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Starving Dogs

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Note: This is a prequel to Psychologist

The following diary entry was recovered from an abandoned house, after forensics were sent in to collect evidence for a murder-suicide investigation.

If there is one thing that I have grown to greatly appreciate over the last few months, it’s my wife’s irrational thought that all psychologists keep their work life absolutely alienated away from their private life. Emily never was one to question my motives and methods, and when it came to matters that I felt uncomfortable about her snooping around in, keeping her distance from unknown territory was a coded command you could always rely on her to be obedient about. Much to my pleasure, rather than hers. Regarding this, I could tell that Emily’s unanswered, curious mind had always wondered what occurred within the small block of these four office walls. After all, I can’t really blame her. Every speckle of dust, every faded and recent coffee ring, every slam of the cabinet drawers and every rattle of organising stacks of paper into a neat, non-overflowing bundle against the desk had its own story. Didn’t it? After all, you can’t really pin this on the cat, he was only responding to his natural territorial instinct.

Probably the last thing I felt when I got the call this morning was surprise. I can still clearly visualise the anxiety elapsing Mr. Krakowski’s face the moment he received the call from his doctor’s office nearly four years ago and the only thing that honestly surprised me was how he hadn’t bitten the dust any time sooner. I would sooner pop myself than to know I would have to live four malcontent years with the diagnostics of lung cancer. On the contrary though, strong-willed Chuckie eased through the enfeebling cancer whirlwind and simply continued to go about his everyday responsibilities with an odd kind of masked effortlessness, despite the fact that it shredded him from the inside out like the arduous, bone-shattering burden that he tried so resiliently to disguise. He was an excellent employer and a level-headed boss. Well, by ‘’our’’ terms he was anyway.

Had this expected death come one week earlier it would have crafted the perfect alibi for me. I genuinely hope that Emily and the kids enjoy Florence for the few days and I only regret that I can’t warn them to not take the Italian experience for granted without arousing suspicion from my already bugging wife. “There are still plenty of flights you can book now.” “We have the money to pay for another seat.” “The kids and I both want you here.” These were among some of the several nags that were aimed at me during the last few weeks and as much as I would love to be with my family, “Fýsi” have instructed and honoured me to carry out their latest ideology, in what is expected to be their most “controversial” yet “ground-breaking” experiment to date. Isolation, survival, poverty, imprisonment, dehumanization. They all link in to what is expected to flourish into this ruthless Starving Dogs experiment. Despondency will be key.

“What would the Homo sapiens species be like today if the virtue of humanity had never existed, or developed, if at all, later than expected?”

This invigorating thought has frequently labelled my mind since I was about 16 years of age and it was all that I could preciously be concerned about as I smiled, waved, and gave false words of reassurance to my credulous family as they exited the house for their flight and final time at 5 o’clock this morning. I thought about how this holiday has no meaning to human survival, no benefit to our nature and simply serves to satisfy the recreational need of the human mind developed by humanity. When you put a lot of thought into it within a short space of time, it’s actually scary to think of the amount of services “humanity” partakes in, not just these days but in the past also, for the sake of the virtue itself.

A prime example of this I believe is Religion. I have always seen Religion as a value that is never entirely “accomplished” or “satisfied”. It seems to me that no beliefs can have too many members, or even too many “missions” to serve, of whoever or whatever their followers are serving. Or even those who guide their followers for either good intentions or power over people; whatever the reason. The result? Either you grow into the world’s largest religion of over 2 billion, both active and inactive members, or all of your members are either killed or arrested at harrowing scenes in Waco, Texas. People who strictly follow these organised faiths are really only doing so for one reason: Self-fulfillment. To one day go to Heaven, Jannat, to be reincarnated, etc. The more I think about it, I can truthfully say that I cannot think of any other logical benefit of their systems other than to fulfill one’s humanity virtue. Going to church every Sunday for an hour. Fasting during the day for, what is it, 2 weeks? A month maybe? I can’t remember the exact guidelines of Ramadan. Irrelevant anyway, because commitments vary in extremity, but I believe the principle behind it is all still relatively akin.

I’m keeping this diary specifically separate from the rest of my entries for very good reason. I keep this diary to express my thoughts and judgements during a vital week of my life when my “humanity” will be the most strained beyond its usual limits, and for some reason all I can think about is if the contractor is dropping by tomorrow. Maybe it’s Wednesday? I’ll have to call about that later. Maybe it plagues my head because I am just too fond of the sitting room I have right now. The mantelpiece; the blue leather sofa and its two stocky armchair companions; the looming glass cabinet of fancy knick-knacks, family heirlooms and personal memorabilia. Memories. For whatever time I step in there for the next “whatever amount of hours until the contractor comes”, whooshing images of baby-steps, scraped knees and tears, romantic movies with wine, chocolates and flickering television light in a dark room, and rainy days with unfinished monopoly games are going to flash by me and all I can’t help but do is half-willingly accept it.

