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Hideous Monstrosities

By
“Mom.”
Stacy gazed out at her school through the front window of the car. It was big. It was gray. It was blocky.
Stacy turned her attention to her friends who were walking up the steps that led to the school. They were popular. They were pretty. They would kill her if they saw what she was wearing.
Stacy sighed and looked down at her shoes. They were pink. They were shiny. They were dumb. All that was missing was a Disney princess sticker and flashing lights. Who even wore shoes like this anymore? Two year olds? Stacy tried to think back eleven years. Had she even worn stuff like this then? No, Stacy decided. There was no way she would have ever put such hideous monstrosities on her feet. Not even if she hadn’t known what ‘hideous monstrosities’ meant; the shoes would have provided her with a definition.
“Mom, I can’t go to school like this.”
“What?” Stacy’s mother looked confused “Oh, the shoes.”
“My friends will hate me.”
“The shoes are fine” her mother said with the air of one who has said something so often she is no longer sure she believes it.
“People will see what I’m wearing and kill me.”
“No, they won’t.”
“I’ll die a horrible death.”
“Stacy…”
“If they don’t kill me, I’ll die of embarrassment.”
“Stacy, it’s not the end of the world. Your shoes are pink: so what? The traffic still goes on. The birds still sing. The grass keeps growing. People like you more than you think, Stacy. They won’t care about your shoes.”
Stacy glared at her mother in indignant rage.
“You’re my mother; I thought you were supposed to make me feel better about myself.”
Stacy’s mother gave her a push, indicating that she should get out of the car.
Stacy got up, taking as much time as possible to open the door and collect her back pack from the floor.
“You may not care now, but you’ll be sorry you made me come here when they send home my mangled body.”
The late bell rang.
“It’ll come with a note saying:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Razooco,

We are sorry to inform you that your daughter has died. You could have

prevented her death, but were too stingy to buy her nice shoes. Furthermore, it is

also your fault tha-”
Stacy’s words were cut off by the slamming of her mother’s door.
“I hope you’re happy!” Stacy called out angrily after her before turning her attention to the school. It was going to be a long day.

#

“Emma,” Stacy muttered, “people are staring at my shoes.”
“OOhhh!!!!” Emma squealed, attracting what, in Stacy’s opinion, were far too many stares, “you got new shoes! Lindsay! Look! Stacy got new shoes!”
“Wow! They look great!” said Lindsay, who had a tendency to tell people what they wanted to hear, as opposed to the truth.
“Where did you get them?”
“Uh… Wal-Mart…”
“Oh.”
There was a long pause.
“Well, I still like them,” Lindsay persisted.
“Weirdo,” Stacy muttered.
“Am not!”
“Well, I have to go to class,” said Stacy, who was at that moment very conscious of the attention her friends were attracting with their high-pitched shrieks.
“Oh. Okay,” said Lindsay, taken aback by Stacy’s sudden and strange urge to get to class before the late bell had sounded. “Well, I’ll see you at lunch then.”
“Okay, bye,” Stacy called as she hurried off.

#

“Lindsay,” Stacy whined, “people are still staring at my shoes.”
She tried to hide her feet under the cafeteria table she was sitting at, but to no avail.
“That’s because they’re trendy and everyone likes them.” Lindsay winced as Stacy accidentally kicked her under the table.
“Kill me.”
“Emma,” Lindsay implored, “tell Stacy everyone likes her shoes.”
“Mevryun lichs yur shoobs,” Emma said through a mouthful of sandwich.
“Even Rick is staring at them, and he’s wearing sandals with socks.”
“He likes you,” teased Lindsay.
“I hate you.”

#

“Emma, the whole bus is staring at my feet.”
Emma put down her glamour magazine and opened her mouth to respond.
“They like your shoes,” Lindsay interjected.
Emma closed her mouth.
“Shut up, Lindsay. I got them from Wal-Mart.”
“Exactly; they’re both cool and affordable.”
“Shut up.”
“Well, they are.”
“Look, Stacy,” Emma snapped, “it’s not the end of the world. Your shoes didn’t cost 500 dollars. So what? Now, I like your shoes a lot Stacy. I really do, but you obviously don’t. So why don’t you do something about it?”
Stacy was too stupefied to respond. After staring at her friends for a moment she turned her back and stared out the window in huffy silence. It was a nice day out. The traffic was whizzing by. The birds were singing. The grass was growing… But the fact remained that her shoes were still pink. Maybe Lindsay had a point. Maybe she should do something about that.

#

“Mom.”
Stacy slammed the door of her apartment behind her before bursting into hysterical crocodile sobs.
“Oh my God.” Stacy’s mother rushed into the living room carrying a broom in one hand and a soon-to-be empty dustpan in the other. “What happened? What’s the matter?”
“Everyone at school hates me!”
“Oh.” Convinced that this was not a dire situation, Stacy’s mother began to sweep up the dust that had fallen out of the dustpan.
“Everyone in the entire school!” Stacy emphasized
“…”
“They hate me because of my stupid shoes.”
“Oh, not this again.”
“Yes this again! I need new shoes!”
“Honey, those shoes are fine,” sighed her mother as she bent down to retrieve a dust bunny from under the sofa. “If you care that much about the issue why don’t you buy some yourself?”

#

“Dad.” Stacy fought to keep a note of casualness in her voice.
“Hmmmm…?” Stacy’s father asked, never taking his eyes off the T.V.
“Could I borrow some money?”
“Hmmmm…”
“It’s for a really good cause.” Stacy wheedled.
“Hmmmm…”
“Mom said I could.”
“Mmmhmmm…”
“Really?”
“What?” asked her father, finally tearing his eyes away from the screen.
“NothingThankyouLoveyouBye!!!” Stacy called as she rocketed out the door.

#

“I really have no idea why he would agree to that,” Stacy’s mother complained as she pulled up in front of Stacy’s school. “I mean, even he doesn’t spend that much on his work shoes!”
Stacy wasn’t really listening; she was too busy looking at her new shoes.
They were black. They were expensive. They were like something she had seen in a magazine.
Stacy gazed out at her school through the front window of the car. It was big. It was gray. It was blocky.
Stacy turned her attention to her friends who were walking up the steps that led to the school. They were popular. They were pretty.
Stacy let out a shriek of dismay.
They were all wearing shiny pink shoes.
“What is it?!” Demanded her mother
“The… They… Shoes!”
“Oh, isn’t that nice,” said her mother knowingly, glancing out the window. “I guess they weren’t as bad as you thought they were.”

Stacy couldn’t believe it. They were all of them (all of them!) wearing the stupid, pink Wal Mart shoes! What had they seen in the shoes, anyway? Stacy studied the shoes, and this time really looked at them for the first time. They weren’t that bad. Pink wasn’t that terrible a color. Pink was in. Pink was cool. Pink was the color to wear.
Stacy looked down at her shoes. They were black. They were dressy. They were not pink.
“Mom,” Stacy whined, “I can’t go to school like this.”





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