I didn’t plan to kill her, but all brides walk through that front door as though they own the place. It’s my name on the sign, Mona’s Bridal, not theirs. They’re not better than me just because they were able to hang onto their fiancé. Now I’ll never get the blood out of this white chiffon.
“Mona, I’ve lost weight. I need you to alter the dress again. Don’t I look fab?”
“Mona, I changed my mind. I would rather go strapless. I can’t possibly wear this dress on my special day.”
Their high pitched voices, dripping with excitement made me want to stab sewing pins in their eyes, but the eye leaks spinal fluid, and mixed with blood it’s a real chore to clean up.
“Sweetheart, your man won’t know what hit him when he sees you walking down the aisle, trust me.”
“Honey, you’re a vision in white. Show off those broad shoulders in this strapless ballgown.”
My words floated over them like the thin veils covering their faces.
Vanessa’s face wasn’t smiling now, contorted in fear, paralyzed at that moment when she realized her wedding guests would attend her funeral instead.
This morning, she fluttered in for her final fitting thirty minutes late. Pointy chin leading the way she walked over, set down her Louis Vuitton, bumping a mannequin tripod stand, and knocking over my sewing kit.
“Mona, the dress is all wrong. It doesn’t drape naturally from the waist, and the neckline should come down a bit more. Clear your afternoon. We have a ton of work to do.”
I only had a couple of clients to reschedule. Mary was coming in for an initial consultation. I could get her in on Tuesday. Margaret was scheduled for her first fitting, but she was so easygoing I’m sure she wouldn’t mind. She would probably be thankful to have a couple of free hours to hit the trails. She would always arrive wearing hiking boots and talked incessantly about her favorite trails, brown curls bouncing as she described the thrill of the climb, the view from the top.
“This top is so last season. I can’t believe I let you persuade me to go with this dress. Have you ever even been a bride?”
I glanced over at the top shelf behind the register, where I kept my childhood collection of Wedding Barbies. Each had inspired a bridal gown in my line, sold here in the store. Through the years, I had envisioned myself in each, walking down the aisle to my groom.
Mark had been the closest to that dream becoming a reality until he decided to accept his dream job in Japan last June. He asked me to go with him, but everyone knows June is peak season for weddings. After a few months, he broke off the engagement. He said he couldn’t do a long distance relationship. I tore up my plane ticket after I hung up the phone.
“Mona, I’m afraid the train will get caught on something and tear if we don’t shorten it a bit. Are you listening to me?”
I walked over and picked up the contents of the sewing kit, set the mannequin tripod stand upright, and took a deep breath before returning to Vanessa. She held the dress away from her in disgust as she headed to the dressing room.
“You have to make this right, Mona. I only have a couple of weeks until the big day. All eyes will be on me, and I must look sensational.”
She stepped out of the dressing room and onto the wine carpeted fitting platform. Catching her reflection in the three-way mirror, I nodded. I placed the sewing kit on the floor, crouched down behind her, and started to pin the train up for her approval.
“I hope you can have this done by Friday. I need to find just the right shoes. They need to dazzle, but only show the tip of the shoe peeking out from under the hem. It’s how I’ve seen it in all the celebrity wedding photos I’ve been pouring over.”
“If the shoes are dazzling, why don’t we raise the hem in front enough to show them off and let the train drape in the back for a more dramatic effect?”
“Mona! Are you insane? I just told you how the celebrities wear them. I want Hudson to be wowed by me, head to toe.”
“If you’ll beg my pardon, men don’t pay attention to those details. It’s not in their nature.” I pushed the scissors aside and reached for more sewing pins.
“What would you know about that? You’ve never been a bride, have you? Have you ever even been engaged or do you live vicariously through your clients? How do you do it? Always a seamstress, never a bride? You should have a shirt made up with that!”
Her squeal of laughter came to an abrupt end as the scissors entered her throat. I felt her back lean into me and put my left arm around her waist for support while I pulled the scissors out and stabbed her once more. Her eyes found mine in the mirror before her body went completely limp.
I laid her down gently, careful not to rumple the dress, and dragged her body to the back room. I placed it in front of the empty mannequin stand. I would have to perfect her later. For now, I stood back and admired my human Wedding Barbie collection. Sara was still my favorite in the cream lace with the classic empire waist. Just like the one I got when I was twelve. I still don’t understand why she didn’t like it. It was quite flattering on her. Still is.
I walked back out to the showroom as Margaret entered the store. She must not have gotten my voicemail to reschedule.
“Hi Margaret, let me just grab your dress from the back. I’ll be right out.”
This post was selected to move on to Round 3 of NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Competition. Photo credit