The moment the cabinet door was opened, hundreds if not thousands of chitinous humanoids not bigger than a teaspoon fell on the sink. She rolled her eyes and let the water run whilst corralling them down the drain.
“This is getting really annoying, you know!?” She yelled at the man who was crouched on top of the bidet.
He was tall — even in this position his head almost touched the ceiling — and spindly — she tried to lift him once and found out he weighted about the same as her cat — wore glasses and was always smiling without showing his teeth. His lips opened slightly and another of the chitinous humanoids crawled out of it and fell to the floor.
It surveilled its surroundings, raised its head, took a few short breaths and then scurried towards the cabinet. It didn’t get far before the woman grabbed it with a pair of tweezers and held it against the light, turning her wrist to better see the creature from all its sides.
“What is this, anyway? Is it your son? Daughter? Doesn’t really look like you.”
She walked to the tall man, poked his forehead with the nail of her middle finger.
“Come on, open up.”
He shook his head, still smiling and staring at the void.
Then, in a mock baby voice, to the humanoid: “I guess daddy doesn’t really like me. My life has no meaning, I shall become a toilet hermit, eunuch of shit, sayōnara!”
She let the creature fall inside the toilet bowl before sitting on it herself and going about her physiological needs. Outside it started to rain.
She petted the tall man on his lustrous hairless head before leaving the bathroom and locking him inside. Afterwards, she got dressed in her doctor’s uniform, a bright yellow cassock with two holes cut up to expose her breasts and a full-faced white plastic mask with several orifices covered with black silk. She lay on the ground to examine herself on the ceiling mirror, adjusted the straps that tied the mask and clapped once she was happy.
“A new day, a new start!”
She went down the stairs and entered the windowless room that was the office. It was a bare space, with only one light dangling from the ceiling and a closed manhole, plus one flimsy white plastic cup the doctor placed on a corner. She lifted the manhole cover; people were already waiting in the ladder.
“Oh, finally! My hands were getting numb.” A man said as he climbed inside and stood next to the hatch, looking down. “The wife and kids are coming right behind me. Might take some time, the kids are a bit young.”
The woman smiled behind the white wall that covered her face. “No problem at all. How many are you in total?”
He scratched the back of his head and frowned. “Well, me and the wife are two and the kids…don’t know if they count for one or three. They’re triads, you know.”
“Ah, how lovely! Triangle or star formation?” She extended her hand to help the man’s wife who was still climbing the ladder.
“Star is when they’re all sprouting like…spokes of a wheel, right? Yeah, so star.”
The wife finally entered the room. She looked exactly like the man who lived in the doctor’s bathroom, only her skin was covered in reptilian scales. She had the same smile as him too.
“Then they count as three, I’m sorry. That will be five tickets for all of you. Welcome, madam. Please, make yourself comfortable.”
The husband nodded and started to undress. His stomach was cut open and exposed; inside it there were four gall stones. He collected and deposited them in the plastic cup sitting in one of the corners of the room. “Love, can you top the rest?”
The wife walked on all fours with a spider’s gait and coughed up a thick green cube that began to melt the moment it touched the plastic. Meanwhile, the children entered the room: they were two boys and one girl with copper skin and angelic snake eyes. The upper half of their bodies had each one arm, a few nipples and one head, whilst the lower half was tied to a beating heart encaged in a glass dome.
“Thank you, that’s very kind of you. And such lovely children. So, how may I help you today?”
The doctor helped the wife back to her spot and sat on the ground in the lotus position. The family stood in front of her, shoulder to shoulder, so to speak.
“Well, you see…it’s hard to know where to start,” the man once again scratched the back of his head and frowned.
“You are safe here.” The doctor’s voice took on a whispering quality. Loud speakers echoed her voice around the room and the smack of her drooling, saliva-coated lips. “Take your time.”
A few minutes pass until the silence is interrupted by a loud thud coming from the upper floor. “Oh, don’t mind that, it’s just a rowdy guest.”
The thud came again, stronger this time. The people in the room tried to ignore it, but the children were visibly scared.
A third thud, this time shaking the whole room and almost tipping over the plastic glass.
“I am sorry, just wait a second,” said the doctor.
She walked to the stairs and opened the door slightly.
“Could you please s–” before she could finish her sentence, a living ocean of the chitinous humanoids pushed the door open and flowed down the stairs. The children screamed and climbed on top of their mother’s reptilian scalp — she was still smiling and wholly unperturbed, whilst the husband grabbed the humanoids by the handful and threw them against the wall.
“What is this? These things are–” two of them entered his mouth, other three poked around his exposed stomach, causing the man to scream in pain.
“I am so terribly sorry, here, sir, let me help you,” the doctor said and proceeded to guide the family towards the manhole, but before she could reach it the humanoids blocked the exit by melding their bodies together and creating a thick and heavy black plate.
The flow of creatures continued to increase. Soon, the doctor and the husband were swimming in a mass of sharp little fingers, knees and elbows, blindly trying to guide one another towards the stairs. The children had long lost their grip and floated atop the squirming mass, all three unconscious whilst the wife still smiled, seemingly unaffected. She looked up and saw beyond the walls of the doctor’s office, into the bathroom. The spindly man was still there, crouched atop the bidet, with his mouth open and vomiting a never-ending torrent of the chitinous humanoids. She waved at him; he waved back.
- Deleuze, Gilles, and Félix Guattari. 2011. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Translated by Brian Massumi. Repr. London: Continuum.