Results 1 to 1 of 1

Thread: Walk a mile

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2019

    Walk a mile

    Hi all,

    This is my first post on the forum. I haven't written a story in years, but decided to try and get back into it tonight. This took me a couple of hours - it's a genre and a setting that I've never done before (modern horror), and I would love any feedback. I feel my writing isn't terribly imaginative as far as plots are concerned. This is my revised second draft.


    Jim Ackerman cursed as his engine spluttered and died. The rain was beating down harder and he was still miles from home.
    “Piece of ****ing ****!”
    He slammed his fist on the dashboard. The engine gave a final cough of protest and fell silent. Cursing again, Ackerman fumbled for his coat on the back seat. The rain showed no sign of stopping, and he had to be home in time for the game. He had two hundred bucks riding on it. He’d have to take a cab. He reached into his coat pocket for his wallet and froze. It was gone.
    He let a stream of expletives loose as his anger mounted. It must have been that old gypsy freak that bumped into him earlier outside the convenience store.
    “Dammit to hell!”
    Pulling his coat tightly around him, he got out of the car, out into the driving rain. After aiming a kick at the recalcitrant vehicle, he started off down the street.
    Setting a brisk pace, he walked for a good twenty minutes until he reached the corner of Washington Avenue. As he turned down the street, a voice startled him.
    “Hey buddy, spare a dollar for a cup of coffee?”
    It was a tramp, one of the many down-and-outs who occasionally wandered through this neighbourhood, carrying their miserable belongings with them on their backs. This one was a elderly black man, his face lined and worn, wearing a dirty brown overcoat. A fraying hat sheltered his head from the rain. Scumbag was probably a thief and a drug addict, thought Ackerman.
    “Get away from me, ****head!” He was in no mood to be charitable, but Jim Ackerman never was.
    “Hey, no need to be like that, buddy. C’mon, can’t you help a poor guy out?”
    The tramp was standing too close to him, and Ackerman could smell the stench coming from him, even in the rain.
    He had had enough. Angrily, he gave the tramp a heavy shove, sending him stumbling back. Losing his footing, the old man landed heavily on the ground. Ackerman’s anger still seething, he kicked the man in the stomach, leaving him doubled up in pain.
    “That’ll teach you, n***er! Go scam some other sucker for your drug money. Bloodsucking n****r s***!”
    Leaving the old man gasping in pain, Ackerman strode off down the street.
    He had barely gone ten yards when he was addressed by another voice as he walked past an alleyway.
    “That weren’t very nice.”
    Ackerman stopped to look at the person in the alleyway. His eyes widened as he recognised the gypsy from outside the convenience store. How the hell had he gotten here?
    “You!” It took a moment for him to regain his composure. “You’re the ****** who stole my wallet!”
    “I ain’t got no wallet of yours.” the gypsy replied. “What right you got to kick a poor old man in the guts and leave him like that on the sidewalk? He ain’t done no harm to you.”
    “ That ******* *******? N****rs like him should stay away from decent folk!”
    The gypsy fixed Ackerman with a penetrating gaze. Somehow, Ackerman found he couldn’t look away, and he was rooted to the spot.
    “You think so? You walk a mile in someone else’s shoes and then maybe you’ll understand.”
    And then the gypsy was gone, disappearing down the alleyway. Whatever had transfixed him to the spot was gone, and Ackerman found that he could move again.
    For some reason, the encounter had left him shaken. He tried to put it out of his mind and set off again for home.
    By the time he arrived, the rain had stopped. He was soaked all the way through. Taking off his sopping raincoat, Ackerman went into his living room to turn on the TV. He had missed the first quarter, but there was still plenty of the game left.
    As he sat down, he noticed a parcel on his dining table. It had a note on it which read “Got you these today. Wear them when you take me out to dinner. Love Lucy xx”. It was from his girlfriend. She must have come round and left it when he was out.
    He opened the package. Inside was a pair of suede leather shoes. Not his favourite kind, but what the hell. If the ***** wanted to get him stuff, why should he say no? He sat down and pulled them on. A dizzy spinning sensation overcame him, as if he was falling into a deep pit.
    Ackerman blinked. He was no longer in his living room. He was sitting on a chair on a balcony overlooking a night-time cityscape. The lights twinkled below him and a cool breeze blew gently in his face. He had a glass of wine in his hand, the liquid reflecting the moonlight.
    “What the f-“ he began.
    “Tom! Are you going to sit there all night?” a woman’s voice sounded from behind him.
    Confused, Ackerman got up quickly and looked round. The apartment behind him was large and well furnished. The fittings looked expensive. A large TV was mounted on the wall and he could see a drinks cabinet filled with bottles of liquor. It was a far cry from the run-down home where he lived. And sitting on the couch was one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen. She was blonde, slim, with curves to die for. And she was wearing next to nothing, except for a nearly transparent negligee.
    “Come on Tom, I’m getting lonely on my own!”
    It had to be a dream, thought Ackerman. A helluva realistic dream. What the heck, he decided. If it was this good, he was going to run with it.
    “Uh, sure, I’m coming.”
    The woman beckoned seductively towards him, letting her negligee slip teasingly over one shoulder. A VERY realistic dream, thought Ackerman.
    Then she reached over to the table beside her, and her hand flew to her mouth.
    “Oh! Tom, I’m out of cigarettes. Would you be a dear and run down and get me some? I promise you’ll get a REALLY good reward when you get back.”
    “Huh. OK, yeah, I’ll go.” Ackerman replied. The excitement could wait a little while longer, he thought. And besides, the way she said that held a promise he couldn’t resist.
    He left the apartment. Once on the street Ackerman realised he had no idea where he was, or where he could get some cigarettes. Never mind, there had to be a late night convenience store open somewhere. He began to walk, aimlessly.
    After about twenty minutes of wandering, he finally found an open store. Going inside, he bought a couple of packets of cigarettes and a bottle of whiskey. He found a wallet in his back pocket. Inside was a wad of hundred dollar bills, several credit cards and a driver’s license. He looked at it. “Thomas Duncan” it said, giving his address as an upmarket district of a city several miles away. This guy must be loaded, thought Ackerman. I’m going to have me some fun. He exited the store and headed back to the apartment.
    He hadn’t gone more than halfway before everything changed again. He was suddenly no longer on the street, and back in his own home, sitting on his sofa, his new suede leather shoes on his feet.
    He sat there for a few moments, trying to figure out what had happened. Then he remembered the gypsy. What was it he said? “Walk a mile in their shoes?” Breathlessly, he tried taking the shoes off and putting them back on again. Nothing happened. Maybe it only worked once?
    He grabbed his cellphone and dialled Lucy’s number. She answered almost immediately.
    “Hi Jim! I came round but you weren’t-“ she began.
    “Never mind that!” he interrupted. “Those shoes you got me. Where did you get them?”
    “Oh, did you like them?”
    “Yeah, yeah, I loved them, where did you get them?”
    “I got them on Craigslist. They were nearly brand new the guy said, he bought them and didn’t like them. Oh, I’m sorry, is that a problem?”
    “No, no, it’s fine. Thanks.” He hung up.
    As he sat there, staring at the shoes, Ackerman’s mind began to ponder the possibilities of this new power.

