Drabblecast cover by Tristan TolhurstNorm is cryptic this week in terms of offering information on the featured story, “7099 Brecksville Road, Independence Ohio,” by JR Hamentaschen. He will say that that’s the story, and that’s the author. And to listen with headphones on.

And also, check out our episode sponsor this week, pixel-pulp video game Mothmen 1966! Available on steam, switch, xbox, and playstation now!


There were three toilet stalls in the men’s room at the Sunoco Gas Station at 7099 Brecksville Road in Independence, Ohio. One of them was occupied.
If you were, say, washing your hands and looking at the stalls for whatever reason, a mistaken glance, perhaps, you’d see in the space below the door a man’s feet, his black work boots and dark blue Wrangler jeans. (This was one of those bathrooms that had a distressing amount of clearance room between the stall doors and the floor.) The man’s feet flexed a bit, not staying stationary, but not in any unusual way; just in the usual fashion of a man using the toilet, shifting in the usual way a man does as he distributes his weight.




7099 Brecksville Road, Independence, Ohio

By J.R. Hamantaschen



There were three toilet stalls in the men’s room at the Sunoco Gas Station at 7099 Brecksville Road in Independence, Ohio. One of them was occupied.

If you were, say, washing your hands and looking at the stalls for whatever reason, a mistaken glance, perhaps, you’d see in the space below the door a man’s feet, his black work boots and dark blue Wrangler jeans. (This was one of those bathrooms that had a distressing amount of clearance room between the stall doors and the floor.) The man’s feet flexed a bit, not staying stationary, but not in any unusual way; just in the usual fashion of a man using the toilet, shifting in the usual way a man does as he distributes his weight.

The stall had been occupied all day. Men came in, most used the urinals, less fortunate travelers whose activities required the use of a toilet obviously selected one of the two unoccupied stalls.

If any of those less fortunate travelers accidentally opened the door on the stall occupied by the man with the black work boots and dark blue Wrangler jeans, they’d see that the disguise ended at his waist. From there emerged a man-sized praying mantis of vivid turquoise, each armored eye extended several inches in front of its face, connected by stalks. Each eye came protected by its creator with three cruel-looking scorpion tails that shook with anticipation. The mantis’s oversized claws were angular spiders whose legs ended in sharpened chutes. If the claws got to eat, their wastes would excrete through the legs and drip out the chutes.

No one accidentally opened the door, despite the door always being left unlocked just for such an occasion. No one would see what lay inside. A pity. Someday, someone would walk in on one of Ormond’s creations. The mantis creation was his personal favorite and it hadn’t had any action for years. He’d been proud of that one, and he placed it in the stalls of truck stops and gas stations that had inspiring names – your Independence, Ohio, your Liberty, Texas, or your Prosperity, South Carolina. That working creation had been one of his proudest moments. A shame. One day, someone would accidentally push one of those bathroom doors open and see what lay in store for him.


Another gas station, this one in Schenectady, New York. Schenectady, what an evocative name for so routine a town. In the spirit of that evocative name, Ormond tried something different. The legs in that stall wore straight-leg Levi’s and steel-toed black Dr. Martens. The body came furnished with Ormond’s attempt at a long-sleeve brown athletic shirt, in the style of a Lonsdale, or some other brand a 60’s UK street punk might wear. He couldn’t get the shirt right, though, and in frustration didn’t put much effort into the texture work, telling himself that this subtle sartorial aberration made the monster more singular and otherworldly.

He had a working man’s back story in mind for this one. The face was a classic skull, but with blood-capped stalagmites for teeth and pulsating anemones for eyes. The trick here, or so Ormond thought, was that the eyes would pulse, but they would not shift or follow the movements of its prey, giving the creation a detached, almost disinterested mien which, he hoped, would make it seem somehow scarier. But Ormond ended up not liking the creation, and neither did his superiors.

