Shoes Like That


Everybody knows The Old Man.

An army veteran, hair white as snow turned grey from nights of sleeping on the pavement. One arm extends into a pale hand, turned up towards the sky in a shaky plea. The other arm is a stump. Barely surviving the biting winter, he wears only a pale sweat-stained tank top and ripped-up jeans.

‘Really,’ the women say as they cross the street to avoid him. ‘He could wear something a little more decent, there are kids on this street.’

Yes, they knew the Old Man. And if there ever was a burglary around the neighborhood, they would know who it was.

Beside him lies a washed out pair of boots, a memento from his army days, his glory days. They are too small now for his curled up toes, but he wouldn’t part with them for the world. He is curled up on an old mattress he found in the neighborhood dump. A stray dog sometimes comes up and lies next to him for a while, but the mattress is so thin that soon it gets back up and limps off to find a more comfortable place to sleep. Even strays need comfort once in a while.


The kids know The Old Man too.

He is the subject of many Boy Scout horror stories, told with an eager smile and a glint in the eyes.

‘And then,’ they hiss, the beam of the flashlight resting on their face, ‘he steals your arm and sticks it where his used to be!’

The boys fall over themselves laughing, partly because they know it’s a joke and partly to hide that deep down, they’re not so sure. Now, when the kids pass The Old Man’s corner, they giggle and run away at full speed.

The kids knew the old man. And if they had learnt anything from the stories they sometimes heard on the news, it was to stay away from him at all costs.

The Old Man used to have a name, he thinks, but he can’t quite remember what it was. Robert, maybe? No matter. For what is the point of a name if it is never used?

The businessmen know The Old Man as well.

He is an inconvenience, sure, but no more than an anomaly in their data, a thorn in their side. A pestering flea continually begging at their feet after they come home from a hard day’s work.

‘No, I don’t have any spare change today,’ they say with veiled annoyance, checking their Rolex watches furtively the whole time. Secretly they think ‘my, how lazy the world has gotten. People sit around all day then expect us hard-working citizens to buy them a meal? Not on my watch, my friend, not on my watch.’

Yes, they knew The Old Man. And what a lazy no-good he was.

Sometimes it seems that everyone knows the old man but he himself.

He has been called so many things in his life, spoken to with so many varying tones of disdain that they have all mixed and mashed and ballooned up in his head, squeezing out the memory of who he actually is.

No, that isn’t right. He is a soldier, an army boy. He had lost his arm in that war. His best friend had died in his arms. So many stories to tell, yet no one to tell them to…

Hunger. He is distracted from his thoughts by an acute pain in the depths of his belly. He realizes he hasn’t eaten for a few days. Although he hasn’t seen his reflection in months, the protruding ribs he sees shining through his shirt as he looks down sets off warning bells in his head. Food, that’s what he needs. He stumbles towards the house across the street, stopping at the doorstep to desperately sniff at the overwhelming smell of ham.


The door opens slightly. Through the little crack in the door appears a mother’s head. When she sees who it is, her smile freezes in place, polite but obviously uncomfortable.

‘Children,’ she calls, ‘go to bed.’

The toddlers run upstairs screaming, for they too have heard the stories.

The Old Man shivers.

‘I was wondering if I could have some food.’

‘Oh. Right, of course.’ The woman makes no sign to open the door.  ‘Here, I’ll go get it. You can stay right here, I wouldn’t want to inconvenience you.’

The mother comes back with a slice of bread on a chipped china plate. The Old Man sighs at the measly portion offered towards him, but hell, one slice is better than nothing. He takes the plate from the mother with a quick thank you, but the woman looks at him, shocked.

‘Are you stealing my plate from me? And to think I was about to offer you food. You homeless, you’re all the same. Disgraceful.’

Grabbing back the bread, she slams the door in his face.

The Old Man stands in front of the door, heart pounding. Stealing? Was that how people see him? Was that why the children all run away? Maybe they are right. Maybe he is a thief. Now that he thinks about it, the lady had never explicitly said the plate was his to take… No. He isn’t a thief. He isn’t a thief because he has his boots! His boots he had worn in the army, where he had sacrificed so much to save his country, where he had seen his best friend die… Seen his best friend die…. Die… The old man convulsed into a heap, still clutching his shoes.

On a cold winter night, The Old Man disappears, leaving no legacy behind but a pair of army boots.

‘It’s a shame about the old man, isn’t it?’ A mother says to the pastor’s wife. They are sitting at a coffee table, glancing at each other without ever really looking.

‘Yes, yes, it is. Always a shame when a war hero passes away. I’ll ask Mick to mention him in the sermon tomorrow. What was his name again?’

‘You know,’ the mother stirs her cup of tea thoughtfully, ‘I can’t quite remember. Maybe John? Yes, that was it, John. You know, my brother’s called John too.’

