1953: Fear Ultra

Finn Boyson, guest writer

“Can we get control of an individual to the point where he will do our bidding against his will and even against fundamental laws of nature such as self preservation?”
The whole universe, and all of time and all of space collapses. A million mouths chant terrible words and a million eyes stare down in judgement. Ultraviolet and infrared colors that should not be seen by the human eye swirl in impossible geometric patterns and fractal, moving in smoke-like patterns. Beyond that, when the technicolor mist clears, dark shadowy figures loom in the distance, watching and waiting. This is a sight that should not be seen by anyone, let alone someone of Duke’s mental caliber. But let’s take a step back.
A television flashes black-and-white, mindless, repetitive images that light up a dark, filthy room. The beams of light illuminate the front of a chair that has so many stains it almost resembles camouflage. This chair has a creature slumped in it, with one long arm slipping over the side and onto a carpet that is most likely an entirely different shade of green from what it was originally. This creature stares into the light without a thought in his head. It probably wouldn’t matter if the television was on or off at this point, because this creature is so far gone in a dazed state that it may never move again. This creature is a nobody named Duke. He lives in nowhere, USA, where nothing happens. He lives in a nothing apartment, with a nothing landlord that demands his nothing rent. He drives a nothing car to a nothing job and does nothing until he can go back to his nothing home. He lives a nothing life and he has achieved nothing, and it slowly pokes away at him everyday. He gets up. He stretches. A sickly dog slowly skitters towards him. Duke pets the dog and pours food into its bowl. The dog quickly gobbles it up as if it had not eaten in years. Duke walks out of his apartment. He looks down the hall to see different bodies slumped against the drooping walls. Each person slumped down barely moves, wriggling around in piles of cigarette butts resembling a festering groups of maggots. Duke carefully steps over these people, looking down upon them. He carefully ascends the levels of this grotesque complex, avoiding its inhabitants, and makes it to the main lobby. There is a water cooler that seems to be the only clean object in the room. He grabs a cup and fills it up, as this happens he sees two men in suits, hiding behind dark glasses, carrying out a bum who is slurring out nonsensical utterances about brainwashing. Duke thinks nothing of it, he has seen those two particular men around this apartment fairly often. It would be a strange occurrence if it wasn’t so commonplace. Duke sips his water and walks outside to escape the dank musk of his dumpy abode.
Fresh air. A beautiful smell. Streetlights illuminate the night like a row of carefully places stars. Wind howls through the dusty streets, like a rabid dog kicking up dust in a desert. Across the street there are perfectly maintained gardens run by portrait American families. When the night sky turns to blue, the wives come out with their checkered dresses, smiling. Then the husband comes out with a brown suit and slicked back hair, holding a briefcase. They ignore the rundown building across the street like some sort of black sheep. It is a stain on this town. But the inhabitants of this building claim the night as their territory; when the sun falls the bums and imperfects sulk to the outside, shunned by the families across the street. If this town was not so small the ‘bad part’ and the ‘good part’ would not be so close together.
Duke begins tucking his shirt into his pants as he starts strolling down the street. Duke, of all the animals who dwell in that wretched building, is quite possibly the least like the rest, and the most like the portrait families. He was on the tipping point, but something in his life has pushed him over the edge and into poverty. He commonly thinks about what his life could have been. It haunts the back of his mind, and he always takes walks to wash away the sinking feeling of lost potential. He stares at the concrete before him, walking in a saddened daze, recollecting alternate paths of his life, but to his surprise, the street before him tilts ever so slightly.
He drops his cup. It is a cold night out but he is drenched in sweat. He stops moving. The sidewalk keeps tilting. In a panic he looks for something to grab on to so he won’t fall straight off the face of this earth. He quickly rushes towards a lamp post. One foot in front of the other. One step at a time. It is a difficult thing to keep your balance when the whole world turns on its side. The sidewalks’ tilt speeds up, he makes a run for it, inches from the pole but not close enough, practically falling. He reaches out, but as he does he looks down at the street which has now turned into a vertical cliff. His fingers wrap around the poll, safety at last, the world quickly jolts back into position. The dizzy spell is over. Duke falls towards the ground, exhausted. His eyelids feel heavy. The world goes dark for a second, but he hears footsteps getting closer and closer. He barely lifts his gaze to see the blurry image of two suit pants in leather shoes briskly walking towards him. His eyes close again. He feels a lifting feeling, but as he rises his continuousness falls away.
* * *
Brightness. An overpowering light pierced through Dukes eyes. He jolts awake and attempts to lift his hands to block the light, but it isn’t working. He looks down to see himself bolted to a chair. The light moves away from his face, but still enough to shine on him. As his eyes adjust he sees a man enveloped in shadow. Duke can barely make out the features of his face, but he can see the gleam in the whites of his eyes. He stares into them, they are the eyes of someone with no compassion. They remind him of the eyes of the druggies and drunks who loom the halls, but the eyes of this man seem more intelligent, like he understands what the is doing is wrong but he won’t protest it. They both sit in silence for what seems like an eternity. Duke can feel the breath of another man who is standing behind him, but he dares not to look, just incase he breaks eye contact with the gaze who belongs to the shadow in front of him.
