The Mystery Of The Lost Socks
by Donna Rose Dutchess
THE MYSTERY OF THE LOST SOCKS
Annie was shopping with her mother. She was looking for a new pair of socks to wear with her special new outfit. This outfit was not only special, but she was wearing it for her birthday party the next day. "Mom" she said as she glanced over the large display of socks in the department store at the mall."I know just what kind of socks I want. They have to match my dress." Squealing with delight, she spotted the exact pair she wanted.
The next day couldn't have been more perfect. 5 of her closest friends from school came over for cake, ice cream and of course a wild with laughter game of pin the tail on the donkey. Everyone had their party outfits on. Annie was especially proud of her dress and matching socks.
That night, after her guests all left, Annie's mom took her socks, along with the rest of the dirty laundry down to the laundry room to be washed the next day. That was the last time the socks were seen together. "Mom, where's my other sock??? These are my favorite socks!" Annie cried pitifully to her mom the next day after the laundry was done. Looking everywhere they could think to look, Annie and her mom finally concluded that the one sock that was left, now an orphaned sock, would join the rest of the mysteriously growing pile of orphaned socks. "I just don't understand it Mom!" Annie cried. "How can socks just disappear??"
Annie wasn't the only one upset. The orphaned sock, Piper, saw what had happened. She saw the evil Mr. Fungus come in the laundry room and steal her sister Lyric. Mr. Fungus doesn't like it when socks make people happy. He heard the laughter and saw the dancing at the party the day before. "I'll put a stop to that" he said with a devilish smirk on his ugly face. Quietly, while everyone wasn't looking, he snuck into the laundry room and stuffed poor unsuspecting Lyric into his pocket and was out the door before anyone noticed. Even the dog Lacey slept through the whole thing!
Piper was beside herself with grief over her sister being taken. The only thing she could do was wait, hope, and pray that Lyric would someday, someway find her way home.
Lyric knew she was in the grips of a very bad troll just by his awful smell. Everyone heard the legend of the evil, stinky, sock stealing troll, but this was the first time she knew he was real. Already missing her sister Piper, she vowed to be strong and have faith that somehow she'd find a way to survive.
Suddenly, she felt herself hurdling through the air as Mr. Fungus tossed her into the dumpster. "They'll never find you here" he laughed in triumph as he strolled away.
Miserably cold and wet, Lyric curled herself into a tight little ball, hoping to keep herself warm. Too tired and traumatized to do anything, she felt herself drift away in to a troubled sleep.
Slowly, warmth started to seep in, along with a feeling of safety.....and comfort. "How can this be?" Thought Lyric as remembrance came back before she even opened her eyes. But open them she did and looked into the most beautiful, kindest eyes of the oldest fairy she's ever seen. Well, the only fairy she's ever seen. Again, rumored to be real, no one has ever seen one before, until now. "Where am I?" Lyric asked. "Don't worry" said the fairy in a sing, song voice. “You are safe with me". "But who are you?" Asked Lyric. "Why I am Philanthia, the rescuer of lost socks. I'm going to get you cleaned up, darn you, and you'll be as good as new." Lyric, still exhausted from her ordeal, fell peacefully back to sleep, knowing she was now safe.
Sunshine danced on her closed eyelids as Lyric struggled to wake up. Rubbing the sleep away, she sighed with dismay as she remembered what had happened the day before. The smell of food making her tummy growl forced her out of the warmth of her bed. Following her nose, Lyric stared in disbelief at the scene before her. Dozens of socks, of every shape and color, buzzing back and forth in a busy kitchen preparing for the morning meal. Not aware yet of her presence, Lyric feasted her eyes and liked what she saw. These socks were not only clean and healthy, they were obviously very happy as they worked. Feeling more brave, Lyric descended the stairs to the kitchen. Suddenly, all work stopped as one by one, they all became aware of her standing there. “Well, hello there!” said a booming voice from the largest sock working at the stove. “Welcome to Yarnville! I’m Maureen the head cook. What’s your name?” “I’m Lyric” she said, suddenly feeling shy with all the eyes on her. Feeling her discomfort, one by one the socks all gathered around her and introduced themselves. Knowing she wouldn’t be able to remember all the names, she felt a tug. Looking up at her was the tiniest sock Lyric had ever seen. “Why, she’s just a newborn sock!” All pink and fuzzy, a squeaky little voice said “I’m Marin, and I’m going to be your friend,”
From that day forward, Marin never left Lyric’s side. A wealth of knowledge for one so tiny, Marin never stopped chattering. Soon, Lyric knew pretty much everything there was to know about Marin, and Yarnville. The one thing she didn’t know yet, was how to get home. One day she asked “Marin, you seem to know everything and everyone in Yarnville. Do you know how to get home?” “Home?” she squeaked, “why would you want to go home?” “To find your sister” “What sister? I don’t have a sister!” “Of course you have a sister!” said Lyric. “All of us socks were made in pairs. Didn’t you know that?” “You’re lying to me! I thought we were friends, but you’re lying to me!” cried Marin, with tears streaming down her face. “I don’t want to be friends with you anymore!” Lyric watched in dismay as Marin ran away from her. “I’ve lost my only friend.” thought Lyric, feeling sadder by the moment. Knowing there was nothing she could do, Lyric was more determined than ever to find out a way to go home. She knew she needed to talk to Philanthia.