He tried to create works of art, to impress his superiors, even though he didn’t have that much time left in his tour of duty. He wanted to inspire, come up with new ideas, to keep the job interesting. Not like it mattered anyway, he thought ruefully, as his creation occupied the stall, undisturbed, for the entire shift.

Ormond would need to talk with the higher-ups about some ways to get some more “intake,” opportunities for his creations to interface with the public. They were a wary group, and he knew he would need to mollify their concerns, let them know he would preserve the integrity of their venture. But they had to infuse some new ideas, otherwise their whole operation would be requisitioned off.


It was 8 p.m. on a Wednesday night in mid-October, and Frank meandered around the surprisingly large Sunoco Gas Station, located at 7099 Brecksville Road in Independence, Ohio. He’d filled up his tank, paid at the pump and then parked, feeling it was as good a time as any to stretch his legs and pick up some road rations. Maybe Red Bulls. He knew they were terrible for you, and Frank, middle-aged and overweight as he was, certainly didn’t need to add to the problem. He didn’t have diabetes but he looked like he might, and if he was ever so diagnosed, no one would ever feign surprise with a straight face.

Gas stations were a no-judgment zone. They had a kind of working class, metal vibe to them, people passing through, no shits given. Getting some highly sugared and caffeinated drinks when you are on the road was one of the only youthful thrills — if you could call such a thing a thrill – still available to him. Hanging out at night, cruising around, all caffeinated up, Master of Puppets or Among the Living blasting, pit stops at the mall parking lot, just fucking around. Didn’t sound like much, but nights like that had been high school highlights for him. So fuck it. Used to do some drugs and drink too much, now Dunkin’ Donuts during the day, Red Bulls at night. Party down.

He stalked the aisles, thinking about grabbing some Fritos, and picked up two KIND bars, too, knowing they were shit for you but pretending to believe otherwise. The gas station clerk, an older white guy maybe in his sixties, gave him the head nod, which Frank returned with gusto. Frank didn’t hang out in gas stations much, though he looked like he should; when people met him they often thought he was a trucker or some other blue-collar worker, like a mechanic or plumber or something. Cop-face, was how some people described it.

When you’re a white guy who is middle-aged, bigger, bearded, single, gruff and casually profane, people tended to think you can fix their sink or might ticket them for riding their bike on the sidewalk. His look probably got him better-than-average treatment from cops, security guards or other blue-collar sorts. Frank was actually just an account executive at Time Warner. People were inclined to valorize blue-collar types, and he suspected they disliked him a little or were disappointed somehow when they learned he was white-collar, like he was somehow turning his back on some caste they’d prematurely assumed he belonged to.

Or maybe they just understandably hated Time Warner.

Frank took his final bounty of Red Bulls, energy bars, Fritos and a fruit ‘n’ nut mix up to the counter. The old man greeted Frank and rung him up, working in that belabored, overcompensating way that old people sometimes utilized, perhaps as a way of saying “go easy on me.” Ring something up, lean in, make sure it was right, single-finger-peck at the register, lean in, double-check. Really making a show of it: congratulations old man, I get it, you are still a productive member of society. Frank wondered when he’d be that way. There was a sensibility, an aesthetics of being old that he still felt estranged from, thankfully. Maybe it was from being single. Domesticity aged you.

“Find everything you need, sir?”

“I certainly did. Wish I didn’t find the Fritos, but you know, what are you going to do?” Frank rubbed at his belly, a move he did pretty often, come to think of it. He was quick to self-deprecate, perhaps a way of softening strangers’ expectations of him.

“Well, glad to hear it, sir.” The old man had a magazine on the countertop, spread open to reveal an advertisement for some local business school: “For those short on excuses and long on ambition,” the ad read. Frank motioned to the ad, and when he was sure the man understood what he was motioning toward, said, “Do those kind of people really need the extra help?”

The old man gave a puttering, quizzical look and then chuckled, said “Amen to that, brother, Amen.” Frank wasn’t entirely convinced the old man connected Frank’s satirical comment with the ad, but whatever.

