But first--OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG
Guess what Roxie sent me? Guess? You can't guess! Not in a million years! I got this box, right? And it was super light, and I couldn't figure out what it was, and then I opened it and... and...
ROXIE YOU'RE A GENIUS AND I LOVE YOU!
Do you see that? Seriously? My very own Farseeing Hat and Lizard Queen hat.
Uhm, well. They WERE my own. Right up until I got them out of the box. Tomorrow I'll show you the picture of Chicken wearing the Farseeing hat--she's actually smiling! (Proof indeed, that Roxie is my own personal miracle worker!)
Thank you, darling--your gift was wonderful, and I have no words!!!
And now, by popular demand... (okay, there were nine of you, not six--Grilltech, I'm sorry there was no Ruby--next time I do one of these, I'll keep you in mind!)
Attack of the Sockgnomes
Part II: Suburbs and Sockgnomes
Sam smirked and Dean shot him a disgusted look. Decent people. Decent people were walking in on them--the same kind of people they tried to protect, and here they were... well. Not naked. Not quite.
Mom shook her head and laughed a little. "Look, guys? Was that your car out front-- the one that smelled like a cowshit and vomit milkshake with a stinky-cheese chaser?"
Dean grimaced. "My baby..." he muttered, and mom nodded her head yes.
"Yeah--I can see how that would be a hardship."
"Why didn't you just go home and change your clothes?" the kid asked, scowling anywhere but at the two hotties crouching at the end of the washer bank.
"Because, kid," Dean snapped, "everything we own was in that car."
The kid blinked, and met his eyes. "Sucks to be you," she said apologetically. "Uhm... howzabout we just get our clothes and go, right?" And now it was mom's turn to grimace.
"Hon--we've got another half an hour on the driers--why don't you just bury your nose in a book, and those nice young men will... uhm, guys--you got any chairs back there?"
They both shook their heads no, and Mom dragged two chairs towards them--when they made ready to shrink back, she blew them off.
"Guys, I've got more'n one kid--I've seen those things before. They're not scary."
When she'd dropped off the chairs she stalked off to the car outside , coming back in a moment with a couple of afghans which she dropped on their laps as they sat, blushing, not meeting eyes with each other or her, until Dean let out a an indignant "hey!"
The woman turned around with a smirk and nodded towards the lacy pink & cream colored baby blanket. "It went with the knickers, sweetheart."
"Mom!" the kid complained, and mom chuckled. The kid shook her head and grumbled. "Next thing you know she'll be making daddy wear them."
Mom chortled a little more. "Ah, baby, if only..."
"Eww--give me some visine, mom, I've got to go clean my inner eye."
Mom pat the girl's head. "That's what books are for, sweetie," and then she pulled out a set of earphones and some knitting from the bag at her daughter's side. Dean watched her curiously and tried not to pine for his walkman--damn. He might actually have to buy an iPod now, and the thought of his brother, smugly showing him how to set it up, made his teeth grind.
The kid didn't look up at all after that--not even a little--and the silence in the laundromat was punctuated by the heavy thump of the overburdened washers and the blurring whoosh of the driers until the skittering behind the wall of driers got too loud to ignore.
"Mom--sounds like a rat," the kid said, looking up with interest.
"Not the pet kind, sweetie," mom said assessingly. "That thing sounds like it's the size of a chihuahua--it probably has big yellow teeth and moldy-moldings breath!" Mom held out her little knitting needles as teeth and made 'fftttt-ftttt' sounds until her kid looked up and laughed. Dean cracked a smile, and the kid noticed and buried her nose back in the book. Mom looked up and winked at the guys--and they exchanged their own looks.
It was nice to see ordinary sometimes.
And then that thing skittered behind the drier again, and mom grimaced. "Seriously, Chicken--what in the hell is back there?"
And then it ran out in front of her, straight for the little bag of yarn she'd been knitting from.
"Oh FUCK!" Mom hollered, "Sock gnome!" With a practiced movement she hefted the purse next to the knitting bag and swung.
"Sock gnome?" Dean and Sam mouthed at each other, and as the purse exploded into the creature, they saw what she meant.
It was made entirely out of colored socks--black socks, pink socks, blue socks, little slipper socks with cat's tails, big bulky socks with rubber soles. It had a baby-sock for a nose and a boy's tube sock for one arm with a man's dress sock for the other arm. It skittered on multiple sock-toes, swish-swishing over the dirty linoleum.
As the purse made contact with the thing, all of it's little sock-toe appendages sucked into it's body, making it one big lump of unclaimed laundry that thumped off of the bank of washers and down at their feet. Dean kicked out instinctively, and there was another bang-thud as the thing yelped and bounced off the side of the washer and skittered away.
The two men leapt to their feet, their half-crouches showing their experience in dealing with bad shit, but it was too late--the creature had disappeared behind the driers again, and only the occasional thud let them know it hadn't fallen into a heap of stray footwear in the tangle of electric cords and lint.
The girl hadn't stood yet. She simply sat, looking at her mother in wonder.
"Nice shot, mom!"
Mom grinned. "Yeah, but the fucker still got up and walked away."
Sam and Dean shook their heads--for one thing, this nice maternal woman had a mouth worse than Dean's. "What was that thing?" Sam asked his brother, and before Dean could shrug, the teenager said, "World's weirdest Red-Hot-Chili-Peppers-Fan?"
All the adults looked at her, and mom grinned. "Nice one!" she praised, and the kid grinned back.
Dean adjusted the baby-blanket around his waist, and tried to hide a smirk, and then they all heard the thing come back.
"Sock-gnome?" Sam asked, raising his eyebrows, and Mom shrugged.