New memories. Old memories replaced with the former of results, discoveries and observations. Day and night surveillance from my office as they hopefully, slowly settle into their new habitat. At first, humanity will take full throttle and there will be confusion, angst and suffering. That will wither and die as nature should rear its monstrously ugly, yet beautifully ambitious head and create the scenarios that I will be scribbling notes on and reporting back to Fýsi.

I wonder when that contractor is coming. We both have a lot of work to do.

“Make a wish!” is what my mother would say to me when I was just a 6 - year-old boy gathering fluffy dandelions and attempting to blow all the seeds off them in one striking go. 24 years on and looking back at those seeds forcefully fleeing in the opposite direction of their home, all I am reminded of is someone holding a 12-gauge shotgun in their mouth and blowing their brains out. Their head dissolving into little mushy pink and red pieces, not flying but drifting quickly towards the wall and ceiling. I’m not paranoid enough to own a gun at the moment, but maybe as time goes by, paranoia will seemingly convert into jittery common sense and I’ll submit to a hesitant deceivement. The contractor came today and removed everything. It was noisy at times, but it was nice to have some background music because I was starting to become uncomfortable with my new solitude like an unwanted hive that you just can’t scratch enough. The pieces of the now plural organ would make a wonderful artistic design for the horribly eerie, empty room. Their revolting presence would go hand in hand and at least then there would be some sort of scenery to accompany your misery. The brain splatter design and a suicide both share the same value right now: solution.

The steel doors are going to be installed tomorrow and then the walls are going to be painted a Blanc white. The old man next door gave me a concerned look when I saw him today. He adjusted a nice little smile on his face while he was watering his plants in that flowery hat but he had an engraved look of apprehension beneath his cracked, rosy red cheeks. Maybe he can read me, or maybe it’s the less than average sleep I’ve been getting lately becoming evident throughout my weary self. Maybe I should get acting lessons from the lovable old man next door.

The Stanford Prison Experiment is something I have been fascinated by for a very long time. At it’s very basic core, 24 male students taken under guard and misshaped by psychological torture and abuse. It went horribly wrong of course, and even after just six days the officers involved wanted more. They had power. They had control. They were the ones given the rights to take rough protocol, that they deemed “necessary”, by Mr. Zimbardo himself. My upcoming experiment is too similar to that of the 1971 Prison Experiment. There may only be one difference, but because I report my findings to a secret organisation who keep their darkest secrets locked in secured filing cabinets, rather than the US Navy and Marine Corps, it’s pretty fucking significant. I am the lead professor behind all this and I am open to the exceptionally likely possibility that I will be mutilated into one of those Power-hungry prison guard examples just like a sunset that drains the colour out of buildings and trees in a distant horizon.

Locked in a room. Huddled, scared, basic rations and no means of recreation, meaning, or goal to feed their draining and starving civilization. Emily will be worst affected, no doubt. Michael and Sandra on the other hand, I’m not so sure. They might be too young to realise the confusion that society places on such an act. Locked in a room. Huddled, scared, basic rations and no means of recreation, meaning or goal to feed their draining and starving civilization; like male rabbits in a hut, there from birth, feeding through a drip. I dictate the period in which I wish to observe them. I am their owner. They were family to me once but now all they are to me are white mice on running wheels in a large black railed cage on blue plastic.

There are recent rotting rodent remains in the raw room downstairs and I am re-reading the last line of my previous entry. I paid over ten grand for all the new installations and I hate it. They are horribly calm and overwhelming. Dazingly quiet and eerily too peaceful. Perfect. It’s everything I require for my work to go ahead. I have given myself the all clear. Unfortunately, as soon as I had saw that I had diminished a section of my house to absolutely nothing I panicked and ran back upstairs, little beads of sweat trickling down from my forehead, whilst I swallowed the quickly reoccurring lump haunting my throat. I have no idea why, but I just couldn’t stand it. That there was a thing in my house that contained less content than a plastic bag floating in the wind, other than for that brief moment that I had experienced it. It was horrifying.

White with red. It’s such a malignant combination. Like when a roofer slips off the top of a 60 degree angle roof and smacks his temple off the sharp corner of a grey concrete wall, red flows out a large gashing wound and his skin drains to white quicker than an endangered chameleon. I sat up in my room quivering from the room’s presence and all I could recollect was the image of the exploding bloody dandelion. Imagining the brain matter slowly seeping down the white wall, with pieces, sooner or later, trickled to the floor making a chunky splattering sound. While my mind generated this thought, in that moment all I could think was how ventilating those squishy sounds and vivacious colours were. Suicide was simply not an option. As much as I am contemplating it at the moment, those nuts at Fýsi will do God knows what to my family if I don’t carry out their orders. That’s why I keep re-reading that last line of my previous entry. I fear that there are moments when I am turning into one of them. Those fucked up, rusty brained, disregarding slabs of meat and slime that I work for and told myself I respected.

