Title at the End

A short story by Richard Brooksby, 1992-01-16.

Sheffield was no ordinary teaspoon: she was always smaller than one might expect, and therefore quite useless. Once a week the man would pick her at random from the drawer. "Bloody Hell!" he would exclaim, and throw her back. Sheffield did not mind -- it gave her time to think.

One day, quite by chance, she was left on the side. Unused to this degree of freedom she wasn't quite sure of herself for the first time in her capaciously challenged existence. Tefal the toaster was nearby.

"Hello, Tefal." she said. Tefal remained silent -- he wasn't sentient, and in any case he didn't have a mouth.

The cat happened to be passing. He was highly amused by Sheffield's short handle, and batted her onto the floor.

"Hello, Cat." she called as she fell, for that was his name. The cat did not answer -- he didn't understand English, and in any case couldn't give a toss.

Sheffield was now at a much lower altitude than she had ever been before. It was quite an experience! She thought about Mazeratis and Hegel -- relevance wasn't her strong point.

At that point a large man in a striped shirt ran into the room and opened the cutlery drawer. "Teaspoons!" he roared, rummaged around and, with all the teaspoons in his fist, ran from the room. Shortly afterwards Sheffield heard the front door slam.

Later, the man she knew returned and attempted to make himself some tea. When he came to add the sugar he was forced to consider his position most carefully, for all his teaspoons had unexpectedly left. (I have to point out that Sheffield didn't belong to the man: she was her own teaspoon.) Then he spied Sheffield, alone on the floor, and, with an Oh!, picked her up and plunged her deeply into the sugar bowl. Sheffield felt fulfilled! This was what she was made for! "Wow!" she exclaimed. The man tipped the sugar into the tea and went back to the bowl for more. "Wheeee!" cried Sheffield.

Sadly, on the second pass the man plunged Sheffield into the tea with the sugar, where she was badly scalded. And drowned. The man wasn't expecting this -- that was all right, he didn't even notice, and Sheffield's lifeless corpse served him faithfully for many years.