Food on the Table and Shoes on our Feet

I like the bunnies on mummy’s feet. Floppy ears. Soft to snuggle. When mummy wears them and her fluffy dressing gown we laugh and cuddle. I am her special girl. Just me and mummy. And the bunnies. Pointy black shoes can spike your leg by accident. Especially after big glasses of stinky drink that make mummy pull a face like she just smelled the bin. Her little skirt is black and shiny. She has no tights on so I can see her legs all the way up. Sometimes I can see her knickers. The man with the beard comes on black shoe days. I make the cartoons louder than the zoo noises they make upstairs.

Some days are no-shoe days. Mummy paints her toenails red. I ask her to paint mine. She doesn’t answer. Her lip wobbles and she shakes her head. She gets sleepy. Or cries. Or talks so fast I don’t know what she is saying.

Mummy’s red shoes have very high heels that make her bottom swish side to side. The man with the big tummy watches her fetch him a drink from the kitchen. He is not supposed to come in cos I’m watching TV in my pyjamas. He peeks through the door. I am peeking back. His cheeks go red as ketchup.

When I am bigger I will be able to reach that lock on the door. I will lock the men out. They can say get up those stairs and slap someone else’s bottom. Maybe they should get pets. Then they wouldn’t need to come to our house, and they could howl with their wolf or growl with their bear or cry and cry with their kitten.

Mummy says that she works to give us food on the table and shoes on our feet. But we eat on the settee. I wish we could throw all our shoes in the bin. Then stay at home just the two of us in our slippers.

 by Stephanie Hutton  |  artwork by Jennifer Lauren  +  Kristin Soh 

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Stephanie Hutton

Stephanie Hutton is a writer and Clinical Psychologist in the UK who believes in the therapeutic value of short fiction. She has published flash fiction, short stories and poetry online and in print.