Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

#FridayFlash 41: Ransom

Eyebrows were raised when I said @ 9:30 this eve that I was going to write my Friday Flash. Apparently that seemed to be leaving it to the last minute or something. Clearly not as I still have a whole HOUR left in Friday! hahaha. Even more impressive -- I wrote part of this one twice. Started it, got about three paragraphs in, decided I hated it, deleted all but the first line, and started over. Then I finished this one but the ending didn't match the tone of the rest of the piece, so I rewrote that. Still not entirely sure about it -- suggestions?

Definitely not my usual style, but I hope you like it! Let me know what you think!

Thanks for reading :)


I could've avoided all that trouble if only I'd taken the ransom note seriously.

But I mean seriously, who ransoms shoes? I mean yes, they were super-cute summer sling-backs that matched my sexy dress perfectly and made me just tall enough to seem petite rather than short. And yes, they cost me an ENTIRE paycheque. Which, by the way, I'd appreciate you not telling my mother. So yes, when I took them off at Lissa's party and couldn't find them in the morning for the walk of shame, I was more than slightly disappointed. But I had to get home and changed for work, so I left with nothing more than a cursory search.

Lissa, being the awesome friend she is, swore to me she'd tear the place apart to find them. She understands how hard it is to find the perfect shoes. Arguably a more important find than the perfect man. And to lose them just as easily. Harsh. Very harsh. So when her text came in a few hours later, I expected a joyous "Found!" or even "U owe me!" -- either of which would've been entirely reasonable. But "Call me asap!" was a bit of a puzzle. Lissa always speaks in exclamation marks though -- that same message could apply because she's being rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery or because she's not sure which shade of nail polish to apply.

I didn’t even bother to make an excuse to my boss as to why I was stepping out of the office, just took my phone and went outside. I was reasonably certain this would not be deemed a professional conversation. “What’s up?” I asked when Lissa answered her phone.

“They’ve been ransomed!!!!”

Even for Lissa, that was excessive. “What? Who’s been ransomed?”

“Your shoes!” There was a moment of silence while my brain tried to process that information and form an appropriate response, but Lissa didn’t wait for me to catch up. “I found the note stuck to the closet door. ‘If you ever want to see the shoes again, you’ll meet me at David’s Pub on 44th street at 8:00 on Saturday evening.’ You have to go rescue your shoes!”

“Uh Lis,” I wondered how to point out the obvious, “whoever has the shoes probably thinks they’re yours.” Dead silence from my usually verbose friend. “They came out of your closet, at your party. Points for the most creative pickup line ever – but they’ve directed it at the wrong person.”

“No way!!!” Lissa stated vehemently, “I would NEVER wear shoes like that!”

“Hey! What’s wrong with my shoes? I love those shoes!”

“Oh I know you do, and they’re great for you. But for me? I’d look like an elephant walking on stilts if I tried to wear those.”

I considered this briefly before conceding the accuracy of the analogy. “But it doesn’t negate the fact that whoever the shoe thief…”

“shoe kidnapper!” Lissa interrupted, “or shoenapper? They do intend to give them back.”

“Ok whoever the shoenapper is, probably thinks they’re yours.”

“All the more reason for you to go then. You get your shoes back AND foil their plans in the process. Perfect!”

“Perfect except that I’m left meeting a strange guy in a bar to rescue my shoes.”

“Aren’t they worth it?” She had a good point.

And so it came to be that on Saturday night I was at David’s Pub, wearing totally uncute running shoes and looking decidedly short rather than sexy, wondering how I would know who was holding my shoes hostage.

“I'm glad you came,” the voice spoke from behind me. I turned to see the man I’d spent the first half of Lissa’s party trying to work up the courage to speak to. “I believe these are yours?” he asked, holding up my shoes. My eyes lit up; a petty girlish reaction but I couldn’t help it. They were amazing shoes. But as I reached for them, he held them out of reach. “The ransom is that you have to let me buy you dinner. Then you get your shoes back.”

I raised my eyebrows and looked down my nose at him, trying to do my best Mrs. Smith scary middle-school librarian impression. Let me tell you, it’s hard to look intimidating when you’re wearing running shoes and are a foot and a half shorter than the person you’re trying to look down on.

“And desert,” he added to his list of demands. Clearly my intimidation attempt had failed miserably. I pretended to consider the situation.

“I suppose I can live with that,” I agreed as he led the way to a window-booth. How could I help but be flattered that he’d apparently gone to all this effort for me. Not gorgeous TALL gregarious Lissa. Me. I was starting to regret the uncute running shoes.

I should’ve known then. I should’ve realized that anybody creative and dedicated enough to go to all that effort for a first date would turn my world upside down. If only I’d taken the ransom note seriously, I would’ve entirely avoided all the trouble that followed. All the practical jokes. My wedding shoes disappearing (heads nearly rolled for that one!). Learning to fear April Fools Day. But then I would also have missed out on the one man more important than even the best pair of sexy sling-backs.


Zippy and and oh-so-cute. Loved your breezy style to this modern-day Cinderella tale. Carrie Bradshaw would be proud.


Some trouble is well worth the trouble.


Good story. She may have to put up with a bit of trouble, but at least she seems happy (for the most part) about it.


I loved this one.

Mmmm... shoes :)


Post a Comment