Muddy Sneakers

            “Where were you last night?!”

I tried to peel my lids back from my dry eyes. There was no way I had gotten more than a couple hours of sleep after finally rolling into my bed just as the first glow of the sun was peaking over the mountains in the distance. Apparently, Mum had noticed my absence in the night.

“I asked where you were last night.”

The covers were yanked off of me, and the cool morning air from the open window finally jolted my eyes open. I saw my mother standing over me with a glare colder than Dippin’ Dots. Then she saw my shoes.

“Maria! What the hell are those muddy shoes doing in your bed?!”

Shit. I had forgotten to take them off. Mum had just washed my sheets two days ago, and seeing the pale green fabric covered in mud (I really hoped it was just mud), set her off.

I can’t even bring myself to repeat the things she says when she reaches this particular level of anger. In all honesty, I can’t even understand it most of the time. The only way I can describe it is that she sounds like a stereotypical angry Spanish mother and a demon fresh from the depths of Hell had copulated into the terrifying monster that was gripping the floral print of my quilt in white-knuckled fists, shaking with rage.

Long story short, I eventually calmed her down enough to explain that I had snuck out to go to a party. The fact that I had walked past the house hosting the party and been catcalled by some college drop-outs standing on the lawn was irrelevant. As long as she believed I had been somewhere the average teenager would spend her nights, then everything would be okay. And as an added bonus to selling my lie, I only got screamed at for twenty minutes instead of the hour I had expected.

I know it’s bad to lie to your parents, but if my mother ever found out where I had really been, my punishment might be worse than just being grounded for a month or two. It could be way worse. Like, locked up behind bars worse.

She even made me throw out my sneakers after banging off the dried clay-and-dirt mix and soaking them in soapy water failed to get the stains out of the teal fabric. I gleefully threw them into the trash bag, knotted the top, and tossed the whole package into the can next to our mailbox. I wouldn’t have been able to keep them anyway since Mum might have noticed that the ruddy brown stain was too dark to have come from the clay I had stepped in on the edge of the lake. Thankfully, that clay had covered and dried over something much less easy to explain than dirt.

I’m not sure if I could have come up with a legal excuse as to why there was blood on my shoes.


Hello my favorite readers!

This little short was written this past week as a response to a writing prompt for one of my classes. The only requirement was that it had to start with the phrase “Where were you last night?”

I hope you enjoyed!