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Stiletto Hell

These shoes have an evil sole.

Richard Bailey dashed into the bathroom and slammed the door shut, locking it. He trembled as he reached for his cell phone, dialing the appropriate three-digit number before dropping it on the tile floor; luckily it didn’t break.

“Come, come on,” he screamed. “Answer the phone! Hello?”

“Chatham Police, what is your emergency?” said the female voice, cool and firm.

“I’m getting attacked by a pair of stiletto heels!”

“I’m sorry. Did you say stiletto heels, sir? Is someone trying to harm you with a pair of shoes?”

Whack, whack, whack; each time louder. The heels punctured straight through the measly wood door like a sword, fragments splintering off in every direction. Richard’s eyes grew big as cue balls in horror.

“They’re coming through, you gotta help me!” yelled the distraught man, cowering in fear, now crouching in the bathtub.

“An intruder is breaking in, sir?” the voice asked, trying to make sense of the situation.

“No ma’am. It’s a pair of killer stilettos, blood red in color. The heels must be six inches long! They’re trying to murder me!”

“Is this a prank?” asked the woman, noting the date as October 30, also known as Mischief Night, a pre-Halloween ritual where children and teens toilet paper neighbor’s trees, egg houses, an occasionally bash in mailboxes.

“No, I swear,” stammered Richard, sweating bullets despite the chill in the three story, hundred year old house. He stood up, but slipped on the half used bar of Irish Spring soap, skiing right out of the tub and landing flat on his back. The phone went flying, a three pointer straight into the toilet. Splash.

Richard reached down and dried it off quickly with a hand towel. “Son of a bitch!”

“I’m sorry, what did you call me?” bellowed a gargled voice.

“I didn’t mean you. Look, I . . .” The officer became rather irked, her patience spilling over with annoyance; it wasn’t the first prank phone call she received tonight. The woman hung up on the hapless man and went back to her game of computer solitaire.

“Aaaah, howled Richard, hanging up the phone and stuffing it in his back jean pocket. He turned towards the door; the four holes creating a perfect ‘connect the dot’ square. The man picked up the toilet bowl scrub brush and inched ahead. Richard approached the door, bracing his left foot at the bottom.

“Where are you, you abomination to women’s footwear,” he snarled, leaning closer to the door. He squinted his right eye, trying to focus better. There on the floor, like a predator stalking its hapless prey, was a shoe.

“Hold on, I see one of you, but where’s the other?”

Slam. The other gleaming red stiletto heel torpedoed though the door, spearing Bailey’s left thigh. The lethal weapon penetrated his flesh before darting away in a split second.

Richard wailed in pain as he backed away, blood squirting out from the wound. “You bastard!” He fell to the floor on his rump, clutching his thigh as blood seeped through his fingertips. He pulled a hand towel from the gold hoop holder and pressed hard to stop the flow.

He dragged himself over to the cabinet below the sink and scurried for bandages. “Where the hell are they?” He scooped everything inside with his arm and littered the bathroom floor with the contents.

“Toys, soap, flashlight, and uh jeeze, what’s that horrible smell? Out rolled a decaying hard boiled Easter egg. At one time it sported a golden hue, but now rotten to the yoke.

“Ha, and everybody kept blaming me for the stink!” His wife and two children were visiting her parents in nearby Denville, enjoying an evening of pizza and soda.

Richard pulled down his pants to examine the damage. “Oh, for Christ’s sake! I’m gonna turn you into Hush Puppies!”

He doused the wound with hydrogen peroxide then grabbed a handful of cotton balls. A small roll of white bandage tape lay next to the stinky egg. “Perfect.”

After dressing the wound, Richard pulled up his jeans and limped over to the sink. He opened the mirrored cabinet door and snatched the bottle of Tylenol.

“Let’s see, the proper dosage for . . . what the hell am I saying? He quickly popped four in his mouth and chased it down with water in his cupped hands.

“Alright shoes; your sole is mine.” Richard let out a crazed laugh with just the right hint of evilness.

