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"One, two, three. Teehee, me." The little boy hopped around on his green colored boxes he chalked up on the ground.
"Four, five six. Drop the sticks." His caramel brown hair fell over his golden brown eyes as he hopped to the left and dropped the sticks he was holding.
"Seven, eight, nine. Put them in a line." He bent down to the sticks and arranged them in an orderly fashion. The boy's name was Felix, and he enjoyed his made up game. He was only seven, but he had the imagination of a four year old. To most, his games made no sense, and he was okay with that. He didn't want to play with the others anyway.
"Ten, eleven, twelve..." Felix blinked and stopped moving. He didn't know what rhymed with twelve. Turning around to go back into his house to ask his mother what rhymed with twelve, he saw something on the ground. A doll. Felix picked it up and stared at it. It was a stitched up doll, with two green buttons for eyes and a black smile on its creamy fabric face. It wore a brown cloth jacket with a dark blue cloth shirt. The blue pants seemed to have been literally a part of the doll, sewn onto as a design. The hair was an odd brown, almost reddish color, and it was topped with a small blue fedora. Felix stared at it for another minute, and then smiled.
"Button? That's a cool name. My name is Felix." He stared at the doll again. "You want to be friends, with me? Okay!" Felix ran up to his house to tell his mother of his new doll.
Ever since that day, Felix and 'Button' were inseparable. Every morning, Felix would wake up and say hello to Button. Every night, Button would be placed right next to him on his bed. He always brought Button downstairs to join him at the table, and he always took Button everywhere, especially to school. School, however, was a bit hectic because of Button and Felix. All the classmates were jealous that Felix could bring a toy to school, and his teachers tried time and time again to take Button away. But Felix always broke down when that happened. He would throw himself on the floor and pound his fists, screaming his lungs out. The teachers would have no choice but to give Button back.
One day, though, Felix had a tantrum, and no one could fix it. It was the first day of sixth, yes, sixth grade. A girl had taken Button from Felix's book bag and hid it, only to drop it outside by accident. When Felix went to get Button from his bag, he saw the little doll was no longer there.
"Teacher, teacher!" he cried. "Someone stole Button! Someone stole Button!" The teacher sighed.
"Felix, you are in the sixth grade now, you do not need a silly doll." she said, placing her hands on her hips. Felix's lower lip began to quiver.
"No, Button is my doll. I need him, and he needs me. I need Button!"
Once again the teacher denied his request for a search of the doll. That was when Felix did the most embarrassing thing anyone could think of. He threw a tantrum, right there, in the middle of the room. He banged on the walls and flipped over desks, screaming "I want Button!" over and over. The teacher, horrified, backed away, calling the principal on the classroom phone. Felix fell to the ground and banged his feet on the floor, crying out his doll's name.
The principal finally came and stared at Felix with a look of mixed disgust and confusion. "Alright, boy, enough playing, stop this foolishness." Felix ignored him and continued to cry. The principal grabbed Felix by the shoulders and pulled him up.
"I need Button!" Felix cried, thrashing about in the principal's arms.
"Get his mother, or father, or someone!" the principal ordered.
Twenty minutes later, Felix's father came through the classroom door. The class was already cowering in the corner, afraid of Felix's massive blowout. Felix's father stared at his son, who was being held by both the teacher and the principal. He finally snapped out of his stupor and took a hold of Felix's arms. He made an attempt to drag his son out, but to no avail. Felix clung to the desks, screaming. It went on this way for another unbearable three minutes, until a janitor came running into the room, holding Button.
"Is this the doll?" the janitor asked, raising Button up. Felix immediately stopped crying.
"Button!" He snatched the doll from the man's hands and hugged it close to his chest.
"I'm sorry for losing you like that, please don't be mad." Infuriated and embarrassed, Felix's father took Felix by the hand and pulled him out of the room. He went to the car and pushed Felix in. The ride home was long and silent, with Felix murmuring to Button every now and then. Felix's father gripped the steering wheel tightly as he turned into the driveway. Felix hopped out of the car and ran up to the house door. He went inside and greeted his surprised mother.
"Felix? Why are you home so early?"
"I lost Button, Mom, but now I got him ba-"
Felix's sentence was cut off by the sudden blow to his face. Button fell from his hands and he went down.
"CHARLES!" Felix's mother cried. Charles, Felix's father, glared at his twelve year old son.
"You embarrassed this family today," he growled. "With that stupid doll. You threw a tantrum like a four year old in front of all those children." Felix stood up shakily, his head down. "What do you think they're going to do when they go home? Tell their parents that the son of this family freaked out, all because he lost a pathetic doll."
