Socks

Detta är en av en grupp sammanbundna noveller och små scener. De har även lite att göra med en roman jag planerat som är (mer eller mindre) i fantasy genren.

***

Kage dangled its legs in the air as it sat on top of the washing machine in the dark and locked laundry room.
“Well, I see your point, but don’t you ever find your life a little… ‘locked in’? You know, you take up residence in a place like this and then you don’t move until you absolutely have to. Your kind could do so much, you’re still such a young species.”
A hollow laugh and a raspy voice echoed out of the drum of the washing machine.
“Have you gone daft in your old age, little Kage? This is the life! I mean, look at this place; student housing, it’s fantastic. There are fifteen to twenty people using this laundry room at any one time, which means it gets used every day and usually several times a day. Which, for me, means that there’s no shortage of food and I can just hang out here and take it easy. Admittedly, summer can be a bit of a bitch if they all go away.” The voice fell silent for a moment before it continued with a contented sigh. “Still, I get to munch on delicacies such as this.” Something long and black came flying out of the machine and landed on the ground. Kage jumped off the washing machine and picked it up in its tiny hands to examine it more closely; it was a black stocking with a lace top.
“It’s a lady’s stocking.”
“Yeah! See what I mean? It’s not everyone who gets to munch on stuff like that. A friend of mine lives in a house owned by a family with two kids… sure there’s a lot of socks coming his way, but rarely anything like that. So he’s never really kept hungry but he’s not enjoying himself very much either. Another friend lives in a flat owned by a young couple and he is one scrawny bastard, there can be days or even weeks between meals. Poor sod. Nah, I’m not leaving this place in a hurry, a whole lot of the guys would kill for a sweet deal like this. If I started walking around, this place would be claimed before I could say ‘reinforced toe’… and that’d be insanely aggravating.”
Kage wordlessly tossed the stocking back into the drum, from which a pleased chuckle echoed.
“Cheers mate. So, as I was saying, student housing is the way to go.”
“As long as you’re happy, I suppose. You know, I’ve been wondering, why do your kind only eat one of the socks… I mean, they come in pairs so why not just eat both?”
“I don’t think it’s something an outsider would quite understand… it’s tradition to us, eating both would be the sign of an uncultured glutton. You know, we may not be as old a race as some, like the faerie or some gods or… well, you, but we have our very own traditions and codes of behaviour.” the raspy voice chided, with a not inconsiderable note of pride. Kage nodded and looked out through the window towards where the sun was just rising between the high-rise buildings. It was turning the sky a mix of pinks and purples. Suddenly a key turned in the lock and a young woman, with hair dyed a shade of bright electric blue, rushed in. She was hurriedly stuffing most of a sandwich in her mouth before reaching into a dryer and pulling some clothes out onto a large towel. She picked something up and then rummaged through the pile of freshly scented laundry with a look turning increasingly exasperated. She held the single woollen sock, the same shade of electric blue as her hair, clasped tight in her fist. She held it up to her eyes and looked at it with annoyance.
“What the…? Again? Where the hell does all my socks go? It’s as if there was someone bloody eating them! Argh!” She angrily tossed the sock on top of her pile of clothing, picked the bundle up and rushed out, slamming the door behind her with a loud and angry-sounding bang. Kage smiled to itself as it stood up and walked over to the window, which was slightly ajar.
“Well it’s been my pleasure to do business with you, and I’ve appreciated our little chat. Take care of yourself and enjoy your meal.” it said, turning its head back towards the room, as it was getting ready to leave.
“Same to you, mate, same to you.” the voice replied to the now empty room.

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