Tag: shoes

Charlie’s Room: A Mysterious Package

There was a box on the front steps when Isaac got home from work. The mailing label clearly had their last name and address, but Isaac didn’t remember ordering anything. Perhaps Marianne was expecting a package. He picked it up and carried it inside.

Charlie met him in the entryway. “Dad! You’re home. What’s that?”

Isaac held out the box. “I think it’s for your mother. Do you want to take it to her?”

“Mom!” Charlie ran into the kitchen with the box.

Isaac changed his shoes and followed Charlie into the kitchen. He went a little more slowly and quietly, but that happens as you get older. You learn to save your energy for other things, like late night movie marathons or long days at the office.

Marianne held up the box when he came in. “What’s this?”

“I don’t know. I didn’t order anything.”

“Neither did I.” Marianne frowned. They both looked at Charlie.

“It wasn’t me! I’m not allowed to order things.”

They looked back at the box. Marianne shook it gently. “Maybe someone sent us something. Let’s open it and see what’s inside.”

Inside the box, there was a single shoe. The left side was bright red, and the right side was bright blue. Marianne picked up the shoe and turned the box upside down. A packing slip drifted gently to the floor.

Isaac picked it up. “It looks like there’s only supposed to be one shoe. Someone ordered a left shoe, but it doesn’t say who.”

“What kind of shoe is it?” Charlie asked.

“It’s a bowling shoe.” Marianne smiled. “We haven’t taken you bowling, have we? I can’t remember the last time I went bowling.”

“Is it fun? When can we go? Tomorrow? Next week?”

“We’ll have to see when they’re open,” Marianne said. She set the shoe back in the box and set it on the counter.

“I’ll email the company and let them know that we didn’t order this. I imagine someone is really disappointed they didn’t get their shoe today.” Isaac checked the packing slip for contact information.

He sent the email and forgot about it as they got ready for dinner. After dinner, they started a movie marathon. Charlie fell asleep before the first movie was over.

The next morning, the box was empty. Isaac noticed, and wondered where the shoe went. He moved the box to the edge of his desk so that he’d remember to ask, and then started going through the bills and balancing the budget. An hour later, the box was completely forgotten.

Two days later, Isaac received an email, telling him that the information appeared to be correct, the shoe was paid for, and so the company wasn’t worried about a single misplaced shoe. Isaac put the box in the recycling and forgot all about it.

A month later, in the middle of the night, Isaac woke up and went to the kitchen for a drink of water. The moon was nearly full, and the kitchen was brightly lit. He didn’t need to turn on the light. Just as he stepped into the kitchen, something growled.

He froze. The growling grew louder and louder. Something emerged from the wall next to the stove and raced across the kitchen floor. It was the bowling shoe, on wheels, with a little man inside clutching a steering wheel and cackling with glee. There were nice seats and all the appropriate bumpers and mirrors and such, as far as Isaac could tell.

The car disappeared into the opposite wall, and the growling sound faded away. Isaac waited a few moments longer. When nothing happened, he got his drink of water and went to bed.

At dinner the next day, he asked. “Do you remember the bowling shoe?”

“Whatever happened with that? Marianne asked. “Did you send it back?”

“No, they said to keep it,” Isaac said. “But then it disappeared.”

“A mouse stole it to live in like the old woman in the shoe,” Charlie said. “There’s a picture like that in one of my books.”

“I wonder if it ended up in the recycling by accident?” Marianne looked concerned. “Did they charge us extra on our last bill?”

Isaac leaned forward. “Actually, a tiny person made it into a car. I saw him driving around the kitchen last night.”

Marianne and Charlie laughed.

“I wish I remembered my dreams,” Charlie said. “I bet I dream of really funny things, too.”

“I don’t really remember my dreams either.” Marianne sighed. “I guess you get that from me. Sorry, kiddo. Luckily, you are good at using your imagination when you’re awake, so I don’t think you’re missing out. Right?” She turned to Isaac and smiled.

“Right,” he said. And the conversation moved on. They never mentioned the shoe again. But sometimes at night, when Isaac heard the growling sound of a nearby car, he wondered if the sound was coming from outside or inside. He was never sure.

Charlie’s Room: An Unexpected Visitor

Marianne and Charlie loved to read. They would sit on the couch to read in the afternoon, and just tune out the world around them. When they were reading, they couldn’t hear anything.

The funny thing was that they would respond to questions, but their answers wouldn’t make any sense, and they wouldn’t remember later what they said. It was a little like sleep-talking, except they were awake. Isaac wondered if for them reading was like dreaming with their eyes open.

