writingcatsworld said: Although, if they’re stiletto heels, you could theoretically still use the heel as an improvised weapon?
Not… really? Someone is chasing you, and in order to use the heel, you’ve got to stop and break the heel off the shoe (it’s going to be very awkward if it’s still on it) then turn it around. This assumes you can get the heel off quickly. Stiletto heels are also extremely short, so very limited amount of range. Shorter than a knife with less puncturing or cutting power. It’s also difficult to hold onto and without a good grip, there’s very little you can do with it. In the end, the only thing you’ve got is a ruined pair of shoes.
Honestly? You’re better off grabbing whatever is nearby, a plate, a mug, a beer bottle, a piece of plywood, a broom, a wrench, whatever is on hand and in easy reach. Hell, in a purely fictional context (because doing this to someone in real life is cruel), if you really want something that screams “women power” then get the cleaning supplies from the laundry room or under the sink and spray the asshole in the eyes. Then, when they open their mouth to scream get them in there for good measure. As they are hacking, coughing, crying, and vomiting you can then use this golden opportunity to either escape or finish them off. (Side Note: Doing this to someone in real life has a likelihood of blinding them or killing them. It will also, probably, hurt you. Don’t fuck around with chemicals. This is writing advice only.)
Still, if it’s all you’ve got then it’s all you’ve got. I’ll take a screwdriver over a stiletto any day though. Unless we’re talking about an actual stiletto, but that is a weapon.
As for stamping, well, balance is still an issue. To get the best power out of a stamp, you’ve got to tilt your foot up and slam the heel down one the other person’s foot. That’s the body’s natural movement. However, it’ll put the stiletto at an odd angle. Besides that, the foot is already arched. So, any force you’ll get out of dropping it is minimal at best. This is also assuming that you’re perfectly balanced on the other foot and can stay that way while in a scuffle with another person, who may be doing any number of things. If it doesn’t puncture (and it probably won’t, it’s more likely to slide off), it’s going to hurt a hell of a lot less than stamping some asshole barefoot. It’ll still hurt… maybe. The other person is most likely wearing shoes too. So, the heel has to make it through that too before it reaches the foot. How well it does that will depend on what they’re wearing. If it’s industrial work boots, biker boots, or combat boots, or anything leather then, you know, good luck.
Even if it does puncture, what then? Now the shoe is stuck in some idiot’s foot, and you’ve got to get it off in order to get away. Unless we’re talking about the knife, a stiletto is designed for walking on the street. It’s blunt, it’s dull, and it’s oddly shaped. It’s going to have trouble getting out. This will lead to you being stuck within easy grabbing distance, regardless of whether or not your back is turned. And for them, when you’re not that far away and walking isn’t an issue, well, pain isn’t quite as immobilizing as most people think. This is especially true when that person is angry. Pain can be a showstopper, it can also act as incentive to make the other person stop whatever it is they are doing.
It’s also probably worth pointing out that, when it comes to the foot, it’s the instep that’s horribly sensitive and not the top of the foot. The top can take a lot of abuse. The toes not so much, but really, you are going to to want to be able to hit more than one. Plus, high heels, and especially stiletto heels, make it awkward to go after the real money shot: the shin.
With the shin a lot of nerve endings and the bone are close to the surface, unprotected by a nice layer of muscle. Much like stamping the instep, kicking the shin (provided it’s exposed) has immediate, painful, and viable results. Kicking someone in the shin still requires a decent level of balance though, especially if you’re knocking them with your heel instead of your toes.
When it comes to combat, the stiletto heel is a Hollywood conceit. It’s like the catsuit. A lot of people will use stupid arguments to try and justify it, but at the end of the day a tank top, khaki’s, and combat boots are just the smart choice.
As the door slammed shut behind them, Ella, Beth, and Serenity came skidding to a stop. Ella’s reddened fingers gripped the knob. Blood leaked from a set of shallow cuts on her knuckles, discoloring smooth white skin. Her second hand pressed to the wood, ear close. Music pounded on the door, loud even this far from the gymnasium. It drowned out the sound of following footsteps.
“Okay,” she said with a slow exhale. “We should be safe, for the moment. Kick off your heels and grab a weapon, girls.”
“Gotcha, boss,” Serenity replied and she started across the room.
“Weapon,” Beth mumbled. She patted down her chest. Black silk and chiffon tickled her thighs. Not much there, she thought. She had her belt, but it was a cheap chain. And I left my purse back in the gym. Biting her lip, her eyes dropped to the silver sandals still strapped to her feet. The heel was only three inches, but… Better than nothing. Well, she thought, at least they were cheap.
With a regretful sigh, she undid the straps and stepped out of them. Picking up the left, Beth gripped the base of the heel and gave a wrench. The shoe buckled, silver plastic biting into her hand. Beth gritted her teeth.
