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Barefoot Sorority - Volume 4


Barefoot Running

Part 1

Kandace Vanderpool was a bit of a queen bee around Midwestern State University. Her family was affluent, she was the president of the Zeta Rho Tau sorority, and the captain of the school's cross-country team. She was gorgeous, and was dating the quarterback of the football team. She was "popular," in the sense that most people hated her, but parasitic, backstabbing social-climbers were desperate to be in her circle.

Today, she was headed for cross-country practice, with her two sorority sister toadies, Lori and Denise, tagging along. For Kandace, the team was just another little web for her to control. Her teammates, even Lori and Denise, only mattered so long as they were successful. Kandace only cared about winning, because it made her look good, and it kept her figure nicely toned, of course.

As the three arrived at the practice track, Denise was the first to notice something unusual. Coach Teresa Pulaski was there, timing a new girl's run.

"Hey, I think that stupid chick is barefoot!" Denise exclaimed. Kandace and Lori took a closer look. The girl was barefoot.

"This is some kind of joke," Lori sniffed. Kandace suspected it was no joke, and she didn't like the implications of it. The three walked up next to Coach Pulaski and watched. The barefoot girl finished her run, and Coach Pulaski clicked the stopwatch.

"Great time! You're really going to help us at the next meet," the Coach said.

The barefoot girl took a second to catch her breath. "Thanks, Coach." The girl was pretty, with a bit of a tomboyish look. She was probably not the type to spend a lot of time on her hair or makeup, but it didn't effect her attractiveness one bit. Kandace noticed the girl's t-shirt, with a tie-dyed logo of bare footprints and the Greek letters "beta" and "gamma." Kandace instantly bristled.

Coach Pulaski nodded to the three other girls. "Kandace, Lori, Denise; this is Casey Holloway, our new team member."

The three exchanged handshakes and plastic smiles with Casey, and gave some scornful looks at her bare feet. Casey gave their coolness right back. She wasn't intimidated.

"I'm going to go cool down, Coach. See you next practice," Casey said, as she headed off to a grassy area of the track. When she was out of earshot, Kandace turned to the coach.

"What's up, Coach? Our team roster is full."

"Andrea's knee is hurt worse than we thought. She's out for the season. So we need a replacement, and Casey is it. Don't worry, she's fast."

"But Coach," Kandace whined. "Missy hippy drippy can't run barefoot. It's against the rules."

"No it's not. Maybe you should actually read the rulebook," Coach Pulaski said sternly. "Casey's on the team, and she can run barefoot. That's final." The Coach left it at that, and headed toward her office.

"This is just not going to fly," Kandace growled. Her two flunkies nodded their agreement. Kandace turned her attention to where Casey was finishing her cool down stretches. What she saw made her blood boil.

Casey was talking to Tracy Hoffman, Colleen Appleton and a couple of other Beta Gamma members. Kandace hated the barefoot sorority with a passion. Especially that stupid loser Colleen, who had been in Zeta Rho Tau for a brief time. Kandace's most intense hate was reserved for Tracy, though. Ever since Kandace had been at Midwestern State, Beta Gamma had beaten her sorority at everything, from academics to charity work to intramural competitions.

It burned Kandace up to no end that those barefoot, tree-hugging jerks could outdo Zeta Rho Tau, a sorority made up of a "better" class of girl. And Tracy always seemed to be at the forefront, confident and unflappable. There was no way Tracy was going to move in on Kandace's cross-country team. Kandace stormed toward the group, Lori and Denise trying to keep up.

"Hey, Hoffman! Why don't you take your shoe-hating ass back to Woodstock," Kandace shouted, venom dripping from her voice. "And take your stupid hippy friends with you!"

She felt contempt as she scanned the ever bare feet of the Beta Gammas. Beneath her contempt, and although she would never admit it, Kandace couldn't help but notice that all of the Beta Gammas had gorgeous feet. It was almost like going barefoot all the time made them look better.

Kandace was reminded of another thing she hated about the Beta Gammas. They always seemed so relaxed and, what was the right word? Comfortable. Even with the bile she was spewing at them, they all seemed serene. Probably brain damage from foot fungus or something, Kandace told herself.

