Distressed | Flash Fiction

Coat hanger illustration - "Distressed" flash fiction

Bonnie and her mother both gasped as they entered Ragz N Bonez Clothing, but for very different reasons. Bonnie was overjoyed. Her mother was repulsed.

Bonnie threw her mother a warning glance – a look that said, “Don’t show me up” – before prancing to the nearest rail of clothes. She trailed her hand over the garments as though they had been spun from threads of gold.

Her mother recoiled at the sight of them. “There’s barely anything to them,” she muttered under her breath.

Bonnie ignored her, but her mother was right. The clothes were little more than rags. Each garment pushed the term “distressed” to the extreme. There were tops missing sleeves, jeans with great holes running from thigh to ankle, and shirts with dirt and grime smeared across the collars.

Bonnie’s mother failed to hold back her grimaces and caught the eye of a member of staff who curled his lip at her from behind the tills. She couldn’t be sure if he was sneering or growling.

“I love this one,” Bonnie said as she removed a hanger from the rail. She held up the item to her mother; it was a long, loose-fit vest top with raggedy hems and an enormous, gaping hole across the torso.

“I think that’s a bit too revealing, Bonnie,” her mother said.

“It’s supposed to be,” Bonnie said irritably. “I want to show off my guts!”

Bonnie’s mother didn’t even bother to hide her revulsion. “That’s disgusting. Why on Earth would you ever want to do that? Put it back. We’re going to Gap.”

“Ugh, that’s so unfair!” Bonnie said as she shoved the hanger back on the rail. “You’re not a zombie, Mum. You don’t understand me. I hate you.”

Bonnie stormed out of the store and her mother shook her head gently as she watched her go. She had understood her daughter, once upon a time, before the pandemic had struck. Now, the world was divided in two; the living, and the living dead.

And living dead teens were just the worst.

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