The Experiment
Emre Erdogan

A blurry sight. An aching head. And emptiness. He slowly sat up in bed hating his companions. He wouldn't have moved unless to reach for the smoke. Inhale and exhale. Smoke takes care of the latter because you cannot keep the shit inside.
At one end of the room, the small alarm clock stared at him in an alarming manner, with his only look. Strange, the thing is more alive than I am, he thought. At least it moves once a second.
When you feel such a gaze, better wonder why. But he already knew. Time to work. It had been, for years more than he could remember and he couldn't understand how he was still able to hate it so passionately.
Then the clocked stopped. It just couldn't move that tiny arm any more. He was as surprised as he could be, because the only occasion he could imagine, more unrememberable than the first "time to work" was this one. He felt strangely good though. Now, he had infinite time until the "time to work." He layed back, to enjoy the synical smile that had spread on his face.
At one end of the room, the mirror lived. He functioned as a percetual organ of a huge complex. Behind it, the white uniformed man tasted failure. He did his work, commanding to a microphone, "Turn the fucking clock on, or we'll loose him."
One hour later, he woke up. "Shit," he said, "late to work."

First published: May 10, 1999