My boots splashed frigid brown water, thumped along sidewalks, and entered school, tattooing rough rhythms into a rug.
Their purple soles squeaked along the route to my locker, neon laces dragging through the debris of scores of kids’ shoes heading to class.
They lay, soggy, crossed on the classroom floor.
I stretched, yawned, greeted friends, did work.
They pounded across the busy classroom as we heard gunshots pop-bang-pop-ing far too close down the hall, rushed to lock and barricade our door, and huddled in a corner, but far too late, it seemed, as my boots pulled tight under me, my head in between my knees, stomach churning and mind spinning as I heard footsteps, gunshots, were those screams? growing nearer.
They scrabbled, bolted, and finally went limp when our door burst open and bullets riddled young bodies, my bright boots oblivious to “Thoughts and prayers” pouring out across the nation, the world, a pool of scarlet slowly spreading from me.
My new orange and purple boots were the last things on me dry of blood as I was finally carried to my grave among weeping families and bright police car lights.
Seventeen dead in Parkland, Florida.
Will we be next?