Strange Summer Mysteries, published by Whortleberry Press. Featuring "Clothes Make the Man," short fiction by Jenni Wiltz.

Clothes Make the Man

Short fiction

A black sand beach. A midnight wedding. What could go wrong?


Strange Summer Mysteries, published by Whortleberry Press. Featuring "Clothes Make the Man," short fiction by Jenni Wiltz.The black sand cast its dark sparkle skyward, glimmering like crushed obsidian in the moonlight.  Lacy caps of ocean foam dotted midnight-colored swells as they tumbled ashore.  Even the steadfast palms shone in shades of gray, their colors muted by the deep wash of night.  Hearts as black as ours, he’d said, can only find solace in surroundings as dark as the things we’ve done.

They sat beneath the arching fronds, watching droplets of spray flare against the sky.  Down the beach, a handful of wedding guests lingered, lifting flutes of Veuve Clicquot or tossing shoes in order to tunnel their toes in the sand.  Just friends, of course, no bridesmaids or groomsmen—they were past the age where the trappings of giddy youth could bring them pleasure.

“Look at them,” he said.  “Do you think they know?”

She lifted one shoulder, rustling her black silk ruffles.  “Does it matter?”

He reached for her left hand and held it up.  The black diamond did not sparkle.  It absorbed light but lacked the capability to reflect it.  “This is us,” he said.  “This is who we are.”

See the Anthology

Appeared in: Strange Summer Mysteries
Published in: 2012