It was mostly curiosity that brought us here. Really. Okay, we were bored too, and maybe a bit tipsy. Well, I definitely was, and Macey seemed to be. Don’t judge. Benny had just dumped me, and Macey was nearly a year out of work. I’d heard she was probably going to lose the flat. So we both had our reasons for having a few drinks in us at three in the afternoon.

Macey’s not really my neighbour. She lives one floor up, and I guess you could say she started it. We were both in the apartment laundry. I was just about to load my washing, she was sorting hers, and wondering why she was missing yet another sock.

“You know,” I said, loading my own washing in, “I reckon every time I bring a load down here I lose a sock. Do you think someone’s stealing them?

“I think something eats them,” said Macey, and giggled. I wasn’t sure she was serious.

“There has to be an answer,” I said. “We can investigate.”

So we decided to stay and watch my load get washed. Not much of a plan, but like I said, we weren’t really thinking straight.We stayed there until the three hour wash cycle was done, then took a tally of my wet clothes. One sock missing.

“But that can’t be!” I wailed. “We were watching the entire time.”

“You know what this means.” Macey’s voice was hushed. “There’s something living in the washing machine.” 

It was at this point I clued in that she’d been drinking.

“I don’t think it’s that. Maybe it’s just stuck.” A simple explanation. I stuck my head in the machine and groped around. Macey was right behind me, gripping my shoulder.

“Can you see anything?”

“No, just – Oh!” And suddenly my arm gave way. There was some sort of hole at the back of the washing machine.

It was the strangest thing I’d ever felt. Sort of soft and smooth but also, I don’t know, sparkly. I know something can’t feel sparkly, but this did. Sent tingles all up my arm. I probably could have drawn my arm back, probably should have, but I wanted to see what this looked like, this thing I’d never felt before. So I stuck my head in as far as I could, with Macey hanging on behind me, and caught a glimpse of my arm, elbow deep in what looked like a hole made of stars. The hole took up almost all the back of the machine.

“There’s a hole!” I exclaimed.

“Let me see,” said Macey, and tried to push me out of the way so she could get her head in. But instead she pushed me further in, and suddenly there was this great lurch, like the ground was giving way.

Then we were tumbling, over and over like clothes in a washing machine. That part seemed to last forever, but all the way I could feel Macey clinging to my waist. At first it was horrible, but then I thought that if this hadn’t happened, I would have been alone in my room being miserable about Benny, and Macey would have been in her room being miserable, and compared to that, this was a little bit fun. Just when I decided I was enjoying it, we tumbled out on some grass. Got some bruises. Some knights found us, told us where we were and brought us to you. They said you’re Queen here?

Well then, your Majesty, that’s how we got to Fairyland. I don’t suppose you could help us get back, could you?