Deal 1368: Socky

The sock bush was unexpected. It’s fruit each could be dried to produce a pair of socks. It was just one of many strange and wonderful plants in the forest of automated clothing. Each fruit produced a matched pair, with a unique design.

As many a weary traveller before me had done, I located a ripe fruit and broke it open on a rock. Had I been more patient, the husk of the sock fruit could be dried and turned into a rough but serviceable pair of sandals as well. I’m never that patient, but the socks are welcome.

Today was just a little different.

Every fruit I opened held only one sock. A left sock. There wasn’t a right sock to be found. Stranger yet, there were no fruit bearing pairs.

Something was eating all the right socks.

I wonder if there is a dryer monster loose in the forest again?


Deal 1365 Fish-hsiF

The mirror shattered, which was unlucky for its owner but lucky for the fish.

Beta didn’t like to see other fish. Especially other fish that looked nearly as splendid as he did.

That aggressive fish in the next bowl that was always imitating him really set him on edge. It was almost exactly as splendid, and was always doing exactly what he was doing, in the most mocking way possible.

Beta swore he would get that fish some day. He swore he’d find a way even if he had to die to reach his goal.

Then the mirror fell off the table and Beta never saw that other fish again.


Deal 1341: Trap

She had done her homework. She had her silver key, found the hidden door, and had a goal in mind. She was ready.

The key faded as the lock turned, so that she could not remove it to use again. The door opened easily, on a dark corridor, with only a quiet rustling as a clue to its destination. The went in.

The further along she went, the louder the rustling became. Her imagination began to play tricks on her in the dark. The rustling sounded at first like dry leaves in a pile stirred by a soft fall breeze. Then it began to sound more like a predator moving quietly through a leafy forest. Then she reached the end of the corridor, and found a room larger than she could easily see across filled with ducks.

A few lanterns provided enough light to see that the ducks were all standing shoulder to shoulder. The rustling was caused by the occasional duck stretching or grooming. As curious as she was, she still knew she had to cross this room to reach her goal. So she gathered her skirt up and stepped out into the sea of fowl, walking boldly toward a door could barely see on the other side. The ducks quietly shifted as she moved so that although it looked like a dense carpet of duck backs, she was never at risk of actually stepping on a duck.

At the far wall, the door easily opened, and let her into another large room. This one was filled with geese sleeping comfortably with similar rustling and occasional quiet honks. The geese didn’t object as she moved, so she crossed their room without further incident.

She paused at the door, suddenly uncertain about her progress. Both the ducks and geese had been a complete surprise. She wasn’t prepared for too many surprises. This time as she reached the door, she noticed the shelf full of devices. The shelves extended as far as she could see, and a little ways down there was a break as if she could pass behind. She moved that way, leaving the geese forgotten behind her as the shelves became all that she could see.

The devices also rustled and whirred, with quiet ticking from some. There was also an occasional quiet scurrying sound, as if a rat had an urgent need to cross her path without drawing attention. This went on and on. The floor slowly shifting from barn to linoleum tiles at the same time that the ceiling shifted from open rafters to standard issue suspended acoustic tiles with the occasional off-putting fluorescent light.

She left the shelving behind, crossing a small open area to a door marked “Director”.

She opened the door, stepped inside and admired her office.

Now she was truly trapped.