Article: 178462 of talk.bizarre From: email@example.com (a hurricane triggered by butterfly's wings) Newsgroups: talk.bizarre Subject: Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord Date: 1 Dec 1994 05:32:27 -0500 Organization: the breaking of small, important bones Lines: 80 Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Status: O At first, the targets and the tasks were easy. Trivial, really. Subject A bit me in second grade, right after lunch, and the memory of the blood and bits of salad in the wound gave me odd nightmares about gangrene for weeks. Something on his braces tore me a scar that is one of the only remaining pieces of evidence proving that I was once eight years old. Curtis once derived the etymology for "rodent" as: " Out of the Latin 'dent', meaning tooth; by the Latin 'ro', meaning to whirl, wheel, or turn." For A, a playground, infinite in all directions, with crowds of happy children off in the distance. Betwixt they and he, innumerable large carnivorous rats. With braces. Just so. That first one was pleasant, in the manner that killing roaches is pleasant; but I took this job for a reason, and it has been a long time coming. After today, I resign my office and move on. It took me forever to track him down. The filing system here is abysmal, for obvious reasons, and no one ever bothers with names. Confessions are broadcast on the nightly news. In cases of extreme infamy or hilarity an occasional "Best of" special comes on, and that's how I found him. Seems the poor wretch still felt guilty, and his pitiful groans and sorrow were deemed to be most comical and amusing by the review board. After I filed a few dozen forms (the merest of formalities), they handed him over. The isolation tank they delivered him in was a drop of perfection in an ocean of dross; he never knew his keeper had been replaced. Where to begin? Darkness, surely, cold, but no wind. Stock sound footage at irregular intervals: a young girl crying for her dead parent to awaken; an ambulance siren far off in the distance; the screech of car brakes. In between, utter silence, utter darkness. Increase the interval, making the brief noises, unpleasant as they may be, the one respite from the veils of nothingness. Make him dependent on those sounds as the one remaining hint of sensation. Good. Now, maximum gain, all three sounds at once. Add shouts of confusion. Add the sound a Volkswagen makes when hit by a Cadillac. Add breaking glass. Sustain. Longer. Longer. Kill audio. Replace with high frequency tone. Open tactile sensory organs from the neck up, key on the left hemisphere of the brain, and load program "shattered skull #3." Maintain, with current audio, for 16 hours. Kill to silence and sensory deprivation. Step 2. "Groundhog day scenario, abbreviated." Subject awakens in a replica of his bedroom, rises as usual, and confronts in the mirror a reflection of himself with a bruise the color of a beet and as big as a basketball jutting out of his head. Record scream, insert into his dreams. Repeat until the reaction fails to amuse. Next, Subject awakens as usual, proceeds to some imagined workplace. En route, cause subject to suffer a Grand Mal seizure. Ensure that subject collapses on some hard, abrasive surface for the duration. Repeat. Step 3. Wipe memory. Replace. Include history of denied advancement due to epileptic condition. Add daily dosages of anti-convulsant drugs, those that slowly but very perceptibly rob the brain of memories. Add awareness of early senility from same. From the archives, add particularly poignant but untraceable sensations of lost innocence, confidence, and identity. Add one child. Step 4. Create world to fit the programmed memory. Place subject, child, and other necessary characters and objects into this world, and let it run unhindered for fifteen to twenty years. Augment as needed to create space for schools, malls, vacations and other normal activity in a normal life. Finally, extract the ego-making consciousness, the identity matrix, from subject. Kill the body, place the identity into the child, and leave it there for the rest of eternity. Perfect. There are deeper pits of Hell, surely, and many more vicious. But this one is *mine*. paul -- If you got this far, thanks. You cannot imagine how badly I needed that.