Of Shoes and Ships and Dead Balloons

The Daily Prompt: Odd Trio Redux

The balloons dangled at the end of strings taped to the picnic table and benches, lifeless and wrinkled, sad in their deflation.

I began to clean up the mess still left from yesterday’s birthday party. At least it wasn’t windy last night.

I hummed softly to myself as paper plates and half-empty cups filled the trash can beside me. Under the table, a slice of cake fed the ants, frosting side down. I hate ants. I improvised tongs from one of the plates to retrieve it. A single blade of grass was trapped in the buttercream.

With all the trash swept out of sight, I spun slowly to verify that all was as it should be. A sparkle caught my eye as I turned, and I paused to squint in its direction. I couldn’t tell what it was.

A pair of flip flops, rhinestoned almost to unwearability, seemed purposefully placed under the sycamore tree, as if for display. Right heel atop left heel at a sixty degree angle. I cocked my head at them in an instant of confusion. Had someone with such large, gaudy feet attended last night’s trailer park gala?

The shoe dilemma remained. I wondered if I should place them at the end of my driveway and hope for the best.

They do sparkle prettily.

I wonder.

Suddenly my grandmother spoke in my head. Ancient in her wisdom, she reminded me to waste not, want not. I remember visiting her when I was younger, for an extended stay, and using the best plates and napkins for a Wednesday dinner of casserole. I remember being told to go ahead and use those decorative soaps in the bathroom, they’re soap, girl, that’s what they’re for. I remember finding a coffee table on the side of the road, and us taking it home to paint and polish and display.

The flip flops were a gift, and so I slipped them on my feet.

I felt lighter and sparklier already.

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7 Comments on “Of Shoes and Ships and Dead Balloons”

  1. merridy2013 says:

    Hi April, Thanks for commenting on my blog, http://www.englishmanual.wordpress.com. I really like your tuna recipe. I’m going to try it.

  2. mbjennings says:

    Beautiful piece. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. susieshy45 says:

    Nice April. Wonderful descriptions and use of words. Short and sweet. And there is a lesson to be learnt- waste not, want not.

  4. […] outdoorsy party, that reminded her of once when she’d once purposefully left a pair of flip flops behind after another outdoors birthday […]


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