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If you participated would you like to post your Flash Fiction here? For more info check out the link to Christy's blog on it...
Creative Writing Study
MODERATOR'S NOTE: The Positive Psychology Center has requested that Hubbers take the survey before reading this thread. Writers must go into the survey without any preconceived ideas in order for the data to be useful. Thank you!
The world has walked out on me. I’m bruised, battered and humiliated from the shoe lashing. To an outsider, this may seem odd. To me, it just seems unfair. I tried my best and let everyone down, sure. But I had no ill intent. The Olympics had ended so abruptly. My loss was so overwhelming inside, yet I had no idea that it would bring so much shame to my colony, so much pain.
Alas, here I stand, bruised and battered. Any respect I once had dissipated just a little with every shoe that was hurled toward me. Dress me up, as the tradition goes. Soon the sun will drop and I’ll be allowed to leave. But where would I even go? The colony has been my home for the past decade. Maybe it’s best to call it a day and make my way back out into the real world?
Gifts from Strangers
The donors meant well. Martin knew that. But when the people of his war-torn city had seen the airplanes high in the sky, like sleek silver angels bearing gifts, they expected food for empty bellies. Clean water to soothe grief-ravaged throats. Bandages for wounds. Blankets to wrap around cold, tired bodies.
Then the gifts from the peaceful and prosperous foreigners tumbled from the planes, falling from the sky like black rain. In the city below, pale faces peeked through bombed-out windows, expressions changing from joy to bewilderment as the nature of the bounty became clear: Shoes. The kind, wealthy strangers had sent them shoes.
Martin walked slowly down the street covered with drifts of footwear and thought about the flaw in human nature that drove people to give the gifts they wanted to get, instead of the things someone else needed.
This is so profound and beautiful! Thank you for such a creative story!
I enjoyed it as much as a full length novel. It gave me more inspiration about sculpting words.
Perhaps the plane was being hi-jacked and the hijacker said, "Take off your shoes and throw them out the windows." That way, when they landed, nobody would run away.
So many awesome writers here! It's wonderful to be a part of this community.
Alone in the fight
As I walked down the cold, lonely road, I listened carefully for any sign of life. Dead silence. There were no birds singing, no children playing, no cars driving to their destination of choice. I longed to hear these things again, but in my heart, I knew the days to come would be filled with mourning and solitude.
I, alone, had survived the storm and I, alone, would fight for the answers. How had this atrocity occurred? What could I have done to prevent it? The road I had chosen was not an easy path. In the days to come, it would be littered with more than just empty shoes.
The cold wind whistled through the abandoned buildings where others had once lived and loved. Reminded of my own home, now devoid of life, I pulled my collar up for warmth and dug my hands deep in my pockets.
Inner thinker 90% inner healer 70% inner giver 100%
The Yellow Stars of Heaven
When he received this assignment, the Central Office of Tortured Souls did not give him the necessary paperwork. He was told to let his senses direct the motivation of his emotions- that he would know what to do. Once the fog lifted, he was struck with the detritus of humanity laid out before him in this gray, abandoned city. When he picked up a random, red high heeled pump, he heard a woman's voice say, "Moshe, darling, we are late for the opera. Don't forget your wool overcoat." Suddenly, he was that loved husband once again who was adored by his young, spirited wife. He then stumbled upon a child's black Mary Jane. She whispered in his ear, "I want to marry a man just like you someday, daddy." The force of her words knocked him breathless to the ground. He looked up at nothing and cried out, "Why?" Now it was time to collect the souls left behind and take them home. Berlin, Germany, in the year of Our Lord, 1945.
So interesting! I was instantly reminded of the Holocaust also when I saw the pile of shoes! Great job!
Genocide: the name of the unknown enemy
I was Genocide, and every one had a day when their shoes were left behind for me. Some made me their friend, others returned to a place far away to be the accounted and the lost. Only one man came to view the remains of those who were taken away. All that was left are the garments once worn upon the feet the departed. When the empty buildings stood, and the shoes filled the roads, only I existed. The awareness of what I am may never be known. Generations will never understand why, how, or when all of this occurred. The battle between Good and Bad, has just begun. Yet I am seldomly known or accepted. No one can fathium the terms that Genocide demands. Only one man is just now thinking what it is that I am. It would only take this one man to change the world. A world without Genocide.
Inner Thinker: 87% Inner Healer: 67% Inner Giver: 80%
The Meaning of LIfe -- Is There One?
I stood their, contemplating the shoes of all those people whose lives had been sacrificed in the home invasions that had taken place over just a few days -- shoes that attested to different personalities and different lives. Taking in all the lost lives, many of whom had been young people with bright futures, was overwhelming and weighed heavily on my mind. What could have possibly provoked such attacks on ordinary people chosen at random?
Obviously it was the ultimate in terrorism, but how could anyone with a conscience or who valued life at all do such a thing? Who could hate so much that they would even think up such a horrible way to terrorize people who had never harmed them? And in the name of their God no less. Events like this always made me wonder what life is all about and whether or not it really has any meaning.
Bare your soul or be amidst footwear
As I sat in my chair at home, I heard a huge commotion outside. From whatever I could make out, it was apparent that all those seeking nirvana were now being given a chance to get zapped into heaven. I love heaven but my hate for huge crowds is greater. I waited and watched from the window as each and every one on the street changed into a flash of lightning and moved skywards. Funnily though, each one's footwear was left behind on the road. The huge crowd was soon reduced to a mass of footwear when I decided to go and get zapped. I looked up and could feel a tinge through my body. But I wasn't zapped! Something within told me that I had to leave behind my new leather shoes to get zapped. I wasn't ready for that. Heaven is no fun barefoot! I ended up as the only person on the street not realising that its only when I bare my sole that I get to see heaven.
Shoes. Surrounded by shoes. One moment, he's assaulted by the sound of heels tapping, scuffing, jogging down the pavement. The next, he's shrouded in silence. The jostling arms are gone, the silence pressing and scratchy, like a wool blanket. And everywhere he looks, shoes. Jumbled, tangled, dropped as if they tried to take a few steps without their owners.
He turns, surveying. The only one left behind, the only pair of shoes still filled.
He breathes through the panic in his chest. Is it Armeggedon? He's been left behind.
He looks up, the sky gray, tinting the world with gray. Why is he the only one left behind, surely, surely there's someone...
