Saturday 15 June 2019

'Olive' by Chris Drew

Grandma kept a box of buttons. The box was polished walnut, the lid cluttered with seashells: coffee beans, rose petals, white slipper snails, bay scallops. You remember the wood, oil wet as though dredged from the bottom of the ocean. A treasure chest overflowing with jewels. You would plunge your finger into the middle of the box and pull it out again, slowly, the buttons rushing together like quicksand, glittering in the dusty sunlight. Twilight blue, cherry red, peacock green, sunset orange. Some flat and clear as stained glass, others round and river-pebble smooth. You would pile them in your hand and clench your fist, pressing their patterned surfaces into the soft pads of your skin. She would divide them between you, play newmarket, snap, pick-up-sticks, not even registering the gentle tick of the mantel clock, the hands coming together like a prayer. You remember the biggest button. Your favourite. You would scoop it out, cup it in the hollow of your palm, the shallow concave of its olive-green face reflecting the shadow of her upside-down image.

You have other memories, but this is the one she would give you.

The one you would keep.


  1. Ah, button boxes. Brought back a lot of memories. Great flash, Chris.

  2. my doctor in University give me your story as part of 12 stories to translate to the Arabic language to finish the last year in the translation department of a collage of art. some of the meaning I find it hard to rendering .... thanks so far


2024 Wigleaf Longlisting

Huge congratulations to Lisa Alletson whose 2024 FlashFlood piece, ' Translucent ' made the Wigleaf Top 50 longlist! You can read th...