimes. Let's see if I can wiggle a little; maybe Sloane will notice me tomorrow.

Hrmmph, ooof, it's so hard to move in here. WAIT, there! I managed to work free. I can see the fabric of the couch arm and the seam on the cushion. I'm sure Sloane will spot me the next time she comes in.


Three days have passed since Gabby was here, and Sloane has not entered my room. Before I fell into oblivion in the couch, she used me daily, gripping me in her warm hand, slicing and jabbing. I can hear her now, but she is always in a different room, not sitting near me, and it used to be her favorite, cozy spot.

My room is all but abandoned, and I am so lonely. I want to help her again; my work as an assistant is excellent; no one who owned me slammed me down or criticized me – not ever in all the time I've existed. I am the best of the best, the chosen one for so many – a working conversation piece.

Sloane's abandonment is making me grumpy. Jabbing and slicing and poking are pleasures I miss. I have to stop myself from wondering if her blood feels as warm as her hand. I wonder what it would feel like to poke a human wrist or stab into flesh? Would my yellow rain slicker turn orange from dark red blood on it?


The girls talked frequently about Long Island Ice Teas and tequila shots. Sloane many times came home drunk after being with her girlfriends, and I hear her now. She taps and slides her hands against the wall, then stumbles and falls onto the couch in my room. The warmth from her body permeates down to me, but I can't get out of this crevice and make her notice me. Does she even care anymore? She hasn't looked for me in so long.

Someone was coming in; I heard the lock turning.

"Sloane? Where are you?"

Footsteps, a man's heavy tread. "Sloane, it's Alec. I wanted to make sure you are okay. You drank too much; where are you?"

She mumbled in her drunken stupor, and he finally heard her. The floor creaked as he knelt beside her, and a strong smell permeated the room. It must be Paco Rabanne cologne; I remember Gabby saying something about its heavy fragrance turning her off.

*sniff>sniff* hmm, well, I like it.

"Sloane, maybe I should make you some coffee? Nah, bad idea; I think you should go to bed."

NO! Don't you dare touch her! Don't move her! I was screaming at him, but he was unaware of me. Oh, yes, I'm just the lonely, unused letter opener stuck in the couch. I heard him carry her away, speaking softly as he tucked her into bed.

But then…

Alec came back.

He brought bedding, and I listened to him undressing. I felt the coolness of the percale sheet he laid onto the couch; the cushions sank as he lay down.

His neck was just above the crevice where I was stuck.

Hours passed, and Alex’s loud snoring was infuriating. It's time to find out what it feels like to poke human flesh. Wiggling, I worked my way up a bit out of the damnable couch cave. The head on my blade tip felt warmth from his body, and I slid to the left a bit. If I could turn myself a little, just a little, I might be able to reach, but I can’t get my tip stuck into the couch!

I heard Sloane’s footsteps passing by quietly to the bathroom, so I stilled myself. After she returned to bed, I worked myself into the position I needed.


Damn! Sloane is waking up. I’ll might never get a chance.

I heard her yawn loudly as she makes coffee. Ah, the aroma of coffee! I love it as much as Sloane! One time, she even used me to stir her coffee, two fingers holding me around my waist while she swirled the hot coffee, warming my metal tip, stirring the coffee, daydreaming.

I remember her tongue, her hot tongue, licking the coffee from the blade tip. Understand? She made me love her. I worked for her willingly, slicing through packing tape on boxes and opening envelopes. I never complained about the sticky glue substances that were on me. I didn't gripe about sitting in a cup with pens. We had LOVE!


Alec sneezed loudly. Ha! Just what I was waiting for. The sneeze immobilized him with its force and extended his carotid artery - my target. I drove deep into it with the tip of my blade, tasting his blood. He yelped loudly and grabbed me but was unable to stop me. My frustration and anger, depression, and isolation had overcome my lifelessness. Alec was spinning, holding me around my waist, trying to pull me out, and with each yelp, I plunged further and further. Blood was spurting now, spraying the bedding and couch. His cries became weaker; the fear was all-encompassing, and shock had set in.

