“His feet were powered by his heart that night as he strode over, cutting off the advances of anyone else in the room.”
Furious Fiction Entry
Just. One. More. Step
For so much of his life Dominic hadn’t thought about steps, not the kind you walk up, or the kind you take with your feet. He hadn’t counted them like the young kids do today, celebrating each time they rack up another thousand, or running pointless circles to catch up to their friends. He hadn’t savoured each one, taking in the sights and smells around him, or worried about how his foot felt in his shoe as he sauntered from one place to another.
That’s not to say that he hadn’t been grateful for the gift of taking steps, because he most certainly had been. When he was much younger and his legs got him on the school soccer team, cricket team, running and any other sport he could find available that kept him out of the classroom. He was forever indebted to them for the service they carried out that night at the Burwood Inn Social, catching his first glimpse of Sophia across a crowded room, her blonde curls cascading over her shoulders onto the silver dress that shimmered as her body swayed in time with the music. His feet were powered by his heart that night as he strode over, cutting off the advances of anyone else in the room. Accepting his hand, they had danced all night, and again six months later as she accepted his hand in marriage.
He hadn’t thought of them much, or of anything other than getting home, as he played a game of cards with his comrades in the trenches in Vietnam, but it had been them again that had returned him home safely. Those were long days that bled into nights, where you struggled, but it was vital, to keep focused on the sight and sound of movement in the trees and grass around you. Drifting thoughts, wishing you had missed the boat in the recruitment drive, could render those feet futile and put you in a box on the first carrier plane home.
Now, all these years later, he thought about steps all the time, his body’s movement, or lack thereof, measuring the toll the years had taken. How his knees called out in pain each time he rose from the lounge, and his feet demanded shoes be worn all day to thwart the sharp stabs of pain through his arches, as he shuffled from room to room. How his bones, too cold and weary to straighten prevented him standing at attention.
This was Dominic’s life now, getting older had stripped him of agility and zest. He didn’t crave playing soccer, running marathons, hiking through the jungles of Asia, or climbing Mt. Everest, but he wouldn’t say no to holding Sophia for a song, feeling her warm breath against his chest as she nuzzled in filling him with youth again.
Just. One. More. Step. Then he would be at the fridge, and he could finish Sophia’s breakfast, he just needed the Jam.