"Hey, Kandace. Nice to see you, too," Tracy offered, with mock sincerity. "I hear my friend Casey is your teammate now."

"Not for long. The cross-country team is mine, and I'm not letting you turn it into another part of your barefoot cult," Kandace seethed.

"Don't worry. Casey's the only one interested in your team, and she doesn't care about messing up the Cult of Kandace that's already in place," laughed Tracy.

"Yeah, I just like running. I don't want to go shoe shopping with you or anything," cracked Casey. This drew a chuckle from the other Beta Gammas.

"Oh, you're funny, but I want you off my team," Kandace jabbed her finger into Casey's chest. "I'm challenging you to a race. Loser quits the team!"

Casey laughed. "That's pretty stupid. You love the team so much, you want to take a chance on quitting if you lose?"

Kandace realized that had been a stupid thing to say. She didn't think she would lose, but if she did, she'd be sunk.

"No problem. I won't lose," Kandace insisted, her pride not allowing her to back down.

Casey was really starting to get annoyed with Kandace's attitude. She decided to offer an alternative that might rile Kandace up even more.

"Tell you what. If I lose, I'll quit. But, if I win, you have to go totally barefoot for two weeks," said Casey.

Kandace was stunned. She was a little relieved she could stay on the team, but this was almost worse. The thought of her bare soles having to traipse over the filthy ground like the Beta Gamma freaks made her stomach churn. Once again, her pride wouldn't let her back down.

"You're on," she affirmed. "Saturday. Eight AM. The trail at Atwood Park."

Casey nodded in agreement.

Kandace threw a last contemptuous look at the Beta Gamma members, then stalked off with Lori and Denise in tow. Casey's bare toes started to tingle in anticipation and she wiggled them in the grass. Kandace was going barefoot.

Part 2

Saturday morning, Kandace arrived at the park about ten minutes early. She had brought along Lori, Denise and several other Zeta Rho Tau sisters to watch her imminent victory. Casey was already waiting, along with Tracy, Colleen and a small group of other Beta Gammas. Kandace's lip curled in disgust at all those bare feet tromping through the dirt. Who knew what kind of crap they had stepped in?

"Looks like a big crowd. At least you'll have some shoulders to cry on after you lose," mocked Kandace.

"Back at you," said Casey. There was that serene confidence again. Kandace grit her teeth.

"Anyway, the rules are that you have to stick to the trail. No shortcuts. Loser pays the price we agreed on," Kandace continued.

Casey nodded. She looked at Kandace's high-priced running shoes. "Enjoy those fancy kicks now, because you won't be wearing them for a couple of weeks."

Kandace glared, but held her tongue. In a minute, Casey would be eating the dust the "fancy kicks" would be stirring up.

The two runners lined up at the designated starting line. Kandace couldn't help but notice the way Casey's toes spread out and grasped the ground, digging in for a fast jump off the line. Kandace briefly wondered if that would give Casey an advantage, as Kandace's own confined toes could get no such purchase on the ground. She put the thought out of her mind. She had a race to win.

Lori blew a whistle, and the race was on. Casey did get a great jump, and Kandace swore under her breath. Kandace was fast, though, and she managed to close the gap, but she couldn't quite pull ahead. Casey was just a little bit faster.

As the race continued, Casey ever so slowly increased her lead. Eventually, Casey was far enough ahead that Kandace could see her slightly dirty soles treading on the fallen leaves and soft dirt of the trail.

She couldn't take her eyes off those bare feet. With each step, Casey's tough, supple toes spread out to embrace the ground, absorbing the impact as nature intended.

It flew in the face of everything that Kandace had ever learned about running. Naked human feet weren't supposed to be able to handle the pounding of a hard run. It took extensively engineered running shoes to do that. But here it was, right in front of Kandace's face. Casey's bare feet could handle it all without a problem. Indeed, they almost seemed to revel in the primal freedom of bounding over the natural terrain.