Alec fell to the floor. His hand released me, and I slid down below his collarbone, resting on his chest.


"Alec! What are you doing here… you're bleeding!" Sloane called 9-1-1.

They arrived too late.


I'm alone again. Sloane has left her home and is staying with friends. She has come in and out occasionally but never into my room. It was left exactly as it was when Alec died. When the medics arrived that day, the police were called. Photos of the scene were taken, but the police cleared Sloane of any suspicion of crime. The detectives determined the letter opener had been in the couch, and Alec had rolled onto it in his sleep, embedding it accidentally in his carotid artery. There was no other reasonable explanation.


"Okay, let's get this place cleaned up. Joanie, you do the bathroom and kitchen. Rick, handle the carpet cleaning. I'm going to box up items. Let's try and get it all done today."

"Sure thing, Mary."

That conversation ended with a whir of activity - footsteps scurrying, water filling sinks and buckets, a vacuum throttling up, and curtains opening wide for sunlight to shine in.

Suddenly, a warm human hand has me in its grip.

"Wow, an antique letter opener. Joanie, come here, look at this! It is an old Uneeda Nabisco letter opener, an antique. The young boy in a yellow rain slicker and hat – it was for their motto that their 'biscuits' – cookies – were always crisp and dry, even in wet weather! What a find. It was a 1902 copyright of the National Biscuit Company, which became Nabisco."


I now live with Mary and Gemma, her ninety-five-year-old mother, who owns one of the original letter openers.

Jerry is his name, and he is an exact replica of me. Eight inches long, shaped at the top into a boy’s figure dressed in a yellow rain slicker and black boots and carrying a tin of Uneeda Biscuits. By day, he stands in his flared Pilsner glass, watching me from the top of the fireplace mantel. At night, he tells me stories. I think I love him.

How could I ever think Sloane was the one? We could never be together. But Jerry? He and I were made to jab, slice, poke, and stab in unison.

Mary's hand is rougher than Sloane's; it is older and more callused, yet I find her to be more expert at slicing envelopes open. Packages that are sealed with filament packing tape are her specialty. She first grabs me around my shaft, lifts her arm high, and, with true aim, slams my point through the tape. Again and again, in three spots along the tape line. Then she turns me, shoving my edge through a hole, and swipes me down the line of tape, splitting it expertly. Oh, I am in heaven. Mary knows how to use me!

I'm happy. I hope Sloane is. Don't you?

The End.


This story is based on a letter opener I have from my mother. I use it regularly, and the markings of the boy are wearing off. It is the Uneeda Nabisco boy letter opener. (Get it? "U Need A" biscuit.)

Adolphus W. Green graduated from Harvard at age twenty and became a famous trust lawyer, which led him to help a group of biscuit makers incorporate. Later, Green became the leader of the National Biscuit Company, which he ran with an iron fist, controlling packaging and branding, the quality of products, and all other aspects of the company, which became Nabisco. Working with ad agency Ayer, Green developed a character for his products, a boy in a yellow rain slicker, indicating that N.B.C.’s crackers stayed dry even in damp weather.


About the Creator

Andrea Corwin

🐘Wildlife 🌳 Environment 🥋3rd°

Pieces I fabricate, without A.I. © 2024 Andrea O. Corwin - All Rights Reserved.

Using content without written permission is prohibited

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Comments (6)

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  • MatthewKusza2 months ago

    Wow! I'm speechless! Very well done! Horrifying! Delightful! Uneeda's like a wild animal, dangerous, but just being true to its raison d'etre. LOL.

  • Hahahahahahahahaha this was soooo awesomeeee! I loved when it kept stabbing and stabbing Alec! All that blood! So wowwww! So glad it found Jerry, lol! Loved your fantastic story!

  • Karen Coady 2 months ago

    Such incredible detail. And so creative. The thoughts of a letter opener are surprising and so imaginative.

  • Katie Erdman2 months ago

    Creepy! But I like it.

  • Test2 months ago

    . WOW! Very amazing work!!

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