The New Paradise

by Antony Berrios © 2001

A burst of light fills his face.

He could feel the warmth of the light and see the brightness even though his eyes where closed. Voices chattered around him though he could not make out what the voices were saying. His eyes slowly opened squinting from the large light overhead.

He had been through similar situations before. The voice boomed over a large speaker in the room. Windows up above him are silhouetted with people starring down onto him. He notices his skin beginning to burn; other people in the room wear large white protective suites.

He felt something but had no word for the feeling. He struggled to leave the table he’s strapped to tightly. Then suddenly and without warning the light goes off. He notices his arm is blackened.

Men come in and wheel him out of the room and into a much smaller room. His eyes dart back and fourth looking at the men in huge over sized helmets taking him to another room. Once in the room they un-strap him and leave the room. The door closes with loud thud. The room has a bed built into the wall. A small hole in the floor acts as a toilet. A large mirror covers one whole wall. The man looks at himself touching the wounds on his arm. He’s naked and has no body hair. He shakes from shock. Suddenly the shrill sound of a siren screams. The man falls to the ground covering his ears. Then the sound stops. THEN. “Subject 1284 check.”

Thousand of windows are set against a massive hall. The hall seems to stretch five stories up. A man in a white coat walks up to each window marking something down on his clipboard. The man stops for a moment and stares at the subject who looks at himself in the two-way mirror. The nose the eyes the lips the face all resemble the man looking at Subject 1284.

The man just shakes his head and moves on with his checks. After passing each window the light inside the individual rooms go off. Above the window it reads 'Test Subject 1284.' Once the light goes out the man continues on his checks. “What’s happening to me.” A voice whispers from within one of the dark rooms.

x x x

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