The Problem

by Margaret Noel


Heading along the corridor leading to his chamber Vincent paused. He was hit by a sudden flash of frustration followed quickly by a surge of anger. Concerned at what could have upset Catherine so he quickened his pace. He stopped outside the entrance in time to avoid an object that sailed past his head. Stooping down to retrieve it he was surprised to see it was one of Catherine's canvas sneakers.

Straightening up he entered the chamber. This time he was not so lucky. The second shoe hit him squarely in chest.

Catherine was red faced and glaring. "Don't you dare laugh!" Seated on side of the bed her feet didn't quite reach the floor and she bore more than a passing resemblance to someone who had swallowed a rather large beach ball. As her pregnancy had advanced her sense of humour had diminished. Of late the slightest provocation could set her off and her tunnel family had begun to give her a wide birth.

Coming to sit beside his wife he handed her the sneakers. Vincent struggled to keep a straight face. "I believe these belong to you?"

She made a face at the offending items. "**##! *# Shoes!"

Vincent was appalled. "Catherine! Such language."

The victim of tidal size mood swings she burst into tears. Gathering her against his chest Vincent murmured words of comfort into her hair. "It's alright. Tell me what's wrong. How could shoes get you so upset."

"I'm not upset with the shoes! I'm upset with my feet!"

"Your feet?" Looking down he studied them. Aside from a slight swelling that accompanied advanced pregnancy he could see nothing amiss. "Did you hurt them?"

"No I didn't hurt them!" she snapped

Vincent was completely adrift. "If you didn't hurt them then what's wrong?"

Sniffing loudly she explained. "I threw my sneakers away because I got mad. I wanted to go for a walk. To go visit Mary or Max and that's when I discovered the problem."

Knowing he would probably regret it Vincent asked, "What problem?"

"I CAN'T REACH MY FEET!"

Vincent began to laugh.

The End