SSE by Paul "Skinny" Leonart Hermansen
Dave was lying in a perfectly sterilized room. No windows, no door, but seven huge mirrors.
“How the fuck did I get in here?” he thought. As soon as he woke up in this bright white room, he naturally felt uneasy and irritated. Dave suddenly started to feel a strong sense of panic, as he wasn’t really aware of his surroundings. He tried to sit up, but he couldn’t. His chest and arms were strapped to a bed-like, silvery table. Dave’s heart began to beat harder and faster, and his mouth ran dry. So dry that a single drop of water would break up his tongue.
Dave tried to move his legs, but it wouldn’t work. Finally, he noticed that his head was also strapped tightly onto the silvery table. David couldn’t breathe too well because of the tight strap, but when he took a brief inhale, his throat felt like he swallowed a pint of fresh lava. His eyes moved across the ceiling, the walls, and the huge mirrors on the ceiling and the walls, like he tried to chase a hornet with his eyes. He looked into a mirror directly in front of him. He was shocked. Dave swallowed imaginary spit out of his dry mouth, which hurt badly in his throat and neck. The picture in the mirror looked cold and sterile, just like the room Dave was in. The bright, cold light coming from a lamp on the ceiling gave the picture in the mirror a ghostly lighting. Dave couldn’t believe what he saw. His face was pale, but in a yellowish color.
David was sure the man in the mirror wasn’t him. “Fuck you, mirror! Stop staring at me!” he thought, as he tried to close his eyes. The next thing he noticed was that he was naked. He had no idea how he came into that situation. David tried to cover his genitals with his hands, which didn’t work. The next thing David noticed was even more shocking than the fact that he was naked: David’s left leg was missing! It was cut away clean with a professional tool just over the knee, which, of course, was missing. Under the stump where his leg used to be, there wasn’t a single drip of blood, which had to mean that the leg was cleaned, as well as the table. But regardless of how David lost his leg, nobody bothered with bandaging the pulsating stump.
David vomited heavily, and lost consciousness.
When he woke up, he found himself in the same room in which he woke up the first time. His body felt stiff and numb, and he couldn’t feel a single limb. He opened his eyes and immediately closed them again, because of what lurked above his eyes. His eyeballs felt stiff as they always focused on a single object, which was an old man’s face. The man was about 40 years older than David, with grey hair and a gigantic smile. David couldn’t decide, whether the smile was sympathetic, or if it was the same smile that an animal would have, when they played with their doomed prey. The man’s eyes were small and wise, but they had an expression that David definitely didn’t like.
“Where am I?” David tried to make his voice sound strong and angry, but the sound it produced when he said this sentence was more like a whisper.
“You should know where you are,” the old man said in a voice that made David shake. “But in case you don’t, you are at SSE Labs.” The man had a deep, booming voice, which immediately made David lose his sense of safety. The man had made him a little, helpless child.
“In case you don’t remember this either...”
The man took David’s missing leg into the air, to show it to David.
“This is entirely your fault!” David felt a strong need to gag, but he couldn’t. David found out that his neck and throat were so tight that he could barely feel the air flowing down when he breathed.
“Before I forget: This is for you!”
The man pulled out a remote control, and to David’s surprise, turned all the mirrors into a huge screen where he could now see a little film to explain his surroundings. On the ceiling-screen, the picture of the American President faded in.
“Dear Mr. Walker,” the President kindly spoke, “You might be able to tell yourself why you are here.” David gagged.
“The room where you are lying now is a secret execution lab, one of thousands in America. Through years of observing you, we can say that you have committed unspeakable crimes by sure. The government and I ordered the most torturous way of execution for you, Mr. Walker, which is being killed slowly and panicky through suffocation. On your right and your left, you can see multiple cameras. Your execution will be shown on television throughout the land!”
David couldn’t believe what was happening, and was about to fade out of consciousness, but the old man slapped him hard with David’s own leg.
“We, Mr. Walker, chose to keep your left leg, and later your head as a trophy, to remind the nation of what terrible crimes you have committed, sir,” The president said grinning. “The procedure is about to start in a few minutes, but we’d like to ask you if you have some last words to say.”
David was giving up. He whispered a slow, hopeless, “I’m innocent, Mr. President,” which only led to laughter of the President and the old man.
“So, women and gentlemen, a last national anthem for Mr. David Walker!”
While the anthem was playing, a strong metal band was going tighter and tighter around David’s neck. David struggled and spat his own blood over his naked, humiliated body. His head was slowly turning red and hot, his lips were turning blue, and his eyes almost jumped out of his head, when David lost consciousness one last time. A second later, a man ran to the President, whispering in his ear, and saying that David was actually a victim of misunderstood observation and actually innocent. Mr. President died of a heart attack in the exact moment.