His eyes fall to something at his stocking feet. He blinks. Stocking feet? The uneasy question comes, as a thin, sparkling sunbeam winks into existence in the colorless sky. Did everyone else cease to exist, or did he?
**Unaltered, except for adding linebreaks.
Here is mine. When I looked at the picture I could not find a pair of matching shoes...only singles. And I noticed that the man was nicely dressed. So I assumed the shoe graveyard was intentional and spun it as a staged protest. My writing style needs a lot of work and I went over on the number of words, but it was a fun exercise. I'm glad I did it. Great stories everyone!
A Walk in Their Shoes
As I stood in the middle of the abandoned neighborhood, it was
apparent that much of the local constituency had empathized
with the evicted residents. "Am I doing the right thing? It
doesn't matter now...does it?" I began to question myself. I
thought razing the neighborhood would be a great thing for the
city. Surely everyone would appreciate the new development and
I would make a bigger name for myself. I have to admit I was
surprised at the protests. I expected it from the affected,
but what of these empathizers? They asked me where I expected
these people to go. My response was simply "I don't know, and
I don't care."
I could not imagine that anyone would care to
preserve this eyesore. It was beyond restoration. If this
community had cared, it would not look like this. The
protesters portrayed me as a baby with a silver spoon and
suggested I should walk a day in the shoes of those I
affected. "No thank you," I said to the camera, “my shoes are
actually pretty comfortable." Then I slipped into the limo
with the same driver I have used many times before.
I told the driver to take me to the north side, and to my surprise he
mentioned he must take an alternative route because of
construction. "What a coincidence," I thought, "this detour
leads right through the center of the development project!"
Then he stopped the car at the corner and told me to get out.
He said, "I used to live in this neighborhood, but now I live
in this car. I hope those shoes are as comfortable as you say,
because you are going to need them to be on your walk to the
north side." Then, ironically, I found myself walking their
streets in their shoes.
Oh, these are so good, I wish I saved mine! The picture reminded me of an old Twilight Zone episode called "Willowbey." It's based in the 1950's, about a man who is being pushed by his ambitious wife to keep getting promoted in a job that is soul numbing.
I thought the man looked dejected, so gave him thoughts like he was hating his life and no matter how hard he worked at the awful job, he would still be like a rat in a maze. He wanted to run away to the Caribbean, take off his shoes, and wiggle his toes in the sand, like all the owners of the shoes in the street presumably did. So he ended up happy living on a beach somewhere. That was the gist.
What Does Your Shoe Do For You?
She is standing on the sidewalk crying. "Why did all the shoe stores dump all these shoes on my street?" "Please help me find a pair that fits." I continue to walk, ignoring her pleas, having just left my job as an intern on shoe security. Who needs shoes anyway? Mine are too dressy for comfort, pinching my feet. "Under protest of the skyrocketing prices lady." "That is why all these shoes lay abandoned on the street." "Do you know what size you wear?" "No, she sniffs, wiping away a tear." "I don't care, I only want them to keep me warm at night." "Well then, this fuzzy white boot would do." "Goodness, look here is one for my other foot, does it matter if it's blue?" "Ask your foot." They don't mind, one for my left one for my right, warm comfy feet tonight.
Funny. I wrote a hub with my flash fiction in it (click on my avatar and it'll be at the top of my hub collection on my profile). Didn't see the link to the flash fiction sharing forum.
I've enjoyed reading all of the different stories that came from that single image on the survey. Congratulations to all of you for such good work!
Think my "scores" were: 90% Thinker 83% Healer 78% Giver
The Reins of Distinction
I am walking away from a wasted past. A world where only my sanity counts. I want to move forward and take on a new beginning. As I start to take a step, I get lost in this world of sham, of playact where truth no longer speaks. The multitude of people around me, troubles my heart. Everyone puts me on. Leads me to falsehood and pretense. People of different order, history, and breeding they haunt me. But there is one voice that whispers, "Do not fear." "I am always with you." Like a song, I listen to that voice. The voice of righteousness, of honor, of integrity. It does not fail me. I look around me. I look at them. How do I fit in their shoe? They're all inviting, alluring. I am tempted to jump in. A lure to seduction on distorted sense of wealth, opportunities, success and well-being. Ah! Alas! I heard the voice of truth. My conscience, my inner voice speaks. "What will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?" With renewed strength and confidence, I took another step, then another, and more futher, I overcame my woe and moved forward to a new world.
Inner Thinker: 93% Inner Healer: 87% Inner Giver: 100%
Arthur trudged through the rush hour crowd, hat pulled down and collar up against the chill of winter dawn. Head down, Arthur never saw the skater. The collision knocked his brief case out of his hand and it crashed to the floor spilling papers everywhere. The skater never stopped. "Damn you," cried Arthur. No one helped but an old man watched. "Damn you all to hell," he bent to rescue papers from the trampling feet, then noticed the silence, the feet had stopped. He looked around and where there had been a crowd was now only shoes and a lonely skate. A hot wind blew a paper towards him. Thinking it was his, he picked it up and read, "be careful what you wish for."
That is good Johnny. I like how you have all of the people and then they disappear. You should write more fiction.
Hi Johnny, loved your creative piece here! Really good.
I'll go first (bravely):
The Shoe Dream
Shoes in the dim light, a person in Victorian (Edwardian?) attire floating on a sea of shoes. Bleak and colorless sky behind. I look for the absurdest artist who created this strange venue, but there is not a living soul in the picture/the figure is a mannequin clearly. Still, it's a job, another mission, another mystery. That, putting it simply is what I do. I fill out these questionnaires, hoping, always hoping that along with the rewards, the prizes, and the hoped for glory, I will receive some insight into the meaning, the why and wherefore... Yes, we've all appreciated Arbus, the freaks the cons. Yes, we know that Dali liked to play with our minds, but at least he used color!
As written, only corrected one spelling error...
Very interesting, snakeslane. This could also turn into a thriller, like Jodah's. Looks like we all (so far) had the same image.
Here is mine:
Time To Follow His Intended Path
When he looked back over his life and how he came to be where it lead him today, there were memories lingering in his mind. Memories of those he met along the way who either helped him succeed or hindered his progress.
It was a time of nostalgia and at the same time an emotional session of gratitude mixed with confusion. The gratitude came from those he knew were true friends and teachers. The confusion came from people he thought would be there for him regardless of what came by. In his pondering, he realized that everyone he had met over the years was a teacher to him.
