We both didn’t understand what was happening. Not anymore. We’ve completely lost our grasp on our existence, I think. We could only think. I saw how my mate slipped away for a moment, but a sudden loud, screeching sound prevented that from happening. He quickly raised his head, so did I. The sound made it feel as if my head was going to explode. It was the first sound in such a long time, my ears couldn’t stand such a loud sound anymore.
“Ahaaaarghhhh!” I screamed, while holding my skull together. I bit my jaw together, hoping I wouldn’t crack my teeth by doing so. My mate was doing the same thing. How long was this going to last? How long has it already have lasted anyway? I tried to inspect the room we found ourselves in, but it was very hard to hold a grip on it. Everything was bright and white. Nothing was in here but us two. No bed to sleep on, no chair to sit on, no window to look out of. Nothing, only white walls, that quickly started to fade.
I stretched my arms out, slowly. But there was nothing in front of me. I stared into the distance. Was there even a wall? I couldn’t see where one point ended and another one began. Too exhausted to get up, I remained sitting on the floor. Hugging my legs, my knees touching my chin.
I didn’t want the food anymore that came in at some point. I’ve lost my appetite, couldn’t even remember when that happened. My mate could have it, but I guess he wasn’t hungry either. Maybe a bit of sleep would help. Maybe it keeps some kind of rhythm in this horrible nightmare. There should be a way to keep some grasp of my biological clock.
Loud knocks from all over the walls overwhelmed my dwelling head, making me sob loudly again. Both my mate and I laid down on the ground in dispair. We held our heads, in the hope to block every sound. What were supposed to do?
It became colder in this horrible room. My mate and I decided to sit next to each other in order to keep ourselves warm. “This should keep us from freezing,” we said at the same time. As if we suddenly were one, symbiotically thinking and speaking altogether. Turning into the hive-mind… they want us to… turn into. The floor became colder and colder, sitting on it became unbearable. The three of us got up and started to move around, almost jumping to avoid touching the floor. We were exhausted. Broken and kept being broken. And the light… the light was always so bright, never changing, always on. It was driving us all into madness. One of my mates couldn’t handle it anymore. He ran, as fast as he could, towards the white distance. He didn’t get far, quickly running into a wall banging his head. He cried in pain, the banging sound made us cry in pain. As if we could feel how his head smashed that wall ourselves as well.
“How long…” the three of us moaned. I can’t remember their names anymore. David? Marco? What is my name? When will we get out? When will this end?!
Food. None of us touched it. Three hands moved towards each other, to pinch. I think we just felt like doing so. Maybe it would make some sense out of this madness. It was very obvious we were exhausted, dozing of again. Eyes as dry as two raisins, once to be a delicious grape. No matter how much water we all drank. We drank a lot of water, hoping to keep ourselves hydrated. Making us have to go a lot… all at once… I couldn’t wait anymore. While one mate was using the toilet, my other two mates and I had to go very badly… but we couldn’t hold ourselves anymore. All three of us waiting, peed ourselves.
“Oh no… hehe,” the three of us sniggered. We heard the slow one on the toilet chuckle as well. This shouldn’t happen anymore. Since we didn’t want to drive ourselves any more crazy any further, the four of us decided to keep ourselves busy with some games.
“Let’s say the alphabet, by all… taking turns naming a character,” we all murmured, weakly: “A…”
“No… not all at once!”, we complained: “Stop copying me!” we all looked at each other, hugely distressed.
“It’s all they expect, you know…” one voice suddenly said.
“What are you talking about?”
“Copying. We should all be copying, all the others out there are doing it and they’re fine!” the voice explained.
“Never. I will never do it. I… I won’t lose myself over their ideas,” I answered, only loud enough for the others to understand me.
“What self? Haha! You were weak all along! You’ve never had a self!” the voice sounded a bit hostile.
“B…” muttered another voice, very silent but clearly afraid.
“Shut up! I have a beautiful life! When I get out of here, I’ll still have one!”
“Really?” my mated continued: “Is that why, your wife brought you here?”
“She did not! She’d never do that! How dare you!”
“Of course she wouldn’t… She never would. Even though she has been eying your neighbour for…”
“SHUT UP! GODDAMNIT SHUT! UP!” I yelled, it hurt my throat.
“Hah,” my mate smiled viciously but calm. Looking straight at me, as if his eyes were piercing right through my soul.
“STOP IT! AAAAAAAH!” I yelled while I got up and ran towards him. I wanted to grab his throat and start pinching! I ran very fast an in such a rage, I almost fell. Gaining back my balance, I sprinted towards him. Only to hit the wall in front of me, very hard with my head.