The size six and a half pair of shoes was a partial gag gift from one of his wife’s school teaching friends. Richard’s wife, Kathy, was the school media specialist at the K-8 Saint Anthony Catholic School and still bitten by the preppy look of the 1980’s. She never wore high heels, maybe an inch at the most, and that was daring. For a playful joke, Miss Andrea, the always effervescent and uniquely dressed art teacher decided to spice things up in Kathy’s humdrum ‘podiatary’ lifestyle.

On a Saturday afternoon trip to the Village in New York City, Andrea spotted a wicked pair of deep ruby red stiletto shoes on a folding table of Madam Celeste’s Sidewalk Emporium. The disheveled woman, long black hair dressed in a paisley tapestry dress, smiled a gold toothy grin. Andrea couldn’t resist, plopping down a pair of crisp twenty dollar bills.

A week later at Kathy’s surprise birthday party, the unadventurous woman opened the silver-wrapped box and was bowled over. “Now this is me,” she laughed. After schnorts of Sea Breezes and Screwdrivers, Kathy was finally giddy enough to try them on.

She slipped off her favorite pair of bubblegum pink Van’s sneakers and prepared to step into the unknown of skyscraper footwear. After some trial and error, her legs wobbling a bit, Kathy stood proudly like a stilt walker, now towering over her husband by three inches, maybe four.

Already conscious about his below average height, Richard barely reached five foot seven, the father of two smiled, but felt embarrassed. One of the reasons, actually, the main reason he liked his wife’s taste in no-heel shoes so much was he was always taller.

But now, how could this mild mannered professional keep up against a pair of hot red, six-inch stilettos? Would (or could) his wife of ten years, suddenly transform? There were strip clubs a couple of towns away. Maybe . . .

What if Kathy came home one day and decided teaching to a bunch of snot nosed elementary school children was just a tad tedious and boring. What if she fancied slipping on those stripper heels? He could already hear her say, “Richard honey, from now on I’m gonna flaunt my flesh for some serious Do, Re-Mi!”

No, no, and no. Mister Richard Bailey was going to put a stop to it, which brings us back to the current situation.

Richard staggered to the door once again, this time with a bit more awareness. He leaned in again and took in a deep breath. There on the floor stood the right shoe, tapping incessantly on the light parquet wood floor. He scratched the door with the scrub brush, hoping to provoke the other devil shoe to attack. And right on target, the metallic red spear shot through the door, almost completely. But this time, Richard was ready. He smothered the hostile heel with a towel, wrestling with the raging shoe. The rampaging shoe nearly pulled Richard’s arms out of their sockets as it desperately flew in every direction like a captured hawk.

Richard stuck to his guns, finally dragging the shoe down into the toilet. He stuffed the bundled up towel inside, slammed the lid down and ran rings of bandage tape around the bowl. And for good measure, he flushed the toilet. The shoe banged against the porcelain violently then simmered down. Was it dead? Richard pondered. Hold on, how the hell can a shoe be alive in the first place?

With the left shoe secured, it was on to the right. He peered out one of the holes left by the heel, but didn’t see a thing. It was gone. Suddenly, the lights cut out. He fumbled for the flashlight on the floor. Richard flicked it on; thankfully it worked.

The house was dead quiet; his wife and kids wouldn’t be home for at least another hour of two. He opened the door as gently as possible. The old hinges squeaked no matter how much Richard showered them with WD-40. He walked over to the bannister near the top of the steps, his thigh throbbing in pain. A feint noise seemed to come from the kitchen. Richard turned off the flashlight and tiptoed down each step like a cat burglar. At the halfway point, he paused, his eyes becoming more accustomed to the darkness. The fireplace flickered with short, dark orange flames, the last remaining log starving for more wood.

He managed to make it into the basement unnoticed where he went to check on the fuse box. It was smashed to bits like someone who’d taken a hammer (or heel) and whacked away at it repeatedly.

“Crapola,” Richard uttered. He turned on the flashlight searching for a way to defeat the shoe. Generally speaking, scrub brushes didn’t make intimidating weapons he thought, offering up a minuscule smile.

“Ah ha! Cast net!” Richard ventured into the garage and scrounged around for his fishing equipment. There, stuffed in a five-gallon orange bucket was the circular, six-foot in diameter nylon cast net with inch long weights lined along the ends. He grabbed a hand saw and beat up hockey stick then headed back upstairs.

