A modern implement, invented by a man whose name became synonymous with the act of using it, sat gleaming from its early morning clean. Sun reflected off its ovular shape, tangential twinkles that enhanced the illusion of sanitised and sterile.
After her second cup of strong black, unspoken need guided Lannie into the bath. No need to close the door, husband and children left hours before on the rush about their differing interests.
Angled beams of sun teased the floor, illusory in its permanent placement. Minute particles of dust danced in the illuminated air, particles ungathered by the whole-house HEPA filter.
An effulgent tapestry of fall colour dominated the out of doors. Its splendour captivated Lannie as she lifted the lid and readied a first flush of residual cleaning solvents.
An undulant wave rippled the opaque layer of surface bubbles as hand touched lever. Lannie pulled away from the flush, undone. Bubbles calmed and she tried again. Water gurgled, stronger. Retreat, watch, and wait.
So silly of me, lannie self-chastised. Flush the damn thing. She did.
Jeans and underwear slid into a wadded bunch at her ankles and Lannie alighted on the commode – just as water splashed upward. Disgusted, she flew off unused modern convenience, twisted to see, and screamed.
Cleansed and dressed, Lannie called Geoff. “There’s a snake in the toilet!”
“A snake? Honey, this isn’t Guam, snakes don’t get into waste systems here, and in any case, there aren’t venomous snakes in New England.” Not quite true, timber rattlers lived in some areas.
“You know I dislike snakes. I’m not using the bathrooms again, and neither are the children.”
“Do you intend to never relieve yourself again?”
“I’m moving out, with the children. I’m not setting foot in the house again.”
“I inherited the property, owned by my family for generations. Sorry, but I can’t leave. I’ll root out the snake.”
“There must be more. What if there are hundreds of them? Live there yourself, we’re leaving!”
Geoff said nothing. Instead, he leaned back and smiled. He owed his brother big time. Damn but the snake trick worked.