“We don’t have time for this!” Art shouted. “We’re almost home. Can’t you hold it?”
“Dad!” Reilly hollered back, his muscles tense, beads of cold sweat popping out on his pockmarked forehead. “It can’t wait!”
“Jesus Christ, we’re already a half hour late,” Art muttered, and swerved his old Subaru off the New Jersey Turnpike into an old rest area that’d been closed for as long as he could remember.
“If the door’s locked, you can shit outside around back,” he instructed, as Reilly bolted out of the car and waddled across the littered parking lot toward the men’s room. “Poor bastard’s not gonna make it,” he thought.
“Please don’t be locked, please don’t be locked, please d–” Reilly thought, clenching everything he had to avoid a humiliating disaster.
The door to the bathroom was not locked. Not anymore, at least. An old Master Lock lay in pieces on the chipped tile floor. There was no electricity; the only light coming in was from the clearly-unwashed skylights. The air, if what he was breathing could be considered such, was thick and fetid. Used.
None of that mattered. The nearest stall was open, and a grime-caked, waterless toilet, beckoned. He barged in, dropped his pants, and let go.
He sat, his elbows on his legs and his hands pressed against his eyes, until his body allowed him to move again. He sighed with relief and moved his hands, finally taking in the filth of the room around him.
It’d been a long time since anyone had cleaned the place, but not long since it’d been used. With a feeling of disgust, he glanced over to where the toilet paper should have been.
Then he saw it.
“What the fuck!” Reilly exclaimed, pulling the front of his shirt down and clamping his legs shut.
An eye was studying him from a jagged hole in the stall.
“Um, can I have some privacy please?” he stammered.
The eye blinked. Its veiny lid took a full second to close and open again.
“Dude, come on.”
Outside, Reilly’s dad honked the horn twice. It was the universal “get moving” signal. But Reilly wasn’t paying attention to his dad.
There were sounds coming from the other stall. Wet, squelching sounds. Not the intestinal cacophony that’d been emanating from his own stall, but doubtless biological. Whatever they were, he couldn’t place them. The closest thing he could think of was the time he’d tried to chew a whole six-foot ribbon of Bubble Tape when he was eleven. It was a similar noise, but still unique. Unsettling.
The eye moved around lazily, studying Reilly and the stall around him. He wondered how it was possible the person on the other end hadn’t been put off by the performance he’d just given. The entire bathroom was borderline uninhabitable.
Just then, Reilly heard breathing. It started off as sighs, but then grew labored and intense. “Oh gross,” he thought.
In another hole, maybe an inch above the one housing the eye, something moved. “What the…” he wondered.
Thick, wet lips pushed through the hole. A tongue slid out from between them, long and swollen and red. A heavy strand of saliva dangled from its tip.
Reilly yelped. It wasn’t the sight of the mouth that frightened him. It was the orientation. How a mouth could be so close to, as well as above, an eye, confused and disoriented him. He’d had enough.
There was no toilet paper in the stall. A wadded, crusty copy of an adult magazine lay open on the floor like a felled bird. He tore out a redhead and dragged her along his backside, then hiked up his pants and ran out of the stall. He could’ve sworn a soft voice followed him as he left.
“Come and hide and seek.”
Back outside, as he hustled to the car, he could see his father was furious.
“Your sister’s party started an hour ago!” he bellowed, his voice clear through the open windows. Reilly got in the car and the shouting continued.
“Christ almighty, it’s bad enough I have to drive all the way out here to get you because your shitbox car shit the bed, now your mother’s gonna be pissed at me because I can’t help her with a house full of screaming kids. God damn it, Reilly.”
Reilly didn’t say anything. He was replaying the events from inside the stall. What the fuck had he seen?
Art snarled and hissed while they made their way to the exit, then turned right twice to double back on the tree-lined road to their house. The woods looked extra foreboding on the cloudy September day. Reilly knew those woods. They spanned from his backyard all the way to the Turnpike about a mile away.
Art sped down the road until they reached their driveway. As they pulled in, they saw hordes of ten-year olds running and playing in the front yard. Leah, Reilly’s mother, stood on the porch. The forced smile stretched across her face did little to hide the stress and irritation she felt.
“You stink,” Art commented to Reilly before they exited the car. “Go take a shower and I’ll deal with your mother and the kids. I want you here to clean up once Hailey’s party’s over. Don’t think about going anywhere.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Reilly murmured, and they headed toward Leah, whose smile couldn’t compete with the glare of disdain she was leveling at them.
Reilly walked past her without saying a word. He went inside just in time to hear the beginnings of the whispered argument between his parents.
“How the hell was I supposed to know his car wouldn’t…”
Reilly shut the door. The house was quiet. Everyone was outside playing. From the kitchen window, he saw Hailey in the middle of the yard, ordering around her assembled acolytes. He sniffed the air and wrinkled his nose. He did stink. Discarded, rest-area smut does not a good bathroom tissue make.
Reilly trudged up the stairs toward the shower. He stripped, adjusted the water, and stepped in. The steam enveloped him in a cocoon of moisture. He stood under the showerhead, letting the cleansing water run down his body as his mind returned to that filthy stall.