Richard walked over to the fireplace and dropped a couple of split logs and newspaper onto the dying fire. It perked up almost immediately, providing much better lighting. He backed into a nearby corner and opened the net like an inviting spider web.

“All right you shoe of shit, time to meet your maker.” The only sounds were Richard’s beating heart and the crackling of dried wood turning into flames. Hold on.

At the top of the stairs, a pronounced tap echoed throughout the old house. Richard’s heartbeat kicked into overdrive. Tap. Tap. Tap. The sound was methodically paced like it knew what it was doing, approaching each step with paused perfection. Through the wood railings, Richard could see the light of the flames reflecting off the metallic red shoe. It would be either he, or Satan’s stilettos left standing.

“Oh no.” Both shoes appeared at the bottom of the stairs. They stood side by side, glaring directly at Richard. They inched closer, taking short, measured steps. He prepped the cast net in his hands and teeth, which still had the effervescent taste of ocean, a couple of pieces of dried out seaweed still clinging to it.

The foes stared at each other, or as much as shoes could stare. It was the O.K. Coral, Twilight Zone style.

All of a sudden, they torpedoed from the floor like harpoons, the pointed heels zooming straight at Richard’s head. He dropped the net in fright, but it still managed to tangle the deadly heels up like trapped bait fish. Richard raised the hockey stick and started clubbing the shoes into submission. One scurried away but the other limped around, helplessly. Richard dropped to his knees and whipped out the hand saw and cut the heel right off.

Blood started pouring out at the base of the removed heel. “What the hell?”

He clutched the rest of the shoe, but could feel it pulsating like a heart. He dropped it in disgust but picked it up again, quickly tossing it in the fire. The shoe let out a high-pitched squeal like a boiling lobster then burst into flames.

Before Richard could even catch his breath, he recognized a familiar grinding sound coming from the kitchen. He stood up, grasping the hockey stick in his right hand like a cane. Richard stumbled over to the remodeled kitchen, full of stainless steel appliances, hanging pans, and painted tile backsplash.

“No way,” he said, almost mouthing the words in disbelief. The stiletto was sharpening its lethal heel, the tip almost glowing red-hot. Richard plucked the hanging black metal skillet and held it firmly. The malicious stiletto stopped and turned towards the man.

It took off like a slap shot, but Richard blocked it cleanly with the heavy duty cooking utensil. The shoe was knocked out, unconscious. He whacked it, again and again repeatedly so much so he broke the Spanish floor tiles underneath. He picked up the throbbing red shoe with a pair of tongs and raced over to the fireplace, plopping it right on top of the highest flame.

The shoe squirmed as it roasted on the glowing, deep orange cinders. A strange blood-red cloud emerged from the dying shoe before evaporating. Richard stumbled over to the recliner chair and plopped his weary body down. He grimaced in pain as he reached around to call the doctor.

----------------------------------------------------

On a crisp mid-November afternoon, the phone rang at the Bailey house. Richard had just hobbled in with a new bathroom door from Home Depot. He propped it up in the hallway and picked up the phone.

“Hello? Oh hi Andrea. No, she’s not here – I think she went to the store with the kids. Sure. Tell her you just bought a pair of high heel shoes from the same place in the city? Made of shark skin? Uh, that could be dangerous.”

On the other end, Andrea was laughing. “You have such a dry sense of humor Richard, no wonder you and Kathy are such a perfect fit.” He could hear her snapping away on her bubble gum. “You’re such a kidder.”

“I’ll have her call you when she gets back,” answered Richard, his wound still smarting a bit. “But, I’d watch out for those shoes.”

“I’ll take it under advisement,” she replied, slightly perplexed. “Uh, hold on for a second Richard, I hear something. No way. What the hell?” The sound of screams permeated through the phone as the shoes zeroed in, attacking the colorful art teacher like . . . sharks in a feeding frenzy.

“Who’s kidding?” Richard hung up the phone then made a quick call. “Hello police? You need to go to 1975 Meadows Lane, immediately; there’s been a shoe attack.”

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