Stage Fright

By: Jeremy Ridnor


A thirteen-year-old boy named Raymond Clark stood with his legs crossed in the middle of the main hallway at Lincoln junior high. The incandescent florescent lights glistened off of Raymond red and blue braces as well as his round glasses. Raymond had light brown shaggy hair and small beady eyes. Raymond was not growing well into his body due to a new growth spurt. Nothing was proportional. He was incredible skinny, the kind of skinny that a Jewish mother would obese over. His face was heavily invested with pus filled pimples. Basically Raymond was the cliché poster child for the nerds.


At this moment in time Raymond was facing a life crisis. Normally Raymond never even considers using the restroom facilities at school or really any public restroom for that matter. Raymond strategically conditioned his body to urinate at specific times of the day. Raymond called it his pee schedule. He would always pee when he first got up in the morning. This was his favorite pee because it was the longest pee of the day and the most satisfying pee high of the day. The second time he would pee would be right before he took his shower. The sound of rushing water always made him have to go. Before leaving to go to school he would always made time for a quick tinkle just to make sure every drop had emptied his bladder. After coming home from school Raymond would always rush into his house throw his backpack onto the floor and race to the bathroom. This was the second best pee of the day because this too left Raymond with a satisfying pee high feeling. Raymond would then proceed to go before dinner and then before bed twice just incase. He was always paranoid about wetting the bed. He followed this schedule to the dime and was always very consistent.


Today was different; Raymond had overslept and had to hastily rush outside his house without even having his morning pee. Raymond always walked to school, but today he had to sprint to school. This unfortunately made Raymond very parched so he drank an excessive amount of water as well as an entire Capri Sun Big Pouch. Then lunched rolled by and he drank the entire carton of chocolate milk. He would never waste a drop of chocolate milk it was the only good thing they served at his school cafeteria that he would buy. In addition to all of this Raymond also had a huge pre algebra test this morning, which made him very nervous which made him have to pee more. This was the reason why he was so tired this morning because he was up all night studying.


Raymond was standing in the middle of a crowded hallway and did not want to draw any attention to himself by doing what he called the pee dance. He just subtly swayed back and forth while he tightly grasped his neon green lunch bag. Raymond glanced down at his calculated wrist watched and realized that there was only five minutes left until the first bell would ring. He had his watch synchronized to the bell systems exactly to the second and would typically do a count down to himself before the bell would ring.


Raymond observed other boys going into the restroom. They did not give it a second thought. Why was it so hard for Raymond? He knew that he could not hold it in much longer even his eyes were starting to water. He was just petrified of actually urinating in his pants. He was already picked on a lot, if he wet his pants while in school than he would be ostracized. All of a sudden Raymond heard the sound of running water. Henry Wimpleton nickname Porcupine was slurping the water from the drinking fountain. Everyone called Henry Porcupine because he always had his entire head spiked. Porcupine was taunting Raymond with every loud and obnoxious slurping sound that he made with his slobbering wet tongue. Time was running out and Raymond knew that it was only going to get worse. The thought of completely ditching school and running home to use the bathroom occurred to him, but deep down he knew that was not in option. He did not want to taint his perfect attendance streak, which he had kept up since the first grade when he had to miss school because of the chicken pox. Either Raymond was going to wet his pants like a baby or he was going to use a public school restroom like a man. He would come in a boy and come out a man.


He hesitated for a moment and then started to slowly walk towards the bathroom door. Raymond double-checked the sign posted outside the door to make sure he was going into the men’s restroom versus the woman’s restroom. For a moment he stared deep into the disembodied head that floated above the stick figure body. Its face deprived of any emotion it was cynical and maniacal. He exhaled deeply and then pushed open that green wooden door. As it slowly creaked open Raymond began to feel faint. His heart was beating fiercely as he placed his pasty white shoes onto the vomit green tile floor. Raymond swallowed the lump in his throat. It was like he set foot into a whole different dimension. It felt humid and the air was thinner. The poor dim lighting gave the place a gloomy and melancholy feel.


