Dear Reader, the next volume of the Underdog Anthology – Treeskull Stories – is on track to be published for Halloween…
This time I have contributed one story and the Afterword, as well as providing copy editing services to Leggy. This is a pleasure, not a chore, as I get to read the fabulous contributions from the other authors first. And for free…
*Clicky, that’s free knot three…*
In anticipation of publication, I thought I’d share one of my stories from Anthology 2 with you, Dear Reader. So here is ‘Morning Run’ for your entertainment… Enjoy! 😀
By Roo B. Doo
Gasping with pain, Marcus pulled the graffiti daubed door open and peered into the murk inside. The hinges squealed their resistance in the spring morning that should have been filled with birdsong but was disquietingly absent. He sniffed in disgust at the dank gloominess but the room appeared empty, and Marcus was more than happy about that – the thought of defecating anywhere other than his own bathroom filled him with dread but he doubted he would be able to sprint back home in time. As if in agreement, his stomach growled noisily.
Usually Marcus picked up the pace when he ran past the public toilets on his early morning jog through the park. The low, stone structure, vividly tagged in garish painted symbols, sat at the far point of his circuit. Set back from the path and surrounded by shady trees, it had an air of quiet menace in its seedy isolation, a haven for druggies and vandals, pervs too no doubt. Today, however, a crunching gut spasm had assailed Marcus as he approached the building. He’d pulled up sharply, clutching his stomach at the sudden crippling pain.
Marcus swore at himself for thinking he could just run off the sluggishness he’d felt at the previous night’s overindulgence at the local curry house. And the beery one at the pub beforehand. For months he’d been on a strict diet regime in training for the London Marathon. It was just rotten timing that his best friend Craig had chosen Easter, the weekend before, to get married. As Best Man there was no way Marcus could miss the stag night, and a stag is a stag – there’s no point going if you didn’t stagger a bit as a result. It would be his only blow out and, besides, he’d have a whole week to recover before the big race.
Although his guts were wildly churning, Marcus remained reluctant to go inside. He was okay pissing in public toilets but shitting was another matter. He couldn’t stand the thought of exposing his backside to where other naked backsides had rubbed or smeared, nor the thought of anyone listening in, passively participating and passing judgement on the size of his bowel.
He briefly squatted down in the doorway to scan for the feet of hidden stall occupants, and instantly regretted it. The pressure inside him moved and there was an audible glug! Marcus tensed his arsehole; it felt like a splenetic Vesuvius ready to blow its top. With a final nervous glance behind to make sure nobody was about to follow him in, Marcus stepped inside.
The gloom deepened as the main door swung closed behind him with a creaking thump. Now the eerie silence was broken by a leaking tap’s plink, plink, plink from the wash basin to his left, accompanied by the continued rumble from his guts. There were three toilet stalls in front of him and he made for the nearest, dodging the dirty puddles strewn with litter, tugging urgently at the drawstring on his shorts. Marcus was determined to spend as little time in the place as possible.
The cubicle door swung open at his touch, revealing a filthy, shit filled toilet. A worn and dirty trainer, half submerged among the turds, listed near the top of the bowl. He moved on to the next but that too was blocked. Fresh beads of sweat prickled Marcus’ brow, his dread intensified – if the last one was in as bad a condition he didn’t know what he would do. However, the last stall at least looked relatively clean and it had a lock on the door. Bonus! Marcus thought as he whipped down his shorts, sank onto the toilet seat with a resounding thump and let go.
He braced his hands against the cubicle walls to hold himself up as he felt the world cascading out of his arse, before splashing back to soak his crack and balls. Both relief at the release and cold revulsion washed through Marcus, as his breath rasped with every squeeze.
“Arghhh!” he screamed aloud as his gut achingly contracted again, but by now Marcus cared little if anyone was there to hear him; he just had to get it all out.
He closed his eyes and swore again at his stupidity. He just had to play the big man, didn’t he? Buying another round of beers, choosing the hottest and spiciest dishes on the menu, followed by shots, lots of shots. True, it had been a hell of a fun evening but, by God, he was regretting his decisions now. Not to mention Craig’s wedding was later that day; he only hoped he would have sufficient time to recover before then. With a grimace, Marcus resolved to take a double dose of imodium and have a shower as soon as he got home.
He shifted his position as the stinging flow turned into a trickle, releasing a waft of putridity that made him recoil and hold his nose. Reaching for the toilet roll he found the holder sheathed only with an empty cardboard tube. He slapped at it angrily and looked around but there was nothing else to clean himself up with. Sighing loudly, Marcus pulled off his outer vest top, balled it up and started to wipe his backside. It was one of his favourites but he would have to leave it – there was no way he was carrying it back home.
Feeling drained, Marcus stood up and pulled hard on the toilet chain, eager to flush the contents of his bowels away, but the only thing it made was an empty clank. He pulled again and again. Nothing. Wrinkling his nose in disgust, Marcus peered into the toilet bowl as he pulled up his shorts. Shit splattered the inside and dribbled down into a dark brown pool of his slurry. He had to get out there fast before anyone else came by. Flinging the balled vest top to the floor he turned to leave.
The lock on the door refused to budge. Marcus rattled it hard but it was stuck fast. He tried ramming the door open with his shoulder before remembering that it swung inwards. He kicked at it in frustration but the door remained firmly closed.
“What the fuck?!”
Plop… The sound came from behind him. Plop… plop.
Marcus turned around slowly to see movement in the bowl. The shit pool bubbled and burst like the hot mud springs he’d seen once before whilst on holiday in New Zealand. He stood there transfixed as more and more bubbles broke through the surface. Plop pop plop…
A slimy brown finger poked up suddenly, followed by another. Marcus flattened himself against the door, staring aghast as a hand emerged from the mess, fingertips feeling out, looking for purchase on the porcelain. A second hand shot up and gripped the edge of the toilet seat, pulling, heaving first a shoulder and then an oozing head up and out of the bowl.
Eyes wide with horror and disbelief, Marcus turned and hammered at the door, frantically grabbing at the lock. “LET ME OUT!”
A horrendous sucking sound caused Marcus to turn around again and he screamed to see the abomination now had a torso, rippling turds for muscles. A fat, pink worm poked out of the head, like an obscene tongue, tasting the air. Reaching out with dripping hands, the detestation gave Marcus a shit-eating grin before emitting a thunderous burp, sending a foul spray of ordure with a stench like an eyeful of needles.
Marcus screamed again and dropped to the filthy, wet floor, squirming in a frenetic attempt to escape from under the door. He kicked out as slimy hands grabbed at his legs and he felt a squelching slap on the back of his thigh. With an almighty heave, he pulled himself free of the gap and out.
Howling in terror, Marcus picked himself up and ran.
*Alright! Sheesh… I’m new to this writing lark, Clicky, let alone horror fiction…*
*Well, let’s hope so, eh?*