lost shoes

a background story for pictures of lost shoes in 200 words or less.



"Why did I even try?" Doug wondered as he sat on the curb waiting for the 23. He took off his dress shoes he had gotten that morning and rubbed his feet. “Damn shoes, I bet they didn’t even notice them,” he murmured to himself as he walked back into his routine.

“Assistant manager has to be up at 7 every morning, 6 with commute and for what? An extra two bucks an hour? What can you even buy with two dollars nowadays? Doug’s shoes were two dollars (two-twenty with tax), the Bic lighter in his pocket was a buck twenty and the ramen he would eat that night was sixty-nine cents.

“I mean for Christ’s sake! I’m 24, you know where Oprah was at 24?” he asked the pleather shoes by his side. Doug thought about it, he didn’t know Oprah’s whereabouts at 24.

Doug glared at an old man sitting at the bus stop bench talking to himself about a conspiracy which turned out to be true. “Nut jobs” he murmured “Nut jobs everywhere”.

The bus was late.

“Fuck these” he yelled in a fit, throwing the thrifted shoes across the street.

He got the job.

by quinn alfaro



When Jimmy opened his bag in the locker room, he discovered he was missing one of his gym shoes. Shit. It must have fallen out on the ride to school. Not only was that asshole Coach Taylor going to give him laps for not being fully dressed out, Mom was going to be pissed.

There had been a bunch of locker break-ins over the last two weeks that they made a big deal about, even emailing all of the parents about it. Everyone said Cleveland Harrison had been doing it, and the vice-principal and a bunch of teachers grilled him, but he said he didn’t do it. So he told Mom the shoes had been ripped off out of his locker.

Sure enough, she was pissed. She emailed the vice principle and said it was probably Cleveland Harrison, because she had heard he was the culprit in the locker break-ins and was in Jimmy’s gym class. The vice-principle suspended Cleveland for a week and he never came back to St. Joseph’s.

A month later, Cleveland’s parents filed a lawsuit against the school for discrimination saying he was blamed because he was one of only twelve African-Americans at the school.




The outfit was too girly. The dress with stupid little tulips, the hair bow, the matching shoes. Carolyn’s mom made her wear it when saw how she was dressed: 501s rolled at the cuffs, black Docs, her brother’s white dress shirt and a narrow black tie.

– You look like a boy.

– So what. I'm thirteen. I can dress myself.

– You need to go to a party looking like a young lady. Don’t you want to look pretty?

– No.

When mom wasn’t looking, she stuffed her Chuck Taylors into the bag. Sophie was going to be there and she had to do something. She’d ditch the bow and put on the Chucks. It was the best she could do. She changed her shoes when the Linders picked her up, and dropped the others out the window as they drove to the party. Fuck her.


Greg found a blue girl’s shoe at the end of the driveway in the morning. It wasn’t one of the girls’ and anyway, they hadn’t been over in weeks. He put it on the fencepost at the end of the driveway so the girl who lost it would be able to find it. She was probably bummed.