Today on Facebook, someone posted a meme with a picture of a shark painted into a toilet bowl. I shared it with a status update that said, “Blah-doop.” The story you are about to read is one of my many guilty pleasures. I think every horror author tackles this subject at some point in time. Most notably, you should remember the Shit Weasel from Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher. This isn’t exactly a tribute to that scene, but I like to think it’s just as morbid, not to mention hilarious.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…
by Edward Lorn
There was something in the toilet. The man could hear it breathing.
Gilbert Nunez heard the sound during his morning bathroom appearance, before getting ready for work. While alleviating his swollen bladder, Gilbert noticed bubbles – big, round fuckers, the size of grapefruit – rising, then popping in his stream. The sight was odd, but did not exactly unsettle him.
“Musta be air een’da line,” Gilbert thought aloud. He wasn’t proud of his broken English. Twenty years stateside hadn’t done a thing for his Honduran accent.
Gilbert flushed the toilet and began to undress for his shower. The commode swished and swirled as he took his clothes off, the tank hissing while it refilled. He washed his hands in the sink – a silly action, really, considering he needed to shower anyway – letting the hot water soothe his aching, arthritic fingers.
The man in the mirror was familiar, but much older than he’d remembered. Soft, wrinkled skin, brown from years of working orange groves, darkened further under his eyes. It lent a bruised quality to his face. Sixty years did not a stud make. If he didn’t know the man lingering in the reflection, Gilbert would have thought him a sad sort, lost in life, age having throttled what little strength he had into submission. The years had not been kind, but those spent with his Maria were splendid.
Maria wouldn’t have thought another thing of the noise coming from the toilet. She would have dismissed it as nothing more than what he originally had: just trapped air. Still, it was beginning to bother him.
Gilbert ran his shower extra hot. The warmth would do well on his tired bones. Stretching an arm into the stream, he tested the currents’ temperature. Perfect. Maria had been fond of long hot showers. So much so, that after most nightly dinners he’d been left with nothing but cold water to wash dishes. Their little, one bedroom hovel in eastern Texas had needed a new water heater for nigh on twenty years. But what with Maria’s death and Gilbert’s lack of any stable income, the appliance’s replacement had been placed on a burner so far back Gilbert could no longer see it.
He stepped into the shower, sucking air through his teeth as the hot, powerful blast of water hit his unready flesh. The sting of the torrent slowly died away and he was left with a comforting feeling. It occurred to Gilbert that this was what a womb must feel like. Surrounded in warm liquid, the only sounds coming through being the rush of blood in his own head and the hiss of a faraway world somewhere outside.
Big Duck was knocking on the door when Gilbert finished his shower. The burly old bastard stood on the porch, chewing tobacco the color of dead leaves. His thumbs were hitched into his coveralls. He spit the crud over the railing in one fluid effort. Not a drip landed on Big Duck’s chin. The sight abhorred Gilbert. He’d never understood anyone’s fascination with smoking or chew. Both stunk and ruined your teeth. At Gilbert’s age, he’d grown to appreciate smells more. Especially when his own tailpipe could backfire and clear a room within seconds flat.
“The fuck? Ain’tcha ready fer work?” Big Duck spat again. This time he didn’t bother aiming over the rail. The brown gunk landed just to the left of Big Duck’s foot, staining Gilbert’s welcome mat. Maria had bought it.
“Jeest ah moment.”
“You got a shitter?” Big Duck reached around and picked at his ass. “I got a build up somethin’ the size of Texarkana a’rumbling down muh tracks.”
“Fist door on right. I get dressed.” Gilbert nodded, pulling his towel tighter round his waist as he left Big Duck to stink up his home.
Just before Big Duck closed the bathroom door behind him, Gilbert heard the noise in the toilet again.
“The fuck’s wrong wit’cher john, Hilberto?” Big Duck grunted. Gilbert didn’t want to think about why.
“Air een’dah pipes,” Gilbert called from the bedroom as he bounced around trying to put on his jeans. He’d gained some weight since Maria died – clothes didn’t fit so well anymore.
“Somethin’s ticklin’ my cornhole.” Big Duck chuckled. “Shit’s got a mind of it’s own. Hurumph!”
“Seek focker.” Gilbert shook his head. He never did understand those guys that needed to-
The cry startled Gilbert, cutting his mind off in mid-thought.
“Beeg Duck?” Gilbert buttoned the last bit of his fly and made his way down the short hall to the bathroom.
“Help me, motherfucker!”
“Oh sheet!” Gilbert quickened his pace, his bare feet squeaking on the hardwood floors.
The commotion behind the closed door of the bathroom sounded like a wrestling match. Big Duck squealed and whined, begged and pleaded. Was that gurgling Gilbert heard? Big Duck was no longer saying anything meaningful. His words were liquid, bubbling things.
Gilbert tried the knob. It was locked. Thrusting his shoulder into the wood, it gave easily.
Big Duck was a folded duck. His eyes bulged from their sockets, about ready to pop. Blood flowed freely from the corners of his mouth and drained from his nose in thick strands. Both of Duck’s legs were flush with his chest. Bent in two, like a hideaway mattress, Duck was pulled into the toilet inch by inch.
Gilbert was aware of the cracking sounds that came as bones were pulverized. He didn’t act. The oddness of the situation had turned him to stone.
Once the last of Big Duck disappeared into the commode, Gilbert chanced a step forward.
The water in the bowl was pink. Tendrils of blood diluted, snaking into oblivion.
Gilbert jumped, flushing the toilet at the same time. Whatever was in there, could fucking stay in there for all he cared.