Death is fascinating.
“Why is something so morbid, so final, a subject of interest?”, some may ask, and they would be perfectly within the realms of fragile rationality when asking that. However, if one were to look into that question beyond mere notions of dismissal and shame that such a cognitive process had even manifested, one would find that death is a point of interest precisely because of the fact that it presents a finality that we as human beings find absolutely horrifying to envisage.
When all you know is living, breathing, recreation, and everything else our species cares to do, the thought of that just…stopping, is a slap in the face for those of us who take life for granted.
I say this because I am currently on the receiving end of said slap in the face, and I would be lying to you if I said that it wasn’t excruciatingly, agonizingly painful.
Let me explain.
I am due for execution in approximately ten minutes. Someone like myself has no family, no friends, and no significant others. So, I talk to myself. I transcribe the lamenting that my gray matter exhumes into decipherable English, as a last-ditch effort to comfort myself before the end. It's not really execution, but I'm calling it that to preserve my sanity, or what's left, at least.
And this means I am checking my non-existent watch like the white rabbit, for every second left of my life is crucial. I have to assure myself that everything is in order, that I’ve fulfilled my purpose, to quell the panic subtly rising in my mind.
My captors aren't people. Or aren't what would normally be considered so. They're something masquerading as human, cuckoo people. But it's too late now. Every warning I gave, everything I did, wasn't enough.
I really shouldn’t be surprised. I really shouldn’t feel sorry for myself either. This isn’t some fantasy wherein I’m wrongly convicted, and my saving grace rushes through the door with decisive proof at the last second before I cannot hold my breath a moment longer. No, I am guilty, red-handed, busted, whatever phrase you feel is necessary. I’m it.
It wasn’t a forced set of circumstances either. I chose this; we all chose this. The fact that this is happening is still a dire feeling of helplessness, however, and that’s an emotional response that no amount of logic can ever conquer.
If only I could reverse the clock, change the situation, make different decisions. Those are all ramblings of delirium. Time travel doesn’t exist. What’s done is done. And anyway, what could I possibly do, a single man, they wouldn’t take any notice of me regardless of my efforts; too much of the population is already engrossed with hedonism and self-serving idiocy to make a dent in their brains.
It’s fine, though, I accept my punishment. This is how it has to be, I suppose.
Ah, that’s it, there it is. My last meal.
Smoked haddock accompanied by beluga caviar, served with a side of salad. I laugh coldly when I see the dish, the pompous elitism personified in full. It doesn’t matter now, though; my luck is through. So, resignation permeates the air as I tuck into the last thing I will ever consume on this planet, and it’s awfully pleasant. The food I have come to despise traverses down my throat, my malnourished stomach making noises of relief at the sustenance it is finally receiving.
And then, it’s over. It’s funny, the things you stop resisting when you know your life is nigh on extinguished. The plate is briskly taken away; wouldn’t want me to accidentally cut myself on any sharp china, now would they?
I’m going to do it now. I want to do this whole ordeal on my own terms, not theirs. The illusion of choice is better on the mind. They take me from my porcelain white cell, towards the one room I have always wanted to avoid. I’ve always hated the whitewashed coloration of the place, too sterile, too perfect.
The corridors always seem to span for miles, twisting and turning; but then again, they made them that way for a reason.
We come to a door, with a simple ‘X’ printed in blue upon it. X marks the spot, as they say. I came looking for treasure, and this is about as good as it gets.
They don’t even have to force me in. I’m their willing participant. I’m not letting these bastards have the satisfaction of seeing me afraid, resisting the inevitable. I can feel the ice-cold metal chassis of the cage against my prone, nude figure. That’s it, I’m fastened in now; there’s no room for escape, not that I had any plans to begin with. There’s a soft whirring noise, the source being a motorized pulley that has begun lowering the cage I am bound to.
One of them steps forward, watching me as my descent continues. His mouth opens, pale skin just a little too shiny, too perfect, rows of pearly white teeth grinning right through me.
Perfect. That was what they said. A perfect world, with perfect people, and perfect principles.
“Anything to say?”
I glance down at the granite basin beneath me, the churning body of yellow liquid waiting for my body to touch its’ surface, calling to me in my mind, a gluttonous mass waiting to consume my consciousness.
My gaze locks with his, turning my torso as much as I can. My electric blue and his dull grey, a silent stand-off.
He breaks away, eyes darting down as he jerks a lever controlling the pulley forward, and my descent picks up speed, the liquid I am soon going to be immersed in coming closer and closer, faster and faster...
..And I’m still staring as my mind leaves me.