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Paul Edmund Norman's Monthly Online Literary Magazine ~ August 2005 Issue No. 82


Restroom Horror
By Keith Robinson

From: "Jonathan Hopkins"
To: "Brian Dudley"
Sent: Monday, January 15, 2007 12:17 AM
Subject: Computer transcript as requested

For the attention of Detective Brian Dudley:

The computer has finished compiling yesterday's transcripts and I am able to email you a copy as requested by your colleague, Detective Inspector Jenkins, who is still here at the park. I've attached transcripts for the previous two days also. I found yesterday's transcript the most revealing (the latter portion is copied below) and I hope this will give you some indication as to what kind of monster we're dealing with.

For your information, my restroom cleaners enter brief oral reports about once an hour throughout the day, via key-activated microphones on the wall. Speaking into a microphone is much easier than writing in a logbook, and times are recorded more accurately. Complete daily transcripts are available after midnight, hence this email.

Feel free to contact me should you have any questions, and please let me know immediately when you catch this monster--whatever it turns out to be. In the meantime, the park will remain closed as a precaution.

Best regards,

Jonathan Hopkins
Manager, Logan's Theme Park


[2:03 PM - Wilkinson]

Found someone's wallet just now. I'll give it to Babs over at the Information Booth and she can announce it on the PA.

The toilets were fairly respectable. Gave 'em a once over, cleaned some [expletive] off one of the seats...What are people like? But not too bad, overall--much better than the other restroom I service, anyway. Old Jack has it easy. Maybe when he shows up for work again we can swap duties? In the meantime, I don't mind filling in when it's this easy.

There's a funny smell in here, though. Thought I could smell something earlier, but I wasn't sure. Whatever it is that smells, I can't find it. It's like a dead mouse or something, maybe down behind the lockers. If there's a mouse jammed back there, I'm not sure how I'm supposed to get at it without moving them. That's gonna be a job and a half--these lockers are [expletive] heavy. I'll leave it for now.

There was some strange slimy stuff on the floor again, near the lockers. I keep finding that. I wonder if Old Jack knows what causes it? If and when he shows up for work, I'll ask him.

It could be leaking from one of the lockers. Either that or we have a serious snail problem.

[3:10 PM - Wilkinson]

Someone left a nice present. Too massive to flush in one piece. Just had to be that huge fat man I saw hanging around outside, taking pictures of the Falcon Blast ride--nobody else could have produced such a monstrous log. I love my job.

That slime's back yet again, on the floor in front of the lockers at the far end. It's nasty stuff, thick and sticky, hard to mop up. I'm getting really sick of it, and it seems to be getting worse. Looks like it's leaking out of one of the bottom lockers, number twenty-nine. So not snail trails then--more like maple syrup or something? Doesn't smell like maple syrup, though--doesn't smell like anything, really. Weird.

Speaking of smells, I might have to call someone to help me shift some of these lockers away from the wall, 'cause that dead mouse is just going to get smellier as the day goes on.

[4:01 PM - Wilkinson]

Spoke with Simon Lewis over at the Fantasy Island restrooms and he said he'd help me shift these lockers later. In the meantime I'm spraying everything I have around the joint, trying to mask the smell. It's getting really bad. Noticed a few flies in here, too, so the dead thing's probably in the maggot stage.

Oh, and that [expletive] slime is back again. All over the damn floor around that same locker. Whatever's in there is obviously still leaking. I don't think I'm going to bother mopping it up this time; I'll wait until whatever it is runs out of juice. It's annoying, though. Can we charge customers for being stupid and careless? I mean, why the [expletive] would anyone bring maple syrup to a theme park, anyway? Lockers are for storing coats and bags, not their [expletive] weekly groceries.

Maybe whoever's using that locker will come back soon, but I'll bring a master key on my next rounds just in case. In the meantime I mopped the floor as usual but went around the slime, 'cause that stuff really is hard to get up. I put a sign up so people don't step in it.

Oh, and a woman was waiting outside a minute ago. She asked me to check if her husband was in here, but the place was empty when I came in. She said he'd been in here a while and she was getting worried. Funny--she's the third person to ask me that today.

[4:46 PM - Wilkinson]

Had two complaints from visitors about the smell. Well, actually they complained to Babs at the Information Booth--they told her the restroom next to the Falcon Blast in Space Central was a mess. So she paged me. While I was talking to her I remembered I was supposed to go get a master key from the office, but Babs said she'd phone and get someone to bring it over. Good old Babs.

So I headed straight over here and found people walking out holding their noses. I knew it was bad before I entered.

The smell's pretty strong now, and there are flies everywhere. Oh, hold on, Simon's here to help me shift the lockers...

[4:54 PM - Wilkinson]

Okay, me again. Simon reckons the smell isn't coming from behind the lockers at all, but from inside one of them. Maybe someone's been stuffing missing husbands in the lockers! [laughter]

So anyway, we didn't shift the lockers after all, and Simon's gone off back to Fantasy Island. But before he went we both sniffed around and decided the smell is stronger at the far end, where the slime is. I wouldn't be surprised if the idiots with the leaking bottle of maple syrup also have a joint of rotting beef in there. Or a dead husband.

Or it might be coming from the ventilation shaft. I'll check it out later.

