Gather round, children, close to the fire. It’s time to hear a story. Come close, sit down. Are we all settled? Okay, then. Let’s begin…
This is a tale that began one summer only a year ago, in a quaint little village that, for the sake of anonymity, we shall call Arendelle.
Within the walls and among the modest population of Arendelle lived a teenaged girl called Faith. Faith had barely been living in little Arendelle for three months, and one day she heard of a free concert happening by the river the next week, by her favorite Christian band no less! She was so excited, and she wanted to make the best impression she could on the people of Arendelle, so she bought a new pair of shoes just for the concert. They were simple black flats, suede, with a pretty little bow on each toe. They were absolutely beautiful, and Faith just knew that they would be perfect for her first real social event since moving to Arendelle.
The day of the concert dawned bright and sunny, seemingly perfect. The whole day passed in a blur, and finally Faith was arriving at the riverside venue, jittery with excitement. She rushed to find her seat in the near-empty amphitheater, a needless thing to do since she had arrived nearly two hours early, anticipating a much larger turnout. As she sat down on the front row, right in front of the stage-the best spot in venue-she noticed a shadow on the horizon that looked suspiciously like a storm cloud. It was so far off, though, that she was sure she’d be long gone by the time it reached the river.
Two hours passed more slowly than expected, and all Faith could pay attention to was the slowly moving storm cloud, growing closer and closer by the minute. It was moving disturbingly fast, and Faith was growing increasingly nervous. Soon the storm was practically upon them, hovering ominously and darkening the sky to a depressing gray but not letting loose its obvious wrath. Maybe it’ll hold off until after the concert, Faith thought.
Her optimistic wish turned out to be just that: a wish. No sooner had the concert started then the rain began, harsh and sharp, stinging her face and blurring her vision. The band continued playing nevertheless, not ones to be thwarted by a little rain, they claimed. They’d played in worse conditions.
But Faith couldn’t see.
She could barely hear the music over the din the storm was making.
She couldn’t sing without inhaling a mouthful of water.
She was quickly soaked to the bone and shivering in the cold the storm produced, but she gritted her teeth and sang along to the barely audible music anyway, enjoying the concert in spite of the rain.
Eventually the band cut off the electric instruments, picked up a hand drum and an acoustic guitar, and headed to the covered awning that led to the amphitheater to continue the concert acoustically, with the crowd circling around them like a bunch of friends at a campfire.
There was a certain closeness Faith felt with the people around her, a camaraderie, something that can only be formed from a real shared experience. She was laughing and singing with perfect strangers, and within this moment everything was perfect. Despite the rain, despite the cold, despite everything, things were good.
She smiled as she left, replaying the music that she just heard in her head. She was absolutely freezing, but she didn’t mind. Her clothes would dry, she would warm. Everything could be mended. She walked to her car quickly and reached out to open the car door.
Then she remembered her shoes.
Her lovely, gorgeous, perfect shoes.
She glanced down at her feet and her fear was confirmed.
Her perfect shoes were ruined.
Faith closed her eyes to keep back a tear. They’re just shoes, she told herself. Just the most beautiful, expensive, gorgeous, amazing, perfect shoes ever.
She slowly got into the car and kicked off the soaked shoes. The lining in both shoes was completely separated, they were both flattened completely, and Faith had no idea where the bow on the right one had gone.
When she got home, she reluctantly threw them both in the trash.
She never found another pair of shoes as beautiful as those again.
Flash forward one year: The same band has chosen to perform in Arendelle again the following summer. The past year has been a great one for Faith, and she’s made many good friends, a few of whom she invites to go to the concert with her.
The day is a sunny one, less than a week before the fourth of July. Faith, her siblings (Belle and Kristoff), and her friends Merida, Rapunzel, and Silvermist are sitting on the third row in the concrete amphitheater. They’re listening to the concert, talking, laughing, enjoying the annoyed looks from people around them when they say something a little too loud, and the bewildered ones they get when they make odd references to their fandoms that the eavesdroppers don’t understand. They’re all truly having a good time together.
Eventually Silvermist’s friend Mickey shows up and they leave, and Merida and Faith go to get ice cream and water for themselves and the others in their group. Afternoon fades into evening, the concert ends and the girls get autographs from and pictures with the artists. They leave laughing and joking together, recently arrived parents trailing behind, talking to each other about who knows what. They reach the parking lot and stop. This is where they must part ways. The girls say goodbye, but don’t actually leave yet. They continue talking, despite the parents ending conversation.
Suddenly, Merida slips on the curb and falls on her side, mud from the previous weeks’ rain splashing all over her clothes.
And ruining her white flowered shoes.
Merida stands up slowly, looking at her feet in disbelief for a second. “My shoes!” she exclaims. Then she bursts out in laughter, pointing at Faith. “It’s you! You lost your shoes last year, and I guess it’s my turn now!”
At a mother’s suggestion, Merida, Belle, Rapunzel and Faith race to the decorative waterfall at the entrance to the riverside amphitheater and hold the shoes underneath it to rinse as much of the mud off of them as possible. They do what they can for them and laugh about it for another few minutes. Eventually they go their separate ways.
Upon further discussion, Faith and Merida came to the obvious and TOTALLY rational conclusion that the concert, and maybe even the band, are cursed, so that someone always has to ruin a pair of shoes during or after the event.
It makes absolute sense.
The girls labeled it “The Curse of the Christian Concert”.
Beware, all who enter such events, and please-don’t wear new shoes.