It’s time for another Promptly Penned post–flash fiction that starts from a word prompt. The prompt will be in bold in the story.
“Motherfucking piece of shit,” Lucy muttered, trying to untangle the thread that had pulled through the other side of the fabric, making it impossible to gather this portion of the ridiculously wide skirt.
Who needed twelve panels of fifty-four inch wide fabric for a skirt, anyway? This was a high school musical, for fuck’s sake. The costumes didn’t need to be historically accurate. No one here was going to be in the running for a Tony. But here she was, gathering together 648 inches of godawful mint green acetate taffeta. As if poly-blend fabric was somehow period.
She glanced around the airless closet the school’s theatre department had been allotted for their costume shop. Bolt after bolt of mint green taffeta towered above her on top of the hutch she was using as a makeshift sewing table. Then, there were the boxes of other fabric and notions haphazardly piled everywhere. They’d long ago overflowed the old metal filing cabinet, and costumes and pattern pieces draped precariously over open drawers. If she wasn’t careful, everything would come crashing down, and she’d be trapped in this room forever.
Finally. She’d managed to pin the oversize skirt to the reinforced bodice. Now, to get it basted on so she could try it on her stepdaughter. If she could get the kid to cooperate long enough to fit it to her. Thus far into Lucy’s three year marriage, Hannah had wanted nothing to do with her stepmother.
“Get involved in something she likes,” Lucy’s wife, Candice had suggested. “Bond with her that way. You love sewing. Why don’t you volunteer to be on the costume committee for the spring musical?”
Lucy had told her that it wouldn’t make a difference. Hannah refused to warm up to her no matter what Lucy did. But in the end, she’d agreed. And now here she was, sewing hideous dresses to impress a kid who would only speak to her through her another person.
She slid the fabric beneath the foot and lowered it, pinning the the dress to the feeddog and began sewing, trying not to drip sweat on anything. What she really needed in here was a fan. Or air conditioning.
She pushed harder on the foot peddle, speeding up as she headed toward basque waist. The needle hit a pin and snapped, the tip flying backward to hit her in the eye. “Motherfuckingsonofabitch!”
Lucy jerked back, blinking rapidly, her eye burning and tearing. A groaning sound dragged her blurry gaze upward just in time to see all of the piled bolts and boxes tumbling toward her.
Hundreds of pounds of fabric crashed into her, knocking her to the ground, completely covering her. She kicked out, trying to crawl out from beneath the pile, and her foot made contact with her makeshift sewing table. As the terrifying wobble and groan of wood registered, Lucy realized the huge wooden hutch hadn’t been attached.
As her consciousness flickered and faded, her last thought had been, At least, she died doing what she loved–swearing profusely.
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