The Boulevard of Empty Shoes (a flash fiction story)
Inspiration for this Story
Last year there was a forum post by Christy Kirwan advising of an outside short fiction competition/social experiment based on a photo prompt. The only guidelines were that the story be based on the photo provided and under 100 words in length. Unfortunately I can't find the link to that particular forum and can't use the original photograph. It was a picture of a lone figure standing at the entrance to a street filled entirely of shoes.
This is the story I submitted but expanded to around 350 words. I hope you enjoy "The Boulevard of Empty Shoes".
The Boulevard of Empty Shoes
I woke up with a start. Not knowing what aroused me I stared at the alarm clock. It was 7.00 am; time for me to get up for work, but the alarm hadn't gone off. I showered, dressed, downed a quick cup of instant coffee, slipped on my shoes, and walked out the door.
I only lived three blocks from my office building so rarely drove; besides walking was healthier and you could enjoy the sights. Today, though, something seemed a little odd. Normally at this time of day, there were scores of people commuting to work, driving, cycling, and walking. But today... the streets were deserted. No cars, buses, nothing. What the f… was going on?
I turned the corner into Birkenstock Boulevard and was momentarily stopped in my tracks. The street was literally covered in shoes and boots. It was as though there had been a sudden storm that had rained down foot-ware. But there wasn’t a soul in sight.
Where were the people the shoes belonged to?
I bent down and picked up a few shoes. They were all types and sizes, from size 12 steel capped work boots down to tiny baby booties, and everything in between. I am no detective, but even if my name was Sherlock Holmes or Charlie Chan was I doubt I would be able to solve this mystery.
Tentatively I made my way along the boulevard of empty shoes and turned into Agapanthus Avenue. I stared aghast! There were a few parked vehicles in the distance, but not a sign of life, human life at least, on the busy street … just flowers, thousands of flowers.
The alarm woke me. 7.00 am, right on schedule. I pushed the snooze button and rubbed my eyes. Wow! That had been one hell of a dream.
After laying there semi-awake for another 10 minutes, I showered, dressed, downed a quick cup of instant coffee…and went to slip my shoes on … but they weren’t there. I couldn’t find them anywhere. In fact, all my shoes were missing.
Looking out the window didn't ease my discomfort. My flower garden was also empty.
© 2016 John Hansen
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