Nonna Can’t Stand The Sight of a Sewing Machine

by , under Fiction Prompts, Friday Fictioneers


Sewing shirtwaists nine hours a day, Monday through Saturday for seven dollars a week. There was more than five hundred of us on the ninth floor. Bosses told us we was lucky to have jobs at all, bunch of dumb Dagoes who couldn’t speak no English, and women to boot.

That Saturday afternoon, one of the foremen was careless with his cigarette. The doors was barred to keep us from slipping out for breaks, so there was no getting out except through the windows.

The bodies fluttered down. People said they sounded like wet towels when they hit the sidewalk.


Friday Fictioneers


In 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in lower Manhattan caught fire and killed 146 immigrant workers. Click the picture for the story of this gruesome tragedy.






  1. paulmclem

    Often shy away from historical pieces because I tend to struggle to make them sound like a story, and not simply a report of facts dressed as a story. However, you’ve done a decent job here.

  2. michael1148humphris

    You took me in, as I thought it was a story. In truth it was a reminder of a sad event. Well told

    • J Hardy Carroll

      It is a story, but it’s historical. I tried to give the narrator a voice and to impart the longstanding damage that enduring such a horror might impart. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. aliciajamtaas

    I remember reading about the Triangle Shirtwaist fire several years ago. The terror those women must have felt. You used the perfect voice to tell this tale.


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