Friday, April 2, 2010

The Golden Foot of Archie McCain: Part 5 Archie's Downfall

Archie had never been with a girl before, and insisted on undressing under the covers. Although he was definitely ready to be with Anne, he was a little self conscious. After they had been satisfied (several times) Archie and Anne lay together, flesh to flesh, and talked of their future until they both fell asleep. He had never been in the same bed with another person, and enjoyed the comfort and warmth of Anne's body, pulling her close and wrapping his arm over her shoulder. As Archie drifted off, he thought of his life and his good fortune , and of the golden foot that had made it all possible. He briefly thought of his father's warning "Don't you mess around with that girl until you sign the contract. Don't change a thing, Archie. " But what harm could it be? The contract was as good as his. His dreams became fitful that night. He dreamed of the first time he kicked a ball over his roof. He dreamed of the old codgers and their stogies and beer, swearing they saw sparks as he kicked the football down Green Street. He dreamed of Redwings and their steel toes. He dreamed of kicking, and of tattered mattresses and shredded sheets. He dreamed of his golden foot and being set for life.

Archie had taken his father's advice as gospel, and ever since he wore out the toes in his first pair of shoes, Archie had refused to cut his toenails. "Don't you change a thing." He could hear his father's voice plain as day. He kicked out in his sleep , pummelling the invisible football that was actually the back of Anne's leg. He believed his foot would turn to gold, because his father had said it would be so. Archie had no idea that it was unnatural to have thick, long, yellowish-brown claws at the end of his toes. "Archie, that foot will turn to gold," His father had said. Archie kicked, the crowds screamed, and the dream football sailed through the goalposts . Anne writhed in pain. His parents had bought him his beloved Redwings, and all these years the steel plate had acted as a whetstone to the thick blade inside, honing his nails to a razor edge. Archie kicked the winning fieldgoal in his dreams as Anne lay bleeding to death beside him.

The next morning he woke late. Anne was still beside him, and as he rolled to kiss her on the shoulder, he immediately knew something was wrong. Her skin was cold and lifeless. Archie sat bolt upright in the bed, and a pool of red caught his eye. Where her calves had once been was now reduced to lacerations and cold lifeless meat. Archie looked to his own feet and saw no gold. "Oh God, what have I done?" he thought to himself. He swabbed off the congealed red of Anne's lower legs to reveal his toenails. As the police carted him away later that morning, Archie stared ahead in disbelief at what had happened, catatonic from the shock. As the cell door closed, Archie heard in his head the hollow thump of a well kicked ball and the echo of his father's voice. "Archie, that foot is turning to gold. Don't you change a thing and you'll be set for life."

1 comment:

  1. Quite dark and interesting. Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed it very much.