"But Button doesn't want to be left alone." Felix mumbled.
"Button is a stupid doll! Felix, get that through your head!" Charles yelled, grabbing Button from the floor.
"Button isn't alive! It's a damn toy!" He stomped over to the living room, grabbing his lighter. Felix realized what his father was doing.
"Dad, no!" He ran to Charles and pulled on his arm. "Don't destroy Button! No!"
Charles shoved him off and held Button over the fireplace. Felix kept screaming for Charles to stop, but the man only slapped him.
"Charles, you really shouldn't-" Felix's mother began, but Charles cut her off.
"Quiet, Rosa!" He stared at the fireplace, a grim frown on his face. "I know what I'm doing." He lit the fireplace and held Button over the flames.
"No!" cried Felix. Tears were running down his face as the fire began to reach Button.
"No, stop, you're hurting him! He wants you to stop!" Charles, upset, threw Button into the fire and stood up to face his son.
"Button is a doll and that is final!" he roared, snatching Felix up and throwing him against the wall. Rosa yelled at her husband to stop. Felix cried and argued with his father that Button was not just a doll. All while this happened, Button burnt to a black lump, his eyes melting, the strings singed off. Felix saw his ruined doll and screamed. He ran over to the fireplace and tried to pull Button out, but his father held him back. He continued to yell at Felix, and later sent him to his room.
That night, Felix lay in his bed, mourning over the loss of Button, when he heard something shift in his room. He sat up and looked at a corner, where a black figure walked out. Normally, Felix would've screamed, but instead he was relieved.
"You're okay!" he whispered, standing up.
The figure nodded. The next morning, Felix was in a joyful mood as he left for school, and his father believed he had gotten through to him. With a proud nod, Charles went back to reading the newspaper. At school, everyone whispered and pointed at Felix, but he paid them no mind, because under his jacket was Button, safe and sound. Rosa saw nothing wrong with her child for the next few days, until he started asking odd questions.
"Mom, if I were to get buttons for eyes, would you still love me?" Felix asked one day when he came downstairs for breakfast. Rosa blinked, confused at the question. She then smiled and ruffled Felix's hair.
"Of course I would, but it'd be an odd sight, not to mention impossible." She went back to flipping pancakes, figuring it was just a normal question his imagination thought of. But the next week, he asked another question.
"If I were to have a stitched frown forever, would you still love me?" Rosa shivered at the thought, and then looked to face Felix.
"I would still love you, but why a frown? And why stitches?" Felix shrugged and ran off. Rosa began to worry a bit, thinking there was something Felix was hiding. Her worries were confirmed the next day when Felix came downstairs, excited.
"Mom, Mom!" His eyes were wide and bright with joy. "Guess what? Guess what?" Rosa smiled and took a few fun guesses, all of which Felix denied.
"Alright, I give what?"
"I can be a doll!"
Rosa cocked her head to the side. "I'm not so sure I know what you mean, sweetie." she said.
"Well, remember Button?" Felix asked. Rosa nodded. "He's still alive, and he said he can change me to a doll, so I can find someone who'd love me forever!" Rosa frowned.
"Felix, dear, that's impossible. You're human, and Button is gone." Felix frowned.
"No he's not, he's in my room! Every night, he comes out from the corner and we talk! Well, he doesn't talk. He uses his hands." Rosa put her hands on Felix's shoulders and gripped them.
"Listen to me, Felix. Button was a doll. Button was your imagination. Button is gone. So, please forget about him and move on." Felix frowned.
"You don't know! He's not gone! He's still here!"
"Then show me." Felix took his mother's hand and ran upstairs to his room. He went in and turned to the corner near the door.
"Button, come out!" he called, smiling. Rosa looked around, an eyebrow raised. She tapped her foot and shook her head. "Button, I know you're here." Felix said, turning around. "...Oh, are we playing hide-and-seek again? Why didn't you tell me?" Rosa lifted Felix's face up.
"Felix, Button isn't here. He's here." She tapped his head and smiled. Felix didn't return the smile.
"No, Button is here. He's just too shy to come out." Rosa sighed and straightened.
"Felix, I've had enough of your foolishness. I'm going back downstairs." She left Felix in his room to mope. Felix sat on his bed and glared at the carpeted floor, when he heard the door close. He looked up and saw a fifteen year old boy in his room. The boy had pale skin, and he wore a brown trench coat over a dark blue shirt and jeans. He wore black shoes and black biker gloves. His hair was a brown, almost reddish color, and it covered one side of his face. He wore a dark blue fedora, and his eyes...were two large green buttons, and his mouth was in a black smile. Felix grinned.