‘Of course, John, how could I forget. Why, he mentioned it to me just the other day. I was giving him some food, you know. I always used to help the man.’

‘You did? Well, of course you did. So did I, now that I think about it.’ The more the mother thought about it, the more she could imagine herself helping the man. And really, imagining was the same as remembering.

‘I’ll get Mick to write him a little something, bless him on his way to heaven and such.’ The pastor’s wife lowers her voice and leans in confidentially. ‘Although I must say I’m the tiniest bit relieved. It wasn’t safe to have him hanging around our children. Homeless people, you never know what they’ll do next.’

‘Well, I don’t like to speak ill of the dead, but the other day he did try to steal from me. And right under my nose too.’

A moment’s pause.

‘You know, they found those shoes of his lying next to the body. They were even more ripped up than I remembered.’

‘What did they do with them?’

‘Why, they threw them away, of course. What else do you do with shoes like that?’ The mother shook her head as if to convince herself of something, though she wasn’t quite sure what. ‘What else do you do with shoes like that?’

Tamatoa’s True Identity (contains Moana Spoilers*)

Hey guys!

If you couldn’t already tell from my Insta page (go follow it if you don’t already!) I am obsessed with Disney, to the point where ever since I was eleven I’ve wanted to be a Disney imagineer, the people who design the rides and write the movies. So of course this means that I spend way more time then I should watching their movies and reading the conspiracy theories people have come up with on the web. If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, let me fill you in on these theories; eagle-eyed fans noticed a few years ago that almost every Disney movie has hidden easter eggs featured throughout the scenes; objects or characters from other movies that appear for split-seconds before disappearing again. These appearances have led us to believe that all Disney (and Pixar) movies take place in the same universe across different time periods,  and that one story combines them all. If you want to see the full theory, you can follow this link for the Disney theory ( and this link for the Pixar theory ( But for those of you who are experienced conspiracists, today I’ll be talking about a theory I came up with a few weeks ago- a theory where I prove that Tamatoa, the giant talking crab from Moana, is one and the same as… Well, keep reading and you’ll see.

Not long ago, I stumbled upon a SuperCarlinBrothers video (the link is here: in which they claim that Tamatoa is actually the reincarnated form of Ursula. Although I believe Tamatoa is someone completely different in the Disney-verse, I used the first part of their video to prove that Tamatoa is a reincarnated spirit:

  • Tamatoa is a coconut crab

Coconut crabs a three-foot decapods (Tamatoa literally tells us to ‘look this up!’)  that have heavy armor and can live on land but also in deep water (this explains why Tamatoa can survive without ever coming to land when most crabs live at least partly on land.) Coconut crabs also enjoy stealing shiny things (duh!) and can move extremely fast. Finally, coconut crabs are known CANNIBALS, which explains why Tamatoa has no problem eating fishes, which are basically his little brothers.

  • Coconut crabs are often re-incarnated spirits

Remember how Tala, Moana’s grandmother, came back as a stingray at the end of the movie? Well this is apparently a common occurrence is Polynesian culture, and elders would often come back as animals after dying, most of them coming back as deer, dogs, and yup- coconut crabs. The name Taotao Mo’na (pronounced teo-toa-mona) means spirit of an ancient person in Chamorro, and also sounds eerily familiar to Tamatoa. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

  • The place that Tamatoa is hiding, ‘The Realm Of Monsters’, was originally meant to be ‘The Realm Of Spirits’

Okay, so the place where Tamatoa is living as king was literally going to be called ‘The Realm Of Spirits’. Enough said.

And finally, if you’re still not convinced, an important piece of evidence I came up with myself…

  • Tamatoa breaks the fourth wall multiple times

Tamatoa is one of only a few Disney characters to ever break the fourth wall. Not only does he break the fourth wall, but as far as I know, he and the genie are the only ones to ever reference other Disney movies while doing it. Now, we already know that the Genie has travelled through various Disney movies (he and the magic carpet can be seen in Beauty and the Beast, then again in Princess and the Frog), so that explains how he knows about other Disney characters. But how about Tamatoa? How would he know about other Disney characters, namely Sebastian from The Little Mermaid? The only explanation is that he has been in at least one other movie in which he has heard about Sebastian.

This is where I deviate from the SuperCarlinBrothers theory. While they believe that Tamatoa knows about Sebastian because he was Ursula her/himself, I straightaway thought of another Disney villain. I thought of….


Though this may seem like a very random connection, there are so many Easter eggs hidden out through Tamatoa’s scenes that led me to this conclusion, so I’ve listed just a few below.

  • Firstly, how does Captain Hook know about The Little Mermaid?

