Needle Case

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Object No. 9 of 50 — Significant Objects v3

[The auction for this object, with story by Duane Swierczynski, has ended. Original price: $1.00. Final price: $16.50. Significant Objects will donate the proceeds of this auction to Girls Write Now. ]

Hi there.

Don’t be afraid. I’m not going to hurt you.

I understand your trepidation. It’s not everyday a torn suit hanging on a rack starts talking to you.


Yes, I really am a suit, and I am indeed talking to you.

Come over here a minute.

See the pack of superfine needles over there? Right there, on the table? Pick them up, please. I need your help.

Argh… This is what I’m reduced to. Talking to myself, imaging that someone is actually listening.


Let me start again. My name is Ralph Rainey, and I’m a size 34 regular black Don Imprecio suit.

I wasn’t always a suit. I was born a man, a man named Ralph Rainey…

Ahhhhh fuggit.


Me again. It’s funny; this feels like good old-fashioned writer’s block — which I’ve had plenty of in my day, believe me. You can’t crank out endless reams of lurid pulp tales without hitting a mental ROAD CLOSED sign now and again.

But this is different, especially in that I’m not typing these words on my trusty Underwood. I’m composing these hideous sentences on an imaginary typewriter in an imaginary room in my mind. (The mind that is currently housed in the aforementioned suit.) I’m painfully aware that, at any moment, I can leave this imagined room and be right back in my tortured reality: the reality that is me, hanging on a wooden rack in the middle of a men’s consignment shop in Sherman Oaks, California.

It was a good suit, once.

Got married in this suit.

Nobody will buy me now, though, because one of my sleeves is ripped at the shoulder. And the owner of the shop doesn’t seem to want to bother with mending me anytime soon.

So if you are reading this, please do me the favor of taking one of those needles there, and some black thread, and fixing this awful gash in my shoulder?

And then we can get down to business.


You’re hesitating.

You think I’m imaginary, that I’m making this up.

Well — to me, you’re just as imaginary. So we’re even.

The needles.

Right over there.

On the table.


Duane Swierczynski is the author of several crime thrillers, including the upcoming Expiration Date (St. Martin's). He writes for Marvel Comics and lives with his family in Philadelphia.

One thought on “Needle Case

  1. FWIW, this is Significant Objects’ 300th post (and 159th story). A milestone!

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