Monday, July 18, 2016

Bubblegum Taffy Hot Pink High Heels: The Story of Time-Traveling Shoes

“I’ve got on my Bubblegum Taffy Hot Pink High Heels!” announced 12-year-old Aiyana Mitchell, sitting on the back porch. 

She lived in the suburbs of Philadelphia and spent one too many summer days at the swimming pool.

“My time-traveling shoes!” she declared. “I can close my eyes and travel to places in the future and the past!”

As she pulled the laces tight on her sparking pink heels, she thought of where she would like to travel for the first time. Of course, the pointy stiletto shoes were a special gift from her Aunt Olivia, who had outgrown time-traveling with age.

“These shoes are now yours,” Aunt Olivia told her niece. “Have the time of your life! I’ve traveled enough for now.”

As the story goes, the shoes originally came from an era of magic shoemakers in England during the late 1890s. She bought them on a trip to England from the Portobello Road Market without knowing their magic powers until she put them on her feet. Her aunt had used the shoes to travel to so many places that it seemed like she was on a constant vacation. 

The family always said that her aunt was full of stories, and none of them could be true, but Aiyana always believed in her excursions and loved receiving her souvenirs. Now she was about to try the shoes for the first time for herself. Since her aunt didn’t have children, she gave the shoes to Aiyana, as long as she didn’t tell her mom about them. 

“It’s better to stay in the present—forget about the past and wait for the future,” Aiyana’s mom explained, rolling her eyes at her sister’s imagination. 

Despite her mother’s warning, Aiyana wanted the adventure and mystery of the time-traveling shoes. So, she hid them under her bed in what looked like a beat-up old shoebox, and her mom never noticed them. 

Now that she was ready to use them, she decided that she’d better try traveling some place calm and serene. 

“How about traveling to the early 1900’s to a lake with a boat and a fancy parasol and swans?” Aiyana asked aloud. 

Although the present was full of sunshine and blue sky, she was eager to research the earlier era. So, she put on the shoes, clicked them together three times—saying the riddle that Aunt Olivia taught her to say for traveling back in time—while blinking her eyes twice and visualizing a scene from one of her favorite Impressionist paintings: “Two steps forward, three steps back!”  

When she closed her eyes, she was transported to the other century, appearing wearing a lace dress and sitting in a boat on a lake. As she gathered her bearings, she grabbed the side of the boat with her left hand. The parasol slipped from her right hand.

“Oh, no!” she exclaimed, startled by the swans in the lake. Then, the boat capsized, and she fell into the lake with a splash. 

“This really does look like a scene from a painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir,” Aiyana concluded, taking in the surroundings. 

Her once curly hair had lost its bounce when doused with the water from the lake. She felt like a fat sponge. In all the commotion, Aiyana’s time-traveling shoes slipped off her feet and sank to the bottom of the lake. 

“Now I’ll be stuck in the 1900’s forever!” she yelled, grabbing onto the side of the boat, kicking her feet. She pulled herself back up the side of the boat, sopping wet, and cried: “Someone help me get my shoes back!”

The lovely parasol floated on top of the lake as an upside-down umbrella across the rippling water.

“My lady! Let me help you!” proclaimed a proper gentleman in a striped, full body swimming suit, diving her direction. 

“I’m from the year 2020, and I lost my time-traveling shoes within a minute of being here!” she clarified for the man. “If you could dive to the bottom of the lake, and find the shoes, so I could go back to 2020, I’d appreciate it so much.”

“That is quite a story, young lady,” the man noted. “They must be your favorite pair of shoes to have such a story!”

“If you don’t find them, I’m going to have to scour the bottom of the lake by myself, and I can’t swim in this dress!” she worried. “And I will probably drown, trying to find my shoes! My mom expects me to be in the present for dinner!”

“Right away, madam! I’ll find those shoes. Then you can travel anywhere you want,” the man quipped, who looked a little bit like her Uncle Herb from the present. “I’m putting on my goggles, and I’m about to descend into the deep.”

As the man dove into the lake, Aiyana squeezed water out her lacy dress and paddled out to the parasol on the lake. 

When she raised the parasol, water dumped on her head, and she shook her head until she could see again. Then, the man swimming in the lake on her behalf popped his head above the water: “My lady, still no shoes!” He took a deep breath and went back underneath the water with a splash. A breeze blew over the lake. 

“Maybe I should have settled for the swimming pool!” Aiyana deliberated. “It might’ve been easier than all this adventure.”

From beneath the water, a hand arose with the Bubblegum Taffy Hot Pink High Heels, dripping wet.

“I found your lovely footwear,” the man celebrated, handing her the shoes with sand filling in the toes. 

“Thank you, kind sir,” Aiyana smiled, shaking the sand out of the shoes, and putting them back on her feet. “I’d rather live in the present. If I can come back to the past or brave the future, there must be a specific reason. I’m just so out of sorts.”

“Well, now you can go on your journey,” the kind sir proposed. “I’ll be swimming in the lake, if you return.”

Again, she put on the shoes, clicked them together three times, blinked her eyes twice, and this time repeated the riddle for traveling into the future: “Three steps forward, two steps back!” She visualized her mother’s swimming pool in her backyard.

With that, Aiyana returned to the present on the back porch in her Philadelphia home with her mother calling. 

“I’m so glad to be home,” she whispered, sighing with relief. “There really is no place like it!”

“Aiyana, come help me make dinner,” her mother prompted. “What have you been doing out there all afternoon anyhow?”

As Aiyana walked into the kitchen, she created a trail of footprints and a puddle of lake water that stunned her mom. 

“Did you just get out of the swimming pool?” her mom scolded her, wiping up the water with paper towels. “Please don’t tell me that you’ve been trying to figure out how to use those silly old shoes from Aunt Olivia.”

Aiyana ran upstairs to her bedroom before her mother could see her Bubblegum Taffy Hot Pink High Heels.

“Before I go time-traveling again, I need to ask my aunt for advice,” Aiyana considered. “It really has to go better next time. Maybe I should tie the shoes to my feet with ribbons. I’d really like to travel to all kinds of places, like the Roaring Twenties, the 50’s in America, the 1980s, the Renaissance, and future space travel. Time has no limit!”

With that, she put the shoes back into the old box underneath her bed and slipped on her flip flops—ready for the present. 

Copyright 2020 Jennifer Waters

No comments:

Post a Comment