It was laundry day. Down in the basement, an orange teenaged cat stood in front of the washing machine, looking down into a basket of dirty clothes. She grinned as she took each article of clothing out of the basket, inspected them, and tossed them into the washing machine.
Behind her, someone lurked. Just behind a stack of boxes of forgotten Christmas decorations and old baby books and photo albums, a small red cat peered towards the orange cat. Slowly, and quietly, the red cat crept out from behind the boxes, getting into the right position to pounce. Then, with all the grace and speed of a cat, he launched himself towards the teenager, landing on her shoulders and cupping his paws over her eyes.
"Guess who!" He challenged her, playfully.
The teenage cat continued to smile. "Let's see, could it be my little brother, Adam?"
"You got it!" He shouted, jumping down onto the floor.
The young cat was about a third of the larger cat's size. It was hard to tell that they're related, with one being orange and the other being red. Ashley, the larger one, was the older sister. Adam, the smaller one, was the little brother.
"What are you doing down here?" Adam asked her.
"Just doing some laundry." Ashley answered, taking a large pair of blue jeans and tossing them into the machine. "What are you up to?"
"Hiding out." Adam said in a whisper. "Mom wants me to take a bath. But I don't want to."
Ashley gave this problem some thought as she tossed a white sock into the washer. "I think I might be able to help you with that." She told him, with her signature grin.
"Really?" Adam asked, his eyes lighting up. "How?"
"I can get you clean just as well as a bath could," Ashley explained, throwing in a pink shirt, "But with all the fun of a theme park ride."
"Really? That sounds awesome." Adam shouted. "But what if mom finds me?"
"She won't." Ashley told him. "She won't find you for a long time."
"So where is this fun bath ride?" Adam asked.
"Right here." She told him, banging the top of the washing machine.
"You want me to climb in there?" Adam asked.
"Yep." Ashley said.
"Won't I get in the way?" Adam asked.
"Not at all." Ashley told him. "We get the laundry and you cleaned at the same time. It's called multi tasking."
"Thanks, I owe you one." Adam told her, climbing into the machine.
"Not at all." Ashley assured him. "It's my pleasure."
Adam discovered that he fit perfectly inside the cylinder of the machine.
Ashley continued to load the machine with the rest of the laundry, burying Adam chin deep in dirty clothes.
"How's that feel?" She asked him.
"Comfy." He told her, snuggling underneath an XL pair of underwear.
"That's good." Ashley grinned, as she loaded up the machine with detergent, softener, bleach, and just a teaspoon of starch.
She shut the door and spoke to him through the glass. "The wash should take about thirty minutes." She told him. "Whatever you do, don't inhale the soap."
Adam gave her a thumbs up sign from underneath a large green t-shirt.
Ashley turned on the machine and watched for a while as the machine filled itself with water. She saw Adam splash around a little as the drum began to rotate slightly. He appeared to be enjoying herself. Ashley only shook her head and continued to grin as she walked up the stairs out of the basement, glancing over at the clock, noting when she should come back down.
Exactly thirty minutes later, the cat had returned and headed down the stairs to check on the laundry. She opened the door and saw nothing but a big pile of wet laundry. She peeked in the machine, searching for any sign of her brother's distinguishable reddish hair color.
"Adam?" She called out gleefully. "Are you alive?"
And right on cue, she could hear his coughing as the pile of laundry began to move.
"Has it been thirty minutes already?" Adam asked, half enthusiastically, half sick and exhausted, as he poked his head from beneath the pile of clothes.
His body was completely soaked, and the patch of hair on the top of his head had drooped into his eyes. He dripped all over, and if it wasn't for his persistent grin, he would've looked positively miserable.
"Don't you feel clean?" Ashley asked, nearly in song.
"A little." Adam answered. "I mostly feel wet."
"I can fix that." Ashley told him as she went over and opened the dryer. "Jump in"
Adam climbed out of the washing machine and looked into the dryer. "I don't know." Adam told her. "Maybe I should just towel off."
"All the towels are still wet." Ashley told him, pulling one out of the pile in the washing machine to show him. "You'd have to wait until it comes out of the dryer, and by then, you might as well have been in there."
"That's a good point." Adam told her, climbing in. "Let's do this thing."
"Hold your horses." Ashley told him. "Got to get this laundry done too." She said as she took the clothes out of the washer and placed them into the dryer on top of Adam.
Ashley continued loading the dryer till it was completely full. She could see Adam's ears poke out through the top.
