2010 Totem Head Story Contest Honorable Mention: "SOS on the Toilet" By Austin Guo.
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Honorable Mention

Story Title: SOS on the Toilet

So there I was, sitting on the toilet with the whisper of a breeze drafting in through the open window.  It was Friday the 13th, a gloomy, dark September day.  Class was starting in half an hour; yet here I sat crouched on the john, with one-third of the toilet paper left and halfway to the finish line.  Today was going to be a bad day…

Everything started yesterday when my mom burst through the door late after work, balancing a Taco Bell box in one hand and her purse in the other.  My mom pulled out the chow, and I dug in with gusto.  A squadron of four quesadillas trooped down my stomach, and I was almost certain that I heard a big "CONG!" when they landed.  A ruckus ensued when my stomach acid fought to defeat the strength of the quesadillas.  My stomach forces were about to win when the food’s reinforcements kicked in.  A can of soda joined the fight, overwhelming at least a half-liter of acid.  Lastly, the game-winning nuke was dropped.  A huge ball of ice cream landed with a splat, and the war was decided.  I passed out onto my bed.

The next morning, my stomach gurgled in agony, and I plopped down onto the toilet seat.  I waited for the war-horn to sound and for the wrapped-up quesadillas to charge out of my walls.  However, they didn’t expect to be barricaded in.

That’s how I found myself stuck on the toilet.  I was sitting for several long minutes when I heard a swirling noise and felt a not-from-under-the-door sort of breeze.  The toilet suddenly flushed, and a force pushed me down the commode.  My head cracked on the side of the toilet seat as I felt last week’s algebra leak out of my nose.  The water gurgled in my mouth, and I felt myself drowning in a sea of black.

I woke up in the middle of nowhere: a huge, isolated land of darkness.  Strange neon laser beams seemed to be etched in the ground, and an occasional flash of blue and green burst from the sky.  Then out of nowhere, a brown object leaped onto my face and knocked me down.

When I looked up, a large meadow muffin dressed in a black leather jacket loomed over my head.  Resting on his zit-for-a-nose was a pair of sparkly glasses that flashed in the darkness.  While I gaped at him in disbelief, he explained, "I am GE Model 0.09, Dimension P.O.O.P. (Pulled Out Of Potty), Porthomas.  I have brought you here to stop a terrorist from blowing up the world.  You must accept this mission for all the Pop-tarts that power this world and yours depend on your success.  You shall receive some tools to help you on your mission."

I didn’t have time to think about his proposal because he shoved a laser for burning objects and a sophisticated GPS into my hands.

"I have recently placed trackers on all the potential terrorists’ clothes and set up a metal detector on the GPS."  After seeing my pale face, he added, "Don’t worry.  To prevent the terrorist from building his atomic bomb, I recommend you steal his or her supplies.  Don’t get caught by the FIH Agency (Fail In History), though.  They think you’re the terrorist."

Before I could ask any questions, I suddenly found myself in an airplane headed to Athens, Greece.  After studying the GPS frantically, I found three targets occupying the Happy Hillbilly Hotel in Athens, which would be my first destination.

After a taxi dropped me off in front of the building, I followed the first blinking dot on the GPS.  It led me to the hotel’s technology room where an old man with a waist-length beard sat alone.  He wore a crooked smile as he chewed his sandwich with golden-brown teeth.  His head was half-bald, and a round bulb stuck out of his wrinkled forehead.

"Too old to be a terrorist," I concluded and moved to my next destination–the ladies’ restroom.  Since I didn’t want to interrupt someone’s important business, I decided to return to the female suspect later.  The third target appeared to be a large, bulky man whom I identified as the hotel’s janitor.  "He is too strong for his own good.  He must be the villain," I decided.  As the janitor strolled around the hotel, I followed him and recorded the location of his room on the third floor–30 Biceps Battlefield.

I decided to return to the hotel’s tech room where hundreds of computers were lined up in neat rows.  I hopped to the nearest one, inserted $30 and used the picture I.D. feature to search for my two suspects.  The old man, who occupied room 67 Wacky Willows next to mine, used to be a body-builder and a nuclear engineer.  My main suspect, the janitor, turned out to be a 25-year-old former soldier in the U.S. military, who had moved to Greece five years ago.  He had a knack for fixing cars.

I stalked him day and night for the next two days, but the janitor did nothing suspicious.  In his free time, he liked to play with his little parakeets.

"How could a man with such sensitivity bomb the world?" I started to wonder.

On the third day, I noticed the door of the old man’s room ajar and decided to pop in.  On the bed lay an envelope that read:

Today, 7:00 P.M. on 90 Saints Street.    –Julia

Had I underestimated the fossil, after all?

At 7:00 P.M. that night, I sat crouched behind a dumpster on 90 Saints Street, waiting for the two potential terrorists to rendezvous.  Even though I was wearing a huge black cloak, I felt chilled to the bone.  Suddenly, I glimpsed someone running into the street, pointing in my direction and shouting, "There’s the terrorist!"  Next, a whole militia stormed into the street and opened fire on me.

At that moment, I realized that the note in the hotel room had been intended to frame me.  Remembering the GE Model’s warning about the FIH Agency, I decided to run.  Fast.  However, a bullet struck my leg and stung like the time when my neighbor’s dog bit me.  Blood trickled down my leg as I rounded the next corner and found myself in a seemingly endless passageway between rows of apartment buildings.  No way could I outrun my pursuers.  I quickly pulled out my laser, fried the lock on the entrance to one of the buildings and slipped inside.  Holding my breath, I waited for the FIH agents to pass by.  Then I heard talking.

"…Boom!  And then the world goes bye-bye!"

"Yes!"  Hands clapped together.

"Okay, so let’s go take a tea break before we fry our brains in this radioactive dump."

A door slammed shut, and the voices faded.  Frightened, I scanned the little foyer and slowly tiptoed toward a table in the corner that held several objects: a long rocket with a biohazard symbol, a large pail of fluid and a piece of appliance that resembled an oven.  Then I glimpsed a USB drive and decided to mug it.  Not the smartest idea.

Sirens blared in my ears, and the walls suddenly folded back, revealing large automated machine guns mounted in the walls.  Bullets rained down onto the table and set it ablaze.  I barely managed to jump away and escape through the back door.  Safely outside, I started to sprint but soon hit a dead end: below me stretched the Mediterranean Sea and behind me loomed the fierce troop of FIH agents.  After a moment’s hesitation, I stuck the USB drive in my mouth and took the plunge.  As I somersaulted through the air, I could hear bullets whizzing past my ears and the thunderous noises of a collapsing building in the background.  While falling, I accidentally swallowed the USB drive and suddenly understood everything learned so far by mankind.  Then all went black.

When I opened my eyes, I was back in my hotel room.  How I managed to return to safety remained a mystery to me.  At this moment, however, I was just happy that I had succeeded in my quest.  Then my stomach groaned, "Quesadilla…"

I slumped to the bathroom.  When I was about to finish, I felt a familiar force squeeze my gut and pull me down under.

"Porthomas!  School!  How long does it take to go potty?" I heard my mother call.

I was finally home!  I pulled up my pants and ran to hug my mom exuberantly.

With a look of confusion, she sputtered, "Porthomas, go hurry up and get to school.  You have a history test today which will determine your final grade in the class."

I glanced at the kitchen clock and realized that in reality, only ten minutes had passed.  Then the USB drive came to mind.  "Don’t worry, Mom.  I’m sure to ace this test."

Written By:   Austin Guo.

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