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A Day As Dawn
I am lying on my side, here on the floor next to the door. Everything in this house is asleep. Accept for my twin that is. We stay up in anticipation, talking about the big day ahead of us. For today, the almighty She, has a tournament. And we are Her favorite pair of cleats.
I should probably describe what we look like, so here we go. We are neon pink with white and black stripes. Wrapped around our rounded toe, is the famous Nike symbol. Our laces are pink, thin but sturdy, and are starting to fray a little on the ends. Or spikes are a tad worn down because of all of the games we have seen. We smell of Her and grass and mud.
My twin and I dream out loud about our goals for this weekend.
“I can’t wait to kick the ball into the net! We will win that trophy this time for sure!” my sister says confidently. “That is, if those weird orange cleats actually do something this year.”
“Yeah,” I sigh. “I just can’t wait to be on the grass again.”
“Oh please! You just can’t wait to see those gold lined cleats again! You little flirt.” Trust me, if shoes could blush, I would be a deep crimson.
“No!” I defend myself. “And besides, he is with that purple cleat.”
“Yeah, yeah.” my sister finally drops it and we are doused in an awkward silence.
We stay silent and just watch the windows on the side of the grand front door for the oncoming sunlight. And ever so slowly does it come. There had to have been three hours pass by before the windows started to glow with the golden light of morning sun. We hear the chickens in the backyard starting to wake up. Soon enough, the house would be awake and lively.
I look to my sister. Somehow, even though she was wound up just an hour ago, she had fallen asleep. And I let her sleep, because I know that if I wake her up, I would never hear the end of it. I wonder what she must be dreaming about. Probably the games we have this weekend but, hey, you never know. For all I know, she could be dreaming about being human. She is always having these obscure ideas of what it must be like to be one of Them. Ever since we were made she has been kind of out there. But that’s why I love her. Not that I would ever tell her that.
I can feel myself growing impossibly tired. My laces start feeling heavy and I slowly drift into sleep.
I wake up after what was probably an hour. I see that the door was open so that the storm door is the only thing between me and the great outdoors. My sister is awake, but still looks a bit groggy. Her laces are all messed up and sticking up in weird angles.
“Morning.” I whisper.
“Morning.” She mumbles.
“Have you seen Her yet?” I ask, still whispering.
“No. Just Her mother.”
We wait here in our corner near the door. I glance at the old clock mounted on the wall to my right. Eight thirteen. I guess I slept a little more than I thought.
I let out a big yawn and attempt to get some of the caked mud out of my spikes. My sister does the same. When we hear the great Her coming, we freeze. Out of all of the Rules of Shoes, this one has to be the most important; we must never let Them know about how we can talk or move.
She picks us up, along with Her socks and shin guards. As is her custom, She slides first into Her shin guards, then pulls Her freshly washed, cotton black socks over the top. Then She grabs my sister and shoves Her foot inside. I can see my sister trying to hold back a shudder. It always feels weird and awkward and strange and all that for the first few seconds. Having a foot shoved inside you that is. But you get used to it really quickly. She proceeds to grab my sisters laces and pull them taught. My twin grimaces a little but holds back on showing the full extent of her pain. She knows that it will only hurt for a second and that her suffering is worth it to be serving such a worthy master. And trust me. It takes a lot not to scream out in pain when She tightens our laces. It is the equivalent of somebody pulling a human's short and sensitive baby hairs as hard as they could.
When it comes to be my turn to be put on I hold my breath. As Her foot slides effortlessly into my cushioned insides. I have to hold back a laugh because it tickles. Imagine somebody tickling you from the inside and you should get a pretty good idea of how this feels. I take another deep breath and hold it as I prepare for the worst part. She takes hold of my laces, and pulls. Hard. I barely audible squeak passes my tongue. Thankfully She blames it on Her small fluffball of a dog. I let out a sigh at the close encounter of almost being discovered.
If she had found out about me who knows what would have happened. She probably would have gone into shock or something. Then who would wear me? That’s right. Nobody, that’s who. Then I would probably be thrown away and forgotten about. I would be in the same place as rotting food and other, even more smelly things. So overall, I don’t want to be found out.
When both me and me twin are securely on Her feet, She shifts her weight onto us and our spikes squeak quietly on the linoleum floor. It isn’t a pleasant feeling, let me tell you. It feels like when you scrape your nails on a blackboard. I get chills down my tongue and my laces tingle. She runs up a set of carpeted stairs, which tickles my soles, and then it is onto the tiled floor of the kitchen. I listen to the calming noises of her preparing a water bottle. The sound of running water always seems to sooth me. Suddenly I am splashed with some of the ice cold water dripping down the side of her bright pink, plastic water bottle. I almost start to shiver but I hold it back. She bends down, armed with a paper towel and wipes off the arctic water, and I am instantly relieved.
When She finishes putting the cap on Her bottle, she walks out of the kitchen, onto the carpeted stairs, and down onto the linoleum flooring of the foyer. She stand in front of the mirror and brushes Her hair up into a ponytail. When She is satisfied with Her hair, she walks across the linoleum to retrieve our friend, and Her soccer ball.
“Hey Charlie!” I whisper to the ball.
“Hey Dawn.” He whispers back. He turns to my sister and whispers, “Hey star.”
We wait until after She runs across the hard, brick walkway, then across the grass of the small front yard, and straight into the already open door of Their family car.
The car is huge, but our allotted space is small and slightly depressing. It is upholstered in a thin, gray carpet, and it doesn’t smell too good either. Anyway, the car starts and Charlie, my sister and I are aloud to talk because the engine overpowers our small voices.
“Did you guys sleep well?” Charlie asks in that deep voice of his.
“Yes” Star and I say in unison. “I got at least five hours last night.” Star continues. “What about you?”
“Not too well. I was too nervous.”
“That sucks. I’m sure you will sleep well tonight considering how many games we will play today.” Star babbles out in her usual bubbly way.
After that we all just sit in the dull foot space, saving our energy for later. Charlie seems to fall asleep, and star stares up at the window in the roof of the car. Suddenly Her Mom’s phone rings with a loud, fast, happy type of tone.
“Hannah, could you get that for me?” Her Mom asks.
“Hello?” She says into the shiny, black box. “Uh huh.” She says in a half confused, half bored way.
“Oh. Ok. So I guess I will see you Wednesday?” She says sounding somewhat depressed. I turn to look at Star and Charlie. “Alrighty then. Thanks for the heads up.... Ok, see you later.”
She hangs up the phone and lets out a huge frustrated sigh. She turns to Her Mom and says “Well you might want to turn around soon. The tournament was moved to next week do to upcoming weather.” She explains.
“Oh. Sorry, I know how much you were looking forward to this.” Her Mom says in a comforting sort of way. The next thing I knew, I was rising of the ground and being untied. She throws me a bit harshly onto the floor in anger. A blazing pain starts on my side and I struggle to keep quiet. The last thing I remember is my sister floating and Charlie rolling over to me.
When I wake up, I am back in my corner near the door, next to me is my sister. I look out the long, golden window and it is dark, not even a hint of the sun that I saw seemingly just a second ago. I don’t know how I got here, I don’t know why it is dark, all I know is that my day has not turned out as I had anticipated.