Mrs Tina Johnson was finishing her chores, she was dead tired after having to clean up the house. Four children and a husband and two dogs usually left the entire building looking as if a tornado had passed through it. She went to the basement where her washing machine and tumble drier was placed, finally, just one thing left to do. She had to empty the drier and started filling a basket with clothes. She sorted them out as she went, shirts and socks for her husband and underwear and jeans for the kids. She stared at the heap of clothes, eyes narrow. What the …. Her husband had a set of bright red socks he was very fond of and there was just one of them there? But she had put both of them into the drier? She took a peek, no sock there. She checked the other clothes, none of them hid a bright red sock! Damnation! What was it with tumble driers and socks? Was there some sort of ancient creature living within them, demanding a sacrifice of one sock each time the tumble drier was switched on? Was it in fact a interdimensional travel devise, made to transport socks to a dimension in desperate need of such garments? She swore and threw the remaining red sock into the garbage bin, no point in just one sock, out to buy more. It wasn’t as if this was the first time it had happened, she had lost count of all the socks which had disappeared thus. Yes, there definitely was some sort of monster hiding in the drier, eating socks!
Mrs Johnson didn’t know it but in fact tumble driers do open a wormhole when they are switched on, and a sock or another small item, like say a pair of panties, are always swallowed and transported to a sort of pocket dimension. That dimension was squeezed in between all the other dimensions of the universe and it wasn’t that large. It was more like a small leftover from the process of creation, some space the maker didn’t find a useful function for. So it just rested there, unknown to all until some overly smart human invented the tumble drier and then inadvertently started filling it with people’s laundry. The dimension had received socks for decades now, and it was stuffed. It was so stuffed it was bulging at the seams and pushing towards the other dimensions close to it. It couldn’t expand anymore, it was at the breaking point. Something had to give and something did in fact give. A small weakness in the interdimensional wall crumbled and the socks had a way out, the first in a very long time. The result was spectacular, and unexpected.
The great hall was filled with voices, countless orc captains and some balrogs were gathered to be given their orders and Sauron stood by a massive table, pointing out the important spots on a huge map. He was trying to come up with a superior tactic and wanted to impress his master. Melkor had been in a foul mood lately and Sauron wanted to cheer him up. He pointed at a small mountain pass and was about to give the order to move one battalion of orcs to the spot when suddenly something fell out of thin air and landed on the map. Sauron frowned, what was this? He reached out and picked it up, it was a piece of cloth, where had it come from? He examined it, it was a sock?! But it didn’t look like the socks he was used to, it was tightly woven and bright red and it did smell of soap. The dark lord turned his head, shook the sock “Alright, who is the funny one? Tossing socks, seriously, that is so childlike!”
The orcs just stared and didn’t look as if they didn’t understand at all and he scoffed and tossed the sock aside. After all, it was just a sock, just a harmless prank probably. He continued giving orders and by the end of the day the sock was entirely forgotten, but that wouldn’t last. Sauron woke up to the sound of someone hammering at his door and he blinked and got up, he felt anger rise within, he had been dreaming so sweetly of riding his master really hard and well and this had to be important or he would have the head of the one insolent being bold enough to disturb his rest. It was an orc servant and it was rather pale. It bowed deeply as it saw him and shivered. “Oh most terrible and powerful master, something…something terrible is happening!”
Sauron frowned. “What? Explain!”
The orc swallowed. “The basement oh brilliant one, it is….it is full of socks!”
Sauron gaped. “Socks?”
The orc bit its lower lip. “Yes master, socks. We have tried to toss them into the forges to burn them but they put out the flames, and now the nether levels are completely packed. Many have died, choked upon the socks”
Sauron had to rub his eyes, blinked to clear his head. “ How is this possible?”
The orc shrugged. “We have no idea, they just appeared”
Sauron growled. Harmless prank? Not so much so no, he had to stop this. He got a dressing robe on and ran towards the throne room, Melkor sat there and he did look like he didn’t really know what to do. Sauron bowed politely and the dark vala got up. “My lieutenant, what in the name of the everlasting dark is happening? Is my fortress really filling itself with socks?!”
Sauron nodded. “Apparently yes my lord. “
Gothmog came running, the balrog was wide eyed and his flames less bright than usual. “My lords, the socks, they don’t burn very well, and we have had to leave the basement. The level of socks is rising”
Melkor hissed. “Make the slaves carry them outside, this has to stop!”
