"Where He Left Them" by Colin Garrow
The boots were by the door where he left them.
Don't, she'd say to visitors, pointing, as if anyone dare move the second-last shoes He'd worn - these, that were plainly His, part of what was left, what remained. Like the ashes she kept on the mantelpiece for months and months and months and eventually tipped out, over the windy-edged cliff and that blew back into her face obliging her to eat His body, His dusty bones.
After a while, she swept around them, carefully, consistently, respecting the hallowed ground and the mouldering dirt-crusted soles, which spawned tiny creatures as if the boots themselves were giving birth, even in death. But still they stayed, rotting into the stone floor, like some site-specific piece of art, forever changing.
Visitors, naturally, noticed them. Some would nod silently to each other, acknowledging the significance and the not-to-be-touched nature of the crumbling structure. Until one unknowing relative, thinking the established time for mourning had surely passed, when wallpaper had been chosen for the hall and might have signified a new beginning, wondered if it might be time, honey, to get rid of those things?
They're all I have of Him, she'd say, as if this might be her mantra for all eternity. And it was.
Until she met someone else and threw the boots away.
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