B

efore you sits an interesting man. A man with a presence strong enough to instill a slight sensation of indigestion. Your finger hovers above a bright red button as you study the uncontrollable emotions he conjures. Your trance is broken when the man begins to speak.

“You gonna pull the trigger, kid?”

Staring down at the button that unwinds the wheel of destiny. A button decaying from the many times you were previously able to press it. But there’s something different. The man stands up and walks over to you. He grabs your hand and slowly pushes your frozen thumb towards it’s target. The screech of the reel turning invades your eardrums as you exude a sigh of relief.

“There we go~”

The man says with a merry tune.

“Doesn’t that feel great?”

Your eyes begin to sting from the brackish beads of sweat rolling down your forehead. A sinking feeling inhabits your stomach as you realize that your attempts to wipe the sweat from your brow do not register. You find after much struggling that the sensation is eerily familiar. You feel as paralyzed as you did when first meeting this strange man. But this crippling sensation isn’t brought on by an influx of emotions, or anything else that you can control.

“Someone else is at the helm now, boy.”

The man says as static runs up your spine and to the base of your skull.

“You’re just along for the ride now. A passenger in your own vehicle.”

Your lungs begin hyperventilating as your mind tries to make sense of the situation. Amidst your panic you notice the man, hidden behind the glare from his spectacles, seems to be wielding a video game controller. Your eyes follow the long wire extending from the controller and running under your legs,frozen like load bearing pillars. Your eyes fixate back on the man but now he has a second controller. He stands from his chair and places one, with the wire extending from his back, on your lap.

“You know what this is? This here is the item you covet. A tool that controls it’s master. You gain comfort from witnessing every reaction at every push of these buttons. But what happens when you don’t have this anymore? What happens when someone else dictates your actions?”

A bead of sweat rolls down your neck, colliding with every tiny hair in it’s path. The sound of a button press is heard just before you wipe your forehead. Stunned by the sudden sensation of control.

“How does that feel?”

The man asks.

“Does it feel good to think you’re in control? To feel free?”

You can’t help but grit your teeth after hearing the question. Your hand morphs into a fist as the anger and confusion churns inside of you before ending with a wave of numbness that washes over your body. A familiar sensation, and one you can’t help but fear.

“What felt worse? Losing control or realizing you never were? At least you’ve still got some hope.”

He says as he waves the controller in front of you.

“As long as you’ve got this you’ve got hope that one day you’ll be free. But I can fix that.”

Reaching through the chair and behind your back, he unplugs the controller. The little bit of light that managed to find it’s way into the room begins to fade before you. Suddenly you come to in the same position you were in before you rolled the tape. The flick of a lighter grabs your attention as you notice the man is still in the room with you. This time holding a chain. Your skin begins to scream as your eyes scroll farther and farther down each chain link. As the vine of twisted metal comes to an end the man speaks once more while rattling the chain in his hand.

“You’re never truly free. Are ya?”

 

Part 1

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