FLASH FICTION:-- HORROR, SCI-FI, HUMOUR, CRIME, SLICE OF LIFE, ETC.

Friday, 11 October 2013

As ye sew...


Jean Paul Christeux looked carefully at the fabric before him, turning it this way and that, trying to decide what it would become. Maybe a skirt, or a bonnet. Whatever he decided on, it would do the catwalk runs, then sell for silly money. Every sleb and millionaire's wife in the world wanted to get their hands on a Christeux original.

His mind wandered back to that famous interview with David Lettermin, truly a brilliant landmark in his career. When asked the question “How do you decide what to make from any particular piece of fabric?” Christeux had replied theatrically, “The fabric... speaks to me, much like the stone speaks to the sculptor, or the canvas to the artist. The fabric tells me of its desires and aspirations, it guides my hands and needles, and becomes what it truly needs to become to make it shine.” Christeux smiled smugly and thought to himself, “And if they believe that load of old codswallop, they'll believe anything.”

But the public did believe it. Oh, Christeux had a good amount of talent and originality, and his hand-crafted garments were certainly one of a kind, but it was that interview that had really set him on the road to fabulous wealth and fame.

He dragged himself back to the present, and looked again at the piece of cloth, a lovely tartan blend.

“I think you will be a scarf.” Murmured Christeux to himself.

But I don't wanna be a scarf, I wanna be a kilt.” Said a squeaky voice.

Christeux was shocked rigid, he glanced around the room convinced someone was playing a prank on him.

Oi! Oi! Are you listening to me? I said I wanna be a kilt!

Christeux stared hard at the tartan, he prodded it a few times.

Show some respect,” said the cloth, "and get busy with those needles, a kilt is in the making.

“You're not going to be a kilt, you're going to be a scarf.” Said Christeux, angrily. Then stopped dead, he couldn't believe what was happening, not only was the cloth talking to him, it was arguing with him.

“Oh, someone is having fun at my expense.” He said, then picked up the scissors and began cutting.

The material screamed, and howled abuse at him as it began its journey towards scarfdom.

Ow! No! Ouch! You're cutting all the wrong shape. Ouch!! That goddam needle is sharp. Gerroff me you son of a bitch! You're gonna pay for this! I want my lawyer! Just wait, you're gonna get yours...

“FOR GOD'S SAKE... SHUT UUUP!” Screamed Christeux in frustration, you're going to be a beautiful scarf, and that's that, another peep from you and you'll go into the fire.”

The cloth lapsed into silence after that, and remained so whilst Christeux's expert fingers guided the needle and thread, pleated, folded, scrolled the material. At last, the scarf was finished, and even by his own standards it was beautiful.

He crossed the room to the mirror, then draped the scarf around his neck, turning this way and that to view his masterpiece from every possible angle.

“Oh my, but you are soooo beautiful.” Cooed Christeux. “You are going to be the star of Paris next month.”

Yes.” Said the squeaky voice. “But you won't be there to see it.

The scarf began to tighten around his neck. Christeux panicked, his hands scrabbled at the material trying to pull it off, but the scarf tightened further.

His face began to turn blue as his windpipe constricted. His tongue lolled from his mouth and he staggered around the room gurgling and thrashing. As he barged into the wall, the scarf whipped one end into the air and looped itself several times around a sturdy coat hook, Christeux was dragged kicking off the floor, his heels thrummed and scraped against the wall gouging deeply into the plaster.

Just as his eyes began to bulge Christeux croaked. “Okay, okay, you've made your point, a kilt it is then.”

Which sounded more like. “Oga... Oga...Yamagapa... Akee.. tee... sen."

But it would have made no difference. The scarf was no longer listening, it just closed its cloth ears to the choking sounds and carried on squeezing.

The death of Jean Paul Christeux, which an inquest ruled as suicide, was a tragic loss to the fashion world. His creations became even more sought after and expensive, being affordable to only the ultra rich.

And the scarf?

True to Christeux's prediction, it did indeed become the star of the Paris catwalks, and a few weeks later was bought at a secret auction by an anonymous bidder for an undisclosed sum.

