Sorting socks, I noticed there were only five individual socks left. Please tell me I forgot one in the dryer, I sighed, checked which sock was missing, and rushed downstairs.
The dryer door was still open because I couldn’t close it with both hands full of laundry and without hesitation I dove headfirst into its drum as soon as I was close enough to do so, and checked its insides from top to bottom.
“Where?” I mumbled to myself and spun the drum a full circle with my hand. “Where did you put it, huh?” I checked every hole and every weld with the tip of my fingers and grew more and more restless. “I know I put it inside you. You hear me? I know it was you, dryer. I know.” I talked to it as if it could answer me, hearing only my own echo coming back at me, in a deeper, more metallic voice.
I brought my head out of the drum, took a good look around the dryer, and noticed the screws on the back panel. “You think you’re the only one who can play dirty, huh,” I chuckled to myself, pleased with my new idea. “Just you wait.”
Looking over to the dryer every two seconds as if making sure it wouldn’t suddenly escape, I made my way to the other side of the room to grab the toolbox, and with a silent “a-ha” pulled out the appropriate screwdriver.
With a huge grin on my face I rushed back and started unscrewing the screws one by one, until the last one hit the floor. With the screws gone, the panel was barely holding on to its two side holders and it didn’t take much effort to remove it and reveal the devil’s guts.
As tempting as it was to mess with the wiring, I wanted to find a way to take it all apart and get to the drum from the other side, see if the socks were somehow trapped somewhere. Plenty of screws later, I was ready to remove the final panel and have a good look inside. I was absolutely positive I’d find at least a pair in there and, removing the metal sheet, I found so much more. Dozens of socks, all of which I’ve lost, just lying there, under the drum.
He who laughs last, lau–… I reached down to grab the socks and as soon as I touched one of them, I was sucked into a wormhole leading to what can best be described as another dimension.
Next thing I remember I was lying flat on the floor, my entire body in pain, and about thirty socks in all colors surrounding me, supersized to the size of a phone booth, and very much alive, shouting and spitting on me. Some of them I recognized as mine, some of them I have never seen before.
I tried to move, but couldn’t. Tried to shout, couldn’t either. I wanted to close my eyes, but it was as if I had no eyelids to close them with. There was nothing I could do but lie there and be at their mercy.
Suddenly, they all went quiet and stood as still as rocks.
“Brian.” A bright yellow sock, slightly larger than the rest, hopped its way in front of me. “I’ve heard a lot about you from the ones you’ve enslaved. I’ve heard all about your sins and evil-doing.” The socks I have lost to the dryer over the years started cheering loudly. “But no more!” The yellow sock shouted, overriding all other voices. “It is your time now to be at our feet! Your time to feel how you have made others feel! All the while we smile and tell you you’re our very favorite.” The crowd cheered so loud I could barely hear their King speak.
“Toss him on the main road with the others!” He shouted. “I want him to pay for his crimes! Be trampled under all our weight!” The crowd cheered louder than ever, and one of the navy blue socks hopped forth, looked down at me, then proceeded to slowly creep its fabric over my legs first, then squeezed me tightly at the waist. I was dragged behind it as it hopped, trapped inside its hole and unable to move.
It wasn’t long until we’ve made it off the lawn and onto a road, and surely enough, the road was nothing more but people lying on the grass, motionless, and visibly in pain.
I was being dragged over all these living bodies, passing other socks on the way, when I heard loud chatter in the distance, like the one you’d witness in a bar full of drunks. Facing upward, I couldn’t see where it was coming from or how far away from it we were, but with every hop it was becoming more and more deafening.
As if it knew I wanted to see what was in front of us, the sock turned me to the side with a single hop, let go of my lower body, and looked at me. “Quite loud, isn’t it?” It was as if it could see the terror in my eyes. Hundreds upon hundreds of socks as far as the eye could see, happily hopping around and talking with helpless humans stuck underneath their weight. “It’s not to my taste, really,” it continued. “You see, I’m more of an introvert myself, but rumor has it, you just love hanging out.” He smiled to himself. “I bet you’ll fit right in.”
Smiling still, it proceeded to crawl its mouth back up my legs, then started hopping toward the racket.
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