In the Land of Lost Socks: A Short Story (and NOT a Subtle Metaphor for the Current Events and Conditions of the United States)

When Gerry first fell behind the dryer he was scared. Warm. But scared.

You wouldn’t be able to tell now in the dusty dark, but he was a tall, bright pink sock with charming black polka dots. This was the first time he’d ever been alone. All his life he’d either been wrapped around a fat, hairy foot and calf or folded into his brother Jim – oh lord, what’s going to become of Jim, he thought.

Yerp!” came a high-pitched squeal from a short distance away, almost like an extremely senile old man confirming something he thought someone said but that no one had actually said. Gerry jumped. The cotton stood up on the back of his stitching - “Hello?”

Yerp! I knew it! Anotha one bites the dust. Hi there kiddo. I’m Chuck, but you can call me Chukk.” Chuck was also a taller sock. He was teal with little graphics of sunny-side up eggs and strips of bacon spattered all over him. But Gerry would never know this. Unless he asked Chuck. And as long as Chuck told him the truth.

“W-where am I?” asked Gerry.

You know,” Chuck replied.

“How do I get back to Jim?”

You wanna go back!? You wanna go back!? Remember, what it was like to have a foot shoved in you? Huh!? Remember? Remember, what it was like when that foot slowly moistened and odiated its stench all over you?

“Yeah, I guess… but I –“

But ya what? Liked it? Damn.

“How long have you been here?” asked Gerry.

Oh shucks, before you came along I may have been down here for a few seconds - maybe even a year – I’m not really sure. Mind you, one minute for a sock is one year for a human. Not that there are any humans listening to us. It’s just us talking, sock to sock.

“What?”

Hey man, maybe one day, if someone finds us, they’ll fold you and me into each other.

At that moment, Gerry realized, although he hoped no one would ever fold him into Chuck, that this crazy, old sock wasn’t bad company. They kept chatting. Everything was going to be ok. And then a cockroach crawled inside of Gerry.

Adam Goffstein