An Old Sock

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Martin covers the stage in Lego soldiers. One of them has a bullhorn.

“If you come back from war,” Morgan’s mother said, “I’ll bake you a chocolate cake in celebration of the noble cause.”

“And what if we don’t all come back?”

“I’ll add more chocolate,” she said. “It’ll be like my tears. The cake won’t be smaller. Just richer. It’ll taste more like death.”

So the army assembled. It had a Bullhorn Lieutenant, and many soldiers, and five of them were Morgan and his brothers.

Jane walks out. She’s got a sock on her hand.

There was an old sock. It lived with a princess at a farm at the edge of nowhere. Most days, they were pretty much content.

One day, the old sock woke up. It looked around. It looked right. It looked left. “Where’s that girl?” it grumbled. “I don’t see her anywhere.”

The old sock emerged from its farmhouse. The massed armies of the world confronted it.

“Gosh darn massed armies of the world,” the old sock grumbled. “What do you want now?”

Bullhorn Lieutenant stepped forward. “Sock!” he announced boldly. “We have you at a disadvantage at last! We have captured your princess and hidden her on the moon! If you linger to fight these armies, she’ll die in lunar torment. If you don’t, we’ll burn your farm!”

“Why would you want to do that?” the old sock asked.

“For generations, you have farmed peacefully. You belong to no army. You belong to no nation. You serve no creed! You are not on our maps! You are not on our census! You refuse our offers to buy out the farm! Now, old sock, it comes to this.”

The old sock set its jaw. “I ain’t selling,” it said. Then with one jump, it leapt to the moon.

Martin works. The Barbie sits nearby. Jane bursts in.

“Aha!” the old sock declared. “There’s a giant moon monster protecting the princess! I’ll save you!”

The old sock wrestled with the giant moon monster. Then it cast him down onto the army! Smash! The giant moon monster plummeted into them. They didn’t even have time to burn the farm.

“That’s ‘terminal’ velocity,” the old sock said, smugly.

Martin sighs.

The old sock picked up the princess and fluttered back down to earth. “That was a heroic adventure,” it said. “I guess it shows that you shouldn’t underestimate old socks.”

A single soldier struggled to his feet. “Charlie,” he said. He moved among the fields of the slain. “Baker. Jim. Toonces. Oh, God. Now we’ll never get to have that chocolate cake we wanted.”

“Put that down,” Jane says disapprovingly. Martin looks at the soldier in his hand.

Tragically, just then, the soldier died.

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