"It's my potty and I'll cry if I want to . . ." --parody by Howie Mandel

May I be excused?

by Ed Helenski © 2002

Miss Hanson looked over at Avery. They were in the middle of arithmetic and she suspected that Avery wanted to take a break from subtraction more than he needed to use the facilities. "Can you wait until our lesson is over, Avery?" Stern eyes looking through glasses thick and distorting.

"No. I really have to go. Please." He drew out the last word, coupled with pressing his knees together in a gesture unmistakable. He had a hard time paying attention to subtraction to start with, but the pressure in his bladder made it impossible.

"Very well, return quickly. No dawdling." She watched as he scurried out of the room, his hands pressed to his groin. Perhaps he really did have to go.

Once out in the hall Avery walked as fast as he dared towards the boy's room. He didn't want to take that long, but if he ran he knew he would lose control. Having to go back to the classroom with the front of your pants wet was just too embarrassing. That was for babies, not for second graders. Avery was small for his age, which made him very conscious of how important it was to act grown up. If you acted like a little kid, you were treated like one.

It seemed like the longest trek across the desert to reach the boys room, but he finally got past the drinking fountain, to the swinging door marked Boys. Pushing it open he went inside, head down, walking straight towards the urinals as he frantically worked the zipper of his pants. He was halfway there when he bumped into something. Something yielding and definitely not porcelain. He looked up, strait into the face of another boy. An older boy. Probably a fourth grader.

"Where do you think you are going?" the boy asked, his face a frightening scowl.

The boy was big, even for a fourth grader--and Avery had already learned to be afraid of fourth graders. Avery might have called him fat--though certainly not to his face--but at this moment all his concentration was on not peeing in his pants.

"I gotta go. Please." Avery tried to step past the boy, but he just moved in front of Avery again. Avery wished a teacher or even another kid would come into the Boy's room. No one came.

"Oh, PLEASE. And what if I don't let you? What are you going to do? Piss your wittle pants?" The boy had just been standing around wasting time before going back to class when Avery had walked in. Now he had some entertainment. He could sense Avery's fear, and had a bully's enjoyment of the situation.

Avery was near tears. He had to go now or he would burst. He had already gotten his zipper down and his hand was still inside his fly, grabbing himself to try and hold back the flow. "Please!" he wailed. Avery tried to rush past, pulling his penis out as he went, but the boy stepped in front of him and reached out, poking him in the chest, hard. That was all it took. A stream of urine shot out, hot and smelly, and sprayed the front of the boy's pants. Avery was aghast, but couldn't possibly stop. The boy looked down at himself in disbelief, as if he had just seen the most amazing sight in the world. This was not the way things were supposed to go. Little kids were the ones that got embarrassed and wet themselves, not fourth graders. When he looked back up at Avery his face was twisted in rage.

"You little dork! I'm gonna pound you for that!" He reached out and grabbed Avery by the shirt, lifting him nearly off his feet. The urine was slowing to a trickle now, and it dribbled down onto the boy's sneakers. Tears were running down Avery's cheeks and his eyes were closed. He was terrified of what this boy would do to him.

The boy reared back and spit a huge glob of saliva on Avery's face. He cocked one arm back to throw a punch, and as he did his sneaker slipped on the wet floor. His feet flew out from under him, and he fell backwards, carrying Avery with him. Avery fell on top of the boy and the boy's grip on his shirt released. Avery scrambled to his feet, backing up.

The boy lay on the floor next to the urinal. His eyes were open, and fluttering, but he didn't seem to see Avery, or to be in any hurry to get up. His head was propped against the wall under the urinal, and there was a thick puddle of blood already surrounding it. There was blood on the base of the urinal as well. Near as Avery could see the boy had hit his head on the way down.

Avery watched with interest as the pool spread around the boy like a dark halo. After a while the boy's eyelids stopped fluttering, and he just lay there. Avery prodded him with his toe, but he didn't move. Avery walked around him, careful to not step in the blood or the urine. He zipped up his pants, then went to the sink, washed his hands and face, and dried them on a paper towel. He gave the boy one last look and then walked back into the hall.

Avery got back to his classroom and walked to his desk. He felt much better, not well enough to have any desire to work on subtraction, but at least he didn't have to pee anymore.

Miss Hanson looked at him suspiciously through her thick glasses. "You were gone an awfully long time, Avery. Was everything all right?"

"Everything was fine." Avery answered and snuck a glance at the clock on the wall. It was a very long time till lunch and subtraction was so boring.


With this story, Mr. Helenski has merged horror and the mundane. So very much is going on in this story on so many levels that, perhaps, even the writer is unaware of all of it. This is the kind of story that confuses kids in high school Lit classes. Congratulations, Ed, you've shown us "fear in a handful of dust."--g

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