Tap tap tap.
The printer sprang to life, spewing out sheet after sheet of fresh A4.
“You’re looking busy today, Lucifer.”
“Yes. I am looking busy today, OfficeDrone. I’m looking very busy indeed.”
“Good to see, Lucifer. I thought that there wasn’t much work at the moment! What project are you working on?”
“It’s a project that I call, ‘printing off things from the internet to read while I take a massive crap.’
“Now get out of my way, OfficeDrone, or I’ll shit on your shoes.”
“Oh, yes, of course.”
I gathered my papers and went to the bog.
My bog, the one I consider to be my own, is at the end of a deserted corridor.
It once was the office toilets, but someone, in their wisdom, moved the offices about two hundred meters away to the far side of the factory.
The toilets were abandoned.
I claimed them.
Just as I gripped the handle of the toilet door, it gets kicked open from the inside.
The door slammed into my chest, knocking the air from my lungs and the sheaf of A4 from my hands.
I knelt on the floor, A4 drifting around me.
“What you doin’ on the floor, Lucy?”
It was Cyclops, eighteen stones of shit thick, wonky eyed printer.
“Ffffuuu….ck… What am I doing on the floor, Cyclops? Oh, nothing, just…”
The first thing that hit was the door.
The second thing that hit me was the smell.
I fell backwards, retching.
“Holy shit, Cyclops! What have you done in there?”
“What do you think I done in there? I done a crap, of course. That’s what bogs are for.”
“That doesn’t smell like human crap. What the fuck have you been eating?”
“Lot’s of stuff. I got a very varied diet, me.”
“Varied? It smells like pig shit and mustard gas in there. Is that what you call varied? It burns my fucking throat!”
“I don’t eat nowt like that, Lucifer. I eat stuff like vindaloos, beef madras, chicken biryani,…”
“Curries? Is that all you eat? Curries?”
“Nah. I like bacon sarnies too.”
Cyclops held up a half eaten bacon sandwich.
I can’t quite believe it.
“Cyclops, were you just eating a bacon sandwich on the toilet?”
“Where did you put it when you wiped your arse?”
“I sort of rested it in my undies.”
“Let’s just get things straight. You put a bacon sarnie in your underpants while you wiped your arse?”
“Yeah. My undies are like a little hammock for my sarnie.”
“You dirty bastard.”
I looked past him, to the toilets.
The bogs were a scene of devastation.
Both toilets were blocked, one overflowing.
Water and inky boot prints cover the floor.
Ink was smeared over the taps, paper towels are scattered everywhere.
And there’s that smell, that gut twisting, bile-curdling smell.
“For fuck’s sake, Cyclops! Look at it in there! Which toilet did you block?”
“Both of them.”
“Well, I crapped in that one and it got full and it got blocked, so I crapped in the other, and the same thing happened. These toilets are rubbish.”
“Wait a minute. How did you get to the other bog after you’d filled the first one?”
“How the fuck do you think I did it? I just shuffled around!”
“You didn’t wipe your arse though, did you, Cyclops.”
“How do you know?”
“Because you’ve left a lump of crap in the middle of the floor.”
“Could have been worse.”
“How could it possibly be worse??”
“It could have landed on my bacon sandwich! Hur hur hur!”
“Hur hur fucking Hur. You need to be shitting outdoors, you fucking animal.”
“You’re a fucking snob, Lucifer. It’s not like your shit don’t stink, you know!”
“It doesn’t smell like that! Nothing, nothing smells like that! You’ve got something wrong with you, Cyclops, you really have. I’d suggest a colonoscopy but you’d melt any camera that gets near your stinking hole.”
“Oh, just fuck off, you big puff.”
Cyclops stomped away, gnawing on his sandwich and scratching his arse.
“What’s making your arse itch, Cyclops? Bread crumbs?”
He ignored me.
I turned my attention back to the toilet.
It really made me mad.
I know that sounds petty, but it really made me mad.
I failed to understand the mentality of someone who can leave a toilet in that kind of state.
I spend a lot of time in the toilets, some truly quality time, but there was no way I could go in there.
Unfortunately, I still had business to take care of.
Business that was becoming increasingly urgent.
My gaze drifted to the other door, the door to the forbidden land, the ladies toilet.
I glanced around.
The corridor was deserted.
My mind said no.
My guts said go.
I crept into the ladies toilet for the first time ever.
I switched on the light.
Entered another world.
Delicate perfume drifted in the air.
