The Man Who Was Not There – Part 5

The lab-coated one stood over the figure on the floor and looked at the guard standing across from him.

“Go get Phillips.”

A minute later another lab-coated figure entered and surveyed the scene.

“What happened?”

“He lunged at me. The food must have been stronger than I thought. Help me get him on the bunk.”

They carried him over to the bed and laid him out on it. Lab coat took a syringe out of his pocket and prepped it.

“Do you think that’s wise?”

“Relax, he can handle it. I need results. If I have to push him harder then that’s what I’ll do.”

He injected the captive and the guard came in with the headphones and put them on the supine figure. They left the room and the guard locked the door.

Twelve hours later the captive came to and tried to sit up but realized he was restrained. He looked down at the straps across his chest and legs and cursed silently.

“How are you feeling Brian?”

He turned his head at the sound and saw lab coat sitting in his usual position, notebook in hand.

“Is that some kind of joke? First off my name isn’t Brian, it’s…um…”

“Speak up Brian, I can’t hear you.”

“Look man, I gotta pee. Would you please take these damn straps off?”

“Well now Brian, that depends. Do you promise to be a good boy? You were very naughty yesterday.”

“I said I have to piss, damn it, take these damn straps off!”

“I think not Brian. Not until you calm down.”

“My name isn’t Brian, it’s…shit! What have you done to me? My name…is Brent…yeah, Brent, and you know it!”

Lab coat reached into his pocket and took out a small tape recorder and pressed the play button.

“My name is Allan…my name is Joe…my name is Fred…my name is Frank.”

“Now then Brian. If that is in fact your name. Who knows? You’ve given me so many names. What am I to believe?”

He shook his head violently and tried to move.

“Bullshit. That’s not me. You copied my voice somehow. What is this all about? Why won’t you let me go?”

Lab coat stood up and put his notebook and pen down on the chair and walked over to the bunk and put his mouth next to the captive’s ear.

“I’m your friend Brian. You have to trust me. Tell me the truth. That’s all I ask. It will be your salvation.”

He undid the restraints and let the captive relieve himself while he sat back down and wrote in his notebook. Sitting back down on the bunk the captive thought about what was said while he rubbed his temples.

“Okay, fine. You win. What is it you want to know?”

Lab coat stopped writing and leaned forward.

“You’re playing games with me again. You know what I want.”

“No I don’t, I swear, just – “

Lab coat launched himself at the captive and grabbed him by the throat with both hands and straddled him, pinning him to the bunk. He increased the pressure until the captive’s face was bright red and his tongue protruded.

“Is this how you want it to be? Shall I choke the life out of you and have done with it? What’s that? I can’t hear you!”

The captive kicked at the wall and struggled to free himself. He could feel consciousness slipping away. At last the lab-coated one released him and walked back to his seat as if nothing had happened.

As the captive rubbed his neck and regained his breath lab coat began writing again and spoke without looking up.

“I grow weary my friend.”

Tomorrow, Part 6


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