Button Flash 5: Field Research

Here’s another Button Flash Fiction Piece–250 words in one hour!  Thanks to Joyce R. for the wonderful and exotic button, which sparked an interesting story.

Field Research

Nobody knew why Mrs. Vaughn wore her silk brocade vest every day.  Lots of old ladies had quirks, so the aides didn’t think much of it as they helped her button the vest over a sweatshirt or nightgown.  They’d laugh a bit at how she looked, but they were kind-hearted people, so their laughs were warm, not cruel.

bird button flash

They were good people, and Mrs. Vaughn–Angela–knew that.  She saw how they pushed Mr. Garren’s wheelchair to the birdfeeder, how they let Mrs. Johns direct table setting.  She appreciated their goodness, although she could no longer tell them so.

Still, she also knew that they—like most of the world—had absolutely no imagination.

Last evening, the aide brushing off the vest had said, yet again, “You have expensive taste!”  So wrong, so wrong, Angela silently screamed, anxious to be alone.

The aides could never imagine what happened after they left her.  They couldn’t imagine how Angela opened the drawer and retrieved a magnifying glass.  They couldn’t imagine how she used it to look at the button on the vest, to go over the details of the enameled yellow bird on blue background, how she stared and stared until she was back in place and time, walking along a river, sun blazing, binoculars in hand, searching the treetops.  They couldn’t imagine how her heart skipped a beat when she heard the bird’s call piercing the air, how Dr. Angela Vaughn began running—completely unafraid—into the jungle, back into her life.


Do you have a button with a story waiting to be told?  Email an image of it to ej@elizabethjennings.com and I’ll do the rest.  Click here for details and for your own summer reading, don’t forget to check out my book, The Button Collector.

About Elizabeth Jennings

I am an author living in the Blue Ridge Mountains. My first book, The Button Collector, was released May 6, 2013, by PageSpring Publishing.
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