This was from a prompt writing exercise at the Hamilton Writer’s group (Chester’s beers of the world,) over a year ago. As always, feedback greatly appreciated.
There’s a wormhole that opens up in the top drawer of the dresser and swallows socks. Nobody knows where it leads, but any sock that goes through that hole in the space-time continuum is never seen or heard from again.
Everybody in the whole dresser knows about it, and even the dress shirts and pants that get put on plastic hangers in the closet have heard the stories as they go through the laundry. New socks, fresh from the store, shake when they first find out, and hope that they’ll be left in the laundry basket after they’re washed and dried, just so that they don’t have to get put away in the top drawer.
But I’m not afraid of the top drawer. That wormhole has already taken everything it can from me. It’s not going to take what’s left of me.
I’m a gray dress sock with black horizontal stripes, and I’ve lived in the top drawer of that dresser for three years.
Sometimes I do dwell on the wormhole, concocting overly elaborate plans to track a fresh white tube sock as it gets sucked away, to find out what’s on the other end, or to implode the wormhole permanently. But I know that that’s all melodramatic nonsense. I’m a sock for god’s sake, and a lone sock at that. There’s nothing I can do against forces of that kind.
Lately, I’m often the one who tells the facts of life in the top drawer to the new purchases. The white briefs snicker as the story is retold – they know that they’re untouchable, although some of them have seen dozens of innocent socks get snatched.
Occasionally a fresh sock, a deep navy blue one perhaps, will ask if there’s any way for a sock to be safe. I know the answer to that, and I’m honest enough to tell them, although that’s the answer that breaks my heart.
“The vortex will never suck away a sock once its mate has already been taken, kid,” I tell them. “What do you think about that?”