I had been wearing the shoes for two weeks before I lost one of them. In that time, I learned that they gave me the ability to become significantly stronger than the average person. Not that I have anything against average people. I think they’re tip-top. A-okay. Couldn’t live without them and all that jazz. It’s just that I’ve been average before and I really don’t want to go back. The shoes took me from zero to hero, and now, I risk losing everything. The fame, the power, the… wait. I already said fame, right? Well then that about sums up what I stand to lose. Without both of the shoes, who was I? Half the boy? Half as cool? I certainly wouldn’t have blamed you for thinking I was half as smart, that’s for sure. Not after deciding that I would need to go to Bradley’s house to find the other shoe and take by what was rightfully mine.
During recess two weeks earlier, I had stopped Haley Macintosh from breaking her arm on the playground equipment. I caught her to be precise. It was the strangest thing. I swore I could hear someone calling out my name to turn around and the next Haley fell straight into my arms. I was able to convince myself the next day that the voice I heard was actually just a bird, what I wasn’t able to convince myself of, however, was the fact that I was now, officially a hero. I’m not really considered one of the stronger students in my year level, so my friends, Tim and Jerome, and I spent a tremendous amount of time trying to work out what it could have been that gave me this incredible strength.
We threw around many suggestions: Maybe it was the carrot sticks I had eaten at lunch? That couldn’t be true, though, as I had eaten carrot sticks virtually every day throughout grade four and hadn’t noticed any sudden changes in strength or agility. Then Tim joined a few dots and proposed that maybe it was the new shoes I was wearing. Although they weren’t exactly new (my grandmother had brought them for me for my birthday towards the beginning of the year), Tim was right in his observations that this was their first time being exposed to the torn up ground in the Greenvale School grade four playground. Not having any better ideas, that theory stuck, so we decided to put it to the test. It wasn’t as if there were kids falling from the play equipment left, right and centre so we decided to wait until the next week, when were going on school camp to begin experimenting.
Catching a plate that Jerome threw across the mess hall during dinner time; Completing the ropes course in record time; These were the experiments we imagined practicing while on camp, but, because of Bradley Sharma, we didn’t get to do any of them. Bradley was sleeping in the dorm next door to ours and thought it would be hilarious to get his buddies to run around taking all of the boys’ clothes from their bags and piling them up in the middle of the hallway. Any other camp. Any other time. I might have found this a rather funny prank myself, but I hadn’t worn the shoes on the bus for fear of causing an accident due to not being able to tame my strength and power. So, they were in that pile somewhere and I only ever found one.
I spent most of the camp checking people’s feet or asking if anyone had picked up anything that wasn’t theirs in what was becoming known as “Clothesgate”, but I had no luck. It wasn’t until we got home that my mother received a phone call stating that Bradley had a stray shoe tucked away in his luggage, so, here we were heading over to his house to pick up the shoe that would change my life forever. I stayed in the car because I couldn’t bear to look at him. What had he discovered? I knew our relationship would never be the same again. I got home, scurried off into my room and went to put the shoes on my feet (I was planning on sleeping with them on out of fear of losing them again). I was having trouble slipping them on so I put them down to have a good look at them and saw the most the terrifying sight of my short, but eventful life. On the floor in front of me were two shoes, both designed for a left foot. Someone still has my shoe. My life now, is dedicated to discovering who.
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
Illustrations by Alisha Towers: FACEBOOK
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