People saw the shoes. Many signed the petition, most just kept walking. But hundreds, thousands, saw.
In Westlake Square, more than 3,000 pairs of shoes, to make it real, how many people are without shelter in this city. How many kids’ shoes.
Jane Doe is here, too. She signed the petition. Mostly she’s here for the free hot dog and coke.
Demonstration over, the organizers give the shoes away to those who need them. Jane shakes her head no, thank you, she has shoes. She has a home too, so to speak. Unheated and illegal, but it’s shelter.
Author note: This flash isn’t strictly fiction. It is based on the Real Change demonstration in May 2014, where they laid out 3,123 pairs of shoes in Westlake Square, Seattle, to make it visible how many people are without shelter in King County, Washington. It was part of a petition to make things happen to lower the One Night Count, an annual head count performed by volunteers to determine how many people are sleeping outside.
The count did not go down. In January 2015 was 3,772, and in 2016 it was 4,505.
I have previously ranted about our society’s neglect and cruelty to its own here.
One thought on “In Their Shoes (Flash Fiction)”
Wow. Such a powerful statement, all those shoes yet the number keep rising. Jane is doing what many homeless do — survive the night.