A Gathering of Sleeve

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

FLASH FICTION


What super power might a dress with one stupendous puffy sleeve bestow? Something unexpected....

OUR HEROINE, Sissy Powers, spent six and a half hours searching ASOS nonstop before settling on the red mini dress with the puffy sleeve. So deep in the vortex of ASOS trawling, she forgot to feed her cat, who decided to kill time by playing the banjo.

Sissy appreciated the asymmetry of the dress; the one-shoulderedness of its design. The single sleeve was of a scale so gargantuan it outshone everything, except her eyebrows, whose feathered arch could not be diminished by anything, not even a single puffy sleeve of stupendous scale. Once she opened the package from ASOS, and tried the dress for the first time, she felt an empowerment. The sleeve was like armour; a shield.

When Sissy and her dress arrived at the cocktail party, she was greeted by her friend Fabiana, an introvert bassoon player, longing for love. Her dress was not as magnificent as Sissy’s. It lacked a thrilling sleeve. Fabiana smiled, but she was actually overcome with a seething of sleeve envy.


‘Aren’t you a little cold in the left shoulder?’ Fabiana asked, where normally a compliment would have been offered on greeting her friend. They embraced (it was pre-covid) and Fabiana’s right hand was temporarily lost in the big sleeve as she hugged her friend. She seethed more.

A passing waiter poured a glass of reasonably priced Aldi brand Corte Carista Prosecco for the pair. Sissy sipped once and then abruptly threw its contents on Fabiana. There was a pause, time stood still, while Fabiana regarded the wet patch that had spread down her front. Her face registered disbelief, then fury. Fabiana said ‘fuck’ very quietly, under her breath, because she was not prone to loud outbursts even when upset. A man with Tom Cruise looks, but taller, who had been standing nearby offered Fabiana a fresh handkerchief from his

pocket. Fabiana smiled furtively at the gesture. The kindness of strangers is more pleasant when the stranger is handsome.

With her hand covering her mouth in horror at what she had done, while inner turmoil whirled, Sissy watched her friend being helped by the taller version of Tom Cruise. Sissy grappled with why she had tossed her drink on Fabiana. It was not an attempt to douse the sleeve envy, which she had not clocked. But Sissy had felt, when the drink was thrown, possessed, not by an evil foreign entity, but like a latent aptitude had been awakened.


The lofty Tom Cruise took back his own handkerchief and dabbed Fabiana’s dress. Notably, and respectfully, his dabbing did not venture to the breast area. Fabiana and the man locked eyes. The rivet between them long, with a crackling charge in the air inaudible but palpable to all who observed them. And then it struck Sissy that her behaviour had been irrational, yet she was sober. She might have splashed her friend with a delicious Aldi prosecco, but now a man who looked like Tom Cruise, but taller, was paying a lot of attention to her shy friend Fabiana. Could it be the red dress was more than a party outfit? Had the dress caused her to lose inhibition in order to spontaneously trigger a romantic episode between her friend and a stranger?

Want to spill Italian sparkling wine liberally like Sissy? Try the actual dress with the magnificent scarlet plume sleeve here:



ASOS DESIGN satin power puff one shoulder scuba mini dress in bright red'






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