    Over the next few weeks and months, Ackerman explored his new found ability. He discovered that it worked with any second hand pair of shoes that he put on. It would transport him into the previous owner’s body and give him complete control. He would be transported back into his own body after he had walked a mile wearing the shoes. He found that he had to actually walk that mile – taking a car ride didn’t do it, a fact that he exploited to prolong his “trip”. He had no idea what happened to the other person’s mind when he was in their body, and he didn’t care. They didn’t seem to be transported into his body – he always came back in the same place where he had left himself.
    He bought shoes from second-hand shops and online, spending hours in other people’s lives. He started neglecting his job, until he was fired. That drove him to come up with a new scheme – when he transported into someone’s body in his own town, he immediately ransacked them of their valuables and left them somewhere for him to pick up once he had returned to his own body. And he had no qualms about using his power to take advantage of their wives and girlfriends. He even squeezed his feet into a pair of women’s shoes to see if that would work. It did.

    Then one day, Ackerman was in another charity shop looking for more shoes to buy when his eyes were caught by a pair of extremely expensive looking designer brown leather shoes. Examining them, they were a luxury European brand. They must have been worth hundreds of dollars. Whoever owned these must have been filthy rich if they could afford to give them away to a charity shop, thought Ackerman. He bought them and went straight home to try on his new acquisition, planning what he would do to the former owner’s wealth when he got there.

    Once at home, he hurriedly locked himself into his bedroom. He upwrapped the shoes and slipped them onto his feet. He felt the familiar sensation of being transported.

    Everything was dark. His eyes were closed. He felt himself lying down on a soft surface, but he couldn’t move, no matter how hard he tried. Then he heard voices. He tried to yell out, but he couldn’t open his mouth or make a sound. What the hell was going on?

    The voices got closer. There were several people talking to each other. As they got closer, they became clearer and he could make out what they were saying.

    “He looks so peaceful lying there.” said a woman’s voice.
    “Yes, it was sudden. The doctors couldn’t save him.” Another woman’s voice, contempt dripping from her voice. “It’s finally over.”
    “You’re so cold.” The first woman replied. “Are you keeping any photos to remember him?”
    “After everything he did to me? No. I’m free and I don’t want anything to remind me of him. I gave all his things away to charity.”
    The voices continued, but Jim Ackerman didn’t hear them. His mind was filled with his own silent screaming no one could hear.
    Last edited by Enigma298; 09-10-2019 at 04:54 PM.

Similar Threads

  1. Mile Marker 117
    By virtuoso in forum Personal Poetry
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-08-2015, 05:45 PM
  2. The Green Mile - Stephen King
    By Abookinthebath in forum General Literature
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: 10-25-2011, 05:35 AM
  3. The Green Mile by Stephen King
    By mikinsmith in forum Write a Book Review
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 06-07-2011, 12:54 AM
  4. Yea, though I walk
    By PrinceMyshkin in forum Personal Poetry
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 11-16-2010, 01:17 PM
    By Wally2059 in forum Book & Author Requests
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-15-2004, 03:02 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts