The Itchy Foot

Clara's flojos and canvas keds went out with the trash after a dizzying day of making love and sipping champagne. Her boyfriend Trevor said, "Feet need to be adorned." He purchased racks of stiletto pumps with costumed jeweled ankle straps, sandals with flowers, and an array of boots.

To make the best of things, at first Clara cut off the ankle straps from a pair of black heels, and hoped Trevor wouldn't notice. But he noticed all too well at the sushi bar and ran his fingers up and down her leg. When his fingertips graced her upper thigh she looked around at the other diners and admonished him, "We're in public."

"So? Your calves are naked." He moved his fingers within inches of her underwear.

Clara dipped her index finger into the ice water, splashed him in the face and said, "Not here."

"Then wear your shoes the way I bought them instead of driving me nuts with your nude calves."


Weeks later at a summer picnic Clara wore daisy sandals with straps around her ankles and tried so hard not to scratch her legs. Downing a few beers she wondered if flowers itched as they grew and if the itching stopped once they burst free of the bud and displayed their petals. Clara glanced at her toes framed by daisies and the answer came. The straps wiggled.

She took off the sandals and scanned the backyard for an inconspicuous place to dump them. At the litter box in the corner she hid the shoes under the cat's dried excrement.

Much to her dismay, someone bellowed in a loud Texan accent, "Wrestle up that girlfriend of yours, and Trevor called out, "Oh, Clara…"

She cringed a bit and said, "Over here."

Trevor stared at the kitty litter and said, "Clara, is this your way of telling me you want a cat?" With spite she kissed him on the lips. Trevor waved at a burly man in his fifties.

The man stuck his hand out in front of Clara's and said, "I'm Bob Browns." He winked at Trevor and said, "Just the way I like my women, pretty, barefoot and oops, well there's time for that one." Trevor looked at her feet suspiciously and asked, "Where are your shoes?"

She lied, "Oh, the little girls wanted to play with them. They liked the daisies."

Bob said, "Well sugar those girls are mine. You might as well kiss your shoes goodbye, once they see something they like they stick to it. "He laughed putting his arm around her shoulders and said, "Just like their old man."

Trevor pushed Bob's arm away and said, "Clara can't run around all day barefoot her feet are too sensitive. We'll make a quick shoe run."


The next weekend they went to a western themed barbecue. Trevor suggested, since it was going to be a scorcher to wear cowboy boots and shorts. In the backyard at the barbeque with no shade, not even an awning, or a sheltering tree only the desert cacti looked comfortable. Her feet smoldered. She tossed ice down the boots. It made things worse. Her socks swished around. She ditched the boots behind a tall cactus, but Trevor cornered her and handed her a pair of lizard sandals.

She couldn't help but stare into the lizard's green beady eyes. She saw minuscule pupils floating in a river of blackness. The base of the shoes vibrated. The straps wiggled. She passed out and Trevor carried her home.

A few days later he invited her for a special night out on the town with the request to wear something silver and the dragonfly shoes. She had a half a mind to cancel, but when the limousine showed up, Clara lost her nerve.

Seated in the limousine she poured a glass of the bubbly. Something silvery in the ice bucket caught her eye. She tilted the bucket sideways. A metal dragonfly appeared. With opals for wings, it looked poised ready to fly.

Her feet itched. She took off her sandals and dangled her shoes out the window as the limousine pulled into the parking lot at La Petit Rose. The valet opened the door, glanced at her lustily and said, "You can't go in there barefoot."

Clara said, "Of course, I can. I'm Clara Lightfoot."

Trevor rushed over to her and handed her a pair of silver ballet slippers. She grabbed the shoes and ran out of the limousine. Trevor followed her, "I have another pair of shoes…"

She threw the ballet slippers at him. Trevor caught one slipper as the other landed on the pavement. Curled up in a ball in the fetal position the other slipper remained on the blackened payment. Trevor kneeled down in front of the slipper.

Clara screamed, "I'm not your Cinderella," and walked out of the parking lot, feeling the pebbles and the nighttime dew under her feet.

About the author:

Julie Ann Shapiro is a freelance writer. Her stories and essays have appeared in the San Diego Union Tribune, North County Times, Sacred Waters, Sacred Fires (Adams Media 2005), Story South, Los Angeles Journal, Word Riot, Millennium Shift, Mega Era Magazine, Alternate Species, Science Fiction and Fantasy World, Green Tricycle, All Things Girl, Ultimate Hallucination, The Glut, Somewhat, Dovetail Journal, Uber, Moon Dance, The Quarterly Staple, Opium Magazine, Journal of Modern Post, Rumble, Long Story Short, Cellar Door Magazine (Spring and Summer Issues 2005), Edifice Wrecked, Espresso Fiction, Flash Fiction Net – Coffee Cup Series, Mad Hatters Review, Writers Post Journal, Void, Salome, Skive, Catharsis Journal Elimae and Insolent Rudder.