Toilet Paper by M.G. Spear
Toilet paper has been around for centuries, dating back to medieval China. It has become a common household item, sold in different varieties to suit everyone’s needs. Toilet paper is as harmless as any bath rug, facial tissue, or other ordinary household item.
That is, except for the toilet paper residing in Janice Mider’s apartment.
Janice knew the roll of toilet paper was out to get her, even when she pulled off a piece for use two weeks ago and found it glaring at her with unseen eyes. Ever since that encounter, that fleeting glance of hate, she had not used her bathroom, relying on her neighbor below her for help. While the neighbor didn’t understand her behavior, he did harbor a crush on her and relished the chance for any interaction at all.
Janice tried to maintain most of her toilet needs at her work, the local paper stocking company down the street. There they had large, nicely-kept bathrooms, able to occupy multiple people at a time. Sure, some of her coworkers thought she was somewhat excessive when she made sure to use to be the last one to use the facilities at the end of the day, but she was a hard worker and most people respected that.
Matt Rowding, the resident know-it-all, had other ideas. “Is your apartment working out for you?” he asked one Tuesday during inventory.
Janice was busy cataloguing the printer paper but flashed a smile anyway. “Yep. Everything is right as rain.”
He leaned against a pallet filled with reams of office paper. “I just noticed you use the bathroom a lot at the end of the day, and was wondering if you were having a problem with your septic system.”
This time her smile was a little forced. “No, nothing like that. Did it ever occur to you I might have a small bladder?”
“No; then you’d be using the restroom all day.”
Janice motioned to her clipboard. “Well, I have to get back to work; thanks for the chat.”
Matt shrugged and ambled off.
She made a mental note to not use the restroom before she left work today.
An hour later, she was regretting that decision. She really had to go. Unfortunately, her neighbor wouldn’t be home for another twenty minutes. Janice considered driving down the street to the nearest gas station but didn’t think her bladder would last that long. She really, really had to go.
Her bathroom looked pristine, inviting. It had been four weeks now, and surely, she had imagined the whole toilet paper vendetta. Just to be safe, she grabbed a new roll of toilet paper from under the sink and hurried to the bathroom. Once she was safe and secure on the pot, Janice kicked the old roll toward the door and put the new one on the rack.
Her bladder emptied in record time. She grabbed for the fresh toilet paper, and marveled at the fact she hadn’t thought of this solution before. She flushed and pulled up her pants. Janice strode across the bathroom rug while attempting to put her hair in a ponytail.
Janice’s right foot stepped on the roll of toilet paper sitting in the doorway. She lost her balance and the back of her head slammed into the bathtub. She slumped to the floor, brain hemorrhaging.
And that was the end of the toilet paper war.
This story is featured in the Black Cat Scribbles Vol. 1 collection.