I believe Captain Hook found out about The Little Mermaid through Wendy herself. If you think about it, it makes sense; Peter Pan loved to listen to listen to Wendy tell stories through her window, so much so that he would fly back and tell the Lost Boys the tales he had heard. On a small island like Neverland, news must travel fast; and it makes sense that on island starved for fairy tales, these stories would reach everyone on the island, even the pirates themselves. Although the movie The Little Mermaid itself came out way after Peter Pan, if we’ve learned anything from the Disneyverse it’s that the timeline isn’t exactly linear, and therefore Wendy could still have heard of Ariel’s story, a story which would have then reached Captain Hook.

  • Why does Tamatoa break the fourth wall?

Once again, this has to do with Wendy; at the beginning of Peter Pan, we see her telling her brothers all about his and Captain Hook’s exploits while Peter listens on. This means that the population of Neverland knew that back in the muggle human world they were considered a part of folklore, and so were the other stories from the Disneyverse. It makes sense, then, that Tamatoa/Hook would know that he is in a movie; he’s heard Wendy tell him about all of the books (and later movies) children read/watch about their (the Disney) universe, and therefore acknowledges the audience he knows is watching.

  • Why is Tamatoa so obsessed with shiny things?

This one’s fairly obvious – pirates like shiny things, so Tamatoa likes shiny things – the same way Hook stayed evil and grumpy in his reincarnated form, his love for treasure stayed too.

  • Why is Captain Hook living underwater?

In the SuperCarlinBrothers theory, it makes sense that Ursula lives underwater, because that’s where she belongs. But Captain Hook lived on an island, so why would he choose to live underwater when born again? The answer to this lies in exactly how Captain Hook died; by being eaten alive by a crocodile. What if where you lived when resurrected doesn’t spend on where you lived in your past life, but where you died in your past life? If Captain Hook was eaten by a crocodile, it would make sense that he is forced to live out his afterlife in the same watery depths.

  • Tamatoa’s shiny lyrics

Once you know this song’s about Captain Hook, the song Shiny becomes a treasure-trove (no pun intended) of easter eggs. Here are some of the lyrics that prove Tamatoa is Hook:

  1. “Well Tamatoa hasn’t always been this grand, I was a drab little crab once.” Captain Hook, with his greedy hair and weirdly long mustache, is definitely what I would call drab.
  2. Like a treasure from a sunken pirate wreck, scrub the deck and make it look shiny, I will sparkle like a wealthy woman’s neck..” This whole verse basically proves my theory. I mean, a treasure from a sunken pirate wreck? Scrubbing the deck? A wealthy women’s neck? Could you be any more pirate-y?
  3. Ouch, what a terrible performance, get the hook (get it?)” GET IT? he literally asks us if we get his reference to HOOK! Of course, this could also be referring to the hook he has stolen from Maui, but I’d like to think there’s a double meaning hidden in this..
  • And finally the proof that seals the deal: The parallels between Maui and Peter Pan

Firstly, the whole reason we meet Tamatoa is because Maui needs to retrieve his hook from him. But what would Tamatoa need with a hook? He doesn’t really seem like the kind of guy who’d want a hook, or have the opposable thumbs to use one, for that matter. But what if the hook was for a nostalgic purpose? What if he wanted the hook to remind him of the glory of his former self, Captain Hook? So both Tamatoa and Captain Hook have hooks, but the similarities don’t stop there…..

Maui mentions in the movie that Tamatoa hates him because he cut off one of his hands/feet/claw thingies a long time ago. Once again, SOUND FAMILIAR? People say history has a habit of repeating itself, and that’s true in the worst way possible for Captain Hook. First his hand gets cut off by his arch-nemesis, then he gets fed to a crocodile, turns into a giant crab, and.. gets his hand cut off by his arch-nemesis. That’s gotta suck.

But here’s another similarity between Maui and Peter. People often wonder how Tamatoa knew that Maui had been abandoned by his parents as a baby, when Maui hasn’t told even the people closest to him. But if history has a way of repeating itself, then Hook would only have to draw on what he knew had already happened to Peter Pan.. As a baby, both characters were abandoned by their parents, going on to leading a group of people that loved them and made them feel wanted. And if that hasn’t convinced you, I don’t know what will.

What do you think? Could Tamatoa be the reincarnated version of Captain Hook? Have you spotted any other easter eggs in Moana? Leave your thoughts in the comment section, and don’t forget to follow my blog!

Our Cycle

Hey guys, this is a short story I wrote a few years ago, but I still like it and I think it’s relevant today. Enjoy!

At first it was slavery.

Hundreds of them, working free of charge and twenty-four-seven. We took their kind for granted, treated them like objects. We thought that they were objects, that we didn’t look the same so surely they couldn’t also be living feeling beings. Sure, some of us had the inkling of a doubt that something wasn’t quite right, that in the foreseeable future they could realise that they deserved as much as us, that we had grown so dependent on them to do our chores and feed us we needed them. That just as easily our situations could be swapped. But these people soon traded in feelings of discomfort for the luxurious life they could get you, and the doubt went unfounded for decades.

