Mookychick Blogging Competition
Flash Fiction – Pink Shoe Laces
By Rebecca Carvalho
For all ladies out there who just want a chance to be themselves, despite what feminist trends say they should or should not be or do. The following is a sad parody of what happens when we get lost in piles and more piles of theory.
She sat staring at her shoes. They had pink laces.
There was a young man sitting nearby. She knew he was just pretending to be reading his newspaper. Who could read a newspaper in a day like that?
She quickly rummaged in her backpack and found a copy of “A Vindication of the Rights of Women.” She knew that Wollstonecraft would back her up.
But then, from the corner of her eye, she noticed he had peered at her.
She looked at him. He was back pretending to read. She looked at her pink laces again. He had stared at them. She was certain of it! What was he thinking just then? She felt terrible. That same morning, prior to going to the park, she noticed her white laces were not white anymore. They were gray with dirt. The pink ones were the only at hand.
Ah, how she hated pink. Pink was the most anti-feminist color, she thought. Pink was men's idea to segregate women. They had given them a color – just that color – and told them they were allowed to use only that. Only pink. Poor Grandma had not known she hated it. Those pink laces had been a gift, along with new shoes, of course.
She rummaged in her backpack again. Woolf waved at her. She grabbed “A Room of One's Own” and started reading it too. Wollstonecraft in her right hand. Woolf in her left hand. That would do just fine.
But her pink laces were still there. She knew he simply had to be looking at them. Who wouldn't look at such bright color? Pink was the sort of stuff that wouldn't pass unnoticed.
She needed more support. She needed to ascertain herself. She had a trump card and would use it gladly. That's when she pulled out her reputable copy of feminist literary theory. She placed it on her lap, and read it. And continued reading Wollstonecraft. And Woolf too. A paragraph here, another there, and a third one there.
Literary theory, though, was simply too boring. She thought of that vampire series in her bag, and wanted to read them, but couldn't. People said they were anti-feminist; just like her pink shoe laces were. She sighed.
The young man looked at her and smiled. Ah, oppressor! She had to fight back. So, trying to balance everything, she rummaged in her backpack one last time, and found Austen. Austen was sharp. Austen's wit would defeat anyone trying to enslave her thoughts. She held “Pride and Prejudice” along with “A Vindication” in her right hand, and “Emma” and “A Room of One's Own” in her left hand.
But, with her hands busy, she simply couldn't turn the page of anything she was reading. She leaned forward, and tried to turn pages using her nose. At first, it was difficult. But, when she was starting to get the hang of it, she noticed that her pink laces were actually sparkling sun beams. She didn't know they had glitter. Tiny bits of pink glitter!
She looked at the young man. He smiled again. She gasped. She knew he had noticed her shoe laces had started to sparkle.
That was enough. Nasty, nasty color! She started shaking her legs to get rid of her shoes. In her furious fit, she lost her balance and all books fell. She desperately jumped forward to pick them up. And, as she grabbed them back, she noticed that the young man had just approached her.
She stood up, and was ready to throw at him her best swear words. She wouldn't be intimidated.
“I was wondering if you know what the time is,” he asked her in a faltering voice.
“Um. . . four o'clock,” she said, after checking her wristwatch.
“Nice bright salmon shoe laces,” he said before leaving.
She stared at her shoes. “Salmon?” She murmured to herself. And stood staring at them for an hour. After that, she put her books back in her bag and sat back on the bench, this time with her vampire series. There was no one around. And her shoe laces were not pink. They were salmon. And they didn't sparkle. They were bright. She finally felt at peace.