Flip Flops in the Tree Tops

You do not know true horror until you’ve seen the flip flops in the tree tops, 

And you’ve seen the look in the eyes of the woman next to you, 

As she starts to worry about her own shoes, 

Dr Scholls, really quite loose, you now notice, 

And she tests the bar against her chest. And yours. 

And she wonders aloud, as if it’s only just occurred to her. 

When you know it was her very first thought when they put the latch across, 

Whether she might just, you know, be able to get off right now

Even before you’re up and over the Alum Bay Cliffs, 

Which ought to be obvious to her, 

Because she’s noticed the flip flops in the tree tops, 

So very many of them, 

And it can’t be fear of losing her sandals, 

Making her think of getting off, can it? 

She’s not thinking that she can just walk off, 

Like Wile E. Coyote before reading that book on gravity, 

Can she? 

Twenty years on, I still couldn’t tell you, 

But I remember the flip flops, 

And I remember thinking they were so close I could slide my own feet into them. 

‘cos I’d lost my own shoes bare seconds after the lift started its climb. 

Mike Hickman (@MikeHicWriter) is a writer from York, England. He has written for Off the Rock Productions (stage and audio), including 2018’s “Not So Funny Now” about Groucho Marx and Erin Fleming. He has recently been published in EllipsisZine, Dwelling Literary, Bandit Fiction, Nymphs, Flash Fiction Magazine, Brown Bag, and Safe and Sound Press. His co-written, completed six-part BBC radio sit com remains frustratingly as unproduced as it was the last time he updated this biography. Even so, it’s going on hiatus over the summer. Before returning as a Hollywood blockbuster. Perhaps direct-to-video. Disney+ is probably aiming a bit high…

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