The Manky Shirt

Published 08/05/2021 in Issue 13, The Uncanny, Haus-a-rest

The Uncanny: the theme for issue 13 of Haus-a-rest inspired me to write my prose The Manky Shirt for inclusion in their online publication. The Manky Shirt is about that uncomfortable feeling we all get when encountering abandoned clothing found on the pavement or in parks.

The Manky Shirt

Prose by Lucy Lilley

A hand me down

A forget me not

A throw away piece

Laying down there

Like a murder victim.

The creepiest piece of rubbish I ever did see.

What fleshy boned creature did once fill your fibres?

A passionate fling

In a moment of abandonment

You black jersey deformed rag 

Oh once were you a gloriously oversized sweaty sweatshirt

Now thrown off your fleshy recipient as they hurl themselves onto their lover inside a Skoda or a Rover or anything metal with wheels

You manky shirt, sentenced to death

They then mindlessly reversed over you with their 



sludgy wheels of neglect

Oh you were never loved

You were just worn to keep one warm

And now you’re flacid and splayed out on the sidewalk

Soaking up the drain water

Looked upon with disdain

You creepy 


Shirt I ever did see

The further I walked, moments before you could become a black hole that would suck some other suckers mind into a dark and lonely place, I had thought about saving you, gagging a little as I´d picked you up with a hand encased in a placky bag from Aldi. 

You’d look like a turd knotted up and taken home in a responsible fashion.

I´d sling you in the washing machine and you’d come out resurrected and redefined as 

The most beautiful and stylish shirt you ever did see

Noone would know but me. 

I’d lie and say i’d bought you, erase your sad beginnings or maybe even better I’d be a hero, 

I´d be the only one who could love you like you had never been before

But I couldn´t, I just couldn´t!

What if you were a cloth from a murderous fool or evidence of a most hideous crime and your insidious web would entrap me and I’d become possessed? 

The police would come knocking and my DNA would have already mutated into yours and that of the real criminal owner and I´d weep away my days in a cell and mutter over and over to myself..

“Damn you,, you manky piece of shit i ever did see, i wish i had never tried to save you.

You’ve destroyed my life!”

Abruptly interrupted in my moment of madness, I hear my sister call..

“Hey, slow down! Have you seen my jumper? It was tied around my waist whilst running and I can’t find it anywhere.”

Written by: Lucy Lilley

Copyright. © 2021 Lucy Jane Lilley

Thanks to the Haus Team for including me in this strange and eerie issue! Morrrrhahahaha.

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Twitter: @Haus_a_rest

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