Nobody would believe me about the drain. About how I got sucked right in with the bathwater, swirling down, down, down the slimy pipe until I landed in shallow sludge. How my eyes adjusted to the dank chamber where rats writhed in the corners between chinks in crumbling stone. Then the voice that drip, drip, dripped from the damp woman’s mouth, the long wet tendrils of white hair clinging to her bare throat and shoulders. She said I would be safe there, in the deep dark with her. She said she was my friend. “Are you dead?” I asked, and she said “That’s irrelevant.” I listened to the echoes of the watery cavern, the plink, plink, plink of droplets resounding within hollow copper.
“Someday,” she told me “you’ll want to return, because everything up there will become a terrible shame and an awful mess, and when that day comes you’ll know how to find me.” “But there are rats down here,” I said, shrinking into myself. “They won’t hurt you,” she assured me, and strangely, I knew she spoke the truth. The humid air collected as beads on my skin. I trailed my fingers over the surface of the warm water, and wanted to sink into it, wanted to stay until my fingers and toes shriveled and became webbed, until I grew gills and scales, but the woman told me, “Not yet.”
Nobody would believe me about the bad time that’s coming. About how I soak each night in the tub while the clock in the hall tick, tick, ticks toward the inevitable. How I take comfort in the plaintive lament of the leaky faucet because it reminds me of the place I’m going to. How sometimes, after the water is drained and it’s very quiet, the sounds of scurrying rodent claws scratch, scratch, scratch from inside the plumbing. Then the pointed, whiskered noses poke out from the drain to prowl across the porcelain, and I spy on them from behind the bathroom door until they squeeze themselves small and slither back to the sewer.
Sara Dobbie is a Canadian writer from Southern Ontario. Her work has appeared in The Cabinet of Heed, Crab Fat Magazine, Ellipsis Zine, (Mac)ro(Mic), Re-Side, and is forthcoming in Spelk Fiction and Change Seven Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @sbdobbie.6