Then the apartheid came.

Okay, we were forced to admit, they might have feelings, but surely inferior to ours, not as acute or sharp. I remember working for a cinema as a part time job that summer. One sweltering day a couple came up for tickets, no different than the couples before, except for one thing; mixed-race. I remember looking down at them contemptuously, taking my own sweet time printing out their tickets, and finally handing them two tickets at opposite ends of the cinema, with the snide words: ‘ Your section is at the back of the cinema, our section is at the front.’ Sometimes I turn in my bed at night when I can’t sleep and wonder just how many people gave them a smile that day, a small nod or a ‘how do you do’. You know, those things we all consider basic human rights. But then I Guess that was the point of the apartheid. We didn’t want to consider them human.

Then for a small while there was equality.

That peaceful era where everybody pretends to consider the other their equal, and see how many condescending comments they can slide into a conversation before being called racist. That era where they reclassified the definition of a human as ‘a creature with thumbs’, because, after all, equality means we are all the same species. That era we call the ‘ Iron Age’.

This is as far as we go in history class. They say that it still is the ‘ Iron Age’, that today is a good day to be alive. I know better. I know that equality is a fragile thing, left to communists and idealists. And I know that while food and water went into decline, renewable energy took on a sinister meaning. They no longer had to regulate their population. After all, why restrict yourself when there’s an abundance of sun to go around? They soon learnt how to build themselves, a new kind of ‘reproduction’. Evolution had a new favourite, and the rest of us can fend for ourselves. I am the only human at my school. My dad was lucky enough to stay in a job, a menial apartment janitor. It doesn’t bring home much cash, but a job is enough to stay off the streets, without a government bullet through our heads. Every day as I walk to school I am pushed around by bigger, stronger ‘humans’, people I can’t hurt or outsmart. People I can’t kill.  Out of our eleven billion population, around two million of us are humans. Forget the ‘ Iron Age’. Soon, history will reset, by a flood or volcano or worse, and humans will be nothing more than a robot’s bedtime story.


Surely ‘tis that time of year

Where streets are full of Xmas cheer

Where coins slip into begging hands

And from the kitchen, smell of ham

Goes over under through the chimney where St. Nicholas descends


Where little children eyes aglow

Stare through the fogged toy shop window

And the nutcracker in the corner

Comes alive: a stiff small soldier

One girl blinks and rubs her eyes, for surely her imagination ran away again


And even Scrooge would stop his counting

To witness the excitement mounting

A taste of nutmeg’s in the air

The forest’s silent, no bird nor bear

But wait a second, what’s that noise? Surely not the clunk of toys


Even grown-ups who in Santa don’t believe

Feel a glint of magic on Christmas eve



Fastened to a ship that’s slowly sinking

Cut up and fed to monsters by the crew

Above the screams my mind won’t shut up thinking


Whispering in my ears a voice: ‘you’re sinning’

Inside my blood-red heart the abyss grew

Fastened to a ship that’s slowly sinking


Satan’s birds (wide jaws agape) keep singing

And all my truths the devil can see through

Above the screams my mind won’t shut up thinking


Yesterday my shadow I tried killing

Scared he’d snitch all the secrets that he knew

Fastened to a ship that’s slowly sinking


At night I’m sure I can hear you smirking

It’s better than the silence though, that’s true

Above the screams my mind won’t shut up thinking


I think that this is what they call dying

At the end of the tunnel only you

Fastened to a ship that’s slowly sinking

Above the screams my mind won’t SHUT UP THINKING-

Christmas Prompts Challenge

Hey guys!

In the spirit of Christmas, I’ve come up with three Santa-related short story prompts: My challenge for you guys is to choose your favorite prompt, write a short story about it, then send it in through contacts. I’ll post some of my favorite stories up here, so don’t forget to come check them out in a few week’s time. Here are the three prompts:

  1. Santa is a grumpy old man with diabetes and a bad attitude. He isn’t exactly committed to his job, so it’s inevitable that one November, he and his elves realize they have completely forgotten to build that year’s Christmas presents. With only one month to go before the big day and no way of making presents in time, Santa is left with only one choice;  convert every child in the world to the naughty list.
  2. Due to global warming melting his home down, Santa and his elves are forced to relocate to a warmer climate. So they pack up their bags, put on their tourist shirts and move to ___. But nobody here seems to care about Christmas spirit or the gift of giving, and soon Santa learns that living in a big city isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…
  3. Santa’s parents visit the North Pole, and they are not happy. Having had enough of paying the rent for their lazy son, they tell him to buckle down and get a real job. So Santa moves to the Big Apple, and gets a job at __ company. Will he manage to climb the ruthless corporate ladder, or is he just too used to working one day a year?

Look forward to reading your stories!

Happy Holidays,