“AAAAAAHHHHH!” I yelled, and so did my hostile companions. Our heads… it hurts so much! It’s exploding. We all grabbed our heads, closed our eyes. Even though our heads were cracking open, it felt good to have our eyes closed for a moment. Oh god how sweet to finally have our eyes closed. But still, it couldn’t last for a loud, horn sounded through our exploding skulls. A deep, loud horn of a huge ship. It vibrated right through our bodies, our heads. Heads that felt like huge balloons about to pop. Nothing was in there anymore. No feeling or any knowledge of time. Only the endless deceiving white walls and the loud sounds confronting our minds from time to time, cracking our skulls open. How long have we lasted here?
We were here all along. All our lives. Together, all of us. Living in silent, monotonous, sleepless, senseless togetherness. My mate sitting right in front of me, another mate to my left, one to my right and yet another one behind me. What to do… There was food lying everywhere. And a brown substance as well, we couldn’t hold in, not anymore. The smell. It was too much at once. The rottin smell drilled through our noses. We couldn’t pinch our noses, we weren’t allowed to. If we did, the ship sounded again. We had to keep our hands behind our backs. The horrible smell, combined with that ship far away… getting closer each time we prevented to smell the horrible smells surrounding us.
The five of us were terribly exhausted. Hungry as well, but not for the disgusting food that was the same everyday. Rice with corn. Everyday… I wanted meat. There was meat. We’d probably be here forever. If we all just decided who… But it’s too crowded to decide. How’d we fit into this room in the first place? There are hundreds of us! No one has a place to uncomfortably sit on the ground, so has sitting become. We’re all just standing, jumping up and down lightly. Hoping to keep our feet from getting burned. So hot… so exhausted…
Where, in this room, am I? I can see where everyone else is. Well, where everyone standing close to me is, at least. All these other people stretched out so far into the distance, I couldn’t even see where this crowd would end. I started walking around. I needed to find something, but I didn’t know what.
“My love!” I heard in the distance: “My love, please! Save me!”
I recognised that voice. I would recognise it out of a thousand. My wife! She found me!
“Hunny! I’m here, where are you!”
Suddenly all the people in this space began talking. None of them had the audacity to keep it down a notch. My wife’s voice is fading, as the people all got louder.
“Shut up! Hunny?! Where are you! Move towards my voice!” I began moving myself. Pushed all the people aside.
“My love! I’m here! Please! Help me, they’re here!” her voice sounded so faint in comparison to all the loud assholes surrounding me. Chatting it up to one another. Too busy to move the hell over.
“My love! Please!” she pleaded. Other way around. I kept moving, pushing all these people aside. I appreciated their presence for a moment but damnit how I just wished for them to disappear, just for a moment so I could reach my wife.
“Hunny! HUNNY! I can’t see you!”
“I’m here my love! Please… save me!” her cries got louder and more desperate. I breathed heavily, sweat pearling down my forehead, my back, my whole body.
“My love…” she sounded very close behind me.
“Darling! I’m com…” as I turned, BANG! I dropped and held my head in my hands, screaming in pain. I hit the wall in front of me!
“God, shut UUUUUUP!” I yelled as loud as I could. Pushing all the air out of my lungs. I just wished all these people would just shut the fuck up! Their chatter only become more loud, unbearable along with the pain I just got myself into. Again. All their voices mixed up, different voices that piled themselves up into one puddle making them all indistinguishable.
“My love…” I heard right next to me, but I couldn’t look. My head hurt too much. I reached out a hand, hoping my wife would grab a hold of it. But she didn’t.
“Darling…” I moaned, still laying on the ground with my eyes closed, preventing the light of this godforsaken room to penetrate my skull even more.
“My love…” she faintly said. Even with this damned crowd chatting and chatting, the silence of her voice felt like a never ending, torturing silence. Why isn’t she touching me? Grabbing my hand to comfort me? To find comfort? Like we always did when we were in distress.
“My love… it’s all your fault…” her voice continued. Only to fade away with the last word of that sentence. My fault… she thought it was all my fault. I didn’t even know what she was talking about, what she meant with that. My arm lowered itself, slowly. I felt how it retracted back to my head, grabbing hold of it as did my other hand. But it didn’t feel like my hand anymore at all. Was it even my hand? Was this even me? Where is she, where has she gone? All my hopes, with that last message, they vanished. Melting like a snowman exposed to the sun. Everything was melting together. My hands, my arms, my head, my body. Into a miserable puddle, amongst the oblivious people in this, damned space… I heard them talking, chatting. As if they didn’t see me. No one saw me, not even her. I felt how a wet substance started to flow out of my eyes, felt how my shoulders started to shake, up and down, up and down. My whole body shook, miserably I remained on the floor, sobbing. Yearning for her, her voice so sweet, like a strawberry. Her voice, warm as always. Her voice, desperate, full of regrets. Her voice… blaming me.