And, after another grunt, it popped free.
Rolling it around in her palm, Beth loosed a relieved sigh. “I know it’s not much,” she said. “But…” Her gaze rose, then it stopped.
Both girls stared at her. Their pair of matched expressions could only be categorized as chagrin.
The other two chuckled.
Ella lifted a pair of finely plucked black brows. Then, she shook her head and turned back to the door.
“Really?” Serenity asked. There was something in her hands. Long, thin, pipe-like, it rolled between black fingers. A set of perfect, pearly white teeth flashed between ruby lips in a brilliant grin. “You sure that’s the best you could find?”
Frowning, Beth shook her head. “Sure,” she said. “I… I mean…” her eyes moved back to the smooth tool in Serenity’s hands. For the first time, she glanced around the dimly lit room.
It was big. Much larger than their normal classrooms. In the center, a small silver car lifted up on some kind of steel platform. It had no wheels and was more than a little rusted. Tall moveable steel cabinets stood beside her. Red doors. Like the ones her father kept in the garage. Large wooden desks were set up all around the room. Plenty of long tables – no, she thought, not tables, work benches – mostly clean with a few exceptions.
“I…” Beth swallowed. Her cheeks burned. “We’re in the machine shop, aren’t we?”
Ella’s lips twitched as she stepped away from the door and to some sort of desk next to it. A rattle followed. She produced a pair of thick brown gloves, work gloves, from inside the shelf. Pulling them on, she strode past Beth and snagged a small rotund canister off one of the shelves.
It looked, Beth decided, like a blow horn. Or a blow torch. What would she need with a blow torch though?
“Coach gets a little lax after he’s had a few beers,” Serenity said. “Leaves a lot of this stuff unlocked. Accidentally, of course.” She turned back to Ella and Beth thought she saw a wink. “Right, Ellie?”
“Yup,” Ella replied. She didn’t look up. “Toss me the tire iron?”
The hand extended, twisted, caught the spinning steel object in a single sweep, and the girl set it on the table next to her. A warm orange light burst in the darkness. It turned beneath Ella’s calm hand and she pointed it at the knob. Firelight flickered off her hair, illuminating a cold expression in her eyes.
Beth’s stomach twisted. Ella’s my friend. Sometimes, even though they’d only met three weeks ago, it felt like they’d known each other all their lives. But this Ella? This wasn’t a girl she knew. “What’s she doing?” Beth whispered.
“Doing prep,” Serenity said. Her navy dress swirled around her, silver bracelet jangling on her wrist. Crinkling brown-black hair bound back in a small knot on the top of her head. Bare feet padded on checkered tiles. A second weapon, another like the one she’d tossed Ella, rested in her hands. “We don’t have to just sit around and wait, you know.”
Right, Beth realized. Tire iron. This place probably had plenty of those. A warm hand gripped her shoulder and she glanced up.
“You should grab a weapon,” Serenity said. Her dark eyes glimmered in the moonlight, their expression not unkind. “Then, find a good place to hide. Fight only if you have to.” And she gave Beth a good squeeze. “We’ll take it from here.”
“Like a hammer?” Beth asked.
“Or a screwdriver,” Serenity laughed. “Since you seem to like stabbing things.”
“A wrench would be best,” Ella said. “And pipe down, they’re getting close.”
Beth stiffened. Memories of the gym flooded her. Normal looking boys and then, their strange hands. Claws. All twisted up in her hair. That’s what would be coming.
“Don’t let Ellie over there spook you,” Serenity added. “You’ve done well for your first time. Besides,” she leaned in and Beth felt her cheeks warm. “First time always sucks, anyway.”
“Yeah?” Beth asked.
“Oh yeah,” Serenity replied.
This is more of a conceit of mine, because the problem with using a shoe heel as an improvised weapon involves writers pass up better (smarter) options that are in the scene with them. Almost anywhere your character is, there’s going to be better options.
Ultimately, sticking to the heel just involves the character looking silly and, more often than not, inept.
If you are wondering what the plan was in this scene, it runs like this:
Ella sets heats up the door knob so it burns anyone trying to open the door. (She may have suffered a few burns.) With turning the knob out of the picture, when they try to break it down she opens it on them and lets the first one come tumbling into the room. At this point, Serenity whacks them back with the tire iron. This gives Ella time to get a hold of her tire iron (though with the gloves, she can still use the door as a weapon), allowing her to ambush the next one through the door. The doorway stalls out the approach of the group, forcing them to come through in ones or twos. While the second one chases Serenity, Ella gets him from behind (presumably they know there’s not third man or if there is then that’s where the fight starts to turn).
The power of teamwork.