Sunday, July 24

One Red Shoe

This is a work of fiction. Copyright © 2005 Rumba Creative. All Rights Reserved.
No portion of this work may be copied, retransmitted, reposted, duplicated,
or otherwise used without the express written approval of the author.

One Red Shoe

Goddamn it, where was it? He was in no mood, this of all mornings, to launch a treasure hunt for the aspirin bottle. He hadn’t been thinking clearly all week as it was, and now he had a desperate need he had to work to fulfill. No doubt his buddies had done this on purpose. Jerks.

He glanced at the clock. 7:30 am. So at least he had plenty of time before the big moment. Enough time to ease the tequila vice that was squeezing his skull. A thorough review of the medicine cabinet turned up nothing. Ditto the kitchen drawers. The apartment’s living room was a maze of empty bottles, ashtrays, and confetti. He remembered some of it, but it made his head hurt. Giving up his search, he returned to his bed, in the hopes a brief stare at the ceiling would stop the throbbing that moving only made worse.

He could hear his roommate snoring loudly in the bedroom next to his, the radio still on, playing The Doobie Brothers or something. What a great best man, he thought. Invite the boys, put some porn on the DVD player, and get me drunk. The landlord had come to investigate the noise, that much he remembered, and had ended up staying for the party. At least it was just booze and the guys. He didn’t remember any strippers.

The throbbing was a little better, and he was developing a crick in his back from staring at the ceiling. Changing positions, he threw an arm over the side of the bed, and concentrated on the floor. Something caught his attention, but it took a moment to focus.

His heart went through his feet, through the floor, and into the apartment below. Greeting his gaze like the smile of an executioner was one red shoe. Not a sandal or a sneaker, but a bright crimson, come-hither, high-heeled pump. Oh, shit.

The banging on his roommate’s door brought a grumbled epithet, but after repeated cursing and door rattling, his best man stumbled into the hallway. Shaking the shoe under his friend’s nose, with some additional cursing and hair-pulling, elicited nothing but a knowing smile and a slap to the shoulder.

“Don’t worry, Bud. Looks like you had a good time. ‘Sides, it just your pals. Nobody will say anything.”

The rest of the morning was as blurry as the previous night. His male friends showed up again, grinning mischievously, digging elbows in his ribs. Somehow they got him into the shower, scrubbed him clean, shaved him, and got him dressed. Vaguely he remembered pancakes at the breakfast counter down the street. Hazily, he recalled being stuffed into a limo and driven to the church. In the coat room close to the altar, he was stuffed into his tuxedo. He clearly remembered two things. First, his mother crying as she hugged her single son for the last time. How could he live up to her expectations after his sin discovered only this morning? Second, he vehemently refused any sip from any flask proffered by his groomsmen.

Music filled the air, and his best man dragged him by the arm and shoved him out to the altar. He stood, shaking and excited, consoling himself that whatever happened didn’t really count, he hadn’t been married yet. The bridesmaids marched down the aisle, demure and sweet and floral. The wedding party took their positions, and the organ music swelled to the big entrance. The congregation stood, and the light of the world appeared from the entrance of the vestibule. He was crying with happiness and relief.

For there, in a blazing white gown, was his beloved, wearing something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.

And one red shoe.

5 comments:

test said...

Dude!!!!! That was EXCELLENT!!!!! Who knew(certainly not I) what a gifted writer you are! To contain an entire short story in a few paragraphs and keep me on the edge of my seat...just awesome!(Child of the 80's, sorry).

Plesae...MORE KF fiction!!!

~crazy

jazz bird said...

That was a fantastic story. Thanks for sharing your writing. I could clearly visualize everything as you painted it. I quickly found myself eager for each additional sentence, anxious for that final "shoe to drop".

Encore!

Kingfisher said...

Thank you so much, but methinks thou art slightly too easy to impress.

test said...

I'm a dance critic, not a literary one. I just know what I like...

test said...

...and methinks you doth protest too much.