Magic Feet – Ch 1 – by lostandwhatever
At long last, here is a new story for you all. Although it starts off pretty tame here, there are plenty of strange transformations to come in later chapters. Do stick around.
“I have magic feet,” Maggie said.
“Magic feet?” John replied.
He leaned back from the table as he struggled to find a proper response. He had simply asked her to tell him something about herself, and this was not the answer he had expected. “Do you mean that you can do… special things with your feet?” he asked, wondering if (and silently hoping that) she was suggesting something sexual. With this being their first date and her being quite beautiful, he welcomed any indication that their new relationship could turn physical soon.
“They can do quite a few things, actually,” she said.
“Um,” he said, again finding himself struggling to respond. “Can I see them?”
She smiled coyly and said, “Okay, I guess.” She slid her chair over, reached below the table, and removed her sandals. Then, she crossed her legs and dramatically swung them up onto the tablecloth, resting her bare feet in front of him while taking care not to knock over the centerpiece of the table.
He was taken aback by her boldness. At most, he had expected her to lift up one foot to give him a discreet peek at it. Now, other dinners with giving them looks. At least, the food had not arrived yet. He suspected that she might have rested her heels in his salad if it had been there.
“What do you think of them?” she asked.
Without moving, he gave her feet a brief look, feeling more than a little embarrassed to be publically checking out his date’s feet. Although no one in the restaurant knew him, he still felt nervous about the funny looks they were giving him. The feet themselves seemed ordinary enough after a quick glance. Admittedly, he was no expert on feet. They held no special attraction to him. He noticed that her toenails were unpainted but well manicured. (Pedicured? He wondered if that was a word.) They seemed an average size for a woman of her small stature. They did not smell at all aside from some hint of the leather from her sandals. He spotted no signs of excessive dryness or sweatiness on their soft skin. They were nice feet, plain and simple, and did not appear magical in any way.
“Those are some nice feet,” he said and felt immediately ashamed to have given such a bland response.
“Do you want to touch them?” she asked and smiled invitingly, giving her toes a slight flex.
“Um,” he said, stalling for time as he tried to find a polite way to refuse.
To his relief, the waiter arrived with their meals just then and saved him from having to respond.
The waiter gave Maggie’s legs a curious glance, and Maggie said, “Oh! Excuse me.” Then, she lowered her feet back down to the ground to make way for their food.
They ate their meals in near silence, making only occasional small talk comments about the quality of the food and the traffic and the weather. All the while, John kept glancing back at the spot on the tablecloth where Maggie had rested her feet. Her admission that she had “magic feet” had initially surprised him and slightly embarrassed him, but now it was making him increasingly curious. What the hell could make her feet “magic?” he wondered. Should he ask her about them again? She had seemed eager enough to talk about them before. However, he wanted to avoid her putting her feet back up on the table, and so he decided to wait until after they had left the restaurant to mention them again.
They paid for their meals separately after she refused to let him pay for her, and then they left the restaurant together.
“Want to go for a walk?” he asked her.
“Sure,” she said.
“Maybe we could go by the beach.”
“Sounds like fun,” she said and hooked her arm around his. Under the light of the street lamps, he led her towards the beach, which was only a couple of blocks away. The sand and waves would be lovely at night, but the main reason he wanted to go there was that it would provide a good excuse for her to take off her sandals again.
“So,” she said. “Can you tell me something about yourself?”
“Well,” he said. “I think I’m close to getting a promotion.”
“At the insurance company?”
“Yes,” he said. “We’ve had a good year.”
“That’s… exciting,” she said with forced sincerity.
“No,” he said, with a level of candor that surprised himself. “It isn’t. I suppose my life can be kind of boring. Things are stable. Not a lot of drama. I like that, though.”
“That sounds… okay.”
“It’s comforting. I don’t worry much. Things are in control.”
“So, you don’t like it when you’re not in control?”
“Who doesn’t like to be in control?”
“I suppose most people do, but the opposite can be fun,” she said with a mischievous smile. “Losing control can be fun, you know?”
“Oh,” he said, not really sure what she meant.
“You should try it sometime.”
“Okay,” he said.
There was an awkward silence that became increasingly intolerable.
“So…” he said to revive the conversation.
“‘So…?’” she replied.
Curiosity got the better of his patience. He had to know. “Your feet…”
“You mentioned magic.”
He was not sure what to say. “What does that mean, exactly?”
“Just what you think it does,” she said. “They do magic.”
“Usually it involves making contact with things,” she explained. “For example…” she stopped, let go of his arm, and removed her sandals. Holding her sandals in one hand she proceeded to walk on the edge of the curb next to him. She was very steady, and he was impressed by how little effort it took for her to balance.
“You’re like a gymnast,” he said.
“I was a gymnast.”
“When I was a girl,” she said as she turned around to face him and began walking backwards on the curb, which worried him as he expected her to trip and fall on her head, but she moved with just as much poise and confidence going backwards as forwards. “I was great at it. So long as I’m barefoot, I never slip, I never lose my balance, and I never ever fall.”
She turned forwards again when they crossed the road over to the path leading down to the beach. There was a wooden stairway that went all the way down to the sand. She marched up to it, and said, “Watch this.” He watched as she leapt up onto the railing of the stairway with the dexterity of a cat and began to walk down the railing as he followed her on the stairs.
“Careful,” he said.
“Don’t worry,” she said. “Like I said, I never fall.” She was not even keeping her arms out for balance, but she walked as easily as he did. “The problem was that I was too good. After a while, my coaches started to press my parents to let me compete in serious tournaments. My coaches were saying I could be the next great olympian. I had to quit then, of course.”
