Jaynie Morrison is a sixteen-year-old girl with an insatiable need for adventure. This she satisfies by causing all manner of random mischief, making her material nuisance number one. But with her seventeenth birthday a snag in her material world arrives.
Random magical happenings.
Her father claims that her mother is a Fa?rie Queen. But this Fa?rie Queen vanished shortly after Jaynie turned three. Jaynie wonders if her father is telling the truth. She wonders if her mother really vanished after all. But mostly she is confused and wonders if her mother's Fa?rie magic is causing the magical happenings that have invaded her world.
Jaynie decides immediately: find mother!
Jaynie arrived to the Bigguns Shoe Emporium and strolled through the swinging front doors with a sense of purpose. She strolled with an attitude that said, “I have money and I am not afraid to use it.” This would have been an exciting and wonderful thing to see, if anyone was around to see it. The unfortunate incident was that the on duty staff had all gathered at the back of the store to celebrate the birthday of one of the staff members. By all accounting of the owner they should not have been all of them preoccupied during the hours of business. But as the owner was nowhere to be seen at the moment they took the liberty of taking liberties.
When Jaynie strolled through the door like a ten-penny nail in a box of one-penny nails, she was expecting to be greeted by wide expectant eyes that had understood from her puffed-as-a-passionate-puffer-fish promenade that she had money and was not afraid to use it. But as no one was there to see her grand entrance, she had to content herself with her reflection in the full-length mirror at the back of the store as her only witness.
“Hmm,” she mumbled. “No one around but you, reflection mine. Well, then. I guess it’s just you and me.”
With this she set about shuffling through the boxes of sneakers, selecting styles, colors, sizes, creating a flurry and folly of activity that surely was impressive in and of itself. But as there was not one about to get impressed, she herself was impressed for everyone. She was impressed most exorbitantly.
“I think the assembling of these sneakers, in the precise imprecision I have done, is maybe the most impressive thing I have ever done. In fact it is what I would call my pièce de résistance.”
Saying this led her to an instantaneous examination of the depths of her own misappropriated ignorance. She knew not exactly what pièce de résistance meant, but she knew it was something grand, at least as grand as most impressive.
“Yes,” she said, “I have done this most impressively.”
She began trying on sneakers one after another. Shoes Jasmine and Cory, soon to be replaced sneakers, watched with glum horror as Jaynie oohed and aahed, her eyes sparkled, her lips made kissy face, knowing that sure as Shinola she would soon select the new pair of sneakers that would replace them. They wished and whined as hard as they could in their own footwear-y way to stop this madness from continuing. Pictures flashed through their gum-rubber, polyurethane and canvas minds of their blissful days as loyal foot stewards crashing to a close. Shoe Jasmine, in her own sweetly poignant inanimate way, shed a tear as much as any inanimate object could be said to do such a thing, and shoe Cory, well, he just harrumphed. The sky was pitching and puking acid rain in their little universe. And soon, as if Jasmine and Cory’s pleas had been heard, Jaynie came to a disappointing conclusion.
“These sneakers are too small; even the double width sizes. My big toes are just TOO BIG!”
Her puffed-as-a-passionate-puffer-fish pose began deflating. Right there in front of her eyes as the beautiful red and yellow balloon of excitement she had inflated went limp and flaccid like a wet noodle. She had meant to buy some sneakers. Had money and was not afraid to use it. But somewhere along the road to this moment at the Bigguns Shoe Emporium her big toes had got so big she could not get a shoe to fit her.
“Does no one have sneakers for the phalangeally disfigured girl?”
To this question she had no answer. All she knew at the moment was that she was extremely disappointed. She would consider herself lucky if she knew the cruel shenanigans running wild in the shoe bins. The Heels, the Sneakers, the Decks, were all and every one of them grinning and smirking and sniggering, some going so far as sneering at this picture of teenage dejection that was Jaynie. Yes, bullies they were. Each and every one.
They were not deserving of even the smallest inkling of her attention.
So Jaynie picked herself up and walked out, wandering down the streets, across bridges, through parks, and on buses, thinking the whole time about what she could do now that would deliver her from her unshod condition. She could not understand that given her less than happy mood, why she felt compelled to skip and shuffle and dance as she walked about. This understanding may never come.
What she did not know was that sneakers Jasmine and Cory, so overjoyed at having been spared the executioner’s blade, so to speak, were expressing their joy in the best way they knew, putting a zing and zest in her step that defied her present disposition. Nonetheless, Jaynie would remember this as an odd but strangely enjoyable time, a time where the thought passed through her mind more than once, “Why get rid of these sneakers, anyways? So the laces are shred; replace them. So the soles are worn and the tops perforated; custom worn for added comfort. Yep, they are my sneakers all right, been through many adventures, we have. And now that I think about it I definitely would miss them.”
And so it seemed her sneakers, Jasmine and Cory, had the last laugh, a laugh heard from the ocean floor to the outer stratosphere.