12/06/2011 12:51 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2011


This is a regular column featuring original fiction by and for high school students, provided by, an online community writing site for young people.


Sandals. Black with silver trappings. Slightly elevated. Beige stitching around the edge. Slightly too big. No brand names. Rather unusual.

Alicia... Was that her name? I think someone said it in class today. To me she's just Weird Sandals. Where'd she get them? She must have weird parents, to let her shop wherever she bought those. They could be hand-me-downs, but they look too new. She's insecure about her height but doesn't want to wear heels. No -- she's not allowed to wear heels. Those sandals are too stand-out-ish to be worn by someone wanting to hide. It's probably her mom who wouldn't let her wear them -- so she copies her mom. Makes sense with the insecurity. So her mom shops there too. Cool. She could've picked a more appropriate shop to introduce to her daughter. The goth feel... bad childhood? No, bad adulthood. Combined with the sizing of the shoe, which means it's supposed to last a while, it could be a divorce. That's a big assumption to make though. But if that's true then she wouldn't have a way to school. The shoes don't look particularly worn, so I doubt she walks to school far. You can't get far on a bike in those. So she lives close, can't get a ride anywhere... Wait, isn't there -- ohhhhh! That store! The one down the street from school! Wow, didn't think she shops there...

"Hey, where'd you get those shoes?"

She turned her head in surprise. I guess I don't speak very often. "Ummm, actually just around the corner from here, at --"

"Thank you."


Uggs. Light brown with no particularly large colors other than the main visible. Virtually unblemished suede. Creases over ball of foot, ankle, and lower leg. Unusually deep crease along the top of the ankle.

People like this make me sick. Uggs were never meant even to be worn in the United States at all. The company was based in Australia, where the thick fur provided insulation to the unpredictable climate. Anyone who wears them in the US doesn't know that, or at least doesn't care. Low common sense for the price of fitting in. Not what I would call smart. But the perfect suede - that's something to think about. They could be new except for the creases. Based on the toe crease I'd say a couple months, maybe? Not too long ago. But then again there's that deeper crease along the ankle. That crease says more like a year ago... No, wait! The line above it! About 2 inches apart with a slight bulge inbetween. The bulge trails off around the sides though... Phone. She has her phone in her boot. With those dimensions its smaller than an iPhone but bigger than a Kin. Droid is too expensive or she'd have real fur Uggs, not crappy suede ones, but she probably thinks herself too good to have any flip phone. Meh, the dimensions are too generic. Stupid people. Stupid people have stupid phones. Stupid generic people with stupid generic Uggs have stupid generic phones. And stupid me for not being able to guess them.

The girl bent down, reaching for her boot with her left hand. From its depths she pulled out a Samsung Intensity and hid it beneath the desk, composing a text on it. Stupid.

Clean Freak

Sneakers. Black with white shoelaces. Clean. More for show than sport. Crease between body of foot and toe. Crease on the tongue bending downwards. Unclear brand name.

Even from a distance of 10 feet and walking the most distinct thing about these is their cleanliness. The laces are blindingly white yet not even the tips of them are dirtied beyond a few smudges. Even the white band around the edge of the shoe is just as spotless. Whoever owns these certainly doesn't go outside in the rain and muck with them very often. Unathletic, or the shoes'd be more dirty, but repectable, or they'd be oversized converse. The laces are off-center, meaning they didn't come with the shoe. That means the owner (1) prefers and therefore buys flat laces over round, more athletic-looking ones and (2) has both time and motivation to rethread each lace carefully enough to look like the store did it. Coupled with the color combination, as black goes with everything, this person is obviously concerned with the way that they look to at least some extent above your average slacker in school. The laces on the left shoe are double-tied, but on the right they're only single-tied. This makes sense with the crease on the tongue in that the owner slips on the shoes most of the time and only re-ties them when they require it (as he seemed to have now, as the right is single-tied). He shoves his feet into the shoes repeatedly every day without pulling the tongue back to make room first. Hence, the crease. He's often in a rush and doesn't feel that he has time to fix it. But there's another prominent crease on the shoe. The separation of the toes and foot is very important here. It implies pressure applied to the ball of the foot without the heel. Not even when you run do you do that normally. Stairs. He climbs stairs often. Maybe goes to school in a multi-level school, or lives in a house with multiple floors. That is, if he's allowed to keep his shoes on indoors. Based on the general degree of cleanliness of them, my bet's on not, since whoever keeps them so clean cares about the house being equally nice. Now if only I could see the brand name.

As newly-dubbed Clean Freak and Weird Sandals passed, I could hear them over the rush of traffic:

"I hate these shoes; they're so hard to tie!"

If he had threaded them himself he would've corrected his mistake if it bothered him. Some weird store to sell shoes with uneven laces...

- Natari Chiba