“The Sock Monster was at it again.” Susan placed a pile of folded laundry on her son’s twin bed, a set of mismatched socks right on top.
“He’s been hungry, lately,” Kyle said. The seven year-old sat crossed legged on his bed, a comic book before him. “Can we get more?”
Susan bent to put some t-shirts in the dresser. “Get more what, hon?”
“Socks. For The Sock Monster.”
“We’re not buying more socks for a fictional character, Kyle.”
“But he’s not fix-chinal—”
“Yeah, whatever. He’s not, mom. Mr. Socks is real.”
“Mr. Socks?” Susan hung a pair of jeans in the closet.
“Yep. It’s what I named him. ‘Cause he’s not a monster, he’s—”
“Okay, okay. I get it. You’ve had your fun. Now get ready. We need to hit the store.”
“But what about Mr. Socks? We need to get more socks so—”
“Feed him the leftovers.” She dangled the two mismatched socks in front of Kyle with a smile.
“He doesn’t like eating the same thing every day. It’s boring—”
She headed toward the door. “No socks for something that’s not real.” Then, “Get those shoes on. I mean it.”
Kyle frowned as his mom left. He picked up the odd socks and shuffled to the laundry room. His shoulders slumped as he yanked the dryer door open and tossed them in before shutting it again.
“Sorry, Mr. Socks. This is all I’ve got for you.”
The dryer jerked, then it lunged, then it went still. Kyle opened the door to the dryer. It was empty.
He smiled. At least Mr. Socks wouldn’t go hungry, even if leftovers weren’t his favorite. Then Kyle ran to get his shoes on.
©Laura L. Zimmerman 2017