Charlie Smith’s Diary
Aged Eight

Hello. My name’s Charlie Smith, and I’m eight years old now.

Eight years old is an important age in many people’s lives, but for me, it’s especially significant.

You probably wonder what a Eight year old boy is doing, writing a diary like this for other people to read.

But I’m no ordinary Eight year old…..and this is no ordinary story….

You see, some years ago, when I was just a little boy, before I started school and became “an extraordinary little person” (as my mommy often calls me) I used to do all the normal things that little five year old boys do.

I used to play and fight with my twin brother Terrence (who was an incredible nuisance, even though mom used to laugh and tell me he was only teasing…).

We used to play soccer in the back garden, jump in muddy pools, build little dams made of sticks and wood in the stream at the end of the garden, and generally have the same kind of fun that most normal boys do when they are out of mommy’s sight. We built a tree house, hid frogs in the kitchen, played marbles on the patio, put wriggly worms in mom’s bread bin and went on special adventures all round the local country farmlands. But we always got into trouble off mom for coming home filthy rotten dirty, so we spent lots of time in the bath, where we invented our own secret games of splash which made as much of a mess of the bathroom as we could ever possibly imagine.

But then Dad would come home from work, and he’d make more mess than any of us put together!

I can often remember mom telling Dad off and warning him that he was a bigger child than the lot of us. But he just smiled, told mom he loved her, and got away with making the kind of mess that Terrence and I could never get away with making (even though we’d tell her we loved her too…it just didn’t have the same effect for some reason…)

All until that fifth Christmas……

That was when Terrence and I both got matching clothes sets (you know the type, just because we looked the same, Nanna Smith thought we had to dress the same too….) So mom kitted us both out with the lovely knitted blue sleeveless home made jumpers, the little sky blue polo shirts, matching navy shorts and light blue cotton socks. They all said we looked so adorable, but underneath, Terrence and I couldn’t wait to go out and play so we could get them all grubby again and make mom take the tight polo shirts off so we could let rip in just t shirt and vests.

And that was when it first happened…..

We’d kicked a football around in the muddy back garden and splashed around in the dead leaves and muddy puddles all afternoon long. So much so that mom couldn’t tell us apart when she stripped us out of our wet clothes and threw them all into the big plastic washing basket she kept stashed away in the corner of our little back kitchen.

That was when I first saw them move…..

It was only a flash, but I swear I saw my clothes move all on their own. They wriggled and grumbled and squirmed ‘til they were comfy.

Unfortunately I was picked up by my dad and carried under his big thick strong arms then thrown into the fragrant bubble bath with Terrence, and he said I was just imagining things, so I forgot all about it until I went to sleep later that night.

I remember I smelt of Dewberry Fresh Fragrance Bubble Bath Oils and Lemon Scented Hair Conditioner. And I tossed and turned until I smelt the freshly laundered pillow cases with Silken Summer Fabric Conditioner as I drifted off to sleep with a happy smile on my five year old face.

That’s when it all became clear to me for the first time….

You see, part of the matching clothes set that my Nanna Smth had bought us for Christmas, was a lovely set of Junior Terry Towel socks. They were light blue and they matched everything else in Nanna’s special selection box. But they had writing on the sole which said “100% Terry” and my name was written on the label.

“This set’s for Chuck” it said in Nanna’s spidery handwriting (because Nanna often called me Chuck, even though my name is really Charlie). And the other pair said “100% Terry” and “This pair belongs to Terrence” so that we didn’t get them mixed up at all, even though Terence has got much bigger feet than me and he’s bigger boned than me too. And it made Nanna laugh, because we were Chuck and Terry and our socks were Chuck and Terry too (she had a strange sense of humour our Nanna Smith, but mom said it was alright because she was special…) And so were we…! Daddy said I’d been dreaming when I told him about it the next day, but I know what I saw and I know it was true….because the next day, one of the socks had really gone missing and mom said she didn’t know quite where they disappeared to, but that it happened “ “every time she washed socks..….” So I said that one day I’d write it all down, and now that I’m eight, I can spell well enough to describe exactly what I saw….