This slime is really weird. It's not maple syrup, despite what I keep saying. It's more like tree sap, but without the color. It's getting everywhere, too. It's in a big puddle around the bottom of locker twenty-nine, but in other places too--big gobs of the stuff on the cubicle doors, faint smears over by the trash... I wonder if people are standing in it and somehow flinging it about. I don't know. Maybe we have snail problems after all. Anyway, it's really disgusting and I'll clean it up after I get into the locker and clear out whatever's in there.

Speak of the devil, someone's just brought me the master key. Hold on...

[8:22 PM - Osborn]

Holy [expletive], it stinks in here. We've had twenty-three complaints reported to Babs in Information. I was going to page Old Jack but Babs said he hasn't showed up for work in a couple days, and Charlie Wilkinson's filling in. But Wilkinson isn't responding to his pager. So here I am, doing double-duties, hint hint.

I don't know what the [expletive] is all over the floor, but it's really nasty, like sticky snot or something. Do we have snail problems around here? This is the biggest [expletive] snail ever. I'm not surprised we've had complaints--people must have been getting that [expletive] all over their shoes.

And the smell in here's making me gag. We've got flies all over the place and visitors are just walking in, looking around, and walking out again in disgust.

There's a couple of teenage girls standing outside waiting for their dad, and I promised to check to make sure he hasn't fallen down the toilet. But there's no one in here. I only mention this because we've had a number of announcements over the PA about missing dads and husbands today. What's this place coming to?

Anyway, I've closed off the restroom for a while, and I've got ol' Blue Eyes over to help me clean up. He wasn't doing anything anyway, the lazy [word unrecognized]. This is going to take some time, and Wilkinson's going to get his [expletive] head kicked in when he shows up.

[9:15 PM - Osborn]

Me again. Still here. Finally managed to get cleaned up. Took us an hour. That slime doesn't come up easily, and messes up the mops. We got through four of 'em.

I've been around spraying fly killer, and 'ol Blue Eyes is sweeping them up as I speak. What? Oh, yeah, he says his shift should have ended at nine tonight, so this counts as overtime. Hey, Blue Eyes--go and get a master key. Yeah, right now.

Okay, he should be back in a while. I want to get that locker open and find out what's leaking.

Oh--and we found the source of the smell. There's a ventilation grille on the wall at the far end, with slime all over it, and I opened it up and found some old clothes stuffed in there. Looks like the clothes have blood on them, so that's probably what we can smell. They're stuffed pretty deep in the ductwork, so I'll have to go and get something long to pull 'em out.

[9:26 PM - Osborn]

Holy [expletive], there's a lot more than just clothes in the ductwork. I shone a flashlight in and I can see blood everywhere. But there's something way down in the ductwork that I can't make out--and it stinks like crazy. Makes me gag.

I think I'm going to call the police. This isn't right. Makes me think there's a body in there... but it's a hell of a squeeze, so I guess it's not. Maybe an animal crawled in somehow and died.

I'm going to get some air, then--

What was that? I heard something. A shuffling sound. Hold on...

[9:40 PM - Sinatra]

Hi, Sinatra here. Finally got back with the master key, but Ozzie's disappeared. I thought he said he was going for a smoke.

And there's more of that slime over the floor. We only just cleared that [expletive] up. I reckon there's a ghost, a restroom spook. I saw it in a movie once: the ghost moves through walls and leaves this sticky mess called ectoplasm.

Well, I've got the master key now, but I'm gonna wait for Ozzie a bit longer since I'm only a level one cleaner and I don't have clearance to sift through people's stuff.

[9:43 PM - Sinatra]

I was just taking a closer look at that locker--number twenty-nine?--and I'm not sure it's locked after all. The lock looks bent out of shape. I tried to pry the door open with the key, just by wedging it down one edge, and it gave a little. I reckon it's just that sticky slime stuff holding it shut. I'm going to nip round to the storeroom and get a crowbar or something--be right back.

[10:41 PM - Pike]

Pike here. Just checking this restroom for missing persons. The park's closed now, but we have reports of nine missing customers, all male. The families are at the gates kicking up a fuss, saying their husbands were last seen entering this restroom earlier today. The police are on their way over and I called Boss Hopkins.

The strange thing is, we also have a number of missing staff. Old Jack failed to show for work yesterday and today, and we assumed he was at home sick--but security just told me he never actually clocked out three days ago. Charlie Wilkinson vanished around five today, and Osburn and 'ol Blue Eyes Sinatra disappeared this evening.

Something stinks--and I mean that literally. It reeks in here. When I walked in I was convinced someone had died in here, but the cubicles are empty. The lockers aren't big enough to stuff anyone into, except maybe a small child. Besides, all the lockers are empty except for one at the far end--number twenty-nine. Oh, and there's slime everywhere--really sticky stuff.

It definitely smells like someone died in here, or maybe--

I just heard something, like a scuffle. It came from the lockers... Oh my God, it's opening! The one that was locked--it's--

What the [expletive] is that? It's like a... oh my God, it's slimy, a...a man-thing oozing out of the locker--it's eyes are red--slime is pouring out of the locker, running across the floor toward me, like it's alive--

My feet! Oh my God, no, I can't move! No--stay away from me--


[11:29 PM - Hopkins]

--just insert a key and start talking, and the computer records everything and compiles a complete daily log. So yes, Detective Inspector, there might be something useful in the transcript to explain all this. I'll get a copy to you as soon as possible, but the computer doesn't compile it until after midnight so you'll have to wait a bit. This is Dez Pike's key. He called me earlier--

[transcript ends]


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