A teacher, he realized, could set a negative example that warned him not to go in that direction, or a teacher could be one that guided him in a positive manner, enabling him to succeed and reach his goals.
Now, on his own, it was time for him to break out from others and go his way, to follow the intended path of his life. Jonathan allowed an opening to his inner self and embraced what he had become, embraced the good times, the bad, the sorrows of times past.
PS: I did not describe the image. I just pulled thoughts from it. All the shoes made me think of different people who had journeyed through Jonathan's life and left something behind for him to ponder on.
This is a different perspective Phyllis, te shoes representing different people from his past and the journey they were leading him on. Well done.
Interesting, Phyllis, he thought abut the shoes as people from his past as he walked on to his future.
Hi Phyllis, Thank you! I find it interesting that you dropped the image and delved beneath. ..I was pretty uncomfortable with the image. Yours was an original way of dealing with the creative process, I like that.
OMGosh ! Thank you very much, snakeslane. The shoes just did not inspire me, so I looked deeper, beyond the image. It makes me feel good that you recognized I did that. Thanks.
This is fun. I wish we could get another flash fiction thing like this.
I forgot to add my writer profile score:
Inner Thinker: 100% Inner Healer: 100% Inner Giver: 100%
of which I am very happy with.
Interesting approach, Phyllis! I loved it. I am enjoying all so far.
Brilliant! Really enjoyed reading your unique take on the scene.
Nice reflective piece. I like your reference to Dali. I had the same pic. I'll check to see if I saved mine and post tomorrow.
The Boulevard of Empty Shoes
I woke up with a start. Not knowing what woke me I stared at the alarm clock. It was 7am, time for me to get up for work but the alarm hadn't gone off. I showered, dressed, downed a quick cup of coffee 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 there were lots of people on their way to work, both driving, cycling and walking. But today.. the streets were deserted.
I turned the corner into Markwell 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 where were the people the shoes belonged to?
Very good, Jodah. That could lead to a real mystery thriller. I love it.
Wonderful John. There is no telling what this may become.
Hey Jodah, that was my question and theme too, where are all the people? Or are all those shoes there to represent souls? A pun on soles haha. Thanks for posting man, good one!
Shoes Fell from Heaven
Taken aback, I am now standing alone in the middle of the surreal scene. In an instance, warm, living bodies were snatched away from this earth, and then in another instance, shoes fell from heaven. Surely this bizarre scene is not reality?
Seconds prior to the thunderous sound of the falling shoes hitting the ground, I remember walking down the middle of this once bustling street with my beloved Aunt Hattie. Now, eerie silence gained control. My mind screamed in silence as it is tortured with thoughts of the unknown in this now seemingly desolate town.
A praying woman was she, Aunt Hattie. Gasping, am I, as her last words to me echoed loudly in my mind … “Be ready at any hour for the coming of the Lord; ‘Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.’”
Awesome flash fiction Faith Reaper. I loved you are the only one left and how you tied in your aunt throughout the story. Well done my friend:)
Thank you so much, Kevin. Glad you found beauty in it. You are so kind as always.
Loved your creative submission, John! Awesome and well-written.
Enjoyed this piece...riveting and climactic. Worthy of building a hub around. :0)
Bring me a higher love
He tried to get there on time. His wife insisted that he be there at the street concert but he was delayed - again. A feeling of deep loss seeped through him as he gazed across a river of shoes. Her words replayed,
“You must be there, darling, something special is going to happen. It will be marvellous. You’ll come, won’t you?” He remembered the note of anxiety in her voice. He hadn’t taken much notice at the time, his mind already focused on the morning’s meeting, while soothing her with his assurances.
He noticed a piece of paper, a screwed up polaroid, at his feet. He smoothed it out. It showed a crowd, faces uplifted; all smiling, eyes closed in rapture. He knew she was gone. Wherever she was, it was special there.
He felt cheated, left behind. Alone.
He began to search for her shoes.
Edited to add title.
What a powerful portrayal of the Rapture! Brava!
How sad. Someone already wrote powerful but it is.
Hmm, this is different Bev, but it has depth.
Perhaps he's still searching? Like the tension.
The raggededge, I see we were thinking along the same lines. Could be reality soon.
I'll add mine.
He could hear her. The voice echoed down the long drafty hall. As he approached, she got louder.
He stopped at the doorway. The room was piled with shoes and she had the glass slipper in her left hand. With her right one, she was heaving the others, one at a time, out the dormer window.
"What are you doing?" he said.
"I'm looking for the other slipper." she said.
"I told you there were too many shoes," he responded.
As she turned to give him a withering look, she reached down and grabbed another shoe. Without looking, she tossed it out the window.
They both heard the glass break.
Good work. I love the variety of these stories from a single photo.
I like this very much - kind of like O'Henry and more compact, more powerful.
Now that is really using your shoes (noggin). lol I take it she threw away the other glass slipper.
Oh, that is a very well captured moment in time. Heedless, hasty discarding of goods, and it comes back to bite you.
Ann, this is perfect! And so funny. Thank you for posting it here.
Here is my flash fiction:
A Hurricane of Shoes
Hurricane Herbert finished blowing through Waterside, people running out of their shoes to escape him. He broke store windows, though, scattering additional shoes through the street around my ankles, like rocks on an asphalt beach. What can I do with them? How many people are now shoeless - barefoot, unable to buy new footwear? How many named their shoes, like famous dancers do, but lost their tapping foot friends? What children are crying over shiny lost slippers?
These shoes remind me of the barefoot people buried in mass graves during the Holocaust, their shoes thrown into piles picked over by Nazi soldiers at some bizarre city mall used shoe sale. I shudder.
I see empty vendor’s carts in a nearby lot and children appearing to look at Herbert’s debris. Perhaps we can use the carts to sort shoes and set up a distribution hub for the reclaiming of lost footwear.
I like your version Patty...people running out of their shoes to escape a hurricane. Good stuff.
I can't remember what I wrote but the gist of it was a guy lost in a sea of footwear with no means of escape because there were no wellington boots.
Thank you! I appreciate your kind words.
I was also reminded of the Holocast and the display of shoes in the photos in the musuem. I like the thought of people running out of their shoe in their haste to get away from a hurricane.
Wow, another version. This one has impact Patty.
Patty, your story is amazing on so many levels. Wow!
I too was reminded of the holocaust and used that to inspire my story.
