This is my worst nightmare. I’d had a very exhausting couple of months with work and two teenage daughters pulling me in all directions. Each time I’m taken back to that night, my clothes become wringing wet with the fearful memory of that night.
Driving along the winding country roads in the darkness of the moonless night was stressful, and the cloying heat of midsummer caused my back to stick against the car seat; sticky wetness created an annoying itch, forcing me to rub my upper torso hard against the back of the seat. I almost lost control of my car as it skidded towards the gravel.
The many coffees I’d drunk on my journey forced the issue. I was desperate and my need was getting more urgent by the minute for a toilet.
Finally, my headlights illuminated a roadside sign. ‘Next Rest Stop two kilometres.’
Eerie darkness took over once my headlights dimmed. Tangled, stunted trees overgrew, camouflaging the outhouse.
Was I looking at a museum? This wasn’t your ordinary toilet block.
Pushing my way through the thickness of the night and the bracken of the shrubbery, I hesitate something was compelling me to turn and run back to my now eclipsed car. But I had to keep going, or I’d wet my pants.
The door to the block was a solid grid of iron, an artifact of foreboding metal. The macabre look of it intimidating, but my urgent need to relieve myself required me to surrender my fear. ‘Go in or wee my pants.’
It was a tight squeeze through the iron bars of the rusting turnstile. Through the gloominess, I make my way, treading carefully until I reach the first cubicle.
Surely, the horror I now faced had distorted my features as I emitted a strangled scream.
A baby dressed in a grubby blue jumpsuit, miniature riding boots, a leather jacket, and a helmet appeared to be floating in the toilet. It couldn’t be more than a year old, I thought to myself. Regaining my breath, I looked closer and saw that it was a doll stuffed with a straw-like substance. Beneath the mannequin, what should have been water appeared as an inky blackness of sludge. I gagged and throw up at the stench.
“But why, who, how?” the questions flooded my head.
Furtively moving to the next cubicle, a microwave oven full of dead rats and red paper aeroplanes was sitting on top of the black muck of that toilet.
“What is this place?” my jarring thoughts echoed.
The toilets were eccentric, elongated oval-shaped, made of granite. As I peered in, I saw they were as deep as the pit of a septic tank.
Gingerly venturing further into the strangeness. A banquette seating area materialised. Three ghostly girls dressed in old fashion tattered gowns, one faded crimson, another a rag of velvet that once might have been emerald green, the third was so discoloured any hint or tinge had diminished long ago.
They danced and shimmered as glassy reflections before my eyes.
Frightful as they were, I had to convey my need for a toilet and enquire where I’d find one my urgent need far stronger than my terror. The girl in faded crimson pointed out the only useable toilet at the far end of a tunnel.
My mind shrieked, ‘A tunnel, but this is a toilet block?’
Entering the dark corridor, I followed her directions. Banning my head into a wall, while trying to find my way, I found the room with the toilet. The chamber emitted a pungent smell assaulting my nostrils. The chamber was overflowing with strange ancient bottles; the iridescent contents glowed, creating a blurry blue suggestion of light. The water in the toilet was as murky and black as the other privies.
Recoiling backwards, I desperately hoped I’d only imagined the tiny white foot floating in the manure. Even this sight couldn’t stop my frantic need to relieve myself.
The emptying of my bladder issued a luxuriant sensation. The warmth gave me the comfort and relief that only a good pee could give.
Staggering back in fright, I suppressed a scream as a long spindly leg entered through a gap in the window. As it clambered through, its huge ugly toe landed on a set of steps, the other long leg followed, then the torso slithered in, joining the legs of the hideous creature.
Now I was screaming loud and hysterically, as I ran with my arms flaying in all directions. I skidded to a halt at the spot where I’d encountered the girls in bedraggled rags, but they were nowhere to be seen. In their place, a swirling layer of fine silvery dust floated towards the ceiling.
I hid in the cubicle with the microwave oven, crouching behind the door. Waiting to see what might happen, when I was sure nothing was moving, I slipped out of the cubicle to the hall and hid behind the next door.
I sneaked a look through the doorjamb. I was consumed with dread as I watched the thing shoving a girl dressed in an ancient costume into the toilet. Her face twisted into a soundless scream as her legs went in. With an excessive show of ceremony, the beast arranged a stone figurine onto her lap. The statuette appeared to be chiselled wearing a long dress dating back to the seventeenth century. More ceremony ensued as it bowed three times while the child sank into the mire of sludge. Once to the right, once to the left, it bowed lower to the middle of the room, where an altar stood.
Chanting in an unfamiliar eerie tongue, it said these words.
“You are mine. We are one. To die is to live.”
Beyond reasoning, I knew what was being said.
Flashing red and blue lights filled my car as the sirens wailed all around me. It was then that I realised there were no restrooms.
‘Open your eyes, you’ve been in a car accident,’ said a kind voice.
But all I could think, ‘I’ve wet myself.’