Spotlights and Attack Helicopters

Welcome to Room 101, where no one can hear your screams and the rats are hungry.

Written by: Scott McMusophobia

Art by: Kiersten Lee Ketter

It’s not 1984 or Brave New World. Each of them would be favorable when compared to the nightmares that I see every day. I see only darkness and spotlights when I go outside. Attack helicopters circle every city block around the world. Orwell must have thought he was being so clever when he designed a world that was controlled by three factions (or not, we’ll never truly know what that world was). I see only one, and the helicopters enforce their rule every step of the way.

I’m forced to take the same routine paths to the drudgery the awaits. When I wake up, the spotlight helps me see in the ice-cold shower. The curtain is covered in mold and mildew. It used to be covered in dolphins that were enjoying a seascape, but they’re long gone. Breakfast is always the same. I wish I could sit out with a cup of coffee and watch the sunrise. I haven’t done that since I… well, I don’t really remember when. The sun never rises. The spotlight is the new sun, but it doesn’t warm and gives no vitamins.

At least I’m able to drive. That’s something that will be taken away soon enough, but not yet. They haven’t decided that driving is too much freedom yet. They even let me play music. Every morning I turn it on, but it’s always sung or played by people who are followed by the same aerial enforcers, and that reminds me of only the same control that they have over me. I turn it on and off in the same hopelessly hopeful way as I did the day prior.

Spotlights and Attack Helicopters

When I get to the donkeywork, the spotlight stares through the paper blinds that don’t do what the name insinuates. My muzzle is tightened, and stale bread fills my mouth. I’d rather eat my shower curtain. The nourishment gives me exactly the amount of strength that I need to work, but no where near enough to fight back. I sit back and do my work, occasionally relieving myself into the tube below. They say it improves productivity if I don’t have to get up and get distracted. It’s hard to focus when the spotlight glares off of my computer screen and into my eyes, but no where near as much as all of the other helicopters, all piloted by different demons.

The drive to my apartment (I won’t call it a home because my heart is nowhere and doing nothing but waiting to stop) is always slower than the drive to work. I have no where that I need to be and no one that I have to please. I am only allowed to go back to my strategically crafted bed of nails, which has one too few to elicit any form of pseudocomfort, so that I can have enough energy to do it all again tomorrow. I sit and wait, until my eyes close like a hydraulic press, hoping that they don’t have to work tomorrow.

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