Black Tie

Ghost story / Tuxedo rental shop / A wrench / 191w

In two weeks it would be gala night upstate, and the shop, which was quite old and quite alone in its trade in town, had been picked nearly clean. The clerk had had to think before informing Jeanette that there was a tuxedo available after all. It was a dated double-breasted style, with notched lapels and a single vent. There was also a white silk cummerbund and cufflinks of yellowed pearl. All this for a reasonable price. Jeanette, new to town, had been relieved.

A man working on his bicycle outside saw her leave with the garment in hand, and thought that someone ought to say something. Jabbing at the tuxedo with his wrench, as if at a rearing viper, he had told her about the last few “poor sonuvabitches” who had worn it and how the people, out of fear, now left it alone.

But Jeanette was not superstitious, and did not buy into curses out of boredom. She was quite sure, thank you, that the tuxedo did not “up and kill folks.”

She would later decide to make very certain of that fact by burying her son in it.

Writer’s Note

For this week, before I saw the prompt, I decided I wanted to take a shot at very very flash fiction. I lucked out in that ghost stories can, I think, achieve a certain amount of success with shock alone, although on the other hand, I wasn’t able to turn the screw much (so to speak). It was hard not to dip into too much detail here, but if I had, it would have ruined the pacing of the story, and the distance of the narration.

I had a certain interpretation in mind when I wrote the final line, but looking at it now, it could be ambiguous as to what exactly happened. Which isn’t a bad thing, necessarily.




3 Comments Add yours

  1. Ben says:

    This is great and I think the last line works perfectly. A lovely payoff. I’ve fallen in love with flash fiction over the last month or so. Love the discipline it forces upon you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kim Edmunds says:

      Thank you so much! I must have written eight versions of that final line, haha. And discipline is a great word for what FF does. I’m gonna check out your stuff 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ben says:

        Good work sticking with it until you had the right version. Thanks for reading 🙂


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