Frank paid and took his bag and shimmy-stepped away. Eh, should he? He should.

“Hey sir, is there a bathroom I could use? I’m a paying customer, remember, I earned it.” He lifted his bag.
The old man, amiably, said, “Even if you weren’t sir, I’d give it to you.” He explained that the men’s bathroom was out back, in a separate little building and you had to input a 4-digit code on “one of those door lock things.” He gave Frank the code. “Three-Seven-Eight-Seven” Frank repeated it, and then covered his mouth, said, “Oh shit, I don’t want to give that out to just anyone,” and the old man laughed. There was no else in the gas station. “Oh, that’s alright,” the old man said, just to speak.

Frank thanked the man and made to leave and then stopped, and asked if he could leave his bag there. “Of course,” the old man said, “I should have offered that. We do our best to maintain high standards back there but still, you don’t want to be bringing anything you later plan on eating back into the bathroom.”

He gave the man his bag, thanked him and added, “Maybe I should bring those Fritos back there then,” and when he felt the man didn’t understand, added, “Keep me from eating them!” and the man did his old man laugh of questionable understanding and wave-saluted Frank as he left.

Frank turned the slight corner upon opening the bathroom and was glad it was bigger than he would have guessed. It smelled overwhelmingly of ammonia and cleaning product, the sanitary equivalent of spraying on excess cologne when you don’t shower, most likely, but hey, better than the alternative. The bathroom was empty, another plus.

Two urinals ran across the right wall. He went over to one of the two urinals and allowed it to serve its function — urinal apotheosis – keeping his stream on the urinal cake. 100% accuracy, he thought. Despite that broad “we” the old man had used, Frank didn’t think that the old man was personally coming back here and pitching in to clean up. But the old man wouldn’t need to worry about dead-shot Frank. Frank made that urinal cake bleed blue.

He walked over to one of the two sinks, which were tucked into the left corner, perpendicular from the urinals. Behind the sinks were three toilet stalls.

He washed his hands, something he rarely did after just peeing. (“If you have to decontaminate your hands after touching your dick for a couple seconds, then you got major problems,” he remembers someone said to him long time ago.) But, eh, gas station.

He checked himself out in the circular mirror above his sink. He didn’t look good. He looked like a fat, bearded middle-aged man, which he was. At least he had always been fat, so it didn’t hang on him unnaturally, like some of those people whose bodies are clearly processing what to do with the excess weight. Frank’s fat was evenly distributed, absorbed into the make-up of who he was, if that made any sense. He didn’t have any wrinkles, really. A result of easy living and easy pleasures, he thought, looking forward to some Red Bull and cranked-up Number of the Beast.

He groaned, mentally. He should . . . he didn’t want to, it was a fucking gas station, but better here than some other gas station, or holding it. Better to clean out the system; those Red Bulls and Fritos were going to play havoc on his system anyway.

No one here, too. Good, these were those stalls that had, improbably and ridiculously, those huge bottom gaps (like 20% of the size of the door itself) and those side gaps between stalls that let you kinda see the occupants. Like, yep, there’s a big fat guy sitting on a toilet; yep, there’s a big fat guy getting up to wipe himself; yep, there’s a big fat guy flushing. Stalls should be hermetically sealed, but he guessed that you got to let the gas station crackheads know someone could see what they were doing if their bathroom rituals started involving pipes and tinfoil.

He walked to the stall on the far-left end. Always go to the far stall. There was somebody in the middle stall, he realized; he saw the toes of black work shoes sticking out near the bottom gap. Silent as a mouse, that guy, apparently positioning himself to have as little cheek square footage on the toilet rim as possible while still maintaining balance.

Couple of moments later and he heard someone else come into the bathroom and occupy the farthest stall. Now there were three men shitting in a row, mere feet from each other, a situation which always struck Frank as inherently comical. The bathroom humbled all, although the users of a gas station men’s room were likely a humble lot to begin with.

