Lucky Luke and other Very Short Stories

Paul Stewart

Pluto

Vicky was prepared for everything. She always had a pen in her bag if you needed one, and she could stitch back a button immediately if it came off. So, of course, when Emma's heel broke off her shoe, Vicky just took a tube of glue from her pocket and stuck it back on.

'Forty-two pounds, they cost me,' Emma complained.

Vicky nodded as she blew on the heel. 'You should get some of these,' she said.

Emma looked at Vicky's lace-up boots, and smiled. 'I don't think so,' she said.

No, thought Vicky. Their footwear showed the differences between the two girls. Emma Miles, with her high heels - and her head in the clouds. And Vicky Reynolds with her heavy-booted feet firmly on the ground.

'I hate this place,' Emma shuddered.

'Why?' said Vicky, surprised. Elm Walk was a short-cut to the centre of town - she'd never really noticed it before.

'Because it's creepy,' said Emma.

Vicky looked up and down the road. There were bungalows on both sides. All of them were designed for people who - for one reason or another - could not climb stairs. Elm Walk was always a quiet street. Now, at half past eight in the evening, it was silent. Vicky noticed, however, that she and Emma were not alone. There was someone behind every single net-curtain, watching them.

'Nosey old...!' Emma said angrily.

'They're lonely,' said Vicky. She looked back at the row of half-hidden faces. 'We're probably the most exciting thing that's happened all day. There,' she said, handing Emma her shoe. 'Try that.'

The heel was as good as new. Ten minutes later Vicky and Emma were standing in front of Stacey's Disco.

'Here again, girls?' said the man on the cloakroom desk, when they checked in their coats.

'Of course we are, Harv,' said Emma. 'It's Friday night!'

As the door opened, a blast of heat, light and noise struck them. Even though Vicky went to Stacey's every Friday night, it was always a shock. 'Drink?' she heard Emma shouting in her ear.

'Yes, please,' she yelled back.

They crossed the dance floor to the bar, with Emma striding ahead. She held her head high, and pretended not to notice who was and wasn't there that evening. Vicky knew that she was probably also sucking in her cheeks. This made her cheek-bones stand out. Emma was very proud of her cheek-bones. By the time the drinks came, she was already lost in giggly conversation with a rugby player she knew, called Jeff.