By Isaac Payne
A pair of tennis shoes, blue with ochre laces, hang from the telephone lines alongside Route 219. H.G. was sketched on the heel with black Sharpie, and a lion sticker on the ankle catches the sun. During clear summer days the tennis shoes blend in with the sky, the white soles becoming clouds. They kick each other when the storm comes, shaking the lines, the toes filled with rain. Years of weather threadbare the laces. A tough gust sends the shoes tumbling into a ditch, bleached as bone among reeds and brown water: a home for moles and frogs, the laces woven into the jay’s nest.
Isaac Payne is an English and writing graduate. He is also a graduate of the Alpha Young Writer’s Workshop, and his short story “The Pursuit of Luck” received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 Writers of the Future contest. His short fiction has appeared in The Corvid Review, and he was a panelist discussing Eastern and Western speculative fiction at the 2018 Northeastern Modern Language Association Conference. Deviation