I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. You could have just strapped me to the side of a hog and rolled me in the mud!
Inside the little building was a mound of dried, red clay dirt and peeking out of that mound…was what had to have been millions of shoes. Maybe not millions. Maybe thousands. Maybe not thousands. Maybe hundreds. Maybe not hundreds, but there were…lots of shoes.
Was this some attempt at an abstract sculpture? Or was it a shoe graveyard? Did people bury their shoes back then? If they did, why would they use the space in the little building to discard outgrown, or worn out shoes?
I had already trespassed and I knew that I was going to scarper with my doily, so I figured stealing one little shoe would only add a few years to my sentence.
As I started to take one, it occurred to me that if disturbed the mound, my final resting place might be under the avalanche of shoes that would come tumbling down, if I moved the wrong one. I needed a better, more thought out plan. Or maybe I should just let sleeping shoes lie.
Driving back home, my evil twin was barking orders on my left shoulder. “Go back and see what else you can find, you wiener!”
When I got home, all thoughts of reason and any sense of being an upstanding, law-abiding citizen went out the window. I thought I heard my evil twin cackle with delight while I gathered up every kind of bag I could find. I put on my work boots, a pair of my daddy’s overalls from fifty years ago, and threw my shovel into the trunk.
Before I got to the end of my driveway, I suddenly panicked. “Should I wear a disguise? Good idea,” I thought. I grabbed a pair of sunglasses and off I went.
On the way, I deviously calculated my plan. I would park further up the street so as to not attract any unusual attention, especially from any nomadic police cruisers that happened to be driving by. I would then stealthy make my way to the back of the house and through the weeds to the little building, where my treasures awaited.
Bags on my arm and shovel in my hand, I forged my way to the little building. A few annoyed squirrels were chattering as if they were warning me to get out of there, but I opened the door and gazed in wide wonder.
I was thinking, “should I take one from the top and risk the whole thing collapsing, or should I take one from the bottom and risk the whole thing collapsing, or should I take one from the middle and risk the whole thing collapsing?” Decisions, decisions.
I stood back, closed my eyes, took my shovel and pried a shoe from the middle of the mound. I jumped back, in case the shoes decided to mount a rebellion for having been disturbed and started walking all over me.
I did tend to have a vivid imagination and always seemed to anticipate the worst possible scenarios. At least that way, I wouldn’t be surprised. I might be dead, but not surprised.
To my delight, nothing happened. The mound held firm and I was holding a shoe! It was covered with dirt of course, but I could tell that it was a man’s shoe. Did I dare try to get another or should I just cut and run?
My evil twin was back on my shoulder, spouting obscenities and calling me everything but a child of God. I don’t know why it had to be so nasty, but I listened and continued to more or less uncover what to me, was tantamount to discovering King Tut’s tomb.
The mound seemed to be secure and so did my ill-gotten booty. I was pulling out shoes with utter abandon! Big shoes, little shoes and medium shoes.
I wondered. Had the little building at one time been a shoe store? Of course not. It was far too small, but why all the shoes? I was giddy with excitement. I was digging and sneezing and wiping red clay dust off of my face but I hadn’t had that much fun in I didn’t know how long.
I smiled as I caressed each shoe before I put it into a bag. I couldn’t wait to get them back home, even though the thought of prison life and a big, tattooed woman named Helga loomed in the back of my mind.
Suddenly, I heard sirens.
To be continued____________________