Two Stories Involving My Footwear

by Oscar Monroy

A Story Involving the Sandals I am Wearing

 

I was sitting on my bed when I noticed that my shoes were not in their usual spot. Nor anywhere else, apparently.

 

Sometimes I just can’t find my shoes. Though a little bit upsetting, this is not too bad. They often appear within a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, and exclusively in such occasions, I wear my sandals. These sandals which, I must admit, are a little too big for me.

 

So this particular day I wore my sandals. That same day, as I was waiting for the green light to cross the avenue, a most unique gentleman approached me. He offered to shine my shoes. I looked at him with impatient eyes. He looked at my feet, then at my face. It was obvious that shining my sandals would turn out to be difficult. But the man was persistent. Take them off and I’ll shine them for you, he said.

 

No, thank you. Green light—I started walking.

 

Come on, it won’t take me long.

 

I kept walking. Faster. Given my speed, and the fact that my sandals were—I must admit—a little too big for me, every step I gave emitted a loud tcha.

 

Peter X—who, standing next to this really smelly street stand, was awaiting the arrival of someone who would never arrive—heard a constant tcha-tcha-tcha. It was me walking quickly some meters away, running from the shoe shiner’s offer.

 

What surprised Peter wasn’t that much the constant tcha-tcha-tcha produced by my sandals, but the fact that this particular arrangement of sounds caused him to remember a certain shooting in which he found himself involved just two months earlier.

 

Just two months earlier, Peter X was in the middle of a shooting.

 

When it was over, he couldn’t listen to anything but a pulsating buzz.

 

Nothing did he know about the causes of the shooting.

 

Neither did I know anything about them as I walked emitting a constant tcha-tcha-tcha carelessly, without taking into consideration what unfortunate feelings such a sound might produce in others.

 

Although neither of us knew anything about the causes of the shooting, the shooting did have causes and these causes were indeed known by several people.

 

Ernest T, for example, did know the causes of the shooting. Unfortunately, he is not around anymore to tell us anything about them. He was shot.

 

Ernest T’s shooter didn’t know the causes of the shooting, but the person who ordered the death of Ernest T did know the causes of the shooting.

 

Roger H, otherwise known as Theboss, knows the causes of the shooting. He didn’t tell them to anyone. One might believe—perhaps without fear of speculating much—that he is one of the causes of the shooting.

 

None of those who perished during the shooting got to know the cause in virtue of which they died. It must be clarified that Ernest T didn’t die during the shooting, but three days later.

 

None of those who survived the shooting will ever get to know the cause in virtue of which those who died were killed, except for Ernest T.

 

Some of those who survived the shooting have wondered what caused it, but none of them has got it right.

 

Every survivor remembers from time to time what happened. The noise, bodies collapsing, and the pulsating buzz that followed.

 

An example is Peter X, who remembered what happened thanks to me, walking with this sandals of mine, emitting a constant tcha-tcha-tcha as he, right next to a really smelly street stand, awaited the arrival of someone who would never arrive.

 

You could tell that he was feeling lonely.

 

Maybe I made him feel worse.

 

To be honest, I don’t know if the blame is on me or on the circumstances we go through.

A Story Involving the Shoes I am not Wearing

 

The truth is that some aliens took my shoes. They were definitely trying to abduct me, but they couldn’t. It seems that Grrgtrykt didn’t calibrate their spaceship’s abducting ray properly.

 

Their abducting ray was only able to hit my shoes, which were right next to my bed.

 

Why would some aliens want to abduct me?

 

The real question is: Why not?

 

The answer is a secret, it mustn’t be known. What is actually allowed to be known is that they wanted to find me, to abduct me. To take me to their spaceship and maybe later to their planet.

 

Grrgtrykt was responsible for calibrating the abducting ray that would take me to their ship. As I have already pointed out, Grrgtrykt failed.

 

The case of Grrgtrykt isn’t an isolated one. My shoes disappear constantly and the cause is always the same: some alien doesn’t calibrate its spaceship’s abducting ray properly.

 

Apparently, there is a Secret Alien Service that opposes my abduction. They must have their reasons. Their assets infiltrate the Official Military Forces of the Aliens in order to frustrate at all costs the efforts to abduct me.

 

I am about to describe what happened to Grrgtrykt. This is exactly what has happened to many other assets of the Secret Alien Service once that their true loyalty has been unveiled.

 

Grrgtrykt reported that the abducting system must have been damaged. Such a report only managed to irritate Commander Ygtk, who was pretty sure that the blame was on the operator, not on the abducting system.

 

The Alien Council agreed upon returning my shoes. They supposed that this would dissipate any form of suspicion. Grrgtrykt was dismissed immediately after.

 

His goods were taken away, as were other economical aids—typically granted to other officials of his rank—intended to support his children’s education.

 

He lost all his titles, and his reputation rapidly fell apart. After that, he didn’t get a job in any urban centre.

 

He ended up in a Qwitchan farm, throwing yerwak dung through the crops.

 

It is a little known truth—a well kept secret—that the Official Military Force of the Aliens has scheduled a reprisal of considerable size.

 

Once that they have cornered them in farms of the Qwitcha region, several former members of the Secret Alien Service will be annihilated by means of a boisterous bombing that will not only get them killed, but will also cast a lot of lights and sparkles, visible from afar. They might even play some music through the city speakers.

 

Their goal is to spread fear among the remaining members of the Secret Alien Service, in order for them to stop their dangerous counter-operations.

 

To die in the middle of a light and sound show, surrounded by yerwak dung.

 

Such is the fate of those who have saved me.