Jane walked to the toilet that she shared with the people from her residence. She looked at each of the stalls before choosing which one she was going to use. The first one was completely filthy – Jane could not understand, for the life of her, how it was possible not to put all of the shit into the hole, it was as if someone was shitting while standing up and playing a basketball game with their shit or something -, and the second one had a paper stuck to it because of a malfunction that had not been solved in the last month, so Jane prayed that the third one was in a decent state. What she saw surprised her.
The toilet was there, and it was clean, but the seat had disappeared. She was torn between creating a seat with toilet paper or running to the toilet in the lower floor, but she needed to go to the toilet. She thought that she would ask Yanling about it later, and she surrounded the edge of the toilet with toilet paper. She felt relieved after she had finished, she flushed and made sure that the toilet stayed clean. She hid the toilet paper in the hook right in the back of the door – that hook’s function was actually to hold bags and jackets, but Jane had started to leave the toilet paper there. She had noticed that, when she did that, others thought that there was not any toilet paper there and avoided using that stall. That way she could enjoy a clean toilet – and she washed her hands.
She then went to Yanling’s room and knocked. A black girl opened the door.
“Hey, Jane, how are you doing?”
Jane did not know that girl. “Excuse me, but I don’t think I know you. Is Yanling here? Are you a friend?”
The girl gave her a weird look. “Jane, are you OK? I’m Rebecca. I’ve been living here with you for the last year”.
“Rebecca…?” Jane thought quickly. “But…”
“Don’t you remember how we talked in my room so many times, and how I taught you Caribbean cuisine?” Rebecca asked, showing her room.
Jane saw that all of the Chinese calligraphy and other decorations had changed completely. It was the same room, only it contained completely different stuff. Jane was startled, as if she had gone crazy. Had she somehow gone mad? Was she dreaming? She pinched herself, but it all seemed pretty real.
“But… Yanling… a Chinese girl…”
Rebecca seemed worried. “Jane, that’s impossible. There are almost no Chinese people left”.
“That cannot be! China has the biggest population in the world! And…!”
Rebecca was getting seriously worried. “But Jane, don’t you remember? A few years ago a terrorist attack happened, and Chinese nuclear warheads spread out all around Asia. This started the largest war in history, involving China, India, Indonesia and North Korea. With time, Japan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Korea, the Philippines, Mongolia and Russia also got involved, and several others. The casualties were counted in the hundreds of millions only in the first day, and in the billions in the war. Those countries are barren wastelands now. It’s impossible that there was a Chinese student here”.
Jane was having a hard time processing the information. “That… that can’t be!” she shouted, and then she started to run towards the toilet. She went into the same stall that she had used earlier and sat down, hoping that she could restart her day. It was as if that trip to the toilet had transported her somehow, displaced her.
Jane took a while to build the courage to get out. She noticed that something was different, and when she got out, she saw it. She was in a completely different bulding! She was in a hospital. She heard screams from a room, shouting something about Sennermen. She opened the door where the screaming came from, and a creature jumped against her. It was tall, and had few facial features. It faced Jane menacingly.
Jane run back to the toilet, and heard the creature following. She did not look back, and closed in on her own stall, the one in which the toilet did not have a seat. The door of the toilet opened, and she did not dare to even breathe. A woman’s voice spoke.
“What do you think about this lifestyle, Helen?”
Another woman responded in an almost inaudible tone. A lot of noise came from outside. It sounded like they were in some sort of club. The conversation continued, and then the woman who had been mumbling all the time shouted.
“I’m not on drugs!”
Jane just waited. She was extremely afraid to go out, fearing that she would never go back to normal. She did not understand what was going on. She then heard a man’s voice speaking to another one, and she heard them pee in urinals. She peeked outside and saw that the toilet had turned into a men’s toilet, one of those that are built in airports. The men were apparently two friends who had met at the airport.
“I’m going to go find Kenaloa!” one of them said.
“Kenaloa is just a myth, Jack. Several people have tried to find it and failed. Some of those have died in that jungle” the other one responded.
“But I have a clue that none of them had!”
The other one doubted. “Do you really think that you can outsmart several generations of archaeologists?” he asked, as he washed his hands.
“Yes” Jack answered with arrogance.
Jane could not hear the conversation as they blow dried their hands. They then left the toilet. Jane waited for a while before opening the door. She did not want to be surprised by some tall creature, or men coming into the toilet. When she finally opened the door, it all looked the same way as her residence.