Wow, Patty, you have written one powerful piece here! Brilliant, I must say! I truly enjoyed reading your submission.
I'm impressed that these stories. Very good. I did this, early on, before this post was started. Unfortunately, it was rubbish [hanging out on this site is causing me to use British words] and didn't bother to save it. It was about a donation of shoes for an insane asylum.
Applause to all the flash fiction authors. I love your work and enjoy the different interpretations sparked by that unusual photo. Here's my contribution:
Shoes and Song Brighten an Otherwise Lonely Day
The celebration is over and I'm left in the middle of a sea of shoes on Baltic Avenue. Just moments ago I was surrounded by a shoe box-carrying flash mob that sang and danced around me.
I'm nub and wondering what it all meant.
They had so much fun and life that the biggest smile in years was painted on my face. Now I'm experiencing a ringing in my ears, left by their joyous song. I didn't know what was in the boxes until the routine ended and they turned them upside down. Suddenly, it was raining shoes! Then they fled as quickly as they appeared. One of them muttered, "That's shoe business."
Who will believe me when I tell them this story? I forgot my phone, so I don't have photographic proof. If I wasn't surrounded by a pile of shoes I would doubt myself whether it happened or not.
"That's shoe business" is very clever. A shoe flash mob is something I would never have thought of. I love that we all see different things from one image and it does spur the imagination to be more open.
That is a very interesting take on the photo. I can see the raining of the shoes!
It is so interesting how everyone saw the photo differently. "Shoe business," indeed! Very well imagined.
Oh. I didn't know there was a photo. So that's why all the shoes.
TD, you are a witty guy, I enjoyed your story. Raining shoes really says it all. Too funny.
Now that is what I call different TDowling.
Okay, here's mine ...
Michael McCrae would have been a doctor if his father hadn't killed him. His sister Mary dreamed of travelling the world, but she'd never been far from home before she died. Arthur knew their dreams, but lost sight of them in his rage.
Somewhere among the debris of lives lost were his children. Too many decades had passed so he didn't look for sizes ... just shoes of the 70s that may have been theirs. Arthur would leave them where they fell, tossed by their mother in the crush of lines of the grieving. He had no need for a souvenir and no compulsion to create a shrine.
The television news had remembered the dead and soothed those at the ceremony, gushing with tears and fears for those still at risk. But Arthur would not be hurried. He too was a victim of domestic violence and deserved to be there.
Thanks, Jodah. I was struck by how out of place the man looked. What he was wearing, how he was standing, surrounded by total chaos. Why was he in the middle of the shoes, instead of skirting around them? There's a clear path he could have followed on either side.
I can't recall spotting two shoes the same. There was a lady's high-heeled boot, a single ugg boot, a variety of designs and sizes but no pairs ... and I could see no logic in the way they were piled in some places, yet sparse in others.
It took a lot of people to make that much mess, yet there was only one man - conservatively dressed - and he had obviously positioned himself in the midst of the chaos. I was just trying to imagine why he'd be there.
Having read it again, I'm kicking myself for not saying 'Yesterday's television news' to add just a little more perspective. Oh well, it was a fun exercise.
Compared to other interpretations, I must look like Mrs Dark.
Gosh, LongTimeMother, this is a deeply disturbing piece. Family violence is so prevalent in our society. Your story packs a message.
Like your phrasing and the shadowy scenario......
The best part of this experience is that I learned something new about a method of writing... Starting with thinking of a goal based on an image, then writing a short story leading to that goal. Finally, capping it off by considering the best title for it. This seems to be in reverse, but I found that it works, and it works well.
Here's my flash fiction…
Finding My Way to Her
I feel lost in a sea of shoes, as remembrances of past lovers.
The sky is dark as my future is unknown. Where do I turn? Do I continue down the same path, repeating the same mistakes? Or should I search for that one pair of shoes that belong to the one I let get away?
Oh, I see her standing there down the street. The expression on her face shows concern and longing at the same time. Is she hoping for a similar connection to fulfill her life's dreams?
As I walk through the mass of shoes to get closer, I see she is barefoot and needs to be cared for. I'm ready.
"Does flash fiction have to be about shoes?" Mark wondered as he stumbled into the hall.
He had been reading some post on a forum about creativity and it had pissed him off. Then he had read another post about some woman who got easily offended about everything and that had sent him into one of those rages.
On top of that he couldn't find his fecking shoes. And "fecking", for the easily offended and hard of thinking, is an accepted internet expression for lost shoes.
Once the shoes were located Mark took a deep breath and headed off to work. In the evening he would write a sales page about shoes.
"Sod the creative stuff" he thought.
Mark, This is a completely different side of you, getting away from your stick figure humor. I was wondering how it made you feel, finding another creative avenue.
Hi Glenn - I do this stuff quite a bit. Just not on HubPages because QAP and Google don't like it. I enjoy it immensely but can't quite find the effort, reason or hook to build a book out of it.
Unfortunately anything remotely free-form creative poetry / art / novel gets virtually no traffic at all.
So I Bubble half bits and pieces occasionally and get my writing kicks that way.
Funny Mark, congrats on the award too, but did you even participate in the study?
No Jodah. Thought I would join in here. Then it seemed everyone was writing about shoes.
Mark, If you took the course you'd know why we all were writing about shoes. I learned a lot about myself and I highly recommend it. You'll be done with it in less than an hour, and feeling really good about yourelf, as I did.
Exactly... Now where are my fecking shoes?!
This was the Flash Fiction which I wrote for the "Inner Writer Study"
(I never tried it before so I do not know how it will be)
The title was: The Town Filled Only with Shoes and One Man
Summary: There was a lone man walking down the street center scattered with shoes. They were every-which-way in position – the questions are; Why? Where did they come from? Who was he, where did he come from and where is he going? Where is everyone else? To find out, read on.
Was he an alien? Was he from the future?
The lone man was a wanderer. When he reached this town and walked in, he wondered about the shoes. He found out that there was nobody around and all that he could imagine was that before they had left - for some strange reason – they had left their shoes behind, IN THE STREET!
When he had found nobody he took some new clothes and shoes. When he left, he took the center of the street to compare the shoes which he had on with any better ones. If he saw a pair that he preferred better, he would just remove the current ones and put on the others.
Now we know why the shoes were there, why he was there and where he was going?
He was on the street because was he was leaving for another town. Not to return.
Well done Kevin, I like the idea about trying on shoes until he found the best ones.
