… it was a Friday night with nothing better to do, we drove to the old mall with burned out light bulbs, sticky floors and zombies circling the Food Court with trays of grease and sugar.
… Jyl, Suzanne, Paola and Emily went ahead to Dippin’ Dots, I hung with Allison, who was high on weed and Colt 45. I’d hoped her smooth clear skin, thick feathery eyelashes, and pouty lips that always got their way no matter what—no, matter, what—would magically rub off on me.
… we were bored, Allison and I busted the Food Court and got off looking at our reflections in the display windows. Allison swore we’d “see someone” if we looked, really looked. She claimed to have occult powers since birth and said it always happened when others were looking at her, and they were always looking at her.
… I wanted to show her the beautiful platforms with rhinestones I loved, we dodged past creepers and slinks and deadheads to Baker’s Shoes. To me, those shoes were Dorothy’s emerald slippers—so different from my oatmeal-colored Buster Browns with dead brown earth worms threaded through the eyelets.
… I would do whatever Allison said—the girl really did look like Stevie Nicks: black velvet dress, black and gold cape, long flowing golden hair, those unmistakable Gold Dust Woman platform shoes—when she whispered that I should go ask for an autograph, I said, Okay, never questioning why a rock star would hang out at a mall in Buttfuck, Indiana.
… it doesn’t take much to fool a fool, even less to become one, I went up to the woman and said, “Excuse me.” When she turned around she was just an old hipster with pancake make-up, gray roots, and ruby-red fish lips who looked at me blankly and said, “What?”
… my cheeks burned, I turned to Allison, whose glassy eyes danced mirthfully, her perfect lips twisted malignedly so that she was someone ugly and common, not at all the girl I thought she was, I apologized to the old woman and told her I thought she was someone else.
… when Jyl, Suzanne, Paola and Emily called us and said, “Where are you?” and Allison told them, they came to Baker’s Shoes and after Allison told them what I’d done, they all laughed at me, I went into the store and told the sales lady I wanted to try on the rhinestone platforms in my size. When she went to the backroom to find a pair, I grabbed the shoes off the display—not caring whether they even fit—and we all dashed out of the mall.
… in the car Allison said wouldn’t it have been cool if I’d put the shoes on and strutted around, I’d had enough, leveled her with a cutting look, and said, “Would you please, just shut, the, fuck, up?”
DS Levy’s work has been published in Little Fiction (nominated for Pushcart), the Alaska Quarterly Review, Columbia, South Dakota Review, Brevity, The Pinch, and others. Her collection of flash fiction, A Binary Heart, was published in 2017 by Finishing Line Press. She lives in the Midwest.