The shoes were utterly impractical of course. The sharp, high heels played havoc with her bunions. Stepping out of the house she winced as the pointed leather pinched at her toes. She knew she had developed a ridiculous walk to cope but she didn't care. Stooped over, her arse sticking out and mincing along to try to relieve the pressure on her poor feet she looked down and smiled at the shoes.
She was wearing the navy shift dress. Classic, simple. Like all shift dresses it did nothing for her figure. Whether you were a bean pole or a sack of potatoes the dress simply clung to whatever it found. In her case, a sack of potatoes. She had dressed it up with her red beads and was wearing her navy wool jacket in spite of the hot sunshine.
As she arrived at Conversation Club he was waiting for her outside as he always did. The Captain; a charming, ebullient gentleman who absorbed the respect of the elderly participants of the club like a natural leader. She straightened her back and stepped out to meet him, her head held high. He had been good company this last year. Her children had accepted him and he had been welcomed into her family as a kind of surrogate Grandpa. He was proud, always smartly turned out; blazer and tie. He had never been a ships captain but he had been a keen sailor in his day and the nickname seemed to have stuck.
The Conversation Club was a ridiculous pretension. Tables were set around the community hall and each week there were five topics, one for each table. Politics, Local News, International News, The Arts, Science. The club's members were spread equally between the tables to start them off and then everyone was required to change tables as a bell was sounded every half an hour. The discussions rarely stayed on topic. Always there was someone who had to give the details of their latest appointment with the G.P. or an update on their grandchild's achievements. But the afternoon would pass in company and it got her out of the house.
As she sat at her allocated table she glanced across the room and watched the Captain holding court. The ladies at his table all looking up at him with doe eyes as he brandished his arms and told everyone his definitive views on the subject at hand. She had little to contribute to her table today. She sat in her chair, her legs stretched out in front of her so that she could admire her shoes. Two of the ladies also had grandchildren starting school next week and she let her mind drift to her little darling and the day earlier in the week when she had been with her, watching her play in that organised way she had; plastic pots and pans stacked neatly around the play kitchen as she 'cooked' Grandma lunch. The idle chitter chatter she would never forget.
"Mummy bought me new panties for when I start school. They've got pink and lace and 'Hello Kitty' on the fronts. Captain Grampy says they're pretty. He liked my Kitty panties. He says I dance beautifully in them. He stroked Kitty and said she's ever so soft. Do you want to stroke Kitty, Grandma? Captain Grampy says I should always let him stroke Kitty when he looks after me."
She didn't remember how she got out of the room. She felt the blood in her heart turn to ice and her body turn numb. She had no idea how she didn't vomit in front of the child. She had made it to the cloakroom and retched into the toilet bowl. By the time she returned to the sitting room the child had gone into the garden and was playing with her sisters.
She felt the Captain tap her arm and flinched as she realised how far she had drifted. Looking up at the clock she saw it was time to make tea and they set off to organise the urns of hot water ready for everyone's conversation break.
She watched him as he set china along the counter, cups and spoons placed on each saucer just so. She didn't hear what he was saying. She slipped out of the red shoes and sighed a moment as the cold floor gave her aching feet some relief. In another moment it was all over. One swift movement. So much more simple than she had expected because, of course, it hadn't occurred to him to defend himself. She stared down at him on the orange and brown linolium floor, the four inch heel of one red shoe neatly piercing his left eye.
A rather bleak story for Wicked Wednesday. The prompt was to use the first line of a nursery rhyme. This story is what happened.