Baby Shoes by Rhiannon Matlock

From Soldie; thank you for my story starter!

For Sale: baby shoes never worn…..

As I looked at the ad for the third time that afternoon, I couldn’t
help but wonder as to why it was there. My imagination was running
wild and not all of the possibilities were good. In fact the more I
thought about it, the more horrifying the results of my thoughts. The
words were just too simple and oddly stirred something in me. What it
was I couldn’t quite place but there was a bell ringing softly at the
back of my mind. I bit my lip. Should I do it? My fingers hovered over
the keyboard and then all at once they were typing away, responding
even faster than my mind could keep up with. I got to the end of the
sentence and reread.

Hi, my name is Nicole. I’m interested in purchasing your baby shoes.
Is there a good time to come by?

Again I hesitated. This was nuts. What was I doing? I didn’t need the
shoes. I certainly wasn’t a baby and not only was I too old to have
one but so were all of my friends. Of its own accord my finger moved
to the enter key and enabled the send button. A near silent whoosh
stole across the quiet of the room and confirmed that my message had
been sent.

I shook my head and got up. It was Craigslist and I wasn’t expecting
anything anytime soon. As I walked to the kitchen to get a drink, a
message pinged on my phone. After pouring a couple fingers of brandy,
I pulled out my iphone from my back pocket and opened the email app.
To my utter astonishment, a message from the Craiglister scraweled
across the top line of my phone. For some reason, a creeping sensation
of dread rolled across my body and then settled heavily in my belly.
Who answered that fast? Had they been waiting all morning for someone
to post? Surely I couldn’t be the only one who had sent something in.
I had the image of someone sitting impatiently at their computer, just
waiting for some poor sucker to respond. I should just hit delete and
move on with my life but something in me once again motivated me to
engage. With shaky fingers, I tapped the emailed as I downed my drink
and a second later the message appeared. The glass in my hand fell
from my grip shattering even as my eyes racked over and over the worst
two words I’d ever seen in my entire life:
YOU’RE NEXT

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