Chipped and Wandering short story


Follow the misadventures of a chipped button as it travels from child to child in this award-winning funny, moving short story {excerpt below}.

“I’m still thinking about it. It left such an impression on me.” – Paige Carter

“I laughed out loud!” Claire Humphries

Chipped and Wandering was Highly Commended, The Yellow Room Spring 2012 Short Story Competition.

💝 Every story comes with one additional custom dedication – simply click “Edit Order Notes” on the Checkout page to add your message (or I’ll happily make one up 😊). After purchase, you’ll be able to download your PDF + you’ll be sent 1 custom dedication PDF via email within 2-3 working days.



‘It’ll last another day,’ says Mum, adjusting Timothy Crowther’s collar. The loose button is small, pillar-box red and has a narrow indentation across the rim. She cups his chin, licks her thumb and wipes a smudge of toothpaste off his cheek.

‘Hurry up,’ yells Jess.

Helping Timothy with his jacket, Mum turns to see Jess leaning on the wall outside, looking much older than eleven.

‘He’s never going to learn if you keep doing it.’ Jess spots a friend and marches on ahead with a dismissive wave.

All the way to school Timothy fiddles with the button. It’s his fourth day and Mum’s grip is firm. He sprints off when he sights the gates, leaving her stranded, like a message in a bottle. She bobs forward, finding her way through the shoals of tuna, astute anglerfish and lone whales with their barnacles still intact.

At 11.36am the button falls from Timothy’s neck. It lies on his lap for a second, before he moves to grab a stolen crayon back. It rolls across the floor, between table legs and kicking feet. Nobody notices the missing button, their stomachs rumbling for lunch. While they nibble round teacher’s nerves and reshuffle their hierarchies, it spins to rest under Trisha Schofield’s chair.

Trisha is a marathon daydreamer, who has become mesmerised by a peculiar toy cat peeking out from the high shelf behind teacher’s desk. Mrs Johnson’s soft voice creaks like the old wicker rocking chair at home and with the heat of the classroom, she’s lulled into a hypnotic daze. Slipping her feet out of her roomy shoes, Trisha’s big toe happens upon the button. Alert, she shimmies it forward and waits for an opportune moment to duck down. She runs her finger over the dent and pops it in her pocket. Perfectly timed, her bladder tingles and her arm shoots up.


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💌 Buy the short story {+ custom dedication} above for just 99p! Please note, you will receive a PDF via email. Personal licence for 1 copy but you can buy more as a gift 😊.