Friday, 4 January 2013

Dark Fiction - Desire

Dark Fiction Image

Desire

By Casey Douglass

for #fridayflash


Project Heaven 17– Day 1:

Ramsey managed to find a suitable test subject last night, thank goodness! Who would have thought that a city with such a large population would soon be milked of its homeless transients. He said that he found him asleep behind the warehouse on sixth street, although he almost missed him as he was almost totally covered in broken cardboard boxes. The poor guy jumped at the chance Ramsey presented and no sooner was he through our door, he’d signed the wavers and was causing serious damage to a large buffet table while we readied the room. In all seriousness, I wasn’t sure if the food was reaching his mouth or if his beard was being fed like some strange creature.

This morning, after a much needed bath and spruce up, our subject was escorted to the room and told to do what he wanted. The first few minutes were spent with him pacing around staring at the white walls, probably not really believing what he had been told. Ramsey, ever the patient one, soon had his finger pressed tightly on the microphone talk button. “Just try something simple, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy!”
The subject looked at his hands and after a short pause, there was a small pop. A box of southern fried chicken appeared, which he promptly dropped in alarm. The whites of his eyes scanned the room, the poor fool obviously suspecting some kind of trickery.
“That’s it!” cried Ramsey. “Keep going!”
He did. That first day, we saw millions of pounds of luxury goods appear, cars, jewellery and fancy chocolates. In fact it was only at this point that we thought to show him how to get rid of things or the unfortunate soul would have drowned under a mountain of metal and plastic. Around eight hours in, the subject complained of a headache and said that he felt extremely tired, so we called it a day. Tomorrow we will introduce the concept of landscapes.

Project Heaven 17 – Day 2:

The subject fed himself this morning with a manifested breakfast of fried eggs, hash browns, chips and chocolate cake. He was most eager for the days experiments. As were we.
“Try to produce a scene,” Ramsey urged. “Something you remember maybe.”
With that, the vista in the small white room changed almost instantly. Sparkling sand covered the floor and golden rays of sunlight bathed the subject in a warm glow. We could only see part of the scene as the subject walked, the Movement Inhibitors doing an admirable job of making him think that we was really moving. Moments later his feet were splashing through white flecked seawater, a giddy smile on his still unshaven face.
Shortly afterwards we were treated to varying scenes, ranging from a barren monastery in Tibet to rush hour in the middle of London, all the his smile stretching from ear to ear.
Once more the subject became fatigued after a number of hours so we broke for the day. Tomorrow it’s people.

Project Heaven 17 - Day 3:

It is the end of day three and there is little that I can write that would not be censored. Ramsey raised the topic of manifesting people, although he made it very clear that anything would just be a copy, not THE person. We have since been treated to fourteen hours of sex and depravity, with film stars, singers and random other females that were obviously known to the subject. I can’t say that I blame him, it’s a natural impulse and I admit that I might do the same if I had the power to. Soon, we may all have the power to.

Project Heaven 17 – Day 4:

No practice today. We had scheduled it as a rest day, but it happens that the universe conspired to make it a certainty. The Dampener field malfunctioned last night while maintenance and calibration was being performed. The whole room had to be dissolved and re-substantiated, which took our ageing Quanta PC the best part of six hours. I dread to think what that will do to our electricity bills.

Project Heaven 17 – Day 5:

Today, we have given our subject free reign, he can do as much or as little as he wants. The experiment now starts in earnest.

Project Heaven 17 – Day 23:

I apologise for the apparent jump from five to twenty three. I have taken the decision to summarise as the apparent changes on any given day were very small, but taken as a whole, they make more sense. Anyone wishing to read the full version of the report is more than welcome to request it at the usual place.

The subject continued the pattern of the first few days for around a week, manifesting everything that he had ever wanted, visiting the places that he had always dreamed of; some imaginary, others based on the real places. Around day ten, his creations became more mundane, and focussed a great deal on apparent childhood events, people and places. His mother featured many times, often to put an arm around his shoulders. It was very touching, even Ramsey looked to be stifling the odd sniffle.

Approximately day seventeen, the subject’s dalliances twisted into something more sinister. Violence began to feature heavily in them, firstly inflicted by him onto others, and later, by others onto him. A number of mythical creatures began to appear regularly, werewolves, vampires and some kind of living gargoyle. During this time, the subject seemed to be unable to control his sobbing and often shuffled around, his eyes always focussed on something in the distance.

On day twenty three, the experiment ended. The subject manifested an incredibly tall mountain, so tall that it made Everest look like an ant hill. He stood on the snow encrusted apex for around an hour before suddenly spreading his arms and hurling himself into the void. We watched as he fell, the wind ripping at his clothes and hair, twirling him around and around. His fall lasted around ten minutes, as I said, it was a monster of a mountain. He hit the ground with a sickening thump before vanishing from sight as his insides covered the cameras. The room is currently being sanitized and an appropriate container has been found to gather him up in.

Conclusions of Project Heaven 17:

We have observed nothing that has changed our previous hypothesis. While the methodology of the earlier experiments could be questioned, on the settings of the machine and various other factors such as psychological make-up of the subject and unintentional observer interference, we can conclude that the human mind cannot survive in an environment that gives in to its every need and desire. Without struggle and striving, the human creature creates its own problems to fret and worry over, eventually turning to the morose and the harmful. We will continue our line of research, and some fresh ideas involve limiting exposure to the room for pure recreation times of no more than an hour, but that phase of testing will not achieve endorsement before the new year.

Credits:

Emett Hesky - Lead Researcher.
Ramsey Smith – Technician.
Subject number 17 – John Doe 17


The End

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10 comments:

  1. interesting ideas you deal with here. Loved the image of the guy's beard being fed like an animal!

    marc nash

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  2. I enjoyed reading this out loud in a very stuffy voice, and particularly got a kick out of all the teases at the ends of sections. Usually they would come off as gimmicky hooks, but they read as authentic to the way the narrator thinks, being so preoccupied in the experiments as not to mention them until he's logging off. A lot of fun!

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  3. Thankyou for the kind comments :)

    Thanks Paul :)

    Thanks Marc, that was something that came to me at the end of redrafting, almost an afterthought lol.

    Thankyou John. I liked writing in a different style, but still trying to keep things scientific. It was quite refreshing.

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  4. Great story Casey. Interesting ideas :)

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  5. Wow!
    That had me rivetted to the page and left me with an empty chill as it finished.
    Loved it!

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  6. Thanks barrulus, glad you liked it :)

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  7. Stories like these make excellent twilight zone and outer limits episodes.

    I really enjoyed the read. :)

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  8. Cheers Steve. I havn't seen the Outer Limits in years, always loved how most of them ended badly lol.

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