Pearl Girl took a deep breath, swallowed, and put her hands on her hips. She forgot about the fact that she was even in Buttonville Park because she had insisted that she and the Giant Sparkly meet other button people for an open relationship. All that mattered was that the Giant Sparkly was MINE MINE MINE and no one, not even someone who could make the ground shake, could take her Giant Sparkly from her
With the help of her very enthusiastic inner bitch, she glared at the unbutton man even though her feet wobbled in her Jimmy Choos. “Take me to Darkness. I must speak with him. Apparently there is some confusion regarding MY Giant Sparkly.
The unbutton man looked from Pearl Girl to the Giant Sparkly to the hole that led into the little hill in the middle of Buttonville Park, then back to Pearl Girl. He clearly couldn’t decide what to do.
She folded her button arms across her button chest and cocked a hip. “Take me to Darkness. And I mean NOW, you insignificant little unbutton man.”
“Y-y-y-y-yyyyeeessss.” The little unbutton man wrung his fingers for a moment. He looked at the Giant Sparkly and then at the hole in the little hill. He pulled his little red cap from his head and twisted it in his hands, then squeezed it back on and nodded. “Y-y-yes. O-o-okay, uh, Miss…?”
“Pearl Girl,” she announced. “You may call me Miss Girl.”
“Okay, Miss Girl,” he nodded quickly. “My name is—”
“I don’t care what your name is,” Pearl Girl cut him off.
“O-okay. Follow me.” He pressed his hands against the Giant Sparkly and pushed. The jewel rolled unevenly toward the hole in the little hill.
Pearl Girl did her best to balance on the soft grass in her Jimmy Choos. She had to duck to follow the unbutton man into the hole in the little hill in Buttonville Park. Not even the unbutton man’s little red knit cap touched the top of the hole as he followed the Giant Sparkly into the cool, damp shadows of a cave.
Shivering, Pearl Girl pressed her button hands on the stone walls to steady herself. She thought it was difficult to walk on the soft grass of Buttonville Park, but her Jimmy Choos wobbled even more on the rocky cave floor.
The Giant Sparkly made a sharp grinding sound as the little unbutton man rolled it forward. After a few yards, Pearl Girl noticed light shining on the other side of the Giant Sparkly from somewhere deeper in the cave and a buzzing noise that grew louder as they made their way toward that light.
Pearl Girl’s heel dropped in a rut in the cave floor and twisted her ankle. Pain shot up through her button knee and she gasped. “How much farther?”
The little unbutton man turned and pressed his finger to his lips. “Shh!”
“How dare you ‘shush’ me!” Pearl Girl slipped her shoe off and threw it at the unbutton man. She missed. “You are the only reason I am here crawling through this forsaken hovel. I will tell this Darkness every detail of your insolence when I meet him. I’m sure he’ll want you to know what a disappointment you have been.”
The unbutton man turned and pressed his finger to his lips again. Behind him, the Giant Sparkly wobbled at the edge of a large cave entrance, then rolled away. With the gem gone, golden light washed over the unbutton man and Pearl Girl.
The unbutton man’s eyes grew impossibly wide and he gasped as he turned back toward the cave. The buzzing that Pearl Girl had noticed a moment before roared into a cacophony of sound.
“Uh-oh.” The little unbutton man said as he looked down below.
Pearl Girl hobbled over to the cave entrance, picking up her other Jimmy Choo on the way. She settled next to the unbutton man. The top of his red knit cap only came up to the top of Pearl Girl’s button hip with her Jimmy Choos back on her button feet.
The cave was massive. Rows and rows of bright red chilis hung from the ceiling, their smooth red skins covered in red knit chili sweaters. The floor of the cave was also covered with very neat rows of unbutton men in perfectly identical little red knit vests and perfectly identical little red knit caps. Each little unbutton man stood next to a machine made of gears and needles and neat balls of red yarn.
Well, there were neat rows everywhere except where the Giant Sparkly had rolled through them at awkward angles. With all the destruction and red yarn and identical little unbutton men, it looked like a pre-Christmas department store nightmare.
But Pearl Girl didn’t care. She folded her arms and tapped the toe of one Jimmy Choo and glared at the unbutton man who had stolen her Giant Sparkly and now let it roll away into a cave full of horribly dressed and completely unoriginal miniature men.
“Could we get to Darkness already? I don’t have all day. The Giant Sparkly and I are supposed to be meeting new people so that we can begin our open relationship,” Pearl Girl demanded.
The little unbutton man nodded nervously. “Y-yes, Miss Girl.”
He led her down into the cave along the path carved out of the machines and men by the Giant Sparkly. The little unbutton men in their little red vests and their little red caps stared up at her as she walked through the cave. She held her head high and focused on staying steady in her heels. There was no way she would risk falling and being covered in that awful red yarn!
The unbutton man stopped just before they reached the Giant Sparkly and the back of the cave, which was a lumpy mound of blue-ish scales. Not only did these unbutton men have no sense of fashion, they were the more horrendous decorators Pearl Girl had ever met.
The unbutton man cleared his throat.
Pearl Girl looked down at him.
The man stretched his hand toward another little unbutton man standing next to a particularly interesting blue-scaled lump as big as he was. “King Tony of the Wittle Chili Gnomes.”
Pearl Girl glanced at King Tony. He looked exactly like all the other little unbutton men, wearing the same little red vest and little red cap.
“King, huh?” Pearl Girl flashed her best button smile. “Well, King Tony. I came to meet Darkness and explain to him that this is MY Giant Sparkly. We’re in a, uh, relationship.”
King Tony looked up at Pearl Girl and grinned, his teeth as slender and sharp as ivory needles. He reached up and knocked on the scales that covered the nearest cave lump.
The scales slid open and Pearl Girl looked directly into a giant, golden eye.