It's What's Inside



            She was still retching from the memory. Darren really got a kick out of making Ronnie uncomfortable, she was certain it was him that gave the others the idea of calling her “The...

            She was still retching from the memory. Darren really got a kick out of making Ronnie uncomfortable, she was certain it was him that gave the others the idea of calling her “The Nun”. But Ronnie hadn’t let that get to her, she hadn’t let any of it get to her, not the questions about how her non-existent boyfriend was, or being offered alcoholic drinks every time she went out, or even being asked if she didn’t have a man because she was a lesbian. None of that had gotten under her skin, until last night, when Darren had been trying to make her get with this ancient scarecrow of a man, and Darren had announced to room with drunken humour, “She’s got a nice clean pussy mate! Never been used!”

            The tears that ruined her sight, and the uncontrollable shaking of her jaw immediately humiliated her further. Seeing this, Darren, hanging off the scarecrows shoulders blinking stupidly, began laughing.

            She ran away. By the time she got home she felt horribly ill. She spent a quarter of an hour with her head in the toilet, her stomach clenching, not a thing coming out. The sickness and the memory unshifted.

            Now it was morning and she felt no better. Darren’s laughing face was carved onto the inside of her skull. What hurt most was that he was right, and now he probably knew for sure.

            She drained the water bottle on her bedside table, hoping it’d help. The last dribble trickled down her throat, and shot straight back up. She launched herself out of bed and fell through the bathroom door. On her knees, praying into the porcelain, her stomach was twisted by two giant hands, like she was a cloth being wrung out. The sick flooded up her throat with a sound like water rushing up a tap. The bowl filled with vomit. The taste and smell were in every corner of her mouth and nose. Chunks sat between her teeth, under her tongue, and caught in her nasal hairs, festering.

            She sucked in oxygen, her muscles reversing their action. She was beyond caring about the fumes. Just as she began to feel that she was going to be all right her stomach convulsed. This time the spew got stuck in her throat. She breathed in the poisoned air, her hair dipping in and out of the water. With a final gut busting strain, the ball of puke was in her mouth forcing it to open so wide the bones of her jaw screamed in agony. Finally, displacing the vommitty water with a huge splash out of the bowl and over Ronnie, it was out.

            With joyous relief her muscled soothed themselves as she thudded against the bath. The room span, her brain starved of oxygen, her mouth full of chunks and every breath laced with the stench of bile.

            She mustered enough strength to pull herself up to the sink and took a look at herself in the mirror, at that face that she’d never really cared much for, now with partially digest food all over it, her shoulders and hair. She took off her pajama top, rinsed her face and hair in the sink, and cleaned her mouth with the water bottle she kept by her sink and some Listerine.

            Once she’d finished cleaning herself up, she realized how hollow her stomach felt, and wondered if she dare eat something. With the knowledge that she could puke no more, she walked straight to the source of the hellish stench with idea of flushing it away. With her head pointed away from the bowl, she peeked down at the mass of yellowy-green vomit out of a kind primal curiosity. It glistened in the like, the many shades of horror perfectly framed against the porcelain.

            Then it rose up.

            Ronnie froze, like she’d just realized she was being stalked by a tiger. It was rising up. She felt dizzy. In the mass appeared two round bulbs the colour of shit, and periodically some vomit slid quickly over them, as they swiveled. They were like eyes.

            Ronnie stepped back, the mass out of sight in the bowl. She stood there waiting for something to happen. Not sure what to think. Her vomit had moved! Was her toilet backing up? Had she passed out after vomiting? She tried to find an explanation, but none seemed to fit.

            As she sank down to the floor, a voice made only for lullabies said, “Are you all right Ronnie?” It echoed out of the toilet, tickled and trickled down her ears.

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