Chapter 1 The Beginning

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Seamus scowled. His worn leather curled up at the toe as cold air from the opened front door played with his lace.

“Feels like winter all year round, my sole is soaked,” he muttered.

“You’re in a bad mood all day,” Charlie, the right shoe, laughed.

Seamus bumped purposely hard off Charlie's heel, as they were both pushed under the radiator by the base of an old coat stand.

“How was your day boys?” the coat stand asked.

“Not bad,” Charlie smiled. “Oh you’ll never guess what? We were in a queue in town and I got talking to a lovely pair of high heels.”

“More like a snotty pair if you ask me,” Seamus laughed.

“Well nobody asked you!” Charlie snapped and continued his story.

Seamus edged away from the conversation. A cool breeze still licked his heel, and he stepped out from under the heater to have a look. The front door hung slightly ajar, just enough to squeeze through.

“A quick trip,” he smiled, jumping out onto the doorstep.

It was getting dark which meant uninterrupted freedom. No stopping on the path or hiding in bushes as humans approached. Seamus sprinted out the open garden gate. He was light as a feather dashing down the path, no foot to hold him back. Sometimes he wished it was always like this.

He dared himself, "As far as the street corner and back."

He was fast, as fast as any shoe ever made.Tightening his threads, he went for it, sprinting over the patchwork of stone. He reached the corner, touched the curb and turned. He was back through the gate in no time, and was half way up the garden path when a shadow crossed through the light of the opened door. With a swift thud it was shut. The garden plunged into darkness.

“Stupid move little shoe,” the door laughed, “I’ve seen a lot of things locked out in my time and you know what? They never get back in!”

Seamus ignored the door and nestled in by the side of the steps keeping watch. Surely someone would come and he could sneak back in. Nobody did. The door was finding the situation so funny she almost splintered herself laughing. It was cold and had started to rain. He needed shelter.

A brown cardboard box sang merrily to himself just outside the garden gate. He was at the base of some bins, shielding him from most of the rain, and looked like a good place to spend the night.

“I’m sorry,” Seamus said interrupting the box’s merry tune, “do you mind if I stay inside you for a while? I live in the house over there but I’m locked out. I won't be here long, I'm sure someone will be home soon!”

“No hassle little shoe, whatever I can do to help. Shub shubby shub shubby do...,” the box sang.

The boxes song was a little strange but water always did funny things to rubbish. Seamus settled into the far corner to avoid the seeping damp, he was wet enough as it was already. The box was a little warmer than the doorstep, but why hadn't he just stayed by the heater with Charlie? Would they even notice he was gone? He pulled his lace tight against the bitter cold and managed to nod off to the mumbled song of the soggy box.

“Stop it,” Seamus muttered sleepily, as his small body fell against the side of the box.

He opened his eyes. Quickly realising where he was, Seamus tried to escape but the path had disappeared and he could only see the stars.

“Here we go,” the box laughed.

A loud beeping and the hum of an engine filled the air.

“Will I take this? It’s beside the bins” a voice shouted from above.

Suddenly a large, hairy hand appeared over the rim of the box. Thick fingers gripped the soggy cardboard. Seamus fell forwards as the box swung one way, then quickly back the other. He was catapulted through the air and flew toe first into a pile of screaming rubbish. He froze as everything around him scrambled. Giant steel teeth were moving in formation towards him, eating all in their path. They were centimetres away when his threads sprung to life.

Rubbish huddled safely on a ledge above the chaos. If he could just reach them. He extended his lace and moved it over the top of the metal shelf. Finding a hole, he wrapped it through and pulled with all his might. Rubbish was pushed from his path as he sped towards safety.

“There’s no room, go away!” a milk carton cried.

“Let me up,” Seamus roared forcing his way up onto the shelf, “let me up!”

Horrified, the milk carton moved a little aside and Seamus scrambled onto the ledge just as the metal teeth munched by.

“Thanks,” he choked catching his breath.

The carton didn’t reply.

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