Non-Euclidean Restroom

tagnone

5

5

I lean back in my chair and stretch while yawning loudly, admiring the mountain of paperwork I just finished. The clock ticks past four in the morning, letting me know that I, once again, pulled another all-nighter in the Authority. In a slight haze, I reach for my half-empty mug of ice-cold coffee and down it like a shot of whiskey. This will probably last me long enough to get home.

I take my little golden plaque with Igor Simmins written on the front and tuck it into my drawer, push my seat back, wincing as the bottom of the wooden legs screech against the linoleum floor, grab my coat, and leave my office. Once I start walking down the main hallway, the true extent of my exhaustion hits me. I can feel it in my gut: that coffee won't keep me kicking long enough to get home.

A tall black rectangular savior offers me salvation: I head over to a vending machine for another pick-me-up. As the overly-caffeinated beverage plummets downwards, I feel another sinking feeling in my gut.

Gurgle.

Uh-oh. That sinking feeling intermingles with a burning sensation that dives into my depths. I abandon the beverage and sprint into the men's room. The nightly janitor must have seen the look on my face, because he takes one good look at me—he just knows—and steps out.

"Five minutes, Joe. Promise. Sorry." I grit my teeth so tightly, it hurts. My asshole clamps shut as Satan's pitchfork stabs white-hot daggers into my rectal cavity.

"Don't fall in." Oh, if only I knew.

I hurtle into a stall and slam the door shut. My pants just barely manage to fly down my legs as I plop my ass on the cold, unforgiving seat. The brown kettle begins boiling.

"Oh, fuck."

Yellowstone will be branded as a high-risk slumbering super-volcano capable of causing the end of days in about sixty years or so. Clearly, none of those future meteorologists have met my burning asshole. Here, in the present year of 1962, Mt. Shitsmore has spent the last twelve hours building in pressure. Catastrophic colonic collapse has come. With a grunt bordering on murderous shriek, Crap-atoa erupts. Belphegor's battering ram bursts forth and strikes that poor porcelain bowl.

"Oh, fuck!"

Meanwhile, as my lower gastrointestinal tract crumbles into a bloodied warzone, I hear something just outside the bathroom. It's faint, and I strain my ears to hear it. This task proves quite challenging, as my grunts of pain combined with the splashing sounds of Satan's sadistic shitfire effectively drown out whatever it is that's going on.

Pipes shift, toilets slide along the walls and find new spots on the ceiling, a urinal slides upwards along the wall, widening until it becomes large enough to function as a regular toilet. In the next stall, toilet paper rolls unravel, creating long trails of white that phase through the wall.

Being the oblivious fuck that I am, I almost didn't even notice any of this since last night's dinner is currently still holding me hostage. Miraculously, my own bathroom stall remains undisturbed, which allows me to finish my business. With a sigh of relief, I mummify my hand before standing up and applying the soft fabric to the ring of bloody fire. Wincing, I repeat this process until satisfied.

Pulling my trousers back on, I step out of the stall, frowning at the changes around me. My all-nighter just won't fucking stop.

"The hell?" I mutter. The janitor stands in front of where the entrance used to be, his back turned to me.

"Joe?" Many questions race through my mind, none of which I can reasonably manage to speak. The janitor turns around and faces me, eyes closed, his face stretched into a much-too-wide smile. He takes a step toward me.

"I have three anuses." Joe opens his eyes; two chocolate starfish now inhabit the space where his dark brown eyes once were. Joe arches backward, facing up towards the ceiling, his entire body now spasming. His belly stretches and distends beneath his janitor scrubs as though a melon had suddenly formed in his gut. From there, the melon shape travels upwards into his torso and up to his neck.

Instinctively, I duck downwards, watching in horror as a wave of smoking, molten brown shitlava arcs over my head and strikes the wall. I kick out my leg without missing a beat and sweep the janitor off his feet. Joe lands hard on his back, feeling the air whoosh out of his lungs. Even now, he smiles.

"Hail Scronkle." His head snaps sideways at a ninety-degree angle, with an arm and a leg following suit. In seconds, his flesh melts away into a translucent, gooey brown puddle, without even a human skeleton to hint at what he used to be.

Schlorp.

