Photo by Nikki Normandeau on Unsplash
Frannie Desoto sat on the floor of her bedroom surrounded by boxes. Not just any boxes, these were boxes of shoes. The labels read Loeffler Randall, Dolce Vita, and Nicolette Nichelle. Some boxes still had their lids on; others were open, revealing fluffs of white and pink and beige tissue paper. In those nests lay the shoes—all styles, all colors, but with one thing in common: every single one of them had high spiked heels.
Frannie stared fondly at her little family of shoes. Sandals, pumps, boots, and platforms, she loved them all. Withdrawing a hot-pink strappy stiletto, she caressed it gently. She did the same with a turquoise sandal, then a brocade evening slipper. For a few moments she relished the little triplets, then replaced them in their boxes.
Looking around, she spied the one she wanted, over by the dressing table. She scooched over to the plain brown box, then box in hand, pulled herself up onto the seat. Flinging away the lid, she pulled out the pair, bright red and shiny. Her Red Slippers, she called them, a la Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.
One by one, she wedged her stockinged feet inside, then balancing herself on the table, she rose. Suddenly she was ten feet tall, young and beautiful, a princess… a queen!
“There’s no place like home,” she whispered, clicking the patent heels together three times.
For a moment, she was off in the worlds of fantasy where princes are gallant and not chauvinist pigs. Then the dream faded.
“Ouch!” she muttered. Her toes pinched, and her feet were hurting already. The doctor had told her it was time to think about wearing flatter shoes. The high heels were a risk for falls, and at her age, that could be dangerous.
I never cared about such things back in the day, she thought glumly. Why, I could run and jump and dance until three in the morning in shoes like this. Where did it all go wrong?
But there was nothing wrong besides the natural debilitating progress of age, something everyone went through should they be lucky enough to live that long.
Frannie put the red shows back in the box and picked up a pair of plain black ballet slippers from under the table. She sighed as she slipped them on, thinking how lovely the satin felt against her skin.
These aren’t half bad, she confessed as she began to pick up the boxes and put them back in the closet until the next time.
Frannie appears in all the Crazy Cat Lady cozy mysteries, and is featured in Copy Cats, where she learns how to psychically communicate with cats and subsequently foils a cat counterfeiting plot, and in Cat Conundrum, where she and Lynley go to the beach for a cat conference, only to end up in the middle of a spate of locked room murders.