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the shoe

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:18 pm
by xeshaka
First time submission. Not sure it's exactly horror and it's a bit thrown together, but feedback is welcome.

Jake and Jessica were quite a pair. Jess could barely remember a time where Jake wasn’t in her life. They had been neighborhood friends growing up, started dating in high-school and had their first kid not long after graduating. Jake took a job a local car repair shop to make ends meet and Jess stayed at home to take care of their ever growing family. They struggled at times but there was never a shortage of love in the home. Jess cherished the way Jake was with their children and her. He somehow was able to simultaneously be their best friend, wise leader and loving companion. They didn’t have a glamorous life. But for the lack of money and ease, they made up with ingenuity and compassion. Jess loved her life. She worked hard, but always felt it was worth it when she saw her youngest daughter smile, or Jake surprised her with a bouquet of flowers he had picked in the local park. Much time had passed though and Jake and Jessica were in their waning years. Jake had retired and the kids were long gone. They never had much money, but Jake was able to save up for a modest retirement. They enjoyed quiet days and peaceful nights as their time grew shorter. Jack had surprised Jess on their 70th anniversary with tickets to Aruba! This had been one of Jess’s dream places to visit. They had talked about it, even after they got married. But they never had enough money to make it happen. A few years after retiring, Jake had taken up shoe-shining at the local airport. It was a modest income, but Jake was able to save enough after a few years to buy two plane tickets. They had just arrived at the airport, and though her bones were aching already from the ride over, she was so excited she almost bounced out of the car into the airport security line.

As they got nearer to the front Jess noticed that Jake seemed almost nervous. She couldn’t put her finger on the reason but figured he was just as excited as she. They finally got to the security checkpoint and the standard call of the TSA agents was repeated. “Please place all bags on the conveyor. Empty your pockets, belts, shoes and jackets off. Any device larger than a phone should be in it’s own bin. No drinks or large bottles.”

Jake and Jess started taking off various articles, unpacking their laptop, and placing their bags on the belt. Jess noticed Jake didn’t take his shoes off, but that didn’t quite surprise her. See, her and Jake had been together for a LONG time, and one thing she new was Jake has some terrible foot odor. I mean, room clearing, near vomit inducing putrid scents wafted in the air anytime he took his shoes off. Everyone knew it was a general rule that Jake wasn’t allowed to take his shoes off in the house for any reason. But the TSA doesn’t care about foot odor. As he walks to the metal detector an agent stops him and reminds him he needs to take his shoes off first. Jake shakes his head and says he cannot. The agent says it again with a stern tone. Other agents start to notice and walk over. A crowd forms around Jake as he keeps shaking his head and not listening to their demands.

Finally a supervisor comes over. He walks right up to Jake and stares him in the eyes. “Sir, I need you to take off your shoes. If you don’t you won’t be able to continue to your flight. It will only take a moment and then you’ll be off!” Jake’s head is hanging low as the gentleman speaks to him. He slow lifts his gaze and stares back at the man. “I’m sorry sir, you have to trust me. I can not take my shoes off.”

The supervisor then did something even he didn’t fully understand why, but felt compelled to. He knelt down and started untying the old man’s left shoe. Jess wasn’t sure why but she started crying as she watched the scene unfold. Maybe she finally realized why Jake was so nervous. Maybe she always knew this would happen. The supervisor lifted the man’s leg, put his hand around the back of the man’s shoe and slowly started pulling it down off of his foot.

Lisa was excited to get away. She spent the last few months finishing her PHD work and now that she was done, needed some time to just rest. She took a taxi to the airport and was almost at her terminal. It was then she heard sound louder than anything she had heard before. The taxi driver slammed his brakes and she jumped out of the car to see what was happening. There was a huge ball of fire and smoke rising like a mushroom out from the left side of the nearest terminal. There were people screaming and running in all directions and already sirens starting to fill the air. She sat on the curb and cried. Not even wholly understanding why, but she knew she wouldn’t be getting to Aruba.