My eleventh Button Flash features a cheerful button that reminded me of a person who always finds beauty and creativity in life, a person who enjoys seeing what each day will bring . . . a person who would stubbornly see the glass as half full even if there were just a few drops left. The colors reminded me of a carnival, so I wrote a little character sketch based on a seamstress for a troupe of aerialists. So here it is–a sunny flash story of 250 words written in one hour, inspired by a button from Fran H!
Sylvia had been with The Aerial Angels for ten years. It wasn’t exactly like being in the circus since they sometimes retreated to a double-wide owned by Simon’s father when there was a lull between gigs. There weren’t elephants at the small-time fairs they frequented, but often there would be a seal show or a camel ride, sometimes even baby tigers for pictures. These shortcomings weren’t enough to stop Sylvia from pretending.
There were always neon lights, loud music, cotton candy…. It was close enough.
Sylvia’s job was to take care of all the little details—cooking, cleaning, shopping, mending. . . but whenever she could, she retreated to the sewing machine in the back of the trailer and worked on costumes.
Her attention to detail was remarkable. Today she was hand painting a button with a spatter design. Simon watched as she focused on the task, taking advantage of the sun spilling through the trailer’s window, somehow filling the space with contentment and quiet even in the midst of the morning’s packing up chaos. He noticed how cheerfully and artistically her space was arranged.
He sighed, wondering what she would do now.
“Sylvia,” he said again. “Last night was our last show. Forever. You understand, right?”
She smiled at him. Silly man. Of course she understood, but why worry when better things could be on the horizon? They always were. Maybe a real circus this time.
She dipped her paintbrush back in the paint and kept on painting.
Do you have a button with a story waiting to be told? Email an image of it to email@example.com and I’ll do the rest. Click here for details and for a great summer reading idea, don’t forget to check out my book, The Button Collector.