Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Previously On #003

Previously on Previously On...

A girl went to a diner because she was hungry, not because gravity had disappeared.

Apollo showed up at that diner, wanting to take Gravity's job. He may not be alone...

And then...

A shut-in with a pathological fear of the Hanes underwear people expanded his house to provide safety from anything they dropped on him.

Somewhere in middle America there is a psychic who spends more of her time than she’d like helping people who don’t believe her.

And a long time ago someone built an iron army. They were not just a cute prose poem.

And now...

“That went well,” Lawrence said to himself, watching the reporter leave. Most were out of commission today, but she had real gumption, using a fire extinguisher to fly cross town in the absence of gravity. If her small talk was even half true, this would be a much more carbon-friendly method of travel. He watched until her white exhaust foam trailed out of sight, then turned back into his hall. He braced his hands on the low ceiling and began to waddle towards the living room.

He’d built the ceilings low so the bastards at Hanes couldn’t hide out of his peripheral vision when they eventually attacked. Though the reporter had played dumb, Lawrence thought she saw the truth. She’d wanted a story about a zero-gravity-proof house, but he’d dropped enough hints that when this aired, it would blow the lid off the intentional Hanes conspiracy.

He shimmied along the halls that connected his house to the sidewalk, another Hanes-related addition. So were the pillows and mattresses along the walls. Oh, they’d all looked crazy until today. But now who was crazy? Reporters were riding fire extinguishers.

As he shimmied around one corner, his cell rang. Instinctively he pulled it from his pocket, lost his balance and floated face-first into the ceiling. It did not feel as uncomfortable as you’d think.

After a moment of swimming impotently, he let himself drift and answered the phone.


“Hello. This is the Melrose Psychic Hotline.”

“What?” He jerked, and accidentally rotated until his butt was level with the ceiling cushions. “You people can’t call me. That’s not fair.”

“I am calling you.”

Like a true shut-in with nothing else to do, he pounced.

“You can’t do that! It’s a 900 number. I’m not going to pay you, and you can’t call me expecting me to pay. You can get all this stuff online free. Is that why you’re calling people? Reverse the charges and bilk them with your scam?”

“You’re not being charged, fool. I’m calling to warn you that a catastrophe is about to break out.”

“You’re a day late. Has the gravity not gone out there?”

“It’s gone out everywhere. That’s not the catastrophe I’m trying to warn you about.”

“Then what is?”

“Remain calm. Know that whatever happens, the spirit of your house always loved you.”

“I don’t believe in this stuff, lady.”

“You watch too much TV. You are wearing green socks. You have a pathological fear that the Hanes underwear company is out to kill you.”

Lawrence paused. He stared at the receiver. Was she one of them?

“I am not one of them,” she said so loud that he heard her with the phone away from his ear. He put it back to his ear and listened on.

“There is no them, Lawrence. So listen to me. Remain calm and follow the redheaded man as soon as it’s over.”

“As soon as what’s over?”

“Clairvoyance isn’t Google. I only see parts. If you don’t follow the redheaded man, you’ll be crushed by the giant—”

Lawrence didn’t hear whatever the giant crushing thing was going to be because a giant iron foot came smashing through the ceiling.

For a micromoment he thought it was thunder.

Then he thought it was Hanes, having dropped not just a ton of their tagless underwear, but an entire jumbo jet on him.

And just as the cushy ceiling came down on him, he thought this might have something to do with what the psychic was saying.

The impact tossed him down the hall leading to the garage, feeling like the ball on a foosball table. Any part of the padded construction that caved sent him flying away before it could hurt, though he thought he felt a bruise forming when he struck the door to the garage.

From there he looked up through the gaping hole that had once been his gloriously low and gravity-friendly ceilings, and saw a giant, rusty foot. It was flat, with a few claw-like prongs on the end, like toes on a toy monster. Except this toy was several stories tall. The feet led to a leg, which led to an iron skeletal body, atop which glared a giant iron Jack O’Lantern. Its eyes blazed like cartoon furnaces. It looked right at him, then looked away. He’d never been so happy as when a giant robot showed no interest in him. Thank God, these things clearly weren’t working for Hanes.

Through the wreckage of what had been a totally sweet low-ceilinged media center, Lawrence spied someone in a black cloak running from his basement. The man showed no trouble running, though when Lawrence checked himself, he found the gravity still out.

The man had long, red hair.

“I wonder…” Lawrence began. Then another giant foot came crashing through his ceiling. It convinced him to run away, or at least, to get moving.

Since he was already floating helplessly, Lawrence kicked his legs. They struck the garage door and sent him shooting forward through the air. When he reached another wall, he braced and kicked off again. If some part of his mind weren’t terrified, and another grieving that he’d lost part of his house, he would have been delighted at a sensation so similar to playing in the town pool.

“Hey! Hey!” he called.

The redheaded man continued running, not looking back. So Lawrence torpedoed further, hoping to grab the bastard’s cape. He’d at least find out why he’d been in his basement, if not why psychics found this man worth following.

The redheaded man did not looking back. Lawrence, preoccupied with the redheaded man, didn’t either. Had either looked back, they would have seen several giant, iron Jack O’Lanterns changing course to follow them.

1 comment:

  1. I'm still watching this with glee and interest.


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