Hell City is our weekly comic book type superhero detective noir thing by our good friend in LA, Tim!
Let us now turn our attention to one of the other many residents of Hell City. Our guy is Salman Salternan or Salty to his friends. Ever since he was a tot in tights he had one obsession and one obsession only. Fine footwear.
He had grown up in a very strict household. His father was a foot surgeon who made a living cutting off people’s feet.
And boy did they live well. When he was ten years old his mother passed away due to a foot infection. After that his father became obsessed with the constant monitoring of Salty’s feet so as to never miss any early warning signs of what he called “foot-rot.” He had banned all footwear in their home.
Poor old Salty walked barefoot everywhere he went. To even attempt to put on a shoe was the equivalent of eating a large meal and then laying down on the American flag till you relieve. But Salty couldn’t get the idea of shoes out of his mind. As soon as he was old enough he would leave his father’s oppressive clutch and don his feet with the most garish and gosh feet-suits he could find. He was particularly interested in what the kids at his bus stop called “fuck me heels.”
Luckily Salty didn’t have to wait long to get away from his father. He was murdered when Salty was fifteen. He was pressured by the mob to cut off an informants ankle. He explained to them that he was a foot surgeon and couldn’t cut off anything above the foot. Now anyone with a sharp tongue and a lick of sense would tell you that saying that to the mob would be like signing a death check and writing ‘stupidity’ on the memo line. But Salty’s dad was a man of his word and a dead man’s word is still a word.
Without his father Salty set out on a quest to study everything shoe related. He learned about boots and sneakers and decided to stop there. He bought a cheap whorehouse from a police auction and converted it into his own homemade shoe studio. He dubbed it, Salty Salman’s Shoe-Topia.
His slightly crappy, earth toned, and organic made footwear attracted hippies and other pieces of shit from all over the globe.
His most famous customer was Homeo Watsunan who was a celebrated Japanese cannibal. He was rumored to have once said, “Wow. I eat the flesh of my countrymen and my feet feel great while I do it.”
One time a woman came in to buy shoes. Salty and her quickly fell in love. He had to divorce her though when he found out that she was a Nazi.
It’s funny how fast things can change.
Salty’s success seemed to die almost as fast as his father when he was fed to hungry but gentle wolverines by the mob.
It just seemed the world no longer had an urge to buy homemade shoes from an elderly man named Salty when they can buy shoes made by young children in underdeveloped countries. A store moved in across the street from him called ‘Shoe Topic.’ It blasts Dave Matthews music so loud that people can’t hear what type of shoes they’re buying. The customers started coming into Salty Salman’s Shoe-Topia less and less.
“Hey old man!” An angry customer shouts at Salty.
“Huh? Yes?” Salty replied.
“Your dumb shoes fell apart in the rain. Look at this mess.” The man held up the wet remains of the shoes he purchased. The once shoes now looked like several tiny fleshy gentleman melted together.
“Ohhh. You’re not supposed to get them wait. See?” Salty pointed to a sign on the back wall. “I have a sign.” The sign read, ‘Please Do Not Get Shoes Wet. Do Not Wear Outside.’
“What kind of dumb shoes are these? I want my money back and I want it right now.”
“Ohhh? But I don’t have your money.”
“You don’t? Where is it?”
“I spent it… on food… to live.”
“Well then I’m taking this!” The angry man grabbed a coat rack and left the store.
“Ahhh. My rack.” Salty walked towards the door. He shut off the lights and turned the Open sign around so it read Closed to the outside world. He shuffled to the back room where he told people he kept secret shoe plans but in reality it was where he slept on a pile of old musty shoes. He took out a picture of his ex-wife and wondered where she was and what she was doing.
Was she thinking of him? Or was she thinking of races she thought were inferior to her own.
He sang a little song to himself. “Shoes on my feet. Can’t be beat. Shoes on my head… I’d rather be dead…”
And with that he passed away and his soul went to Heaven where he lived for the next forty years.