Amidst the hubbub of Cheltenham’s bustling market square, Marlowe ducked into a narrow alley, trying desperately to lose the trail of curious onlookers. As fate would have it, he found himself before a charming clinic with a sign reading, “Dr. Felicity Footwork – For Every Foot’s Foible and Fancy.” Considering his current, shiny predicament, he decided it was worth a try and stepped in.

Inside, the clinic was warm and cozy. The air was thick with the scent of eucalyptus and leather. The walls showcased a vast array of foot charts and models – some eerily resembling creatures of legend. However, it was the intricate table at the centre, adorned with footprints of all shapes and sizes, that caught his eye. Amongst them was a familiar, mismatched pair.

A door creaked, and out stepped Dr. Felicity Footwork, her shoes tapping a melodic rhythm. Spotting Marlowe’s glittering footprints, her eyebrows arched in recognition. “Ah! The Footstone’s latest victim,” she remarked.

“My feet… they’re making gold,” Marlowe blurted out. “Can you help?”

Dr. Footwork nodded. “Legend has it that the Footstone grants unique gifts – or curses, depending on one’s perspective – to those who tread upon it. You’re not its first… beneficiary. A gnome in Scotland now magnetically clings to ceilings because of it.”

Dismayed, Marlowe sighed. “All I want is for it to stop. The gold, the attention—it’s too much.”

Before Dr. Footwork could offer a solution, the door swung open, revealing Bertie Bootlace, the ambitious shoe store owner from down the lane. “Marlowe! With your gift, think of the possibilities! Golden shoes that provide warmth, comfort, and the wonders of circulatory benefits. Ever wondered where to get circulation socks? Imagine circulation socks that create gold! They could be a new trend!”

Marlowe eyed Bertie warily. “Trends come and go, but peace of mind is everlasting.”

Bertie, not to be discouraged, continued, “And yet, the fame! We could be renowned in all corners of the world, even in podiatry clinics near Melbourne!”

Marlowe groaned, turning back to Dr. Footwork. “Is there a cure or not?”

She handed him a map with a cryptic smile. “Tonight, under the moonlight, revisit the Footstone. But remember, not all that glitters is gold.”