He did his business quickly. He didn’t like looking down at his fat folds, having to push his little dick (little by comparison, remember, little by comparison) from under his fat folds to make sure he didn’t pee on his leg. Something about doing this in a gas station was depressing, like he felt like he should be doing drugs or something, or like he hit close to some kind of toilet-use rock bottom, like taking a dump in a gas station should be forcing him to re-evaluate his life choices.

He flushed – always flush right after, he might look like a slob but he wasn’t an animal – took a swipe of toilet paper and . . . fucker. It was a deceptive TP dispenser. There’d been a couple squares visible from inside the metal dispenser, but that was it. One feeble pull and he was left with an empty cardboard roll. What, would the crackheads steal the toilet paper, you needed to lock it up in metal dispensers and have us pecking at it like hamsters for water?
Yeah, probably, realistically. Fucking goddamn America was going to shit.

He groaned again, mentally: fuckkkkkkk. He looked down at the toilet, back at the dispenser, back at the toilet, like the Gods of Lavatories must see the privations of one of their needy acolytes and dive down to remedy this injustice. Fuck. He could just wait it out until the other folks leave and run into their stalls like a fat pilfering raccoon. He pictured himself running over like a ninny, pants down at his ankles. Fucking hilarious, how’d he get into these fucking situations? Oh, that’s right, he took a dump in a gas station men’s room. Not hard to figure out. This was no backstage bender or blackout bloody nose from his youth, but no fucking picnic either.

So he waited, poking into the metal dispenser, as if maybe some enterprising crackhead balled up toilet paper and stuffed it somewhere, like the prisoner who examines all the corners of his cell for an emergency spoon to dig himself out. Fucking hilarious.
How long has that guy in the middle stall been here? I mean, he’d been there from before I even got here? I first pissed, then washed my hands, and I haven’t heard shit from there (no pun intended), not even a flush.

He knocked on his side of the wall, perhaps a bit intemperately, like he was fueled partly by the resentments of any poor schmucks who might be waiting to use that middle stall before he got a chance to make use of that precious toilet paper. When you’re knocking for toilet paper in a men’s room, you got to go all in. Like staring down a bear. No room for fear.

“Hey man, can I borrow some toilet paper in there? This stall is empty, can you believe it?”

He tried to deepen his voice, speak brusquely but unthreatening, as if to accentuate that this was a man-favor, you know, help a guy out?

“I’ve never done this before, believe me, this isn’t on my bucket list, asking for toilet paper in a fuckin’ gas station.”
No answer. He waited a beat to make sure no answer was forthcoming, and tried again. “I know, man, sorry, but can I please get some toilet paper? If you could just, pass it under the gap, lord knows the gaps are big enough. Sorry. Again, I can wait a second, not like I’m going anywhere.”

No answer.

“Anyone alive in there?”

Maybe it was a crackhead in there after all. Or a homeless person, would he really want a homeless person handing him toilet paper? I mean a non-smelly homeless person would be fine, but can I just imagine getting a clump of toilet paper passed to me that smells worse than this ass I’ll be wiping? Guy passes me a dead rat, can I imagine that, be hilarious. Wipe myself and get ass cancer immediately.

What should he do in this situation? Ask for toilet paper from the farthest stall, create a toilet paper courier service, handed-off under each stall until it reached him? If the middle stall wasn’t game then it wouldn’t work. Fuck it, he’d have to wait until the farthest stall left and use that stall. Hopefully that guy didn’t punish his stall too bad.

“Uhhh, I’m almost done,” he heard a timorous voice, far enough to know it was coming from the farthest stall. It was the voice of a teenager, or young adult, responding to an authority figure. Frank guessed he’d deepened his voice too much, hah, hoped the kid wasn’t expecting him to step out and be Batman.

“Thanks, brother.”

