The Strangely Normal Instance of the Twelve Missing Socks

A short story, fresh from the second row of the aimlessly extravagant corn field.

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Priscilla Lemonluck could feel a stranger sitting on her face. Its name, Consternation. The usually smooth swath between her black feathery eyebrows was puckery, too tight, and strained; her thick lips — voluntarily distorted to bespeak the emotions she harbored — hung heavy to the left. At the back of her two front teeth is where she rested her tongue, sliding it in and out of the sizable crevice she’d opted not to correct with the suggested four years of braces. It wasn’t the pain she feared (although Cooper Lyons, her best friend and three-houses-down-next-door neighbor, had mentioned more than once after a tightening that it was like having an angry barracuda, a chain-link fence, and a rubber slingshot living in your mouth all at once). Dreadful as all that sounded, Priscilla wouldn’t have minded the gruesome reconstruction of her mouth if what she wanted was to have teeth that looked like everyone else’s. She didn’t want that, though. Not even a little. And so, at the age of nine and three-quarters, Priscilla determined with arbitrary zeal that her teeth were off the table (at the tim she didn’t quite know what that meant, but on enough occasions had heard her father, Judge Lemonluck, use the phrase — this usually accompanied by an austere scowl or impassive hand — to understand it meant strictly and formidably NO) once and for all. These teeth of hers had personality and character — something that would surely be mitigated with reparative orthodontics.

This is neither here nor there, however. Priscilla fancied a real problem: missing socks.

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I’ve been thinking . . .

There’s a difference between stepping outside your comfort zone, and, intentionally depositing yourself into an undesirable situation; discerning between the two . . . well, that takes practice.

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Agreeably Disagreeable

You all recognize this precious little angel, right?

She is most famously remembered for this quote, in which she shrieks at the top of her lungs:

I WANT IT NOW!!!!

And if you didn’t give it to her . . . oooo, boy, did you have it coming.

And really, can we blame sweet, dear Veruca Salt? Transported into the magical kingdom of Wonka Land, bedazzled and blown away by the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells, well . . . I can’t imagine I would be in much control of my wants. And truly, my own candy dish — does it still count as a “dish” if it’s an entire drawer? — has been known to send me into a saccharine induced tizzy. Maybe a sugar-high is to blame for Ms. Salt’s lack of decorum and self-restraint.

Or, perhaps not.

In my 29 and 9/10 years on earth, I have never experienced anything more difficult than . . . wait for it . . . it’s coming . . . a few more seconds . . . any minute now . . .

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An Uncomfortable Character

The problem:

Lately I’ve been somewhat of a sourpuss. Fine! Have it your way, then; I’ve been an utterly petulantly, self-indulgently moody sourpuss.

You will remember my ankle, perhaps? I sprained one of the tendons that run along the top of the foot. Who knew an injury would alter and augment my cheerful disposition to this degree. Pain, I suppose, will do that to you. And not just pain, but inconveniencing pain. Not only does it take me three times as long to get anywhere, but my workouts — my nightly, sanity reviving workouts, freeing this writer of a day copious with discouragement and defeat — are devoid of all the exercises that raise my heart-rate, which in turn make me sweat, which in turn release those delightful little endorphins that so obligingly bring me happiness. Well, I can’t have that, can I? So, I decided to just do them anyway. This is where I tell you I injured my ankle over 2 weeks ago and the swelling has NOT gone down. Hm . . . why ever could that be?

Moron.

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