Shattered Glass | Teen Ink

Shattered Glass MAG

February 19, 2009
By DarkenedStarlight BRONZE, St. Louis, Missouri
DarkenedStarlight BRONZE, St. Louis, Missouri
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

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.

Similar Articles


This article has 154 comments.

on Jan. 10 2012 at 3:25 pm
CrazyNerdyFangirl SILVER, Sugar Land, Texas
6 articles 0 photos 10 comments
I like the descriptive language you used. :D

on Dec. 19 2011 at 7:20 pm
otherpoet SILVER, Wayland, Massachusetts
6 articles 9 photos 254 comments

Favorite Quote:
"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone." - Audrey Hepburn

this was beautiful writing! you have such a way with words.

on Nov. 27 2011 at 7:25 pm
so beautiful and so sad. the metaphors are a nice touch by the way :)

-Duckie- GOLD said...
on Nov. 27 2011 at 5:41 pm
-Duckie- GOLD, West Fargo, North Dakota
18 articles 0 photos 127 comments

Favorite Quote:
Your heart is a weapon the size of your fist. Keep fighting. Keep loving.

So beautiful. This is so sad but so peaceful. Could you please check out my work, Spirit Bound? It would mean a lot :)

on Nov. 27 2011 at 2:16 pm
thejesusfreak SILVER, Bradenton, Florida
9 articles 0 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
"ok so your hated... so what? Embrace it! you are who you are and dont forget it."

Can you take a look at what ive written? Maybe you can share a few pointers... Great work!!!

on Nov. 27 2011 at 10:18 am
zadiekatie23 PLATINUM, Rio Rancho, New Mexico
39 articles 4 photos 69 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

Such a beautiful piece of writing. The words took you back to a simpler place, and the ending really brought it all together. Thank you for writing and sharing this with us. Beautiful and memorable.

on Nov. 5 2011 at 8:54 pm
ham_samwich BRONZE, Aurora, Colorado
1 article 0 photos 3 comments
Well done. You used so much description. I loved it! :)

on Oct. 14 2011 at 11:11 am
deleteddeletedFoff, Columbus, Ohio
0 articles 0 photos 53 comments
nice. what happened to his wife?

on Oct. 14 2011 at 3:56 am
Wide.Open.Window BRONZE, Shanghai, Other
2 articles 0 photos 2 comments

lexie lue:) said...
on Sep. 22 2011 at 1:45 pm

I want to read this book really badly.

It has very good descriptive words!!!

Job well done!!!:)

Sadie said...
on Sep. 22 2011 at 9:44 am
Wow. This was amazing. I can't even think of words to discribe this piece of writting. This is really good :D

on Sep. 1 2011 at 10:35 pm

Wow! Just... Wow!

I'm speechless. One of the best things I've ever read <3 

on Aug. 31 2011 at 7:21 pm
singinginthegardn GOLD, Cowell, Massachusetts
16 articles 2 photos 158 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say." ~Anaïs Nin

I've never been more shocked..more moved...more touched from reading a piece on TeenInk was absolutely exquisite! Perfectly worded, perfectly done. Enough said <3!!

on Aug. 31 2011 at 3:37 pm
TheAmazingJoysie BRONZE, Cork, Other
4 articles 0 photos 19 comments

Favorite Quote:
'Your going to die anyway so you might as well craft.' The Anticraft

hey i remember reading a book with a passage like really similar to that but ur work is fabulous


on Aug. 31 2011 at 11:15 am
LittleMissSunshine08_11 SILVER, Boston, Massachusetts
9 articles 0 photos 23 comments

Favorite Quote:
Those who can laugh without cause have either found the true meaning of happiness or have gone stark raving mad. ~Norm Papernick

...Wow... I am completely stunned into silence. That is a first for me. Wow.

on Aug. 31 2011 at 8:12 am
SabrinaAnnFaith BRONZE, Hillsborough, New Jersey
2 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Scars remind us of where we've been, but they don't necessarily dictate where we're going." - David Rossi, Criminal Minds


Enough said.

on Aug. 9 2011 at 7:48 am
wordjunkie BRONZE, Houston, Texas
1 article 0 photos 105 comments

Favorite Quote:
Those who say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Oh my god. I absolutly loved it. I don't even know what else to say. I always look at the top voted stories, sometimes read them, and usually like them, but this was insanely good. Thank you. *favorites*

on Jul. 18 2011 at 6:11 pm
LifeWrite PLATINUM, Westfield, New Jersey
44 articles 14 photos 53 comments
I could totally picture this in my mind!

TAR11 SILVER said...
on Jul. 18 2011 at 11:05 am
TAR11 SILVER, Allison Park, Pennsylvania
7 articles 0 photos 51 comments
Very Cool!  Please check out my stories if you get the chance. 

EkeBont BRONZE said...
on Jul. 18 2011 at 6:31 am
EkeBont BRONZE, Glasgow, Other
4 articles 0 photos 8 comments
loove it :) really creative, and really makes you understand how the character feels, as it is an original choice of point of view :)