The Foot Chase

The Foot Chase

‘Stop, thief!’ I hollered triumphantly, pointing as the man in the darkened cowl took off through the dense market crowd. ‘Apprehend that brigand!’

Sweeping my feather back behind me, I crowed at the prospect of a chase, hurling myself over the balustrade to land on the cobbled street—

‘Oh, gods!’ I cried out as my foot landed sideways underneath me, and my chase ended before it even began. I collapsed onto the market street, as a throng of people quickly covered the sky above me.

‘Are you okay?’ a dour old man asked me with a frown. I recognised him as the man who had just been robbed.

‘Fine, good sir!’ I said with an exaggerated grin, hoping they wouldn’t notice the sheen of sweat that had sprung onto my face, betraying my incredible pain.

‘You don’t look fine,’ he said, gruffly. ‘Do we need to take you to a podiatry clinic near Melbourne?’

‘My only appointment,’ I said through gritted teeth, ‘is with justice!’

I went to stand up, and promptly collapsed again as the edges of my vision darkened.

‘Right, he needs a healer,’ an older woman near my ankle nodded. ‘Anyone know of any specialists?’

‘Specialists?’ I chuckled, although it came out more as a frenzied gasp. ‘I do not require anything more than a swift bandage and a shot of good spirit! Surely this simple injury is nothing more than one of the common foot conditions Cheltenham Market sees all the—’

I was cut off by a sudden and girlish scream – my own.

Blast!’ I panted, as my vision slowly throbbed back to me. ‘What happened?!’

‘A fruit fly landed on your ankle,’ the old man chuckled. ‘Still think you just need a shot of good spirit there, son?’

‘And a swift bandage,’ I glared up at him. ‘I’m sure if I just—’

‘Can we get the cart here?’ the woman called out into the crowd. ‘The invalid cart? The one we use for the people who can’t walk proper?’

‘I assure you, I don’t need—’

‘And a blanket!’ she added.

I sighed, letting my head drop back. A blanket and a cart sounded quite nice, actually.