Sometimes the music coming from the sky of this space, seemed to calm me. They brought back memories of times, filled with joy and hope. Filled with moments with my wife. I just wanted to close my eyes so I could listen to the beautiful music. I believe this is Mozart, one of his symphonies. Can’t close my eyes. Not a chance. Somewhere long ago, when I arrived here, whenever that may have been, I learned that closing my eyes will get my skull cracked open. So I was not going to give in, even though I really wanted to. The beautiful notes, so perfectly fit together. My arm started moving along with it, as if I was directing the orchestra. It didn’t feel like I was doing this myself. Nothing I did at this point did. And I couldn’t remember when that happened.
“FUUUU…!” I yelled, grabbing hold of my head, again. Like I’ve never done anything else in here. A loud horn sounded, one of a train this time. I started rolling around. The train’s getting closer, I must get myself off these tracks! Chatter and laughter quickly surrounded me, as if it never stopped in the first place. I kept rolling and rolling, afraid to get crushed by the heavy wagons. But the horn… the horns were crushing me already. It just didn’t stop. The train was already ripping my body apart, only I didn’t die because of it. I just went through all of it until the last second, that just didn’t want to present itself. Oh just let me die, I thought… please let me die already.
I grabbed hold of someone’s leg. He wouldn’t move, just kept chatting with his stupid mate! Damnit I’m sick of all the oblivious beings in here! My teeth dug deep into his ankle, not planning on letting go soon.I hit and bit every person I could grab a hold on, bit very hard, attempting to rip chunks of flesh, slowly getting up, swinging my arms around in madness. Screaming, making all the people in this room scream. Loudly. Their chatter stopped and all of them turned themselves to me. Screaming. Their eyes rolled out of their faces, their mouths stretched wide open. Inhumanely far only to freeze, revealing rotten teeth and a black hole. The smell, god it was awful! Rotting flesh, blood and excrements. All of these smells coming out of their mouths!
I kept reaching and grabbing. I was behind the point of being afraid of what wasn’t human. Hell, maybe this is human. Maybe this is what has been real all along. Maybe this has always been, my reality. Bite, grab, scratch, I didn’t stop. And the people didn’t stop screaming and staring at me either, with their hollow eyes and mouths wide open. Frozen still, all looking down upon me. Just, keep biting, grabbing… scratching… screaming…
“How long has it been?”
“173 hours, almost up to 8 days,”
“Well… this outcome really does intrigue me. Good job, exploring, hope your report is equally as promising,”
“Oh don’t worry. Subject Y sure did went through some splendid stages,”
In a small room, a prisoner remained, walking around in little circles. Little streams of blood formed a pool on the floor. Some wounds were bigger than others, but surely lethal. He got himself rid of his eyes. In a quite horrible manner, he just grabbed them and pulled them out of his eye-sockets. One still hanging on some of his nerves and muscles, the other one smashed, on the floor.
“What’s the reason he started attacking himself?” the supervisor asked.
“Paranoia and hallucinations, I think. He didn’t want to eat any of the offered food after 4 days, started drinking his own waist, he even filled up some of the water bottles with it. He started biting himself, until severely wounding himself and biting bigger and bigger chunks out of his body. Where ever he could reach…” but the supervisor cut him off.
“Write all of it down. Just let him remain, keep things going as they are. And be sure to deny him any sleep at any time. He cannot fall asleep, understood?” he sounded very formal. Didn’t even look at the doctor, who had a hard time hiding his excitement but kept his eyes on the subject in the small white room.
“Yes, sir!” the doctor said with a grin, almost invisible, quickly glancing at all the sound-buttons on his control pannel. He loved to put on classical music, perfect to fall asleep to. But every time subject Y started falling asleep, he would push one of the loud sound-buttons. Like a loud alarm, or horn. From a ship, a train, or to warn for an upcoming air-raid. Some knocking sounds, construction work, all kinds of loud sounds, lurking to startle one into a heart-attack.
The subject sat on the ground, the doctor turned up the floor temperature… Time to dance, little prisoner. Onto your damaged, bleeding feet. No time to sleep, to doze of, mister Y… not now. Not later. Never.