Reginald Bobich doesn’t mean to be a jerk. If he could just get rid of the tiny stones trapped in his socks long enough to think clearly, he’d be able to get through his day without hurting anyone. But they’re so damn irritating! He just can’t concentrate on anything else, not even a bank robbery, his wife’s panic or his office building burning to the ground.

The inspiration behind this story is to do with Norwegian sandpits: my daughter spends quite a large proportion of the day in the sandpit at kindergarten, and as such, brings a lot of it home in her shoes and clothes. What Norwegians call sand and what I call sand are two very different things. To me, sand is whitish-yellow, fine, soft and very slightly gritty if you get it in your eyes or mouth. To a Norwegian, sand is something more like very fine gravel; a substance once trapped in your socks seems never to come out again. I have spent many days at the office with this “sand” caught in my socks or stockings, being slowly driven mad. And when you have something so seemingly insignificant nagging at you all day long, you tend to lose all perspective. Rocks In His Socks is all about how we let tiny irritations blind us to what’s going on around us, sometimes at great personal cost.

The story is complete at 1500 words.