I am proud to bring you our second place winner from the flash fiction competition. This is Footprints Through Time by Gabrielle Corbett.
Footprints Through Time.
The boots were always with her.
No matter where she woke, no matter when she woke, the boots were always with her. It was as if the gods realized that the foot ware was more than just that to her – as if they knew how special those boots were, that she had almost placed a piece of her soul within them.
In her first life, she was called by the name of Mair. Mair had been the daughter of a local cobbler, a man who made shoes of the highest quality for the richest of people. The boots had been a gift from her father for her sixteenth birthday. He had gone to such pains to make them extra special for her, boiling the leather until it turned black, using fire to help meld the leather soles into something soft, yet sturdy and sewing the boots together with the best quality thread he could get his hands on. Her mother’s symbol was sewn onto the right-hand side of the left boot. A beautiful silvery crescent moon and four tiny, twinkling stars. Mair had wept when she had seen it, wept and held her father close. Her mother had died earlier that year from a plague and her symbol on these boots were all Mair would have to remember her by. Thus, she became attached immediately.
Mair had worn the boots every day after that, even the day when everything had gone wrong. When the evil had come to the land and the gods had bade her to stop them. But, what could she do? Mair was no one special, she was no great warrior, she could not stop such evil! She’d die! But no matter her protestations, the gods had not listened and instead sent her off to fight a battle she knew she could not win.
She’d worn her boots when she died the first time and found them still on her feet when she woke again afterwards.
Many lifetimes had passed since she had been called Mair, yet in every one of them, she had her boots. They were still made of the same black leather, with her mother’s delicate, silvery symbol stitched perfectly on the right-hand side of the left boot. Even when her feet changed shape with every new body the gods gave her, the boots still fit perfectly. Such was the case today, as the forever sixteen-year-old opened her eyes for the… she wasn’t sure how many times she had done this now.
She sighed, staring up at the achingly blue sky. Darkness gathered at the edge of the horizon and it had nothing to do with the coming of nightfall. It was time to get up, time to place her boot-clad feet into the earth and walk towards a destiny that she was sure she would never reach. And with every step she took, she would leave a footprint in time.
Hello, my name is Gabriele Corbett. I’m a creative writing enthusiast currently suffering through a law degree (thank God it’s nearly over!). I enjoy writing novel-length stories, Fan Fictions (it started out as a random experiment… then became an addiction – kind of like chocolate and coffee) and I cam currently working on publishing a novel. As of this week, I also enjoy writing flash fictions (but the freakishly short word length is something I will have to get used to…).