A meeting with Philanthia was going to take place sooner than Lyric expected.. Doing what fairies do, Philanthia appeared out of air with a sprinkling of pixie dust. Where did she go, where did she live? No one seemed to know. Because the sock community was so well cared for, they never questioned the rules. Their every need was provided for, as long as they lived in peace. But the peace was disturbed when Marin got upset with Lyric. As if by magic, or maybe it was, Philanthia was very aware of the confrontation. She knew she needed to have a talk with Lyric before she caused more trouble. And if that should happen, Lyric would be banned forever from Yarnville. For their own protection, the socks were given refuge in Yarnville and protection from the evil Mr. Fungus. No socks have ever been banished from Yarnville and Philanthia wanted to make sure that never happened. It would break her heart. These socks were the children she never thought she’d have.
Lyric had just finished weeding the strawberry garden when she felt the sprinkling of pixie dust and knew she was being visited by Philanthia. At first frightened, she relaxed when she saw the sweet smile on Philanthia’s face. “Hi Lyric dear, how are you adjusting to your new home?” ask Philanthia, sitting on a strawberry leaf, her wings buffering the air around them. “It’s a beautiful home, and I thank you kindly for your accommodation, but I really, really just want to go home.” Said Lyric, getting emotional. “But why dear, why would you want to leave us? You can be so happy here if you just let yourself get used to it” “But Philanthia, I already have a home. I have a sister who I miss very much.” Feeling the air vibrate with anger, Philanthia said sternly “that was then, this is now. You must learn to focus on now and forget about then for your own safety.” “My own safety? I thought I was safe here in Yarnville?” “You are safe in Yarnville young lady, as long as you follow my rules.” “And what are your rules?” Lyric asked. “That you live in peace and harmony among the other socks. That you accept us as your family and forget about the past.” Sobbing now, Lyric cried “I’m sorry. You’ve been kind, but I can’t. I won’t ever forget my sister!” Suddenly there was an explosion of pixie dust and Lyric felt herself falling and falling into a dark pit landing on a pile of leaves in the bottom of a dark, deep, cold cave.
Hours passed, or was it days? In misery, Lyric once again curled herself into a tight little ball hoping to stay as warm and dry as possible. How could she have misjudged Philanthia so badly? She seemed so kind. Did all the other socks go through this? It’s so dark down here; I couldn’t find my way out if I tried. Remembering how Annie used to kneel at her bed every night to pray to God Lyric decided now would be a good time for her to pray. Not knowing what to say, she began “it’s me God. It’s not Annie. I’m just a sock. Do you care about socks God? I don’t know if you do, or if you can hear me, but if you can, I could sure use your help right now. Show me what to do God. I’m totally lost right now. But if you can’t do anything for me, please watch over Piper; keep her safe until I can find my way home.” Feeling a peace that she hadn’t felt since leaving home, she slept.
“Psssss Lyric! Are you there Lyric?” Marin frantically whispered as loud as she could from the top of the cave. Hearing her name, Lyric opened her eyes and turned toward the sound of Marin’s voice. “Marin, what are you doing here?” “I’ve remembered Lyric! I remember I have a sister! I came to help you!” “But Marin, if you help me escape, we will both be banished from Yarnville. We could be at the mercy of Mr.Fungus!” “Maybe, but then maybe not.” Said Marin. “Not if we find a way to defeat Mr. Fungus first”. “What are you talking about Marin? Have you gone mad” “No Lyric, I haven’t gone mad….I am mad. And I have a plan. Will you trust me?” “Pull me up” said Lyric.
