White. Matt white. It was what my eyes perceived. I was strapped unto a chair, metallic, my bare back against the cold steel, sticking chillingly at my back. Silence was next. My nostrils were deluged with the arid air, spelling the premonition prominently inside my consciousness.
2 + 2 = 5, that absurdity got into my head again, sooner or later, terraforming into my real perception, my reality. He who controls the mind, controls the reality. Our mind is what makes reality real. The string of words started to play in my mind. 2 + 2 = 5
Flashing back to how and why did I end up here, I got nothing, even my past memories were as if whitewashed with a set of counterfeit memories that I believed that it was true. Did the past really happened? I thought, “Reality is built inside your mind.” A bass voice, familiar, brewed a concoction of anger and hatred inside me. I struggled to get off, but only to realise that I was feeble, reduced to a bag of bones, hunched with the burden of not eating for days, or weeks, I did not know, I was thrown in oblivion of time since I got here.
They tormented the hell out of me, I was jabbed with a few needles into my body, when he turned the knob, my senses would be shocked, pain was the only word that could describe the situation that I was in, unintelligible pain, beyond words to describe, the pain that could shanghai you to believe what was contradictory to common sense.
The dreaded scenes of me being torture started to fill in my mind, fear started to overwhelm me, my teeth chattering, my body quivering violently as if a caged animal trying to escape the metal bars which constraint me. “NO! Stop… the pain! I would… confess… anything!” I was pleading to him, he was standing still, tall, commanding, expressionless, almost robotic, with two bulbous eyes staring right into my soul, towering over me with his presence. “PLeassee… StOP! I Beg you. Pleas…”
A shock sent through my whole body, as if I was electrocuted. “This is just a warm-up.” my ribs were heaving up and down in pain as the shock dissipated the remnants of my energy, “Well, we will continue what we did yesterday. The ‘understanding’ process. Bear with me a little longer.” His tone was crisp, rehearsed, yet threatening as my fear gorged me when I saw his hand went near the knob, I cried once more in abject submission as he tuned up the shock.
He lifted his four bony fingers in the air, one concealed behind the palm, covering one of his eyes, leaving the other eye to dig into my very soul. “How many fingers are here?” that same stupid question again. If I answered five, I would get shocked…
ARGHHHH “Come on, don’t hesitate.” My heart raced as the pain surged my body, this was different, it was as if million pricks pierced me at once, not at an instance, but for a prolonged period, “How many fingers are there?” surprisingly, he still maintained his casual tone while questioning me.
“Four.” The unbearable million pricks of needle evolved into something even dreadful, I was trembling in pain, shaking, I felt that swords were plunged into my body, not just dozens, but hundreds.
His deadpan expression started to blurred out, “Is this the best you can give me?” his hand was still deadlocked on the knob, “How many fingers are there?”
Same question, “Four.” Same answer. More pain. It was more pain. It meant that I answered it wrongly. I could only see four fingers suspended in the air, how could I answer five? I clenched my teeth, “It’s four. Four. FOUR.” I grunted.
“How many fingers are there?” it was not pain anymore, it was hell. A living hell built on my body, the temple of pure pain, treachery, as if I got lacerated by the claws of death, incessantly.
The hell was brought a few levels down, eighteen stories below, the pain, the sufferings, the agony, the everything was scraping the very life out of me, sucking the essence out of me, “Don’t lie.” he paused, twisted the knob even further, I could not imagine if he went a sudden 360 on the knob, what would happen. “you just need to believe that the fifth finger is there, then it would be there, your mind is reality, and to make you believe the this is true, sufferings need to be simply…” the pain, pain, hell, took a sadistic turn on me as he really spun the knob as hard as possible, nearing the limit, Is there a limit?
My mind was buzzing, “How many fingers are there?” he asked once more.
I looked into his direction after getting used to the hell inside me, “Four. Five. Four. Four… Hell I know!? I just do not know anymore! I just don…” ARGHHHHHH! he twisted the knob again.
“How many fingers are there?” I was at the verge of trading my soul with the devil for eternal hell.
My eyes pivoted into direction once more, tearing up, I saw the thumb gradually raising up from the back of the palm where it was hidden, the lie materialised into reality, merging the lies into my mind, creating the reality of 2 + 2 = 5, I could not believe my eyes, but my eyes did not fool me, I saw five fingers in the air.
“How many fingers are there?”
2 + 2 = 5
Inspired by : 1984
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