Shattered Glass This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

February 19, 2009
He slowly turns the pliers in his hand, curling the wire around itself. With one last squeeze, the next piece of his beach glass mobile is complete. It sparkles as he holds it up to the sun and translucent brown, blue, and green dance across weathered skin.

The soft sound of clinking glass echoes through the workshop. The small room is furnished with a table and a folding chair. Older mobiles hang from the ceiling, moving slightly from side to side. A 25-year-old fan sits in the corner, blowing softly, ruffling the pages of the book emblazoned with a cross that sits on the corner of the table. One framed photograph stands next to the book. It is of a younger man – brown bottle in hand, arms around a smiling woman – grinning into the camera on a picturesque beach. The photograph isn’t there for happy nostalgia. It is a reminder of what he has lost and what he still has to gain.

He pushes his wire-rimmed glasses up his nose and settles into the worn folding chair. He sifts carefully through the round-edged beach glass, looking for the right piece to attach next.

The browns and greens shine back into his eyes. He can still identify the color of glass that each beer brand used for their bottles. This green is for Hefeweizen, this brown for Budweiser. He wonders, as he always does, if these well-washed shards are from bottles he himself carelessly threw into the ocean.

The mobile is for his granddaughter, Andi. Her brother, Gordon, has a similar one – well, he does if Melissa hasn’t thrown it out. He wouldn’t blame his daughter if she had. She has every right to still hate him. She has every right to ignore his existence.

In his daydreams, the lovingly crafted mobiles hang over the cribs. Melissa and her husband might hate them but decide that the children need something of their only living grandparent. Melissa might use them as a lesson: never touch glass bottles; the stuff inside is pure poison.

Another piece is firmly attached, and he checks his watch. His meeting is in an hour. They are going to play cards. His wife loved cards. Every time they play at a meeting, he is reminded of how she had begged him to go to a meeting, to talk to someone, to call his brother, to play chess with Melissa, to take Max hunting for shells, to walk the dog on the beach, to feed the cat, to do anything but drown himself in a brown glass bottle.

He finds another piece of beach glass and carefully inserts a wire in the small hole, threading his past and tying it in a mobile to hang over his granddaughter’s bed, so she might know some day that he never meant to hurt anyone.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 154 comments. Post your own now!

Caylee R. said...
Aug. 22, 2009 at 4:40 am
I myself collect sea glass, this is extremely original. I really liked it, i liked the sad tone it had too.
Inkspired said...
Aug. 18, 2009 at 9:39 pm
Love it! I particularly like the way you use your language, and only hint at the actual story behind the making of the mobiles.
scoopchloe14 said...
Aug. 10, 2009 at 11:02 pm
I'm writing a book too, and i wish i had such great writing skills as you have. Your story caught my heart and drug it away.
hideous said...
Aug. 9, 2009 at 4:18 am
your words charmed me
frozentears said...
Jul. 29, 2009 at 11:33 pm
It's so well-written...and it's so beautifully though sadly bittersweet. He's an alcoholic isn't he?
.:ArleneNicole:. said...
Jul. 5, 2009 at 8:21 pm
I liked it.
xInkxBlotxInxAxWhitexFieldx said...
Jul. 3, 2009 at 9:12 pm
Well-written and the mood was captured flawlessly.
SpecialK8rs said...
Jun. 30, 2009 at 7:25 pm
Beautifully written, it is very very good!
Zero_Kiryu This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 27, 2009 at 11:51 pm
I loved it, especially the sad nostalgia that practically radiates from this peice. Good work!

junie17 said...
Jun. 25, 2009 at 5:16 am
that was so sweet, and sad. I loved it
lyricist said...
Jun. 24, 2009 at 1:29 pm
wow really good story.... havent yet read anything that was about a glass maker... or whatever he is.
really original
Valkyrie_123 said...
Jun. 22, 2009 at 1:42 pm
what a wonderful description i love it!!! :)
casper said...
Apr. 19, 2009 at 7:54 pm
Lolly! What wonderful descriptions and figurative language; I was immediately drawn into the story!
Do yoy have anything else posted
tigeress3 replied...
Sept. 4, 2009 at 5:11 pm
I love this. It's beautiful and deep without giving too much away.
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