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On the 2nd of December I finally got the time to take part in Microcosms Fiction. This flash fiction contest begins by giving you three things as a prompt: character, setting and genre. For my first attempt at this competition, the prompt was: Seamstress, Second-hand Shop and Crime.


All That Glitters

By Ronel Janse van Vuuren


Emily kept her head down and squinted at the sequins she was sewing to the dress to cover a stain. Sometimes it was better to hide the unsightly with shiny things than to try and fix it. Especially when dealing with clothes that had known another life, had experiences she could only dream of.

Another thump outside made her squirm closer to the wall. Row upon dark row of clothing that needed her attention stood between her and the door.

When she’d applied for the job as seamstress at Second Chances, the manager had told her there was only one rule: “never witness anything, you’ll live longer”. Emily had taken it to heart. Even a cry for help won’t make her budge.

The silver sequins were finished. She looked down at the pattern she’d sewn: a skull. Closing her eyes briefly, she hoped that the girls who usually bought the glittering items would appreciate it. She filled in the features with black sequins, matching the dress beneath.

Glass shattered high above her head. She didn’t make a sound. Shouts could be heard outside, joined by the screeching of sirens.

“It’s okay, Emily.”

She looked up from the glittering glass surrounding and covering her. The manager stood outlined in the dim light coming through the high windows.

“You don’t need to hide in the dark anymore.”


twisted tale tuesday image

So, what do you think of my first attempt at writing crime? I’ll admit that I really wanted to add a dark fantasy element, but decided to stick to the given genre and flex my writing muscles. It took me a while after I wrote this to figure out how to post it – by creating an account or just leaving a comment by filling in a form? I decided to create an account: it’ll be easier to manage week-by-week. Sometimes it was better to hide the unsightly with shiny things than to try and fix it. Was one of the judge’s favourite lines 🙂