Marthaâ€™s New Shoes, a short story by mikedeakin. Date added: 2007-07-06. Times viewed: 2711.
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- Intro: It was his own fault; he shouldnâ€™t have dumped Martha for that skinny slag Shelly in the first place...
- Martha hated her new shoes. They had been beautiful once, when the shoes were on the display stand in Clarke's earlier in the day; she had instantly fallen in love with them. The shoes were expensive, but perfect. 'Fire engine red' her friend Julie had described the colour, but Martha had disagreed, 'more like the colour of poppies'. Her mother critically commented that they looked like tarts' shoes, but Martha didn't care, her mother would have disapproved of anything she'd brought home. Although they couldn't agree on a description, the colour of the shoes matched the shade of the new red dress she'd bought for the party the weekend before. It seemed as though they could have been part of a set. Martha knew she was going to knock em dead.
Everyone had said how beautiful she'd looked in the dress and shoes, she had gloated all night, especially when she caught the way Steve had looked at her from across the dance floor. The look of longing and regret in his eyes were priceless. It was his own fault; he shouldn't have dumped Martha for that skinny slag Shelly in the first place. Shelly had caught him staring more than once and the last time she'd seen the pair of them, she was giving him a really hard time and giving Martha daggers.
It had been a triumphant night and now, as she was making her way home from the party, she despised her shoes. All thoughts of her ex had vanished and her mind was on the pain in her feet. The shoes had been nothing but trouble and they'd rubbed the skin off her toes and heels. She had at least another fifteen minutes to walk home; she was going to be in abject agony.
She'd toyed with the idea of taking them off, but she decided against it as you never knew what was lurking on the floor these days: vomit, spit, chewing gum, dog pee, or worse.
'I knew I should have booked a bloody taxi!' she scolded herself. But the weather had been superb for the last week with hot, windless days and it was still quite warm despite being nearly midnight, she had looked forward to the relatively short walk home in the late summer's night air, she purposefully hadn't had too much to drink so she knew it wouldn't take her long to walk home.
She stopped for a moment, dropped her handbag on the floor and leaned herself against a lamp-post, its orange sodium light making her skin look tanned and shiny. She levered off her left shoe and looked at her heel. Sure enough, squatting on her heel was a huge blister the size of a fifty pence piece. She rubbed it gingerly, careful not to burst it.
'Fuck it!' she muttered and pulled off the remaining shoe. Barefoot, she resumed her slow walk home. The night air was still and Martha soon began to happily sing to herself, in that low voice we use when we don't want others to hear or think that we're mad.
'I should have changed my stupid lock, I should have made you leave your key, If I had known for just one second, you'd be back to bother me...'
As she reached the end of the path, she stood and waited for a late night taxi to speed by before the road ahead was clear and safe enough to cross. She hurried by the garages below the high rise block of flats that Martha lived in.
'go on now go, walk out the door, just turn around now, 'cause you're not welcome anymore...'
She glanced up at the 3rd floor windows of her home, as she always did, and as always she could see Missy, her tabby cat, perched on the window sill looking out into the night, waiting for Martha to come back home.
As she walked by the crypt like opening of the dustbin sheds, she could feel the day's heat radiating back into the sky and she wrinkled her nose up at the stench of warmed garbage.
'weren't you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye, you think I'd crumble, you think I'd lay down and die...Oh no, not I...I will...'
Out of the shadow of the shed a gloved hand flew out and grabbed her by the neck. Martha didn't have time to scream as a second hand clamped across her mouth. Eyes bulging in fear, Martha allowed her handbag and new shoes to fall to the floor just outside the opening.
From the 3rd floor kitchen window of the tower block, Missy watched her owner as she was dragged into the shadows of the dustbin shed. Missy watched Martha's feet jerking and kicking as she struggled. Missy yawned when Martha's foot slowed to a twitch, then came to a complete rest at just the wrong angle. Missy watched with disinterest when a thick, sickly river of liquid ran down and out of the shed, stopping and pooling around the heels of Martha's new shoes, matching the colour to perfection.
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