The puddle of goo turns opaque and solidifies into a pile of amorphous, shifting feces. Bubbles form on the surface of the shit, with each sphere growing to about the size of a marble before popping, revealing sets of human lips. Each lip smacks loudly, one after the other, opening slightly to reveal dark brown eyes that once belonged to Joe the janitor, before closing back shut. Countless eyes stare at me. I slowly back away, mouth agape. Needless to say, I am now thoroughly wide awake.

"Fuck!"

I reach for my standard-issue Authority rocket pistol, only to realize that I had forgotten it holstered back on my office drawer. My one chance of survival, so close, yet so far away.

Joe—what used to be him, anyways—slithers towards me. In full panic mode, I step back, weighing my options. The creature is too large to run past, I'm currently unarmed, and I have zero desire in knowing what will happen if that thing makes contact with bare human skin. I backpedal into the bathroom stall and slam the door shut, trapping myself inside. The creature starts crawling in from underneath the stall door, prompting me to step even further back. Only to lose my balance and fall backward.

Splash.

A human tongue does not exist on the planet that can describe how awful it feels to live out the age-old saying, 'don't fall in.' Truly, before his horrific transformation, Joe the janitor had unknowingly damned me to my fate when he spoke those cursed words.

Garbled shrieking echoes through darkness and ice-cold waters as I tumble downwards into a lavatory-based abyss. Moments later, I fall out of what I guess is a pipe and land in a bathtub-like basin, kicking up water from an ankle-deep puddle. I sit up quickly, taking sputtering breaths as I crawl away from the torrent of water coming from the opening above.

Gawking, I take in my new surroundings: a haphazard latticework of chrome pipes intermingled and interlocked with PVC. Active sink faucets irregularly dot the structure, with water flowing 'downwards' in whatever direction they are facing; some flow horizontally relative to my position, others flow vertically, and so on. All of this coalesces together to form a latrine labyrinth, as though M.C. Escher heard an excess of toilet humor one day and decided to roll with it.

The pipes above me rattle loudly, the stream of water stops. I leap to my feet and narrowly dodge an amorphous pile of brown.

"Silly little one-hole." The abomination gurgles. "You can flush, but you can't escape."

Fueled by adrenaline, I scan the surrounding area, perhaps for an escape route or a way of fighting back. As luck would have it, I spot a deactivated Authority-issue android sitting in a corner, rusted over and unmoving. A heavy-duty wrist-mounted laser cannon is still strapped to its frame and an accompanying back-worn battery pack.

I dive for the robot and fiddle with the attached weaponry. Thankfully, the weapon itself is just an attachment and doesn't actually require the android to be active for it to fire. My only concern now: is there enough leftover charge for it to shoot?

"Give it up, Igor!"

Without thinking, I grab the automaton's arm, desperately point the weapon at the approaching creature, and press the button on the side. It emits a low hum, letting me know it's building charge. Hope wells up within my chest.

The creature rushes towards me, its mouths smacking more and more quickly as the distance between us closes.

The laser gun's hum rapidly increases in volume, the device shaking in my hands. An invisible force bursts forth from the gun and strikes the creature directly in the center of its 'chest', punching a hole straight through its body. Out the other side, the unseen beam of energy continues traveling until it strikes some of the pipeage, knocking several chunks loose. All at once, the creature ceases moving, a heavy silence now hanging in the putrid air.

The mouths have frozen in place, eyes unmoving, the body's brown surface dripping with an oily residue. The carcass of crap sags downwards, starting from the top, flattening out into a dark pancake before dissolving into shallow waters.

I scramble to a higher surface to avoid the rapidly diffusing substance. My heart is still pounding, adrenaline still coursing from the encounter. After I take some time to calm my frayed nerves, I hear it. It's very faint, but just audible enough over the sounds of flowing water.

Chanting, distant, and out of focus, but audible. It's coming from behind. With no other choice, I make my way towards it. Who knows? Maybe I'll get some answers. Or even better, I might find a way out. I kneel down next to the android and check the laser gun; no dice. No juice left. I grab a sharp-looking chunk of pipe before heading towards the sounds. At least it's something.


