Sunday, 4 May 2014

Her feet were bruised and muddy

Writer’s Block

In one sentence is the spark of a story. Ignite.

Mission: Write a story, a description, a poem, a metaphor, a commentary, or a memory about this sentence. Write something about this sentence.

Be sure to tag writeworld in your block!

Her feet were bruised and muddy. She had clearly walked miles on bare feet.
He looked down at them obviously. “Where are your shoes?”
She shrugged. “Lost them.”
“Lost them or they took them?”
Another shrug.
So, they took them. He knew that before he asked. “Go wash your feet under the garden hose.”
She hurried off to do that while he grabbed a towel. She wasn’t his kid. No relation to him at all. But she was part of his pack. That meant he had to look after her. He didn’t mind; he had always liked her. But she did need to stand up for herself. If only because her mother would get that strained look on her face. The one that she got at the thought of trying to find the money to buy new shoes. This wasn’t the first time this had happened.
He thought he understood. She could hurt them; really badly. She wasn’t frightened of standing up for herself. She was frightened of standing out. If she belted up all the bullies... she would be... what? The new head bully?
That, she wasn’t ever going to do.
He also knew he couldn’t interfere.
He lent her a pair of sandals that were just way too large for her. He motioned her towards the truck, as per usual. But not as per usual, he turned right out of the yard gate instead of left.
She gave him a panicked glance and hunched down in her seat.
He drove back towards the school. She had been held up until she missed the bus, otherwise she wouldn’t have needed the ride home.
He spotted the shoes. He could tell he was close because she started to shift nervously in her seat. He parked the truck, got out and looked up. Her shoes had the laces tied together and were hung from the top of the flagpole.
“Huh,” he said,
She was staring at the ground.
“Well, go on.”
“What?” she growled out.
“Go get ‘em.”
She didn’t bother to deny that she could, but she also didn’t move.
“Go!” he ordered.
Slipping off the sandals and as agile as a monkey she shimmied up the pole. When she couldn’t untie them, she cut the laces with a switchblade she pulled out of her back pocket. Her mother would prefer to buy new laces, than new shoes.
“Shit! She carries a knife?” he heard from nearby.
He stifled his smile. Clearly one of her abusers was having second thoughts. He hoped that she hadn’t heard it.
She waved the shoes at him triumphantly when she landed on the ground.
“Good. Let’s get you home.”
He felt like putting his arm around her; he would miss her visits, but he suspected that he wouldn’t see her shoeless at his door again. And that was a good thing.
© AM Gray 2014

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