Frank flushed again, just for the euphonic optics (there was nothing left there to flush), left the stall and washed his hands. He tucked himself into the corner, away from the farthest stall, since he didn’t want to seem like he was hovering over the poor guy. But what about this guy in the middle stall?

He peered under the middle stall as best he could without crouching down. He saw those black shoes, legs in blue jeans doing usual toilet-ministration shuffling. The feet switched positions. The guy was alive in there, at least. Maybe he didn’t speak English? No, it was obvious

Frank had been addressing him, anyone would have said something, even something like “No English.” And anyone in America knew “toilet paper,” unless the dude was wiping his ass with his hand in there. And if he was using his hand, all that toilet paper was going to waste!

The farthest stall opened and the kid looked kind of like Frank imagined. Early twenties white guy, 5’7″, thin frame, hoodie without the hood-up, scruffy facial hair, something about his chin and nose looked eminently punchable. Not that the kid looked like a bad guy or anything, but there are some people who just have a punchable annoying face for whatever reason.

The kid nodded at Frank as he walked out. Frank nodded back, and the kid went over to the other sink to wash his hands. “There’s plenty of paper in there.”

“Thanks, man.” Frank stayed back, still, planning on waiting for the kid to leave the bathroom entirely. It was a little embarrassing, the whole situation, and he didn’t want to go in the stall just yet, imagining the kid might be especially attuned to listening in on him for whatever reason. The kid spoke to him in a kind of deferential way, probably because Frank looked like what that kid probably thought a classic blue-collar guy looked like. That kind of deference happened quite a bit more than you might guess. Millennial Try-Hards.

“I think this guy might be sick or something in there?” Frank pointed at the middle stall. “Hey, sir, are you okay in there? Do you need help? I mean, not bathroom help I mean . . . .” Frank laughed gutturally, “but, like, physical help?”

“Like, do you need a hospital or do you need us to call someone for you?” The kid stepped in, eager to supplement Frank.
Frank looked at the kid, gave the kid an incredulous look about the stall occupant, a ‘can you believe this guy in there?’ look.

“I think we should tell the gas station owner, I guess.”

“I’ll do that, I got to get gas anyway. You can go do what you need to, I got it man.” The kid gave him a lighthearted but reassuring look. Kid wasn’t so bad after all, seemed like a cool guy actually.

“Thanks, man, if this gas station had a bar attached, I’d be buying you a drink for sure.”

Frank thought of his musky turd-gristle building up inside him, already causing him to itch back there.

Frank closed the stall and started to do what he came to do. Rim of the bowl was clean; the kid had probably swabbed it with toilet paper to make sure there was nothing wet on it. Good kid, that kid. Frank wondered how long he’d spent in the bathroom, if the clerk would say anything about him being gone for so long, and the car trip he still had in store after this little fiasco concluded.

Dimly beneath those thoughts was the kid, addressing the middle stall again, and the presence of the kid moving toward the stall, intuited through truncated light and the close-by pitter-patter of feet. Then a muffled creak of a stall being opened, and nothing cognizable was heard. There was a forward, lunging motion, of something jerked forward. Frank, fat, solitary, and slothful, sometimes thought himself not a real person, half a person, a creature who could only survive in a world brought to heel with modern conveniences, ready-to-eat meals and customer service on command, to the point he sometimes thought he lost whatever instincts were inherent to the human animal. But something stirred, an eruption of spastic fear, bursting through him with the shock of a hand emerging from a grave. Something was happening, something catastrophic, and it was happening right next to him, just behind this feeble wall.

