Electric Feet, Manual Street

By Ray Daley | September, 2020


Artwork by Jose Baetas.

Note from Kasma's editor: This month's story is a smooth tale by a talented author in his own right, Mr. Ray Daley, who as a side note has taught me something about patience (a virtue I admire).

*****

Gotta have 'em, gots to gets me a pair! They's the latest, the very greatest. Sell your grandma, kill your television, don't matter what you's doing, once you's gots yourself a pair.

So buy a pair, if you's ultra rich, gets a spare. Electric feet, ultra sweet, far better than ye olde Hume meat!

*****

"What ya got man, what version?" I could see him trying to scan me.

Not through those shoes, man, they's got Kevlar. "Manuals, man. I can't afford electric, you knows it!"

He'd been reaching for the blade in his pocket. Right front, duly noted, friend. "Jeeze, Louise! I was gonna boost you, boy!" As soon as he turned his back to freak his wig, I had it away with his knife. Nice unit, I could easy get forty for that. Black market, where ever they park it. I'd find it, then unwind it.

Feet fund so far - forty units.

My day went like that for the next ten hours, kickers and moon fools, all trying to jack me. Blades, mags, the odd bit of heat. They'd see my kicks and assume I was flush. I kept telling them, "Boosted them from Shu-Krew on sixth, fool! They ain't got no guards, cain't afford them no guards with their tight-ass manager. Little bit of silver foil, right by the alarm scanner then home with new kicks. A rapido application of ye olde driver of screw, and you've got yourself a legit pair of new kicks, man. You should try it."

Of course, that was a lie, they weren't new. I hadn't boosted them from Shu-Krew neither. Their manager was paying me a finders fee for every shoplifter he arrested. Ten percent, heaven sent, no ill meant. Mine were a pair of returns, they couldn't be sold, they would have gone straight into the incinerator, so yours truly found himself walking out the back door, saving them from the serious burnage. Not that I was wearing those on the street, this pair I'd boosted from the local Goodwill donation bin.

But as the day rolled on, yet another moon fool would turn away to freak his wig and I'd have it away with his weapon of choice. Mounted up to more than a hill of beans, I cans tells you's.

*****

Had to be light on your feet, or fast in your head to defeat all these cake-sucking moon fools. Far too many of those around these days, those days and every other dog day.

You could always rip a good revenge on the rich and stupid though. If you could find a loose power panel at the kerbside, you and ye olde driver of screw could cross a few live wires and shut the whole god-damn street down. Then just sit back and watch all those Luxuriant Laurence's struggle to work out what the fuck to do next. "Hey, bro? I'm like, totally not locomoting. There appears to be some kind of awful catastrophe. It's like, totally stationary."

Oh, how I hee-hee'd and haw-haw'd, hard and hardy as I hampered their humping the dumplings.

And of course, they had no clue how to speak to real Humes like my good bad self either. "Oh, bro, you got the know, my bro?"

Did I look like a fucking bro, patrón? Was I wearing the same stupid bowl haircut, the overly baggy trow-trows? But I'd behave my bad good self and totally be a bro, bro. Until I'd boosted your units. Nothing personal, bro. I'd nod, while yes'ing and no'ing, commiserating your coming but not going, all the beep time knowy knowing it was my good bad self that was taking you to the cleaners.

"Hey, man. Power, bro? Yeah, I heard some shit about that shit. City-wide, rolling black-outs, bro. Supposed to last an hour, bro. You's gonna have to manually walk your shitbox home, bro. What's that, my bro? You've forgotten how to perambulate?"

They'd totally smile and be phoney as hell, like any true bro would, then remember how they'd got a royal shit-ton of units weighing their Luxuriant Laurence ass down.

"Carry you until we can find a street that's working? Hey, bro, that might be a real long way. Like several metric metres long, you know, like? You'll pay a hundred units a block? Yeah, I can totally appreciate your donation to the fund for life, bro."

I'd carry them a little way, far enough so as they didn't think it was a scam. I could easily hump a Luxuriant Laurence a good hundred of your finest metric metres, no straights in these States, patrón! Get 'em round a corner or two, they'd have no idea how far you'd taken them. Then you could hit them for anything you felt like. "Yo, bro. How far? Major metrics, friend. Majorly severe on the spinal column, bro. Three hundred units? It sounds good, but five would sound better? You'll do six? Man, you're a true bro."

Then it was just a matter of watching them stow the old wally wallet away as you put them down. Obviously old wally was coming with me, once I departed.

Feet fund so far - six hundred and forty units.

*****

The trouble with a trend, it burns out as fast as it catches on. Every bro and Luxuriant Laurence decides they has to move onwards, upwards, or sideways to glory. The next big small thing. One minute you've got a world full of well jelly moon fools trying to boost you for the chance at a pair of electric feet. Then they fall from favour, to cow shitting flavour.

In the now times, you can't walk past a dumpster without seeing several dozen recently dumped pairs. Sometimes still in their shoesies and socksies, if not mint in original boxes. So I started collecting them up, carrying bags, my back getting shags, as I hauled them all home gratis - blaggy blags.

I've got something of a collection now. Took a few apart - Deconstruction Duncan.

I knows how to fix 'em too, if they breaks. I've got any spare parts, if you's needs 'em? Just gimme a holler, forget ye olde dollar.

No need for surprise, I see those eyes, these is yours and mys. Okay, see? Electric shoes for free, these are on me.

No, man, you keep your units. I'm goodie two shoes, no more PTSD blues, sharing out the great news, whenever I choose.

Those feets are for us on the streets. No bro's. Just regular Joes, you's knows.