He couldn’t stop thinking about that mouth.
The eye was disgusting, but it wasn’t particularly disturbing to him. He knew there were perverts out there. It didn’t surprise him that on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike there was a creep who, for whatever reason, wanted to watch a sixteen-year old on the toilet. Gross, but whatever.
The mouth was an entirely different story. Even disregarding the fact it was above the eye, which Reilly had written off as being a second person who must’ve been practically on top of the guy with the eye, there was an aspect to it that was lurid. Pornographic.
He’d seen his share of porn. He was sixteen, for Christ’s sake. But he didn’t have any sexual experiences of his own. Nothing beyond a grope here or a squeeze there – nothing that ever turned into anything more than lonely bedtime jerk-off session.
Reilly hung his head and closed his eyes. He imagined the redness of those lips. Not artificial red. Not lipstick — but red from blood pulsing under skin that shone with a silky sheen of slick saliva despite the dimness of that dank room.
And the tongue.
The muscular, agile tongue hanging low between those wet lips, a long strand of drool with a fat droplet at the end threatening to break off and splatter on the cold floor.
Why had he been shown that mouth?
Reilly opened his eyes and realized he’d been stroking himself throughout his recollection. He was deeply aroused by the thought of that mouth. The context of it didn’t matter – the shitty bathroom, the watching eye – he didn’t care. He wanted that mouth. And he knew it wanted him.
He emptied his balls into the drain of his family’s shower as muffled shrieks of the partygoers bled into the din of splashing water.
Reilly washed himself and got out. He toweled off and put on a fresh set of clothes before joining his parents downstairs. The kids had come back inside. It was cake time.
Fourteen girls sang “Happy Birthday” while Reilly’s mind drifted back to the stall. The mouth, again. This time, though, it wasn’t its shape and wetness. Rather, what it said as he rushed out of the bathroom. Words he’d only partially heard and had tried to reconstruct.
“Come and hide and seek” didn’t sound right to him. It didn’t make much sense. He was being watched, after all, so there wasn’t much hiding being done.
It only occurred to him after his shower that the words might have been, “come inside and see.”
“Come inside and see” was better, but it was ominous to him. Nebulous, too. It could mean a lot of different things – one of which, and his teenage brain couldn’t help but think it, was that it wasn’t just two creeps on the other side of that stall, but some kind of monster.
Reilly snickered to himself as a slice of cake on a paper Steven Universe plate was pushed in his direction. “The girls in porn are the ones who say ‘come inside,’ dummy. And that voice was soft and hot. I bet it was a woman and her husband who gets off on watching his wife service other guys. And I missed out.”
Frustrated, Reilly went through the celebratory motions an older brother needs to perform at his younger sister’s party. He endured her friends, obeyed the orders of his parents, and, when the party was over, cleaned.
It was after dark when everything was finished.
“I’m going upstairs,” Leah announced. “I’ve done enough today. Happy Birthday, sweetie.” She kissed Hailey on the forehead and left the room.
“I’m right behind you,” Art said, and followed her.
Reilly was left with his sister, who was playing her new Zelda game. She was ignoring him, which was not unusual. It’s what he’d been counting on. It meant he could go do what he’d been planning since Hailey had blown out her candles.
He grabbed a flashlight and left the house. No one heard him leave. He walked out into the quiet night, toward the woods. Toward the New Jersey Turnpike.
Reilly had taken this route in the past. He’d even seen the old rest stop, but had never given it a second thought. Now, though, it was his first thought. His only thought.
“Will they be there?” he wondered. “Could they have waited?”
Part of him knew the answer. They’d be there. They’d waited. It’s what they’d been waiting for all day. It’s what they were craving as much as he – the man’s wide, watchful eye and his wife’s wet, inviting mouth. Reilly fondled himself as he walked, too turned on to help it. It would be his first. He’d seen it so often in porn, but it was never anything more than a detached fantasy. A fiction that never involved him.
This was different. She wanted him. Him.
“Come inside and see,” the voice whispered throughout his reeling mind as he speed-walked through the woods toward the sound of traffic.
After a little over a half hour, he saw the Turnpike. On his left, about a quarter mile away, he saw the rest stop. Cars and trucks raced by, ignoring the dilapidated stop with the prominent “Closed For Renovations” sign that had kept all but the most desperate travelers away for the last fifteen years.
His speed walk turned into a jog, then a run. He ended the journey in an all-out sprint, rushing up to the men’s room door and pushing it open before stepping inside.
It was pitch black, aside from the beam of his flashlight. The only sound came from the traffic outside, but that seemed far away.
“Hello?” Reilly gulped. He was panting from his run. And sweating. Through his jeans, his erection jutted out in front of him like a divining rod.
No one answered. The air was offensive and fetid. Hot, too. Much hotter than it had been earlier in the day. He crept past the useless sinks toward the stall from before. The stench of what he’d left in that non-functioning toilet was nauseating, but no nausea was strong enough to overcome the desire he felt.