In no time at all, Lyric was pulled to the top of the cave. Expecting to find only Marin up there, Lyric looked around in amazement at all the socks from Yarnville surrounding her. “What is going on?” Lyric asked. Maureen, the head cook came forward and said “Marin has been telling us all that we all have sisters and brothers. At first, none of us believed her. But something happened during the night and one by one, we all began to remember. As much as we love it here in Yarnville, we want to go home.” Lyric stared in amazement as she remembered her prayer the night before. Even more amazed that God should care so much to help a bunch of socks find their way home. “But what about Philanthia?” Lyric asked. “Philanthia won’t know until we are long gone. As long as we are together in peace and harmony, she won’t be notified”. Maureen said. “Well socks” Lyric said, “we can’t go home until we defeat Mr. Fungus.” “Don’t worry about that” said Marin, “I have a plan”.
Several hours later they were many miles from Yarnville. Not knowing which way to go, they took a vote and decided to follow the sun. Deeply into the forest by now, they knew they needed to find a camp for the night and light a fire to ward off any hunting predators.
Warm and well fed from the food Maureen packed, Lyric looked at Marin and said “ok, its time to hear your plan”. “My plan? My plan was to rally the community to rescue you. My plan was to get us all out of Yarnville. My plan? My plan? That was my plan!” she squeaked. “You mean you don’t have a plan to defeat Mr.Fungus??” asked Lyric. “No, I don’t” said Marin, hanging her head. “I just wanted to get you safe. I couldn’t think of anything else. I’m sorry”. “Well” said Lyric, “the whole community is here. Someone must know something about Mr. Fungus that we can use to defeat him!” Calling the community to a meeting, they talked well into the night and came up with what they hoped would be: the perfect plan.
It took them several days to reach the border of Mr. Fungus’ property. High up on a ridge and well hidden from view, the community camped and watched and waited.
Mr. Fungus, true to his name, lived in squalor and filth. Surprising to the community camping on the ridge, was to learn that Mr. Fungus had his own community of lost socks. Torn, filthy with holes, crawling with bugs these socks were beyond pathetic. Forced to labor day and night mining for gold to fill Mr. Fungus’ coffers of wealth. You see, Mr. Fungus only kept the grownup socks for himself. The rest, like Lyric, he threw away in dumpsters not knowing they would be rescued by Philanthia. These grownup socks, once so big and strong, were now weak from hunger because they were never fed. Philanthia was now looking better than ever to the community, but it wasn’t enough for them to veer from their mission: to defeat Mr. Fungus and go home. “Our mission has grown” said Lyric. “We now must rescue these socks as well as defeat Mr. Fungus”. “These socks must also be able to return home.” “Let us rest tonight, for tomorrow we go to war.”
The dawn broke with a heavy fog floating above the community as one by one, they all began to stir. The delicious smell of Maureen’s breakfast drew them all once again around the fire. With bellies full, they were all ready to face the battle before them and they all turned to their new leader, Lyric, for instructions. Suddenly, there was a commotion in the woods nearby. Fearing they were discovered by Mr. Fungus, everyone in the community picked up sticks and stones and turned to defend themselves against the enemy. But what did they see but old, dirty old socks emerging from the trees, drawn by the smell of Maureen’s food! Sick from neglect and weak from hunger, they all just sat, their eyes begging for food. Unable to say a word, for fear of crying, Maureen set to work, commanding each of the community members to take food to the old socks and help them eat. Slowly but surely, light, hope and life began to shine from the poor socks eyes! Rachel the seamstress sewed up their wounds and bathed the filth from each sock showing them love and compassion that some have not seen in years! Lyric and Marin watched in amazement as strength came back to each sock. More determined than ever to rescue the remaining socks and defeat Mr. Fungus once and for all, Lyric looked to the oldest, who appeared to be the leader. “What is your name sir?” asked Lyric. “They call me Papa Chris. I am the oldest of the work crew and I have been a slave of Mr. Fungus longer than any other”. “What are you doing here?” asked Papa Chris. “We are here to recue you and to defeat Mr. Fungus”. “How?? Do you have a plan??” asked Papa Chris. “Well, we did have a plan, but all that changed when we met all of you this morning”. “Now, with your help, I think our chances of success are even greater”. “ Papa Chris, Mr Fungus kept you enslaved by keeping you hungry, filthy, sick and too weak to fight for yourselves”. “Each day, for the next week, send a portion of your crew to us. Let us feed them and tend to them and help them get their strength back. Mr. Fungus will never notice a portion missing. You will return to you duties in the gold mine. Keep working and Mr. Fungus will never notice the missing crew. In one week’s time, your crew will be strong once again. Your strength, combined with ours, we’ll be ready to take down Mr. Fungus!” Papa Chris and his crew just stared in amazement and then slowly, as hope took hold, the happy tears began to fall. “We need to return and let the other’s know. How can we thank you for saving our lives, for making it possible for us to return home?” “We are all going home Papa Chris!” said Marin, clapping and leaping in excitement.
