I remember the day this whole thing started.
I was up for promotion, and had just finished running the corporate gauntlet of interview-presentation-interview and I had to go to the bathroom. It never fails; any time my nerves get ramped up my bladder revolts as soon as the situation is handled, and that morning was indeed stressful.
I went into the blissfully empty bathroom-I've always hated being next to someone in a public restroom, but for now that wasn't a concern. Every stall door was closed, and I chose the one closest to the door. Out of habit, I knocked lightly, and began to push the door open.
A small, sinister thought whipped through my mind. What if there was something in there? Puzzled at the fact that I thought 'something' rather than someone, I shook my head and chuckled, and opened the door.
The stall was covered in gore. Blood streaked and ran down the walls, pooling on the floor, dripping from the handrail and the "treasure chest". A high heel lay in a puddle of blood in front of the toilet, and perched there on the seat was a creature that looked like Gollum, aside from the claws and fangs. It was chewing on what had been a woman's foot with apparent relish. I couldn't scream; all I could muster was a small, helpless, "Oh."
It's head snapped up, and it's black eyes narrowed. The thing dropped the foot, letting it thump to the floor. I saw the drops of blood fly as it splashed into the puddle. I was frozen until the creature hissed. I looked up at it, and tensed as if to pounce. I stumbled back, the heel of my shoe caught in the grout between the tiles and I went down hard. I raised up onto my elbows to try and scramble back onto my feet or just to scoot out of range, and I looked up. It was gone. I lay there, staring into the now pristine stall, shocked and about to wet my pants, and Shannon walked in.
She stopped when she saw me on the floor, and stared for a moment.
"Are you alright?"
I looked from her to the stall and back; everything was normal. There was no blood, no horrible foot, and no creature. The only things out of the ordinary were the stall door hanging open, and me lying on the gritty floor. I thought fast, put on a big grin and said, "Yeah, I'm fine. Damn these high heels!"
She cocked an eyebrow, and I got to my feet and brushed myself off. "Really, I'm fine."
Another dazzling smile. "Absolutely."
She gave me a once-over and nodded. She went into a stall, leaving me standing at the sinks. I went into the stall and attended to myself, my mind reeling. I began to giggle, dismissing the whole thing, putting it down to brain dump from all the stress that morning.
Unfortunately, I was wrong.