It all happened when mom put all the washing into the washing machine before we went to bed that fifth Christmas night which is nearly three years ago now. I watched the little socks go into the drum, and I watched it spin around with all the bubbles and suds and warm water splashing round inside. And I could hear them laughing and giggling and shouting “yippee” and stuff like that as they gyrated to and fro.

But my mom said not to sit too close to the machine in case the door burst open, so I sat back and watched them. Until one of the little blue socks flopped against the side of the glass door and took a breather on the side for a split second.

And he clearly winked at me as I sat there!

It was the little blue sock named Chuck and he clearly smiled a big smile and then dived back into the warm soapy water for another play in the suds with his twin and their friends.

I looked around the kitchen, but mom was out in the back garden hanging some other washing out, and Terrence was upstairs (probably playing with my toys, because he was never happy just playing with his own.)
So there was no one except me who really witnessed it. But It’s so true, and I knew if I told anyone they would never believe me. So I watched and I listened and I heard them all whooping it up and swimming in the funny bubbly whirlpool.

I even knocked on the glass to catch their attention, but they were having so much fun I thought I’d leave them all to it and then I’d wait ‘til they were all dry before I pegged them all out on the line and interrogated them all later.

Oh that would be fun, but I’d have to be careful that my brother and my parents didn’t see. Or they’d think I was being silly and they wouldn’t understand.

So I sat back and watched as the spin cycle came to an end and my mom came back in to get them all out.

She piled everything into her special basket and carried them all out into the back garden, but all the time she was grumbling about something to herself.

“I don’t know where they disappear to” she kept saying. “They’ve only been worn the once, they can’t possibly get lost this quickly” and she came back in to root through all the kitchen again. But the little blue sock labelled “Chuck” was clearly nowhere to be seen and mom hung the others out on the line, but they looked sad and uncomfortable with one of their partners being lost in the wash.

Anyway, we thought nothing of it until it was bedtime, and after mommy tucked us up in bed., and daddy read us our bedtime story, I drifted off and dreamed about the little lost sock who’d been playing around in mom’s lovely new washing machine.

It seemed pretty clear to me as I lay there in my lovely warm bed, that mom had just left Chuck lying in the washing machine, where he’d taken advantage of the opportunity to go join all his other single sock friends in the extraordinary little parallel dimension where all lost socks get whisked away to at some stage in their lives. And I wasn’t quite sure if I was dreaming it, or whether Chuck had come back to tell me what fun he was having with all his new playmates.

You see, once Chuck found himself spirited away into the heady happy world of Sockland, he soon met up with a bundle of real characters.

The first sock he met, was a little pink girlie sock who introduced herself as Ellie. And she told him all about the laws of the universe that detailed how all lost orphan socks would take on the personalities of their own former owners. So her owner had been a little Indie rock singer named Ellie, and she was blessed with Ellie’s feisty attitude (and sometime her temper as well!) But Ellie was lovely, and she introduced Chuck to her best friend in the whole of Sockland, a quirky little boy sock named Slacker (who’s owner had a strange manner of collecting odd things and not ever standing on the cracks in the paving stones!) But Ellie and Slacker showed little Chuck around Sockland and became his mentors as he began to find his feet.

Sockland was a mystical place, filled with Boilers and Dryers and massive big industrial landscapes with huge metal water tanks. And all the many levels were linked by sets and sets of metal staircases, which joined one level to the next and led on for miles and miles and miles and miles.

But oh what fun it was to investigate and explore all the many hidden surprises

Chuck could barely contain himself as Ellie led him up to the higher levels and he grabbed excitedly at her hand. “Why does he do that” asked Chuck as they waited for Slacker to catch up with them both

“Do what?” scowled Ellie. “Talk to himself?”