“Hello, Mr. Raul, M Duke.”
Duke sits in silence.
“It is ok, you won’t be here long, but I’m going to have to ask you to cooperate.”
Duke hears the click of a pen behind him and then scratching sound of someone scrawling notes onto paper.
“Do you have any close friends or family?”
“Not really, sir.”
“Ok.” A uncomfortable pause.
“Does you boss check in on you commonly whilst you work?”
“I don’t understa—“
“Will he care if your missing?”
“I suppose not.”
“Good, give him seven days.” The man speaks to the looming presence behind Duke.
Duke finally turns around to see him, but before he can get a glimpse at the man behind him, he feels a sharp pain in his neck. He turns back foreword, grabs his neck, then looks at his hand. Blood. His vision quickly blurs as if he is standing in a rapidly shrinking tunnel. He falls asleep.
* * *
Duke jolts awake in a panic. Where is he? How long has he been out? Who were those men? A million questions flood his mind. He looks around to reveal a bland room. A grey wax floor surrounded by four brick walls. There is a chair and a desk with a flower vase on it. Roses protrude out of the top. There is one single light dangling from the ceiling. A iron door towers to nearly the top of the room. A glass of water sits on the floor. Duke doesn’t realize how incredibly thirsty he is until he spies it. He grabs the glass without thinking he quickly downs the liquid. After the sensation of quenching his thirst lifts away, he begins really looking around, taking in his surroundings. Panic slowly creeps up his chest. He is in some sort of cell. His eyes widen to a terrified glare. His breath speeds up. He quickly arises and tries opening the iron door, and as he suspected, it doesn’t budge. He quickly looks around for some other way to escape. Breath. He hears breath. Is there someone else here? Duke quickly spins around, his eyes frantically searching every crevice of the room. He stops. The walls. The walls are breathing. Slowly, the bricks move in and out with a quiet sigh. He walks closer and reaches out to put his hand on the living wall. They jolt back, and so does he. He stumbles onto the floor and hits his head on the desk. The vase falls onto the floor, shattering. The rose on the floor slowly turns to look at him, the pedals unravel to reveal an eye staring right into his soul. Duke jumps back again. He clutches the wall behind him, but as he does this, the table scurries around the room like some sort of bug. Smoke of unimaginable colors arise from the floor, enveloping Duke and his surroundings. Disturbing images of mind melding horrors claw at him from the outskirts of the room. A fear of God is instilled upon him. He thinks of all the things he hasn’t done. The regrets of his life flash before him. He thinks about what could have been. He imagined his perfect utopia life. The smoke draws closer. He grimaces and squints as he prays. He does not know what is happening, but he knows he needs whatever help he can get. He gets suddenly calm. He feels at peace. He opens his eyes again to see the horrors lurching at him with incredible speed. He is scared to a breaking point. He begins to have recurring thought loops about these unimaginable horrors. He begins to have recurring thought loops about these unimaginable horrors. He begins to have recurring thought loops about these unimaginable horrors. He breaks out of it. A rising feeling sweeps over him, he looks down to see his body expanding. His flesh grows at a rapid pace. He becomes a wave of arms and legs. He quickly shifts into a waterfall of his former self. He can feel fear pump through his deepest veins and cells. The can feel every pore of his skin expand and duplicate into double, triple, quadruple of itself. The room collapses and crumbles from the sheer force of his growth. He begins to surround every building and village, crushing them beneath his weight. He expands over the whole earth, enveloping it. His growth reaches out into space. The night sky falls victim to him. He becomes the fire of the sun. He devours Saturns rings. The stars in the sky become his every cell and flake of skin. He becomes the universe. He becomes everything. Nothing can stop his growth. He understands all. He sees the face of God. It is beautiful. It is everything. Duke feels at rest. He has seen everything he has desired. He lets the cold clutches of death envelope him. He is embraced by the final ending. Everything fades away. There is nothing. His body lays lifeless on the floor of the cell. The door swings open. Two men walk in.
“We are all alone, born alone, die alone.”
The End
Works Cited
Lacter, Dr. Ellen P., Project Artichoke, Mori ID 144686, Sept. 13, 1952. Print.
Hunter S. Thompson. The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman,
1955-1967. Ballantine Books, 1998. Print.
“MK-ULTRA.” history.com. 2018. Web. Jan. 22, 2018.
“Mk-Ultra/Mind control expirements.” cia.gov. 2011. Web. Jan. 22, 2018.
Young, William H. The 1950s. Greenwood Publish Group, 2004. Print.
Gilliam, Terry, and Hunter S. Thompson. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Universal, 2007.
“MK Ultra Experiments.” YouTube, www.youtube.com, Aug. 4, 2012, Web. Feb. 8, 2018.