I gotta tell you, I got out of the city as soon as I could. No overtime for me; it was time for me to go where the sun shone and the people knew my name.
But driving out of the city nearly killed me. I don’t like the drive-by-wire roads, so I take the back streets when I can, the ghettos, the old high-rises where people who can’t afford the ‘plexes or just don’t want to move still live. The roads there are still plain asphalt; too expensive to wire for too little payback.
And there I was, driving through a once-proud neighborhood, looking up at the shoes on the line. Old shoes, shoes with holes in the soles. Shoes made out of canvas and rubber, saying “we’re still here. We’re still living here in the shadow of the ‘plexes.”
And shadows. I didn’t want to think about shadows, but there in the wires, there was a flash of white. A shimmering shape against the sun. I blinked, and it was still there – a silhouette, a human shape, a shadows done in white instead of grey. Walking on the shoes. Walking down the wire, with nothing to cast the shadow, nothing to project some sort of holograph. Not here in the neighborhood, where they didn’t need daylight bulbs because they could still see the real sun.
I stopped the car – and a good thing, too; I wasn’t the only one staring. The shadow, the apparition, I guess, walked over the shoes until it found a pair it wanted – the holiest pair, the oldest pair. The ones that were barely held together by the stitching.
And that ghost slipped right into those shoes and walked off in them, not seeming to care the laces were still tied together.
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