Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Wall with the Painting

Posted by at 11:19 PM
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This post is now featured at #1 spot of Blogadda's Tangy Tuesday Picks for the week of September 20, 2016. Check out all the featured posts here: http://blog.blogadda.com/2016/09/20/tangy-tuesday-picks-indian-education-system-blog-stories

This is not a dream.

The step to take to get something started, that's the difficult bit. “Step one. One. One zero one. One zero one one three.” Are you paying attention?

A flash, and he opened his eyes. Sweat and a red face, why did he wake up? This is not a dream. He thought. He looked to his left - the wall had a fancy portrait of a couple at the beach. “Where's the water?” He couldn't find the bottle at his bedside as he looked around. The bottle was on the floor. The gun lay next to it.This is a dream.
                                                   
                                                                           * * * * *

“Keep this.” She said. “Keep it with you, Tom, whenever the line between dream and reality seems thin, use it.” She had a point. They are quite good with the setups these days. No fancy fares. No flying humans. Just normal creatures - like you and I- walking on the road, buying food, eating food, spilling food, throwing food around. Fighting for food. And yet, there would be certain things in these setups. You could do what you wanted to do here, if you played by the rules. This is a dream. He reminded himself of his first assignment as he ported himself to the subject's imagination while the subject slept, it all seemed familiar, and that familiarity would hinder him a lot from doing what he had set out to do. "They pick your first assignment very close to what you are and how you live. It makes things difficult for you. That's how you begin with the loss of your biggest inhibitions." Days passed. He couldn't plant. He failed. He kept falling out of the portzone for days until he could stay still and see the difference between the reality and the dream. The next day his subject hanged himself. This is not a dream. Tom said to himself as he saw the news breaking in all the major news channels. "Young billionaire businessman commits suicide"

This is a dream.
He has planted 300 times since then. They had taught him well. “Have a seat.” They had said when they handed him the file. “As usual, all the details are in there. You get 48 hours.” 
He wanted to finish it in 24. This is a dream. He woke up and looked to his left. The wall had the painting. He sighed. He saw the gun on the floor, he pulled the trigger. A flash and he woke up. 12 hours passed. He had an inhibition that blocked him from porting. He felt the pressure on himself the way he felt the metal taste in his mouth. “I cannot compromise this. I must get rid of  the inhibition.”
                                                   
                                                                           * * * * *

The subject was his son. Everybody believed Tom had converted. But hey, when everyone you work with, make people kill themselves, they tend to miss the finer details. Or they tend to overlook. Sometimes both. “They won’t notice, I am quite sure. I will do this.” He checked the time. 34 hours left.

This is a dream. He woke up and looked to his left and cried out of frustration. The painting was still there. He reached for the gun. I shouldn't be looking. “Why do I keep looking for the painting, damn it!” He pulled the trigger. 22 hours left.

This is a dream. He woke up, the bed felt nice and warm. He needed a drink. He found the bar in his room and fixed himself a large one as he found the details of the planting on a paper near him. He read through. Subject first name: Jim. Jim? Why Jim? What did Jim do? He looked to his left, searching for a wall. The wall was right there, the painting again the same. Gun. Shoot. 10 hours left.

This is a dream. He was back at the bar. He saw through the papers. 'Subject first name: Jim. Death by: ODing on drugs.' He concurred and waited for Jim to walk in. Jim walked in. “You must kill yourself.” “What are you saying?” “The syringes are in place.” “I shall get the syringes then-- wait, is that you, Dad?" Tom looked to his left. Wall. Painting. Inhibition. He yelled to himself with eyes closed and tears falling, as he pulled the trigger. 5 hours left.

This is a dream. Jim sat next to him. “Have a drink before you prepare to die.” He told Jim. Jim nodded. He finished his drink and waited for Jim to leave. Jim started getting up. He should stumble at the door else the planting won't be completed. Tom waited. Jim walked towards the door. His shoe stuck a vase stand as he began stumbling but he grabbed hold of the curtain. This is not a dream. Jim turned his head around, looked at Tom and gave out a wry smile. Gun. “Where's the gun-- wait why did ask for the gun--” He told himself as he looked for the wall with the painting, this time differently, as if surprised differently. 
The time was up.
                                                   

                                                                           * * * * *

Jim sat down at the file room, millions of cameras taking v-snaps of his vitals per protocol as he narrated his closure report.
‘Subject with first name Tom has been terminated. Death by: Self-inflicted gunshot wound. Was conditioned to drink alcohol before he began looking for his gun. Shot himself towards the end of the Range Spectrum - 25 minutes left. The planting was successful.’


(image courtesy: pinterest.com)



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