Foam on the Large Wave


(Fisi 'o e nauaoam)







Laughter accompanied the next needle.  It was the laughter of someone getting intense pleasure from his work.  The contents of the needle surged into his veins, coursing like a boiling river.  He gasped in shock and pain; terrified at what this round would bring.  The laughter echoed and then died away.  Then the horror began.  Behind his eyes a deluge of fire stretched around his skull, then it raged through his body, even to the tips of his fingers.

Hell was an inferno, the blazing interior of a volcano.  He was at the edge, peering in; then he was falling, feeling the heat peel the layers of his skin back to the bone.  He screamed, but his throat was already raw, now it was burned and blistered like his hand.  It seemed to last forever, these visions of searing heat.  He was in the reactor room, his body wrapped around a reactor rod.   He was dropping into the blazing corona of the sun, his eyes burning in their sockets.  It went on forever, the lava, the radiation, the heat, fire, pain and misery.

Then suddenly, the volcano, the reactor, the sun were gone and the prisoner was in the next level of hell.  He just didn’t know it yet.  Opening his eyes, he saw the carved-out stone of the cave.  With his good hand, he felt the rough coolness of the bedrock and sighed in relief.  There was his cot, the door, the tiny lavatory, the uneven stone floor. He took a sobbing breath, grateful that the terrible, ghastly distortions had ceased for the moment.  How long this time?

Shakily, Lee Crane pulled himself to his knees.  As he grabbed at the stone wall, hoping he had enough strength to walk to his cot, Mendon appeared at his door.  Crane had heard nothing, but his own version of Satan was now standing in front of him.  He stayed on his knees, moaning at the thought of a new horror the scientist had undoubtedly cooked up for him.  “No,” he whispered.  “No.  No more.”

“Give me what I want, Captain,” Mendon said.  The light in the cell had turned blood red and the little man’s features suddenly took on an underworldly aura.  The clipped beard drew into a point, and blood dripped from its meticulously pointed end.  The red-hued face was grotesquely tight with the leering grin and then Mendon laughed. The bright blue, ice-cold eyes bored into him and Lee envisioned horns sprouting from the short, brown hair.  The laugh was like a spear, the words like daggers.  “Give me what I want, Captain.”

“No, can’t.  Can’t.  Oh, God, I wish I….”  And he stopped himself, knowing what he had been about to say.  He wished he could give Mendon what he wanted; to give him the information and then be at peace.  And that, in and of itself, pierced him with incalculable guilt.  He was willing to give what they wanted, sell out his friends so he could sit here in the peace of a cold stone cell.  His weakness sickened him and he bent over, retching. 

“Give me what I want, Captain Crane.  Your friends have abandoned you; you are alone.  Only I can give you relief.  Only by releasing what is in your mind will you find peace.  Nelson doesn’t give a damn about you….  Just give me what I want and then you can rest.”

“No, no, no!” Crane screamed and then as the next needle plunged into his arm, he fell into an abyss of unconsciousness that held its own nightmares. 



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