The next week flew by. Each day a new crew of hungry, dirty, sick socks gathered by the fire as Maureen worked her magic feeding and caring for their needs. Lyric and Marin were busy too planning for the final battle. Papa Chris came by as often as he could to help plan the attack. Would it work? It had too! So many lives depended on it!
Papa Chris was a wealth of information. He knew every inch of Mr. Fungus’ filthy castle as well as his daily routine. Rumored to live a solitary life, everyone in the community was shocked to hear that he often had one visitor: Philanthia! “I don’t understand” said Lyric. “Why would Philanthia have anything to do with such a vile creature?” “For control of the sock kingdom” replied Papa Chris. “Between the two of them, they not only control all the socks, young and old, but they share in the harvest of all the gold that we slaves mine for them”. “Not only that, but some of the slaves came from Yarnville. They were the rebellious ones: the ones thrown into the dungeon and later given over to slavery to Mr. Fungus!” “They are in cahoots, they are both pure evil!” Realizing how lucky she was to escape when she did, Lyric now knew that they needed to act sooner than they expected. Once Philanthia discovered Lyric had escaped the dungeon and saw that the community had left with her, she and Mr. Fungus would set out to find them. They had to act now!
Gathering the community around the fire, Lyric, Marin and Papa Chris addressed the crowd: “tomorrow at dawn is the time we must act” said Lyric. “We will take up our weapons and descend upon Mr. Fungus’ village. His slaves will then join us.” “But how will we fight him?” someone shouted from the crowd. Papa Chris spoke up “Mr.Fungus and Philanthia both have one weakness in common. Something they both have forbidden any of us to do: sing. The sound of music is lethal to them. That is their weakness, which is how we can destroy them both. Remember the song we all heard our mother’s sing growing up: “You Are My Sunshine”? That is our secret weapon! We will gather around the castle and we won’t stop singing until we bring the walls down!”
The excitement in the morning was palpable! Fueled with Maureen’s good breakfast, the community formed a line and quietly descended the mountain to join the slaves as planned. Papa Chris met them, the slaves gathered around him with hope brimming from their eyes! Scarcely believing that they may be able to return home, they were determined to sing as if their very lives depended on it, which it indeed did! As the sun began to rise on the horizon, one by one they began to form a line. Quietly, they walked through the desolate village, down the poverty stricken streets and came to a halt at the foot of the driveway to the evil castle! Papa Chris held up his hand to command everyone’s attention. With hand signals, he told them to be silent and to follow his lead. Quietly they tiptoed up the driveway and began to form an enormous circle around the castle. Suddenly the doors to the castle sprang open and out came a furious Mr. Fungus followed by Philanthia! “What is the meaning of this?” Demanded Mr. Fungus, his voice bellowing each of the socks. Undaunted, Papa Chris stepped forward and replied “we demand our freedom from both of you. We will no longer allow you to enslave us and keep us from returning home.” “Home?” said Philanthia. “we gave you a home. You owe us everything!” “We owe you nothing” yelled Lyric. “you took us from our brother’s and sisters and now we demand our freedom. You can either let us go, or we will stand here and fight”. Suddenly evil laughter sprang out of Mr. Fungus’ and Philanthia’s mouth. They had no idea that they were about to embark on the fight of their lives! Marin took the lead and stepped forward and began to sing at the top of her lungs: “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine….” Gathering hands, they all joined her. Soon a thousand voices were rolling over the castle. The color drained from Mr. Fungus and Philanthia’s faces! They tried to run back into the castle, but suddenly, the castle began to shake. Windows began to crack and break. Bricks began to fall. Like thunder the walls began to crumble. In a cloud of smoke, the castle made one final roar and disintegrated to the ground. The socks never stopped singing as tears of joy filled their eyes! The dust began to settle and peace filled the valley. The castle was no more. Mr. Fungus and Philanthia were gone! Lyric, Marin, Maureen, Papa Chris stared at each other in disbelief. “Let’s go home!” shouted Lyric.
As Lyric arrived at her home, she found Piper sitting in the back yard, swinging all alone and looking very lost and sad. As she looked up and saw her sister, whom she never thought she’d see again, she ran and flung herself into Lyric’s arms. “You came home!”
And home all the lost socks went. Each one reconnected with their brother or sister. Yarnville was no more. Mr. Fungus and Philanthia were gone…….or were they????
To Be Continued…….