They took the blindfolds off and a door was shut closed, Carter Pelletier was seated inside a cold, dark, empty room. Hands and feet tied to a metal chair with monitors and controllers by its side. Wires were connected to his body from head to toes.
-Where am I? How did I get here? The man cried with disbelief. Is there anyone that can hear me?
No sound. No signs of life.
Frightened and ashamed he struggled to free himself, but it was useless. Distressed, lost and disoriented, he had no memory of how he had gotten there. Or why.
Experiment 1: Brain manipulation trough electromagnetic waves
A clatter is heard from the distance and an intense buzzing surrounds the area, as if a garage door has been opened or closed. A man in an astronaut-like suit, as if he is protecting himself from some sort of radiation or a deadly virus, enters the room through a wide crystal door and cautiously approaches the metal chair Carter was seated on. Carter opens his bright apple green eyes as wide as an ocean after he felt a shocking and painful sensation when the man in the hazmat suit pressed one of the controllers, as if the wires connected to the monitors and the body was sending some sort of electric shock waves to the brain, and later on to the whole body. Carter screams desperately, sweating uncontrollably and begs the man to stop.
-Why are you doing this? What is your purpose? , cries Carter in a shrieking tone. The other man maintains his silence, no answer or word comes from him.
The electric shocks continue, electromagnetic waves with a high frequency of more than 70 GHz, till Carter can’t control his body anymore. His legs, arms and every fraction of his body became numb and they no longer functioned the way the brain wanted. Carter blacks out completely and a voice is heard from the distance saying: “first experiment complete, let’s proceed to the next”.
Experiment 2: Reality distortion
Carter wakes up from his unpleasant sleep, hoping that all that he had experienced was just an atrocious nightmare and he was back at home, back in his humble home in Alberta. Carter opens his eyes to a bright dazzling, blinding light. He finds himself tied to what it appears to be a surgical table, inside another room, unfamiliar to his sight. It’s a closed and narrow chamber with a ceiling shadowless surgical operating lamp on the middle, different types of surgical instruments around the operating table, a large mirror on the wall, and a filming camera on a corner. He is inside a murky, freezing, dismal operation room. He looks around stupefied and realizes that it’s not a dream; he is being kept in a strange unknown place, aside from the world, with nowhere to go, a place that does not seem human made. Carter still wonders how he got there, he tries to recall any piece of his memory but nothing comes to mind. Desperation strikes ones again, agitated and confused, he wishes for an explanation, a reason, an answer…
-Get me out of here! -Carter screams desperately with tears in his eyes- Can anybody hear me?! Where am I? Somebody please…
Two men enter the baleful chamber and they walk towards Carter, both of them wearing the same hazmat suit. One of the men takes a syringe with a long needle and says with a deep, bass voice: “Don’t worry it’ll be over soon”. The man injects lysergic acid diethylamide, a psychedelic drug better known as LSD, into Carter’s main artery in his left arm, while the other man holds Carter as he hassled to be free.
Carter’s pupils dilated, and after thirty minutes, he no longer had sense of reality, his sensory experience of senses, emotions, memories, time, and awareness were altered. At first he experienced an intense feeling of euphoria; he began to feel happy and exited for no reason, laughing foolishly after a distortion in his behavior. His mind took a journey to his happy memories in a small town in Alberta, his hometown. He saw himself back at home with his wife and two loving children, the image of a happy family sharing peacefully at the dinner table and laughing to Carter’s cheesy jokes, all together, the memories of that happy family, memories that lasted for only twenty minutes. After that long but rather brief time of reliving those blissful times, panic struck when unexpectedly he felt sudden changes in his auditory and visual perception. “I must be going crazy” he murmured, while trembling and moving his head side to side, up and down, to all directions. Stressed and puzzled by what he perceived. He felt the walls caving in and suctioning everything at its pass, colors bright and dark covered the room, and objects danced to an unsynchronized pace.
-Let me live!!!! What have I done to deserve such torture? Why me of all people? – He said with a crackled, exhausted voice.
About 6 hours later everything stopped, hallucinations and pain, and his pupils were back to normal. Carter all covered in sweat, was finally serene, he could breath. He inhaled the freezing air and cried incessantly; tears were flowing from his eyes. Cry was all he could do at that time, he had no strength to move or even speak, so he just cried.
One of the men from before enters the room ones again, this time he was only wearing a lab coat and a procedure mask. “What was the purpose of the hazmat suit worn before?” wondered Carter without speaking, “perhaps I was being exposed to a toxic substance but, for what reason? Why am I being held captive? What’s the purpose for these experiments? Are they even human?” The man untied Carter from the surgical bed and blindfolded him for the third time.
-Leave me alone! Let go of me, where are you taking me? Answer me- he furiously demanded… but the men did not reply…
Experiment 3: Final experiment; hypnosis
-Are you alright Mr. Pelletier? -Said one of the men taking the blindfolds off.
-What is going on? – asked Carter wearily.
-There is nothing to worry about Mr. Pelletier, everything will be over soon, have patience- answered the man.
– Why are you doing this? – asked Carter for the last time but the man did not give him an answer.
Carter was back in the room where he was the first time but it seemed different in some way, it was brighter and instead of being seated in a cold metal chair, Carter was lying on a soft red futon. There was a black metal reading lamp on the right side of the futon and the man was sitting on a wooden, cushioned tabouret next to Carter.
-Lay back and close your eyes, relax, think of a happy moment in your life- said the man-think of a place where you can feel at ease and secure, perhaps a mellow beside a gently running steam.
Carter refused to do what he was told at first but having nothing to lose and thinking that if he does what he is told, the torture would be over. Carter closed his eyes and pictured himself at his home, with his family, the safest environment he could ever know, the place where he wished to be and with the people he loves.
The man began to speak smoothly, slowly, using a hypnotic voice timed to Carter’s breathing; the man repeated the calming words over and over again till Carter was completely unconscious, fast asleep. He was resting comfortably in a deep, peaceful state, going deeper and faster all of the time.
All of a sudden the man began asking all kinds of incomprehensible questions that drove Carter into complete anxiety and insanity.
-What is the secret plan? Are you a man of trust? – asked the man
Carter’s happy place turned into a dark labyrinth with no end. He was hopelessly looking for the exit but it was nowhere to be found. He heard the man’s distant voice asking him hundreds of questions that he did not know the answer to. Carter was entering deeper and deeper into that maze of confusion; he could not distinguish any longer fiction from reality, truth from lies. Unexpectedly a ray of light came from the cleft of one of the labyrinth’s walls; he began climbing the green, leafed barrier until he found the exit. He was finally free from all that entanglement in his head. He saw the bright beautiful sky and he could finally breathe healthy and pure oxygen.
Carter opened his eyes; he woke up from that profound sleep he was in. Startled he looked around and realized that he was lying in his bed of his house back in Alberta, Canada, in his home. Astonished he brutally jumped like a spring and ran to the living room where his wife and children waited.
-You’re up? -Said his wife with a gentle and kind voice- come let’s have some breakfast.
Carter looks at the calendar to see the date: April 22, 1952. Not a day had passed since he went to bed last night. He sits at the dinner table; he sighs and looks at the picture to his left. He grabs the picture and reads the message written on the back: PROUD VETERAN.
© All rights reserved Jessica Fernández
Jessica Fernández (St. Petersburg, Florida). Estudiante de Comunicación Audiovisual en la Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras. Al momento trabaja en su primer libro. Adora las tecnologías digitales, la creatividad, y los chocolates.