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Saturday 16 November 2013

Project Village

   They come for you in the night, well you’re off your guard then, asleep, slumbering, drugged. Men in white coats come for you, they bundle you in to the back of a black van to take you either to the Therapy Zone for treatment, or worse, to the clinic for treatment.
   I’m lying on my back, and although my eyes are closed I can see the white light, it burns through my eyelids. I use the palms of my hands to cover my eyes to try and block out the light, to bring darkness………
    “Is the light hurting your eyes?”
    “Don’t you know that it is?”
    “You should have said, we are not without feeling.”
    Suddenly the light dimmed a little, it was a softer light, not so harsh. I took the palms of my hands away and opened my eyes.
    “Is that better?”
    “Don’t thank me will you!”
    “You’re the reason I’m here in the first place, and you expect me that thank you!”
    “It would be a start.”
    I sat up on the mattress, it was the only thing in the room, apart from me. I say room, it was more of a cube, about 12 feet square, twelve feet high. A perfect white cube except for one wall that displayed this man sat in a room, he was looking at me. The walls were perfectly smooth. There were no windows, and no door as far as I could tell. And yet they had had to put me in this cube, so it figured there had to be a way out!
    “If you are thinking of escape Six, let me assure you that there is no escape, because there is no way out, not for you.”
    The man rose up from behind the table and walked towards me until his whole face filled the wall, he smiled.
    “Who are you?”
    “You know who I am, Six.”
    “Why are you speaking to him?”
    I spun round to see the exact same face filling the wall behind me.
    “It’s no good speaking to him, he won’t listen to you.”
    I spun round again and stared at the same face.
    “Do you know the trouble with you Six? You think you are the problem.”
    “Don’t listen to him. He’ll fill your head with all kinds a jibber jabber.”
    I turned again.
    “He, he will talk you to death. He’ll talk you into your grave, and then where will you be?”
    “Six feet under, but I’ll be free of the both of you. You, you’re as bad as he is. Oh he can talk, but so can you.”
    “He’s not listening.”
    “He doesn’t yet realise that he’s not the problem, he’s the solution!”
    “It’s the Six inside that’s holding him back.”
    “If we could open him up………”
    “We could see the Six inside.”
    “No, we could release the Six inside!”
    “I don’t know what you two are talking about. But I think it’s time you let me out of here.”
    “He’s got a nerve!”
    “For once I agree with you.”
    “That’s a first.”
    “You see Six that’s why you are here.”
    “Why we are all here.”
    “You are partly responsible for all this!”
    “The Village!”
    Suddenly the two walls went blank, the two faces gone. Then all around on the four walls……
.the Village, and above blue sky. I turned slowly watching scenes enacted on each wall in turn. People going about their daily lives in the Village. Then the voice of Two again.
    “You helped create the Village, if it were not for you more than half the people wouldn’t be here, and the other half wouldn‘t even exist. You should be proud of yourself Six. But then look at what else you created.”
    Suddenly there came a blood curdling roar, and a white amorphous mass began to grow in size until it filled the wall. The roar was deafening, Six fell to his knees in a corner, the face of Two repapered on one wall.
    “It’s your fear Six, your fear that keeps you here, that holds you prisoner. Stand up like a man and face your fear.”
   I covered my ears with the palms of my hands, closing my eyes tight shut. Suddenly the room fell silent. Opening my eyes I could see that the Village Guardian had gone, that Two had gone. On the floor at the foot of a wall was a tray. On the tray a plastic bottle of Village water and two wraps, containing roast beef, lettuce and tomato. I examined the seal on the neck of the bottle, it was unbroken, until I unscrewed the cap. The water tasted good. I sat upon my mattress and ate the two wraps.
    “What’s this Six, not sleeping are we? Can’t have that” said the disembodied voice of Two.
   The next moment four sides of the cube showed the Village Brass Band concert playing Tchaikovsky 1812 overture intruded with cannon.
    “Nothing like a good military piece, what say you Six?”
