Praise Thee and fell unto our poisoned town.
The Purging Procedure
“Hmm… well this is interesting.”
He’s faced by a white man strapped to a tabletop, but the tabletop is standing vertically. The man appears to be unconscious, but alive. There’s not much going on in his head, and his vital signs are weak, but the man is alive. He turns in a slow circle, taking in all there is to see down here on the bottom level of The Compound. Featureless blue metal walls which arch into a ceiling. A dreadfully pale light shining down on a dreadfully featureless blue metal floor. One would think it would be a little bigger, but perhaps not. This room is meant for weapon storage in the other Compounds, but clearly the designer of this one had other plans.
A section of the wall opens behind him then with a hydraulic whoosh, but no footsteps follow. He smiles, and turns to face the shocked face of Reverend Neil Campbell.
“Most interesting, indeed.”
“Who are you? ” the reverend asks cautiously.
“I could ask you the same,” he says, “but it would be pointless.” He looks at his fingernails, trimmed neatly and filed with precision. “I already know who you are, Reverend Neil Campbell.”
Campbell takes a step back, raising an arm as though to defend himself.
“That’s a very nice suit you have on,” he continues. “And I’m not talking about the priest’s robes, either. Very convincing.”
Campbell lowers his arm and steps slowly into the blue metal room with feigned calm. The wall slides shut behind him. “Who are you?” he asks again, this time in an amusingly serious tone. “How did you get down here? How do you know of this place?”
“It’s funny that you chose a reverend,” he says airily. “I’m something of a reverend myself. Well…” His eyes travel down his own body, taking in the dark gray suit and the chocolate skin beneath it. “In a way, I suppose.”
“I’m warning you–”
“Did you call your superiors yet, Reverend Campbell?” he asks, smiling gently beneath his moustache. “Are they on their way down?”
Campbell doesn’t answer.
“I’m sorry, it was a pointless question. I already know the answer.” He looks over to Jonathan Knox, then back to Campbell. “Wake this boy up, would you? Your little procedure was finished hours ago. He’s going to die soon if you don’t bring him out of it, I think.”
He starts walking towards Reverend Campbell. The reverend takes a step back and then another, and then makes fists as though he meant to take a swing at this brown-skinned suit-clad interloper, but the interloper’s advancement does not stop, does not so much as stutter. He walks close enough to Reverend Campbell to smell his breath – terrible, like he ate fish a day ago and neglected to brush his teeth – and then walks clear through him, as though the reverend was no more than a shadow. Then he walks through the wall, which doesn’t slide open.
Campbell spins and realizes he’s now alone with one Jonathan Knox. “What… was that man?” He looks about the entirety of the prison room. “And how did he know…?”
Jonathan’s limp breathing is his only answer.
Regardless of who that man may have been, he was right about one thing: the purging procedure ended hours ago. Jonathan Knox’s brain has been purged twice over by now, maybe even thrice. If he’s not brought back soon, within the next few minutes in fact, there will be nothing left to bring back. The being known as Jonathan Knox won’t have any sense of character at all, he’ll be nothing but a slack, mindless body. In all senses but the literal, Jonathan Knox will be dead. The reverend chuckles.
“Compared to the original, that might not be so bad. But a mindless body cannot suffer, and I do want you to suffer, Jonathan Knox.”
He places his hands on either side of the vegetative Jonathan’s head and lifts it back.
“I want you to suffer for the rest of eternity.”
Hello Commons, this has been the fifth subchapter of the last chapter of Under the Hood: The Imprisonment of Jonathan Knox, a novel about a man who likes to eavesdrop on his neighbors.
Under the Hood: The Imprisonment of Jonathan Knox is the second book in the W-2222 series, a series of books which take place in Universe W-2222.
Under the Hood: The Imprisonment of Jonathan Knox is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.
I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.
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If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. Be well Commons~