Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge, 19th November, 2014

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November 19, 2014 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes the toilet. You can be funny, serious or prim-and-proper. Any variation of toilet is fair fodder (loo, privy, outhouse, shitter, porcelain throne, potty, latrine, necessarium, little girl’s room, the water closet, powder room, comfort station, etc.).


In Vanda & Brian’s world loos are portals. No, not portaloos, just portals. Portals for psychic happenings, events or episodes. Actually, pretty much anywhere Vanda finds herself ends up as a psychic event portal, but from now on, and as a direct result of this post, most of Brian’s wacky moments will be happening in loos, maybe the real reason could be that he’s still more socially reserved than Vanda – she’s becoming a completely new woman since Merlin decided to change her life in order to carry out his gambit; she’s much more outgoing, hence no need to hide herself in the loo to experience her magic moments. It’s great what can end up in a novel because you forced your mind to think in flash-sized-bites for a 99-word moment in time.

I don’t suppose we’re going to get another one on loos in the near future, and Merlin’s not likely to be anywhere near a Roman latrine to describe it to me any time soon, so I’ve decided to use pictures of Roman loos rather than modern ones for this week’s visual input. Roman loos really are so much more interesting, as was the lovely attitude theyhad to ablutions, turning a visit to the loo into anything they wanted it to be as long as it could be done in public. In the first picture above, and the bigger version of the artist’s impression inset below right of the latrines in the villa of Housesteads on Hadrian’s Wall, we can see how a catch up with the boys would be possible; and below left, from the Baths of Caracalla in 3rd century Rome, comes the ultimate status symbol for the wealthy Patrician about town, more to remind everyone else of how great he is as he ablutes in his chariot-themed loo, I would imagine; and I just love the tastefully decorated reconstruction of the latrines at Carnuntum, directly above.

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Right, that’s enough of that, now let’s see how Brian’s most recent trip to the loo went:

Brian Gets a Surprise

“I was just washing my hands. I looked in the mirror, and everything had gone black. Then there was this sequence of images. Lots of ladies … one after another. From different times … thousands of years ago, up to … I was holding onto the sink, the water was running. It started splashing me and there was the woman … from last night … your past life … Lily-Anna. She was on her boat that went to the wrong place. And the seawater was splashing me. I let go of the sink at that point and it all went back to normal again.”

Thanks for reading this far. If you’ve enjoyed this slightly re-worked flash version of Brian’s trip to the little boys room, perhaps you’d like to read the scene from which it was drawn. You’ll find it right here on my blog under the heading Blogging My Book, Earth Magic, Scene Four.

Brightest Blessings, as always,

Tally 🙂

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