“Yes” smiled Chuck. “It’s really most disconcerting”

“But there’s no harm to it” said Ellie understandingly as Slacker chunnered away to himself

“I know, but he keeps picking things up off the floor and my mommy used to say that you should never pick things up if you don’t know where they’ve been” quizzed Chuck as he scratched his head and watched Slacker lag behind them

“He has an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” said Ellie as they walked away once again. “It means he can’t control his compulsive habits, so he does things which you or I would think extraordinary, but to him, they’re really really normal” Chuck watched as Slacker hid some nuts and bolts in his inside jacket pocket, and he shrugged an understanding shrug as they all headed off towards the giant Central Square of Sock Central with all its café’s and many coffee shops, sweet centres and chocolatier palaces. He was having more fun in Sockland than he could ever remember having before in his life.

“So this is where all the lost socks disappear to” he whistled to himself as he watched some Roughian Socks playing shove sock. “How do you do that” he asked Slacker, and before he could stop him, Slacker had rolled him up into a little ball and shoved him into a Boiler Exhaust Pipe which sucked him through a hundred different side pipes until it spat him out from an adjacent Downpipe on the other side of the square.

Ellie and Slacker ran over to him, laughing at his surprised looking face from his first experience of playing shove sock.

“You like it?” asked Ellie, ready to roll him up and do it all over again.

“It might take a bit of getting used to” croaked Chuck dizzily as he backed away nervously and straightened himself out once again.

“Took Ellie years to get used to it” smiled Slacker. “In fact, I still don’t think she likes being rolled up in a ball” he laughed as Ellie backed away from him and led them all back over to The Chocolatier’s Palace in Sock Central.

“But all socks love chocolate sauce” grinned Slacker as he bounded after her, avoiding the cracks in the pavements as he went.

“They certainly do “ agreed Chuck quietly, so no one else could hear him. Although he needn’t have bothered whispering, there were no outsiders in Sockland that he needed to keep his animated side hidden from.

Ellie scooped a cup full of hot chocolate sauce from the milk chocolate fountain “You ever been for a Fabric Conditioner Soak” she quizzed as she eyed Chuck up and down curiously for a moment .

“Well, I’ve had some added to my final rinse, if that’s what you mean” Chuck nodded

“You haven’t lived” chirped Slacker. “A Fabric Conditioner Soak is when you lie in a big vat of warmed Silken Summer Fragrance Fabric Conditioner with a chilled Soaker Cola topped up with ice cubes and lemon slices”

“Mmmmm” smiled Ellie as she finished her cup of hot chocolate. “That’s where we’re going to go next then” and she led them all out into the sunlight while Chuck and Slacker drank their own hot chocolate sauces and ran outside straight after her.

“Oh you’re gonna love this” warned Slacker as they ran.

Ellie led them high up the steel staircases onto one of the upper steel floors which led to a large open topped vat of bubbling creamy pink waters, filled with floating happy socklets. Chuck caught the scent of the fragrant conditioner first and he almost melted at the thought of soaking in such a warm creamy delicious bubble bath.

Ellie and Slacker caught him day dreaming and they grabbed a hold of him quickly, rolled him into a ball between them, and threw him into the deep end with a big floppy SPLASH. But Chuck didn’t sink. He just floated on the surface as though he was the lightest sock afloat, and he wallowed in the pretty bubbly fabric conditioner, lathering it up all over him ‘til he was covered and soaked all over by its comforting and rejuvenating properties.

“Oh this is just the most wonderful feeling in the world” he chirped happily. “Unadulterated bliss”

Slacker and Ellie jumped in beside him and they all played around in the sunshine for an hour.

“What time will I have to go back” asked Chuck in all innocence as they gambolled in the sunshine.

Slacker and Ellie looked at each other with a mixture of confusion and surprise.

“Why, there’s no going back” offered Slacker as the realisation registered with Chuck. “Once a sock is in Sockland, no one ever wants to go home at all.”

But Chuck was worried about Terry and the twins he’d left behind “I need to get back though, I’ve got family and friends I want to see again” he muttered sheepishly.

Ellie and Slacker looked concerned for Chuck’s happiness as they climbed out of the Conditioner Soak and dried off in the warm sun.