"Are you ready?" Ashley asked.
Ashley could hear murmering as the clothes began to bounce up and down. She assumed that meant yes.
She turned the dryer on and watched as the cylinder began to turn. "This one should be done in an hour." She yelled into the machine. "See you then!"
Ashley left the basement yet again, and again noted the time so she can be sure to get back when the cycle finished.
Exactly an hour later, Ashley returned. The dryer beeped as the cylinder began to slow it's speed and come to a stop. She peeked in through the glass door. This time she could clearly see Adam's limp body near the top of the pile, face down into a pair of pink socks.
She opened the door and Adam stirred.
"Feel dry?" Ashley asked him.
"I feel sick." Adam told her, facing her to reveal a green face.
"You look sick." Ashley told him, still smiling.
"Too much spinning." Adam told her. "Plus my fur feels soft and stiff at the same time. And every inch of my body hurts."
"Do you know what you need?" Ashley asked him, lifting him out of the dryer. "A massage!"
"That would be great." Adam told her. "Do you do massages?"
"Like a pro." Ashley gloated. "Come on, get on this table here."
"That's an ironing board." Adam told her.
"And your point?" Ashley asked. "It's basically the same thing. It's a flat surface and it's the closest thing we have at the moment. Besides, you've basically been going through a day spa for clothing, why not finish it up like one?"
"If you think it'll make me feel better." Adam said, climbing onto the ironing board. Ashley helped him up the rest of the way. Adam laid himself down face down and prepared for the treatment.
Ashley reached for the electric iron and turned it on. She squeezed the button on top and steam came out. "This'll take care of any knots and wrinkles."
"Wrinkles?" Adam questioned.
Ashley ignored the question and pressed the iron against Adam's back.
"It's hot!" Adam yelped.
"That's how you know it's working." Ashley told him, pulling the iron back. "You want me to stop?"
"No, no." Adam told her. "I was just surprised. I think I could get used to it."
"Alright." Ashley pressed the iron onto his back again.
Adam moaned, at first in pain, but quickly became a moan of calm, and even pleasure.
As Ashley moved the iron up and down along Adam's back, arms, legs, neck, and head, Adam continued moaning in delight. "Aaaah, this feels good."
"It does?" Ashley asked, genuinely confused. "I-I mean it does!" She caught herself, changing her tone. "I told you this would be relaxing."
"It sure is." Adam said.
Ashley could feel Adam's body ease up, becoming more malleable beneath her iron.
Ashley pressed down harder on Adam's back, continuing her back and forth motion.
"How does that feel?"
"Would you like me to do it harder? Faster?" Ashley offered.
"If you don't mind." Adam answered.
"Not at all." Ashley did as she said, and pressed down even harder, and moved even faster.
Adam's body became thinner and thinner at each pass of the iron, until his body was completely flat against the ironing board.
"I feel like all my troubles have all just melted away." Adam told her.
"I couldn't have put it better myself." Ashley told him. "You all relaxed now? Can I stop?"
"If you must." Adam told her. "I feel excellent."
Ashley turned off the iron and placed it back on the shelf.
"I'm glad to be of service." Ashley told him. "Now I must finish doing the rest of the laundry."
"I can't move." Adam told her, gleefully.
"I'll help you there." Ashley said, picking up the fabric-like body of her little brother and began folding him.
"What are you doing?" Adam asked, with worry in his voice.
"Just folding you up." She told him as she folded his face into his chest so that he couldn't say anything more. "I've been treating you like laundry so far, might as well finish it up. Besides, as limp as you are, what else are you going to do?"
Ashley finished folding him up until he was nothing but a little red square. She placed him in the laundry basket on top of the washing machine.
"I'll just leave you here until I get the rest of this laundry folded," She told him, "And then when I'm done and take the clothes back to where they belong, I'll deliver you back to your own room, in your underwear drawer, where you'd be safe and sound and no one will ever find you." By the end of her voice, all cheerfulness in her voice had been replaced with malicious mischief.
Ashley continued to fold the rest of the laundry and stacked them on top of Adam in the laundry basket. And staying true to her word, she took all the laundry upstairs and distributed them to their rightful rooms, saving Adam's for last. She removed every piece of clothing from the basket, until only the red square remained. She smirked as she did precisely what she said she would do, opened his underwear drawer, placed the square on top, and then shut it so that it couldn't be opened from the inside.
She left, whistling, closing the door behind her as she went out, content that her chore was finished, and was set never to return to the room again, or even mention this event to her parents.