Okay, here is my version of “The Little Neko Who Lost Her Sock!”
This is for a Ramencon contest. The administrators wrote the first paragraph and contestants have to finish the story, so I injected my usual brand of rhetorical humor, political satire and off-the-wall zaniness. I hope you enjoy.
The Little Neko Who Lost Her Sock!
There once was a little neko who loved her socks very much. It always made her smile when she got a new pair, but there was one pair that she loved and wore more than any of the others. One day, on her way out to go to Nekos R Us, she could not find the second sock to the pair and this upset her very much. After digging in every drawer and checking every basket of laundry she knew she would have to check the dryer. The little neko was terrified of the dryer, but since it was her favorite pair of socks, she pushed herself and headed toward it. As the little neko approached the dryer, she noticed the arm of a sweater sticking out from inside. Being so curious the little neko grabbed the sleeve and started to pull. Then, out of nowhere, there was a powerful tug from the other side and before she knew it, the little neko fell through the back of the dryer and entered a whole new world.
When she hit solid ground, the neko rubbed her head and observed the bizarre scene. She sat on a road made of socks, some white, some black, some striped and some checkered. The sickly-white sky revolved around her as if she was in the center of a gigantic spinning cylinder, with three white fins supplying wind to the strange world. Sweat poured from her pink little nose. It was so hot, she almost collapsed.
The neko turned and saw the sweater that had pulled her into the dryer, “VOTE PANTY” written in thread on its sleeve. “Ah, so that’s what I was tugging,” said the sweater. “You don’t look like any clothing I’ve ever seen. How can anybody wear you?”
“Where am I?” asked the neko. “Why is it so hot?”
The sweater looked to the revolving ceiling. “Why, you’re in the dryer, of course. And don’t worry about the heat. It’s just a natural phenomenon that clothing has no control over. Panty said so in her campaign speech.”
The neko wiped the sweat off her nose. “Mr. Sweater, have you seen my other sock? It looks like this one.” She presented the sock with little neko decorations sown into the ankles.
“Actually, I did see something like that.” He pointed down the road of socks. “The Wife-beater took it to Starch City down the road. Here, come with me. The election will be held soon, and he’s bound to be there.”
“Thank you, Mr. Sweater.” The neko followed her new friend to Starch City, where all the dryer’s inhabitants had gathered to support their candidates for Permanent Pressident. She saw a laundry load of sweaters, shirts and pants that carried woven signs saying “VOTE PANTY” and “CREATE LINT.” She approached the clothing and asked, “So who are you guys?”
“We’re the T-shirt Party,” replied a black Ramencon 2012 shirt. “We support more lint and more dry cycles, and we want to deport the foreign clothing coming here to take our place.”
“From where, China?”
“No, from America. We’re all made in China.”
The sweater pointed into the crowd. “There’s the Wife-beater.”
The neko approached him. “Excuse me, but do you have my other sock?” She showed him the one she still had.
“Sorry,” said the Wife-beater, “but I gave it to Panty. I thought it would make her cuter and get her more votes.”
The neko groaned and looked for the candidate. She strolled to the other load, a collection of underwear, panties and brassieres holding signs saying “I LIKE JOCK” and “BROS BEFORE HOSE.” She asked some underwear, “And who are you guys?”
“We’re the undergarments,” she said. “We do the hard jobs around here and the T-shirt Party gets all the lint for it. We’re voting for Jock Strap because we firmly support things.”
“What do you firmly support?” asked the neko.
The underwear said, “We firmly support sweaty, taboo issues that people don’t like to talk about. It’s hard work, and we’re always covered in sweat and other unmentionable fluids at the end of the workday, but somebody’s got to do it. Jock Strap knows what it’s like to work in the political body’s dirty areas and he’ll stand up for our rights as undergarments.”
The two loads started to yell and curse each other. A pair of jeans yelled, “Under your policies, I’ve had to tighten my belt!”
A Wonderbra shouted back, “Under your policies, I have to lie to get work.”
The moderator, a baseball cap, silenced the crowd and welcomed the candidates. Jock Strap and Panty Hose shook each other’s fabric and stood at their podiums. The neko saw her lost sock on Panty Hose’s right leg and vowed to get it back.
