Have you ever wondered if there is another world hiding in the back of your clothes dryer? Yeah, me too! Here’s a story about just that, and playing with the idea of other dimensions, kind of like the Etherland in Trolls for Dust. –Pixie
March 28, 2010 (Story Eighty-Two)
If the real world would stop interfering, we could get something done around here. That thought cycled in my head as we searched for Keenan. He was a little boy who had wandered off into the forest. Or he had been taken, something which would be far, far worse. I imagined his dimpled smile and angel-like blond hair and hoped his plight was the former.
The weekend was rainy and cold, and the longer we searched, the dimmer our hopes became. The boy’s distraught parents searched much and slept little. I longed for my own cabin, where I could leave reality behind, and for that secret reason, my relief was different from the other searchers when Keenan was found walking near the highway one town away. Apparently he had wanted to visit his grandmother and had almost made it, a story that became national news. Keenan ended up with a fever and a cold, but he got over it quickly and I started to wonder if he wasn’t part of the other world.
There are two worlds, and I only discovered the second one a year ago. My friends, Louie, Jess, and Davis, were over to watch the hockey finals. We heard a rattling in the basement, a place I only use for storage since Camilla left me. She used to have a cozy laundry room down there where she would put in a load and work on her painting. Her paintings were dark, tunnel-like things I never understood. Maybe that’s why she left.
Davis went down to the basement first and took so long that the rest of us trooped down after him. We found Davis in the dust-covered laundry room and my first thought was that maybe Camilla had come back. No such luck. Davis wrestled with something stuck in the dryer.
People always joke about another world being on the other side of dryers. It’s where the missing sock to a good pair goes, along with that favorite pair of jeans that fits just right. I cannot even explain the shock we felt when we found it to be a real place. We found Davis trying to wrestle a warty, slimy sprite back into the dryer world. The sprite’s horned wings had gotten stuck in the round doorway. Why he was trying to get from his world into my basement, we may never know. When he saw us, he crumpled and slid back into his own world. Davis tried to follow but got stuck. We pulled him out and thought about what to do.
Jess suggested we try the rundown laundromat on Haines Street. The dryers there were sure to be larger. If we felt stupid trying to get into my basement dryer, we felt even dumber breaking into an out-of-service laundromat in the middle of the night. We each picked a dryer and hopped inside. Nothing happened at first. I knocked on the inside of my dryer, hoping someone on the other side would hear and let me through. Bang! The machines shuddered and came to life all on their own. The round doors slammed shut and the tumblers started. I envisioned myself being tumbled and heated to death, only to find the back of the dryer yawning open. I fell through with my buddies plopping one by one down on the grass beside me. It was a world of magic, and I found myself looking around eagerly for a lamppost and a faun. But the dryer world is no Narnia. It’s a place of evil, trying forever to get into reality.
The job we’ve since made for ourselves is to capture all the creatures that have crept into our town and put them back where they belong. The new dryer I installed in my basement was the biggest I could find. If not for real world distractions, we could get so much more done, find so many more creatures and explore the dryer world. But maybe the interfering is to keep us where we belong, for as much as we don’t want it, the dryer world doesn’t want us either. The most depressing thing is: I haven’t found a single sock, not one. Camilla would be so disappointed if she knew.
–Original story by Pixie Beldona was previously published on pixiebeldona.com. It has been edited for this post.–