Esther and the Sticky Feet
The rain poured as Esther was pushed onto the rough asphalt of the playground. A flash of lightning illuminated her attackers and revealed them to be her regular bullies Amy and Lucy.
'Aww Mummy's little brat is all dirty now! Is she going to buy you a new uniform smelly Esther?'
The girls laughed and pressed their muddy shoe soles against Esther's white school blouse. They left filthy ridge marks all over the delicate material and their victim started to cry.
'Oh my God she's crying Lucy what should we do?'
'Well look what we have here Amy, a brand new pair of Sketchers school shoes with the adorable Velcro strap. What shoe size are you brat?'
Esther sobbed but managed to answer her antagonists.
'They're even in my size, take em' Lucy.'
'No! No! No!'
Esther screamed as the bullies grabbed a foot each and yanked her new shoes off without even undoing the Velcro. They dropped her socked feet into a puddle as Amy switched her battered slip on ballet flats for Esther's Sketchers. The cold murky water soaked into the pristine white cotton of her knee high socks turning their soft soles a horrible shade of grey. Esther brought her crying under control and started to crawl away from the bullies towards the school gates.
'Hey, where do you think you're going smelly? Did we say you could leave?'
Lucy grabbed her by her socked ankles and dragged her back towards them. Esther felt her socks slide slightly down her legs as she fought for freedom. She lashed out and felt her unshod feet connect with Lucy's hands and her grip loosened. Snatching out in desperation, the bullies long fingers wrapped around the baggy fabric at the toes of Esther's socks which had come loose in the struggle. Tugging as hard as she could, Lucy pulled Esther closer but also dragged her socks off. Realising she was free; Esther jumped up and ran towards the gates in her bare feet.
'Ah let her go Lucy, she's got to go through those filthy fields barefoot to get home anyway'
The asphalt of the schools driveway bit sharply into Esther's soft fleshy soles as she ran for home. Not daring to look back at where she had just lost her shoes and socks, she vaulted over a nearby fence and into the fields. The coarse pebbly surface of the road was immediately replaced by sodden turf and mud that pushed its way in between Esther's long slender toes as she waded nearly ankle deep through the mire. Esther looked down in dismay as she pulled her silky pale feet free of the muck only to plunge her poor French pedicured toes back into it.
Noticing a fallen tree to her left, Esther ran as best she could through the sticky mud toward it, splashing her cold legs with foul smelling earth. Perched on the end of a thick branch, Esther tried her best to wipe the mud from her wrinkly and sensitive soles made pink by the irritating asphalt and the coldness of the dirt. Her gorgeous long toes were caked in muck and the French pedicure on her big shiny toenails was badly chipped.
'My poor toes, I only had this done yesterday.'
The rest of the walk home was muddy and cold but eventually Esther found herself wiping her filthy bare feet on her parents welcome mat, which ironically had a naked footprint motif on it. She slipped into the house using the spare key and ran up the stairs with her bare soles slapping loudly against the hardwood surface. She dived quickly into her bedroom and laid back on the king size bed with her sore feet dangling over the edge.
'There's got to be a way I can get back at those girls.'
Esther looked around her room until her eyes fell upon the huge container of extra strong adhesive she had been using on her latest art project.
After dinner was over and done with, Esther changed out of her muddy uniform and into some dark jeans and sweater and matching dark boots. Sneaking out the back door, she crept down the street towards Lucy's house. The mansion had a huge set of stone steps leading up to it so Esther got to work with the decorating brush she had borrowed from her fathers shed and the bucket of glue. Smiling at her work, Esther then secreted herself in a bush and waited for the girls to return home from a party that she hadn't been invited to.
However, minutes quickly became hours and after a nights worth of waiting and yawning in the cold, the first person Esther saw approach the sticky steps was the grumpy post woman Mrs Phelps.
A middle aged and very round woman, Phelps approached the house in her well worn sneakers and immediately found herself immobilised on the first two steps.
'What the hell?' Esther heard her exclaim.
After several minutes of flexing and struggling Phelps let out a tirade of curses, bent down and unlaced her shoes and tried again to reach the post box. Esther watched in silent amusement as Mrs Phelps realised her sweat stained sports socks had also become stuck on the next steps and after numerous attempts at freeing them watched them slide down her slightly rough skinned and dirty soles before shooting off her short round toes.
Barefoot and very grouchy, the post woman struggled through the glue up the stairs with tendrils of the adhesive hanging off her round bare soles and jammed the post into the mail box before sliding down the stone banister to avoid the trap. After a brief and fruitless attempt to get her shoes back, Phelps gave up and Esther watched her well tanned bare feet with crimson painted toenails stomp past her bush, leaving yellow bare footprints on the concrete as they went before planting themselves awkwardly onto her bike pedals and speeding down the street.
Moving quickly, Esther jumped up and tried to pull the post woman's shoes off the booby trap. After what seemed like an eternity, the stinky shoes and socks came free of the glue and Esther hid them with her in the bush. Annoyingly again, the next person to approach the house was not the girls but a door to door saleswoman clad in ballet flats and red socks. Again the young Indian girl tried to climb the steps and swiftly lost her shoes and socks in the glue. The woman stormed off to the next house a few minutes later with her feet bare and her dark slender toes curled in annoyance. Again, Esther retrieved the footwear and secreted it in the bush and waited for her intended victims.
