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Edition 10: Shoe Shine by Robert Datson

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Sam keeps meaning to clean himself up and make a new start, but somewhere between the buff and the polish it all goes awry. There’s a wonderful subtlety in this supernatural short. SY

“Don’t criticize what you don’t understand, son. You never walked in that man’s shoes.”
—Elvis Presley, 1935 – 1977

The early sun glints off a silvered building. A cooling breeze soothes the streets, and Sam’s eyes flicker open. His body is warm and relaxed, oscillating between asleep and awake, and his mind is at peace with the day.

He turns his head to one side and sees his sleeping buddy tucked under thin grey blankets against the wall of the open verandah they had selected the night before.

Concrete lies under Sam’s thin sleeping bag and he keeps still, knowing the moment he moves, bones will push through the thin material and his comfort will disappear, bringing him firmly into contact with his current situation.

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