Well! Wasn't he the greedy shoe monster! Thanks Examiner, you really examine
I really enjoyed this exercise. The photograph was right up my street.
One Woman's Happiness
It was Sunday, I went walking again to look for her, the woman I haven't seen for a decade or more. I took the Street of Shoes, it heads straight out of this city and on to the Village of Vests, or is it the Town of T shirts. I can't recall. You don't get many people out there nowadays, they're too afraid. I guess it's to do with the end of the war and what have you. Folks don't want reminding of that. They'd rather stay in a ruin than venture out. But me? I'm determined to find Elsa. I did meet a woman once on that same street. It was a few years ago now in mid winter. We got talking about this and that and she mentioned seeing another woman, heading out over the Hills of Hats and Coats.She looked happy she said. So damn happy.
This is great chef, love the concept of the "town of shoes, vests, hats etc".
Hahahaha, funny, funny funny. Perfect chef-de-jour...A truly dystopian world with a little Gap/Target thrown in.
What an imagination. If they gave you more words I can see you weaving in Pants Plaza, Hat Harbor, etc..
That was seeing the photo from a different view chef-de-jour, more on the upside. We all seemed to see it from the blah to the negative.
Very nice chef-de-jour! You have a vivid imagination and a way with words.
Okay, I guess I'll be brave and post mine, as well. I think everyone else's is better, though.. This is certainly not my forte.
The Day the Shoes Came Out
I came out this morning and saw all the shoes; why was I alone? Did this have something to do with those bright lights in the sky two days ago? Have I been that immersed in my novel that I didn't notice the lack of sound out in the street? No people coming or going. Where have they all gone, and why did they leave their shoes behind?
I must get to the office. Maybe someone is there. This is the kind of story the editor would assign to me anyway.
Oh! No one is there, either, and all of their shoes are left behind also. I can’t write a story with no one to interview! I may as well write it; I’ll have to make it all up, but who will know?
Ahh…the lights!! They’re coming back! Should I hide? Can I interview them?
My shoes, my shoes!!
Haha MsLizzy, yours and mine could be the same guy. You did great...anyone to interview doesn't matter who.
Ms Lizzy, Your story made me smile, has all the elements of a horror story with a dash of disbelief.
I loved the exercise! My cousin and I used to write poetry based on wall paper samples, so this really reminded me of my childhood. Here's mine
Alone in the Rain
The sky was ark, the trees bare. There were no signs of life. Was this a dream? Was I really standing amongst a field of shoes?
Yes, this was real. It was the pain of the bruises that assured me. Those shoes had all fallen from the sky. It was so frightening that the streets had cleared. Everyone had taken shelter, and no one dared venture out yet.
Except me. The bruises were evidence of my careless curiosity. And now I was in awe of the gift. In a town devoid of shoes, these shoes had rained.
Moments ago laments of the impending weather without footwear filled the air, but we’d been given a strange, but beautiful gift! The streets will soon be teeming with barefoot patrons finding their favorite style, but in these last few moments of stillness, I will bask in the mystery of the gift.
Some great stories here, I'm impressed with them all. And one of us could win a prize for doing nothing more than use our imaginations! We should do this again sometime.
Another lighthearted approach, really enjoyed this Lynne.
Darn. I didn't save mine. It was about the Rapture and the only one left behind was Satan. I used a pun about lost "soles."
Here's mine. Actually it turned out more negative than I intended when I started.
Johnson awoke with a sense of foreboding. This is the day I find out, he thought. So much had gone wrong in his life over the last few days. Myra telling him she was through. Edgar getting the promotion he had thought was his. But now there could be a new day in his life. He must decide whether to quit his job, and join that new high-tech startup, or stay where he was. It was his choice. He had always been afraid to take chances. But he could do this! He would do this. He would step into this new world with new challenges and new friends, and he would prosper! He closed his eyes for a moment. That's when he saw the vision of himself, mired in his own despondency, abandoned by every friend. I can't do it, he thought. He was right.
Gee Ron, it was going so well for Johnson until his fear took over. This would make a great introduction to a longer fiction story. You left me wanting to know more, to know why he was right to be so negative. That's great writing. You should continue it. Maybe you'll end up creating a fiction novel based on the subject.
Wow Ron, interesting character development. You are definitely a fiction writer.
I really appreciate that, snakeslane. I'm wondering how many who wrote stories are now feeling motivated to write more of them.
Reminds me of the Henry Ford quote, "Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you are right."
Here is mine
I decided to have a tea party with all my deceased relatives. As each person entered the room, they threw their shoes in a pile.
As I looked around the room, I noticed no one had a face. How could I possibly recognize them. I became very sad at how my party turned out
A thought hit me! If I pick up a shoe, I could identify the owner, as I have a thing for shoes. It took forever, but one shoe at a time I could identify the owner. As I was halfway done, I glanced around, and all the faces returned. Now it was too late, as the party was over. My relatives loved playing tricks. Maybe at the next party, they will bring their faces.
Now that is something Audrey. I would not have thought of that, that is imagination.
Love this BrakeL, the Tea party of the long deceased, fascinating concept.
Holy Shoes! What an amazing number of responses. I cannot wait to read all these Flash Fictions!
Here is my story:
I am alone. All my friends are gone. I am the last of my family. All around me I see shadows of their lives. They were wiped from this world. Only now are their possessions left. Shoes without feet to fill them. The world is ash grey. My sobs echo down the empty streets, but there is no one to hear them. I try to walk but the shoes are piled to deeply. They grab at my legs and my heart, pulling me down. The smell of old rubber fills my nose. I trip over a pair of baby shoes. My sobs catch in my throat. A hand reaches out and pulls me under. I am drowned... then I awake. My cheeks are wet with tears and my nose still smells the shoes, but I am not alone. My sister sleeps beside me. The US Holocaust Museum haunts my dreams.
Inner Thinker: 100% Inner Healer: 73% Inner Giver: 87%
Yes Jackie, I found the image too disturbing. Brave of you to tackle it head on. Really disturbing, and well written. Bravo!
I thought this was really vivid and good. It's sad, but it's very emotional and I was moved! Well done.
Thanks for positive responses - very encouraging. I've had a yen to write more flash lately. It's quite difficult to stay away from the negative though, isn't it? Odd.
There are some great pieces here. I've read them all and just wish I had time to comment on them all. Well done to us!