When she came out of the residence, Yanling came running towards Jane, who was extremely relieved to see her friend alive. Yanling seemed worried.
“Jane, have you heard?”
“What?” she asked.
“London! It got destroyed! And several other places across the globe…!” Yanling shouted.
“What? London?! My brother!” Jane took her phone and started to call her brother. He did not answer. She looked at her messages and saw that he had sent a few messages to a group chat about darkness and monsters. The last message had been sent about half an hour before, when he had said that one of them was approaching.
Jane started to cry. Her stomach was not feeling well, and she went back to the toilet to vomit. Yanling went after her, but then, after she had vomitted, Jane saw that it was not Yanling who had made it into the toilet. A blurred image of a girl and several other thousands of things looked at her.
The girl inspected Jane and noticed. “You are not from here. You have to go back home” she told Jane, right before disappearing.
“What does that even mean?” Jane wondered.
As she pronounced that, a woman walked into the toilet. She had tied her hair in a bun, was wearing glasses and carrying a folder with her. When she saw Jane, she panicked.
“Jane! What are you doing? You should be wearing your suit! We have an extremely important case today!”
Jane was confused. “What…?”
“Helen Franklin! We have to defend her in trial for what she did to that youtuber kid!”
Realizing that she must be in some sort of reality in which she was some sort of lawyer, she just raised a hand, asking the woman to stop.
“It’s OK, I haven’t forgotten” Jane said, calming her voice. “I have my things in the toilet, give me a minute”.
The woman was relieved, and she let her breath go for a moment. “You had me worried there”.
Jane got into the stall and waited. The woman was still there, she knew, but Jane knew that no change would happen until she left. She kept waiting, but the other woman seemed persistent.
“Jane, how are you doing? Do you need help?” she said.
“No, it’s OK”.
“It’s just that Helen is about to arrive and…”
Jane saw the opportunity. “Go check on her. I’ll join you guys ASAP” she said.
Jane heard the heels walking out of the toilet. She waited a bit, and then walked out of the stall. There was nobody there, so she went outside. She went to the other side of the corridor and looked out of the window. There were thousands there, watching how a woman got escorted to some sort of stage. Jane then saw that it was a public execution.
When the old woman who was being escorted got to the stage, she said some words that Jane could not hear. She then disappeared. And the earth started to divide in giant chunks. Jane could feel how the whole planet was being torn in several places, and she run for the toilet. She managed to get inside, but the building started to collapse as she opened the stall door.
She barely managed to hold onto the door with one hand. As the building crumbled to pieces, she saw the Earth exploding in every direction, and managed to pull herself back into the stall. The door closed as they hit the ground, and Jane’s head went back out of balance, as her body got used to being back in a static position. The toilet was back to normal.
Jane was about to push the stall door open when she heard a pair of people coming in. Two women. Something in their voice seemed a bit off, and so Jane decided to wait.
“OMG, these shoes are killing me” one of them said. “I’m taking them off”.
“Wow, of course they are. Look at that heel!” the other one responded. “How can you even walk on those?”
“I know, I can’t keep my paws in them for too long. But they were on sale, and they make me look, like, so sexy” the one in the heels responded.
Jane thought about what she had heard, and was surprised to notice that she had taken longer than expected to notice what was off. The woman had said paws! Jane crouched to take a look through the gap under the stall door, and saw a pair of human sized rabbit and cat combing themselves and adjusting their makeups. The rabbit was not wearing any shoes at the moment. Jane decided to sit that one out in the toilet. The cat and the rabbit kept talking.
“Have you heard that Coco stole from the Baron Von Kitty? Apparently he was furious!” the rabbit commented.
“Of course I’ve heard! Coco is quite a celebrity by now!” the cat responded.
“It’s just such a mystery… sometimes I wish that he would come steal from me” the rabbit said in a naughty voice.
“Oh, stop it” the cat responded in laughter.
“Come on, he must be agile to steal like he does, so he probably is, like, super hot” the rabbit said.
“That must be true… Though sometimes I wonder what species he is” the cat answered.
“I imagine him as a fox. I would totally let him catch me!” the rabbit stated.
The cat laughed. “Fox is not my type…”
“Of course not, I know you prefer a silver haired wolf” the rabbit said, with malice. “Like John, from IT, which is why you keep ‘having problems’ with your computer”.
The cat was extremely surprised. “Shut up! How do you know about that!”
The door opened and a female voice interrupted the chat. “Ladies, the meeting is going to resume now. Better to get going”.
