The Red Shoes
A lamp in the corner dimlylighted the room. Next to it on the bedside table laid a tatty industrialbuilder’s hat and a mass of jumbled up keys. A thin layer of smoke hovered overthe double bed from an unfinished cigar set down in freebie Guinness cigarettedish. Dresses were flung over D.I.Y cupboards and a number of foundation markssmudged deep into the carpet disguised perfectly with coffee stains. Amilitarised line of steel toe capped boots were stacked proudly up the side ofthe wall on the right hand side of a decorative mirror laced with the mostelegant of jewellery. A fine scent of perfume over powered the ever-growingscent of damp Wellingtons. Next to them sat a sparkly pair of red high heeledshoes almost as though they were untouched, even more so sitting beside thewarn out rotting wellies.
A creek and a stumble offooting downstairs broke the silence of the room. A panicky fluster of gruntsgot louder as the footsteps made their way up the stairs pausing when theyreached the landing.
“Jill?” a deep disgruntledvoice called out. “Are you in?” There was a pause, followed by slower more concentratedfootsteps stopping outside the room. The door slowly started to open creakingheavily on its hinges just wide enough for a head to fit through. A rosy handmade its way round the corner of the door, its fingernails were long and fine,painted with a deep red which captured the glare of the lamp. Shortly after, aflustered face lingered round the corner of the door. The face was hard andfair and lightly powdered, its deep wrinkles contrasted heavily with the lightand its jaw structure was strong and broad like that of a man’s-It was a man!His hair was a fresh lemon sorbet colour with perfect curls accessorised tovintage perfection with an ashy burgundy feather. His blood shot eyes dartedaround the room examining every corner. When he was sure there was no one therehe entered, grabbing the handle of the door and slowly closing it stillexamining the room.
He stood still listeningto any unwanted sounds coming from downstairs. A shudder of the back door inthe wind and the buzz of unpaid electricity could only be heard. The coast wasclear. Picking up his long gown of ribbons and pearls, he revealed his tonedhairy thighs and paint spluttered boots. He made one proud step towards the bedbefore he was jolted back by a ribbon, which he had shut in the door.
“Shit.” The man grumbledas he got down on his hands and knees forcing the ribbon from the grasp of thedoor, his biceps flexing. An angry last tug made his legs flick out fromunderneath him; the force he created sent him somersaulting across the room.Arms flailing attempting to grab anything he could to stop him from falling hefinally grounded, taking with him an empty jewellery box which, to be expected,landed firmly on his head.
“AHHH BOLLOCKS!” heshouted, curling up into a ball and holding his now bruised brow. When the painstarted to subside he regained his composure. Turning his head to see where hehad landed he caught glimpse of his reflection in the mirror. A sorry sight ofa flustered face peeking round a wide load of builders bum was looking back athim. Noticing the reality of his appearance he started to chuckle givinghimself a sly wink, watching his fake lashes flutter back at him. Now calm and collected, he stumbled to hisfeet, pulling down his corset then fixing his wig, brought from car booty theweek before. He turned to his bedside table where the cigar stood glowing amberred. He couldn’t resist his urge and picked it up taking a long drag. He placedthe cigar between his lips and turned back to the mirror scratching his crotch.After a short pause and a few puffs of the cigar he finally thought about whathe came into the room to do, placing the cigar back into the dish he gazedaround the room coughing and spluttering. He moved towards the mirror andscanned again, lifting up dresses and placing them in a box next to thewardrobe. Turning to look out the window, noticing it was growing darkeroutside, he started to pick up the pace. Coming to a stop in the centre of thebedroom he gave a grunt of impatience, looking down rubbing his head, which hasnow come up in a rather big lump. Suddenly it hit him. He made his way towardsthe mirror, lifted up a few dresses and there they were, in all their glory,sparkling along side those dirty wellies. He picked up the ruby red shoes andsat back on the corner of the bed. He slipped off his boots and threw them intothe corner trying to block his nose from the smell that exuded from hisblistered feet. He started to undo the silver straps working his way down theshoe.
After putting on the shoes he put one foot outin front of him and watched it sparkle in the light, pointing his toes like hewas on centre stage in one of his AudreyHepburn impressions. Happy with his well-finished stagefeet, he stood up; noticing he was a few inches taller. Some nip and tucks were required to moldwhat he thought were the perfect breasts. Looking over his left shoulder henoticed that one of his wife’s drawers were open. He heavy-handedly pulled itwider and watched several pairs of clip up bras fall to the floor. Picking oneof them up, he turned back toward the mirror, flicking his golden locks out ofhis face so he could study the well-padded bra he was holding.
“Not too small, could be bigger.” hesaid with a grin on his face, stretching the elastic across his thighs andsniggering in quite a provocative manner. He started to put on the bra, pullingdown the straps on his dress revealing a Leeds United football Club tattoo. Hecaught sight of it in the mirror raised it to his face and kissed itpassionately, leaving a thick trail of lip-gloss. Now the bra was assembled, hestood up tall, his reflection doing the same. Gazing into his own eyes and overhis broad shoulders draped in silk, he couldn’t help but laugh. He startedstriking poses, pouting as he firmly grabbed his private parts. He minced fromone side of the room to the other, pausing in a number of flirtatiouspositions, every one getting more and more laddish and a lot less ladylike ashe went. Stopping finally back at the base of the mirror he couldn’t hold hislaughter. All of a sudden the bedroom door flew open, crashing against thewall, knocking down a number of books from a shelf. The man turned on hisheels, too quickly for any man to handle, and found himself fighting hard tostay balanced. He cocked his head towards the door in a frantic panic andgazed, horrified, at who was standing there with a fist full of bags and a facefull of fury. The man’s eyes widened and his mouth dropped just enough to takein everything in front of him.
“Jill!” he squealed. This, to hisknowledge, was probably the most ladylike squeal he had ever made.
“Martin?” That’s right, Martin was hisname. Builder by day and Betty by night.