I was an interesting survey and I think the point was to gauge the writer's emotional state before and after creating flash fiction (writing).
Inner Thinker: 73% Inner Healer: 37% Inner Giver: 77%
My Flash Fiction.
Jason suddenly realized he was barefoot. How he arrived at this state he had not a clue but as he looked around the city before him he shuddered in the cold wind. Lucky he had his coat but, was it his coat? Jason could not tell and a strange, gray, cold sensation crept into his mind. He looked at his feet and saw they were bare and beginning to turn slightly blue. Just then, he noticed that he was surrounded by shoes! dozens, maybe hundreds of shoes! Jason bent down and began searching for a pair that fit his feet. Then he started laughing, "Why do they have to match?" he thought as he simply searched for two shoes that fit to warm his cold feet.
126 words. I was wondering if it would warn us if we went over the 150 maximum.
Here is mine:
As night draws near, I found myself mired in a flood of shoes. Good shoes, bad shoes, well worn shoes. These are my shoes. I made them. I'm a shoe-maker. But why are they here? On the streets, lying about, discarded and unwanted?
Just yesterday, the city loved my shoes. Did all of my patrons decided that they no longer wanted my shoes? And they no longer wanted me?
As I trudged through the pile of my beloved shoes, I also feel a deepening sadness in my heart. A sense of loss is engulfing me... as the day was engulfed by the night.
I loved reading everyone's take on this surreal picture...
The Journey's End
The last thing I remembered was the look of horror on my wife's face. "Our baby. God, don't let anything happen to our baby." The sickening squeals of car brakes...distant sirens...my head was spinning, I felt so woozy.
I am standing like a wanted man floundering in a sea of shoes. I am wearing my funeral suit but don't remember anything about the funeral. I think I died but I don't remember enough to be sure about that. Might as well take off these shoes... looks like I'm at the end of my journey.
A baby is laughing down the street. Anything is possible.
Inner Thinker: 100% Inner Healer: 93% Inner Giver: 100%
Dear Mar, I love happy endings, thank you!
Wow--yet another innovative interpretation. If the "prizes" for this exercise are any kind of contest-driven, I don't envy the job of the judges..
Here's mine. I really enjoyed this, great break from my work day.
Title: Looking for Lefty.
I remember feeling empty... Feeling lost...
It was a cold dusk, that hour of the day when all you desire is the comfort of home. To be home with my brother, sitting full by the fire would have been bliss. Instead there I was, alone in the grey street.
Then there came a sound and distant though it was, it was unmistakable. I knew that sound. It was him, it was my brother. He was approaching quickly with our friend Tom and before I knew it, the distance between us had shrunk to mere inches and they were upon me. Tom picked me up and while brushing me off spoke aloud, (to whom I'll never know) "There you are!" he proceeded to put me on and we all walked home together. Lefty and I, side by side.
TITLE : A soldier forced to go war , prayers came through!
It was a cold wintery morning when i was forced to join the Nazis in November 1944 they were running out of men. I hated Hitler & being a German back then , but i knew if i had not joined my family's lives would have been at stake. I had to leave them with a burning & unwilling heart to go to Polland where men, women and children were dying like flies in concentration camps. It was all absurd all i could do was pray. Then suddenly my prayers came through Germany was invaded by the allies not long after , we had lost the war, it meant i would no longer be a part of this evil regime...On May 16th 1945 When i arrived at Berlin it wasn't a site i was really prepared for it was bomb blasted all over. There were heaps of women shoes lying in piles on the walk way. It was our enemy they had taken pleasure in raping and killing our women. It was there reward and vengance for what our Fuhrer had done. We paid the price dearly!
I agree with the sentiments in Christy Kirwan’s weekly email: I’m “blown away by the range of interpretations and caliber of creative talent” expressed here.
I walked up the darkened city streets in pursuit of my family. Clouds covered the sky above my head. The first winds of fall were in the air. As I neared the center of main street, a peculiar site met my tired eyes. Shoes littered the city street. Men's, women's, children, strewn about like an apocalypse had occurred. Then I heard a whisper, then a shout. My children were calling for me. I turned the corner to find a park filled with barefooted people. Music suddenly burst through the gloom. The neighborhood was celebrating the last days of summer by dancing in their bare feet on the soft grass. The worries from the day melted away. I kicked off my shoes and joined my family with a smile on my face.
The Tragedy of Desolation: the Shoes
I don't know how I got here. It is desolate; I feel so alone. All those people who belonged to the shoes, what happened to them? A mighty catastrophe, caused by human action, evil human action. The shoes are all that is left. The people ran so fast they left their shoes behind. But the catastrophe overtook them, and they were all destroyed. We are our brother's keeper. Never let this happen to the people in your community. Act righteously and with honor. Protect other people, protect their rights. The rights you protect will be your own. Care for one another, and pray for each other.
I like the way you captured the tone of the image prompt. So, tomorrow, I'll head to work and wonder why the streets are so deserted, then I'll start seeing shoes along side of the road.
Project Good Man
Henry had never won a contest before. And now that he had received his prize, he felt both exhilarated and let down. Had he known the trials that he would be required of him, the endurance that it would take he would not buy a ticket again.
Sure at the time he thought it would be fun. What excitement he and his buddies thought. There were plenty of jokes followed by back slapping and crude winking in the days prior to the drawing. But then he won. His buddies razzed him for days prior to the start date.
The first encounter was fun, even exciting, but by the fourth encounter it occurred to him that this was not his idea of winning. It occurred to him that he was actually the prize. He knew for certain he would never again buy a ticket for the annual ‘Barefoot and Pregnant’ contest.
Here's mine, touched it up some:
PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON
It was a cult. The one cult I didn't join for a day or so. I knew there was a catch. “Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes,” they said.
They, with their purple, shimmering gowns.
“Find true enlightenment,” they scintillated.
Athelete’s foot, I thought.
In the full of the moon, they met. Barefoot. Shoes in hand.
Give the shoes to the one for whom they glow. They’ll fit. Believe.
When the last pair found new feet, a shimmering purple wall rose around those newly shod … initiates. Then, they were no more.
I saw it all, through my peep hole. I was safe. I wore my shoes. They fit only me. That’s the way it should be.
Now, sometimes, I wonder. Is it better for them to have worn someone else’s shoes? Is it better where they are -- wherever they are?
