For some reason, all he could think about were volcanoes. Spewing liquid fire and melted metal right out of a mountain–murdering everyone like Vesuvius. He should have been thinking of a broken oil well, but the mind’s a funny thing. He wretched again, unable to open his eyes for fear of his own stomach acid splashing back at him. Though not particularly fond of his own appearance, he carried with him an unexplored phobia of facial disfigurement. His palms were slick and he had trouble keeping grip on the bowl, but he’d seen the floor and decided to take his chances.

Thinking the worst of it was over, he squinted into the black depth where the toilet was supposed to be and his eyes snapped open. It was like the oil and tar he’d seen used on parking lots. Endless and color-consuming. He spat what was left on his lips out and wiped his chin with the tattered end of the only toilet paper roll left in the stall. He didn’t want to, but he focused on the lumps that floated to the surface and thought again of volcanoes.

He had just vomited Hawaii into a truck stop toilet. Well at least the big island. The rest of the archipelago came shortly after this discovery.

He couldn’t help but laugh as he struggled to his feet and walked to the mirror. He should have been planning the shortest route to a hospital, but the trucker’s face at the urinal was priceless. He gurgled water at the sink, watching, for whatever reason, the toilet stall he’d just left. Checking his braces for whatever remains that happened to snag on their way up, he didn’t want to admit that Jeanne was probably right about that burger. But it had to have been the milkshake. Something about it tasted spoiled. He gurgled more water, ineffectively washing out the lingering taste and smell. Though he noted it tasted markedly different from his “normal” batch of bile, he didn’t want it to last long enough to be classified.

He hung his head and breathed deep, soaking up the scent of soap and piss and he heard a churning slop as his stomach protested its fickle hunger. He glanced up to see a hulking mass of black dripping ooze rising up out of the toilet. All he could think about at that moment was whether it was the burger or the milkshake.  The sound of a thousand wet mops slapping tile filled the room as the black vomit stepped out of the toilet towards him.  You really seen the look on that trucker’s face, at this point he pissed himself and the surrounding area. Pukeboy, on the other hand just stood there with his stupid mouth hanging open, flashing his braces at the monster.

While failing to blind the oncoming mass of black sludge with his dental hardware, he recalled that the waiter at the diner had a weird lump on her finger he had assumed, until this point, was just a wort but now things seem a little more sinister.  Then he remembered that witches had worts on their noses and that theory made no sense, regardless of witchcraft being the cause of the ten feet of lurking black death dripping towards him. He laughed a little in his head at his own “black death” metaphor, before yelping like a miniature show dog. The pathetic cry echoed around the grungy bathroom and was quickly followed by an even louder sound from the puke monster resembling slurping the remains of a milkshake from the bottom of a glass. It had to be the milkshake. There was no other explanation other than the disturbing reality of mad cow being present in both the beef and the milk.

The mad cow monster split down the middle, reaching out to envelop him in the black tar of its fingers. Pukeboy, assuming his new identity yelped again, this time like an even smaller hairless show dog and headed for the door in full sprint only to slip on the accumulated puddle under the hand dryer. His head smacked flat against the tile, no doubt leaving a mark on his blotchy forehead. The heaping black mass crawled closer with every slip, plop, and squelch, it hissed in a weird slow way he couldn’t quite put his finger on. It looked like it would get stuck, there was no way in hell he’d try touching it. Then he realized that giving up and letting the thing consume him was a legitimate option, but he didn’t think he could stomach the smell.

As Pukeboy flopped and floundered around on the floor like a fish, he noticed a smaller door shadowed by the exit door that led to a janitor’s closet. He struggled to stand, cursing the lack of grip on his vintage work boots and half-ran, half-slipped, half-risky-business-slid to the closet and drew out a plunger that had seen considerable use to say the least offensive thing about the layers of caked-on shit that added a good three pounds to the existing device. He leveled the poop-stuck stick at the encroaching tar blob and it reeled back like a wave hitting a rock. Pukeboy wasn’t about to waste the gilded opportunity before him so he shouted: (insert wizard fiction nonsense catchphrase) as the tile imprint still on his forehead throbbed under the flickering florescents. The vomit beast reeled back, either terrified of the crusty plunger or repulsed by the maddening fandom and retreated back with every step Pukeboy took in his direction.

With a bravado only fitting with the absurdity of the situation and Pukeboy’s ridiculously quick yet unanimously hated wit, he recited a few more dumb catchphrases drawing from the key elements of scat humor and (insert title of “witty” adult cartoon), and successfully pushed the walking oil stain back into the stall and down into the festering toilet bowl. At last, striking the trademark pose of a respected naval officer, he flushed the toilet, watching the seeping blackness drain into the sewers with one last satisfying gurgle.

Exhausted and, frankly, smelling a little like shit himself, Pukeboy sat down at the toilet and pulled out his phone, praying to god the screen wasn’t cracked any more than it already was. He breathed a sigh of relief and typed away with his one clean thumb. The indignance was as as clear on his face as his mountain of cystic acne.

With a final shit-eating grin, Pukeboy hit send on his latest Yelp review. “6/10 would eat again.”


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