This is a true story and—a warning!
Screams from the basement crawled up the stairs.
“Ugh,” Angie growled at her laptop. “Why can’t those kids play outside? Too hot—whatever! When I was little we played outside in 120 degree weather—all day—uphill both ways.”
The screaming didn’t stop and Angie slammed the computer shut. “Seriously? Don’t they know how to use inside voices?”
She stomped to the stairs, hoping her loud footsteps would silence the kids and she wouldn’t have to find them.
No such luck.
“Hey,” she yelled. “What are you doing down there?”
Now that she stood on the landing she could hear snarling, moaning, and crying.
“What the…” She grabbed the rail and took the stairs two at a time. “If you boys are teasing your sister, I’m going to—”
But she stopped cold on the last step. The door to the laundry room was bulging abnormally—in and out, in and out—like a breathing lung.
“Kids?” She called, softer this time.
“Mom?” A muffled cry called from behind the door.
Who was that? James? McKay? Nicole?
Angie stepped forward and put her hand on the doorknob only to pull back quickly from the cold wet metal. Is it sweating? No, that can’t be. This is silly.
She took hold of the doorknob and turned. The door flew open—knocking her into the wall.
Out of the door tumbled a sea of soiled laundry.
Mud crusted pants.
Popsicle stained shirts.
Stiff week old underwear.
Every article of clothing she’d neglected this past week broke over her like a wave—pulling her under.
Angie clawed her way to the surface, past pen marked church shirts and wet swimming suits, gulping for breath.
“James?” She saw his face for a fraction on a second before a whitecap of dirty whites crashed over him.
She tried to swim to him but the undertow was too strong. “Help me! Please! Someone help!” But even as she said it her heart dropped. Who would help? No one could hear her.
Like a cork from a bottle something shot out of the sea of clothes—the long twisted tentacle of sheets and—Nicole tangled inside.
“Momma!” she cried, reaching out her hand. Angie echoed her movements, but couldn’t reach her baby.
The sheet swung a sobbing Nicole around the room before pulling her back under.
Desperation now ripped at Angie. “I’m coming. Don’t worry.” But she was worried. How will I get them? She heard a muffled yell and tried to turn. “McKay?”
She could only glimpse his wild hair before he slipped beneath the clothing current—hands grabbing air.
Something wrapped around Angie’s ankle and tugged. She searched for something solid to grab—nothing! All around her pillowcases, picnic blankets, and summer shorts swirled in dangerous eddies.
The Thing holding her ankle pulled harder and in a large splash of mismatched socks—she was gone.
Higher and higher.
The laundry rose like an angry tide—flooding the stairs—one at a time.
I know. I know. It isn’t a happy ending—but laundry never is. Moral of the story: Undone laundry will eventually kill us all :) or We all need maids :) Take your pick!