There are so many good ones here. Nothing like the old soft shoe. I'm glad when it was shoe time I was able to get on with the shoe. Bet mine will prove to them I'm a shoe-in for a straight jacket. Nite all, had fun with this shoe and tell.
I liked your last paragraph; it had me in stitches. It was the best part. For shoe, you are a shoe-in.
Thanks. It's late here and I'm getting a little froggy.
Good take on put yourself in his shoes - Nicely written, but where's the dragon?
My favorite lines! I like this story very much.
Finding Financial Freedom on the Wings of a Prayer
I was tired of working for other people and always being 'just over broke' despite working long hours and giving of my very best. As I fell asleep that night, I prayed that God would bless me with an opportunity to start my very own business where I could earn as much as I wanted and find financial freedom. That, I swear was my final prayer as I drifted of to sleep.
When I awoke the next morning and looked outside, I could not believe my eyes! There scattered in plain view were brand new shoes of every colour, size, style and design. My prayers were answered!
I opened my very own business selling quality shoes and now I enjoy the financial freedom I had dreamed about. I also get to see other people's eyes light up as I help them achieve their own dreams through my business donations.
Wow! That is what I call - wow! I cannot think of what to say!
So many great stories. Here's mine.
We have been at war for a long time. Today was the day I feared. The enemy arrived and took all my neighbors captive. They didn't see me in my hiding place. The enemy forced everyone outside and made them take off their shoes. I can still hear the screams of women and wailing of children. When I was sure the danger of capture had past, I went outside. I stood alone with hundreds of shoes. Then I saw them. My best friend's favorite boots. Then I tears that I had been holding in since the war began finally fell. I started thinking about how I never talk to him again. I'd never see any of my friends again. "Pull yourself together. There's no time for this," I thought. It was time to plan my escape to a neighboring country. I can't survive here.
Shoes Are All That Is Left
Tom stands on a rooftop covered with shoes. Not just ordinary shoes, but shoes that are used and worn. All of the shoes have a special meaning to Tom as they are the shoes of his entire world. You see everyone has been ripped out of Tom’s life. All his relatives, his wife and children, and his friends have died suddenly and Tom cannot figure out why. Why was he the only one left to stand alone, alive, and on this rooftop. Is this where everyone came to die? Is this where Tom himself is supposed to be? Suddenly Tom’s wife appears as a ghost like figure beckoning Tom to follow her. She speaks to him, "Tom, come with me to a better place. Follow me and we shall all live together in peace and harmony." Tom follows leaving his own shoes behind.
Thanks everyone for sharing! My eyes are watering! Here's mine:
I step out into the desolate street and see footwear all around me. shoes of all sizes and colours. They are still falling from the sky. A heavy boot falls on my head and I realise with a mixture of surprise and horror that it belonged to my late father.
I rub the sore spot on my head and think I deserve that whack on the head for having troubled him so much.
I notice my grandmother's shoes in the sea of footwear. I miss her healing hands. The shower of shoes suddenly ceases. I look up to see an enormous face filling the sky. It is my late Guru. I fall to my knees.
"Remember your ancestors!"booms her voice, reverberating through my bones. "All of them depend on you for their enlightenment. You must work harder at your spiritual practice!"
And then she is gone and the sky is back to normal.
Spiritual practice is not easy. I must watch every thought. Thoughts lead to deeds. Too often they slip by me unnoticed because they are habitual. I sigh. For a moment I feel burdened by all those shoes. All those ancestors waiting for me to see the light.
Then a sense of euphoria seizes me. From today I will clean the toilet in the temple. I will offer half my salary on the name of my father and grandmother. And then, perhaps, I will begin to understand.
My own critique:
Written in 10 minutes. Could have hadf a better end that retained the humour: I'd rewrite the last paragraph:
And then I think, Gotta buy those red Malono Blahnik heels I saw at the store yesterday." "
Clunk. Thud. Father's other boot falls on my head.
Glad you saw the light Anita. Well written and interesting.
Here is mine:
Waiting for the Other Shoe to Fall
Shoes, so many shoes. Everwhere I look all I can see are shoes. What happened? Where did they come from? I walk cautiously. curling my toes, kest my shoes come loose.
Strange things have been happening since Big Brother took over....our minds... our choices...our lives. But this...this is much worse. I plowed on, hoping to find someone, anyone, afraid to be alone. I never looked down, afraid I may recognize a shoe, confirm my fear. I plwed on, tightly clenching my feet, somehow knowing, if I let a shoe drop, I will be no longer...
The sky was dark as I walked home. It was not raining and the ground was dry. As I turned the corner into my street I was met with the most strange of sites. I was like there had been a shoe storm. Shoes of all kinds littered the street and there was no signs of life like there normally is at this time of day. It felt eerie, there was no sound, not even a bird singing. I walked through the sea of shoes and on towards my home hoping this was all just a dream.
Really interesting! Here's mine:
Everyone is gone and I am all alone. The silence before the storm hurts me in a profound way; the city is empty and the clouds are black and pregnant. They left behind all their shoes - the people who went. I don't know where they went.
I start walking, feeling the shock, feeling left behind. Feeling lucky to still be in this place but scared I might be the last person left. The shoes are haunting, they lie in positions like the missing were snatched right out of them. There is a pile in the middle of the road, like they tried to crowd around something, yet there is no indication of what it was. They must have been looking at something.
I don't know when they will come back or if. I'm gonna find myself a cave building and think.
Thanks Examiner - turns out I was a total giver. You can see mine is unfinished because I repeated a number of words in there. With an edit, I would get rid of the repeated words!
I only see one word which I would remove, and it is not repeated. In the last sentence I would make it one sentence and remove "a".
When I wrote mine it was in Word first, so I did edit it.
Good one, didn't think of that! I would remove the 2 somethings, the 3 feelings and the 3 times I referred to the missing people, cutting all of these down to once used, never used again!
Do you mean because you repeated words in different sentences? I try not to do that, when I can, but sometimes it is necessary. I did not really notice when I read it Suzanne.
Perhaps I would say "the sensation of the shock and being left behind".
I do not see "missing people" 3 times: I see the word "missing" once by itself in one sentence; and the word "people" once by itself in another sentence.
Here is Mine. I thought the survey was great.
