Lost in Laundry

Eric Kowalick

Art provided by the Monster-Man, Eric Kowalick. You can see more of his work here http://monster-man-08.deviantart.com/. Thank you, Thank you

I had a mother once, but a terrible thing happened. . .

She was swallowed by a frightful monster. It all started a few years ago. It was innocent enough, in the beginning. Being girls we liked to have the most adorable clothes. We would go to the store and get an outfit or two (cough-ten-cough). We were cute girls and we needed those clothes. My mother agreed; she definitely wanted to have the cutest girls on the planet. We got outfit, after outfit; shoes, belts, sweaters, leggings, skirts. We needed more accessories, so we got them, headbands, sunglasses, hairbows, ribbons. More and more. We wore our clothes and threw them on the floor, the dressers, the beds. We put them pretty much wherever we wanted to. Our unfortunate mother tried to keep up, but she was no match for our wanton wastefulness. We would wear two or three outfits a day, and try on at least that many more before deciding on one. All outfits would be thrown here, there and everywhere. The piles grew higher and higher. One day I noticed one of the piles wiggling and squirming. I told mom she should hire an exterminator. The next day, I noticed that the piles were all gathered in one huge pile, instead of the scattered masses of clothing that had been there before. I ignored it, who wants to be the kid who is seeing her laundry move, not me. That was a fatal error; at least for my unfortunate mother. We went to school like normal, and kissed her goodbye for the last time.

When we came home our mother was nowhere to be found. The clothes were everywhere. They writhed and slithered like great snakes. Tendrils of dirty clothes drifted down the hallways and into the rooms. My sister and I were following one of the monster’s appendages to see where it originated, when we were both trapped at the ankles. My sister with a pair of leg warmers and I with a belt. We struggled free and ran screaming for the tree-house out back. This monster problem was going to require some intense planning.

We drew a map and collected supplies, and planned our assault. Sister would go through the garage door, nearest the monster’s “nerve center”, and I  would attack from the front room and work my way to her. With all prepared, we synchronized our watches and moved to our respective posts. I ran to the front room and jumped upon one of the creature’s arms. Running I poured paper mache paste all over the writhing, wriggling monster. It tried several times to grab my feet, but I was much too agile (that means speedy quick) I ran the length of the monster and back. Then retrieved the garden hose, and drenched the monster. However, now I had a problem, it was ambitious to run on a monster made of clothes at the best of times, but running on a WET clothes-creature was another matter entirely. My feet got slogged down and my tennis shoes slurped in the water. I had to turn the hose off to start the next phase of our offensive, but couldn’t because I was stuck. I tromped and slogged, but now the monster realized that it had gained some ground and began winding me with its fierce tentacles. I fought and writhed, and struggled but gained no advantage.  As I was squirming I felt a pair of strong hands pull me out of the mess. I looked up and saw the bright, valiant face of my dad. He is pretty much the most awesome guy on the planet. He ran with me out to the yard, “Where, . . . is. . . Thania? Where is your mother.” he asked? I explained about Thania going in the other way. He ran back toward the house, and came out moments later carrying my bedraggled sister. “Penny, where is your mother?” My sister and I looked at each other and shrugged. He sank, and held his head in despair. “But Dad we have to execute the next phase of our plan! We can stop the monster, I know we can?” I said. He looked at me, and said, “Ok, what do have to do?” We unfolded our plan to him.

He helped as we pulled fans into the hall, on one end of the creature; and in the garage on the other side. Then we turned the fans on. We needed more though, so we ran to moms room and got her hair dryer and borrowed two more from the neighbors. We all ran in with our dryers brandished and besieged that monster. He recoiled under the threat of our heated air-Uzi’s. We dried, and dried, and dried; The monster lashed out, and his long arm stiffened. “It’s working,” I cried! We brushed the stiff clothes out of the way and worked on the next section, and the next, until there was only the thickly packed nerve center left. We all picked up the bundle and thrust it into the dryer. Then we sank to the floor and exchanged high fives.

We never did find mom, she must have been swallowed early on. Every once in a while, when I am tired, I am tempted to throw my clothes on the floor. Then I remember the mess we fought through and think better of it. So, if you love your mom. Remember to pick up your clothes!

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