Ziggy hadn’t a chance. He crawled around in my hand so naïvely, sniffing and curious. At least his death was quick and facile. The panic. The fury overlapping me. I leaned back so slowly and threw him harder than a pitcher trying to strike out the batter. Ziggy lay in a heap on the ground, his body frozen and corrupted from the incident. His black beads for eyes staying so still and his little wirey whiskers flickering like the sound of an old projector shortly after the film had concluded. Twitching like sensitive eyes to an unexpected set of siren lights. I put him out of his misery the same way a careless smoker rubs their cigarette butt dry into the ground. Little helpless bones snapped and split under the force of my black boot and blood spurted out both sides like a condensed little ketchup packet from a cheap diner. Sandra’s beloved hamster Ziggy remained glossy, dead and soaked in blood in the room below. The last feelings I want Sandra to think of me are misunderstanding and confusion. Not that I’m a monster.

Depending on whose perspective you were viewing it from, shaving this morning after a sleepless night was either an ill-informed decision or a controversial stroke of luck. I lay in bed all night screaming to the impossible possibility that my sanity is crippled and common sense has shattered into tens of sharp piercing little pieces. If Krakowski could only see me fall apart like this he would pick up one of those pieces and slowly steer into the side of my forehead like a steady twisting screwdriver. Speaking of injuries anyway, my shaking hand slipped during my shave today, scraping through the delicate skin between my jaw and my throat. Red bloody blobs dotted on my white shirt and white collar. It stang at first and it came as a shock to me as I am usually cautious going through this regular routine. It was a pretty deep cut but it was distracting me from the inner anguish that floated freely around inside my head like carousel horses. Those dribbles of blood sliding my neck whilst I shut my eyes and allowed my dizzy eyes to drift happily in circles around my head. It was like easing into a batch of morphine and the release itself was arousing me. At first I was a little uncomfortable, but if this is what humanity has created for me then so be it. Even writing about it now I am gleefully re-establishing the experience and forgetting about all the shit I will encounter in a few days.

I received two expected packages from Fýsi in the post today. One box contained Bluetooth operated CCTV cameras and USB devices for security, and monitoring for both outside and the white room, while the other contained needles and a large, bubbly like plastic package which contained a chemical that you could tell was hazardous just on the basis that it was clearer than water and as temperately lukewarm as healthy flesh. The set up was pretty standard and aside from the odd flicker or a flash of line every few minutes or so the quality of the cameras exceeded my expectations. As effective as they are though, video quality has miniscule wealth to me at the moment. The thought that these CCTV footages will be on all day and night for the next few years is honestly God damn terrifying to me. An age where technology’s influence is exceeding too rapidly and nobody seems to care generates huge concern for me. That machines are one day going to see more than we can and can already observe events at times when we can not.

Maybe staying up the whole night was a good idea. What if Fýsi have me wired right now and I just vulnerably allowed everything they sent me into my house. What if they’re testing me? To see if I will comply with their demands and slavishly carry out their dirty work. If my family are going to die they’re not going to die by the hands of Fýsi, but I’m still left in a tough situation. If I don’t do it, I die and I don’t know what even more horrible act they will carry out on my family. If I do, I survive but fuck knows what happens to them if they’re going to be locked up for three fucking years. All I can hope is that they will carry on through this ordeal and they will never have to see me ever again. I can live isolated away somewhere where I am no threat to society or maybe I could just travel over to the Fýsi headquarters and blow all their fucking evil heads off.

I punched a hole in my wall with tears in my eyes. I told myself only two days ago that I would never own a gun.

I’m getting stressed again. Dark hail clouds shroud my thoughts and I’m getting stressed again. The bandage patch on my neck is getting itchy and I’m getting stressed again. I looked in the mirror at my sleepless face again. The crusty healing wound was speckled with blood-like dust and I was getting stressed again. I think I’ll take just one more slice at it. Good thing those needles are right on my bedside locker.

that felt great I think i’ll do th arm now

to much blood on the floor but i cant cal an ambulence bcaus maybe im paranoid now should i get that gun somtime i tink i will

regret for everting

I look terrible. There’s a giant scar on my jaw and several little scars on my upper left arm from when I got carried away last night. This is the first entry that I’ve written during the day time and judging from the brightness outside for this time of year, I would say it’s around 15:00. Checked the clock downstairs. 15:21. I literally just awoke 20 minutes ago and I feel really dizzy. I passed out after a strenuous period of heavy blood loss. It’s a good thing I had fainted when I did or else there was the ontensible chance that I would have travelled further south on the great scraping stress train. How I would explain the scars to my wife, I’m not sure. I guess I’ll have to make up some irrational excuse for the gaping crack on my jaw and hide the little reminders under a thick jumper. Actually, memory refreshed, I still have to clean up Ziggy’s remains.

