Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Theme Thursday: Shoes

Why did I take this turn?

My wife's words mull through my thick head, even as she sits there cringing with each shudder of the failing transmission. The exit, a dark hole in the side of the road beckons, the car sighing its last breath. Drifting deep into the walls of scrub surrounding the asphalt, all moonlight drains the world to black. Our dim lights flicker, then dash it to utterly.

The sharp skritch of gravel under woven leather shoes, polished to a shine even in the shadows, causes me to spin from my laborious rocking coercion of the behemoth up the incline, watching his olive suit emerge from the morass.

Get in your car, you will die out here. This is not your place. Guide the car into the streetlight at the top. Lock your doors, call for help and don't open them until it gets here.

The seriousness in his eyes, evaporates the questions on my lips, finding the secure thump of the car door to their liking. With ease, he propels us through the curtain of night, coming to rest in an island of soft light, under the stained wooded pole riddled with stapled fliers. Not so much as a goodbye, his steps retreat hollow back into the gloom, alone.

We will be there soon. Just lock your doors.

Reassurance that help is on its way drains from our weary breasts when the shadows begin to move. Pink bunny slippers, now ratted, their fur mottled with greasy grey splotches peek into the light, followed by leg bones draped in skin. Shuffling slowly, her gaunt skins powdery complexion is broken only by listless eyes and glistening tracks of tears to match the ones on her arms.

No sound escapes the baby held loosely, pressed against her distended belly by skeletal fingers, as her other hand extends to knock on the window before me. Knock. Knock. Knock. No words, just knocking. A signal it seems for her coven to follow her out of their rest, they rise from the refuse littering the lot of the condemned gas station. Frantic fingers find the ignition, torquing the key to click, click, click, a crickets chirp in the lonely night.

Yellow flashing lights, barely precede the arrival of the speeding tow truck swinging in beside us, a silent screech issuing from our assailants, as they fade out of existence. The hard clump of workman's boots ratchets like a shotgun, pursuing them to the recesses.

Get in the truck. We will be out of here soon. I will get you hooked up.

Our hearts thud in harmony, beating a rhythm into the spring loaded seats as we wait. They say you can tell a lot about a person by the shoes that they wear. We may never walk a mile in their shoes, but maybe there is some understanding to be gained from the steps taken in them, to carry them to this point in time.

40 comments:

Fer*Cambe said...

Fantastic! Really a joy to read!

Pastor Sharon said...

Suspenseful! Good Read.

GypsyFox said...

Great read!

Tom said...

Yeah...scary stuff

Jaime said...

great post. i've always been afraid of getting stranded on the side of the road in the middle of the night...

subtorp77 said...

And to think this almost happened to me( out in the wastelands of the Texas panhandle ). This kinda has a noirish feel to it. Well done, Brian!

otin said...

I thought that the story was great! I was waiting for some zombie flesh eating! I was afraid for the people, very suspenseful! We need to just start "Theme Whenever you want" HaHa!

willow said...

Oh, was that your window I was knocking on? I always go for my nightly walk in my pink slippers.

only a movie said...

Wow, that's well told. Really great writing.

I had a scary breakdown like that years ago, and just thought the other day it would be good blog fodder.

Betsy said...

Ack! Leg bones draped in skin...that's my favorite line.

Nancy said...

But what about the baby, held loosely and without making a sound??????

Great writing!

Ronda Laveen said...

Very suspenseful, maestro B. Nice touch with the ratty, pink bunny slippers.

tony said...

Shoes To The Rescue!
Someone told Me once you could tell a persons Politics by his/her footwear! Looking down now, I must be an Anarchist!
Great Writing Brian.

jake (to the) holla said...

so vivid..... i could picture every moment perfectly

Alan Burnett said...

Deliciously creepy. Thanks.

Candie Bracci said...

Once again I'll say:You're a fantastic writer!

Lorraine said...

It is. always. remarkable. lol

J A Harnett-Hargrove said...

Sometimes you don't know if YOU are in trouble or if THEY are in trouble. -Jayne

Poetikat said...

For me, absolutely your best (so far). I loved the "skritch" of the shoes on the gravel. You should think about screenwriting, Brian.

Kat

mouse (aka kimy) said...

was at the edge of my seat. another great take on theme thursday!

Jill said...

Brian...I had such anxiety about this poor woman...silent baby, tears streaks...so sad...

Brian Miller said...

thanks for all the comments everyone. will catch up on them in a bit...leaving for florida in the morning...logan graduating from junior park ranger camp this morning...excuses, i know...will be back...

will leave you with this though. true story. probably the most scared time in T and I's life. Watching I am Legend...yeah, brought back the nightmares. I have faced a lot but really thought I was in a zombie movie...

Daniel said...

O.K. this entry was pretty creepy. The kind of moment that gets locked in your mind and won't go away, no matter how hard you try to get it out of you. I think, perhaps, the best thing to do is to stay inside your house with doors and windows locked, loyal dog by your side, and loaded shotgun in your lap (with the safety off of course).

VE said...

Nice story. I would have ended up walking...the wrong way.

Valerie said...

Ooooer. That was scary.

The Silver Fox said...

Ooh. "Get in the car, lock the doors, put your head between your knees and kiss your butt good-bye" would have been my feeling!

Kate Hanley said...

Great read. I also like your poem 5 Hours. Getting strength from a bookstore - brilliant.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

This is amazing, Brian. I love your flash fiction. Would you think of turning this into a longer story? There's so much potential here.

Holly said...

Fabulous reading...vivid writing...you really should write for a living

Cinnamon said...

Good grief, you have surpassed yourself here- what a great piece of writing.

have a great time in Florida.

California Girl said...

For a moment there I thought you were goners!

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

That was absolutely amazing. :)

Travel & Dive Girl said...

Very vivid - great writing Brian. Thanks again for entertaining me. :)

JeffScape said...

Excellent imagery, as usual. And extra points for using "skritch."

Mrsupole said...

Very scarey, brings back memories of when the girls were little and we were stuck on the freeway during the daylight time. A car with 4 men pulled up behind us and they looked scarey. At first I thought they were going to try to help, but somehow sensed that was not the case. They started to get out, I rolled up the windows and just as they were about to approach my car a CHP car pulled up behind them. They ran to their cars so fast and got in to take off, screeching away, so I knew they were up to no good. I think they thought I was alone cause the girls could not be seen. Thank goodness the CHP called for the tow truck. Cell phones were not invented back then, so we were very lucky.

But I think your zombie experience is so much scarier. I think I would have been screaming or calling 911 and screaming into the phone, no coherency what so ever.

But can you imagine the poor people who have to live like that and have no feeling of safety out there. I wonder if our long ago ancestors felt this way when they had to travel back then.

God bless.

Baino said...

Where did this come from? Did you experience it? Very vivid and a great take on shoes.

books,coffee,etc.... said...

Hi! Brian,
Subby77, said, the magic word(s) a noirish feel to it...I agree, but the story also have a "mysterious" feel to it, but then again "mystery"
and "noir" go hand in hand.

"We may never walk a mile in their shoes, but maybe there is some understanding to be gained from the steps taken in them, to carry them to this point in time."

...Great! point...about not "walking" in other shoes, but at least trying to understand
why a person do the things that they do?!?...I'am deciphering again!

Thanks, for sharing!
DeeDee ;-D

Btw, Great comment!
Mrsupole!

lettuce said...

scarey!

and totally unexpected for this theme, excellent!

...mmm... said...

very good point. Like.

R.J. Edwards said...

Awesome! Loved it.