Short Story Sunday: Thirteen Wedding Dresses, Douglas Bruton

And Nothing Remains Cover

It’s unusual that a short story is so moving that I finish it and immediately give it a second read. Douglas Bruton’s “Thirteen Wedding Dresses” is, happily, one of those rare finds.

This compact tale of loss details the impact of a missing suitcase on several lives. Where this piece excels is in its universal appeal: there is not one of us who hasn’t felt one of the carefully illustrated emotions here. Its hauntingly-rendered prose will make it difficult for the reader to forget that sometimes something lost can lead to something found.

“Thirteen Wedding Dresses” is one of a dozen in The Fiction Desk’s 12th anthology And Nothing Remains. You can get a copy here:

About kristipetersenschoonover

A ghost story writer who still sleeps with the lights on, Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies; her traditionally published books include a short story collection, THE SHADOWS BEHIND. She was the recipient of three Norman Mailer Writers Colony Residencies and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She serves as co-host of the DARK DISCUSSIONS podcast, as founding editor of the dark literary journal 34 ORCHARD, and is a member of both the New England Horror Writers and the Horror Writers Association. Follow her adventures at

Posted on November 11, 2018, in Short Stories and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. That’s high praise! The cover is incredible, too. I’d reach for the book if I saw it on a shelf.

  2. Dear Kristi – thank you for your kind words regarding my story. I am so glad that it touched you in this way. This is a good collection and I am so pleased to be a part of it.

    • I’m so glad that you found my post and know how much this story affected me. My dad always used to say, “if you reach one person, you did your job [as an artist].” Many writers don’t get the opportunity to hear that we affected someone in such a powerful way, and I’m glad you got to hear that it profoundly affected me. It’s an amazing piece, and I’ll never forget it (and, don’t worry, I’ll always keep a copy).

  3. Hi Kristi – thought you might be interested to know I have a new book out. It’s called ‘Blue Postcards’ – a wee novella. Has had some good reviews so I thought I would let you know. x

    • That is AWESOME news! Thank you so much for letting me know so I can add it to my list of things to read. Also, did you know I have a literary journal now? Perhaps there’s something down the road you’d like to submit.

      • Just read some of the work in ’34 Orchard’ – some great stuff. I will try to sub something in the next window. Do you set a theme each time?

      • Oh, wow, thank you! No, I don’t — I let a theme sort of “emerge” as work is purchased, but I don’t really KEY what I’m looking for to that, interestingly enough–it’s like the universe just seems to “send” me the right stuff. HOWEVER…my Spring of 2022 intro is shaping up to be “The things we refuse to see” and Fall of 2022 is “The secrets we keep.” I write the premise for my intro months in advance.

        That would be AMAZING to get a story from you! If you have any more questions, just shoot me an email at I’m the only one in that inbox unless it’s January or July.

    • “Thirteen Wedding Dresses” is JUST the sort of feel we look for at 34 ORCHARD, so please do check out our guidelines!

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