Personification of Running Shoes. Written for a contest.
| As a shoe, it is my joy to comfort the human foot as they run, walk, or just play. Many, many years I have taken my pleasure in conforming myself to the human foot. Oh, the perfect fit was rare, let me tell you, but that never stopped me from feeling good about myself. Truthfully, in an earlier existence, I often caused blisters to form on my host’s foot and my life expectancy really wasn’t as long, not like today. The blisters were really a small thing when considering what I most often protected the feet from!
Interestingly enough, I don’t remember each previous existence in order, but as if it were yesterday. I’ve often wondered if another pair of shoes out there was me at this very same moment, but I think I would remember that if it were true. “That is a strange thought,” I say to myself. Strangely, my soul mate has nothing to add.
I wonder, a bit if my host has the same issues and decides very quickly that their issues must be worse and somehow the thought brings me comfort. I let that thought go.
To the left of me was a nice, fluffy pair of slippers. They don’t think, not as I do, but they sure look fine to me. In fact, the slippers never talk. I suppose I should be bothered by that. How do I even know they have a soul? Oh, you heard ‘Sole’, didn’t you? I don’t suppose there is much of a difference, at least, not so far as I am concerned. I promise I won’t feel sorry for you. Okay, I am lying. I care; I do care, but mostly for feet. You can understand, can’t you?
There was a saying: don’t let your owner down and you will go on. Fail your owner and you will rot forever. No, I am not a fan of oblivion, though, statistically, we shoes have it coming. I’ve been around for a while, maybe, since the beginning of shoes? This, then, is actually the story of my end, as even I can recognize impending doom. Now, my host takes me down a path never traveled by her...
Thump, thump, t-thwump. The uneven gait of my human-made my imaginary bones ache. Dirt embedded in my tongue as my owner fell, tearing a gaping hole into my side. OUCH! From some distance away, the yipping of the shoes giving chase drives me to push harder on my owner’s foot. Run, RUN!
My built-in softness gently caresses her foot as she pushes herself deep into my folds. I’m not sure, but I think the yipping is closer now. Something wet soaks into me and I know it’s not my sweat. My owner’s lifeblood makes me sputter and push harder. Run, RUN! But the blood is like a drug to me and I feel like my mind has gone numb, but I can't stop. I won't stop.
I have been running with my present host for a long time, but never through the woods, not like today, not on this path. The yipping was definitely getting closer now and I urge her to run faster. Something in the yipping made my laces taught. What could they want? I could tell from the yipping that the shoes had regressed with their hosts. This was a fate I dreaded, feared until I pushed back at my own host, then the ground was no more. Flying? No. Falling, falling until the water far below swallowed us, me and my host who was no more. I think death brings ultimate acceptance. I just follow my host into oblivion without thought, just like a good little shoe.