Short Story: The Ludovico Technique

You wake up sitting down.

But your eyes are already open.

You are in a room, but the room is pitch black.

 

You try to close your eyes, but you can’t.

There is a harness attached to your head.

You feel the cold press of metal against your face and into your eyes.

Metallic prongs stretch the corners of your eyes four different ways.

 

Frantically, you try to blink again, but you cannot.

You try to move, and you notice that your hands and legs are tied to a chair.

You are immobile.

 

A sudden bright flash disturbs your vision, as it was adjusted to the darkness.

As your vision corrects itself, you now see a screen directly in front of you.

The screen is only showing static, like an electrical snowfall.

 

You sit and wait in silent horror, while your eyes are starting to dry.

The screen in front of you frequently goes dark, then back to static, as if searching through channels.

Finally the switching stops on a still image of a woman. The woman is quite attractive.

The image starts moving, like someone pressing play on a paused video.

 

You look on in confusion for a while. Finally, you realize that you are watching the Kardashians.

Your eyes are dry as sand, and it is hard to see, but you can still hear the people in the show talking through some painfully loud speakers in the room.

 

You feel the silhouette of a man standing behind you.

An arm stretches out from behind you, and hovers over your face for a painfully long time. Something wet drops from the hand into both of your eyes.

The wetness slithers down your eyeballs, even as you try to move and blink. But you cannot. Eye drops.

 

Suddenly the channel changes, and you are forced to watch as a man mutilates his body with a knife.

You cannot look away, or close your eyes. Your eyes feel like burning.

 

The channel changes, and now you are watching Fox News. A talking head is loudly spouting meaningless news pieces at you.

The pictures on the screen are moving increasingly erratically, as if someone is switching between channels too fast. You watch, as you see all three broadcasts flash concurrently in front your eyes. The Kardashians, the self-mutilating man, and Fox News.

As the visuals change from one to another, something flashes in between for just a split second every time. A series of words.

 

BUY

 

CONSUME

 

WORK

 

This goes on for hours, maybe days. You have no sense of time anymore. Finally, a warm breath touches your skin from behind, as a somber male voice slithers into your ear.

“Congratulations, you are now a functioning member of our society.”

 

 

You wake up in bed, in your own bedroom. The clock next to the bed says that it’s 6 am in the morning.

It feels like you have been sleeping for a week. You feel quite energetic, and happy. Almost ecstatic.

“Buy, Consume, Work,” You say to yourself with a smile as you get out of bed. Time to start the day.

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