The door to a modestly-sized apartment swings open. A medium-sized girl with a relatively curvy build steps through, both arms full of groceries, the door swinging shut smoothly behind her. The girl shuffles toward her kitchen, lights turning on around her dwelling as she moves about, as if following her. She enters the kitchen and deposits her bags onto the counter. She digs into the bags, withdrawing a jug of milk and carton of eggs before turning toward a refrigerator that quite frankly does not belong in a kitchen that small.
The large door swings open, revealing the heart-breakingly empty (save for a small bag of apples and a tupperware container that appeared to house store-bought lasagna) interior. The girl sweeps her long, straight, black locks from her face before shutting the door to her fridge and abandoning the rest of the groceries on the counter. She steps into her bedroom, immediately shedding her waitress uniform and bra, instead opting to wear a large, baggy grey T-shirt that drapes overtop of her black panties. She observes herself in the mirror briefly, staring at her own hazel eyes for a moment, running a hand through her hair. She shrugs, slipping back outside and into her living room, flopping onto her couch and snatching up the remote to her TV, a 56” screen that looks entirely too big for the stand it’s sitting on. The unit it had replaced is still sitting in the corner next to a floor lamp.
The TV powers up, the screen snapping onto a news broadcast. The girl instinctively changes the channel, but the image that was displayed onscreen along with the news headline practically forces her to change it back.
Iris Ahlgren never watches the news. In fact, if it were up to her, she wouldn’t even have cable TV. Unfortunately, well-equipped cable television is included in her EnE Home Package subscription, as is her fridge and TV, along with many other things.
Iris stares at the news broadcast. Her eyes had not fooled her before; displayed on the screen right now is in fact a fully-grown blonde girl in a black dress sitting on the toilet. At least, that’s what it appears at first. Upon further inspection one notices that her legs are not actually visible and in reality she is sunk up to her thighs in the toilet, her bottom resting on the seat.
It’s a video recording, apparently captured with a cell phone. The girl is staring down at herself in distress, pushing down on the seat, apparently struggling. Below the video clip is a scrolling news headline that reads, “TOILETS FLUSHING FULL-SIZED ADULTS?”
‘What the hell?’ Iris thinks to herself, ‘is this some kind of messed up movie trailer?’
“What happened, honey?” A male voice on the recording, likely the girl’s boyfriend, “Are you stuck?” He sounds amused.
“Ugh, this isn’t a joke!” The girl tsks frustratedly, still pushing down on the seat, “I was putting on my shoes for tonight, then I slipped and accidentally flushed it…”
The camera watches her for a few moments longer before moving closer, a man’s hand extending and resting on the handle of the toilet.
“So you’re saying if I press this…?” The male muses before depressing the lever, a prominent, watery rush heard immediately. The camera leans away again, watching.
“No- No! Derek, don’t!!” The girl cries out, but it’s too late. She tenses reflexively as a surge of cold water gushes against her legs, the toilet loudly gurgling. The blonde begins to slowly turn, gradually picking up speed, her bottom pressing tighter against the seat.
“Holy *beep*,” The male remarks as he watches his girlfriend’s spinning grows faster. With a small squeak of the plastic seat the poor girl’s butt slips free and she sinks a good 6 inches, causing her to shriek.
“*bleep*, Derek!” She yells, staring at him with panic and anger when her rotation permits it, “Pull me out, you *bleep* *bleeeep*!!” Her belly descends into the rushing water and is swiftly claimed by the drain.
The man does nothing but watch in stunned silence as his girlfriend twirls and descends further into the fixture, her meager chest popping past the plastic seat, soon submerged in the toilet’s powerful current.
Iris watches, transfixed, as with a few more revolutions the blonde’s head descends below the seat and disappears from view as well. The girl’s cries for help devolve into desperate gurgles. The toilet finally glugs her down its porcelain throat, the last visible part of her being her hands, fingers flexing pitifully, and a few wisps of her blonde hair before the flush completes. The camera leans over the empty commode and remains there, watching the bowl slowly refill with water.
Finally the image fades out to be replaced with a female news anchor sitting behind a desk. “That clip was sent to us two days ago,” the anchor began, “footage in which 19-year-old Erika Burns was… apparently, flushed down the toilet in her boyfriend’s home while preparing for a night out.” The anchor looks like she doesn’t believe her own words for their absurdity. “Rest assured that Erika is perfectly fine, having been returned to her family early the following morning, very shaken and very wet.” A small smirk tugs at the anchor’s lips as a picture is shown to the viewer of the same blonde wearing the same dress, soaking wet and standing with what must be her family.
“This mysterious phenomenon is not a one-time occurrence, it seems. Our station has receiving dozens of reports, from across the nation, of citizens being flushed from their homes and into their local sewer systems. All of these occurrences did have one common factor, however-”
Iris changes the channel, unable to watch any more. Unfortunately the next channel is also a news station, this one broadcasting an interview on the subject. It has the same footage from the other station, scaled down and playing in the corner on loop as the interview went on. The interview is with a man Iris recognizes; the president of the Experts in Everything Corporation, also known as EnE, Charles Killian. Iris listens to the interview intently as she watches the blonde get slurped down the toilet over and over. It’s mesmerizing.
“Mr. Killian, how do you respond to this new… defect your customers have discovered with your EnE-brand toilets?” The interviewer asks, presenting the portly man the microphone.
“Defect? What defect?”
The interviewer looks confused. “I don’t understand. You’ve seen the footage. Customers are being flushed down their toilets, right from their homes into the sewers. What do you call that?”
“I call that the most efficient commode ever developed, which is what EnE prides itself in!”
“Listen here now, EnE brand appliances have always worked as if by magic, they’re the cutting edge in technology. Our washing machines can take a load full of metal plates and spit out mirrors. Now, in all these cases of people being flushed away, I haven’t heard word of a single fatality, have you?” Killian chortles, “In fact, I’ve heard a few rumors of some individuals doing it recreationally.”
“But that doesn’t mean-”
“Our toilets have safety mechanisms in place to ensure any flushed persons are kept completely safe.” Killian nods sagely.
“They- they what? You mean you knew about this beforehand?”
“Of course we did! Honestly, we’re making the best of the best, you don’t think we didn’t try to flush a person or two?”
The interviewer is speechless. He looks at the camera briefly as if to ask for directions.
“Now, then. To any of you watching this getting any ideas… I won’t stop you from having your fun. Flush away. But… don’t push the handle or pull the chain three times in quick succession if someone’s in there.”
The interviewer perks up. “Why’s that, Mr. Killian?”
“Because, that’s the heavy-duty disposal setting. You could throw a pile of sandbags in there and triple-flush… You’ll never see it again. You’ll never see anything again if you put it through a triple-flush, I’ll leave it at that.”
“Don’t you think that’s a little… dangerous?” The interviewer looks nervous.
“So’s a forklift, but you don’t bother the guys who make those. Operate’em safely, folks!”
Iris shuts the TV off. She sits there for a while, thinking about what she’s just seen. The footage of the blonge girl being sucked right down into the porcelain maw of the toilet plays over and over in her head. Before long she looks at the clock and sees that it’s after 10 PM.
“I should go to bed…” She murmurs to herself, mind still abuzz.