Con Verse Lea; Chapter 38, Takano 69

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Stories from the Verse
Con Verse Lea
Chapter 38:  Takano 69
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Hastings 242

Leaving most of her gear by the campfire, Tommy took up the rear of the motley group following Sylwi.  Sure enough, they came to two white-washed buildings.  Lauren picked one, and entered, and the others followed.

“Flush toilets,” she said, “and cold water sinks.  And it’s divided into two rooms, men and women.  It’s obvious that this is the men’s room.”

There was a moment of silence, and then one of the women said, “Why?”  Lauren looked at her, realizing that she wasn’t sure just how to explain it.

“Those,” she said, pointing at the porcelain receptacles along the wall, “are called urinals.  They're toilets used by men standing up.  Women don’t find them convenient, and so you don’t find them in ladies’ bathrooms.  Anyway, Tommy, it appears that the signs wore out.  You’re going to have to use some of your paint to mark which side is men and which is women.”

“Like the guy in pants and the girl in a dress?”

“I don’t think our women wear dresses much here.  But you’ll think of something.  What matters is that the people can tell which is which, so we can simply communicate that to them.  Meanwhile, let’s take a look next door.”

It was a short walk to the other building, and Lauren walked around the outside, observing two sets of closed doors on each end.  There was some kind of large tank to one end, which Lauren examined closely for several minutes before pushing open the adjacent door and stepping inside.  As Tommy took up the rear, the door swung closed behind her.  It was obviously a large shower room; a wall separated it from the other half of the building, which Tommy concluded must be a second shower room.  Lauren was examining the ceiling.

“Fascinating,” she said.

“What do you see?” Tommy asked, as all she saw was open plumbing.

“The tank we saw outside,” she replied, “is a huge water heater.  Beneath it is a wood stove, large enough to accommodate a fire large enough to heat the water.  The intent seems to be that you bring firewood with you and line up for your turn, putting your wood in the fire to keep it burning, and then the line moves forward and you get your shower as more people behind you keep the fire burning.  People who have finished their shower go out the opposite door.  There’s a small room to towel off, and the showerheads are all to the outside so you can hang your towel on this side when you enter and take it with you when you leave.  I think both sides are probably the same, but we’re going to need to mark them.  Tommy?”

“Not a problem,” she said, although she hadn’t yet decided what to paint.

“Good,” Lauren said.  “Now, everyone use the bathroom, and then group leaders, go get your people and show them the bathrooms, team leaders, let’s get back to the cooking.  Tommy, do what you think best to mark these.”

With that, Lauren entered the ladies’ bathroom, and Tommy stared at the buildings, hoping that one of them would give her an idea for what to paint.

Next chapter:  Chapter 39:  Beam 136
Table of Contents

There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twenty other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #465:  Characters Wander.  Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter.  It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.

As to the old stories that have long been here:

Verse Three, Chapter One:  The First Multiverser Novel

Old Verses New

For Better or Verse

Spy Verses

Garden of Versers

Versers Versus Versers

Stories from the Verse Main Page

The Original Introduction to Stories from the Verse

Read the Stories

The Online Games

Books by the Author

Go to Other Links

M. J. Young Net

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