Cruel Shoes by Steve Martin
Anna knew She had to have a new pair of shoes today, and Carlo had helped her try on every pair in the store. Carlo spoke wearily, “Well, that’s it. That’s every pair of shoes in the place.”
“Oh, you must have one more pair. . . .”
“No, not one more . . . . Well, we have the cruel shoes, but no one would want to try . . .
“Yes, let me see the cruel shoes!”
“No, you don’t understand, you see, the cruel shoes are . . .’
Carlo disappeared into the back room for a moment, and then reappeared carrying an ordinary shoebox. He took off the lid and removed a hideous pair of black and white pumps. But this was not an ordinary pair of black and white pumps; both were left feet, one had a right angle turn with separate compartments that pointed the toes in impossible directions. The other shoe was six inches long and was curved inward like a rocking chair with a vise and razor blades to hold the foot in place.
Carlo spoke hesitantly, “. . . Now you see . . . they’ re not fit for humans . . .” “Put them on me.”
“But… “Put them on me!”
Carlo knew all arguments were useless. He knelt down before her and forced the feet into the shoes.
The screams were incredible.
Anna crawled over to the mirror and held her bloody feet up where she could see.
“I like them.”
She paid Carlo and crawled out of the store into the street.
Later that day, Carlo was overheard saying to a new customer, “Well, that’s it. That’s every pair of shoes in the place. Unless, of course, you’d like to try the cruel shoes.”
by Steve Martin