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July 16th, 2017
Three drinks had made walking feel like a dance. Six had made it lopsided and slanted.
Walking was hard. Especially when she was this drunk. This poor girl, nameless, a nobody in this town. This anonymous drunk was using her friends like walking canes, she rested her weight on them, each side of her body held by one annoyed friend. She grabbed at their necks and their arms and gripped them as she fell.
“Come on,” One of them said. “You can make it to the door, can’t you?”
A few shots, a few drinks, a few dances had made her tired. Her body felt hot, but she could not feel the sweat, only the cold from the outside that chilled her skin. It was a nice feeling.
“That annoying prick wanted to f*** me for so long,” She laughed, her voice somewhere in between pride an annoyance. A friend to her side only nodded and typed away at her phone.
“The uber is coming soon.” She said.
Another friend stood by the edge of the street with her hands tucked into her chest, rubbing them together against the unbearable cold. The light post to their side was slanted, at least, the drunk felt as she hugged it.
“Yeah, yeah. Deeefinately. He reaaally wanted to take you home. We saw.” Her voice dragged, her eyes rolled back. The drunk only giggled and looked behind to a door that opened from a bartender taking out the trash. From the open door, she saw the sign, ‘Restrooms’ and felt her stomach drop. Drop what? She didn’t know exactly.
“Can I use your restroom?” The drunk asked and used one of her friends to push herself up.
The bartender stared at her for a bit. She grimaced, scratched her head. It was a very passive way to eventually say no, but one so long winded and tired that the drunk simply did not wait. She walked past the bartender.
The bartender stretched her arms out and let them fall by her side.
“Sorry. She gets a little aggressive when she’s wasted.”
She ran past empty bottles that laid on their sides on tables that laid on their sides, chairs with broken legs sat upside down on top of the bar top. The smell of urine and nail-polish scented whiskey permeated the air. She felt something ride her throat, almost emptying out of her. She caught it. With a cupped hand on her mouth and the other on her nose, she rushed even faster to the restroom.
There she turned the faucet and drank. It helped. Then she put her head under the water and ran the water down her scalp like a baptism. The layer of caked makeup dripped down. Thank god.
Used makeup, spotty with dirt and sweat drained down the hole. And when she was done, and the feeling in her throat settled and with legs finally strong enough, she went into the stall.
She sat and urinated and looked at the numbers of stupid girls and stupid boys with hearts etched along their names. Graffiti, hearts, the fake (?) phone numbers of prostitutes. These were all around her like cave paintings.
It made her headache, a pulsation that came in waves. The night felt worse for some reason.
She put her head down, away from her phone that buzzed and bounced out of her pocket. It fell and cracked when it hit the floor. The screen looked like a web. But she couldn’t bother, her eyes were heavy, and her body seemed lighter as she emptied herself. It was a comfortableness, so gentle that she allowed herself to drool. The sound of the faucet running behind the stall. The sound of the wind outside the window. Gentle – serene even, this shitty little bathroom. Dirty, defiled.
It was nice.
But relief is always temporary. Her leg slipped off. She yelped, thinking she was falling. Awake, she jiggled her leg. It felt numb and prickly.
Her phone stopped buzzing sometime in between her small nap. She picked it up, vision blurry.
If only she had read the messages.
But another stall door opened.
That bitch probably wants to kick me out.
“I’m not finished, sorry,” She screamed out. There was silence. Then the rubber guard scraped against the floor as the door closed. So what?
A moment later, light footsteps like the hooves of an animal.
Her head turned to the sound. It seemed…heavy? Like a horse maybe?
She rubbed her eyes some more. Her hand massaged her stiff neck. She heard the stall next door.
“Hey, I’m not done!” She screamed.
The walking stopped. The faucet stopped. And as she noticed, it was as if the wind stopped.
Minutes passed perhaps, a tension growing in her knotted up stomach. It wasn’t vomit or s*** or piss this time. It was something new, something sobering.
The person. Or thing. Had not left the bathroom.
Her eyes grew wider. She pulled her pants up and lowered herself to see below the stall. Half-way. She stopped. Or was forced to stop.
One stall door opened and closed. Then another. Then all of them, all of them but hers crashed and slammed and clattered against the walls.
It was too fast. She couldn’t even scream. Only barely breath.
It stopped. When silence stepped in, she could finally notice she was crying.
She sniffled and put her hand on her mouth.
Listening, not even breathing now.
No more clapping, no more clacking. There was a stranger sound now.
The stall next to her closed with a bang. The person stepped in, right next to her.
She heard the slobbering sounds of eating. The wet gritting of teeth, the noisy hunger. The drunk hoped it was just her head and the half bottle of tequila and she begged it to be just that. But the noises grew, louder, louder. She tried, slowly, to undo the lock on her door. It creaked.
The person stopped eating. She wished she had just stayed asleep.
Then came the strangest sound from that strange little stall next to her. It was like something plopping, like something falling into shallow water. It bobbed up and down and fell out the rim, then with a thud, landed on the tile floor next to her. Her eyes could barely move, but she had to know. She looked down. Her body froze.
A half-eaten arm. The ivory, the knobs freshly mawed and stripped of flesh. Bloody toilet water spilled out after the arm, encroaching on it and then on gue. She screamed. Out the restroom. Into the bar room. Her heel snapped somewhere along the running line. It didn’t matter. Nothing mattered! It flew off her feet like a bullet casing. Midway through the bar, she turned. She screeched. There she saw her friends, what was left of them, hanging by the ceiling fan. It wasn’t right. No, no. None of it was. What she saw were ways the human body should never be – in shapes, unholy.
She closed her eyes as she ran through her friends. Their skin hung like ribbon decorations. She felt like vomiting as she felt their skin and limbs pass over her. Outside wasn’t better. Even in the darkness, even with the broken light post now laying lopsided on the floor. She could see, though wished she didn’t. The bits and pieces; eyes and brains and deformed organs.
“No, no, no,” She covered her mouth. She almost slipped on Abbey, the sarcastic one. She didn’t like her. But she wasn’t happy she was dead either.
Her gait was strange, her ankle had been sprained a while back. She wobbled down the streets, hands waved up in the air. The taxi had made it. Thank God, if there was one.
He braked. Only, just barely.
“Drunk idiot.” The driver muttered nodded his head and looked at the GPS on his dashboard.
“Get me the f*** out of here!” She forced herself into the passenger seat. She had blood all over her, from feet to hair.
“Wait, I don’t want any trouble-”
“Drive, you f****** idiot!” She screamed. He didn’t argue. One inspection of her dirty face and the broken, half-mournful, half-frightened eyes suggested that maybe, just maybe, he shouldn’t argue. Her nose dripped. Her eyes were glazed, unblinking and wet with tears.
She trembled all over.
“Alright,” He nodded his head. “Alright” He switched gears on the car. He took his foot off a pedal, she could hear the whine of the brakes.
Then she screamed again.
For the driver was gone. Not physically, of course. His body was very much there. But he was gone.
She scratched her face.
He was spilling out of his waist. And everything inside of him, all of him, spilled over to the clutch, down the seat, across the passenger seat. There was no driver. Only matter; flesh and blood and bone and the blade. The blade, or whip, or whatever weapon it was, slowly extracting itself from his severed body.
Her voice cracked, she moved forward. She stretched her leg out and pressed down on the drivers’ still twitching foot. The pedal moved. The car blazed down the street.
There were howls all around. Everyone seemed to be crying. The engine, the girl, and the beast chasing after them.
Synopsis: The online game <