Raymond explored the restroom briefly with his eyes, but occasionally he would have to shift away because he would see someone trying to pee in a urinal. How could someone pee out in the open with other people around thought Raymond? He felt nauseated and was completely and utterly perturbed by the sight of rows of boys peeing. As he got closer to the urinals he smelled the poignant smell of mothballs and stagnate urine that had not been flushed. Raymond noticed that one of the stalls was tapped off, which meant that there was only one working stall and it was currently occupied. Time was running out. According to Raymond’s wristwatch there was exactly two minutes and fifty four seconds until the first bell would rang. Raymond was always early to his classes so being five minutes early in his mind was like being five minutes late. Some of the other kids started to give Raymond funny looks. The reason being was that he was just standing there in the middle of the bathroom; well actually he was kind of shifting back and fourth. He felt exposed like he was a sitting duck. It was getting worse, the sound of the sinks gushing water as well as the constant flushing and not to mention the streams of urine that was splashing into the pools of polluted toilet water.


Finally a stall door opened, and Raymond would finally be able to get this over with. This heavyset boy with florescent red hair took elephantine steps outside of the now vacant stall. Why did it have to Jerold Frankworth thought Raymond? Jerold Frankworth was notorious for being stinky. He seem to have no shame in letting go farts in class, I guess he figured he was an outcast already so he might as well make the best of it. As Jerold passed Raymond a menacing looking smirk appeared on his face. What putrid odors must lie within that stall? Raymond inched forward to the chamber of stenches, but even before he got into the stall Raymond could already smell the vile stenches.


Raymond slowly closed the stall door. He tried to lock it, but the lock was jammed. He could not pee unless he had a lock that was the whole purpose of the stall. He pushed with all his might and to his surprise the luck budged. He slowly turned around praying to himself that Jerold did not leave a floater. Luckily he had flushed, but the terrible smell still lingered. It actually made Raymond physically gag as well as make his eyes tear up. Raymond felt like he was going to burst, so he undid his zipper and was ready, but nothing happened. He knew he had to pee, but for some reason he could not. He just stared down at the pee drizzled toilet seat. He thought of rushing water and tried to concentrate, but no luck. There was just too many people around and it made him nervous. As he waited patiently Raymond started to read the bathroom walls. One read “Skool suks,” another one read, “call this number 555-4838 I’ll hook you up.” Raymond started becoming intrigued so he continued to read the bathroom wall graffiti. There were some funny ones, but most of them were really asinine comments. However one stood out to Raymond, and it read, “Fuck this stupid establishment, I fucking want out. These stupid motherfuckers aint know shit. I bet you if I offed myself nobody would give a damn.” This made Raymond severally depressed, but what made it even worse was the arrow pointing to that comment with the caption, “faggot.” Raymond hoped to God that this kid whoever he was would not commit suicide over that other kids comment.


Out of nowhere the blaring noise of the synthesized bell sound rang three times. Raymond had five minutes until the next bell would ring, and if that bell rang he would be tardy. Everyone in the boy’s bathroom started to file out. Within about thirty seconds Raymond was alone. Now was his chance there were no distractions he would finally be able to concentrate. He closed his eyes and pushed as hard as he could. The sound of splashing urine was like music to Raymond’s ears, but then all of a sudden he heard the bathroom door open and then quickly slammed in an aggressive manner. Unfortunately this frightened Raymond and he involuntarily tightened up his bladder and stopped peeing midstream.


“Are you ready?” said the mysterious voice.


“Yeah, let’s do this.” Said another mysterious voice.


“We should probably secure the door so that no one comes in.”


“Good idea, but with what?”


“I don’t fucking know, um just forget about it we are just going to have to take our chances.”


Raymond was thoroughly confused. He quickly peaked his head underneath the stall to see who was there, but all he could manage to see was two feet. Where was the second guy and what was in those duffle bags thought Raymond? Raymond realized that perhaps maybe he should not make his presence known so he decided to back up. He contemplated for a moment whether or not he wanted to stand on the pee stained toilet rim.


“I can’t wait to blast those fuckers away, which gun do you want?”


Raymond decided that he needed to hide from them and the only possible way to do that was to stand on outer rim of the toilet. He awkwardly contorted his body in order to make himself as inauspicious as possible.


“Now remember stick to the plan I don’t want you just blasting away precariously.”


“I know, I know.”


“First thing is first we go to Mr. Plumpersteins room and then we kill everyone on this list. I don’t want any unnecessary causality on our hands. Everyone on this list deserves to die. Then we head to the principals office and take him out and then we…”


“Kill him.”


