All’s Fair in Shoes and War

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So last nights escapades were certainly interesting, if not a little morbid and dark. I’ve got no idea where my psyche pulls inspiration from sometimes. Certainly not the romance novel I devoured before bed, that’s for sure! Anyway, please enjoy last night adventure as much as I did and be rest assured I won’t be heading out to this particular shopping center to buy shoes anytime soon!!!

If I didn’t get out of this shopping centre soon I was going to have to pay an exorbitant amount of money to the parking gods that I didn’t have. Well, I did kind of have it… I just don’t think the parking gods would appreciate my brand new pairs of sexy red, sparkly heels or black pumps. I needed to get out NOW. Sitting in this queue was doing nothing to help me. Frustrated, I slammed my hands against my steering wheel and leant on the horn, adding my chirpy beep to the chorus of other angry shouts, blasts and revving engines. This was getting ridiculous. Thirty minutes in an unmoving line of traffic to get out was more than enough!

Unbuckling my seat belt, I opened my door and climbed out the car. I craned my neck to peer over the roofs of the cars in front, and grabbed a hold of the door frame as I stood on the edge of my seat and lifted myself to get a better vantage point of what was going on at the front. Squinting in the semi darkness of the concrete hell we were stuck in, I could make out an angry mob of people gathered around the parking booth. They seemed to be gearing up for a fight with the guy who let us out of this place. Slamming my palm down on the roof of my car and growling in frustration I climbed down. We’d never get out of here if they killed the bloody gate guard!

Reaching into my car, I twisted the ignition key and yanked my keys out. Grabbing my handbag and slamming the door behind me, I stalked my way through the hordes of cars lined up to exit taking care to avoid the angry fists punching out car windows around me and ignoring the disgruntled cries of anger punctuating the air. I wanted out and I would get out if it killed me.

As I got closer to the front of the queue the screams of the angry mob got louder and louder. I gasped as I took in the scene in front of me. It looked like it was out of a movie, not the car park of my local shopping center I went to nearly every day. The mob of at least a hundred people was surging towards the small, square booth, screaming and yelling in anger. There were people smooched against the glass and mesh covering the windows of the booth. Some were crying out from the pressure of the surging crowd behind them, others were violently punching, hitting and kicking the glass to try and get in. I could make out the spray of blood coming from somewhere in the middle of the crowd, and smears of red obstructed my view of the small, terrified man inside the box. But I could smell his fear over the mobs anger. His face was white, his jaw trembling as tears streaked his face. I felt sorry for him. Then he finally spoke.

“I’m sorry, I cannot let you all out of here. I am under strict orders to keep this gate closed and – AHHH!” His words booming from the loudspeaker were cut off by a strangled cry as a rock smashed through the window and knocked him down. A loud cheer rose up from the mob as someone reached through and opened the gate, and I lunged out the way to make sure I didn’t get hit by the sudden surge of cars and people jostling and pushing their way towards the gate.

As I lay on the cold concrete I watched in disbelief as people became morphed by anger and a need to get out. The mob dispersed so quickly it was hard to believe it had ever existed as people ran for their cars and the exit. I was in disbelief – it had been half an hour – where had this uncontrollable mob mentality come from? Rather than head back to my car with the rest of them, I picked my way to the parking booth and managed to get through the door. The guard was slumped unconscious on the ground, bleeding profusely from a gash on his forehead. His shirt was stained with blood, and the booth was filled with the pungent smell of urine. Looking around frantically, I grabbed for the phone attached to the wall. No dial tone. Rummaging frantically through my handbag I pulled out my phone, swearing in frustration when I saw the ‘no signal’ flash across the screen. Wiping away the desperate tears that had started streaming down my face, I knew I had to find help for him. Running outside the booth, I kept to the edge of the driveway to avoid the frantically swerving cars jostling to get out the building first. This was insane.

Taking my eyes off the spectacle in front of me, I looked around and stopped in horror. To the right of me stood a smouldering heap of rubble that was once a block of businesses. The sky was tainted grey, the air thick with smoke, screams and pleas for help. Why hadn’t I noticed this inside? The screech of a jet jerked my eyes overhead just in time to see a horde of sleek, black Raptors shoot overhead, dropping bombs as they went. My screams of horror became lost in the deafening explosions that followed, and I sunk to my knees as my ears started ringing and the wall of ash and smoke engulfed me. All I’d wanted today was to buy a new pair of shoes. Not go to war. Maybe if I hadn’t lost the red ones I could have clicked my heels together three times and disappeared.

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