By Elias Tobias
Briana looked at the light streaming through the vertical blinds of her bedroom as she rested on the edge of the bed. Her mother walked into the room with a basket from the laundry room. It was the last load of the afternoon since her mother brought her home from kindergarten. After folding the rest of the clothes on the bed, her mother held a single sock with two fingers by the toes-end .
“Looks like the sock monster took one of your favorite socks, again,” her mother said in disgust. “I might have to buy you more socks.” She looked at Briana and handed her the lonely sock. “Put it someplace safe in case the other one appears.” Briana looked at the sock as the rest of the clothes were put away. Her mother walked out of the bedroom to the living room and turned on the TV. Briana just stayed there.
“It wasn’t me,” a boy’s voice said. Briana scanned the room, but saw nothing. “Really, it’s not my fault,” the voice continued. She saw he covers of her bed move on the other side, and she started to get up when a green sock with black eyes stared at her.
Without making any move, she asked softly, “Who are you?” She didn’t want to alert her mother, at least not yet.
“Jerry,” the sock said. “Your mother left the sock in the laundry room, again. And then she automatically blames the missing sock on me.”
She still had the lonely sock in her hand. “Are you the sock monster?” Briana asked.
“That’s what some people call us, mostly old people, since one of the two socks drop from the basket or sometimes the small, thin socks go down the drain. Most of the time, people like your mother, looses one of the socks,” Jerry explained.
Sensing a relaxed mood and a large dose of curiosity, she sat back on the edge of her bed, never taking her eyes of the thing at the other side of the bed. “Where did you come from?” Briana asked.
“I’m never really far away from here,” Jerry said. “I’m Jerry, and my twin brother Terry and we live under your bed,” the voice said.
“No you don’t”, Briana said. “I’ve looked under my bed before looking for things, and I never seen you before.”
“Of Course,” Jerry said. “Here, let Terry explain,” as a yellow sock now appeared next to the other talking sock.
“Jerry’s right. We were here all the time. We know that sometimes you’re sad because you daddy has to go away to fight in a war in the desert. We don’t like to hear you cry. We have friends where he is, and if it is anything like our cousins at the army bases tell us, I’m sure your daddy would rather be home with you.” Terry said.
“How come I never saw you before?” Briana asked.
The two socks looked at each other as if something was going to be revealed. “Okay, I’ll tell you,” Terry said. Only the people who believe in us can see us. Your mother, she can’t see us, and …”
“We also can make ourselves invisible,” Jerry interrupted, “ like when your mother will come in and asked who you’re talking to,” Jerry said as both sock monsters disappeared.
“Who were you talking to?” Briana’s mother asked as she leaned against the frame of the door with her hands crossed.
“Talking to myself, just talking to myself. I don’t have a phone.” Briana said.
Her mother stared at her for a second and walked way, but stopped before getting to the living room, listening, but heard nothing. She continued to watch her TV show.
The two sock monsters reappeared. “That was close,” Terry said.
“Real close,” Jerry said to this twin and turn to Briana. “You can’t tell anybody about us, not even your mother.
“She wouldn’t believe you anyway,” Terry said. “Do you promise to keep us a secret?
“If she can’t see you, why keep it a secret?” Briana asked.
“Your friends might believe you, and want to see us,” Terry said.
“Or they don’t believe you and you have to prove you can see us,” Jerry continued. ““You never saw us before because we didn’t think you would believe we were real.”
Not believing she is really talking to a pair of socks, she looked around the room and said, “Okay, but I have lots of questions, like do you take any socks? Why?
Terry and Jerry looked at each other again, as if to let more information out. “Sometimes we do take socks, but only to get attention of some people, some kids, like you,” Terry said.
“So you did take my other sock!” she said as she held up the one left from the laundry basket.
“Not this time,” Jerry said. “It’s your mother’s fault this time.”
“Ohh,” said Briana. She looked at the characters. She started to move closer to them and moved her her right arm forward, extending her hand, “Can I touch you? He left arm balanced her forward progress. They offered no resistance as she touched their heads. “Just like a sock, soft.”
“What did you expect?”Terry asked and laughed as she moved her hand around him.
“Mother’s coming,” Jerry warned. They became invisible and Briana moved back to the other side of the bed where she was.
“I was talking to myself again,” Briana admitted to her mother who has that look to say, “Who were talking to?”
“I think you better come to the living room with me,” Briana’s mother said as she walked around the room, and looked into a closet, finding nothing.
As Briana left the room, she looked back and the sock she had earlier was gone from the covers of her bed. She just smiled.
For other short stories by Elias Tobias, click here.