"Probably more like a sock-golem, you think?"
The brothers blinked. "A golem?"
Mom blinked back. "A thing made of mud or dirt or cast-off stuff, animated by pagan prayers and some sacrifice? You know, a golem?"
Sam nodded. "Yeah, I know what a golem is--how is it that you do?"
The woman grimaced like it was obvious. "Hey--I watched the X-files. The Scully & Mulder in the suburbs episode was AWESOME!"
Sam glared at his brother, as though Dean's daytime tv habit was somehow catching. "Okay, fine--a sock-golem. What makes you think it is one?"
The woman shrugged, her oversized T-shirt rucking up around the bounteous pudge at her waist. "I'm pretty sure a laundromat gets it's share of prayers, right? Please let my red sock not be in with my whites? Please let my wife not find my girlfriend's earring? Please God or Goddess let me have washed all my underwear? I mean look at you two," a vague gesture in the vicinity of their clutched afghans. "I'm pretty sure you guys were praying fervently to Whoever that no one would walk in while you were... you know... flapping in the breeze."
"We were covered!" Dean yelped indignantly, and that maternal don't-bullshit-me look was aimed his way.
"You were flapping, buddy. That mouse was NOT in the house, and I'd adjust those lace eyelets around your waist or he's gonna get out again."
"Big things need to prowl," Dean muttered with some offended dignity.
"Things that prowl get shot, sweetheart," mom snapped back. " I have the feeling that guy's seen a lot of freedom-- you may want to put a leash on him."
Sam made a sound between a chuckle and a snort, and refused to wither when his brother glared. Mom looked him over with a wry twist to her mouth .
"Laugh it up, Spongebob," she said with a wicked twinkle, and her daughter choked on a snicker and smacked her mom on the arm.
"Stop macking on the pretty men, you old cougar--that thing's coming back!"
Mom made a growl and a hiss at her kid, and Sam tried to get control of the conversation with an "Okay, fine!" They looked at him. "It's been formed with cast offs and activated with prayer." There was another particularly loud thump behind the drier, and one of the four driers made a zzffftttt sound and shorted out. "What activated it?"
The woman shrugged. "I don't know--it seemed to be hungry for my merino sock-in-progress, but as for what triggered it... maybe you guys are just..." again that playful smirk, "reeky with magic."
"Oh God," Dean groaned, and scrubbed at his face with his hands. "Fucking witches!"
"Ignorant perverts!" the teenager shot back, and Dean matched her scowl for scowl.
"No, not you--the witches who... who filled my car with muck."
Sam groaned and tilted his head back, and swore.
"Jeepers, Mister," the teenager quipped, "those were pretty words! Can you think of anything else that rhymes with 'muck'"
Sam leveled a glare back at her and decided she must have gotten her sarcasm for her mother. "He's right. We've got all this residual magic and... probably jump started it, like driers jump-start static-electricity..."
There was a that now-familiar dry-swishing sound, a thump, and then the thing was back, rounding around the driers and charging for the four of them full speed.
The teenager pulled her foot back and swung, solidly connecting and the thing splat the glass wall hard enough to add another crack to it, and then just rolled again and came back, heading straight for mom and her little bag of socks.
"Nice kick, honey," mom panted, backing up. She backed right into the young hunters and shrieked loud enough to shatter her dignity. Two well muscled arms came around and pulled her back, and Sam and Dean moved in front of her and then her daughter protectively.
The skittering got loud again, and there was a series of thumps as it hit the chair bank adjacent to the front wall, and everybody in the room swung their heads slowly as the sock-gnome circled them and came back around for the sock bag in mom's hands.
"Well shit," mom muttered as the guys got in front of her again. "Does it want the sock to eat or does it want the sock to add to it's body?"
"Does it matter?" her kid asked angrily, aiming another kick at the thing and bashing it back into the chairs. "Just give it the damned sock, mom!"
"No!" mom protested. "It's for your Aunt Monica for her birthday!"
"Well what's going to happen when I give it to...fuck...got him... guys kick it kick it kick it stomp in it squish it! Get it get it BITE ITS UGLY FUCKING HEAD!"
The thing had charged and all of them were busy playing sock-golem-soccer with the damned thing as mom cheered them on. Dean gave it a particularly vicious kick and it hit the bank of driers with a loud THWACK, and that seemed to discourage it for a minute, because it retreated back behind the driers, leaving them all panting and breathless and... bleeding?
"That damned thing bit me, mom!"
Mom looked at her daughter's bleeding hand and tsked. She reached into her precious yarn bag and pulled out a band-aid and some neosporin and started dressing the wound, then looked up and said "Well shit-- guys--what'll the blood do to it?"
"Probably make it stronger," Sam muttered. "Why don't you two just go--we do this shit all the time, we'll figure it out."
Mom glowered. "Dude, we've got a week's worth of laundry here--come up with a better plan. One that DOESN'T involve feeding that thing my Aunt Monica's birthday present if you can manage it."
Dean looked thoughtful for a moment--hard to do wearing a baby-blanket and a thong, but Sam, at least, thought it was an admirable effort.
"Can we use it as bait?" Dean asked, and mom stared at him.
"Use what--my sock?"
"Yeah your sock--that things got a...toe-up for your precious sock--let's use that!"
Mom looked like she was going to say no, and then her sense of reality set in and she sighed. "Do you promise not to hurt it?"
Sam raised an eyebrow. "The sock or the sock-gnome?"
"The sock--you can fry the fucking sock-gnome, that thing's creeping me out!"
There was another ominous thud behind the driers and the four of them began to plan.