Old Boots

old boots

Photo credit: Courtney Wright

Gilbert felt sad leaving his old boots behind. He’d had them for so many years, that they were more duct tape now than plastic and rubber.

He wore them that winter he was sleeping in an abandoned car behind Miller’s warehouse. Old Man Frank had turned him on to that one. Hit by a truck crossing the street one night. That was no way to die.

Now Gilbert had new boots, new clothes, and a new place to live, too. Being homeless was rotten, but it was still a life, and amid all the hardship, he’d made some good friends.

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields flash fiction challenge. The idea is to use the image above to create a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 100.

The boots looked like they belonged to a homeless person, so I went with that. I didn’t have enough room within the 100 word limit to mention the various microhouse project that are springing up in various communities to provide living space for the homeless.

Fun fact: My son Michael reminded me that at his High School Senior prom, a couple went dressed in a tuxedo and gown made entirely of duct tape. He still has the photos.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

51 thoughts on “Old Boots

    • Being homeless doesn’t mean you stop living or feeling or that you don’t have strong friendships. Even though not being homeless anymore is a good thing, Gilbert still has cherished memories.


  1. Great story, James. I love the part about Gilbert making friends while still being homeless. It makes them real, not just occupiers of space. Interestingly, I went with the homeless route as well. Two in a row now 😀


    • Occasionally, people in the local homeless community make into the news, so it’s not difficult to put names, faces, and personalities on them. The boots seemed to lend themselves to tales of homelessness.


  2. Gilbert is fortunate to have a new way to live and new boots and everything else. This story seems like it was a lot longer than it is and you sure made the best of every single word!


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