Monday, September 5, 2016

STORY #39 THE FOOT

One of my favorite types of short stories are surreal stores. Stories that push the boundries of reality. Surreal stories have a mysterious feel to them. In other words, they're magical would proably be the best way to put it.  Lately, I've stumbled across one of these types of writers. They're out there and you have to search for them but one in particular is on the bestseller list. And that would be Aimee Bender. She has become one of my favorites. Bruce taylor would be another.  So while I was writing this I thought what in the world am I writing? I was about ready to hit the delete button and start over but I promised myself I would never do that. That is an extremely bad habit a writer can get into and often times is hard to pull yourself out of. A writer can spend years down this hole and some never get out. I've been fortunate to have came across a professional writer (Harvey Stanbourgh) who warned me about being my own judge and just let it roll. Trust the creative part of your brain. He has helped me out tremendously.

As you can see some time passed between my last post. I had a rough week last week, work schedule changed and I was thinking way too much about what I was going to write which ended up in not writing. Thinking about what your writing tends to clog up the creative ports.

So, anyway, enough rambling.

Back on track.

This prompt was to write about a foot.

 THE FOOT

When Johnny woke his wife's foot was missing. He looked under the covers. Under the bed. Still they couldn't find it. All that remained was a stitched up stub and she couldn't even remember how that happened.
Outside it was still dark and the clock showed it was only one in the morning.
He helped her out of bed. And it wasn't one of them short ones either. It was one of those you had to get a small step ladder to climb up on. Her other good foot hit the floor with a soft thud. She wrapped her arm around his neck and he guided her to the couch.
She saw her other foot was crying. Tears between the toes.
“I have no idea where it went,” she said. Not really knowing what else to really say because neither one of them knew that body parts could just walk off like that. Her foot didn't tell her it was leaving. Didn't even say good-bye. Or will be back soon.
She scratched her chin as she tried to figure out her next move.
Her husband grabbed the phone. “I'm calling the doctor.”
“I wouldn't.”
He waved his arms as he paced frantically back and forth.”Why? Something has to be wrong.”
“I know. I think I'm probably beyond help at this point.”
“I wouldn't say that. Maybe the doctor knows something about this.”
She laughed. “I don't think so. This would be one of those strange and unusual illnesses that would go down in history if that were the case.”
“Yeah, but to have an entire body part just walk off like that.”
“I know it's insane.”
But by now it was of course way too late to even try to go out and fine it. It was no use she thought and would only make things worse.
Her other foot kicked uncontrollably and was sobbing.
She patted it and told it that everything was going to be okay and that if the other foot wanted to leave then they were better off without it.
The other foot stopped sobbing and seemed to be okay with it. While at the same moment she was thinking that yes, it was going to be extremely difficult trying to live without her other foot. It sure wasn't going to be easy hopping around on the other and it wasn't fair to make the other pick up the slack.
To assist it she and her husband built a peg and attacked it onto the stub. It was uncomfortable to walk on at first but it would do the trick. She felt like Long John Silver in Treasure Island.
In the mean time she wrote the other foot letters and in the letters she told it how much she loved it and wanted for it to come back.
Still there was no reply.
A year passed by then ten then twenty. But by now she figured there was no way of ever seeing her other foot again and gave up all hopes.
Also by then her husband had passed away from cancer. Then she lost her mother just months before that. She was so stricken with such grief she never thought once about her runaway foot.
Earlier, she'd went behind her husband's back and spoke with a doctor and asked him if it was possible for a body part runaway like that while keeping her own experience a secret. The doctor asked her what would possibly make her ask such a question and she just played it all off as being foolish and said she was just reading about something like that in a story and he laughed.
Late at night she lays in bed and reads her other foot a story just before tucking it under the covers and turning in for the night.
When she wakes she washes it, making sure the water ain't too hot, and sings to it like she were taking care of a plant. She trimmed its nails properly doing everything she could to make sure it didn't get sad and run away.
There isn't a day that doesn't go by that she didn't think about her runaway foot.
Once, while trimming the nails she clipped too close and pinched the skin at the tip of the middle toe.
The toe screamed. Wiggled. Squirmed.
“I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry.” She couldn't apologize enough for what she'd done.
A rivulet of blood oozed out from under the small nail. She thought for sure she'd done ticked it off.
Two days later a fungus developed on the nail of the big toe. A thick yellow film. It was ugly and disgusting.
Immediately she hit the home remedies like soaking it in vinegar and applying the Vicks chest rub which she'd heard worked really well.
After a couple of days it cleared up and everything was okay with it.
She thought, wow that sure was a close call.
One night while she was lying in bed she heard something knocked on her door. It was Mid-night as she stumbled down the stairs. There had been a lot of break ins in the area lately and whoever could be at her door at this hour couldn't possibly be up to any good. But then again, a thief wouldn't knock.
She peeked out the hole.
It was her foot.
It stood on the front step. Toes wiggling as if it were all excited.
It jumped in her arms as if it were a cat. Gray hairs lined the top of the toes and the bottom of the foot was covered with callouses and cuts. It had been through a lot on its journey.
“You've come back,” she said.
The other foot bounced and screamed.



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