Wherever the scarf is now, if it still has thoughts of becoming a kilt, it's keeping them to itself.


©2013 Stephen. J. Green.

24 comments:

  1. wow, cool story - I would not want to be the one who buys this scarf. Not what I expected at all. Well done

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    1. Hiya Claudia, and thank you for the very kind comment. :)

      Hopefully the fabric will decide to accept its lot, and enjoy life as a scarf. :-)

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  2. Evil scarf! I wondered if it was all in Jean's head, starting with the misspelling of "David Letterman." If he could mistake that, then he'd be unreliable throughout. Then he died, which throws a wrench into my reading...

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    1. Heheh! The misspelling was of course intentional on my part. Sorry about the wrench, I definitely had my tongue in cheek when I wrote this one, a bit of silliness mixed with horror.

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  3. I have to admit I read the wanna be kilt's voice in a Scottish accent! So much sinister fun!

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    1. Hiya Cindy. Thank you, yeah, the story was definitely meant to be fun/horror.

      And I can't think of any other accent a kilt-inclined tartan would use. :-)

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  4. Nice work. This has me wondering whether all cloth can speak or was there something special about that particular cloth? And if so, who made it and why? And how much more of it is out there? And maybe my pants aren't too tight because I've gained weight... they just want to be skinny jeans.... ;-)

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    1. Hahaha!! Sorry Tim I don't know the answers to those questions, but if those pants of yours start arguing with you..

      :-)

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  5. Ha! Steven this really made me laugh, I liked the reference to 'cloth ears' and I have to say the moment I read this line 'He crossed the room to the mirror, then draped the scarf around his neck, " I knew the ending but it didn't spoil it for me, for the telling of it was brilliant! ^_^

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    1. Heheh! Thanks Helen. I did wonder if anyone would mention the "Cloth ears"

      As soon as he put the scarf on it did predict the way the story would go, but I'm glad that you still enjoyed the ending. :-)

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  6. I feel sorry for the poor scarf. Sure, a scarf can go with many outfits and is multifunctional breathing a new life each day, but a kilt shows duty and honor. Courage. It's an important position being a kilt. Obviously the fabric was meant for such duty as it had strength and a need to meet the demands that comes with being a kilt.

    Perhaps the scarf found someone to sew it as a sash which is nearly as important as being a kilt.

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    1. Hi Draco, and thanks for stopping by. :-)

      I'm sure the scarf would greatly appreciate your supportive words, and agree with them entirely. Who knows, maybe we'll hear from the scarf again some time in the future, and find out if it has been involved in any more "Incidents" :-)

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  7. I've gotta say, I wanted to slap him when he put the angry talking scarf, that he'd just threatened, around his neck.

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    1. Hi Sayer, and welcome.

      Heheh! yeah, it didn't seem to be the smartest thing to do, did it?

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  8. Shame no one ever taught him one of the most important rules of fashion design: when in disagreement with your fabric over what it should become, use a mannequin to see how the finished product turns out.

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    1. Great advice Richard, alas, too late. :-)

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  9. I loved the voice of the cloth here! In my humble opinion today's fashion designers will be among the first against the wall when the revolution comes, so this appealed to me very much!

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    1. Thank you Katherine, it would seem that you definitely aren't a 'dedicated follower of fashion' then? :-D

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  10. I personally can't wait until we have more revolting fabric ;-)

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    1. Hiya Icy.

      Heheh! I take it you mean revolting fabric as in the revolutionary kind, as opposed to the eeewwwww kind of revolting? :-)

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  11. Serves him right for being so flippant on national television. It was pretty obvious what was going to happen when he modeled it, but who cares? Too bad the scarf didn't let him make it into a kilt, though.

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    1. I think maybe he took the fabric's silence as defeat, it certainly squeezed the smugness out of him, didn't it?

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  12. One of the best stories I've read this week! Wickedly funny and creative. :-)

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    1. Hi Li, thank you very much for the kind words, they are a real confidence boost.

      So glad you enjoyed the story, and the humour. :-)

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