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 Jul. 31 2010 at 5:27 pm
kielymarie SILVER, Sandy Hook, Connecticut
6 articles 0 photos 85 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When you do dance, I wish you a wave 'o the sea, that you might never do nothing but that." -William Shakespeare

This was beautiful. Great job

on Jul. 31 2010 at 2:42 pm
I_am_awesome BRONZE, Chicago, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 2 comments
Woah, that was really good. If anyone wants they could check out my ballad.

on Jul. 31 2010 at 1:03 pm
wellfleetgirl, Chester, Connecticut
0 articles 0 photos 36 comments
this is truly beautiful; the kind of writing i hope to someday reciprocate.

on Jul. 9 2010 at 7:27 pm
writerinfinity PLATINUM, Arlington, Texas
35 articles 0 photos 105 comments
very good i certaintly love this piece, keep writing

on Jul. 9 2010 at 3:08 pm
MyLifeAsCupid BRONZE, Janesville, Wisconsin
3 articles 0 photos 34 comments

Favorite Quote:
"How could an Alice girl like me,
Love a Hatter as mad as you?"

my parents found beach glass in porti rico before, i love the greenish blue color it has as it sparkles as the sun light shines through it against the wall. they are perfectly harmless as long as you don't try to shape it in to having sharp corners or swallow them. when the the glass si in the ocean then the sand around it starts to polish off all the sharp sides of that piece of glass. ^-^ i wear that piece of glass on a necklace around my neck all the time cause it reminds me of the ocean's beach.

a.m.f BRONZE said...
on Jun. 17 2010 at 11:16 am
a.m.f BRONZE, Gainesville, Florida
3 articles 12 photos 97 comments

Favorite Quote:
"God never shuts a door unless he opens another."

love it! it'a amazing :)

if anyone has time, i need ratings and comments on my story, scratching stones. thanks :)

on Jun. 15 2010 at 2:33 pm
OfficialApprover PLATINUM, Orefield, Pennsylvania
48 articles 0 photos 1752 comments

Favorite Quote:
Grab life by the balls. -Slobberknocker
We cannot change the cards we're dealt just how we play the hand
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted
It's pretty easy to be smart when you're parroting smart people
-Randy Pausch

Fabulous!  I love the perspective, and how the truth is slowly revealed.  Awesome job!

Btw, anyone who sees this, will you check out and comment on my work?

Oliviaw BRONZE said...
on May. 26 2010 at 7:02 pm
Oliviaw BRONZE, West Cola, South Carolina
4 articles 0 photos 62 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Screwed down for life." ---Iowa Bob, The Hotel New Hampshire

I think I understand the piece fine. People have different perspectives on things, you can't force someone to believe one thing.

on May. 26 2010 at 2:20 pm
horse95lover BRONZE, New York, New York
4 articles 9 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read" - Groucho Marx

Great job!! :)

on May. 26 2010 at 12:34 pm
ZombieDanceWithMe SILVER, Rockford, Illinois
7 articles 1 photo 98 comments

Favorite Quote:
“To die is nothing; but it is terrible not to live”

-Victor Hugo

I think this was very beautifully writen, but it was a little vivid. keep up the good work :D

~dontcha~ said...
on May. 26 2010 at 5:41 am
ok, look at AriaRulzTheWorld's comment and she explains it all for you, little OliviaW. If maybe you read a bit more carefully, you would actually get the story!!

on May. 26 2010 at 5:37 am
Melissa hates him because he was an alcoholic. if you check the ending, it says 'to walk the dog, feed the cat, to do anything but drown himself in a brown glass bottle.' the brown glass bottle is a beer bottle, and to drown him in it would be to get drunk. if you just go over the piece more, you'll get some of the more hidden meanings. 

maki:p GOLD said...
on May. 4 2010 at 8:59 pm
maki:p GOLD, Rocklin, California
17 articles 1 photo 47 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The only journey is the one within" and "You can't help anyone who doesn't want to be helped."


maki:p GOLD said...
on May. 4 2010 at 8:58 pm
maki:p GOLD, Rocklin, California
17 articles 1 photo 47 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The only journey is the one within" and "You can't help anyone who doesn't want to be helped."

I am so with you there

on May. 4 2010 at 5:57 pm
hyperactivemayfly PLATINUM, Arlington Heights, Illinois
29 articles 0 photos 36 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Un ange frappe a ma porte
Est-ce que je le laisse entrer
Ce n'est pas toujours ma faute
Si les choses sont cassées
Le diable frappe a ma porte
Il demande a me parler
Il y a en moi toujours l'autre
Attiré par le danger"

I think the person in the story is talking about beach glass, ("if these well-washed shards are from bottles he himself carelessly threw into the ocean") which comes from (mostly beer bottles) thrown in the ocean, and then the waves' force alters the glass, so when it is washed up, it's smooth and really harmless unless you swallow it. 

on May. 4 2010 at 3:38 pm
FightingBlurb BRONZE, Chicago, Illinois
3 articles 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. -Douglas Adams

I'm not gonna state the obvious, it's a story that vividly displays the scene. Though I'm slightly curious as to why anyone would hang glass shards over a child, regardless of the emotions they symbolize...

on May. 4 2010 at 9:35 am

on May. 4 2010 at 7:37 am
chartothalatte GOLD, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
10 articles 1 photo 62 comments
great piece of writing. i want to knw what made melissa hate him! this is a really great work. 5 stars (:

Grrcya BRONZE said...
on Apr. 24 2010 at 1:18 pm
Grrcya BRONZE, Miami Beach, Florida
1 article 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

I really enjoyed it. I just wish I knew what happened, y'know?

on Apr. 12 2010 at 7:09 pm
xBaByGiRrL22x PLATINUM, Pearl River, New York
22 articles 0 photos 280 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The goal isn't to live forever, but create something that will."
"If you wanna go, baby let's go; if you wanna rock, I'm ready to roll.''
"No one ever said it'd be easy. They just said it'd be worth it." <3

wow. incredible. once i started readingg, i couldnt stop. plzz keep writing!!!