There was a cacophony of competing thoughts, whirling so quickly as to be without substance. Stupid, is the thought he tried to substantiate. Stupid, nothing wrong, nothing could be wrong with his pants down, that wasn’t allowable, somehow; but he knew he was wrong, because he heard a pitted sound of a body part being invaded, and before he could rationalize that, the sound of rendering, of being torn apart, and a heaving of great force, and splatter of a great hot weight of blood and viscera. It was dripping, this blood, down under this giant gap between the stalls; although not all the blood he saw was flowing into his stall, some of it was pooling around something pink and meaty, something, God, he didn’t want to see what it was but it must have been an intestine or liver or something, these organs he knew of but knew nothing about or what they looked like, and he thought crazily about a hernia surgery he’d had, good God, did doctors have to look at this stuff all the time?! How could they do it? And there came an explosion in his mind but as he stared at the blood and the organs underneath the stall, as the blood and organs refused to disappear like a parlor trick or he refused to wake up, then the shock went into a kind of overdrive, where the shock went from overwhelming to unbearable to abstracted.

He fell down on his bare knees, pants around his ankles still, still clutching his clod of foul-smelling toilet paper. His legs engrossed in gore, his body reacted – move! – and he pushed himself forward, floundering onto his stomach, the warmth and musk of slippery viscera impossible, for how could there be so much warmth to the parts of a human body, maybe this wasn’t a human body, maybe this was a trick; but, no, the kid had seemed too earnest, no, this was real. He scrambled up, got between the gap and the door, as big as the gap was Frank was too big to fit, it was all a fraught blur but he retained enough of himself to unlock the door and get out of the stall.

He was saturated with blood, on his legs and briefs and he needed to pull his pants up or he’d trip, there was blood in his mouth, oh God, and there were patches on his shirt that stuck to him, of a texture more solid than blood, bits of muscles or bone on him, dear God, he couldn’t contemplate; beneath that was a survival instinct, he was doing everything right, he was getting out, keep a hold of yourself, there’s still the ever slight chance that this is a prank of some kind, people just don’t explode – and he saw himself in the mirror, he was still in shock and the middle stall was now open . . . .

A half of the boy’s face, in a grimace of perpetual agony; he recognized the boy’s face as if he were an artist who’d spent a lifetime studying his muse, the curvature, the eye, the personality – yes, the personality, for in this moment of hell he craved the companionship of the boy and felt a searing torment at his loss, that agonized death-face as bad as the death-face of his mother or best friend.

The face was cleaved in half, on the floor.

Sitting on the toilet, the lower half of a man – that asshole man who wouldn’t answer – his black shoes and dark jeans-
His upper body . . . .

Was that of some iridescent turquoise, man-sized insect with the face of a clown. Beneath the heavy caked make-up was clearly some kind of bug, a large triangular beak-like snout, mandibles. The left half of the face was caked royal blue, the right half magma red. There some small splotches of red on the blue side, which Frank recognized as blood.

Gold imbricated sparkles vertically bisected the blue and red sides of the face, reflected back light. Running transverse across the face, as unnaturally cruel as a railroad track across a pristine landscape, appeared barbed metal that lifted at each end like a slight smirk. Two tendrils of antennae hung wispily from its head, so faint they could only be glimpsed when the thing moved, which it did, twitchily. An unexpected four-sided hole opened above the metal barb, exploding Frank’s sense of the geometry of the creature, for surely he thought the beak-like snout was where the mouth would be, but he was wrong.

The creature lifted its arm. The arm was nothing but a long protrusion that ended in tri-pointed barbs. Then another arm emerged from its other side. The other hand had, he wasn’t sure how many fingers, but more than a human hand, and the fingers were arranged in such a way as to be nothing like a human hand, and no more time to spend examining because the thing was getting up, moving toward him, not with great speed but it was definitely bounding forward, on those simple, unspectacular frumpy man-legs . . . .

The boy was a chunky mess across the bathroom stall.

Frank was stunned, in a frenzied daze, an ambulant catatonic. He flailed his arms as if reacting to a surprise huge explosion, and then turned and ran, unthinkingly. He heard something sliding and fumbling roughly on the bathroom floor. Something passed him on the floor. He glanced at it. Flesh, bone and blood, a segment of arm. No time, he bounded forward and heaved himself onto the bathroom door and thank God it opened outward.

