posted on Aug, 16 2009 @ 12:23 PM
Jamie knocked on the shoe-mender's door and was grateful not to be kept waiting. As soon as he was inside the shop he tore off the old trainers and
demanded his boots. The cobbler grinned slyly at the sight of Jamie's bitten toes poking out from socks that looked like refugees from at least two
wars and a children's birthday party. He went to his little back room to fetch the boots.
In his eagerness to try on his re-inforced boots, Jamie did not notice the gnarled, expectant faces pressed up against the shop window, nor did he
hear the furtive shufflings and stifled murmers coming from the back of the place. He only saw his boots.
His entire being, the last iota of his attention were concentrated on those boots. They certainly did look different, in an indefinable sort of way.
Rather subtly re-inforced, not too gaudy. But definitely mean looking. Jamie had not appreciated subtlety until now, but even he could see that
subtle menace had much more going for it than his usual brand of knock-them-over-at-a-hundred-paces menace.
He took a deep breath and pulled on the boots. His feet sank in and luxuriated in the hard shell. He wriggled his toes and enjoyed the feeling of
restriction he always felt in these boots. He started to bed to lace them up. The cobbler intervened – he would lace them up for Jamie. It would
be his pleasure, never had he done such a satisfying job for such an exacting person.
Jamie beamed, he'd have people licking these boots before long, rather than give their blood a chance to dry. He stifled the urge to kick the
shoe-mender while he had the chance. The thought was a poor second best to the action.
The cobbler finished lacing the boots, they were bound on tight. His customer considered never taking them off again. He was invited to inspect them
more closely. He bent to have a look, and found he could not straighten up. He peered more and more closely. He couldn't help himself. He found
his nose pressed right up against the steel, magnetic toe caps. He tried to swear, but found he couldn't open his mouth, so closely pressed to the
boot were his lip studs. He grabbed the boots trying to pull himself away, but his rings and elbow trophies were held captive too. Jamie found
himself rolled up into a tight ball on the cobbler's floor. Magnetised to his boots, unable to move. Unable even to swear or spit. Helpless, in
The cobbler laughed nastily and opened the door to the back room, which Jamie now saw was packed with Hell's Angels, including the girl who wore his
tooth with such contempt. She snuggled up to the cobbler, the guy with the longish, wispy hair, in his forties. Sort of weathered and battle-scarred
Jamie now saw. Oh! Jamie wondered what would happen next.
The Angels had got him helpless in their den and he was friendless as well as defenceless. His wretched life flashed before him. Jamie thanked his
heathen god for that small mercy, he hadn't wasted his time on Earth.
He watched then, as the cobbler opened the front door of the shop and was truly appalled to see the rush of old ladies flying in, heading straight for
him. For someone who had never before experienced appalment, this was a hell of a time to find out about it.
Jamie tasted this new emotion and hated it. But being himself, he saw the silver lining in this particular cloud. So this was the feeling he had
sparked off in so many – he felt rather pleased with himself in spite of his present predicament.
He felt frail, withered old fingers clutching at him. A raised voice reminded everyone there was to be no looting. That would be a fatal mistake.
Jamie's trophies clamped to his boots would keep him disabled. He felt a feeble kick on his backside, then more kicks and a mighty whack with a
walking stick. He found himself being booted up the street by a gang of old ladies, egged on and abetted by a crew of Hell's Angels. What an
alliance – lethal for Jamie, sadly.
There were few people to mourn him when he was laid to rest. The police had found no witnesses to the crime. This was hardly surprising. There were
no witnesses. Everyone who saw what was happening had joined in.
Even Jamie's family were not sorry to see the back of him. In fact, it worked out rather well for his little brother, who inherited the boots and
got his Dennis the Menace badge back.
Everybody kept out of his way whenever possible, and they were extremely pleasant to him when they did have to deal with him. There was always the
possibility that he might turn out like Jamie and it seemed a good idea to keep him sweet. Jamie's little brother smiled - “Not for long” he
And he was careful never to get any piercings. He had only the boots, and a mean streak that hadn't yet reached full maturity. And a suspicion
about who had been responsible for what had happened to his brother. And everyone suspected that he had that suspicion. And suspected that one day
he would want retribution.
Jamie's little brother suspected that he would, or at least would pretend to. He didn't actually want revenge against people who had done him a
favour, but he didn't feel beholden to them, either. And those people never suspected his indifference to their crime. But they did fear that one
day Brother of Jamie would be after them. And so he would, but purely for spite. And the guilty wouldn't suspect that. He could do what he liked
and they would all just think they deserved it. Even though they didn't.
At the top of the Shoe Manufacturers' International building was a small room and in the room was a shrine. Almost forgotten now it boasted a small
altar. Above the altar, shrouded in a stale mist of strawberry incense was a forlorn little icon. Since Jamie had died a martyr (according to them),
it was easier for the shoe-makers to get him sainted. But time had passed by and they had started to forget their hero.
Until one day the old chairman had tottered in to make a devotion to the man who had ensured his rich and comfortable old age. Rich, comfortable old
men had never been favourites of Jamie's and he wasn't the sort to be grateful for a sainthood. Still, the chairman knelt innocently before the
image with his head bowed.
The underling who found him later always swore that although the body had been spat upon, and its gold watch and chain were missing, it certainly had
been nothing to do with him. Extensive searches of his body, and his house and car, and his DNA coding, did indeed prove conclusively that he was
innocent of the outrage visited upon his boss.
The new chairman discontinued completely the worship at the shrine of St. Jamie de DocMarten and ordered the icon to be removed. The old caretaker
took it down and was about to wrap it up when something odd caught his eye.
A rather valuable gold watch and chain dangling between Jamie's nipples, which protruded from his torn T-shirt.