I swear, this is not a joke. This chapter was inspired by a child's flip-flop that was in the middle of the highway I saw today, and I thought, "how the hell did a child's shoe get out here?"

And it went from that to: "Wait a minute. He/she might have thrown it out a window or something."

And then I thought of screaming mothers (because I know mine would kill me if I ever did that with a shoe!), and it turned into this! :D

Major writer's block, as you can tell. XP

Me, being six at the time, reached out to touch it. My fingers were red and wet when I drew back, and I stared at them in blank awe. Never before had I seen blood. The shoe itself was brown; size four.

A child's shoe. Young.

He/she might have kicked out a taillight from inside the trunk of a car. Maybe a kidnapping. The shoe would have fallen off, and rolled with the passing cars on the highway.

I looked up again, head directed at the trail of blood the shoe left behind. I remember following the trail without wiping my fingers, but it stopped in the middle of the road about a hundred feet back. Nothing else. I walked back to the flip-flop calmly, and stopped about four feet away.

Just staring.

I remember thinking:

Who does it belong to?

Is it anybody I know?

Is he/she alright?

Why isn't the shoe on a child's foot?

The last one bounced off the walls of my head repeatedly. Why wasn't the shoe on a child's foot, where it belonged?

I stared at it for another hour before my mother started screaming at me to get out of the road, that I would get run over if I didn't come back to her RIGHT NOW.

I turned from the bloody flip-flop without a word, and came back to my screaming mother because I was too slow, Jamie, you're too slow you'll get hit if you don't come back to me right now Jamie, RIGHT NOW! I walked right on past her and inside, and the next thing I knew she wasn't screaming words anymore.

I watched her run back inside, telling me to stay in the play room, that she would be right back.

I got up and peeked behind the doorway. She was cradling our home phone between her shoulder and head, saying to somebody, "It's BLOODY dammit, A BLOODY SHOE IS IN OUR STREET!"

I drew back at her harsh words, returning to my play table, and picked up a number two pencil to draw with. I then realized that those two fingers were still sort of wet with the shoe's blood, had gotten on the pencil. Well, remembering how angry Mom seemed with the blood on the shoe, I ran to my room and hid the pencil under my pillow, and washed my hands.

I still remember smelling the lavender scent of the soap on me as I ran back to the room, realizing Mom told me not to leave.

She came back in a few minutes later, telling me everything was going to be alright Jamie, it would be alright when the police get here. When the police get here Jamie, you need to be on your best behavior, no nose picking!

I never got to see the police, because Mom locked me in my room. But I did get to hear their sirens. I told nobody at school, though word quickly got out from Billy Scowski that the police were in our neighborhood, because he lived a few houses down from me and he liked to brag about everything. It was several days later they all finally left, and everything returned to normal for Mom and everybody else.

. . . But I still have the pencil.