Today’s writing prompts for the 3TC over at The Haunted Wordsmith blog are hair, joke, and missing shoe.

Shannon was already late for work. Then her car wouldn’t start and she had no money for a cab, or even Über.

She knew better, but her only option was to hitchhike to work. She checked to make sure her trusty can of mace was still in her purse, and off she went.

Once she made it to the interstate, Shannon stuck her thumb out and hoped for the best. Traffic was pretty light for a Tuesday morning, she thought, but it was a crisp autumn morning and she was enjoying the walk.

Three cars had passed so far, and none had stopped. If it stayed like this, she’d be lucky to make it to work in time for lunch.

Just ahead, Shannon saw something laying by the side of the road. She quickened her pace to see what it was: some guy’s left shoe, an old beat-up loafer. This was something she always wondered about. Why would only one shoe lay on the side of the road? What happened to its mate? How exactly does it happen, meaning what is the person’s thought process? And most of all, she wondered what good is a pair of shoes if one is missing?

She was going to pick it up, but then decided, what good is a missing shoe? The chances were slim to none that she’d find the other one, and besides, it was a man’s shoe and not her size anyway. So she left it lay. Maybe it’s owner would come back for it.

Traffic was getting heavier so she stuck her thumb out again, and after four or five cars went by, one finally stopped. The driver rolled down the passenger-side window and asked where she was going. She rattled off the address and hopped in. “Sister Golden Hair” by America was playing on the radio. The driver—sort of good-looking— was a man around 30-years-old. He turned the radio down so they could talk without shouting.

“My name’s Dave,” he said with a toothpaste commercial smile.

“I’m Shannon. Nice to meet you.”

She glanced at his hand to check for a wedding ring; there wasn’t one. For whatever reason, she happened to glance down at his feet, and noticed he was missing a shoe. A left shoe, to be exact. His right foot sported a beat-up loafer.

No way!

“Uh, Dave? Can I ask you a question?”

“Sure, go ahead.”

“What happened to your other shoe? I see you are only wearing one.”

“Oh!” Dave blushed a little. “Well, I threw it out the window a few miles back.”


“I didn’t like it anymore.”

“What do you mean?” Shannon squinted at him. “How can you arbitrarily decide you don’t like one of your shoes?”

“Well,” Dave began. “Actually, the shoe pissed me off.”

“You’re joking, right?”

“No, not at all,” Dave replied, offended. “Haven’t you ever gotten angry at a shoe?”

“No…my shoes are generally well-behaved.” Shannon nonchalantly rested her hand on the can of mace inside her purse. This guy clearly didn’t have all the dots on his dice. “What exactly did your shoe do to piss you off?”

“Here’s how it goes: The other day, my toe started to itch and I tried to rub it through my shoe, but that did no good.  It seemed as if the more I tried to scratch it, the worse the itch became. It was maddening! Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore! I ripped the sonovabitch off my foot and threw it out the window. Stupid shoe!” Dave smacked the steering wheel with the palm of his hand as he re-lived the incident.

It was all Shannon could do to keep from laughing. “You said this happened the other day. Don’t you have another pair of shoes?”

“Of course, I do.” Dave shrugged. “But I don’t like ’em.”

Shannon couldn’t think of anything else to say. Dave seemed quite agitated, so they were silent for a few minutes.

“Umm…I think I saw your shoe a few miles back, close to where you picked me up,” Shannon said.

“Good! I hope an 18-wheeler runs it over!”

Fortunately, Shannon’s place of employment was right off the next exit, and Dave turned his blinker on.

She breathed a sigh of relief.


SusanWritesPrecise/ Susan Marie Shuman

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