The next person at Lucy's house was the paper boy with a black emo fringe and black skinny jeans who after a valiant struggle left the house in dirty bare feet, his long masculine toes dripping with glue and hanging off the edges of his BMX pedals as Esther stashed his slip on Vans and purple striped socks with her growing collection of footwear.
The next person up was Mrs Sakamoto a fortyish thin Japanese woman who lived next door to Lucy. She made amusing whimpers and groans as she was forced to pull her feet out of her Ugg boots and woolly socks on the glue covered steps. She left a package by the door before descending on anxious tip toe past her lost shoes and socks in her dainty pale bare feet. Esther noticed the Asian lady was wearing a silver toe ring on her long middle toe and had smooth white soles as she scampered back to her house on her well maintained bare feet.
Esther giggled quietly at the direction her plan had taken as the young and very pretty Hispanic maid started up the steps, stepping quickly out of her loose fitting green Crocs as they got stuck in the glue and squelching her black socked feet onto the next steps. The maid yanked and pulled at her stocking feet until her long socks finally slid off her long tanned feet. Esther cringed slightly as the glue oozed between the maids slender toes and covered her dark nail polish. Eventually, she reached the top of the stairs and after scrubbing at her soft glue covered soles with a cleaning brush the maid unlocked the door and padded inside the house.
'How many people are going to visit today?' Esther whispered.
The house went quiet for a while until the maid came to leave. She stopped to try and pull her trapped Crocs free of the glue but gave up after some of the adhesive leaked onto her hands and stuck her fingers together. Esther watched the maids dirty high-arched soles pad past her hiding place in the bushes before heading down the street towards her car. Esther shifted uncomfortably as cramp started set into her legs. Checking the coast was clear, she grabbed the maids shoes and placed them with the increasingly large and stinky collection of shoes next to her.
'Come on girls where the hell are you?'
After what seemed like an eternity, Lucy's mothers BMW pulled into the gravel drive by the house and Esther noticed that Lucy and Amy were in the back seats. They got out wearing matching purple converse, which neither girl had bothered to lace up tightly. Esther grinned and waited.
'Go and open the door girls!'
Lucy obeyed her mother and headed towards the front steps with Amy in tow. They both stepped onto the steps and the exact same time and reacted in unison when they tried to take another step.
'Ewww! What's that sticky stuff?'
'I don't know but let's get inside before it gets on our jeans!'
The girls yanked at their stuck shoes but after a couple of minutes gave up in unison and wiggled their socked feet out of their stuck sneakers. They were even wearing the same Spongebob socks.
'Clones' Esther muttered.
They stepped onto the next steps and using each other for balance, struggled their way out of their socks and carried on towards the door in their bare feet. Esther noticed with great satisfaction that Amy's pudgy soles had dry skin around the heels and toes while it was obvious that Lucy bit her stumpy toenails. Seizing her opportunity, Esther grabbed her i-phone from her pocket and snapped a picture of their badly maintained feet. Once they got to the top the girls scrambled inside the house without a backward glance at their abandoned shoes.
Jumping to her feet, Esther rushed and grabbed Amy's sneakers from the stairs before running down the drive and hiding behind the front hedge to watch what happened next. Lucy's snotty mother, too busy reapplying her make-up in a compact mirror ignored the glue and her daughter's footwear stuck in it and stepped onto the stairs in her crimson high heels. The screech nearly deafened Esther as the woman stumbled out of her stuck high heels and stepped onto the stairs in her dark pantyhose. She watched from the hedge as Lucy's mother tried to continue up the stairs but got pulled back as her nylons stretched and then sprung back slapping her stocking feet back into the glue.
'Girls help me I'm stuck!'
Lucy heeded her mothers call and opened the door to see her mother struggling with the glue. Grabbing hold of her daughter's arms, Lucy's mother used their combined strength to tear the 'feet' off her nylons and stepped into the house barefoot. Again Esther noticed the same level of ignorance of pedicures as Lucy's mother had hard skin on her heels and badly chipped blue nail polish on tackily fake tanned and pudgy bare feet.
As soon as the coast was clear Esther got up and stretched her legs and started back down the street towards her house, ignoring the wet tar sign standing on the side walk. She looked down as she heard the loud squelch and felt her loose-fitting slouch boots sink into the road.
'You've got to be kidding me.'
Accepting the irony of her situation, Esther giggled and after four struggling steps along the road left her boots and socks stuck in its extremely sticky surface. The tar was warm and its black tendrils snatched at her delicate bare soles with every step but eventually Esther made it back onto the sidewalk. As she walked up the smooth grey concrete barefoot, she noticed the black tar prints she was leaving and rolled her eyes smiling. After carefully washing the tar off her feet with her dad's garden hose, Esther turned her attention to Amy's sneakers. They reeked of stale cheese and vinegar and would have to be cleaned but Esther knew what shoes she would be wearing to school on Monday morning.