    But Six was not listening but trying to shut his ears to the sound of cannon, and the orchestra. Then suddenly the images on the walls were gone, and silence filled the cube as Six slowly took his hands from his ears. He listened, but all he could hear was nothing, so much so in fact that soon the silence was deafening. He stood there in the middle of the cube clapping his hands, the silence was absolute.
   “There are times when you can hardly hear yourself think aren’t there Six. Can you hear me now?
    Six was sitting on the mattress on the floor. He lifted up his face to see Two looking at him from the wall opposite. He nodded.
    “You look cold Six. Do you feel cold?”
    “Yes it is a bit chilly.”
    “I can see your breath Six!”
    For the first time Six felt the cold. On the floor was a cup and saucer, he picked them up together, it was stone cold. The once hot tea inside solid ice! Six instantly threw both cup and saucer at the wall, at the face of Two which instantly disappeared on impact with the cup and saucer.
    “Is that all you’re going to do all day Six, sit there on that mattress?”
    “There’s nothing else for me to do.”
    “I’m disappointed in you Six. I would have thought that if anyone could escape the cube, it would be you.”
    “There’s no doors, no windows…..”
    “And yet there you are Six!”
    “What do you mean?”
    “You must have got in there somehow. You need to search Six, to find the merest crack, as that could be your way out. Be seeing you.”
    Six sat thinking “Two was right, there has to be a way in, and that means there’s a way out.”
    And so Six began to search the walls and floor inch by inch, feeling for any tiny crack where a door might be cut into a wall or floor. A hidden hinge, anything that could be a way out of the cube. But the four walls and floor we absolutely smooth.
    The next morning Six woke to find a breakfast tray perched on a plain wooden chair in the centre of the cube. Picking up the breakfast tray he sat down upon the chair, the tray upon his lap. Lifting the metal lid covering the plate he discovered two eggs, two slices of bacon, a sausage, a piece of fried bread, and a portion of baked beans. There was also a slice of buttered toast and a cup of coffee.
    “The Prisoner ate a hearty breakfast!” he said hurling the breakfast tray at the wall, followed by the chair. It broke a leg!
    “Now Six is that any way to behave?”
    “It wasn’t in a wrap! Now let me out of here.”
    “Why is it always out with you, Six? I have told you before, there is no out, there is only in. You’re in, and in you will stay. You are Village.”
    “Is this the Village?”
    “What the cube?”
    Six made a dash for the wall, kicking and punching at the face.
    “I understand how you feel.”
    “You don’t understand a thing about me!”
    “You want to kill me Six. If I stood before you know, at this very moment, you would try to kill me.”
    “Every thought I have, everything I do is to work towards bringing you down.”
    The face of Two upon the wall laughed, and laughed, all four of them laughed.
    “You’re beginning to repeat yourself, you’ve done this before.”
    “Have I done this before?”
    Suddenly a large hole appeared in the floor, a circular hole. Six stepped forward and peered into the dark abyss of the hole.
    “What is it?”
    “It could be escape, on the other hand it could be oblivion, you choose.”
    “What do you want me to do?”
    “I don’t want you to do anything. What you do is your own concern.”

    “I could hurl myself into that hole……………..”
    “Do you have the strength to do that Six?”
    “If it means the end of you!”
    “Of course it wouldn’t mean the end of me, but it might be the end of you.   Are you prepared for that Six?”
    “That’s what you want isn’t it?”
    Suddenly the hole sealed itself.
    “What I want Six, is for you to come back to us, you are Village. See how the sun makes it all glow, the kind of day that makes you feel good to be alive.”
    The walls of the cube depicted the Village.
    “See the people going about their daily lives, happy, content, they love the Village Six, they love me. Come back to us Six.”
    The walls of the cube melted away, Two and Six stood in the road as people and traffic passed them by.
    “Come with me Six, let me show you the Village.”
    The two men walked together along the pavement. Two raised his hat to two young ladies as they passed. Six smiled and wondered.

Be seeing you

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