The balrog hung his head. “We have already tried that, but the slaves cannot work fast enough, the socks….the amount is growing too fast”
Sauron felt a surge of confusion and fear. “What is this? Some vicious trick of the other valar?”
Melkor shook his head. “No, this cannot be them, not even they are that devious. Drowning us in socks? “
The vala shouted some orders and orcs and slaves started moving all the important stuff to the towers and top levels of the fortress. Slowly the level of socks did rise, like a dam filling with water and nothing they did could stop it. They tried making the dragons burn the socks but that just produced some very thick oily ash that made the orcs choke. They tried shoveling the socks out the air canals but they got stuck and the fortress soon became incredibly hot. The forges went out, the orcs panicked and the slaves broke free and fled and the balrogs tried to burn their way out but even that failed.
Melkor was in despair, he tried using all his magic to locate where the socks came from but failed and nothing he did stopped them. His army was being decimated by socks! Sauron’s werewolves tried to eat socks and died of indigestion and Thurinwethil tried to fly out of the fortress but was brought down by a violent torrent of falling socks and was buried underneath them. Even the greatest dragons got overwhelmed by falling pieces of fabric and suddenly it was every orc balrog or monster for itself. Those who could fled the scene and those who couldn’t tried desperately to stay above the sea of socks. Sauron and Melkor sought refuge in the tallest tower of Angband and even that didn’t save them from the socks. The tower soon became filled with an unstoppable mass of socks in every color of the rainbow and Melkor tried to create a magic shield to protect them but to no prevail.
By now the fortress was covered by a huge mountain of socks, and countless orcs had met their sad demise, crushed or choked by socks. In the end Melkor and Sauron sat squeezed together in a corner of the top room of the tower, around them were socks and they could barely move. No magic worked against these seemingly innocent pieces of everyday clothing, Sauron was clinging to his master trembling with fear and Melkor was no less scared. What in Eru’s name was going on? How could socks become the doom of the most powerful of the valar? It was impossible! It was a good thing that neither Sauron or Melkor really needed to breathe or they would have suffocated already.
Many days later a group of elves and valar entered the area and were stunned to find that Angband was gone. It was completely covered by socks, an enormous mountain of them, and Manwê managed to locate the top of Angband and after days of hard digging they did find the chamber where Sauron and Melkor were trapped. The two were unable to move, the socks so tightly packed around them they became like iron shackles and Sauron wept with relief as they slowly managed to free him. He was on his knees right away, begging for forgiveness and he had seriously believed that this mountain of socks would become his grave. Melkor was no less repentant and he was kissing the hem of Manwê’s cloak, swearing to behave until the breaking of Arda. This time he was truly sincere and Manwê promptly ordered them to spend at least two ages in the halls, just to pay for their sins. Both were eagerly agreeing with the punishment and Manwê wondered what deity was responsible for this miracle. The army of Melkor was utterly destroyed, the orcs are heavy and sank into the socks as the elves were light and ran on top of them and before long the only thing left of the might of the dark vala was a mountain which had stopped growing by now. Yet it was almost as tall as Taniquetil and the pressure at the base transformed the socks there into a solid mass, it would stand until the breaking of Arda for sure.
The mountain was named the hill of victory or rather sock hill by the locals and nobody dared to venture near it in fear of awakening the angry God who had decided to drown the entire fortress of Melkor in socks. Sauron and Melkor did spend their punishment making amends for all the evil they had done and they were truly sorry and when they left they were completely transformed and spent their time chanting hymns to Manwê’s praise. Namò claimed that both had gone slightly insane while being trapped by all the socks and if anyone approached them wearing socks both would go completely catatonic with fear. So most valar and maiar who dealt with the two went barefoot.
The rift on the interdimensional wall closed itself up and the small pocket dimension started filling again, one day it would burst yet again and where it would unload its content was anybody’s guess. But by then Arda would be returned to a state of peace and tranquility and the sacred mountain of slowly decomposing socks had become a part of myth and legends and the days of socks raining from the heavens had become a fairy tale meant to frighten children who misbehaved. “Beware, or the Gods will drown you in socks, .like they did the dark Vala and his servants”
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