This is the sixth time I have awoken in this cell. On the fourth occasion I awoke in a pool of my own urine. I tried to shuffle out of the puddle, but all I managed was to smear it over more of my body. So I here I lie, caked in my filth, the smell of my own piss and shit filling my nostrils. Breathing through my mouth helped a little.
The light was always on, glaring down at me. I began to picture it as the all seeing eye that watched me, but who was behind that eye? Where they watching me now? And if so, what did they want?
Still I haven’t received any food or water. My mouth is so dry it is painful to breath. Every so often, my stomach cramps and have started seeing things. At first it was just little things, crawlies at the edge of my vision. As time passed they grew. There was something behind me, I could hear it slithering. I tried to see, but I couldn’t.
I began to hear things as well, feint whispers that I couldn’t quite make out. I expanded my mind to fill the cell. I drove the presence away, it had no place to hide.
The hallucinations didn’t trouble me at first. Everyone who takes drugs for a long period of time, especially psychedelics will experience them sooner or later. This was different, I wasn’t on a high. This was the thirst that clawed at me, the hunger that gnawed at me. At times it felt so bad I would moan and cry out.
There is no reply.
Again and again I tried to escape, to free my mind from the confines of this cell. There was no give in the barrier that enclosed me. I probed the gap around the light, but it was just a tease. I could touch the gap, but full penetration was not possible. With each attempt I felt my strength fade a little more.
Seeking a different refuge I remembered the trips I had experienced a lifetime ago. In them I had delved deep within my own mind, travelling the inner landscape. This brought some relief, and helped fill the time. I couldn’t free myself of the discomfort caused by hunger and thirst for long. I could descend so far, but the physical need would always bring me back.
I thought back to the abyss, there was a freedom they couldn’t prevent. For a while I was tempted, it would at least release me from this suffering. It was doubt and pride that stopped me.
The doubt came from not knowing what comes next. I’m not a religious person, so I did not know what happened after death. These days it is fashionable to claim that there is nothing, the physical is all we are. That when you die, that is it. And if that were true, then I would be all for it. Sweet oblivion has a nice feel about it.
What if they are wrong? What if death isn’t simply the end, but the beginning of something new as many other people believe. If that was true, what guarantee is there that it would be better than where I was now?
I am aware that I have an ability that is unusual, until recently I haven’t even encountered anybody who could obstruct my power deliberately. And while it is true that I am currently at a disadvantage, then wouldn’t always be the case. And if my captors did end up killing me then it would make no difference anyway.
But I had come here, well not here precisely, but the whole point of allowing myself to be arrested was to die. Suicide by cop ,writ large. Did it matter that my plan had failed, that I wouldn’t be the terrible legend I had set out to be?
In the grand scheme of things it probably didn’t matter. It did matter to me though. I wanted everyone to know what I had done, to worry what I could have done. One day there would another like me and I wanted everyone to fear that day as that new version of me would arise and see my example and strive to be far worse.
So why did I not aim higher? Instead of a grand stand costing hundreds of lives I could have done more, far more. I could have brought hell itself, or at least a pretty close facsimilie. Why didn’t I? I wasn’t squeamish.
I knew there were questions that I was avoiding. I found myself drifting through my past. Examining what I had done, exploring how things could have been different.
I returned to the real question was what did the people on the other side of that door want? Was this punishment? Was it just a means to make me suffer? Or was there something more? Did they want something from me?
Now there was an interesting thought.
So I lay there, stinking of my own bodily waste and thought of my doom and I smiled. I had done what I had because I needed to, because I wanted to. If I was to die here then so be it, but if that door opened, I would not beg.
So I waited.