Detective Woolly, the ghost sheep, had been raised in a junkyard, and was unfortunate enough to see his mother get fondled and roasted by an old lady with wild, swinging breasts, on his birthday of all days. Or at least that was what he liked to tell people. In reality he was brought up on a lovely little farm, and his mother had lived to a ripe old age… and then she was roasted. There was no fondling involved, or at least if there was, Detective Woolly had never seen it. He liked to tell the other ghost animals that he died chasing the wobbly boobed woman through the streets of the city, where he was shot in a Mexican stand-off, whilst simultaneously also saving an orphanage from burning to the ground. In reality he had eaten a burger he’d found in the hand of a corpse which had been in the stream at the bottom of his field for about three months and had projectile-vomited himself into the next life. But this was Detective Woolly’s chance to impress his new ghost friends, and anyone could forgive him for exaggerating a little.
Having introduced himself as Detective Woolly for years, Detective Woolly had also never really been a detective. In his physical life he had spent most of his time eating grass and pooping, but had always dreamed of solving crimes and putting away those pesky sheep villains, of which there are undoubtedly many. Floating around in his ghost form now gave him the perfect chance to start afresh: he was invisible, fluffy and had donned a Sherlock Holmes hat and pipe in the spirit of things. He had also ordered a cape, but there had been a delay at the ghost sheep Post Office and it wasn’t coming for another week. If he’d had opposable thumbs he might have gone in and raised some Hell, but he didn’t have opposable thumbs. Also he was a ghost so there probably wasn’t a whole lot of damage he could have done… though of course he could have made the room go a bit cold and caused a mild annoyance. He didn’t think about it at the time.
Floating around as a ghost sheep does, one day Detective Woolly had found himself blown through the wall of a quaint looking cottage. Squirrel topiary lined the edges of the garden and a fresh cherry pie was sat upon the windowsill of the kitchen. Had Detective Woolly had any concept of societal clichés, he might have laughed to himself and pooped a little, but instead he drifted around the ground floor of the house, sniffing at the cereal in the pantry and nibbling at the curtains in the living room. As he passed by the laundry room, all of a sudden he heard an old lady cry out in distress.
‘Oh, Reginald! We’ve lost another blue sock!’
Detective Woolly spun round in a flash and hovered over towards the old woman.
‘That damnable washing machine has eaten another sock! Deary me…’
As the woman hobbled off into the distance, unaware that her tights had fallen below her knees, all of a sudden it became clear to Detective Woolly: this was it. This was his chance to shine! His chance to prove himself once and for all. He was going to find that sock for the old woman, no matter how long it took… although she was pretty old… Detective Woolly realised he probably had a deadline of about two weeks, maximum.
Drifting back through the hallway, Detective Woolly found the ghost of a cat, one of the old lady’s dead and bloated hobbies of years past.
‘Excuse me, Mr. Cat,’ Detective Woolly enquired, ‘I don’t suppose you’ve seen a missing sock have you?’
‘I might have done…’ replied the cat, ‘the old man usually takes them upstairs. He uses them to masturbate in so he doesn’t explode all over the carpet. It’s a new one, you know.’
Detective Woolly gave his thanks and bobbed up the stairs and pondered on picking up a semen-soaked sock in his mouth. He cursed his lack of opposable thumbs as he passed through the bedroom doorway, but there he was greeted by another pet ghost… this time of a small dog with a squinty eyeball.
‘Hello Mr. Dog,’ said Detective Woolly, ‘I’m looking for a missing sock. Have you seen it?’
‘I might have done,’ replied the dog, ‘after the old man’s finished his business, the old woman comes in and gets the socks so she can go downstairs and drain his rice pudding through it. Gives it extra flavour.’
Feeling just a little bit like he wanted to vomit in his own mouth, Detective Woolly floated back down the stairs and arrived in the kitchen, ready to stick his face into a bowl of rice and old man juice. But there he met another ghost, this time of a big iguana who looked as though he had been haunting the house many years before the nice, horny old people had arrived.
‘Hello Mrs. Iguana,’ said Detective Woolly, ‘I am on the hunt for a missing sock, have you seen one?’
‘I might have done,’ replied the iguana, ‘normally they get taken into the basement after they’ve been filled with rice pudding, so she can shove them down his throat for a bit of kinky fun’.
Feeling slightly as though continuing on was probably a very bad idea, Detective Woolly bravely continued on with his quest. This was his first mission, and he was going to follow it through to the very end in good spirited ghost sheep style! Holding his breath he began to descend the stairs to the basement. There he found the old man tied up in his pants, and the old woman dressed as a badger, shaving off his eyebrows and fondling his balls. But more alarming than this was that the sock she had shoved into his mouth wasn’t blue at all… it was cream! Disappointed and very much grossed out, Detective Woolly turned back round to ascend the stairs, but suddenly came across the ghost of a little mouse.
‘Hello Mr. Mouse,’ said Detective Woolly, ‘I am in a bit of a pickle. I was thoroughly expecting to see the old man being choked with a mysterious blue sock, but instead it’s turned out to be a cream coloured one. I just don’t know what to do.’
‘Never give up hope!’, said the mouse, ‘I am sure if you go back to the laundry room, you will find something there.’
‘But I’ve been there already!’, exclaimed Detective Woolly.
‘Ah yes, but did you speak to the washing machine?’, replied the mouse.
Bemused and slightly aroused, the muffled screams of the old man being flogged with a frying pan fading into the distance, Detective Woolly made his way back up the stairs. In the laundry room he cautiously approached the washing machine…
‘What do you want?’, came the abrupt reply of the washing machine.
‘I am in search of a sock, a blue sock’, replied Detective Woolly.
‘Ah… yes. The disappearing sock mystery.’
‘Yes…’ mused Detective Woolly, ‘actually, if you would indulge my curiosity for a second, how are you able to talk?’, he asked.
‘I am actually the ghost of a pigeon, I got trapped in the washing machine one day and washed to the point where all my insidey parts dissolved. Now my soul is eternally bound with the washing machine. It’s not a nice position to be in.’
‘No, I imagine not.’
There was a slight pause.
‘Yes, anyway, socks?’, prompted the washing machine.
‘Ah yes… I have come in search of a blue sock. I found a cream one, but I heard the old woman say earlier that she had lost a blue sock, and I thought I would come and find it for her. But I haven’t had much luck so far. She thinks you ate it.’
‘Ate it?’, asked the washing machine in a slightly offended way, ‘I don’t eat socks. The mystery of the missing sock is that there is no missing sock… there is always just an extra one that I like to give birth to occasionally, due to a genetic malfunction in my colon – or at least it used to be my colon. Now it’s the bit you put the washing powder in.’
There was another slight pause.
‘Well, fuck’ said Detective Woolly.