Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Last Button and the Ocean's Tears

Buttons, buttons, and more buttons- that is what I saw every day. Big barrels full of them, heaping piles on the floor; they were everywhere. I was an apprentice to the 'button master'- or at least that's what everyone else called her. I called her by her real name, Tiannale ( Tiann for short). She was called the button master because, well, she worked with buttons. She could take a plain dress and a bag of various buttons and turn it into priceless, wearable art. Every day I would sort through piles of buttons, repair dresses, and get her help on designing my own fashions from time to time.
I lived in an apartment above her studio. As I entered my apartment, I realized how exhausted I was. It was a good sized apartment, with an ocean view. I could never move away from the ocean. When I was sad, my mother would always tell me, "Kaylin, the ocean gets to be blue, not you. Sea glass is it's tears." For some reason, that always made me happy again. The ocean, even though it is just a big body of water to some people, it is as important to me as buttons to Tiann. Little did I know, that the next day, Tiann would present me with a life-changing task.
The next day, when I entered Tiann's studio, she handed me a one-shoulder, white, unused, still-in-the-bag dress and gestured towards large pile of pure white buttons. Dumbfounded, I gave her a puzzled look.
"What do I-why did you-what is-?" the words wouldn't form right as I tried to say them.
"I want you to make the dress for a customer. It is going to be her wedding dress, so make it flawless." Tiann said. So I got to work. I started by very carefully making a vine pattern with intricate flowers made all out of buttons. After that, I sorted all of the white buttons by shape, then size, then pattern, until I finally found a way to put some of them together into an appealing pattern for the sleeve. Then I made an ornate pattern of larger flowers towards the top of the dress. I nicked my finger with the needle when I was finishing up one of the larger flowers. And I quickly pulled my hand away from the dress to prevent any blood from getting on the dress. I was worried that I might get blood on the dress, so I wrapped tape around the ends of my fingers. I had to make this dress perfect so Tiann would give me other dressmaking jobs. By the end of the day, the dress was nearly done. Exhausted after working all day, I went to my apartment. I fell asleep thinking about what I would add to the dress the next day.
The next day I worked the whole day. I was putting on the last few buttons when Tiann went home. I took a deep breath as I carefully sewed the last button onto the dress. As I was checking that the button was securely in place, the dress slipped off of the table. Because I was still holding firmly onto the fairly large button, it tore from the dress and made a large hole in the center of the dress. I had ruined it! All of my hard work in ruins. Tiann would never again trust me with a job this important. I just sat there shocked, tears dripping down my face, trying to think of what to do. Then I knew what to do.
When Tiann came to the studio the next day, I was already there. I was just finishing the new dress as she walked in the door.
"What did you do to the dress?" Tiann questioned, astounded and amazed as she looked at it.
I looked at the beautiful sea glass masterpiece I had created and tried to think of how to simply describe my work of art to her.
"I used the ocean's tears."


  1. I like this one! It returns to itself to give additional meaning, which I really like.

    Give us more information on how hard the main character works to make sure the dress is perfect. If you don't show that the character REALLY works hard on the dress, people won't really understand just how terrible it is when the dress rips. Let us see her picking out the buttons and figuring out what patterns go well together. Let us see how she fights with the dress. Maybe she pricks her finger on a needle and has to be extra careful not to get any blood on the dress, so she does something crazy to keep her finger from bleeding. I don't know!

    But keep it up. I might have a writing prompt for you in a bit. I have been thinking about doing a post on a lyric from a song that has been fumbling around in my brain, so I thought I might tag you in it. I'll let you know if I do.

  2. i just reposted it. I added some more details in the spots where you suggested :)

  3. Hooray for writing. Keep it up. And to help you with ideas, I have tagged you. I will like to see what you come up with. And I will like to see what I come up with too.

    See you soon at