Flash Fiction Friday – Don’t Do This With New Clothes

February 14, 2022, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about zippers. What are the zippers for? What challenges do they present to the story? Go where the prompt leads! Click here for full details.

Don’t Do This With New Clothes – by Hugh W. Roberts

She’d been lucky. Nobody had noticed the price tag still attached to the dress she wore at the Christmas party.

While packing up the dress into the returns envelope to get a full refund, she noticed a zip just above the hem inside the dress.

‘That wasn’t there before,’ she announced.

Unzipping the mysterious zip, she placed her hand inside the hole. A hand grabbed her and pulled her inside the dress, but nobody heard her scream.

Although her husband filed a missing person report, she was never found and lived in darkness for the rest of her years.


Image of a zip
Image Credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch.


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53 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Friday – Don’t Do This With New Clothes

  1. This is one person who won’t be trying to steal clothes anymore! I know someone who worked in a clothing store who had a similar experience taking a return on a ‘new’ dress that was obviously used because she found ticket stubs and a tissue in the pocket. This was a fun story!

  2. I’ve heard of folks doing this.
    In this story I’d be tempted to do a chapter 2 where she meets the other souls trapped in that zipped lining.
    Is it just me or does this dress have a life of its own?

    1. I expect there would be many souls in there, Gary. But I can’t think of a more terrible ending than being alone in the dark for the rest of your life.
      I expect there are many more items of clothing that have a life of their own when they are worn once with the sales tag still attached.

      1. This was also a great tale that reminds us that we don’t get to steal from someone, not even temporarily, without paying a cost. That dangling price tag can chill one’s spine.

    1. Me too, Erika. I hear so many stories of people doing this and sending clothes back that they have worn that still have sales tags attached. If I ever see anyone with a sales tag hanging off a garment they are wearing, I’m very tempted to pull it off.

      1. I know a few of them too. In fact I saw a woman trying to return such a dress in Macy’s and getting so angry when the girl wouldn’t do it.

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