About Us

Contact Us


2001 Archives

Hacktreks 2

First Chapters
World Travel
September Issue
October Issue
November Issue
December Issue
Feb 02 Issue
April 02 Issue
May 02 Issue
June02 Issue
July02 Issue
August 02 Issue
September 02

Canon in D
James Burnett
He tells me to quit trying to get loose; there’s no escape.

I don’t know where I am. My last memory is driving home from work. It was dark then, but I have no idea what time it is now. There’s no day or night, and the only light is coming from a dim bulb hanging from a cord over the table that sits before me.
I’m in a chair; it feels like wood and my arms and one leg, the right, are taped down on the chair. I wonder if this is how convicts feel just before the gas drops.
There’s a sound! Over there, buried in the darkness that encompasses this little island of light. There it is again, steady now, and I understand. Someone is walking towards the table. It’s a man, maybe sixty, with thin, silvery hair.
I don’t know him.

He’s sitting down across the table from me. There’s a truly unpleasant smile on his face. Why isn’t my heart beating franticly? I’m scared, so why doesn’t my body feel that way?
I clamp my jaws shut. I refuse to give him the satisfaction of hearing me.
He chuckles. Idiotically, I remember a line from a movie. It’s about the prickly things on the back of your neck. That sound let me feel the prickly things. Maybe the drugs that knocked me out are keeping my heart calm.

He’s talking to me. I can’t understand him! What does he want? I concentrate, and his words are clear now. What’s he talking about, killing an innocent child? I’ve never killed anyone, at least not literally!
Now he wants me to suffer for my crime. What crime, you bastard!, but the words are only in my head.
His daughter? Who the hell is his daughter? He still hasn’t told me his name. He must think I know it. I keep my mouth shut. Part of me knows that silence is more likely to draw him out than questions and demands.
He’s put his hand on a box that’s sitting on the table. It’s a turntable for records. I watch him closely, my jaws clamped firmly together. He’s getting ready to speak.
He’s absolutely nuts!!. The turntable is wired to the chairs. A record! He’s going to play a record. Why?
Oh, Christ Jesus, when the record’s over, an electric circuit will be completed and one of these chairs, his or mine, will get hit with 2000 volts.
He tells me to quit trying to get loose; there’s no escape.

What’s he saying now? There’s…there’s a square metal plate. It’s on the floor in front of my chair. He’s got one, too.
He’s telling me there’s a three second delay before the jolt. I have to decide whether to push the plate or not. God, I want to mash his calm, weathered face into the back of his skull!
One combination of plates will fry me. Another combination will cook him. He is just friggin’ insane! He’s smiling as he tells me that I have to decide whether to step on the plate or leave it alone.
He switches the power on, and lowers the arm to the record. I can feel my eyes widen; he’s playing just the last cut. I recognize the music instantly. It’s Pachelbel’s Canon in D. It lasts about five minutes.

He’s still talking, but I don’t care. I lean back in the chair and close my eyes. I will not panic about this. I may die, but I’ve faced tougher opponents in court and never backed down.
That’s what he’s talking about! I know who he is now. Well, screw him. He may think his daughter was a sweet and innocent child who had done nothing wrong, but he’s insane. Take a deep breath, and then another. I gently move my left leg and find the plate with my foot. Okay, I can hit it if I want.
How would this wacko set this thing up? Which way would he wire the circuit to give him the best chance of killing me? I can tell that he’s almost berserk under that façade he wears as a mask. Fine, you shit, you want to kill me, you’re going have to work for it. If he’s lying to me, he’ll just have wired me to fry, no matter what I do. If he’s not lying, then I could get out of this alive. I don’t care if he burns.
The final retard, and the last notes slowly evaporate. I know what to do.
I look at him square on. I need him really, really angry. One second.
I tell him his daughter was a whore who needed to die. Two seconds.

He screams and slams his foot down on the plate. Three seconds. There’s the door. I pull it open and stumble outside. I turn around and look at the smoking corpse collapsed over the broken table.
Fuck ‘im if he can’t take a joke.

© James Burnett October 2002

more Fiction in Dreamscapes

< Back to Index
< Reply to this Article

© Hackwriters 2002