Saturday Shorts: You Are A Button
by Lisa McCourt Hollar
This past week I participated in Saturday Shorts, a contest hosted by L.M. Stull's book club, Between The Lines. The prompt: You Are A Button. The story had to be about a button and told in first person. It also had to include the words mango, worm, red and goat. There were 6 other contestants besides myself, all with different takes on what the life of a button would be.
The Morning After The Night Before, by Rin , Brass, by Al Boudreau, When Da Sun Is Shining by Katie M. John, Semper by Jeffrey Hollar, Buttonholed by Peggy, An untitled tale of karma by Linda Calderone and a bonus by L.M Stull, Say No To Cookies
Then there was my entry, which thanks to everyone that voted for me, (I love all of you), was the Winner of this weeks Saturday Short. I took a bit of a different approach with Cursed, putting in that horrid twist I am becoming known for.
My first memories are of pain as the machine I was formed in, ground and spit me out, tossing me into a bucket, along with fifty others shaped just like myself. A hand reached in and pulled me out, huge beady eyes inspecting me for defects. Taking a sharp knife, the inspector sliced off imperfections in my design, making sure I was perfectly round with no sharp splinters of plastic sticking out. Satisfied, I was tossed unceremoniously into a box, the finished product of Mango Buttons Inc.
Time passed. Next thing I remember is being sewn onto a dress. The woman was excited. Her daughter was getting married. The dress I was now a part of, was to be worn by the Maid of Honor. Weddings are a beautiful affair, or so I have heard. I never was worn for this wedding. I was over the back of the chair when the bride came in and caught her treacherous friend with the groom.
The dress was destroyed but the woman kept me, throwing me into a drawer with some old, worm eaten fabric and a doll with no face. More time passed, then one day the drawer opened and I was pulled out, along with the doll. She was humming as she sewed me onto the dolls face. I was now not just a button, but an eye.
The whole time she was talking to someone I couldn’t see, but her words were making me curious, something about revenge and a curse. When she was done, she looked at me and said, “Perfect”. I could see my reflection in the mirror and I practically glowed. The doll, wearing a pink dress with a red heart sewn on it was meant for a baby.
The woman set me down. I could now see there was a goat in the room and this is who the woman was talking to. Listening to her talk to the goat I learned that her daughter had committed suicide the day of the doomed wedding. The cheating couple had married and had a child; a girl who was about to celebrate her first birthday.
The woman cut the goat, spilling his blood into a bucket. Dunking the doll into the bucket she muttered a curse. Later, she cleaned the dolls fabric, but the inside was stained with the blood.
The Maid of Honor was happy to accept the gift. She cried, saying how she had never meant to hurt her friend. The woman said she forgave her, a lie, and encouraged the child to hold the doll. The girl was fascinated by how shiny I was and licked my surface, tasting something sweet.
That night, while everyone slept, the baby stuck her mouth over me, sucking the sweetness onto her tongue. She licked me and then chewed on the fabric, tearing at the thread with her teeth. I wasn’t sewn on that well and it wasn’t long before I was lodged in the child’s throat.
Word Count: 499
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