Darning Wormholes

Wormholes exist. But they can only form in washing machines.

That was the hypothesis that began her journey, and would eventually turn the world upside down.

Ruth, like everyone else, had noticed that things often went missing when she did her wash. Nothing big, like her lab coats, just little things like pop socks. And also, like everyone else, she had noticed strange items of lonely clothing lying discarded in the street, in lay bys, or in alley ways.

She’d never put the two together though.

Only when she saw one of her own missing socks, jammed onto the spike of a railing in Chichester, some ninety miles from her house, did she make the connection.

At first, she was more concerned with how she could be so sure it was her sock, but it was unmistakably hers. She remembered spilling chilli sauce on that foot – it’s why the socks were being washed (other than the standard pong). The splashed sauce had formed the exact shape of Bulgaria, and there it was, mostly unwashed, on this sock dangling from a railing, some ninety miles from her house.

What’s more, further down the road, she found what could have been the missing underwire from her blue bra, and a mile further down the road, a scarf she could have sworn she used to own.

This was all rather puzzling, and played on her mind for days, until she realised all these things had gone missing in the wash.

Wormholes exist. But they can only form in washing machines.

The evidence suggested that they were unstable, and formed on a random basis – but given that they did form, and did send matter through space (and maybe time), there was reason to believe they could be made at will, maybe even with their destination controllable.

Three years of hard work and massive Government funding later, and she was ready to test the theory once and for all.

Here she was, at CERN, underground where a huge hadron collider used to live. All of that had been dismantled and removed.

In its place stood a Hotpoint Aquarius.

It wasn’t even plumbed in.

The water seemed incidental. And maybe it even added to the randomness. A dry wash meant more control.

Quivering with nerves and excitement, she bundled a few shirts, some trousers, and half a dozen pairs of pants (all clean) into the drum and shut the door. Experiments and computer simulations proved that it was the type of wash you chose that was key to wormhole formulation.

She chose the Wool cycle.

Five days later, the whole world woke up with a thumping headache.

Something was very wrong.

GPS no longer worked.

Everyone felt a bit discombobulated.

Only when the weather satellites sent their photos did anyone know why.

The Earth was upside down.

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