Last updated on March 13, 2019
SHELDON AWOKE, not sure what had roused him to consciousness. Cool air from the open bedroom window drifted over him and he inhaled its invigorating, freshness. Early morning light filtered through the curtains dancing in the breeze, causing shadows throughout the room.
It wasn’t the movement of air or the shadows that had roused Sheldon. It felt like something much more menacing. He had been alone when he’d gone to bed. But now, he was gripped by a strange feeling that he was not alone.
From the corner of his eye, he sensed movement at the far end of the bed — his adrenaline surged. Then he felt it, something touching his feet. He was now convinced he was not alone. He froze in fear, his gaze moving across the covers toward the foot of the bed. He saw his feet, sticking out beyond the covers that had been kicked back, exposing them to the cool morning air. But there appeared to be nothing more. No strange presence. His tensions partially eased — perhaps he was still alone.
Looking at his feet, he suddenly recognized the cause of his uneasiness and for a moment it made him more nervous than the thought of something unknown in the room.
His feet were being massaged. Not by an alien presence, but by each other. The toes of his left foot fondling the sole of his right, pressing into the planter fascia with a gentle twist, and a push toward the toes. As unnerving as it was, it felt good.
Normally it would not be that unusual — stretching or rubbing tired feet on each other. Sheldon had done it many times. But what made this occurrence strange was, this was not under his bidding. They were acting out on their own volition.
The activity was amazing to watch. As if on cue, the massager became the massaged, first the left foot, then the right, then back to the left. It went on for several minutes.
‘Am I dreaming?’ Sheldon thought. He was certain he wasn’t. Perhaps he’d been dreaming and suddenly awakened, a strange nerve-synaptic reflex was now causing his feet to act involuntarily.
The visual experience was mesmerizing, and the sensation of the massage was almost spiritual, momentarily relieving Sheldon’s tensions of the whole affair. It was, in fact, the most erogenous feeling he had felt in some time.
Sheldon pulled the covers tighter to
his chest and tilted his head for a better view
That was all it took. Sensing their
activity had been discovered, the feet ceased their movement and became
motionless, as feet do.
Sheldon continued to watch for several minutes, waiting for the activity to resume. But there was no movement. He wiggled his toes. Yep! They were still his — he was back in control, at least for now.
It was earlier than Sheldon normally rose, but after the episode with his feet, he knew he’d be unable to sleep. He got out of bed, dressed and sat himself at a kitchen chair next to his boots. He was about to put his foot into one of the boots, when the foot suddenly twisted away. He tried again, but with the same result. Sheldon decided to try the other foot. As he brought the boot near his left foot, his right foot placed itself over the other, making donning the boot impossible.
Resting back in the chair, staring at his feet, Sheldon tried to think of his next move. This was a most curious if not ridiculous situation. His feet apparently had intentions of their own.
A pair of sneakers sat on the floor just inside closet across the room. Getting to his feet, Sheldon carefully walked, in his socks, to the closet. With the sneakers in hand, he returned to the chair. Raising his right foot, he placed it into the shoe and laced it up. There was no resistance. He proceeded with his left shoe. Success! The sneakers were foot-approved.
The morning so far had been rather interesting though somewhat nerve-racking. Sheldon needed a coffee. His favourite coffee-bar was not far — a short walk if his feet agreed. He’d walk there and have a quick breakfast while he thought about this condition he was facing. He made his way toward the door. No problems walking, so far. Feeling a faint level of success, he left his apartment. Clutching the handrail, he navigated his way down the flight of stairs to street level and exited the building. The walk to Yucky’s Espresso was cautiously slow, expecting at any moment his feet to rebel for whatever reason, with him ending up lying on the sidewalk.
He arrived safely —chose a stool at the bar — ordered his favourite brew, then took the first sip of his caffè macchiato when it was presented. Such a reward. He was beginning to feel almost normal, and glad he’d chosen to wear the light sneakers over the more cumbersome boots. On that reflection, he felt one of his feet tap the rung of the stool several times.
OK, glad we had chosen the sneakers, he thought. The tapping stopped. It didn’t seem fair. Sheldon couldn’t feel their thoughts, but, his feet could sense his.
Bet they can’t taste this, he thought and took another sip of his coffee.
ACROSS THE ROOM, a girl sitting alone at a small bar-height table caught Sheldon’s eye. Her hair was wild and windblown like she’d arrived on two wheels without a helmet. She was casually dressed in a loose-fitting jogging top and jeans, her feet hooked loosely on the rungs of the stool beneath her. Her left hand cupped a to-go brew, while she fingered an iPad with the other — earbuds connected her to the iPad. Sheldon found himself captivated and couldn’t help staring.
He wondered if a girl like her would ever even speak to him, let alone show any interest. Sheldon was a computer geek — definitely not a lady’s man. But, he had to try — he had to meet her. He’d just go over, introduce himself and see where it led.
Just as he was about to drop from the bar stool and approach her, he noticed something that made him hesitate. Her feet on the stool rung were tapping against each other. Perhaps they were keeping time with the beat of the music she was listening to. Her lips had been slightly moving like she was mouthing a song. But there was something about the foot movements that was off. The action seemed more erratic than rhythmic and they were not just tapping each other — the action appeared more violent than tapping out a rhythm. Sheldon’s hesitation was only momentary, but it was enough for his rare goddess to gather up her iPad and coffee, and head for the door. His chance to meet her was fleeting — she was leaving. He’d probably never see her again. As she headed toward the door, she tripped, stumbling forward, almost losing her grip on the cup of coffee. She was not far from Sheldon at that moment and he was about to leap to her rescue, but before he could make his move, she recovered and continued on toward the door. In the kerfuffle, however, she had glimpsed Sheldon’s intent and as she made her way out, she gave him a gentle smile — a Thank-You for his intentions, then she was gone.
‘My Gawd, she was so perfect. Would he ever get another chance to meet her?’