“Yes we kill him.”


Raymond could not believe what he was hearing. He was terrified and was fighting back tears as well as the need to pee. His right foot was falling asleep. He tried to adjust it slightly, but then a rush of pain came soaring down his right leg. A massive cramp caused Raymond to slip and fall directly into the pee-filled toilet.


“What the fuck was that?”


“There’s somebody in here?”


Raymond was sitting in a toilet filled with his own urine, it still smelled horrible from Jerold’s pile driver, his butt hurt from the fall, he was temporally stuck, two potentially dangerous students were about to find him, and he still had to pee.


“Who’s there?” There is a long silence. “I said who the fuck is there?”


The door started to rattle, someone was trying to get in but it was locked. Streams of tears started running down Raymond’s face, although he still kept quit except for a faint whimpering sound that he made. Nothing happened for a while. He just sat there staring intently at the stall door as well as the two feet that stood in front of it. Then all of a sudden the one of the guys crotched down on his hands and knees. A moment went by and then this person stuck not one but two heads out from underneath the stall. For a split second Raymond was confused, but then quickly remembered that it was Tom and Jerry the Siamese twins. They reached for the lock and just barely got it.


“Get up.”


Raymond did as he was told and they went back on the other side. They opened the stall door.


“I think we should kill him Tom?”


“I don’t know it is not part of the plan.”


“Oh fuck the plan there is not a single person who deserves to live at this school. I hate them all.”


“No, please don’t,” shouted Raymond louder than he intended.


“Don’t what, kill you?” taunted Jerry. “Come on Tom we don’t have time for this lets either kill him or go.”


“Why are you doing this?” cried Raymond.


“You want to know why, alright I will tell you,” said Jerry. “Our whole lives we have been ridiculed and made fun of. We never feel normal we always feel like freaks. These bastards don’t deserve to live.”


“Please don’t do this. They are just immature kids, you have your whole life ahead of you,” remarked Raymond.


“Don’t you get it, it is not going to get better, we’ve been telling ourselves that it is going to get better our whole lives. It is going to get better Jerry; maybe next year is our year Jerry. Well I tell you what it doesn’t get better. I fucking hate my life.”


“Calm down Jerry,” said Tom.


“Don’t tell me to calm down. Are you ready Tom? I can’t do this without you.”


“Yeah let’s do this.”


“Please stop…. Please you think your lives suck now well it is going to get worse if you go through with this. You think it will be better in jail? Now please stop this. I know what it is like.”


“No you don’t,” snapped Jerry. “Do people stare at you like you are some kind of freak everywhere you go? Huh. I didn’t think so. What about having to see your parent’s disappointment and embracement every single day. Our life is Hell, and this is our only salvation.”


“Please I don’t want to die.”


“Sorry,” said Jerry as he pointed the silver pistol directly in front of his forehead.


Raymond closed his eyes and tensed his body up. He tried to think of some memory that was significant, but all he could think about was that writing on the bathroom stall wall that said, “faggot.” An ear-splitting sound was heard as the bullet exploded out of the barrel. Raymond opened up his eyes after a few seconds had gone by, and was completely bewildered. He took a moment to compose himself and evaluate the situation. He was not in pain of any kind, except for his sore butt, muffled hearing, and a slight stinging sensation in his eyes. His vision was blurred. He cocked his head to the right and looked in the mirror. Raymond was not prepared to see what he was about to see. There was blood splattered everywhere including his eye, but then he realized that it was not coming from him, but from Jerry. Raymond looked back at Tom. The smoke danced effortlessly out of the gun. Tom eyes began to water. He slowly took the gun and pointed it to his temple.



“Don’t!” shouted Raymond, but it was too late.


Raymond watched as Tom’s cranium exploded. Chunks of blood and bits of brain flew out. Raymond was in complete shock. The tears started coming full force now, and then with out any warning Raymond felt a warm sensation down bellow. The warm liquid even though disgusting and embarrassing was welcomed. At this point Raymond had no control of his body. Raymond had never seen a dead body before let alone two. As Raymond sat there crying in a puddle of his own urine the resonant sound of the tardy bell began to infuse the room, through all of this drama Raymond could not help but wondering if what he had just witnessed was a homicide or a suicide.