The strangest things happen when I go to the bathroom. No, not to me. I mean, I’ll make a visit to the little boy’s room, and when I come out, the situation will be different.
Like Marta and Vincent. One day they were hanging out at my place along with a bunch of other friends, and I dropped the kids off at the pool, and when I come back, Bam! They’re making out!
And then there’s the time I was at a family reunion. When I came back from freshening up, apparently Aunt Katie and Uncle Casey decided to get a divorce. Outta nowhere!
You know, stuff like that. I usually try to keep my bathroom trips to the minimum because of it. I don’t like shaking up the status quo. I don’t know why it is that every time my bowels move something in my life moves, but not even I expected the day that the N’Drazzi came.
I was cleaning out the pipes when the entire house shook. Now, I’d expected something to happen – after all, I was on the porcelain throne – but house-shaking events weren’t the norm, even for me. I zipped up and ran out of the house.
There it was. I’m sure you’ve seen the videos on YouTube. Everyone wanted to show off that they’d seen it, even though we found out later that somewhere around forty percent of the globe could see one of them. The N’Drazzi aetherships were growing across the sky, kind of like roots across a forest floor, except way faster.
As I watched, I saw the first of the probe tendrils snake down toward the earth. I lived in Chicago – all right, in Crete, that’s south of Chicago to you, wise guy – anyway, close enough that I saw it come down. The sound was something else. Sorta like Rice Krispies after you pour on the milk, or like a thousand branches in a forest clacking together, but from a distance.
Yeah, I was born in Alabama, so I know what a forest sounds like. You got a problem with my pedigree?
Anyway, I was close enough when the probe tendril contacted good ol’ terra firma that I could feel the tremors. The sky kinda turned green, and I could feel the breeze suddenly turn so that it was sucking toward the tendril. Course, we found out later that these were the dimensional anchorpoints, and they were going to suck us to their homeplane for easy harvest of our natural resources. I guess it’s all old hat now, but whatever.
The second I felt the change in the air, I knew what I had to do, and it involved toilet paper.
Have you ever tried to go to the bathroom when it actually mattered? Like, when you were under a ton of stress, and you knew that if you didn’t go now, there’d be problems later? Like, maybe before standing up in your big brothers wedding?
Shut up. I don’t like being teased about it.
I said shut up.
Who’s telling the story here?
That’s better. You watch it. I’m learning to aim my forays into the powder room. You don’t want me changing something about you next time, do you?
All right. So, as I was saying, there wasn’t much water made in that particular trip to the privy. And the invasion went on as planned. We got sucked into the aethir and most humans got to learn more about dimensional transit than our stomachs ever wanted to know. All I can say is, it’s a good thing I was near a toilet when it happened. Man, I’ve never been so sick!
It was the worst week to get constipated. I mean, really, of all the times to be unable to use my abilites. It was like in the comics how the superhero always looses his powers right when the bad guy’s right on top of his.
Course, the N’Drazzi were pretty ugly, but you already know that. Geez, you’d think things that could control their growth patterns would look better than a cross between a tree and your mama.
That’s right. You wanna make something of it?
During that week we were in aetherspace, I made trips to every portapotty and loo I could find, but it never mattered. Pretty sure the workboss thought I was trying to get outta my job, but all I wanted was the change I knew would come once I talked to a man about a horse!
Yeah, course you think I’m actually lazy. Clark Kent’s boss probably thought he was lazy, too.
Yeah, I’m comparing myself to Superman. After all, I’m the one who saved the world, ain’t I?
So, the workboss didn’t like me running off one day, so he grew me. I was already pretty stopped up after seven days of no rain, so it’s not like I was feeling the best to start with. But he set off the genewhip and those roots spread under my skin like good gossip in the girl’s bathroom.
Yeah, it hurt.
Well, I guess a little pain to distract me loosened up my bowels something good.
And at that moment, the freedom fighters finally figured out how to sever the probe tendrils and loosen our moorings in their dimensional space, and we went back home.
I was a mess, but a happy mess. Especially since anything attuned to N’Drazzi space winked out when we winked back here. Like the workboss.
So, that’s how I saved the world.
Do I need to beat on you to get you to show me some respect?
This story was written in response to the prompt “The strangest things happen when I…”