The blood had dried onto the wall and it took strained elbow grease, which was in limited supply thanks to my little episode last night, to remove it. I then mopped and scrubbed the floor and threw Ziggy into the bin. I thought I would be more mentally affected by the action I had carried out on Wednesday but honestly I feel like I am immune to dastardly performances at this stage. It was times like these that I wish I had kept in touch with Tim a lot more. The one person back in my youth days who actually cared for the interests I ranted on about, who listened and showed interest for the experiments and psychology theories I had idolized when I was in my early twenties. During my Secondary School days I had stood up for him a lot and really helped him fit in to social groups he never would have had a chance to become comfortable in if it weren’t for my guidance and if it weren’t for my assistance. Well now I really needed him, but he’s way too busy with his current low paying Health and Safety internship in which he will rake the financial benefits of greatly in a few years time.

I just can’t help but feel that if I still had Tim to talk to in my life right now, that this problem would have been solved a long long LONG time ago. But then again, Fýsi have never really taken “No” for an answer that much in the past, especially to someone who has shown as much loyalty as me towards them. Regardless, I want to be able to share this problem with him, but we haven’t spoken in over a year and it’s too late now. Rather than him just waltzing down here and saying a howdy-doo to me, he would need to plan his journey and set a time when he was free and not working. I would feel like I’m intruding, which is extremely obscure of me to say because he always had the time for me back in the day. I still remember to this day that moment I came up to him in the line for the vending machine and asked him “Would you be willing to skip to the front of the queue right now if you knew there was only one Mars bar left?”

Had I asked that to anyone else they most likely would have turned around and given a horrendous look. Tim was different. He had a sort of restrained respect for everyone, despite had they made him feel uncomfortable or uneasy. Respect, patience, and passiveness were his most appreciated virtues and qualities that sometimes got annoying if you were around them for too long, but traits you miss if you hadn’t experienced for a long while. Although there’s a 99.9% chance of it not happening, I wish that he would just come and rescue from this ever so daunting nightmare that I am in the middle of right now like a whirlpool of black molten hot tar. A few days ago I had talked about how the development of humanity had some crazy, disturbing effects when you think about them for an extended period of time. In this case however, my mind struggles to think of a disadvantage when it came to the life policies that my good old friend Tim had. He would die before letting anything happen to his family.

The family get back tonight. I wonder how they’ll react when they see the steel doors.

Screaming. Lots and lots of screaming. Emily is going to shred her vocal chords if she doesn’t give it a rest soon. The walls are soundproof though, so her valiant efforts are going sadly unrewarded. You would think that this hostile reaction would provoke me to let them out but not really, it’s just kind of irritating to be perfectly honest. The children are huddled up to her for support. They’re frightened out of their wits and Emily is really not helping. I muted the volume on the screen so now it just looks like black and white footage of lost footage from an old abandoned laboratory or something like that.

Anyway, this is the last time I will be writing in this diary, as the rest of my research will be going into separate books that I will be constantly submitting and updating to the Fýsi corporation. The research should contain nothing personal or biased and must be strictly fact based. Every day is to be recorded on these tapes, and special notes and hypothesis will be kept in a folder labelled “Expt: Starving Dogs.” At request however, one of my fellow colleagues asked me to scribble down one excerpt for her and keep it in the folder as part of my research. They want a very minimal study done on the captor himself as they deem it “unnecessary” for some odd reason. They see it as “irrelevant.” Anyway, I decided to re write this one on a separate piece of small paper and store it in the folder:

“New memories. Old memories replaced with the former of results, discoveries and observations. Day and night surveillance from my office as they hopefully slowly settle into their new habitat. At first, humanity will take full throttle and there will be confusion, angst and suffering. That will wither and die as nature should rear its monstrously ugly, yet beautifully ambitious head and create the scenarios that I will be scribbling notes on and reporting back to Fýsi.”

As for this diary, it has a sentimental value to me now. I shall keep it locked up in the cabinet above. One day I may go back over it, and read my thoughts on the week leading up to what could be a very important breakthrough experiment of my psychology career. Unorthodox? Most definitely. Ambitious? We shall wait and see.

Emily is still screaming.

The diary was found on the upstairs floor, just beneath the suicide victim.

Written by CrashingCymbal
Content is available under CC-BY-SA

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