They took a bit to get out, and the door closed once again. Jane decided to wait a good five minutes before going outside. But while she waited, different collections of people came in and out of the toilet, people who could not have been in the same place at that time, which meant that toilet kept changing locations. Jane heard a researcher who was cursing at some program that was not working how she wanted to, a couple of people, a man and a woman, talking about how they were following a living chair, and a woman who had bought one of those petrol station sandwiches.
The toilet was finally silent, and Jane came out of her stall. It looked like one of those brand new restaurant toilets that has flowers and herbal scents. She opened the door outside and confirmed that it was indeed a restaurant. It said Donna’s in the back of the small restaurant, and the environment was quite calm. The smell of the food was good, too. Jane checked her watch, and saw that she had been traveling through dimensions for a few hours now. No wonder that she was so hungry!
She had her wallet with her, and while she did not know which country she was in, she saw a client use a credit card, so was relieved to know that she could pay with that. She sat at a table and waited. A man walked towards her table after serving a few people.
“Hello, and welcome to Donna’s, I’m Bill, and I’m going to be your waiter today. Are you waiting for someone or would you like to start eating?” he asked.
“I’m here alone” she responded.
“Do you know what you would like to order?” he asked.
“Actually, this is my first time here, so I… I don’t know what to order. What’s your recommendation?”
He smiled. “How hungry are you?”
“Quite hungry” Jane said, trying to hold her stomach from growling.
“Then I’d recommend Donna’s burger and fries” he suggested.
“Can it be without lettuce, please?” she asked.
“Sure. Any drinks?”
“Just a cold bottle of water, thank you”.
The man went to the kitchen and took no time to come back with her order. She found the burger to be, not one of the best, but the absolute best that she had ever eaten. When she paid for her meal, she said so to the waiter. He thanked her and said goodbye. She then went back to the toilet and into her usual stall, hoping that she would somehow get back home. Once again, two women walked into the toilet.
“You cannot escape from Dr Amnesia!” one of them said, as a fight broke out.
There were some shots, and she could hear things breaking in the toilet. Jane tried to stay as silent as possible as she could hear bangs. She heard a sword getting unsheathed, and then a katana went through the door of her stall. She screamed.
The fight outside intensified. She heard one of the women scream in pain, and a hand rolled under her stall, blood still dripping from it. Jane then heard a body fall. The survivor dragged the corpse and spoke to Jane. She was not the one who had talked about Dr Amnesia.
“Just for your own safety, forget all of this. You know nothing”.
The woman left, and Jane closed her eyes to stop seeing the hand in her stall. She even pushed it outside the stall, just in case. The delicious burger that she had just eaten was not sitting very well in her stomach. She fought the urge to vomit, and managed to control herself.
After a while, when she finally dared to open her eyes, she saw that the toilet floor was clean. She came outside to get some fresh air, and found herself in a building that was sort of destroyed. In the end of the corridor, a unicorn was looking at her. She looked at it with interest, until she noticed that it had started to charge, horn first, against her. She managed to roll out of the way, but the unicorn came back for more. She run into the toilet and closed the door.
The unicorn persistently poked holes against it with its horn, and Jane run into the stall. The horse noises disappeared. Jane waited inside the stall, as she went through different places in different dimensions, like a space bar in which some people commented news about different ships, like the EDG-482, the DRM, and something about a space terrorist called Sarah who had killed a high ranked enforcer.
When everything was silent again, Jane walked out of the stall, her heart calm and her mind ready for anything. She opened the toilet with care, expecting to find anything. She found some sort of university corridor, full of students. She tried to look around to see if there was any sign that pointed towards this being a university she knew about.
It was late in the evening in what seemed to be a small campus, somewhere that she did not recognize. A group of students walked down the stairs, and one of them seemed to recognize her for a moment. After a few seconds in which he seemed a bit confused and had that “I’ve seen you before” facial expression pointed towards her, he turned back to the conversation. He had not fully recognized her, but she had. He was one of her brother’s friends.
She waited a little bit, and when a professor started to approach her with the “I haven’t seen you here before” facial expression, she walked into the toilet, just to avoid being questioned by that man in a black coat. She sat in the stall, waiting to change into some other world, somewhere near her normal world.
The toilet was silent for a while, and for a reason she thought that it had not changed dimensions at all in that time. She walked out and saw that the toilet door was open. The toilet itself was not even lit, so the light outside was quite a contrast. She walked into the light, and saw it.
There was a gigantic pile of toilet seats there.
“Welcome to Fiery Creek” someone said.