Jars and bottles of pink and pale blue nestled by the beautifully polished sink, while pretty little soaps dressed in crisp tissue languished by the gleaming taps.
Dispensers of various feminine products hung on the pastel painted walls alongside a paper towel dispenser that actually worked, and even contained paper towels.
Over the radiator… can it be?…. an ACTUAL white fluffy towel! A real one!
Paper towels AND a fluffy white towel.
I had entered Nirvana.
I wandered around the fragrant room, stroking the towel, inspecting thte small feminine nick-nacks, utterly charmed by the stark contrast to the abattoir next door.
I could get used to this.
I really could.
I decide to use the ladies toilets more often.
I decided to use them all the time.
They were lovely.
If I’m careful, I thought, I won’t get caught.
I didn’t want to ruin a good thing.
It would be my little secret.
Just then, something caught my eye.
Hello, what’s this?
A strange white egg perched by a small pile of pink cotton flannels.
There was a button on the front of the egg, and a bright green light that flickered each time I moved.
The egg puzzled me, intrigued me.
As I looked closer I saw a little circular opening on the top of the egg.
I peeped inside…
A powerful jet of lavender agony fired directly into my eye.
The strange egg was an automatic air freshener dispenser and it had blinded me.
“My…my eye! My FUCKING EYE!!! AYEEEEEEE!!!! MYYYYYY EYEEEEE!!!” I screamed.
I panicked a bit.
In fact, I panicked quite a lot.
I stumbled backwards away from the vicious egg and my shoulder blade connected with the light switch.
The room was plunged into utter darkness.
There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The blazing pain in my eye escalated, became too much to bear, and I was suddenly terrified that I would lose my sight forever.
An embarrassing, thrashing frenzy followed.
Bottle and jars scattered and shattered, soap and lotion splattered across tile and mirror as I screamed and sobbed in the pitch black toilet.
I ricocheted off the walls, inevitably slipped on a puddle of peony hand cream, pitched forwards and my head connected heavily against a hard object with a sickening crack.
I slumped to the floor, unconscious.
When I awoke, I found that I could see again.
Not much, but I could see.
Out of the darkness, a small green light flickered.
I could smell lavender.
Lavender and shit.
I had shat my pants.
I groped my way groggily to the wall, fumble upwards, found the light switch.
Oh God, what have I done?
I was covered in Tampax™.
The Tampax™ dispenser on the wall was dented and gaping open, a smear of blood showing where my head connected with it.
The floor was a pastel rainbow swirl of fragrant glop, oozing from shattered pump dispensers and cracked jars.
The only dark colour was red.
Red from my blood.
I shuffled to the mirror, acutely aware of a hot, heavy weight in the back of my pants.
The face looking back from the cracked glass was smeared with bright blood and pink liquid soap, a cut in my eyebrow.
Strangely, my eye didn’t hurt anymore.
The tears of panic and terror had washed away the agonizing lavender air freshener.
It was at that point that it dawned on me.
Somebody could walk in at any moment.
A second wave of panic seized me.
Got to clean up!
Into a cubicle, whipped off my shit filled undies, looked for a way of disposing of them.
They went down the toilet.
Cleaned myself up, paper followed the undies.
The toilet belched up the paper and pants then flooded the floor.
I left it.
I fumble the Tampax™ that weren’t covered in goo back into the machine and pressed the door closed, then scooped as much of the crap off the floor as I could using paper towels.
I quickly ran out of paper towels.
I looked at the radiator.
I had to.
I snatched the clean, white, fluffy towel and started trying to scoop up glass and blood and moisturizer from the floor.
I heard a pop.
Tampax™ rained down on my head again.
Stifling a panicked sob, I reached an important conclusion.
It was time to flee.
I tried to flush away as much evidence as possible, but the other toilet began to bubble and froth, overdosing on liquid soap and paper towels.
I slammed the cubicle door.
Foam gushed under the door.
I quickly washed the blood from my face, dried with a corner of the ruined fluffy towel, and turned off the lights as I left.
The door clicked shut on my guilt, on the sound of water cascading over porcelain… and a sharp noise… *PSSSST*
As I shuffled away with my stack of soggy, unread sheets of A4 paper, I noticed the foul odour leaking out from under the other door.
I took solace in the fact that at least my carnage was fresh scented.
Up ahead, at the end of the long, long corridor, I could see a small sign.
I shrugged, and walked towards them…
Blog North Awards
The stories I hear.
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