People don’t want to hear stories about a hero that doesn’t exist, far away places we will never travel to, fantasy worlds that we cannot reach, or cures for itches that can never be scratched. We want a montage to what we own as the world now. We want a celebration of how are lives really are. Not how they could be better. We want acceptance for who we are, what we’re not, and why that’s the way things are always going to be. And yet, we want to feel like we’re better than the person standing next to us for various reasons.
We escape into a hero and a far away place only to return here. Now make us feel better about it…
It started out as an idea. It grew like most bad ideas do into something immoral and horrible and terribly famous. We couldn’t stop. It was addictive to achieve success and to have finally felt like all of our struggling was worth it. We couldn’t stop. And by the time anyone tried we realized that we were no longer in control of the disaster we spawned. I didn’t feel so bad knowing that it wasn’t just me that couldn’t stop.
Have you ever tried something just once and although you swore you’d never do it again you wound up knocking on the same door, guiltily leading to your love/hate pleasure until you just accepted whatever label came along with being honest about what you were doing? Secretly accepting the label of course because it was a long time before anyone discovered that I was a part of what the world had become addicted to.
Money, power, sure those things are great and are addictive. But, that’s not what I’m talking about. People are strangely sadistic sometimes. It doesn’t have to be truly bad or horrifying what another person is subjected to. Benign is what we called it.
People like watching other people suffer to some extent. If it is some hag wife on television spending all of her husband’s money and acting like she’s better than everyone else when she started out begging for scraps, if it some the oppression that comes along with true stupidity, but the fun of watching someone else do the things that you would never actually do yourself, if it is some dramatic mess in a family, or a scandal in a revered place. Whatever.
We were small scale… for a awhile. Who knew people would be numbed by such a constant bombardment that they’d actually make it legal. Then we were kings. But, like all kings… there are assassins hunting your ass at any given time.
They don’t know it, but before I died I kept quite a record of my exploits, our exploits I mean. It wouldn’t necessarily shock you or anything. After all, the skeletons in a kings closet are bones from giants and our secrets are easily spun into the gospel on the 6 pm news.
Let’s start at the beginning.
Chapter 1: Not exactly on the up and up
I, like you probably, had a job. Not a career. Not an office with a view and an obscenely expensive car with a gorgeous woman laying on the hood. Nope. I was not one of the 1% of truly wealthy people in the world.
There is a lot that doesn’t matter about this so all I’ll tell you was that by the age of 30 I was planning my retirement. Well, my imaginary retirement. No, more like just flipping my boss off and leaving yet somehow managing to keep the lights on. Like I said, a life much like yours.
There are all kinds of ways to make money. Some legit. Many not so much. But, I wanted to be welcome in my father’s household so I thought I’d give the legit path a try for a while to see where it went.
I made my father proud, went to school, got good grades, got my degree in some bullshit that the world no longer needs, am completely welcome in my father’s house and now I have this job. I don’t hate my job. If my boss was anywhere else on the planet but at my company then maybe I would not have fantasized daily about leaving, constantly deciding not to do so because I couldn’t fit enough cuss words into two sentences before storming out.
So, “Yes sir” was a permanent part of my vocabulary.
My friends were much like me. Job they hate. No job at all. Varying degrees of education. But, one night we sat around, got way too drunk in somebody’s garage and brainstormed the shit storm that followed. The not so legit path.
You see these movies about how people enter contests or are imprisoned and forced into a fight to the death right? We’re not stupid and looking for jail time, but follow me here. You see how popular it is to want immortality, even if it’s just fame or cheering someone on in a life or death situation as long as you’re pretty sure it’s not real.
How could it be fun if people would really die right?
But people die everyday trying to reach the so called “good life” and filming it under the guise of “fiction” wasn’t exactly bending the truth now is it?
Did I mention that I work in a prison?
Anyway, I know a guy, who knows a guy, who’s basically running organized crime from jail. Farfetched yet? Nope. Well, anyway, he’s got a hit on him from a different king pin an another prison and the assassin is a guard.
Do I care? Hell no. Is it filmable and probably going to be watched if I filmed such crap?
Why not? Let’s test it out. Hell, let’s join in the fun. This fucking job is going to kill me if I can’t cuss out the warden at least once anyway so I might as well go out in style.
