I wake up in a sweat and remember.
Their hollow, hopeless eyes.
I see the guards, grinning while they torture thousands.
I hear the screams, as if they were today.
I remember the commander, watching and smiling, and I cringe every morning when I see his face in the mirror.
This is Harry Demarest’s 17th 50-word story to be published.
He stands petrified and nauseous in an arc of blistering light.
The cold clutch of fear steals his breath as beyond, in darkness, the watchers wait expectantly for him to deliver all he knows.
Jolted, he surrenders. Words pour forth, unstoppable.
Then silence, tension, and the crack of thunderous applause.
Viv is still in Somerset and in state of shock that her story got chosen last month. Flushed with success and a bottle of plonk, she has had another go.
It was torturous sensory overload.
All the colours of the rainbow (along with a few nonconformist hues) strobed across a brightly illuminated screen. Dissonant, detuned tones blared and shrieked on powerful speakers.
He’d been told he was disabled, ineffective, useless. But the deaf, blind secret agent knew: ignorance is bliss.
Evan Edgelow punched Timothy Thicke in the face. Hard. “TELL ME WHAT I NEED TO KNOW!” he screamed.
“I don’t know anything!” choked Thicke.
“Just tell me and I’ll stop!” shouted Edgelow. “You have my word!”
“I didn’t take your candy bar!”
“Oh, it’s in my pocket,” said Edgelow. “Sorry.”
The only difference between this torture scene and any given torture scene in 24 is… Well, nothing, really. Marginal justification? Check. Personal relationship or history with the victim? Check. Unrealistic success rate? Check.