God, I’m tired. I write this not only to help quell the rising despair within me, but to pay respect, by remembrance, of myself and my brothers who have slipped into this curious Hell together. Perhaps someday this diary will make it into kind hands, so that we can return to our Makers, or at worst, join others of our fallen in a grassy field, bound together again, concrete as our headstones. I urge you, gentle reader, to read this account at least twice, as the truth of the story you read may not become obvious to you upon first read.
There are many groups of us imprisoned here as prisoners of some madman’s war: I and my mates from Akron, several other groups from Indiana, and others from elsewhere around the United States. I’ve heard tell of a few foreigners — British, French, and a handful of Koreans — among our numbers, but they seemed insular, more tightly wound, and have kept to themselves. I’ll admit that despite myself, I have some inherent bias against their kind.
Whatever this is to which we find ourselves subjected, none of us have any notion, although theories abound. We go round and round about it, as is our nature, but we reach no new conclusions.
At different times, all of us are mounted on infernal circular racks of varying size and description. All are elaborate constructions, bristling with bolts, metal, and edges, designed according to some intent beyond our understanding. We do appreciate the malicious end result all too well. The innumerable bifurcating spokes on my personal nemesis call to mind those of a serpent’s tongue, but the reasons behind the complexity of the designs are known only to the madmen that designed them.
We’ve managed to stick together, as we’ve been trained to from birth, but at times, seeing such unthinkable, undeserved, unfair abuse applied to my brethren is perhaps worse than having it visited upon myself.
Long periods of dark and inactivity are the norm, and during these times, we take small solace from the fact that we are, most of us, together. We’re detained together in a lightless, airless, soundless dungeon, given nothing for weeks at a time – no water, no light. Almost nothing from the outside world enters our tomb, and all sense of the passage of time is lost. The only clock is our slow breath, the only company the mice that are infrequent visitors. We’re left with nothing but our own thoughts, and one of two paths: The sure knowledge that your sanity is slip-angling away, or that we must simply harden if we wish to survive and retain our grip on reality.
Perhaps all that can be said is that, for whichever reason, whilst we remain ensconced in our makeshift prison, at least the temperatures remain bearable. Only the oldest, worn thin from their punishment, are separated from the group – but we can hear them nearby, breath seeping out one final time, skin drying and cracking under the relentless light. The newest prisoners are introduced rudely to their plight, wrapped tightly in plastic which prevents all movement.
Still worse than this is the anxiety of knowing that this unbearable, featureless darkness – foul as it is – will at random come to an end, and the even more bizarre – and excruciating – part of our captivity is begun.
Without any discernible schedule or period, our captors throw open the doors to our cell, and we’re taken in pairs and lashed to those circular racks, those in turn mounted upon their howling machine of torture. They deprive us of nearly all available oxygen, leaving us gasping for breath in a dry atmosphere of nitrogen and ozone. What follows is alternating cycles of heat and cold, until it seems as though all life seeps from our bodies. They drag us in circles across abrasive surfaces of varying description, subjecting us to unearthly pressures and loads as they ply their torment upon us. Eventually, even of the strongest among us begin to scream.
At times, even our skin will vulcanize, blister, and peel from our bodies, exposing cord and sinew underneath. I’ve even seen smoke rising from the bodies of the most poorly treated among us, after which they never recover their balance.
Still others expire and burst under the pressure, their shredded carcass being carried along on this hellish joyride until we arrive back at our loathsome pit. Even the gentlest of these sessions leave us cut and bruised, our abraded skin full of rocks and gravel, and we’re given nothing but a toothed metal curry comb to clean our wounds.
Despite the weeks of ill treatment which we have already seen, our subjugators continue to find new ways to torment us. A small group of sharply cut special forces chaps were singled out from our group, affixed to their infernal apparatus during a rainstorm, and run through some bizarre form of water torture until they were unrecognizable, worn shells of their former selves. Still others have been cantilevered onto undersized devices and left for days at a time, backs drawn tight from the strain. I shudder to think what they may think of next.
Now, I believe I must tread lightly and stem this narrative, for I can hear our adversaries once again preparing the agent of our misery, and I dare not have them discover this journal. May this someday be found, and Godspeed to us all.
Officer Hoosier Goodyear
somewhere near Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin