The Shoes of Hidden Steps

An

Expresso Tale

By

Accipiter G. Goshawk

It was raining outside. The potholes slowly filled with water and soon, the small country road that led away from the cottage was almost completely submerged.

But that didn’t bother her. After all, she had the Shoes.

It took only an hour to prepare for what she had in mind. Ignoring the drops pattering against the window, she selected a simple blouse and a long skirt from the depths of her closet. She completed the ensemble with a green scarf, a pair of sunglasses and of course, the Shoes.

At the moment they seemed to enjoy being sneakers. This didn’t bother her in the slightest; she preferred comfort over style. She did, however, smile at the memory of the summer of 2011 when the Shoes had transformed into a pair of gorgeous blue stilettoes. That had been her “chick” summer, filled with balls, soirées and invitation to court.

“Courts,” she thought to herself, as she donned first the right, then the left. She wiggled her feet for a moment and a few happy sparks flew to the ground, turning the floorboards pink.

She packed a sandwich and an apple into her shoulder bag, along with her ever-present sketchpad and assorted pencils. Then, she strode over to her bookshelf and pulled an old art encyclopaedia from between a cookbook and a copy of Pride and Prejudice.

It only took her a second to find the page she was looking for. Grinning widely, she carefully placed the book on the floor and lightly stepped into the page.

The change was immediate. A second ago she had been standing in her small cottage, in a forgotten corner of France. Now, she was striding along the hills of an oil painting, a slight wind rustling in the long grass. Up ahead she could see her friend posing for her Leo, as always.

“Hey L.! How are things?”

The seated woman turned and immediately, her famously enigmatic expression shifted into a joyous smile.

“Mia cara! How wonderful to see you again! Please, sit! Leo? Could you give us a moment, caro?”

Behind his easel, the painter murmured something incomprehensible and then left to go study some birds he’d noticed earlier.

She had a lovely lunch with Lisa, exchanging gossip amidst the hills of Tuscany. Once Leonardo returned, she said goodbye and walked off along another path between realities.

She had tea in Wonderland and although Alice never so much as drank a drop, she found that if the Hatter was sufficiently distracted, she could easily take a few sips. And maybe a bite of Jekkalop Cake.

The rest of her afternoon was spent riding some humpbacked creature, while in the distance a small Belgian detective worked up a sweat underneath the Egyptian sun.

She had dinner in Casablanca. The movie, not the city. She sipped a small cocktail as the notes of “As Time Goes By” permeated the air around her, filling her with a lovely feeling of nostalgia and longing.

The rain had stopped when she emerged from inside her television. She undressed and prepared for bed, smiling softly. Thinking of the hidden steps of tomorrow.-

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