“I know” said Ellie. “Let’s go and ask the advice of old Amos. If anyone knows a way to get home then the wise old sage of Sockland will have a solution". And she led them all off on an adventure to find Amos, who lived in a part of the old Boiler Room
Township about a mile away from where they were playing.

Chuck tagged along behind them as they headed away from the built up centre of Sockland.

They climbed up onto one of the very highest levels and Chuck whistled as he saw the incredible vista beneath him. In the distance he could see the rolling green grass of the Hosierywood Hills and down below was an incredibly complex industrial heartland of the city itself. It looked magnificent.

“Yo, hurry along there slow coach” shouted Slacker, and Chuck ran along after them until he caught up with Ellie who was leading the way.

“So who is Amos then” he asked her quietly.

“Amos is perhaps the oldest, wisest and most respected of socks in all Sockland” she volunteered jauntily as she climbed back down to a clearing underneath them. “He knows just about every sock in every single dimension and he’s been here for absolutely ages”.

Ellie led them into an open space between the industrialised machinery and Chuck looked awe-struck at the way they’d fashioned an intersection with little houses out of all the pipes and tubes and metalwork all around them.

“There he is, there he is” babbled Slacker as he ran across the roadway in between socks riding little motor scooters who all beeped their horns at him

Amos was sitting on a wooden porch, smoking a big old-fashioned pipe as they pushed his gate open. And Chuck was surprised to see that he appeared to be expecting them.

“Hello children” Amos muttered in between puffs on his old pipe.

“Hiya Amos” chuckled Slacker as he hopped from one foot to the other in excitement.

“Settle down Slacker” grinned Amos. “Looks like you’ve brought The Chosen One to see me at last”

Ellie and Slacker looked stunned as Amos peered over his glasses at Chuck who now stood alongside them.

“The, the, the Chosen One?” questioned Ellie in surprise as Amos looked Chuck over.

“Yup, looks like that’s who you’ve brought up my path with you today honey” smiled Amos. “Am I right , boy? Are you the one who wants to leave Sockland and find a way back home”

Chuck looked astonished. “Errr…well….I’m kind of…err…not sure…” stammered Chuck as they all stared at him for ages.

“Not so good with his interaction skills for a legend, is he?” laughed Amos

“I don’t think he knows about The Legend, Amos” whispered Ellie

“Well, be that as it may,” smiled the elderly wise old sock. “You know the only way to escape is with the permission of The Committee.”

Amos half-turned and stared up at the highest skyscraper in the district right behind them. “And the only way you’ll get to see them is with the help of old Hutch up there. And only The Chosen One gets in to see him these days….”

Chuck was confused, and didn’t understand why Amos kept referring to him as The Chosen One.

But Amos wasn’t telling, and he ushered them away as he tried to bask in the weakening rays of the late afternoon sunshine. “Now be off with you little ‘uns, and let me catch my sun” he chunnered as he motioned them away. “Go chase your goals and live your dreams….” And they strolled off down his path and headed back toward Sox Towers in the heights up above them.

Chuck skilfully evaded the fast moving socks on scooters, which whizzed by them as they crossed back over the busy intersection roadway towards Sox Towers. “What did he mean when he called me the Chosen One” he asked as he pulled on Ellie’s sleeve. “What was The Legend he kept mentioning, and how will I get home to see my brother Terry again” he quizzed relentlessly.

But Ellie wasn’t talking, she was too busy leading the way and had a look of steely determination emblazoned right across her face.

“There’s an ancient Sockland Fable about an innocent, honest, little blue sock who reverses the gateway from one dimension to another” chirped Slacker helpfully from behind him.

“And you think that’s me?” asked Chuck incredulously.

“Amos certainly does” snapped Ellie as she disappeared up another ladder.

“And Amos is never wrong about these things” added Slacker as Chuck spun round dizzily trying to keep up with both conversations at once.

“Whoah, whoah, whoah,” muttered Chuck as he tried to come to terms with his new legendary status.

