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Bone White

Patrick Sullivan is a published short story author living in Austin, Texas. A screenwriter who has been a finalist in The Austin Film Festival and Final Draft competitions, semi-finalist in many more. An abuser of software. A martial artist. A secret history enthusiast. A fanboy who has met Harlan Ellison several times and has not been yelled at once.
Amy finds a white suit in a jumble shop for her husband, Sam, principal of the local elementary.
Xing Liu, regent of Zhou, bored with all that his wealth and domain afforded him, demanded each member of his court bring him something never before seen or face the axe. The royal tailor watched thirty-four heads fall until he was called.
In terror, he pleaded for one year of clemency to create a garment of unearthly beauty. The tailor racked his brain in despair until a chance encounter with a traveling herbalist in the mountains provided inspiration.
Amy brushes the rust that is not rust from the sleeve. It shines, immaculate.
Stricken and gaunt, the tailor laid out the robe, pure white as porcelain, with palsied hands. Xing laughed, rulers do not wear white. Laughed until he learned the tailor had skinned a ghost, a shrieking woman with white hair. Once donned, Xing refused to remove it though his own hair turned white. When children in Zhou went missing, his hair turned black again and the robe turned a magnificent red.
When Qin Shi Huang united the Warring States, his army discovered how Xing had stayed youthful in his ninety-year regency. Xing lost his head. His name and the two thousand exsanguinated corpses buried beneath his private estate were erased from history.
Sam's going to the Halloween party at the school as Colonel Sanders. His hair is perfect. The kids love Sam and he is very good with kids.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, January 18th, 2018




- Patrick Sullivan

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