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  • Writer's pictureRussell Cornhill

Language Barrier - Teaser 2

Updated: Feb 10

Meet Slab.

Everything was black.

‘I’ve gone blind,’. Daniel thrashed his arms about in panic, searching for something to hold. ‘I must have been dazzled by the light. I can’t see a thing.’

Claire de Lune echoed in his head.

Put on the spectacles. That was the whole chorus.

Daniel took a deep breath, fighting another attack of panic. Cold feet on what must have been dewy grass reminded him that he hadn’t even had time to grab his sandals. He counted to ten and put on the glasses.

At first, they didn’t help much. He could see fuzzy patches of dark grey and even some swirling patches of lighter grey; and there was a large blob directly ahead that had a tint of orange or brown. For a second, colours swirled, and Daniel felt his stomach churn. Then his vision settled, and he stared at the object if front of him.

‘Holy shit!’ I haven’t seen one of those in years.’

Really, the language! Are you sure he’s the Chosen One? It was the second voice. Daniel decided she must be what they called a mezzo-soprano.

Well, in a way, he’s almost right, the soprano said.

She’s the giggler, Daniel thought. Does she have a sense of humour? ‘I thought I was coming to see superheroes, not a brick shithouse.’

The thing in front of Daniel did look like an old suburban backyard toilet, only made from bricks, but there was no knob on the door. Instead, it had a face that could have been painted by an ungainly five-year-old. The eyebrows were horizontal lines over a dozen vertical lines that presumably represented eyelashes. The nose was drawn in profile while the mouth was little more than a straight slit almost the width of the door.

The eyelashes lifted to reveal round blue eyes with no pupils and the creature stood up. It had short stumpy legs, but the arms that uncurled from its sides were much longer with fists that looked capable of smashing anything in its path.

‘Who you smokin bout what?’ it said.

Daniel took half a step back. ‘Fucking shit, it’s alive. I was going to use the thing. Damn, now I might have to. Ah, what’d it say?’

Another subdued giggle echoed through his head and even Mezzo seemed amused.

He wanted to know who you were talking about, Soprano said.

‘Ah, nothing. It’s just a saying.’ Daniel didn’t remember what he’d said, but he didn’t want to offend the monster. ‘Who is he?’ He tried to whisper the question in his head, but somehow it escaped in a strangled croak.

‘Be Slab Privvy, you see what. Who be that?’


From Language Barrier, a Human Factor story.

A talking toilet? Could I have any weirder ideas? Well, there is the Pink Place, but I'm afraid I won't be putting that in any teaser.

Anyway, I wonder what Slab is going to do.

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