The desire was colossal, overmastering sense and logic and sanity. He was a teenage boy who was certain he was about to have his first sexual experience, and it was all he knew. All he was.
“Hello?” he called again. The word hung in the thick air, refusing to echo off the filthy surfaces of the bathroom. He opened the stall door and shined the flashlight around. The holes were still there. One right on top of the other, just a few feet above the floor.
“Waist height,” Reilly realized. The beam of light moved from left to right, over and over and over, and he noticed he was trembling.
“Are…are you still there?” he asked, ready to check the other stall to see if the couple was waiting for him. Before he could, the eye appeared in the bottom hole.
“Yes,” Reilly hissed. “Yes. I’m ready.”
“Come inside and see,” a voice sighed from the other side. “Come inside.”
Two plump, crimson lips pushed through the other hole. They were dripping with saliva as thick as corn syrup and shone in the dim light like sun glinting off an apple after a rainstorm.
Reilly watched as strands of saliva stretched, unbroken, between her lips as her mouth formed the words. The eye looked back at him.
“I want you,” he whispered. Her long tongue slipped out from between her lips and stood outward, erect, waving back and forth as a trail of drool leaked from its entire surface in a clear ribbon.
Reilly placed the flashlight on the back of the toilet and dropped his pants around his ankles, exposing himself to the eye on the other side. Its pupil dilated. The salivation from the mouth above intensified. He could feel heat emanating from it like a small furnace.
He closed his eyes and stepped forward. The tip of the tongue brushed over his erection and Reilly gasped. He knew if he hadn’t masturbated earlier, he would have climaxed right there and then. But he could take his time, now. He could savor this.
Reilly stepped forward again and let the mouth and tongue envelop him. The sensation was beyond anything he’d experienced – beyond anything he’d even fantasized. It felt as if his entire body were being bathed in the sanctifying warmth of the hot, willing mouth. He moaned and writhed with shocked pleasure, pressing his pubis against the gritty particleboard wall of the bathroom stall as he allowed the gifted tongue and bottomless throat to caress him.
Lost in a haze of ecstasy, he pushed his hips back and forth, feeling pressure building inside him. The sounds of wet sucking and gulping were overtaken by a gentle, omnipresent hiss, like the sound of a CRT television at full volume with nothing on screen. He knew he couldn’t last much longer.
Seconds before climax, Reilly heard the voice again. “Come inside and see.” His eyes snapped open and he looked down. The red lips, as fat and slimy as two banana slugs, were still wrapped around him. The eye below was peering up.
“Come inside and see.”
Reilly’s orgasm tore through him and his knees buckled. Everything went white, then gray, then back to normal. The mouth was still on him.
The voice again: “See.”
Suddenly sensitive, Reilly took a step back. The mouth remained latched on. He squirmed. Something warm dripped on his face and he looked up. Another pair of drooling lips was six inches above his head.
“What the…” he muttered, and pulled himself out of the mouth. He had to pull twice. It was clear she’d wanted to hold on.
“See,” he heard again. But it wasn’t from the mouth he’d been using. Or from the one near his head. He grabbed the flashlight and looked around the stall, then shuddered.
More holes – countless holes – had appeared in the walls of the bathroom stall. Some had eyes, some had mouths. All the mouths were dripping and oozing and whispering, “see.” The eyes bulged and jerked back and forth, watching every one of Reilly’s movements.
“I…I gotta go…” Reilly stammered, reaching down to pull up his pants while fumbling for the stall door with his other hand.
The door wouldn’t open.
Hundreds of tongues reached for him. Reilly shrieked and backed away, falling onto the toilet. The tongues, unable to stretch, fell back flaccidly against the walls. Drool poured in a torrent onto the floor.
Reilly was panicking. The stall door went all the way to the slick floor. He couldn’t crawl under. He reached again to hike up his pants and succeeded, then tried to get onto the back of the toilet so he could climb over.
A symphony of racking, retching gags filled the room. Every mouth was making the sound. The tongues flopped uselessly against the eyes below them.
Reilly couldn’t get onto the toilet. It was too slippery. He sat, paralyzed with horror, as the gagging yielded veiny, pink tubes from the dripping mouths.
“The throats,” he realized, with hideous clarity. “They’re gagging up their throats.”
With each gag, more interior surface prolapsed out of the mouths. In seconds, they were longer than the tongues. All the eyes were on Reilly and the gagging mouths grinned and choked out “see” between each esophageal spasm.
The first throat to reach Reilly latched onto his finger as he tried to brush it away. It held and pulled him off the toilet, into the wall of mouths and eyes and throats and tongues. He screamed and screamed and screamed until the nearest throat disappeared down his own, then all he did was choke.
Reilly stopped living soon after.
The police never found him. His family never had any closure. He ended up being an unsolved case – just a teenage boy who went missing after his sister’s birthday party.
But not if you know where to look. Not if you go to that unused rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. Not if you meet the same fate as Reilly, because then you can know, as the lips coax and the tongues lap and the throats stretch to suck you up, that one of them belongs to him.
And, soon, you.
© Max Lobdell, 2018. May not be reproduced in any format without express written permission.