The Shoe Tree

This is a deleted (and mostly unedited) scene from Stepping Stones.  Yesterday, I visited the shoe tree and I thought I would share it with you, with pictures, of course!!  Useless scenes can be rich with interesting history, anyway!

At the end of a long road he stopped and we piled out of the car.  Hanging from the branches of a tree were hundreds of pairs of shoes.  I snapped a few pictures of the tree, and since no one else asked, I did.
            “Why are there shoes in the tree?”
            Everett shrugged.  “I’m not sure, but the story goes that a serial killer took the shoes from all his victims and hung them in the tree.”
            I shivered, thinking I probably could have gone on not knowing that. 
            “How do you know so much about Michigan?” I asked Everett, knowing that I had lived here forever and didn’t know half as much as he did.  A breeze blew the branches of the tree and the shoes swayed.
            “I’ve had a lot of free time on my hands,” he explained.  He walked up beside me and took my hand.  I wanted to ask him what it meant, but I knew this wasn’t the time or the place.  Not that he’d probably tell me anyway.  Everything with Everett was cryptic with hidden and double meanings.  It was part of the mystery.
            “This is awesome,” Hunter said, getting into the spirit and taking off her pink Vans tennis shoes.  She knotted the laces together and attempted to throw them in the tree.  “They’re old anyway,” she explained as they missed and fell back to the ground.  It took her three tries, but eventually they wound around a pair of Converses and stayed.  “Sweet!” She exclaimed, and then she looked down, wiggled her toes, and finally realized that she didn’t have another pair of shoes.  “Damn,” she shrugged, “Oh well.”
            Everett and I burst out laughing, and Mandi just sighed. 
            Once we’d had our fill of the shoe tree, and taken dozens of pictures of Hunter’s shoes, we headed for home.
            Once we hit the highway, Everett turned on a classic rock station and we sang along

to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody’.  Eventually my eyes grew heavy; it had been a long day. 

I laid my head against the buttery leather seat and fell asleep.

All the best,

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