The (Washer)King Is Dead

by K. S. Gritten, from a suggestion by Sharon Himmanen

Time: About 6 pm, after
Place: NatPack Hostel

"You've got to get moving if you are going to make it to the exhibit," Eliz said, coming up behind Kelly, who was sorting through a pile of laundry.

"Yeah, yeah," she said, waving a hand. "I'm almost ready. I've got to get this load of laundry in, though." She surveyed the pile glumly. "How did I end up with laundry duty anyway?"

"I'll give you a hand," Eliz smiled, taking pity on her. She grew puzzled after a moment, however. "How on earth did you end up with a whole load of socks?" With her foot she prodded one particularly garish argyle sock, which reeked heavily, and shuddered.

"I don't know," Kelly shrugged. "Most of you guys have only been here for two days--how the heck did you all manage to create this many filthy, dirty, smelly socks?" She grimaced, then held her nose. "I think that we should just throw them in the washing machine...."

An ominous sound stopped them both. It sounded ominously. It ominously sounded throughout the entire hostel. It was OMINOUS, I tell you!

"Noooooo!" they cried, and ran into the laundry room. Sure enough, the only washing machine clanked threateningly at them. It shook. It rattled. It wheezed. And then, most ominously of all....

It grew silent.

If they'd had hats, they would have removed them ceremoniously.

"The washing machine is dead," Kelly intoned.

"Long live the washing machine," Eliz replied.

They bowed their heads for a moment, then Eliz asked, "So what was in there anyway?"

"Oh, just one of Pod's shy and retiring dresses. Apparently the excitement was too much for the ol' washer."

"Hmmmm," Eliz said. "Guess those socks are going to stay dirty for a while, huh?"

[War Stories]