Meanwhile, Kandace was starting to feel like her own feet were being dragged down by lead weights. Her "lightweight" running shoes were like anvils compared to Casey's totally free and unfettered bare feet.

Kandace's feet were sweating profusely in their canvas coffins with cotton sock liners. They felt like they were burning up. A part of her desperately wanted to stop and tear off her stifling footwear, letting the cool air reach her poor, suffering feet. But no, she had a race to win.

She called on whatever reserves of strength she had left, and started to gain just a bit. Then it was over. She heard cheering, but it wasn't for her. Kandace's Zeta Rho Tau sisters looked stunned. Kandace, the cross-country captain, had lost to Casey, the barefoot girl.

Kandace bent over, catching her breath, and trying to retain her composure. When she finally stood up, everyone was looking at her.

"A bet's a bet," Casey said.

Kandace's lip curled in anger, but she couldn't back out. Her sorority sisters were all there, and she had held many of them to stupid bets.

On some level, she didn't really want to back out. Her feet were aching for release from their confinement. She angrily toed off her shoes, and then yanked off her socks, hurling them to the ground. To the onlookers, it appeared to be simple rage at having lost the race, but it was really just as much about letting the cool air soothe her naked feet. As soon as the air hit her newly bared feet, they felt better.

"Should I hang on to these, or are we on the honor system?" asked Casey, indicating the discarded footwear.

"Take them," Kandace spat. "And come to the Zeta house and pick up all of my shoes and socks. I don't welch on bets."

"All righty then," Casey said. She looked at her watch. "I guess you can have them back at 8:35 AM, two weeks from today."

Kandace nodded. Denise stepped toward her, and spoke quietly in her ear. "Kandace, the meet is on the Thursday before that. You can't run it barefoot."

The reality suddenly dawned on her, but once again, her stubborn pride reared up. Loud enough for everyone to hear, Kandace said, "Well I guess I'll have to run it barefoot. A bet's a bet. Besides, if Little Miss Casey can do it, so can I."

The Zeta Rho Taus looked stunned again. The Beta Gammas just smiled knowingly. Not skeptical smiles, rather it was as if they were sure Kandace could do it. That damn serenity, Kandace thought.

Kandace stormed off, her entourage quick to follow. Kandace was angry at how things had turned out. She didn't like to lose, especially to Beta Gammas. At the same time though, the feel of the dewy grass and the cool earth under her freed soles was somewhat therapeutic. She was finding it hard to stay really furious.

The Beta Gammas watched her go, and then Tracy gathered up Kandace's scattered shoes and socks. Tracy couldn't help but wonder what the next two weeks might bring.

Part 3

Kandace did live up to her bet, and handed over all of her shoes and socks to the Beta Gammas. The next two weeks, she went about her normal routine, not making any changes to account for her barefoot condition. If anybody said anything, she got in their face. She wasn't going to take anyone's crap, barefoot or not.

She went to cross-country practice barefoot, much to the amusement of Coach Pulaski. Not that Kandace had a choice, since she had no shoes in her possession. She found that running barefoot was giving her a spring in her step, and she felt like she could go faster than she ever had. This wasn't a total shock to her, since she had witnessed the same thing in Casey. Still, it was a revelation for Kandace to experience barefoot liberation for herself.

The cross-country meet finally came, and Kandace felt more ready than she ever had before. Though she wouldn't admit it, she was actually a bit comforted by the fact that she had Casey as a fellow barefoot teammate. It made it a little easier to face the stares of the opposing teams.

When the meet was over, Kandace had come in first, with Casey taking second. The two of them had demolished the competition. Kandace couldn't help but appreciate the fact that Casey had beaten her soundly in their first race, but on even terms - barefoot terms - Kandace had come out ahead. It was something to think about. Of course, the next day, Kandace's feet were hurting, as they were nowhere near as tough as Casey's veteran bare feet. Still, Kandace felt a real satisfaction, like she had rarely known, even in victory.

Part 4

Another two weeks passed after the meet. Kandace had picked up her shoes and socks and gotten back to normal. Something was different, though.

