Today I thought I would grace you with some of my own words. I wrote this short story based off of a prompt I found on Twitter. The prompt was simply Shiny, Black Shoes and it was all I needed to get the juices flowing.
It’s a short story, bordering on flash fiction and I hope you enjoy it.
The Shiny Black Shoes
The shiny, black shoes had been tossed into the far corner of the closet. Possibly to never again see the light of day. The intentions of fourteen-year-old girls can be hard to interpret.
The shoes have no feelings about their location. They are shoes and as such not sentient beings. But the mother, well, she has rather significant feelings about those shoes and their closet imprisonment.
See mothers tend to have rather strong opinions about the appearance of their children and this mother was no exception. When snooping through her daughter’s closet shortly after their purchase, she happened to come across them. With a huff, those shiny, black shoes made their way to the nice shoe rack in the girl’s bedroom.
The shoes had gone up in the world, if only for a short while.
For once the girl came home and found those shoes on the rack they immediately made their way to the back of the closet. This time not as gently as the first. Though there was a small scuff mark on the right shoe’s toe from colliding with the wall, it didn’t matter to the shoes. They don’t have feelings.
In the dark the shoes lay haphazardly amongst all of the other detritus that young women tend to gather in the back of the closet. The pants that no longer fit, the shirt that went out of style, the ugly dress that grandma had purchased. The shoes fit right in and stood out only because they were the latest to be cast to that far corner, and lay on top of the other items.
The next time the mother pulled the shoes out she handled them a bit differently, smacking them down on the shoe rack. It caused it to rattle and the other shoes, the more loved shoes, nearly cascaded to the floor.
If the shoes could have mediated the argument that night they would have. But they had no mouth to let the mother and daughter know that they didn’t care if they were worn. That it made no difference if they were on this particular girl’s feet or someone else entirely.
None of it mattered to the shoes, because really, they have no minds. They can’t be offended over whether someone wears them or takes care of them or not.
But the mother and daughter continued their argument about how to treat things properly and the shoes did nothing but sit there, on the rack, surrounded by all the run down sneakers.
The very next day the shoes found their way into the garbage. Not by choice, of course, shoes are not in the habit of making these kinds of decisions. But the girl was done with them.
Soon a soy sauce stain on the back of the left shoe was added to the scuff mark on the toe of the right shoe. And they became rather smelly. It was a good thing they lacked olfactory systems, otherwise they may have been quite upset at the situation.
However, mothers have very delicate olfactory systems, and this mother was not happy with the odour that was being emitted from the shoes when she fished them out of the trash.
The shoes were tossed on the table, in a heap, now looking rather worse for wear though they’d never been worn. That was okay, though, shoes aren’t vain creatures.
This time the fight was much louder and more involved. The shoes once again did not mediate, nor did they take sides. That’s not what they do. The mother left after angry words were said. She slammed the door hard and once again the shoes were shoved into the dark, stinky dungeon under the sink.
This should have been the end of the story for the shiny, black shoes, which were now reduced to scuffed, stained, smelly shoes, but it was not. The girl, her eyes leaking fluid, helped the shoes escape their end.
It was possible the shoes would have comforted the girl if they understood what was happening. But they are shoes, and they don’t understand what leaking eyes mean. They didn’t even realize that the mother didn’t return home after the argument. It didn’t matter to them that the mother would not be back. They remained unaffected by the tragedies of the girl’slife.
As the girl sniffled and leaked more water she scrubbed the shoes. Soon the scuff was but a small scar hidden under polish, and a good scrubbing with soap got rid of the stain. When the girl was satisfied that the shoes were shiny and black again she slipped them on.
They fit perfectly. She’d never had dress shoes so comfortable. These had clearly been expensive shoes. With another sniffle, she slipped a little black dress on as well.
For the first time the shoes were allowed to leave the house. They would likely have been excited were they able to feel excitement, but instead they sat on the floor of the shiny, black car on the feet of the girl.
When they reached their destination they found many other shiny, black shoes in all shapes and sizes. It was a reunion of sorts and if shoes cared about other shoes they surely would have been happy.
But shoes don’t care about other shoes. Nor do they care about the people who wear them or throw them out. No, the feelings of shoes are often projected upon them by the people who have purchased them, much like the feelings of dresses, cars and homes.
If the shoes were sentient beings they likely would have realized that they weren’t worth the shiny, black coffin that the girl stood beside. They would have insisted there were more important things for humans to be arguing about.
But shoes aren’t sentient beings. They are just shoes. Even if they are expensive and shiny and black.
Thanks for taking the time to read, I hope that you enjoyed it.
The Beguiled Bibliophile