Shoe Clues #shortfiction

Here’s a little piece I’ve written for Esther’s comp, here. Do give it a go…

I didn’t know what had happened. Not at first. And then I knew. It was the shoes, smart, highly polished brown brogues that gave it away.

‘Like them?’ The stranger lifted his left leg in front of my face. ‘Hand made, Italian.’

I could smell the leather.

The foot disappeared, replaced by a face. ‘They could have been yours, if you’d made an effort.’

The face was shiny, smooth and featureless. It took a moment to realise that the stranger had no mouth. How did he…?

‘I don’t need to,’ he said, reading my mind. ‘You know without words.’

I did.

The face disappeared to be replaced by two, then four, then eight. I lost count as a dizzying explosions of mouth-less faces filled my vision. Then, one by one they popped like so many balloons. As each face burst, a pair of highly polished shoes dropped slowly, each pair held together by the laces which were tied to a rainbow parachute.

As the shoes landed they began to walk, left, then right then in circles. And with each step the voice repeated my name, each syllable rolled off the non existent tongue. ‘How many?’ Asked the voice as the shoes all stopped and shuffled together, one pair merging into the next until there was only one pair.


I knew the face was cross. The shoes made that clear. They tapped. I’d seen the tap. It was a not-happy tap. Did he mean pairs or shoes?


The shoes untapped and a smile appeared where the face had been. It curved like a crescent moon and split, wider and wider.

‘Come on,’ said the moon. The split grew, darker, cooler, welcoming. It knew I couldn’t move as it took my eyelids and lifted them…

‘Mr Johnstone? You back with us?’

A gentle finger released my eyelid and moved the sharp light away.

‘How do you feel?’

The face had grown eyes and eyebrows and a mouth. The eyes peered at me. Behind the face, other faces loomed.

‘We’ll leave you to rest and speak soon. You’ll be pleased to know the vaccine looks like it worked, though we’ll want to talk about the side affects.’

The body that supported the face turned away and it and the other faces began to leave. A pair of highly polished brown brogues squeaked across the floor. Just before the last face left, I’m sure the shoes turned to look at me, just to make sure I understood they were still watching.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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6 Responses to Shoe Clues #shortfiction

  1. What an imagination! I love the reference to the rainbow parachutes. Let’s hope a vaccine is found soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      Would be nice if we did something right for once..

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree. Everything done so far seems either too late, too early, or doesn’t make much sense. Still waiting for that App, although I think there’s a better chance of seeing ‘The Truth App’ appear on our phones and tablets than the one we were promised for June 1st.
        Keep staying safe, Geoff.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fantastic story, Geoff. Your imagination knows no bounds.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

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