And just like that. I’m the idiot who’s running around with a hidden camera (thank God I got the entry guards laid at the last party or I would never have gotten the camera in).
Day one: Normal boring bullshit. We’re skipping to day 10 when the fucker found out I was a would be assassin and locked my ass in the shower. Who wants to play let’s make a deal?
“Look. I’m with this shit. I just wanted to film the true vibe of this place. Nobody wants you to actually die. But, if the shit happens I think my fiction version of reality that’s actual reality is better stuff.” I said as I had my head slammed into the tile and my hands held firmly behind my back. I figured my clothes were still on and I may mot have to worry about Jumbo behind me getting too friendly just yet.
“You want a to make a tv show out of my death?” he all but snarled at me.
“Actually I’m glad I got caught. What I really want is to make this an opportunity for everyone involved.” I continued.
“Opportune for what? What is good for me in this?” he continued.
“This shot is going to happen no matter what. Why don’t we make a game out of it?” I added.
He smiled at the idea. I was glad I’m slightly crazy, numb, very unlikely to grow attached to these people, and probably going to get fired and finally tell my boss off on my way to submit an app at the burger joint down the street from my house. As long as I had a job I was welcome in my father’s house. He didn’t specify what that job had to be per se.
“So, your game is what?” he finally asked me.
Cue the lightbulb over my head please?
“When he comes for you, he must make it through different cell blocks full of your guys. But, they can’t kill him. Only you an. They can’t hurt him too badly until he gets to you and then bam.” I said. I saw it in a movie I think.
“Hmm. And you will lead him to me?” Anslo finally offered.
“Hell, I’ll walk the line with him just so I can film it.” I told him.
I was released immediately and the games were on.
Two days later was “The Walkthrough.” The guard was tortured in the following manner. He was stripped down to his underwear and dared to walk through the mess hall past every known inmate who had a flair for being horny. No one touched him. But, by the time he reached the first table he was ready to either deck someone or sit in a corner and cry.
Very shaken and fairly upset that I got to keep my clothes on we entered Cell Block D. It took hours. Literally. He had to listen to at least 12 different inmates who were serial killers explain to him how each of them had chosen a member of his family to stalk and how they would go about dismembering, beating, and perform other forms of vicious crimes against humanity on people like his parents, siblings, dog, ex-girlfriend from three years ago with the great legs. These people did their research.
He was mentally and emotionally drained because he couldn’t fight back. One move and Jumbo would be released on him, and we knew that meant he’d be dragged screaming back to the mess hall where all bets were off.
We went to Cell Block C where the “I plead insanity” inmates made my crazy look like I was the reincarnation of Freud. This was slick because part of their delirium played on the devastating breakdown on how his family might be killed if he did not continue.
By Cell Block B, the deathrow inmates were telling him about everything they wished they had done differently as an apparition to how he should have not taken the job and resisted the order to kill Aldo.
Cell Block A was isolation and Aldo was waiting for him.
“You came to kill me.” Aldo said.
The guard I was with, I’ll be honest I wouldn’t even learn his name so I wouldn’t feel guilty later, was emotionally numb and on the verge of catatonic.
He was locked in the isolation cell with Aldo and stood very still for about 12 hours. When he finally spoke he said one word. “Fireball.”
Aldo looked scared. Here he had been this bad ass the whole time and now he was terrified, frozen in place, and reduced to a scared kid locked in the closet with the monsters from under the bed.
I thought there would be more to it. But, as it turns out, this dude was injected with a virus that has an incubation time of about 6 hours. After standing in Aldo’s cell for 12 hours, after 5 hours of quality conversation with the inmates, Aldo had been breathing the same air.
Isolation is set up to be more of less a negative pressure area so that if the mentally insane puke all over the room and pretend to have a poltergeist moment the smell won’t travel.
The guard finally sat down. His shoulders slumped, his head bowed, and a small river of blood began to flow down his back onto the floor. His back was facing us. But, I had a pretty good idea of what just happened.
Anyway they both died. I was fired. And the video went viral.
The point is, putting people through a gauntlet was born and later legalized as a form of punishment. Enough with the prisons being over full. You mess up, you get put through “The Walkthrough.”
Comment if you want to see more.