“I’m just a normal little boy, doing a normal little job of living a normal little life in a normal little way”

“Exactly” quipped Ellie. “You’re so normal you’re extraordinary”

“But I can’t be anything special”

“And that’s what’s so special about you” laughed Slacker. “You can’t see just how gifted you are”

“Well in that case, everybody is special” grunted Chuck in his confusion

“Precisely” agreed Ellie. “Everybody is special, and that’s the secret of the legend."

Chuck stopped in his tracks and looked at Ellie with his hand stroking his chin in bewilderment. Ellie was looking up at the massive skyscraper right above them

“We’re here” she nodded, looking highly pleased with herself.

“So what now” asked a dazed looking Chuck

“We go up” laughed Slacker and he bounded up the staircase then headed inside the big tower block in front of them.

Ellie sprinted up the stairs after him, and Chuck climbed up the steps too, still looking befuddled with his part in all this, but knowing he’d have to play his role out if it meant getting back home to his loved ones.

And they all disappeared inside the steel and glass tower office block as the sun began to set on all Sockland behind them.

Outside in the street, a swoosh of fast moving wind left the dry leaves blowing in the wake of a group of Free Runner Socks who swept past the building at high speed…

Ellie led Chuck and Slacker up to the top floor in an elevator and a high pitched “ding” let them know they’d arrived on the thirty first floor. They stepped out opposite the entrance to the Penthouse Suite and Chuck looked out of the side window at the roadway far below them

“Who are they?” he asked quizzically as he watched the gang of socks jumping from one building to another.

Slacker ran to the window and looked fascinated as he looked way down below where they stood too. “Cor blimey, that’s the Hosieryville Free Runner Display Team” he enthused as they watched them leap from roof top to roof top.

“You really must be the Chosen One, because no one ever gets to see them at this time of day” marvelled Ellie as she pressed on the magnificent Penthouse Doorbell.

A black suited Butler Sock opened the door rather dramatically, and he spoke with a cut glass English accent. “Master Hutch is expecting you” he announced rather pompously, and then led them inside to a beautifully crafted lounge where they all waited for their host.

“You must be Chuck, cobber” boomed a man’s voice with an Australian twang, and Chuck turned around suddenly to see a middle aged sock in an expensive looking suit with a pair of big horn rimmed glasses perched on the very end of his nose. “Amos predicted you’d make it here one day” he laughed as he took a seat opposite them. “Sit down, sit down, don’t be standing on ceremony on my account” he said as he motioned for them to take a seat on a couch opposite him.

Chuck sat uncomfortably on the big padded sofa, and Ellie perched on the edge of her cushion as Slacker struggled to climb up on the seat.

“You must be Ellie, and you must be Slacker” smiled the Australian sock. “My name’s Hutch, and they tell me you know nothing about the prophesy that predicts you’ll lead all the Orphaned Socks of Sockland back out to the real word”

“First I’ve heard of it” mumbled Chuck with a crumpled frown etched right across his brow.

“Hmmmn….” wondered Hutch aloud. “You see, I have a problem with that Prophesy, Chuck” he stood up and wandered to the plate glass window overlooking all Sockland. “You see, if one sock escapes, then pretty much every sock will want to go too, and that might leave no sock here in this realm, which will render me useless” he turned back to face Chuck sharply “Quite a dilemma I’m sure you’ll agree”.

“I don’t want to take anyone with me Sir,” pleaded Chuck. “I just want to get home to see my family and friends again as quickly as possible”.

Chuck stood up and crossed the richly carpeted floor to stand face to face with the stern faced Australian sock who peered down his nose at him.

“Well,” sneered Hutch as he turned away to stare out the window once again. “I think the Committee may well have a reason to forbid you to try” He walked away to a door, which led, past his forbidding looking Butler. “But the legend says that your friends will help you find a way” he whispered almost begrudgingly, and as he spoke, he disappeared out of their view and the Butler led them back out to the front door.

