Strange events occur in and around the area of Covefax, Virginia.
Russell Carver had never found public bathrooms particularly charming. As a matter of fact, he genuinely abhorred the idea of sharing the same toilet space with another human being. However, desperate times call for desperate measures, he thought, as he hurriedly made his way to the back of the practically abandoned department store. Russell felt a slight sensation of relief once in the restroom space, although the space itself was nothing short of repulsive.
As dirty, disgustingly fragrant, and decorated by flickering lights as it was, Russell thought nothing of these features as he rushed into a stall and locked it behind him. He was proceeding to go about his business when he heard the restroom entrance slam open. The sound of heavy footsteps followed after, as if the person had been jogging or was in some sort of hurry, as well. Russell, sitting on the seat, managed to get a glimpse of the person through the small cracks on the sides of the stall door. He saw what appeared to be a very elderly man slightly bending over one of the sinks in the restroom, his hands placed firmly on the sides of the bowl as he, strangely, gazed into the mirror.
“..is he here?!”, the man exclaimed so loudly that Russell jumped. The man then turned around with almost unnatural speed, sending a very harsh look in the direction of the closed bathroom stalls. Russell, while very petrified and confused, managed to pull his feet up to the seat. The man turned back towards the mirror once more and finally broke his eerie gaze from the reflecting glass in front of him. He stomped from the sink and quietly, carefully, opened the first stall door. “He..he must be here..”, the man began to mutter, as Russell saw the crazed man’s feet sporadically jolt towards the next door. In between a few comprehensible words and phrases, the odd man would mumble gibberish, often changing the tone of his voice and, occasionally, screaming at the top of his lungs. Russell felt incredibly alone and, as the inevitability of the man reaching his door sank in, he began to panic.
“…not here!” the man yelled, after pushing the second door hard enough to send an ear-piercingly loud slam throughout the small bathroom. Russell’s door was next, and he began to close his eyes as he watched the psychotic man’s feet line up underneath the door. The lock began to jingle for a few seconds. Russell’s eyes were completely shut now, until the moment sound erupted within the small quarters. Russell's stall door began shaking violently and with incredible force. His eyes opened for a split second due to the sheer terror, before he clamped them down tightly once again. The extreme clamor seemed to last two eternities. Eventually, it was over. Silence filled the room and, for a very brief second, Russell believed he had become deaf. Who was this man? What had happened to him that resulted in this demented behavior? Russell's mind was doing it's absolute best to bring down the hammer of logic on the crooked, stubborn nail that was this series of chaotic events. However, at that moment, no medical diagnosis, no rationality, no explicit cause was going to defeat the dreadful demeanor of the existing atmosphere.
There was still silence. Perhaps the frenzy had ended, and this encounter would become an inane segment of Russell's life that he would share with friends beside the fireplace, as they conducted toasts to days long past and memories never completely forgotten. He cherished that thought and mustered the courage to move, react, get out, do something.
Russell slowly opened his eyes, only to see the elderly man glaring up at him as he began to crawl underneath the stall door.