The Beatboxing Boogieman, by Jennifer Todhunter

Dark hallways leading toward sketchy bathrooms always terrified me. This corridor had Assault Me shoved in the curves of angled graffiti vying for space between confessions wrapped in heart-shaped promises. The farther along, the faster my pulse raced. Ears cocked and sweaty palms, listening for footsteps. Like someone was gunning for me, coming for me. Halfway down, and in the middle of a slam-dancing beat taking up the space inside my head, the only light, covered with a smoke-stained shield, flickered and died. Fuck the footsteps. I couldn’t hear them anyway.

Instinct propelled me through the door of the men’s room, away from the dark and into the arms of my last one-night stand.

“Hello, Roger.” Disentangling myself was tricky. He wasn’t pissing but he had his dick in his hands like he was about to.

“Uh, Faith. Trolling for men?”

“The light in the hallway went out.”

“You’re scared of the dark?” A yellow stream arched into the trough below. He pushed his hips forward and scratched his ass.

“Screw you. It’s a thing—I have a hallway thing.”

“I remember. You spent the night because you didn’t want to leave until the sun came up.” He stuffed himself into his oversized shorts.

The smell of the sticky, urine-coated walls made my eyes water. Men were only good at aiming when you wanted them to miss. Silence passed between us. I grabbed the bathroom door with a sweater-covered hand and peeked my head out. Still dark.

“Fancy a fuck?” Always the charmer.

“No, but I have to take a whiz. Can you keep an eye out for me?”

“Whatever. Why the hell aren’t you using the ladies?”

“Because I didn’t make it that far. I was outside the men’s when the light went out.”

My bladder tipped past full, causing a Kegel to kick in. The practice was paying off. “It’ll only take a second.”

Roger shrugged, a lackadaisical move of nonchalance like the one that had attracted me to him in the first place. He held the crooked stall door closed, the lock probably busted by some peeper with a penchant for willies.

“Can you hum? I’ve got stage fright.”

“Christ. Seriously, Faith? After all we’ve been through.”

One night, two quarters of Russian vodka and three joints of Californian kush. That’s what we’d been through. Roger started humming, some ska-funk song. It clashed with the bass beatboxing through the floor.

My baggy shirt slunk off my shoulder while washing up. Roger pulled it up, his hand grazing my chest.

“Get your hand off my tit.”

He scowled. “It’s not on your tit. What’s up with you? I have half a mind to stick you back in the hallway with the boogieman if you can’t play nice.”

Always the hallway. “I’m pregnant.”

Roger choked on his tongue. The one with the piercing that flicked and furled.

“It’s not yours, you asshole.”

He leaned into the space that was meant to be mine — an imaginary hula hoop with a diameter of ten feet and a radius of fuck you.

“Then whose is it?”

“The boogieman’s.”

Jennifer is a dinosaur, with feet made of spiders. Her seagull is called Charlie and she eats chocolate made of sock bunnies. You can find more information on Jennifer and her sock bunnies (not actually) here, or follow her on Twitter.

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