“Pretty strange sock” queried Chuck as The Butler led them to the elevator.

“Pretty much the most powerful sock in all Sockland” said the butler haughtily as he pressed the ground floor button and stepped back out of the lift. “Have a nice day” he sneered as the doors closed shut and the lift headed back down again rapidly.

“Seemed a quick and painful experience all round” laughed Slacker as he bent down to pick up a loose nut and washer that was rolling around on the floor.

“I don’t think so” smiled Ellie. “He didn’t exactly forbid us from trying, did he” she laughed as she led them back down the outer staircase to the Boiler Room where they’d first met with their new friend.

“Seems to me that the best way to get back home, is the same way I got in” chirped Chuck brightly. “Just because The Committee won’t help me doesn’t mean I can’t have a go at escaping myself” and he began to inspect all the pipes and exhaust funnels that made the Boiler Room so special.

“Must be some way of reversing the polarity” he queried as he squeezed a thick hose and jumped out of the way from a steam jet which near blew him across the Boiler Room.

“I’m going to dig out a copy of The Legend” said Ellie as she rooted around through some old books and magazines in a dusty old filing cabinet. “Maybe the translation might show us a way of achieving our goals”

Chuck watched Slacker turn out all the bits and pieces he’d collected off the floor from his pockets and he poured them all into individual glass jars. “Why do you do that?” he asked curiously, and Slacker just shrugged.

“No one knows” he smiled. “I just feel compelled to collect them and I can’t focus unless I keep them all separated specifically in their own appropriate glass casings where I can keep my eye on them.”

Chuck scratched his head and nodded admiringly at the glass jars. “It’s really pretty cool” he grinned as Slacker appreciated the interest. “I bet they’ll come in really useful one day….”

They both turned in alarm as Ellie yelped in glee from behind them.

“Here it is” she chortled. “Here’s the translation of the actual prophecy” and she held up a magazine with an article about the Sockoglyphic etchings on a cave wall dating back to Neanderthal times.

“Wow” marvelled Chuck. “That looks amazing” as he read the article telling all about a Chosen Sock who would deliver all Sockland from one realm to the real world. “Doesn’t quite predict how we’re gonna do it though, does it?” he muttered sadly as the realisation struck home.

“Oh you’re such a defeatist” laughed Ellie. “The fun of anything worthwhile is always in the struggle”.

Slacker and Chuck looked at each other in amazement as Ellie began to tie pipes together and block off some of the vent outlets all around her.

“Don’t just stand there” she chirped. “Get stuck into these hoses and let’s reverse the thrust”

Chuck and Slacker both jumped into action and they toiled away for over an hour before anyone else interrupted them.

“What on earth’s going on here?” suddenly asked an old stern soldier sock who stumbled in on them as they just about finished.

“Oh, we’re helping Chuck here to escape from Sockland” answered Slacker very brightly, and he pulled out a board with some chalk so that Chuck could explain what they needed to do.

The old Army Sock nodded appreciatively and called some more of his friends in.

“This must be our Chosen One” he muttered and held his hand out to shake Chuck’s hand in support.

“I’m The General” he smiled “and my troops here will help anyone who can fulfil the ancient prophecy”. And they all sat around as Chuck drew up a plan to reverse the thrust of the machinery to take them all back to wherever they wanted to go.

“Only problem is” said Chuck, “we don’t have enough hands to tie off all these hoses, pipes and outlets in order to turn the machinery back on itself”.

Slacker began to hop from one foot to the other in the background. “Oooh, oh, oh, err…Chuck, maybe I can help” he volunteered nervously.

Chuck looked at him curiously. “All on your own?”

“Errr, no” he stammered. “Maybe these will help though” Slacker stepped aside and let everyone see his collection of nuts, bolts, screws and washers.

“I don’t understand” queried Chuck. “What exactly are you saying?”

“Well, I think if everyone here helps out, we could tie things off and seal them all down with all this bric a brac I’ve got here. That would mean we’d need less hands to hold everything in place, and you could get back home on your own”.