"Button!" he whispered excitedly.
Button moved his hands. Sorry I couldn't come out, Felix. He signed. I couldn't let your mother see me. She would take you away from me. Felix nodded in agreement. The two went about their daily routine of hanging out, talking and playing little games. "Button, why don't you talk?" Felix asked as they played a round of marbles. "Can you talk?" Button shook his head and moved his hands.
My creator didn't give me a voice, so I am forever silent.
Felix frowned. "If someone knew how to, could they give you a voice?" Button shrugged. No one's ever tried. Say, Felix? Do you want to know a secret?
Felix nodded excitedly. "Well, tonight, I have a surprise for you, okay?"
Felix grinned. "What kind of surprise?"
You said you wanted buttons and a smile like mine. Tonight, I'm going to show you how. So you can see the world the way I see it, and smile the way I smile.'
Felix squealed like a little kid. "I can't wait!" he said. Button nodded. Felix looked back at his marbles, and while looking down, Button's mouth curved into a venomous frown. By the end of the day, Felix was excited going to bed at seven thirty. He brushed his teeth, cleaned up his toys, told his parents good night, and went to his room. There, Felix lay, listening to the tick of his small clock on the wall. He listened, waiting as the hours passed by, looking out the window. Then the clock chimed ten times. Felix bolted up and shuffled over to his door. Locking it, he turned back around.
Button came out from the corner, nodding.
"Good, good. Are you excited?"
"So am I. Sit on your bed."
Felix did and smiled at Button. Button moved over to Felix's dresser and pulled out one of the drawers. He shifted through the clothes and pulled out a black pouch. From the pouch he took out a small carver knife, two large buttons, white string, and an unusually large needle, the eye the size of Felix's pinkie. "Is this going to hurt, Button?" Button smirked, and a dark chuckle rose from the back of his throat. Felix blinked. "Button?"
Of course this will hurt, Felix. Button signed. It's supposed to hurt.
Felix began to shake. He stood up. "I don't want to anymore." Button shoved him back down, pinning him down.
"...Too bad." Button growled his voice low and menacing. Felix's eyes grew wide.
"You... you said you didn't have a voice." he whispered.
"I lie, Felix. I don't like using my voice. It takes too much time." Button took the small knife and held it to Felix's face.
"Why are you doing this?" Felix whimpered, trying to break free of the older boy's hold.
"Because you annoyed enough people, Felix. No one wants an annoying person around. I'm doing society a favor. I always do this."
Felix began to cry. "I thought we were friends."
"Friends? I don't befriend people like you." Button sighed angrily. "See? Using my voice takes too much time. Time to end this. See the world through your playground eyes."
He brought the knife to Felix's eye, digging deep. Felix screamed, but Button covered his mouth. He scooped out Felix's eye, leaving a bloody stringy mess. Button had kept the nerve intact, though, so Felix felt all the pain. Button let the knife go and took the needle and string. Still covering Felix's mouth, Button stringed the needle and grabbed a button. He placed it over Felix's socket and proceeded to sew the button onto his face.
Felix screamed behind Button's hand, crying from his one good eye, streaming blood from his other. Button switched hands after he finished, going to the other eye. Felix thrashed about, trying to break free. Button held him down and repeated what he did with Felix's first eye. Now Felix was blind, seeing nothing but black, yet, seeing nothing but white as well. He saw things fly around, things that he never saw, and it scared him. Button worked on his mouth, putting it not a smile, but a frown. He smiled at his own work and stood up. His gloves had gotten especially bloody with this boy.
"Do you see?" he asked.
Felix slowly nodded; still laying sprawled out on the bed. "What do you see?" Button asked.
Felix raised his hands and signed Things. Scary things. Please. Make them stop. They see me. "You're seeing the real world, though." Button said. "Do you want it all to stop?" Felix nodded quickly. Button smirked and reached into the pouch, pulling out a simple knife. Nothing fancy, just one of those kitchen knives you'd find lying around. Button only used this knife for the end.
The next morning, Rosa went upstairs to wake up her son for school. She tried to open the door, but saw it was locked. "Felix, open up, please." Rosa said. She waited, but nothing happened. Rosa sighed and went to her room for the key. Sticking it in the hole, she unlocked it and went inside. She let out a blood-curdling scream when she saw Felix. He laid on his bed, his throat slit, and his hands on his face, as if covering his new eyes. On the wall to the left, written in paint, was a note. To the parents of Felix,
Writing in blood on a wall is a dull motive, but I had no time for a more elaborate note. I rid you of your son, just like you wanted. No need to thank me. He saw the world through his new playground eyes. Enjoy your new life of freedom, Button.