Kandace returned from class and went to her room at the Zeta house. She shut her door and locked it. She put down her books, and then eagerly kicked off her shoes and peeled off her socks. She wiggled her freshly bared toes in the soft carpet. She flopped onto her bed and rubbed her soles on the soft blankets. She let out a sigh.

Ever since she had gotten her shoes and socks back, things just weren't the same. Footwear had rarely bothered her before, but now it just felt uncomfortable. When she wore shoes and socks, she constantly thought about when she could get them off again. Of course, she couldn't very well just go barefoot all over the place, given her long and vocal history of trashing the Beta Gammas. For now, she could only enjoy the pleasure in the privacy of her own room.

She pulled her left foot toward her. For the first time she could remember, she was fascinated with her own feet. She loved to wiggle her long toes, and watch the way they moved and flexed. She was entranced by the wrinkles that appeared when she flexed her soles.

She could even see the slight calluses that had built up during her two weeks of total barefootedness, although they were softening up some now that she had gone back to a primarily shod state. Kandace was a little disappointed. The calluses were like little badges of toughness and strength, and she wanted to keep them.

Going barefoot had also caused some changes in her attitude and outlook on life.

During her two weeks of total immersion barefooting, Kandace realized that some of her irascibility had eased up. She just felt more mellow, more at ease with life, less judgmental...less stuck-up. She had pegged it with regard to the Beta Gammas earlier. She just felt more comfortable.

It was no coincidence that some of Kandace's rotten attitude had returned almost as soon as she had put her shoes and socks back on. Kandace had recognized it herself. She wasn't sure she liked that about herself anymore.

She had thought about her life a lot lately. Right now, though, she just wanted to enjoy the fact that her feet were finally free after a long day imprisoned in shoes and socks.

Part 5

That evening, Kandace was out walking with Lori and Denise. All three were wearing shoes and socks, as usual, though Kandace was less than enthused. They just happened to walk past the Beta Gamma house, or had Kandace taken that route intentionally?

"That's where those stupid barefoot losers live," Lori scoffed.

"Yeah, we should prank them sometime," chimed in Denise.

Kandace rolled her eyes. "Look, I need to go do something. You guys can come if you want." She cut across the Beta Gamma yard, heading for the front door. Lori and Denise, a bit confused, followed.

Kandace knocked on the door. A Beta Gamma, one of those who had been at the race, answered.

"Is Casey here?" Kandace asked.

"Uh, yeah. I'll get her," the girl responded. A moment later, Casey came to the door.

"What's up?" asked Casey, a bit surprised to see Kandace and her two lackeys.

"Yeah, um, I just... Well, I wanted to apologize for the way I acted before. I'm sorry. You're a great runner and a good teammate, and I shouldn't have treated you that way," Kandace offered, quickly adding, "And you're a good person, too."

"Um, thanks. Apology accepted," said Casey, a bit skeptical. Laughter could be heard from inside the house.

"What's going on?" wondered Kandace.

"We're just hanging out, playing some board games," Casey told her.

"Would it be cool if we join you? I mean if you don't mind," said Kandace.

"Uh, no. It's cool if you want to hang out," Casey said, a bit perplexed by Kandace's change in attitude.

"Great. I better take off my shoes and socks, though," Kandace said.

"Um, you don't have to. That's just for Beta Gamma members," insisted Casey, but Kandace was already down to her socks, and those were quickly shed as well.

"No, it's your rules and your house. I respect that," Kandace told her. The eagerness with which Kandace had ditched her footwear made it all click for Casey.

That was why Kandace's attitude had changed; never underestimate the power of going barefoot.

Casey opened the door wide and Kandace stepped inside. She turned to her two friends. "You guys coming, or not?" asked Kandace.

Lori and Denise hesitated, looking at each other. Well, if Kandace was doing it, so would they. The two pulled off their shoes and socks, and giggled as their virgin bare feet touched the cool surface of the porch. They felt a little charge of excitement as they stepped into the Beta Gamma house. Being barefoot was pretty fun, they both thought. They might have to do it more often.

The End

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