Shirts by Sebnem E. Sanders

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Punk Noir Magazine, Sebnem Sanders



Sandy had a fetish about men’s shirts, especially white ones. French cuffs and cufflinks as additional attractions, she hunted males wearing elegant bespoke suits, lately hard to find. Not fond of the current fashion trends, she loathed modern jackets which looked as though their owners had outgrown them. Why did men want tight outfits? Didn’t they understand generously cut pieces made them look more masculine? Body clinging clothes were for women to accentuate their figures. Men needed to look like men.

Her secret fetish was the period shirts musketeers wore, the ones without buttons, loosely styled to tuck inside their breeches. Having discovered an Italian company that manufactured them, she’d ordered half a dozen to try them on her lovers. If the relationship lasted more than a night, she asked them to wear one and watched them parade before her as the pirates and highlanders of the past came to life in her world.

Disappointed with the outcome of her fling with the white shirt males, mainly liars, cheaters or adulterers, she decided to go for blue, opting for jackets and trousers instead of suits.

Blue shirt guys turned out to be another letdown. Most suffered from depression, anxiety, and lack of confidence. Efforts to share their troubles, a failure, as she slipped into their darkness with every shade of blue.

She’d had enough, and was afraid of pink and orange, thinking they might gay or bi. ‘Stripes, perhaps,’ she thought. ‘A compromise.’

After several stripes, checks, and patterns, she decided to let it go, as her hopes for finding the right guy diminished.

She stepped into a bar and contemplated her losses, while drowning them with shots Tequila

A man wearing a washed black t-shirt and jeans with holes, settled next to her. Dirty blond hair tied in a ponytail, he had muscular arms, and wide shoulders. She imagined him in a pirate shirt and smiled.

“I’m Sam,” he said, as he joined the Tequila queue.

Sandy didn’t remember laughing so much for a long time. He was a storyteller and charming, despite the dirt under his nails. Perhaps he was a labourer, but she no longer cared. The alcohol made her relax, forget her obsessions.


Sandy woke up in a big room, a loft, still in her clothes from the previous night. She rose and scanned her surroundings. An artist’s easel stood in one corner, the smell of coffee from a percolator filling her nostrils. Sipping the brew from a mug, Sam stood behind a canvas.

She peeked at the painting, a composition of surreal elements. Bold colours and lines. She perused his work, hanging on the walls, the question lingering on her mind.

“We didn’t, last night?”

“You could hardly walk and I didn’t know where you lived. So I brought you here and slept on the couch.”

“I’m sorry. Thank you. Very gallant of you. I suppose I’d better get going.”

“Can I see you, again?” he asked.

Sandy didn’t know what came over her, but said, “Here’s my number.”


Nights later, they met at the same bar, and began to see each other frequently. Spending the night at her place or his, they kept clothes at each other’s homes.

She’d given him a part of her wardrobe for his t-shirts, jeans, and underwear. One morning Sam flung open the wrong door and came upon a section where several men’s period shirts hung on padded hangers.

He took one out and asked. “Where on earth did you find these? I adore them.”

“I’m obsessed with them and sometimes wear them to bed.”

“May I try one?”

“Sure, but they won’t go with jeans.”

“Then, I’ll have to buy breeches, won’t I?” he chuckled. He slipped into one and they time-travelled into the world musketeers, pirates, and highlanders.

Short Bio

Sebnem E. Sanders is a native of Istanbul, Turkey. Currently she lives on the eastern shores of the Southern Aegean where she dreams and writes Flash Fiction and Flash Poesy, as well as longer works of fiction. Her flash stories have appeared in the Harper Collins Authonomy Blog, The Drabble, Sick Lit Magazine, Twisted Sister Lit Mag, Spelk Fiction, The Bosphorus Review of Books, Three Drops from the Cauldron, The Rye Whiskey Review, CarpeArte Journal, Yellow Mama Webzine, Punk Noir Magazine, and Flash Fiction Offensive, as well as two anthologies: Paws and Claws and One Million Project, Thriller Anthology. She has a completed manuscript, The Child of Heaven and two works in progress, The Child of Passion and The Lost Child. Her collection of short and flash fiction stories, Ripples on the Pond, was published in December 2017. More information can be found at her website where she publishes some of her work:

Ripples on the Pond

sebnam e sanders