It is night in Cuba and the young soldier drinks on the porch. Absinthe
mixed with sugar is his ruin. It is sweet like the darkness and sultry like
the periodista americana and her shoes. He thinks of carmine heels
glimmering like blood spilled by a matador on a dirty dance floor, and
remembers rounded toes like wine pooling on a walnut table in a Parisian
cafe, and an arch as good and shapely as any he’d ever seen. He thinks of
the click clack. His fever rises from her shoes.

“Ernesto,” he says.

His companion turns. “Si?” The old man asks. His skin is leathery, like soft
brown Manolos from last season.

“She and her shoes… will they destroy me?”

“They always do,” sneers Ernesto.

The young man looks at the stars. They twinkle like diamonds on Beverly
Feldman sandals, worn the sensuous cubana from the small smoky whisky bar.
He thinks of other stars he saw from the trenches, and the glints of light
on his bayonet, sharp as the points of Jimmy Choos, but then always he comes
back to her americana legs ending in those red, red shoes of death and he
knows he is already gone, a victim. He loves her. He loves death.

“You are a dead man,” says Ernesto.

“Only by the stiletto of her heels.” He rises, drains his drink. I have
known better women, he thinks, but none with heels of Prada. He walks into
the night and his doom.

Submitted by Alicia DiDonato of Cambridge, MA.

Super Fantastic Second Place Winner
Manolo’s Super Fantastic Essay Contest

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