Chapter 10

Written by: Sumanda Maritz

I pull my service weapon on Karen and motion her over to Akunowski.

This doesn’t make sense anymore. What is really going on? My beard is shaved off and my hair cut, but when did I do that? How did we get to India and how long did it take to get here?

Akunowski surprises me with a small handgun hidden behind him on the wheelchair. He stands up and pulls the trigger. The bullet hits the wall next to my ear and some of the splinters sting my cheek.

But why would he wait for three hours inside a room? And when did I get my service weapon back?

Not that I am standing still to be shot at. I immediately duck behind the first convenient cover.

That happens to be an upright piano?

The strings inside the piano twang as they are cut by the bullets that are now flying towards me from three guns. Above the racket from the piano I hear insane laughter from Karen, Akunowski and Roger’s wife.

Wait, wait, wait! This can’t be real…

***

I hear a voice as I struggle to find a way out of this situation. “As I count to three you will wake up and remember everything. One… Two… Three.”

Just like that I was back on the couch. My name is Jason Scott and I am twenty-one years old. A literary student at the University of California and this whole experience was an experiment. For someone with student debt piling up, any paid experiments are a bonus.

“Thank you, Jason. Your participation gave us a lot of data to work with.” The study is for my professor of sociology, Dr. Wayne Dwyer’s, extensive research paper. The aim of the study is to understand the narrative mind’s response to inconsistencies. For me, this is a fascinating project.

I am the first of the volunteers to go through the process. Using hypnosis and some harmless drugs, we are put in a suggestive state. The professor then offers us a scenario and we supply a narrative to this. Once the narrative has been established, he adds inconsistencies and logical errors. He then takes careful note of how the narrative mind tries to incorporate these problems. Once the test subject’s narrative mind starts to reject these, the experiment is over.

Well, I did tell you that I am a literary student and the opportunity to write about this experience was just too good to pass on. Obviously, Professor Dwyer asked me to keep this until he has finished his research. And since I get to share credit not just as a test subject, but also as an assistant on the research, this will also count as credits towards my degree.

We have nineteen more test subjects and I will sit in on all to write the narrative of each experience. This is going to be so much fun!

Comments

This is a very clever way of dealing with a serial that for some unknown reason threw up so many inconsistencies it became easy to lose the thread and write in new information that did not build on the narrative. This ending gives the serial credibility.