THE ELECTRIC SOCK MONKEY … Jenell Kesler
There was a rapping. No, more of a scratching and it was coming from the heavy oak door. Not the front door by the sound of it, but the back door, the one just off of the kitchen. The door I used maybe once a week. The door that opened with the heavy brass key I left permanently in the lock. The door that opened to a bare bulb hanging from a small porch that led to the steep stairs, the back yard and the rusted trash cans that were always being explored by furry creatures on moon lit nights.
There it was again, that rapping. No, it was definitely more of a scratching. I flicked on the switch hoping maybe the light would scare away my visitor and waited. Confident in the fact that the bare bulb had done it’s job I turned the key in the lock, bracing myself against the cold and rain that would be blown against me through the screen door. And there, pressing against the screen was one of the rarest creatures I had ever seen. A creature known, but seldom ever seen by humans…a wet, tired, exhausted and very matted Electric Sock Monkey.
The screen door pushed the Monkey’s tiny body as I opened it. Then I reached down an scooped the little creature, cupping it in my hands. This little Monkey was a young one, couldn’t have been more then twenty years old at the most and handsome as the day is long. I say handsome because it’s tough to tell the sex of an Electric Sock Monkey, or any Sock Monkey for that fact, it takes a real expert and though I knew a lot, I only knew the rumors surrounding Electric Sock Monkeys.
I wrapped the Monkey in a dish towel and laid him on the kitchen table to have a look see. Sure enough, this was truly an Electric Sock Monkey … it had a damaged power cord and all. The missing plug from the end of the power cord was probably the cause of the Monkey’s troubles. No doubt someone had seen the Monkey while it was plugged into one of their electrical outlets and had cut it’s cord. I took the Monkey down the stairs that led to my basement, placed it in the dryer, set the cycle for gentle and went poking through my toolbox looking for a replacement plug. Sure enough, by the time I’d found a plug and laid out my tools the bell for dryer rang. I turned and watched the Monkey take a couple of spins through the glass door of the dryer before it stopped.
Dry at last and puffed back a bit in size, I moved the monkey to my work bench. Electric Sock Monkeys it seems were different than usual Sock Monkeys in the fact that they had taken an evolutionary turn when electricity came into existence as a household commodity. The usual Sock Monkeys that inhabit our planet and live in our homes have a penchant for dryer lint. Just one Sock Monkey in your home will keep the dryer lint-free and running perfect. But Electric Sock Monkeys, they were a breed apart, having moved from dryer lint, which they will still feed on occasionally, to electricity. They’d developed a power cord over time, and this allowed them to move from house to house. Pleasant, passive and loving as their counterparts, most humans saw them as a nuisance because the Monkeys would use up electricity, costing the homeowner an increased electrical bill. I’d heard stories of people catching them plugged into an outlet and then chasing them out the door or window, only to have their cord caught in a slamming door.
As I peeled back the cord revealing the black and red inner wires, it didn’t seem to me like this little guy could use that much power. I exposed the copper wires, attached them to a new plug, moved the Monkey next to a surge suppressor and plugged in the new power source. I snuggled some dryer lint around the Monkey and placed a small electrical appliance next to it for company, just in case the Monkey should wake and feel frightened. As I reached the top of the stairs I turned and looked at the sleeping creature. I decided to leave the light on, left the door open just a crack and went to bed hoping I’d done all I could have done, and had done it correctly. Like knowledge of Sock Monkeys, electricity was not one of my strong suites either.
The night before had seemed like a dream. I turned off my electric blanket and paused, thinking I heard music. As I ventured into the kitchen, I found that the radio, which hadn’t worked in years, was playing beautifully. And the toaster, that was working also, as was the door bell, the timer on the stove, and the refrigerator was running as quietly as the day I’d bought it. I grabbed my flashlight and opened the door to the basement. Climbing down the stairs I could see that both the Monkey and the lint the Monkey had been laying on were gone. I looked around but there was no sign of the Monkey anywhere. Getting down on all fours I tried to peer under my work bench, but it was too dark to see. When my flashlight wouldn’t come on, I realized the Monkey had taken the batteries. “A snack for the road,” I thought smiling, climbed the stairs, dropped two slices of bread in the toaster, turned up the radio and read the morning paper.