Flash Fiction: Once You Sat And Sewed


I wake with my eyes still closed and hear the squeak of the treadle that you asked me to oil, the hum of the wheel under your hand. I imagine the needle, ticker, ticker, tickering, in and out of the hem; your pursed mouth and concentrated frown. I smile when you swear, almost see the pins falling from your lips, the pricked finger, and the thread snapped.

But your chair is cold when I rise, the machine still. Only the stain of faded blood on the edge of my shirt proves that once you sat and sewed.


This is a 100-word (or so) piece of flash fiction written as part of the Friday Fictioneers Group, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. This week the picture is supplied by the wonderful writer Sandra Crook (go and look at her writing – it’s very good). Click here to join in and write your own story, or here to read some more.

56 thoughts on “Flash Fiction: Once You Sat And Sewed

  1. I have a vague feeling of murder, but it could be something else…love how you left it open to reader. If it was the needle it reminds me of an odd Indonesian film I once saw. The subject was hard to understand but I think it was abuse… nevertheless I will never forget the very long extended scene where the young girl was sitting sewing her fingers together…. painful to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had to do a double-take on the traces of blood, but in the end I came to the same conclusion as everyone else. But, in that case, I wondered why he (or she) was wearing the seamstress’ shirt. I really liked the nostalgic mood to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful vivid descriptions that make for a wistful melancholic tale. It feels right in the middle of ‘something’. Perhaps we will discover more one day.


  4. We still have some of the doilies my mother crocheted. When I look at those I can see her sitting there with thread wove around her crochet needle hooking the loops together. I loved the feel of this sweet, nostalgic piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Highly descriptive, Claire. You caught not only the person, but the atmosphere as well. Great feelings. As for the blood, I imagined it was from the pins. Glad you didn’t go dark on this one.

    What???? No narration? I’m hurt! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    As usual, terrific job, Claire! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your descriptions and phrasing are as always, so vivid and we can see the current scene and the memory perfectly clearly. Like some others i saw something sinister in the blood at first reading, but maybe that is just me as a reader, trained by fiction to interpret the mention of blood in that way?

    Liked by 1 person

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