Even after everything that has transpired, this damn bathroom makes me speechless. After walking down a hallway for what feels like an eternity, with nothing but sounds of flushing, chanting, and the occasional screams to break the silence, I find the path ending on a black void, stretching in every direction for what feels like an eternity.

What now?

A rattling sound from below gets my attention. An elongated toilet paper roll vibrates on its holder about an inch away from my feet. It unfurls rapidly, creating a paper road beckoning me to continue onwards. Only thing is, a few paces in, the paper turns ninety degrees upwards at a sharp angle. I place a foot on the road with the pipe in my hands. It sags slightly under my weight, but it holds me just fine otherwise. Even then, I walk slowly, afraid that it might tear at any moment.

The chanting is much more audible here. I stop at the sharp ascent, shaking my head at this new dead end.

"Oh, no…" I scoff, a combination of fear, frustration, and dread flooding me.

"Oh, yes."

I whip around and brandish the pipe as threateningly as I can towards the new presence. A young man in an Authority-issue jumpsuit greets me, smiling. I'd recognize that suit anywhere; the young man is a CSD.

"How the hell did you get in here?" I demand. There's no way he could have…unless…? CSD cells were structured like normal prison cells: bars and a plain metal toilet with no privacy.

"Same way you did." The CSD has his hands in his pockets, posture lax. "Prayer and an offering."

"Offering?"

"Yes…an offering…" Something tears on the CSD's lower body; large splotches of red appear around his crotch. "Hail…HAIL SCRONKLE!" He opens his mouth and lets loose a shriek, well above what human vocal cords should be capable of producing. He bends forward, placing both hands on the ground. His shriek morphs into something more akin to an airplane taking off, his lips stretching outwards until they encompass the entirety of his face, skin wrinkling and turning a deep brown. The seat of his jumpsuit tears open, bloodied fabric flopping outwards, the sound of rending flesh echoing into the black void.

I slowly retreat until my back touches the sharp ascent of toilet paper. Against this thing, the metal pipe feels as though it would be as helpful as a toothpick against a raging rhinoceros.

The CSD drops his face against the paper road, balances on his head, and raises his rear end to the sky. Here, I stare wide-eyed at the true sight of the prisoner's transformation: his anus and rectum have prolapsed and enlarged, deformed into a bloody flesh funnel. It widens until its size and weight surpasses that of the CSD, then tilts forwards, exposing bloodied, brown, pulsating ridges. Teeth haphazardly mark the inside of the funnel, blood dripping from each jagged, razor-sharp end.

In a full panic, I toss my metal pipe away, turn around, and claw at the paper ascent, surprised to feel my center of gravity shift; I can walk on it, despite its angle. With this new realization, I sprint upwards along the road, screaming as I feel the CSD land behind me, on the exact spot where I stood just a moment ago. I bolt along the road, noticing that it bends forwards and out of sight.

The CSD lets out another jet engine roar as it grabs the road and yanks. Just up ahead, the perforated paper starts to tear.

"No!" I scream as I double my running speed.

So close!

Another yank, another inch torn.

Yank.

Tear.

Yank.

Tear.

I roar a deep, guttural noise as I jump for it.

Yank.

Tear.

It tears away completely, falling into the black void below. I barely manage to grab hold of the edge ahead, praying that the leftover paper road holds. Miraculously, it does. I chance a glance downwards and watch in relief as the length of paper falls into the void below, taking the CSD with it.

The piece of road I cling on to is surprisingly sturdy; I manage to fling a leg over the ledge and pull myself up as though it were solid ground.

What I see next would have been a mundane sight on any other day but now? I wouldn't change it for the world. It's my backyard. Somehow, I've found an exit, something that I had convinced myself didn't exist. With a sigh of relief, I make a run for it.

It happens far quicker than any human brain can process: the entirety of the outside world erupts into impossibly blinding, dancing orange. A quake runs through the non-Euclidean restroom, almost as if the structure itself is shuddering from the sheer amount of loss that has just occurred.

A shockwave sends me flying back over the edge. I can see my home vaporize into a fine black powder in a mere second. I see my wife sitting peacefully on the living room couch before she falls over, struggling in burning agony before crumbling away like dust.

At least her pain didn't last long.

I scream as I plunge into the void below.

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