Day 94 – The Other Side

Kudos to Nicola MacDonald for today’s idea.



Word count: 1303



Plates crashed to the floor as he threw open the cupboard door. In his error, he had hurriedly placed the crockery in too precarious a place last night. He had been over tired and over worked and now he was over stressed and over late for work. The plates and bowls slipped through his fingers despite his best efforts to catch them and now they were cracked and smashed on the floor.

His blood was curdling. All he had wanted was a cup of tea. A simple cup of tea from which he could set himself up for the day with. He only had a few more minutes before he absolutely had to leave. David was already late. He had slept through his alarm and if he did not leave soon, he was going to run the risk of being completely late instead of potentially.

David was quite a simple man. He lived alone with his goldfish, Frank. Every weekday, he would commute to work and seven and a half hours later he would return to have a meal for one and read a quiet book to himself. He cared not for misadventure or taking risks – he considered buying a new brand of toilet roll as taking a risk. His life was ruled by agenda and schedule. There was no television in his house. There was no means of communication other than by letter. The only reason he had a car was so that he could keep to his own regime and not be dictated to by the wild and unpredictable world of public transport. He was an ordered, careful man. His book collection was ordered alphabetically by both author and title. His weekends were painfully organised and his every meal excruciatingly prepared in advance.

But last night something happened that was out of the ordinary. He had worked half an hour later than expected at work and was exhausted by the time he had returned home. David was not used to working outside of his allotted hours. Far from unusual, it was unheard of. Such was his horrific day, he was still attempting to keep to his bedtime schedule. This involved eating four forkfuls of food per forty fives seconds at dinner and, unfortunately, not ensuring that plates were safely secured and in line with the edge of the cabinet door.

David sighed. Though he was the type to get easily stressed, he was never the type to outwardly reveal it. He swept up the remains of his lovely crockery and flicked on the kettle. As he walked back to his bedroom to collect his work things, he noticed that – amongst the commotion – he had forgotten to put on his socks. He went to the drawer and stopped dead. Quite how it had happened, he could not imagine. David was on shivering on the brink of panic for within his top drawer there was only one pair of socks left… and they were odd.

He rifled through the other drawers, breath shortening with every failed search. It simply could not be that he only had two odd socks left to wear – it was impossible! He had measures in place to ensure that this absolutely would not happen. But just as he thought that all was lost, he had a sudden surge of optimism and raced through to the washing machine – throwing open the door and smiling with glee at its contents.

One sock lay at the back of the drum. It matched perfectly with one of the socks in his drawer. The panic now over, David reached into the washing machine to fetch it. Curiously, however, he found that it was just out of reach. He stretched in further but he still could not feel it with the tip of his finger. David lay down on the floor and pushed his chest and head right up to the washing machine, but touch the sock he could not. Withdrawing his arm entirely, he assessed the situation. The washing machine was not that big – it clearly could only be the width of the machine itself – which was not very big. David rearranged himself on the floor so that he was now on all fours and looking directly into the drum. Reaching in with one hand he squeezed the top half of his shoulders and head through the door as well. And then something odd happened.

Just as he could feel the fluffiest bit of cotton brush against his hand, a sudden sucking sensation came over him – as if he were being pulled right into the washing machine. He pulled back with all his strength, but it was too intense. He jammed his legs against the outer edge of the machine, but he felt his knees begin to bend under the force.

“Help!” he shouted, though he knew no one would be able to hear him.

A wind was gathering up – a tornado inside the machine. It stretched and contorted him as he tried to wriggle free. Everything went completely black and all he could hear was the rushing of the wind as he was sucked fully into the machine – door slamming in his wake.

He thought he was going to be sick. His stomach was not designed for such a turbulent ride. He was being thrown to the left, right, up and down – all at once. He felt his breakfast rising quickly up his oesophagus and he tried to gulp to keep it down.

Suddenly he was falling. In an instant the black had turned to a bright white light. He was yelling as he landed face down with a thud on something warm and soft.

David’s head was throbbing. He could feel a few scars zipping open with blood. A yellow light blinded him as he raised his face from the ground.

“Hello,” a voice squeaked.

David blinked and choked on something indistinguishable. Slowly his blurred vision diminished and a small figure appeared before him. It smiled at him, the only way a sock could smile. David thought it even gave a little wink.

“Are you alright?” it asked.

David was not quite sure how to answer a sock, let alone the very sock he had been trying to rescue from the washing machine.

“I’m not sure, how are you?” he figured that he best keep his manners in such a situation.

“Come on, come on, I want to show you something.” the sock bounced up and down excitedly.

David pushed himself to his feet and stared down at the little sock. It blinked adorably back at him.

“Yes, yes, yes, yes, look around, look around!”

David looked back of his shoulder and saw the entire fabric of his sanity dissolve before his very eyes for stretching out for seemingly miles were rows and rows of his own socks bouncing and cheering, waving and crowd surfing.

“I’ve gone mad,” he muttered to himself.

“No, Daddy, no you haven’t. We’re all the socks you’ve ever lost. Now we can’t be together again!”

David looked down at the little sock and smiled. Maybe this was not one of those things in life that, if ignored, would go away.

“I’ve missed you,” another little sock ran up and hugged his ankle and soon the entire swarm of socks were amassing around his feet.

“We won’t let you go, Daddy, not this time!”

Something in David had cracked though. He sat down down and giggled to himself as a million socks jumped on top of him and squirmed their way into his pockets and stroked him with their soft cotton-ness.

“We love you, Daddy,” the all sung to him at once.

“I love you too,” David smiled, oddly happy at the fact that every single one of these socks did not match the other at all.

~ by S.G. Mark on January 9, 2012.

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