Friday, April 22, 2011

The Secret Life of Socks

The story below is one I wrote for the now-defunct "Knox Writing Club" blog that I started with my friend RK back in 2008. I don't know that I ever posted it on my blog - and frankly I'm too lazy to go back and hunt for it through the nearly-600 old posts!

Will this change the way you feel about your socks?


The Secret Life of Socks
We never know what the day will hold. Is today going to be quiet and uneventful, conversing with our fellow drawer-mates in the dark silence, or will it involve any number of tortures? That all depends on what the human decides when she wakes up.

Right now, all we can hear are muffled sounds from Outside; the world outside our small, dark existence. This is the time of day when we all panic. Everyone here is quiet; not even breathing; wondering. “Who will it be today?” There are some lucky ones here, though; those few who rarely get chosen because they are the wrong color or the wrong season – but it changes.

We’ve all be holding our breath now for hours. Outside, all is quiet. It seems like the water has quit running and the human must be dressing. The hairdryer hasn’t started yet. That is our cue - when the hairdryer stops. We can only guess where she is in her daily ablutions.

At length, the muffled sound of the hairdryer begins and simultaneously, every heartbeat in the drawer speeds up. Panic sets in. How much pain do we have to go through? When will it be enough? We cannot help but fervently wish that another of us will be chosen, leaving the rest of us to live another day in blissful peace.

This life is not one that any of us has chosen. It was chosen for us. We are but socks. How, then, can we have our revenge on the ones who made us? The one who purchased us? Or, the one who tortures us regularly? We have all made plans. We have all fantasized about turning the tables on our captors and inflicting horrendous pain upon them. We were made soft. Revenge is a thing of dreams.

Presently, we hear the silent footsteps of our captor bearing down upon our dark prison. The drawer opens, and the human reaches in to select one or two of us for further inspection in the glaring light of the bathroom. Shortly after inspection, one of us is sent back, happy at being rejected, while the other is violently separated from their sole mate and shoved onto a waiting human appendage.

This is the least of the pain. The worst of the pain begins once our fellow captors, the shoes, are secured in place on this same human appendage. The day begins in panic, and ends in pain.

Later, being within an inch of losing our lives, we are ripped off the human appendage, and tossed uncaringly into a waiting, smelly pile. Some of us have been bloodied. Some have been ripped, torn, cut. Some have been stretched to something totally unlike our former selves. But we all begin the waiting process for the finale.

After recovering somewhat during our one or two day stay in the smelly pile, we are hauled away in a basket, deposited into a swirling horror of water, nearly drowned, spun violently, and then heated until we nearly melt. Then, if we are lucky, we are reunited with our sole mate, and put back into our prison, only to begin again.

If we are unlucky, we lose our sole mate permanently to the Unknown. The Outside world is a cruel, cruel place. If you are ever unlucky enough to be granted a wish, do not wish for this life. Only the strong survive.

~(C) JMS, November 2008

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