An abandoned Street with boarded windows and piles and piles of empty shoes. I noticed rich shoes with fancy heels and poor shoes with holes in the soles. There were kid’s shoes, Ladies Stilleto’s, and man's shoes. Old,ugly worn shoes and new shoes. What happened here? Where are all the people? Was there a blow out in a shoe factory or did all these people blow away in a hurricane? The ground started to shake, the pavement roared and split wide open, the sky darkened... then a little girl all dressed up emerged to try on her next pair of dress up shoes.
I like yours suzzycue, it leaves us wondering who the little girl was.
I had fun with the survey. Mine is silly an rambling, but it's interesting.
The Shoe Prank
The ghostly specter of Till Eulenspiegel was not happy. The shoe prank he pulled in the Dark Ages didn't quite go as well as it did in the past. Still, he was amused with how he had collected all of these shoes! Still, a pang of guilt twinged at his soul as he thought about all the shoeless people wandering about. It only lasted for a moment, though. Perhaps, Till thought, he was gaining a conscience. Again, this thought was fleeting as he waded though his vast shoe collection. Once again, the fool was not the foolish one. His had made his point. Now, what to do with all of these shoes?
My contribution - loving all the different stories in this thread!
If the shoe fits ...
Walking a mile as someone else may work for the masses, but it's never worked for me, and it certainly saved my life when the plagues came.
I was already in practice being different ... doing my own thing and thinking for myself. They warned us to stay calm and simply keep on as we'd been, but I could see that wasn't going to work.
And later ... when it was over ... I could see how well doing as they were told had worked out for my neighbors ...
All of these stories are wonderful! It was a disturbing photo and so I'm particularly impressed by those who were able to bring humor and/or hope out of it. I always say I write nonfiction, but I gave it a shot and it was fun. Here's mine:
The speech was a rousing success. The people heard the message and resolved to live careful, more aware lives, mindful of those who were in need. As I made my way through the crowd to the elevator I was thrilled to hear their resolve. I slept soundly, assured of a new tomorrow. They would happily give of themselves to those who were hurting, even to those who had nothing. No more lives of numb excess.
I awoke late and hurried outside to see this brand new world birthed before my eyes. As i stepped outside, I noticed the street was covered. The gathering clouds threatened a downpour.
This was not the message! How could we have missed? The example of children without shoes. The fools raced out, high on their own sense of worth, and threw their shoes into the street for the poor people to gather. Again excess had reigned. They tossed their shoes to the poor, never opening themselves, never seeing even one of those in need. Shoes were not the problem and so they left them to ruin in the rain.
Inner Thinker: 67% Inner Healer: 40% Inner Giver: 83%
That Wasn't Here Yesterday
Shoes. Shoes. Shoes! It's enough to drive a man crazy. The wind in those leafless trees may as well be me screaming. I'm alone, and have been for as long as I can remember.
I walk this avenue daily... the entire thing. Years, it's been. It never changes. I never touch the shoes with my hands. Why should I?
Who were these women? Why were they taken? Oh, what I would do to see a woman again.
I remember growing up, my first kiss, first love. The rollerskating date when I was 12. The first time I saw a woman naked. She was so warm...
The cold cuts me to the bone. A shudder runs up my spine, like it does every time I pass that porch. I don't approach the buildings either. Too many memories.
What is that? An arm. Looks like someone laying on the pile. Funny, that wasn't here yesterday...
You can tell that I write non-fiction for a living
There are no Shoes in Space
I am the man in the suit. Those people -- the owners of those shoes -- didn't see me coming, yet I, like others of my kind, have walked among them for thousands of years. I didn't always wear this suit of course. Thousands of years ago I wore peasant clothing. It's all about blending in. That way, when my ship beams the people up and away from this strange land, I never have to face an accusing stare. I never have to look the shoeless people in the eye and have them understand that I know what unspeakable things will happen to them now. Now excuse me, I must go, the news crews are on the way. I must depart for the next city before I am discovered. But not before I choose a new pair of shoes.
Inner Thinker: 70% Inner Healer: 63% Inner Giver: 60%
Barricades obstructed both ends of the block as the mayor stepped over thousands of shoes crowding the pavement. Was this someone's bizarre idea of a joke? How did all these shoes get here overnight? The shoes were obviously used, so the likely source was a thrift store truck. But, who...why....?
Glancing overhead at the dark clouds, he realized the more important question now was how to get them out of the street. Punching numbers on his cell phone, he spoke briskly.
A few minutes later, he heard the announcement blaring from loudspeaker-equipped vans driving around the neighborhood.
"Free shoes! Free shoes at 600 block Mansfield Avenue. Bring your own bags. Free shoes! 600 block Mansfield."
People rushed out of houses and from down the street carrying bags. They began digging through piles of shoes. The mayor moved to the curb and hoped the rain would hold off.
Inner Thinker: 97% Inner Healer: 77% Inner Giver: 97%
The survey was fun, but reading all of this flash fiction written from a very odd photo prompt is GREAT! The variety would be astonishing if I didn't already know the diversity of talent within the HubPages community is breathtaking.
Lots of interesting short stories, here's mine.
Left Behind in a Storm of Footwear
I thought it strange when someone once said, "It's raining cats and dogs," but I never imagined that I would be standing in the midst of the remains of a great storm, a storm of footwear. What happened? Where were the owners of these shoes and boots? Perhaps some queen somewhere decided to part with her collection of shoes. Or, perhaps it was true . . .
I'm in shock, for more reasons than just the shoes. I can do nothing but think about my Christian friends that talked about the "Rapture." I considered those stories to be on par with fairy tales, but look at me now. Have I been "left behind," and if so, what does the future hold for me? There is but one way to find out. I must take a step in the right direction and go to the source . . . the Bible.
My Writer Profile
Inner Thinker: 90% Inner Healer: 67% Inner Giver: 87%
Adding my flash fiction to the list.
A Man Without Shoes
I walk this street a solemn man, for in my path lies the abandonment of my kindred's shoes. It is these countless shoes, of equally endless style and fashion, that move us about in this world in accordance with our various roles so narrowly defined. These shoes are all that remain of collective separatists who held the courage to step barefoot into lives less distinct, less judgmental or less disingenuous. As I parade these streets alone, I am envious because I lack the strength to join them. All that I have been driven to represent is patterned by the shoes I wear. It is my very identity that they suggest I forfeit to become someone less prominent among them. Try as I might, I seem unable to even loosen them and they are bonded tightly upon my feet. For my weakness I am forced to walk these streets alone, strewn with the shoes of others as testimonials that my own no longer hold influence nor matter to them any longer.
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