“But then you’d all be left here alone” muttered Chuck. “And you’re all my new friends now, so I’d like to take you all home with me too”.

“Ain’t gonna happen” snapped Ellie. “You promised Hutch you wouldn’t take anyone else with you, and if we’re gonna get this thing working, we’re all gonna have to buckle down and hold things in place.”

“Better you get home on your own tonight to save your siblings” said The General. “We’re all quite used to things here as it is. We’ll be all right, as long as The Chosen One returns…” The rest of the socks all nodded their heads in agreement and applauded the General’s wisdom.

“Oh I’ll be back” smiled Chuck. “Once we’ve got this thing going backwards and forwards, we can slip in between the two worlds whenever we want to. I can have holidays down here every weekend and no one would ever miss me.”

“And we could pop back home with you through the week” smiled Slacker “just as long as no one finds us stashed away in the back corner of a long forgotten sock drawer”.

They all laughed as Ellie and Slacker began to hand out nuts and bolts from Slacker’s collection. And everyone began to seal off all the vents in the Boiler Room as Chuck readied himself to take a running jump into the solitary open downspout that would lead him back to the real world.

“I hope this really works” whispered Ellie to Slacker. “Because if anyone deserved to go home to save Terry, it’s Chuck. He deserves all the success in the world for being such a nice, polite, well-mannered little sock. And all good things come to nice socks like him!”

Slacker nodded and tied the last of his downspouts off to signal he was ready.

“Everybody ready” shouted Chuck, who looked more than a little nervous at the prospect of jumping into an unknown downspout.

All the socks in the Boiler Room registered their readiness and Chuck looked up at everyone he was about to leave behind.

“You know,” he smiled as he got ready to run. “I think if everyone just let go of their pipes and let the nuts and bolts see if they can hold all the pressure, we could all have a go at getting through in one fell swoop?”

All the socks in the Boiler Room muttered as Ellie urged Chuck to try it out first.

“You go through Chuck, you’re The Chosen One” she said, and Chuck began his run up to the only open vent in the whole of the Sockland Boiler Room.

It seemed like an eternity before he actually jumped into the downspout and suddenly, all the pipes and vents began to bulge and swell up as they had done when Slacker had played shove sock with him earlier on in the day.

Whistles began to pipe up, sirens began to wail, and Chuck disappeared through a whirling vortex into a wormhole that spirited him away back into the real world.

All the socks looked at one another as the Chosen One disappeared out of their sight.

“Well, what are we waiting for then” shouted Slacker. “The Legend predicts that the Chosen One will free all of Sockland” he shouted as he ran as fast as he could and threw himself in after Chuck.

“Geronimo….” yelped Ellie as she followed Slacker through the tubes, and all the socks in The Boiler Room raced to jump in behind him too!

Pipes bulged, hoses filled up and steam spurted out from every available aperture. But the machinery held together perfectly and all the orphaned socks of Sockland whirled their way through the vortex until they all poured out into my mom’s tiny little kitchen.

That was when my dream ended, and my alarm woke me up from my slumber.

And I couldn’t be sure if Chuck had really come and spoken to me in my sleep through the night, or if it had all been just a dream about the special little world that socks all disappear to when they get lost in the wash..

But funnily enough, when mom checked out the laundry basket later that weekend, there was a matching pair of every sock we’d ever thought had gone missing. And Chuck was back paired up in a ball with his little partner Terry.

We had quite a full washing basket that week that’s for sure.

But no one would believe me when I told them at first, they all just thought I’d made up a really funny little children’s story. But you watch your laundry next time it’s in the washing machine. I bet you’ll see one of the little children’s socks winking at you in an impish little fashion.

And I know your mom will tell you her version of why the odd sock goes missing for weeks and weeks on end.

They just slip off over to Sockland for a holiday, and some of them never come back

But those that do, tell wondrous tales of adventure and happy memories.

Maybe next year, we’ll hear more about the adventures of The Chosen One in Sockland….

Let’s cross our fingers and wait and see……….

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