“Are you ok in there?”
No answer.
“Honey? You ok?”
I start to turn the doorknob.
“Don’t come in!”
I look at my watch.
“Are you sure you’re ok?”
No answer.
“Can I get you anything? Or call someone?”
There’s movement and a small splashing sound.
“I’m fine. Just give me a minute.”
“You’ve been in there for half an hour.”
I try to turn the knob but it’s locked.
“Don’t come in! I’m fine.”
I put my eye to the keyhole but it’s too dark to see anything.
Waiting, I press my ear against the door.
A fluttering, scraping noise followed by the toilet flush makes me pause.
Then another flush.
And another, followed by the sound of retching.
I look down and see red water flowing from under the door.
Then I hear a scream.
“Honey! Let me in!”
I pound on the door but hear nothing.
“Honey!” I yell before rearing back and putting my shoulder into it, knocking the door open.
She’s on her knees in front of the bowl, frantically trying to block me from seeing what’s in there.
The floor is covered with black ropes that curl and pulse in the bloody water.
I slip and fall, landing on one of the glistening cords.
She jerks her head around to look at me and I scream.
Not just at the sight of her face, which is grotesquely contorted like a wild animal in agony. Not just because of the crazed look in her eyes.
But because the black ropes aren’t ropes at all. They’re snakes. Snakes with no head or tail. Wriggling and squirming, they’re spilling from inside the toilet bowl.
I scramble to my knees and help her push them back down into the red water. To flush them back to wherever they came from.
But every flush just spills more blood water onto the floor.
“I’m sorry,” she says. “I didn’t want you to see this.”
Then she vomits up another mouthful of them. They dangle from her black stained lips, probing the air and twitching in spasms.
My legs are held by them. They slither under my shirt and wrap themselves around my throat.
I try to tear at them but they’re too slippery.
Then she pushes me down onto the wet, writhing floor and opens her mouth wider and wider until everything goes black.
When I come to we’re standing side by side in front of the mirror. The sink is running, The water is clear again.
The floor is dry. No more blood. No more snakes.
I look at her reflection to see her smile at me before flushing the toilet once more.