White Patent Shoes

Sophie woke up with the delicious feeling of one who has slept a deep, dreamless sleep. She stretched her limbs as far as they could go, luxuriating in the sensation. Then she noticed that she was lying on top of her neatly made bed, not huddled under the sheets as usual. To further confound her, she was wearing her best linen dress and her white patent shoes, the outfit Mama normally made her wear on special occasions.

There was a twisty feeling in her stomach like a knot she couldn’t undo. She quickly got out of bed and walked down the corridor to the kitchen, the slap – slap of her patent shoes sounding like thunder to her ears.

Sophie found her mother in the kitchen. She was seated at the table with a steaming mug of coffee and an album open in front of her. As she drew closer Sophie noticed her mother was crying.


“Oh, Sophie.”

“Mama, tell me what’s wrong.” Sophie reached out to lay a comforting hand on her mother’s shoulder, almost losing her balance when her hand went right through her.

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