Made for Walking (3-20-18)


[WP] “You know what sucks? Being right.” [Link to post.]


“I caught something!” Jeff leapt up from the grassy canal bank yelling in excitement, his camping chair fell backward. He fought to keep the fishing rod up, though whatever he hooked threatened to snap the rod or line at any moment. “Help me!” His head whipped toward Matt, who sat next to him holding his own fishing rod. Matt shrugged.

“It’s probably just a boot, man,” Matt said, then reached into the ice chest for another soda. Jeff kept fighting against the unseen opponent, thankful that his rod remained intact. 

“Are you crazy?! Look how much it’s fighting!” To make his point Jeff relaxed his grip to show that he wasn’t fighting *nothing*. The rod almost flew out of his hands. He tightened his hands again, and the rod almost pulled him in with it. He stumbled a couple of feet forward before he found his footing. “HELP ME, IDIOT!” Jeff yelled behind him. Then, he felt Matt’s shoulders next to him. Matt grabbed the rod and they both pulled back. 

“It’s probably a weird current or something. It’s definitely junk, my money’s on a boot.” 

“Oh, then you wanna bet?” Jeff grunted as they pulled on the rod together. Through the few short years of their friendship Matt’s “money” became his goto phrase for a bet, even though they never wagered money. Matt nodded, his face red with strain. 

“Alright. If it’s a boot I’ll wear it until we get home. *IF* it fits me.” Jeff said. 

“If it’s not, I’ll walk home barefoot,” Matt added his terms, something comparable. “Good?” he asked for Jeff’s verbal handshake. 

“Deal,” Jeff agreed. They wrestled with the rod longer than either of them expected, and both were surprised the rod survived the encounter. After 15 minutes Jeff sat in his camping chair slipping on a wet, muddy, green and brown cowboy boot on his right foot. Matt laughed hysterically, his white shirt picked up grass stains as he rolled on the ground. 

Matt’s laughter continued the entire 30 minute walk to Jeff’s home, but by the time they reached his door Jeff could not help but join in. The situation was just too ridiculous. 

“You know what sucks?” Jeff asked once he and Matt were in his room. He took the boot off the moment they got in the door, then tossed it in the bathtub. The thing was filthy, but all things considered seemed to be well made. Although it was caked in mud, it seemed almost brand new. He guessed it did not spend much time in the canal before he caught it. 

“What?” Matt asked, relaxing on the big queen sized bed in Jeff’s room. 

“There’s only one. I’m gonna clean it up tomorrow, and see how it looks. Ignoring the goop that I had to pour out of it, it felt pretty comfortable.” Jeff cleaned off his foot, then the two friends enjoyed the rest of the sleepover watching movies and playing games. Around noon the next day, Jeff woke to take a shower and eyed the mud covered boot laying in the tub. The boot was made from thick, sturdy, brown leather. The tread consisted of a hexagonal pattern with the number [22](http://hserratafun.blogspot.com/2017/11/hugoverse-guidebook.html) in the center. He rinsed off the green algae while he showered, then left it on the window sill to dry.

“It cleaned up pretty nice,” Jeff said to a groggy Matt standing next to him. 

“Probably cursed or something. Breakfast?” Matt said, then walked out of the room toward Jeff’s kitchen. An hour later Jeff happened by the spot and noticed the boot looked completely dry, sooner than he expected. He grabbed it and stuck his hand inside to check for moisture, but found none. The interior felt soft to the touch and he decided he needed to feel that on his foot. 

Jeff let himself fall on the bed and took off his right sock, he hardly ever wore shoes around the house. He slipped his foot in. The cool interior seemed to mold itself around his foot, top and bottom. It felt like a thick sock. 

“Whoooooaaa.” Jeff fell backward on the bed and relaxed; his mind flashed to the number on the bottom of the tread. “You’re amazing 22,” he said. Once he said the number out loud he felt a tingling sensation on his left foot, then it felt just as comfortable as his right. He bolted upright and stared at his feet. He now wore a matching pair of brown leather cowboy boots. “What?!” 

“Whoa!” Matt said. He dashed to the bedside from the other end of the room when he saw it happen. Jeff reached down to his left boot to try and take it off, but it seemed intangible.

“Try and grab it!” He encouraged Matt. They could see the boot. His foot felt comfortable and well protected, but neither of them could seem to grip it to pull it off. Changing tactics he tried pulling off the right boot. It came right off, then the left boot disappeared from his foot. 

“You know what sucks? Being right.” Matt said. 

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