The Middle Shoe

It had been some years since they had started living among us. I was just a child when they first arrived and don’t really remember the transition of Earth being a human planet to a home to beings from many worlds. To me that was normal. In fact, I loved the diversity.

It hadn’t always been a peaceful arrangement. I can remember the whisperings and mutterings as I married my husband. A human and a tripedllian – oh the horror. Our children would be malformed at best or worse unable to survive outside the womb. Well, since then we have had four very healthy children who have made us grandparents so proved them all wrong. I never doubted that would be the case.

After our marriage, I worked with my mother-in-law in her little shoe shop that catered for people who needed an odd number of shoes. When I retired the one little shop had branches across 50 planets. My two sons were manufacturing shoes across the galaxy from kiddies’ trainers to stylish stilettoes, just like their father and grandfather.

I had broken my heart to my father-in-law when my eldest son was a toddler as I couldn’t get little trainers for Malachi. So a man, retired from his life of space travel put his technical mind to designing and making shoes for his grandson and then for his other triped grandchildren as they came along. By the time my youngest child, my second son was born my husband had joined his father in the business.

My in-laws had been among the first tripedllians to live on Earth. By the time they had arrived the worst of the animosity toward ‘aliens’ was over. It was the trivial things that were difficult for the hi-tech couple and their children. They had to make do and adapt as finding clothing for people with three-legs was impossible. Nobody on Earth made 3-legged jeans or a middle shoe. Now she holds my new-born grandson, her first great-grandchild, the next generation of Earth tripeds.

‘Now I know the hard work was worth it’ she said.

‘I never doubted it.’

©JG Farmer 2019

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