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The Shoeman Curse

By Chris MacKinnon All Rights Reserved ©

Drama / Humor


The Shoeman Curse details the tribulations of middle-aged Dusty Shoeman. Dusty is a family man living in chaos, stemming from teenagers, pretentious neighbors, a semi-hostile marriage, and bothersome coworkers. To cope with what he calls "The Shoeman Curse", Dusty literally closet-writes his way to sanity, but nobody knows about his writing, not even his wife. Dusty’s longtime friend (who knew he always liked to write) convinces him to enter a writing contest. To Dusty's surprise, he wins! In Dusty's novel, Janet, a single mother, loses her son to cancer. To deal with unbearable pain, she resorts to a cutting-edge virtual mind-therapy, designed to help parents who’ve lost their children. Using a new therapy technique, Janet is transferred to a world where she meets a young boy who reveals a secret. Janet must pass through five doors for the therapy to be successful. Dusty is a man on a mission when it comes to breaking patterns and creating opportunity for his family. He knows teenagers, wives, and pretentious neighbors aren’t always easy to live with, but his sense of humor and hard work both lend themselves to hopefully breaking "The Shoeman Curse".

Chapter One

Janet strained to open her eyes. She couldn’t tell where the blood was coming from—was it hers? Dizzy, close to falling unconscious, fear rose in her throat amid unbearable pain. Every bone and muscle burned and throbbed as she lay crumpled in a corner of a dark room filled with smoke. The flickering amber glow of a fire burning nearby was the only light she could see by.

“Come on, Janet,” she said to herself, “don’t stop...get up…get to a phone.” Any muscle she tried to move pushed back even harder and held her in place like a tight clamp. She looked at her hands, bloodied and burnt. It was difficult to move even one finger. If only she could stop the pain.

Images of her child, Logan, quickly flashed through her mind, all from different years in the past. Her eyes quickly filled with tears. If there was one thing that would help her find strength at this moment, it would be the thought of him. “Where is my Logan?” she thought, “I need to help him, where is he?”

She drifted toward unconsciousness, and wanted to give up, but the thought of finding Logan gave her the strength she needed. Her arms and legs twitched. She grimaced as she propped herself up on her arms, all fours, and finally her feet.

A searing pain shot through her core—but her anger squelched it.


She heard that. A voice, far away, muffled, and lost in the haze of smoke and destruction.

“Janet, are you here?”

She couldn’t say a word. “Why can’t I talk?” she thought.

“Janet? It’s Caleb.”

Janet could only groan quietly. Somewhere close by was Caleb King, a life-long friend who had been Janet’s savior many times in the past. “Please dear God, please let him find me.” She felt around for something to throw to signal Caleb, but there was nothing. She was beginning to lose all sense of her surroundings, and everything was skewed.

She was getting desperate, and Caleb’s voice was becoming distant. Janet wanted to collapse in his arms, but instead she collapsed to the floor and everything went black and silent.

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