The Fabric of the Universe

The tiny civilization piggybacking on a dirty towel is about to be wiped away by a Kenmore washer! Following a series of earthquakes as the towel transfers from its habitual home to a series of laundry baskets, our [at this point] unnamed hero determines to save his world from its sudsy fate.

“Tell me a story!” the fawn-faced girl giggled high and rolling and she flounced up on her sheets. She tremored joyfully and kicked her white-socked feet against the bed.

Charlie leaned into the door frame, arms loosely crossed and eyes heavy-lidded. He yawned dramatically to the incensed giggles of his niece.

“Story!” she hiccupped.

“A story? A story?” he cupped his chin in a hand and pouted. “Well, I dunno. What am I supposed to do with a request like that? I wouldn’t know where to start, there.” He eyed the girl as she squirreled under the covers. “Maybe I’d just tell the whole, big, long story of everything and then you’d never get to sleep.”

A muffled yip of concurrence came from under the covers.

Charlie sighed and sat, his weight pressing down the edge of the bed. “Well,” he humphed. “Where should I start?”

A frizzed head poked out by the pillow. “With ‘Once Upon a Time’. Duh,” she scorned.

“Okay. Once upon a time there was a,” he faded momentarily and his fingers waggled as he tried to grasp the story, “towel.”

“A towel.”

“But it was a very special towel, of course. This towel was dirty and it was rotten and it had spongy, stinky bits of green all over it!”

The girl squirmed delightedly.

“And all these bits of green, if you looked really really close, stuck your face right down next to it – even though it stunk – you’d see… stuff.” Charlie paused, steepling his hands.

His niece flushed and she scoffed, “Stuff? That’s it?”

Special stuff,” he repeated. “Like a whole entire city, right there in the muck. You’d only think it’s muck because of the color, but it’s really intricate buildings and streets and even little green people! A whole city, country, world right there. But there’s a problem with something that small,” he let his voice go low and gravelly, “if you live on a towel, you’re going to get washed!”

She squeaked at Charlie’s explosive hands: they hovered around his face in a frame before falling flat to his knees again. He smiled.

“This is stupid,” she muttered.

“No, no it’s not,” Charlie’s mouth was a wide O of shock at the thought. “Why, the destruction of an entire civilization couldn’t be ‘stupid’. I mean, if you found out your world was going to get thrown in a washing machine and get washed away, what would you do?"

The girl grinned so wide her eyes squeezed into gleeful slits. She said, "I dunno, it's your stupid story!"

The End

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