Sal holds the slippers at arm’s length as she lets herself into her house. Once upon a time they were a dusky salmon pink, but now they’re greyed and grubby, the insoles flattened by the feet of Sal’s dead grandmother.
Typical, she thinks, of Gran to leave a mangy old pair of slippers to her in her will. All of her lovely jewellery, all of her pretty ornaments, all of her gorgeous vintage clothes… and she thought of her tatty old slippers when deciding what to bequeath to her beloved granddaughter.
“They’re special,” the note had said. “You’ll see why.”
Sal sighs and tosses the slippers onto the carpet beside her front door. She’ll figure out what to do with them later.
The next day comes with a knock on the door and Sal rives herself from sleep, scrambles out of bed, throws on a dressing gown and bolts down the stairs. By the time she finds her keys and opens the front door, the postman has wandered away down the street.
She looks for something to shove onto her bare feet and there are the slippers in all of their grimy glory. She grimaces and slides her feet into them, shuddering at the thought of her Gran’s rough, flaking heels and gnarled, thickened toenails. She dashes out of the front door and chases the postman down.
“You knocked for me, sorry, in bed, here now,” she pants.
The postman turns to her. “Signature?”
He proffers up his touchscreen gadget and as she prepares to sign she catches his eye.
“You’ll find true love on 15th October, 2019.”
Sal blushes. The words simply fell out of her mouth. “Sorry. Just woke up, not quite with it.” She scribbles her signature, grabs her parcel and hurries back up the street towards home.
“Morning, Sal. Slept in, have you?”
Sal looks up at her next-door neighbour who is suited and booted for work. “You’ll find true love on 3rd January 2024.”
The neighbour laughs. “Okay then… best not tell the missus! Are you alright?”
“It’s not real love what you have now. But you’ll find it.” Sal winces at her words. “Shit. Sorry. Gotta go.”
As she makes her morning coffee, Sal mulls over her grandmother’s note. “They’re special.” Gran always was intuitive when it came to love. She would predict whether a new relationship was destined to last, and soothe the woes of those who believed that love would never find them. And she was always right. Her prophecies seemed to come true everytime.
It has to be the slippers, Sal thinks. Why else would she suddenly start blabbering nonsense about love just like her Gran?
Perhaps she could set herself up as a fortune teller. Gran always knew that Sal wanted to run her own business; maybe she knew the slippers would be the perfect opportunity. She’ll need to test her hypothesis for a while, of course, to check that the special slippers really work. But if they do, she could be rich. The slippers could change her life.
Then she wonders. Would the slippers tell her her own romantic destiny?
She dashes into the hallway where a mirror hangs on the wall. She takes a deep breath, looks up, and smiles at her reflection.
“Never. No love for you,” she blurts.
The slippers find themselves in the dustbin by noon.
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