“Damn man, watch it!” complained a dark-skinned man, looking down and then nursing his elbow where the swinging door struck him. From his angle and proximity to the door, Frank surmised this man had been putting in the code when Frank burst out of the door.

“Run,” Frank wheezed, already gassing out of breath. He would never make it his car. “R-hun, hun,” Frank repeated, to the extent his lungs would allow. Frank ran, and looked back, hoping his urgency had been warning enough.

He couldn’t make out what happened. He saw a collision of forms, the man falling down but the shape continuing on, righting itself after the collision. When Frank looked back, he saw the shoes and legs of the creature and part of him still wanted to believe he was just being chased by a man, a regular, non-imposing man – but when he glimpsed what rose above the waist, the turquoise insect shape, the bold colors that bifurcated the face (flattened outside in the dark, but still noticeable if you knew to look for it), the strange reflection of the gold dust and macabre metal-zipper scar, good God.

The creature bounded past the fallen man and then, mid-stride, seemed to course-correct, turn around slightly and beeline for the stranger. Frank looked forward, pumped his body, heard the screams of the fallen man and then real or imagined sounds of brutality, forget it, keep running, keep running. He was getting close to his car, don’t look back, don’t look back, he knew if he looked back he’d see the creature gaining. Despair would overtake him, hope would deflate out of him painfully, a searing in his gut, he’d be hobbled, give up.

No, just keep running.
He was steps from his car.
Hand on keys. Hand on keys, he thought. Don’t lose it at the last moment. Hand on keys. Have your hand on the keys.

He got to his driver’s side door (hand on keys, hand on keys) and hit the unlock button and the car blinked affirmatively. He had his hand on the door and he couldn’t help but turn around and the monster was not behind him. It was out of sight. (Don’t be stupid, get in the car, get in the car) and he got in the car (key in ignition, key in ignition) and put the key in the ignition and started the car and peeled off.

The iPod connected to the radio sprang to automatic life, crunching out Converge’s Fault and Fracture. He honked the horn like a maniac, propelled by the abrasive screams of bloody murder and gnarled riffs that blasted out of his radio, blasting out of his brain. The exit was in the direction he ran from, he’d have to pass the gas station store and the bathroom and he thought fuck it, just ride over the grassy median but that could destroy his car and then where would he be, he’d be a sitting duck.

So he kept his hands on the horn. He wanted to yell to the old man in the station to get out, get out! but he wouldn’t roll down the windows or stop the car, that would be suicide. He hoped his horn was warning enough, but what if the old man or others in the station heard the horn and stepped outside to investigate and ran right into their deaths but he couldn’t think that, there was no time or point in hypothesizing. He had to get out, just get out of here.

His car brights picked up soupy entrails and abysmal splatter, sights so disgusting and plainly wrathful that they just couldn’t have been constituent parts of a human being, just impossible that the human body could awaken such feelings of repulsion and disgust.
Press on. He sped out of the exit, hitting part of the curb so he spun out but thank God there were no cars, no Mack Trucks careening down the road, no crazed monster of impossible dimensions hanging for dear life atop his car, clawing its way in.

Only about half a mile away did he realize to lower the volume on his radio but he immediately turned it back up. The quiet frightened him, he needed the pounding riffs to cancel out the quaking pandemonium that tore through his mind, and he screamed and shook, pulled on the steering wheel, partly out of frayed exhilaration but mainly still out of disbelieving fear.


It needs to stay in the bathroom. That is the point. The lower half is too unwieldy to give chase. The fat man should have never been able to escape the bathroom. And when he did, the creature should have disappeared immediately.

Ormond fumed, the indignation of the misunderstood, unappreciated. They’d approved it. They’d approved the design, temperament, the whole agenda. And they wouldn’t let him transfer now. He’d never get to airplanes now.

But fine. Understood. Whatever you say.