Twelfth Stall, or What You Flush ~ fiction by Caleb Echterling

“Will you people please stop urinating on my set? I’m trying to do Shakespeare here.” Annie slumped in the director’s chair, and buried her face in her hands.

The tinkle of water on water descended to silence. Flush. Zip. “Your set is the only public restroom within three blocks. Should have thought of that before you signed on for Shakespeare in the Loo. Where you want these frocks with poofy collars made from toilet paper?”

Annie pointed without looking up. “Costumes are the third stall on the left.”

The executive producer burst onto the set. He checked his slicked-back hairdo in the wall of mirrors. The reflection confirmed he was looking sharp with a wink and a discharged finger gun. “Great news, Annie. I’ve lined up a major sponsor. We can afford to pay you with actual currency instead of urinal cakes and hand sanitizer.”

Annie squished a dollop of sanitizer between her palms. “Excellent. Can we pay the actors, too?”

“Whoa now, let’s not go overboard. The sponsor wanted a minor change in the script. Instead of ‘If music be the food of love, play on’ have Duke Orsino say ‘if music be the food of auto repair, see Mindy’s Service Center for all your brake and muffler needs.’ I bet the audience won’t even notice. Whaddya say?”

Annie stomped her foot. “No way. The only bright spot of this godforsaken production is we stay true to the spirit of the play. Please don’t make me flush my dignity down the crapper.”

The producer sighed, and ran a hand over his rigid locks. “I thought you might say that, so we came up with an alternative. Replace the actor playing Duke Orsino with a manual transmission plastered with the Mindy’s Service Center logo.”

Annie’s mouth twisted. She shot a glance over her shoulder. “Ehh, that guy’s a hack anyway.”

Caleb Echterling’s work has appeared in many literary journals, and in several classy loos. He tweets funny fiction using the highly creative handle @CalebEchterling. You can find more of his work at

Show Caleb some love via PayPal at calebechterling(at)yahoo(dot)com.