Sunday, January 12, 2014

Buttons' Box...A Short Story

Photos by Carrie Sorensen

The Weekly Writing Prompt Returns!
For the past few weeks the Flash Fiction Writing Prompt has been on hiatus. This week marks the return of the little writing exercise and so, this post is another in a long line of blog posts where a few words centered around a photo, or a couple of photos, are written.

Anyone and everyone can participate! If you'd like to give it a shot, here are the rules:

1) Write a story using both photos.
2) Keep your word count to 500 words or less.
3) Submit your completed story to your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena, or Leanne) via the inLinkz linky on their sites. (If you need a bit of help with this step, just leave a comment on their sites and they’ll get you linked up!)
4) You have the next week to post.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow! 
And so, here's what I came up with this week. Enjoy!
 Buttons' Box
"Yes, honey?" Stephanie's three-year old son interrupted his mother yet again as she tried her luck fulfilling her latest New Year's resolution--keeping the house clean.
"Can I go outside and play?"
"No, Jordan, it's too cold, and you've still got a sniffle." They boy confirmed the statement by sniffing as he dragged the sleeve of his arm across his nose.
"I know, mommie but I want to go and play. And I want to look for Buttons and see if he came home."
Stephanie stopped cleaning and turned from her son so he wouldn't see her cry. Every day for the last three weeks her son asked about Buttons, their cat, the same cat that disappeared just before Christmas. No one had seen the black and white calico, since he went missing. The family even put up "Lost" posters in the neighborhood in hopes the beloved pet could be found. In the days following his disappearance Stephanie dreaded driving close to their home. The thought of seeing Buttons dead on the side of the road made her physically ill.

And what do you tell a three-year old? She faced that decision every day for the past three weeks. "I think if Buttons were out there, he'd scratch the door like always," was all Stephanie could say. She returned to her task hoping the conversation had ended. She watched Jordan go to the window and she knew it hadn't.

"But mom, Button's feet are going to freeze. There's ice on the grass." Reluctantly Stephanie walked to the window and looked and the front lawn. His heart's so tender, she thought as she looked down on her son's blond hair.

"Hey," the distraught mother said. "How'd you like to help me out?" She needed to get her son to think of something else. "Can you take these stuffed animals and take them to your room?"

"Yeah, I guess," the boy said as he took the animals from his mother's hands. As he hit the stairs leading upstairs he turned. "If Buttons comes home, can you let me know?"

"You bet, baby. You going to go play in your room?"

"Yeah." The boy slowly rose up the stairs and Stephanie heard the door to his room close behind him.

Poor kid, she thought as she resumed her duties. The family was especially spoiled with Buttons. He was such a great cat and he loved Jordan--you could just tell. Just yesterday Jordan asked where Button's box was. The family brought the cat home the year before from the animal shelter in a large cardboard box that the boy would not allow the family to throw away. They retrieved the box from the basement and Jordan packed it into his room.

An hour passed since Jordan went upstairs. With her cleaning done Stephanie decided to check on the little guy. She opened the door to his room and this time, she let the tears flow freely.

Word Count: 496


  1. Oh. My. Gosh. Scott, this story brought me to tears. This would be my household if one of our three kitties went missing. Seriously, I feel for Stephanie as a mother and as someone who dearly loves her pet.

    This story really touched my heart., Scott. Well done!

    1. Thanks Leanne! It means a lot! And really, the cat storyline just sort of crept up on me. It wasn't in my mind when I began writing. Maybe it was one of our cats that implanted the thought into my brain--cats can do that, you know... ;)

      Again, thanks! Take care.

  2. Good job Scott. I love how you didn't need to reference the second picture directly, but we were all picturing it in the final scene. Well done.

    1. Thanks Heather! Glad you could see it like did!