OK, everybody knows what they are, they're annoying and make lots of mess but what do you call them?
My protagonist is in class at school and has just been asked to do something she doesn't want to do. Everyone is looking at her waiting for her response. My sentence is this:
I heard the click of a pen, felt the crumbs of rubbed out pencil beneath my fingertips and a slow heat crept up my face.
I like it (of course I do, I wrote it!) but my mentor didn't understand the middle action. Is it just a British/American thing? (she's American, I'm writing for a British audience) Or a child/adult thing? (would a kid understand this better than an adult perhaps?) Do you understand it?
I like the idea of 'crumbs' of pencil rubbings, but maybe there's an alternative to 'rubbed out pencil'? Any ideas? Please bear in mind that since it's BrE eraser is out of the question and it has to be rubber if I use the noun, no sniggering ;-)