Be sure to watch the accompanying short film capturing some of this moment at the end. Thanks for reading!
Anabelle sat on her stoop, the afternoon sun splashing her face, diffused through the thick leaves of the oak tree in front of her house. She placed the black suitcase-shaped machine on her lap, pushed the two black buttons on the front and gently lifted the cover off her Brother Charger 11 typewriter.
She picked up the bubble-wrap package the mailman left in her doorway and tore the top off with her teeth, dumping the contents onto the ground, including a spool of typewriter ribbon and a receipt, which she automatically threw into her bright blue recycling bin that sat at the bottom of her stoop.
She peeled back the tape that held bubble wrap around the spools and carefully removed them, looking the mysterious objects over, trying to figure them out. She took the cover off her typewriter and looked at all of the little arms that would be creating her work as soon as she figured out how to spool it. She gently pushed the B button, seeing how the mechanism moved, and discovered where the ribbon had to be placed.
After some struggle, she got it under and over all of the right little pegs and was ready to go. Reaching behind her, she grabbed a small stack of old paper, green and faded from age with browned edges, and she pushed it under the big black rubber bar she knew to be the platen (after Googling the parts of a typewriter) and started spinning the dial on the side, hearing the click and watching the paper slowly appear from underneath, nestling safely under the metal beam that held the paper in place.
She started typing and simple words came out, words that people have probably typed millions of times when testing out any sort of writing instrument.
“This is fun.”
“Kinks rule.” Okay, that one was just because the record was playing in her house and she could hear the song “A Well Respected Man.”
“Annabelle loves her typewriter.”
All of which were true. She practiced a bit more, sometimes typing specific words, other times just closing her eyes and listening to the sound, a new one to her, of the clicking typewriter parts, the arm slamming onto the paper, and the gentle click of the whole carriage slowly gliding one spot over each time she typed. She tried out all of the buttons, including the ¼ and the * and the @, #, and even the %. She was thrilled and even squealed a little with glee. She even figured out (after a few tries) that for an exclamation point, she had to go back and add a period underneath the single line that the typewriter created.
She grabbed the top of the paper and pulled, hearing the metallic ripping sound the platen made, put in a fresh, clean sheet of vintage paper, readjusted the paper holder, and with a serious look on her face started typing a story.