by Damhnait Monaghan
Anika picks up the delicate garment; its silk caresses her rough hands. The negligee is exquisite: soft peach, embroidered with tiny butterflies. Her workmanship is magnificent; the dainty stitches almost invisible. Anika imagines lying in the stifling heat of the bedroom, waiting for Roy. He comes home tired after a long shift and grunts hello. Then his brown eyes widen when he sees what she’s wearing.
‘Anika!’ A sharp elbow digs at her side. Aurona, standing beside her in the sweatshop, interrupts her reverie. ‘Hurry up, the boss is coming. We must make quota.’
Startled, Anika pricks her finger on the needle, blotting it quickly on her sari. She grabs a label, Made with love, for love, and sews it swiftly on, holding her breath as the supervisor passes.
Tiffany picks up the delicate garment; its silk caresses her soft hands. The negligee is exquisite: soft peach, embroidered with tiny butterflies. She imagines lying in the cool hotel room, waiting for Robert. She frowns, tapping her manicured nails on the counter. Robert would never notice what she was wearing. She hands it back to the salesclerk, who gently folds it.
‘Isn’t it to die for?’ she coos. ‘Bespoke, from Paris.’
The two blonde heads bend admiringly over the lingerie. Only after careful searching do they spot one or two stitches but the drop of blood remains hidden in the folds.
Damhnait Monaghan is Canadian but now lives in the UK. Her stories, real and imagined, are published in places like Understorey Magazine, Still Point Arts Quarterly, Spelk Fiction, EllipsisZine, Brilliant Flash Fiction, The Fiction Pool and Flash Frontier.