Monday April 21st, 2014

The exercise:

Write something which has to do with: the shoe.

It is very, very windy outside right now. I'm finding it very distracting.


Grey snowflakes flutter to the ground as I stand, hands thrust deep into coat pockets, and study the scene before me. The crowd of onlookers has dispersed, though a few lookie-loos needed some extra encouragement from the boys to do so.

I've never understood those types. There must be something wrong with them, some wire left loose in their brains by the great designer in the sky. Why would anyone want to be here unless they absolutely had to be?

I sure as hell don't want to be standing here, but it's my job. So... I guess I should quit, huh?

Maybe tomorrow.

The fires have been extinguished, leaving the charred skeletons of the two cars in plain sight. I liked it better when there was still a bit of smoke in the air. Left some of the details to the imagination. Since I've never had a very good one, that's definitely a better option than reality in this case.

Ambulances have ferried the survivors to the hospital. I don't think they'll be staying long, unless someone decides to deliver them and their families a miracle. Can't see that happening. If that somebody wanted them alive so badly they would have kept them away from this intersection today.

I look up for the tenth or eleventh time since I got here. Grim fascination I guess. I can't seem to stop myself from imagining the flight, how it must have tumbled and twisted and turned as it soared through the air before landing in that tree branch. Bringing my gaze back to street level I watch the boys moving around the street and sidewalks, marking evidence and taking pictures.

I wonder which poor bastard will get sent up there to fetch that shoe.


Greg said...

But why is the wind distracting? Is it throwing shoes at your window to make you look up from your writing? :)
Your philosopher detective seems like a novel creation, and I like his world-weary response to idea of quitting: "maybe tomorrow". The scene is really well set (though as I've noted before you sometimes neglect smell when it comes to describing things and the smells here must be demanding!) and I found myself sympathising with the narrator and wanting to know what happens next. There's a sense that something's going to happen, possibly connected with that shoe, and I'm eager to find out what!

Glad you liked the clowns from yesterday's effort :)

The shoe
"Derek? Derek, are you in there? Why is the door locked?"
"Derek, I can hear you! It's not like you don't breathe heavily at the best of times, but your hayfever makes it ten times more audible. Derek!"
"Unless your desk can sneeze, Derek...."
"...fine. I'm in here, Mabel. Now can you leave me alone, please? I've got an important meeting this afternoon to prep for."
"No you haven't. Mr. Mortlake cancelled half-an-hour ago, just after you disappeared."
"Oh. Well, I've started this now and I'd like to get finished. In peace, please Mabel. I'll be another half-hour."
"Of course, Derek. I have three of your letters to type still, and those calligraphy classes simply haven't improved your handwriting. I do appreciate that you now write them on vellum though, it's lovely and soft. But I also wanted to ask you if you've seen my shoe? One of them is missing."
"You had better be having an asthma attack, Derek, because if I come in there and find my shoe... defiled..."

Anonymous said...

If the shoe fits…
That’s what she always used to say to me. As if she could do nothing wrong. No matter what I would do, if it didn’t meet her approval, she’d mutter some ugly word under her breath (usually one starting with b or c) and I was forced to ask her what she said—or tell her to stop—in which she would always say if the shoe fits…
I wanted to rip her ponytail out of her head and stomp it under the stupid shoes she seemed so keen to talk about. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs that she wasn’t so fucking immaculate as to be free from the same phrase.
So, against my better judgment, instead of taking the high road like I knew I should have, when her boyfriend actually started calling her those names under his breath as she jealously tried to keep her claws in his skin, keeping him away from his friends of the female persuasion, whenever she tried to cry her sorrows to me I would simply turn my head and mumble in her ear if the shoe fits…
And when that drove her over the edge, when she couldn’t put her shoes on their proper feet because she didn’t want to hear those words that she’d taunted me with for all of our friendship, when she finally decided the only way out was to take a handful of pills and sleep away into oblivion, when the time came to visit her new and forever satin bed, I noticed her toes didn’t fully reach the peep toe of her black heels. Instead, only slivers of nails could be seen.
That’s when I realized that the shoe didn’t fit her, just like it didn’t fit me. The shoe never fits anyone.

Marc said...

Greg - nah, just noisy. Plus I am easily distracted.

Ah, smell. Why do I always forget that?

Derek and Mabel are quite the pair. The ending is suitably... potentially horrific :)

Ivybennet - very evocative piece from you. It's difficult not to feel at least a little down after reading it, which I suspect is at least part of the point.

Regardless, it's very well crafted and manages to drive the point home without being excessive.