Marlowe Mismatch had always been a little, well, mismatched. Ever since he was a boy, he’d struggled to find a pair of socks that matched. It wasn’t that he didn’t own matching socks; they simply refused to be worn together. Today, his left foot sported a neon green sock with miniature dragons, while the right was adorned with a peaceful blue scene of floating rubber ducks.
His latest misadventure, however, was far beyond a fashion faux pas.
As he trudged through the streets of Cheltenham, Marlowe began noticing a rather curious trail. He was leaving footprints behind. Not the usual kind that disappear after a few steps, but glittering, golden footprints, no less. And with each step, the streets of Cheltenham became a little more golden.
Naturally, this caused quite the commotion. Mothers whisked their children off the streets, whispering about Midas’ curses. Buskers tried playing songs on his golden tracks, hoping for a rich tune. Tourists, thinking it some sort of street performance, applauded and threw coins (though not gold) in appreciation.
As Marlowe ambled onward, a rather insistent man with a clipboard approached him. “Sir! Sir! Are you aware that you’re literally walking on gold? You need to see the best podiatrist in the Cheltenham area. This could be a classic case of Aurumfootitis!”
“Auru-what-now?” Marlowe blinked in confusion.
Before Clipboard-man could explain, a group of shoe enthusiasts circled Marlowe, all murmuring about what custom orthotics were and whether such devices could turn their own feet into golden geese. Others wondered aloud if golden footprints might be a side effect of high arches or perhaps flat feet. Maybe it was fungal?
Pulling himself free, with one shoe less (which someone claimed would be auctioned on a popular online platform), Marlowe decided that maybe, just maybe, he should seek out this podiatrist. Not for the gold, no. But to figure out how to get out of the sudden spotlight. And maybe, for once, to finally get something about his feet right.
Little did Marlowe know, his golden problems were only just beginning.