Isaac liked to read, too. However, he was able to hear the doorbell or the telephone when he was reading. If someone asked him a question, he could stop reading and answer the question and remember the conversation later.

One early December afternoon, when the weather was threatening snow but hadn’t yet delivered it, Marianne and Charlie were sitting side by side on the couch reading. They were bathed in the glow of the afternoon light streaming through the front window. Their eyes moved, and occasionally they turned a page, but otherwise they were as still as statues.

Isaac sat in a nearby chair. He had his book out, but he was daydreaming rather than reading. It was hard to focus on the page when there were so many things to think about. Just as he prepared to reread the third paragraph on the page for the fourth time, the doorbell rang.

Marianne and Charlie read on. Isaac sat up and looked around for a bookmark. He found a crossword puzzle magazine and closed it inside his book and set it on the low table nearby. And then he went to answer the door.

No one was standing on the doorstep. Isaac almost closed the door, when a giant white bird flew into the narrow opening and shoved passed Isaac into the house. Isaac pulled the door open a little wider and looked around quickly.

There wasn’t anything scary chasing the bird. There wasn’t anyone running around trying to find their lost bird. There weren’t any other white birds waiting for their chance to fly into the house.

Isaac decided to leave the door open while he found the bird and hopefully chased it back outside. First, he looked into the living room. Marianne and Charlie were still on the couch reading.

“Did the big white bird fly in here?” he asked.

“What kind of bird was it?” Marianne asked, still reading.

“I don’t know. It was big and white and inside the house.”
“Hmmmmm.” Charlie turned a page. “It was probably a chicken.”

“I don’t think so. I do know what chickens look like,” Isaac said.

“Of course you do,” Marianne agreed.

Isaac shook his head and left to check the kitchen. The bird wasn’t there. It was in Charlie’s room. Of course. It was in his closet sitting on a pile of shoes. It hissed at Isaac when he walked in the room.

“I’m afraid you’ll have to spend the winter somewhere else,” he told the bird. “I could maybe spare a corner of the garden shed, if you’re interested.”

The bird hissed.

Isaac left for a moment and returned with a large towel. “I’m going to drop this on you, and wrap you up and take you outside,” he said in what he hoped was a reassuring voice.

The bird hissed louder and tried to peck at him. Isaac wasn’t sure he was brave enough to try to catch the bird in the towel. He’d have to go rather close to that largish beak.

New plan. Isaac retrieved his hidden stash of oatmeal raisin cookies. He would be happy to share his treats with a hungry bird, especially if that meant the bird would be able to continue whatever it was doing before it came inside.

He broke a cookie and tossed half of it in the bird’s direction The bird snapped it up and ate it. Isaac waved the other half of the cookie invitingly and backed up.

The bird flew at him, and knocked him over. Then it took the other half of the cookie and ate it. Isaac curled around the cookie tin and got up, backing out of the room.

He opened the tin and took out another cookie and broke it. The bird turned and looked at him. Isaac hurried down the hall. He made it to the entryway before the bird knocked him over and took both halves of the cookie.

Isaac stood and brushed himself off. Then he opened the tin, took out a cookie, and tossed it out the front door. The bird followed it out. Isaac closed the door. And then he locked it just in case.

He looked out the back door. No bird. He slipped out and closed the door. He left the shed door partly open, just as he promised.

Then he returned inside. He paused, waiting for a moment to see if the doorbell would ring again. Nothing. Perhaps the bird was really gone now. Maybe it was just hungry.

He returned to the living room and sat down. He picked up his book. The magazine slid out and he lost his place. He sighed and put the book back down.

Marianne closed her book and looked up. “What on earth were you doing?” She asked. “You’re covered in crumbs and you have feathers in your hair.”

“We had an unexpected visitor,” Isaac said.

Charlie’s Room: The Shoehorn

Isaac took the chocolate pudding out of the refrigerator, whisked it, and divided it into three bowls. He carried them to the table, one at a time. First Marianne’s, then Charlie’s, and then he sat down with his own bowl.

“It looks wonderful,” Marianne said.

Isaac sighed. “I forgot to get whipped cream. Chocolate pudding is always better with whipped cream.”

Charlie already had a chocolate beard and mustache. How did that happen so quickly? He grinned. “It’s good. I wish we could have pudding every night.”

Marianne laughed. “If we had pudding every night, you’d get sick of it.”

Charlie frowned. “No I wouldn’t.” He sat up and set his spoon down. “Dad? Can I use your special spoon to eat my pudding? I’ve always wanted to try it.”

“What special spoon?” Isaac looked at Marianne. She shook her head and shrugged.

“The one on your dresser. The shiny metal one.” Charlie sighed. “I’ll go get it and show you.” Read More

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