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The Volunteer


What the...

Oh. Oh, Christ, it's still dark.

Shit, I'm wide awake! I hate when that happens.
Wonder what time it is.

Oh, God. Musta been some party. Every nerve in my body must be tingling! Hard to move.
Damned hard to move.
Oh, great. I'm so hung over, I can't even lift my arm! Better try to sleep this off....
Hope I didn't do anything major. They'd never let me live it down. Gotta watch my drinking more.
Who are "they"?

God, I must still be bombed. I don't even remember who I was drinking with!
Wait. What did I do last night?
I have no clue.

Wow. must be no moon. Can't see a bloody thing, not even my clock.
Why can't I see my clock?
Must be a black out. Or I'm dreaming. It'd explain a lot, like why I don't remember anything.
Doesn't feel like a dream.

God! Feels like I'm being shocked all over my body! Everything's so tingly! Yuk!
Better grab some milk. Might calm me down some.
Wonderful. Still can't move. I hope I enjoyed myself thoroughly to deserve this!

Can't move, can't see, can't remember anything. Wonder if I'm dead? Wonder if this is it, just unstimulated existance? Gone to that big black hole in the sky?
Ha, ha, ha, ha....

Let's see. If I were dead, I wouldn't be able to scream, would I? Probably not. Ok. Take a deep breath...
Take a deep breath...
I'm not breathing. I'M NOT BREATHING! Oh, God; oh, God; oh, God!
Calm down.

Fact: I'm not breathing. I think I can handle this one. At least it wasn't painful. Just more tingling in the chest.
Maybe I did die!
How peachy. I get to tingle from here to eternity.
I hope I had fun dying. I hope I had a lot of fun dying!
Hmmm... don't recall dying.

Alright, I'm dead. Musta been real peaceful. I think I would've recalled going in a burst of flames or something. Probably would've remembered alcohol poisoning, too. Did that once. Never been so sick in my life!
If someone slipped something into my drink, I'll kill the bastard!
Oh, I'm dead. Can't kill when you're dead.
I'm losing it.

This tingling is becoming annoying.
Wonder how you can be dead and still feel tingling in your toes? Well, tingling, anyway. Can't feel my toes.
Or my feet.
Or my legs.
Strange. Now that I think about it, I can't feel my body! Just that damned tingling where there should be body!

What WAS that?
Felt like to parts of my body met. Well, two parts of me, that is. How revolting! They went mushy numb!
Mushy numb?
Don't think you can feel mushy numb when you're dead.

Wonder if I'm really dead. I don't feel dead!
Like I have something to base it on. Right. How am I supposed to know what dead feels like? But it doesn't fit in with anything I learned in church. Figures. The church can't even get death right! Still, what about all those talk shows? And the people who've died and come back? Were ALL of them wrong?
I've cracked. I'm taking Oprah seriously.

Wait a minute...
Why can I remember Oprah when I can't recall how I died? Is this Hell? Was I that bad?
Hmmm... should've gone to church more.

That's it! That's what I was doing last night! I was at the church! I was... I was...
Can't remember what I did there.
Don't think I could die drinking at the church, though.

Wonder if I'm alive. Wonder where I am...

Hmmm...sure could use a drink about now.


"Members of the press, please, one at a time!"

"Professor, now that you have this method, what will you do?"

"Since the nervous system is in an active state, our next project will be testing human responses to different stimuli, something only before tried on laboratory animals."

"Can it feel pain?"

"Yes, but only as a reaction to the stimuli. It won't actually recognize it as pain."

"Sir, how did you aquire the specimen?"

"We had a volunteer."

"Is it alive?"


lj, 1992