marc owen jones

Kitten Heels

I look at legs and see their owners’ passion or poison reflected in the curve of a calf or the clip of a shoe.  They pass by, on a hopeful night out or trudging home alone, with the painted toes of careful beauty or the chipped and worn of casual whores. Chocoholics, gym bunnies, wine lovers, dancers and spirit gulpers veer away, either too nervous to pause or too self-absorbed to care.

A two minute thunder drowns the underpass.

I don’t much look at anything else. One pair in a hundred will catch my attention and force me to look up. Everyone gets a spit at their ankles, “spare change?”

I used to speak more, had a whole spiel going, “spare a pound so that I can get to a shelter?” or a bus home, some money for a phone call, a cup of coffee, a cigarette; a whole sodding library of invention. Brevity has worsened the odds, but not by much. In a dream of a life I would have worked it out, set up a spreadsheet, input data from quantitative research and calculated the degree of linear dependence between the variables. “Gizza quid” doesn’t provoke conversation, just a reaction; chuck us a pound or bugger off. Tourists are the best, especially Yanks. It’s the Brits who either want to kill or convert you.


Kitten Heels (1,598 words) was completed January 2013. A recent edit was Long Listed in the 2015 Fish Short Story competition.

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