Ink Well Prompt #50: Shoes, Mood, Adventure.
Phyllis sat in a kind of void which seemed to belong to neither time nor space; it was dark, it was forgotten, it was, to be quite clear, the cupboard under the stairs. Small slits of light would sometimes slide through the gaps in the door, but there was never any reprieve from the solitude and disregard of the rest of the family.
It would be easy, in her own mind, to think of herself as Prisoner 24601 (a fitting allusion to Les Miserables given her state of mind). Her mood remaining optimistic, she dreamed of escaping her cramped confines. To go hiking through rugged treks, to trample the rocks on her way up peaks, to navigate the muddy paths through the old rainforest. It was a simple dream, and she cherished it – for it constituted all the pieces of her sole!
In a state of anticipation, as was her usual mindset, Phyllis was woken early last Saturday morning. She could hear the family that kept her trapped bustling about upstairs, and moving quickly up and down the stairs above her, and just outside her door. Something was going on, and the time felt right that this might be the moment she would earn her freedom – perhaps we might call it her raison d’etre coming to pass.
Phyllis could see the day’s adventure playing out now, walking quickly to the door, running to the car, pressing down hard on the accelerator – getting as far away from her dungeon as she could imagine. She imagined the world, not how it really was, but in a kind of technicolour; beautiful and inviting. It was, to be quite clear, a simple dream for anyone who was trapped in the cupboard under the stairs, and quite the contrast to their usual existence.
The seconds kept ticking by, then minutes, and Phyllis’ excitement was spurred on by the drumming of the families’ feet, which continued to pound the floorboards by her door. The footsteps, one by one, ultimately echoing out into silence. Phyllis was left all alone, no one had even opened her door to check in on her. They’d left without her again, to wherever it was their days took them.
And so what’s the one conclusion I could bring this story to? Quite simply, always making sensible and appropriate footwear decisions in the shop. You see, Phyllis was a pair of shoes. A flimsy pair of pink hiking boots which Emily demanded her mother buy her. She never wore them once; she had promised she would go hiking with the family, but she never did. She made excuses about them hurting her feet, ‘The Blisters!’ she would wail, as she went on her way in a strappy sandal. Phyllis, of course, would remain waiting, always hopeful, always dreaming, of adventure, of escape.
And for those of you who chuckled at the end of paragraph two, regarding my spelling of sole, thinking me the fool, I hope you now reflect back, and enjoy the play on words. The phrase is borrowed from TS Eliot’s ‘Preludes’, “You dozed, and watched the night revealing/ The thousand sordid images / Of which your soul was constituted”. You can see Phyllis is not the modernist at heart! Thanks for joining me this #theinkwell prompt.