“Well,” she said with a sad sigh. “My parents didn’t think I should draw too much attention to my magic. They were right, but it was sad to give up gymnastics.”
“Huh,” he said.
At a turn in the stairs, she spread her legs to stand on both railings facing him. Then, she slowly lowered herself into a split in front of him with her legs resting on each railing. “I still keep in shape,” she said. “I’m very flexible.”
“I see,” he said, trying to avoid looking at her crotch which still had the hem of her dress draped over it.
She did something like a roll or backflip, and she landed solidly back on her bare feet again. He applauded politely, and she took a slight bow.
“Now,” she said. “Let’s get to the sand.” She took him by the arm and they walked down the remaining steps.
When they reached the sand, she walked ahead of him. “Oh, it feels so cool in the nighttime,” she said, sliding her bare feet through the sand. “Come on. Try it.”
He took off his shoes and socks and felt a bit awkward, but he followed her lead. “It’s nice,” he said, getting cool sand between his toes. “So,” he said, wanting to learn more about her. “You’ve got great balance. Is that what makes your feet magic?”
“Part of it. A small part of it,” she said. “I can do a lot more with my magic.”
“Like what?” he asked.
She smiled and chuckled. “It might be better if I just demonstrated, I suppose.” She stood still and pointed one foot down into the sand and began twisting her foot side to side, drilling her toes deeper and deeper underground, her face taking on a look of concentration. Suddenly, she paused and smiled again. “Ah ha, got something.” She lifted her foot out of the sand, and John noticed something thin grasped between her big toe and the one next to it. She balanced effortlessly on one foot and held the object up for him to see. It was a silver coin that shinned in the moonlight. She dropped it on the sand and took a step back. He picked up the coin to examine it.
“Huh?” he said. “It’s a silver dollar.”
“Probably worth more than a dollar now,” she said.
He brushed off a little sand and squinted at the date on it. “1892! Wow! This thing is old, an antique. It must have been buried down there for over a century. How is it that no one found it before now?”
She shrugged her shoulders and ambled away down the beach towards the water while carrying her sandals in one hand. He pocketed the coin and followed her with his own shoes and socks in his hand. She stepped onto the wet sand as the waves receded away from her and kept walking until her feet met the waterline. He joined her at the waterline, feeling the cool ocean waves wash over his feet and ankles again and again. He watched her stand there with her eyes closed, looking thoroughly at peace.
She said, “I love it right here, where the ocean meets the land. The border between worlds. Anything feels possible.” She opened her eyes and smiled again as she looked out over the waves. “See.”
He looked at the ocean to see the water glowing with a thousand dim lights that grew closer and brighter with each wave. He stepped back when one of the lights came near his foot, and he recognized it as a bio-luminescent jellyfish. Soon wave after wave had deposited countless glowing jellyfish on the wet sand around him. John carefully stepped away from the water through the shinning minefield until he was back on dry sand again. Maggie just stood there amongst the bright sea creatures as if she were perfectly at home among them. Then, she casually strode up to him again, never once stepping on any of the jellies, even with her eyes focused on him. “So,” she said. “Would you like to go to my place?”
Their ride-share driver dropped them off in front of an old apartment complex, the kind with a parking lot in the middle and doors to the apartments facing inwards like a motel. Maggie walked up the driveway towards the central parking lot, still barefoot and carrying her sandals. John followed behind her with his shoes on. She turned a corner, and he lost sight of her for a few seconds while he tried to catch up to her. When he turned the same corner, there was no sign of her and no staircase nearby.
“Maggie?” he called.
“Up here,” she said from the second floor walkway above him.
“Whoa,” he said. “How’d you get up there so quickly?”
“I walked up the wall,” she explained, matter-of-factly. “It’s much quicker than the stairs.”
“Right,” he said, not willing to believe her but struggling to doubt her. “How do I get up there?”
“Stairs are that way,” she said, pointing across the parking lot. “I’m in 204.” Then, she stepped away from the railing and out of sight again.
John hesitated a moment, sensing that he had reached a crossroads. The date had become particularly weird, and as cute and nice as Maggie had been up until now, he felt uneasy around her. The whole thing with her feet was freaking him out. Of course, they were not really magic. Right? He thought to himself. I mean, they couldn’t be. Could they?
Nothing that had happened so far was indisputably magical. Her balance was impressive but not impossible. The coin could have just been a moment of good luck. She might have even planted it there before the date. The jellyfish were a natural phenomenon. Their appearing while she stood by the water could have just been a coincidence. How she got up to the second floor so quickly was harder to explain, but it was still physically possible. It would just require an unlikely amount of acrobatics to accomplish it, and she had already shown herself to be exceptionally athletic. Everything he had seen could be magical, but it all could be just as easily explained away without magic.
What then? If her feet were not magic, then would that make her crazy or at least a little eccentric? Did he want to get closer to her if that were true? And, what if she really did have magic feet? Was he in danger? What might she do to him with her magic?
The reasonable part of his mind was telling him to be polite, wish her a good night, and go home. It would be best to put the date behind him and consider never seeing her again. And yet, he found himself drawn to her. He wanted to know more about her. He wanted to be sure about her magic, one way or the other. He had to know if it was real or not. He was curious, and, admittedly, he was also enjoying being with her, despite his worries. She was so lively, and there was something indescribably exotic about her. This had certainly been the most interesting date he had ever been on. He loved how she had brought a little mystery into his normally boring life.
His mind was made up, then. He had to see the date to its end, whatever that might be.
Continued in Chapter 2