_ #45



by stanley lieber

He wasn’t Cameron, or Andrew, or Shinji, or Carmine, or Stan, or Daisuke, or Daisuke’s boss. He wasn’t even himself. He knew that now. It had all been built up, on top of him, to provide him with a framework in which to answer the questions they wanted to ask.

The interrogation never ended. The interrogator never left. The questions were always still being asked.

He tried to remember each phase, the details, but already it was all slipping away. How was he supposed to tell the interrogator what he wanted to hear when he couldn’t even keep track of the construct used to pry it out of him? It was all he could do to respond, at all. He simply didn’t know the answers.

Let’s try again: Cameron and Andrew, dead. Shinji (sorry, Carmine), dead. Shinji... he didn’t know. Stan, back at the Post Office (unless he was at home, or out on his route). Daisuke, doing some job for his boss. Daisuke’s boss remained a mystery.

He was pretty sure that he had gotten all of that right, but there was never any indication of how the interrogator was taking what he was saying. Just more questions. The cell door would creak and he would be alone again. The cell door would creak and he would have company. After a while he stopped trying to distinguish the two states. To him, it was all the same.

Geo sat on the floor.

The frame dissolved.

Plot concludes.


new stripes by mitch trale, used without permission.