Jock Strap began the debate. “My fellow textiles, dryer warming is real but it can be fixed. We can put policies in place that reduce the heat, and very soon we can set this land to medium, possibly even low temperature. Vote Jock for Permanent Pressident.”
Panty Hose retorted, “My opponent is putting his own spin cycle on the science. There is no proof supporting his “heat-settings” theory. It’s just an excuse for more load regulations.” She then moved on to one of her campaign issues. “There are too many shoes in this dryer making so much noise and mixing gravel and dirt in with the clean citizens. I support a ban on shoe drying.”
The shoes booed and cursed. “Boo to you, Hose,” yelled a sneaker. “Without us, people ain’t going nowhere!”
Jock Strap took the floor again. “Under my opponent’s policies, our lint was carelessly invested in the wiretrap and disappeared forever. More and more of our positions are being outsourced to the washer. As your Permanent Pressident, I will stop the unraveling of the fabric of our society.
The candidates went on about their policies, but the little neko focused on her favorite sock that occupied Panty Hose’s leg. When the baseball cap turned to the audience and asked for their questions, she raised her little paw and cried, “Excuse me! Excuse me!”
Panty Hose pointed. “Yes, the fuzzy thing.”
“You’re wearing my sock. Can I have it back please?”
Panty rubbed her foot across her crotch as if thinking. “But this sock was a campaign donation from a loyal supporter, and I look so good in it.”
“But it’s my favorite sock. I lost it on the outside.”
Panty shook her midsection. “Sorry, but if you want socks, you’ll have to work hard for them. You can’t go through life being a moocher off of others. Take personal responsibility.” The shirts and pants cheered, and Panty gave the neko a smug, victorious glance.
The neko slumped in disappointment and sulked away from the crowd of clothing. Before she could cry, a curious undergarment crept to her side. “Hey, pretty kitty… do you really want to get your sock back?”
“Uh, yes. Who are you?”
“I’m the G-string. Getting dirty in private places is my expertise. I can help you humiliate Panty, on one condition.”
“Yes…” The neko felt a shiver.
“Let me pet you. You are so cute!” The neko sighed and agreed, allowing the G-string to move her bands across her dry fur.
One hour later, before the citizens of the dryer could go to the polls, a curious commercial started playing on the smart phones that negligent teenagers had left in the pants’ pockets. Scary music played as the camera zoomed in on a black and white picture of Panty Hose. A deep voice narrated, “Panty Hose claims to be so transparent, she’s see-through. But is she really?” The camera then panned to her cute sock. “What is she hiding under that mysterious stocking?”
The neko then appeared on the screen, moving her eyes as if reading from a cue card. “I have an inside source that says Panty Hose hasn’t paid her lint to the collective supply and is hiding her lint in that sock.”
The deep voice continued, “Could it be? Call Panty Hose and ask her ‘Where’s the lint?’ Citizens Against Offshore Lint Havens is responsible for the content of this advertisement.”
Pundits and pollsters on the 24-hour news channels repeated the question, speculating on what else could be hiding in the sock. Electioneers predicted bad news for Panty. The Hose campaign office erupted in panic. Clothing from all across the dryer called in to ask where the lint was. Panty and her campaign staff scrambled to discredit the commercial. By the end of the meeting, they could only come up with one solution.
Panty Hose called a press conference and invited all the clothing of the dryer. She stood behind the podium and proclaimed, “I stand before you today to say these allegations are false. I have given all the necessary lint to the supply and I am hiding nothing in this sock. To prove it, I will show you.” She removed the sock from her leg and held it up for the witnesses. “You see? It’s empty. I am disgusted by that dirt-slinging advertisement and I call on my opponent to condemn it as well.”
The neko, dressed in a dark suit and wearing sunglasses, leaped onto the stage and made her move. “I’m with the Victoria’s Secret Service, and we just got a bomb threat! The terrorist hid the bomb in the sock! Everybody run!”
Panty shrieked and dropped the sock as the crowd of clothing ran for their lives. The neko dashed for her prized stocking and ran away. Panty deduced the deception just as the kitten disappeared into the panicking clothes. “Well played, pussy cat,” she groaned.
The neko, overjoyed to have a complete pair of socks again, bolted to the exit without looking back. She leaped through the dryer door and felt the cool air that pulled the sweat from her fur. She put on her socks and thought of her adventure in the dryer. “Hmmm… I wonder who won the election.”