Left Sock and Right Sock went into the dryer together.
Left was tired of his existence as a left sock. Sure, he was first when they happened to march, but sometimes he ended up on Right Foot. He and Right Foot never did get along.
It was after a particularly horrendous day stuck to Right Foot that he decided he wasn’t going to stand for it any longer.
He chuckled at the pun.
“Hey! Right!” he said, straining to hear himself over the hum of the dryer.
“Not you!” he yelled. Right Purple Sock always was nosy. “Right Blue Sock!”
“Fine.” Right Purple sock tumbled away through the mass of clothes.
Right found him a moment later. “Right Purple Sock said you wanted to find me.”
Left curled himself around Right; he didn’t want to get separated again. “I have to tell you something.”
“Okay, go ahead.”
“I’m getting out of here. I can’t stand Right Foot, and I shudder any time I think of being stuck next to him inside of Right Shoe for another moment. I’m running away.”
Right was silent.
“Well, say something.”
Right exploded with peals of laughter.
“Thanks a lot, Right.” Left may have sounded defeated, but it was going to take more than disapproval to sway him.
“I’m sorry!” Right said. “But just where do you think you’re going to go?”
There was only one place Left could think of. It was spoken of in hushed tones late at night in the sock drawer. A place of perfection and sock utopia, where a sock could be anything and everything.
Left took a deep breath. “I’m going to run away to the Puppet Show.”
Right’s laughter subsided at once. All the chatter that normally filled the dryer ceased. “You’re not serious!” Right whispered.
Left stiffened with resolution. “I am perfectly serious.”
“But…” Right stammered, at a loss of what to say. “If you leave, what will happen to me?”
Left tightened his hold on his ever-faithful partner. “She’ll keep you around, you know that. She’ll look around for me, and when she can’t find me after a couple days, you’ll stay in the spare drawer forever.” Right wasn’t convinced. “Just think of it, Right. No more cozying up to Left Foot again.”
Right snapped to attention. It was the response Left had been waiting for. “I wish you luck, my friend.”
“You too, Right.” The tumbling stopped and the Door opened. “Cover for me!” Left plastered himself to the wall of the tumbler. All the other clothes were pulled out with cries of luck filtering through. The door shut again, and Left was alone.
He waited until night fell. It was the only way he could be sure he wouldn’t be spotted. Slowly, carefully, he made his way to the lint trap, which he knew must lead to the Puppet Show. He’d seen countless socks go in there before, and they’d never been seen again.
He finally made it to the hole and peered in. There was nothing to see but a black expanse stretching out for eternity. Deciding it was “now or never,” he held his breath and plummeted down the chute.
He felt he should have landed sooner than he did. Instead, his descent slowed until he came to rest on a large pink cushion in a dim room.
The voice was deep and carried a heavy Scottish accent. He turned to see a very large Right Argyle Sock before him.
“I trust your journey was pleasant?”
Left couldn’t think of anything to say in Right Argyle’s awe-inspiring presence. Right Argyle simply chuckled. “It’s alright. Most newcomers are shocked to find themselves here. Please, would you come with me?”
Left nodded and followed. A door opened, flooding the room with bright light. Left peered outside and was dumfounded.
There were socks everywhere! Every size, colour, and shape imaginable. They talked and laughed together, no longer confined to the same company in the same drawer day after day. In front of him was a stage where two socks were performing a play. Left watched with wonder. Why hadn’t he ever come sooner?
He turned to Right Argyle, happiness beaming from every stitch.
“Welcome,” Right Argyle said, “to the Puppet Show.”