They were told that the procedure would treat all of the demons that were tormenting them. It was, they were told, a quantum leap forward in the field of electroconvulsive therapy. They were told that the odds of something going wrong were minuscule. All they had to do was sign the release papers that would relieve the doctors and the facility from any responsibility for adverse effects of the treatment.
The three men lined up against the wall in a large, padded cell. They were each outfitted with a series of electrodes strategically placed on their bodies. Each man was then linked to the other in a sort of electronic daisy chain. The patient on the left was plugged into an electrical outlet.
“This is Dr. Bergson speaking,” a voice coming from a speaker in the ceiling said. The three men couldn’t see the doctor, as he was in an adjacent room looking at his patients through a two-way mirror. “Let me explain what is about to happen,” Bergson said. “The three of you have been wired together and linked electronically. In a few moments, I will send an electric current through your bodies. Because you are all connected together, the process requires less current than if you were individually wired because it leverages the collective natural electrical impulses that are in your linked bodies.”
“Will it hurt?” the man in the middle asked?
“You will feel a slight electrical shock and a tingling sensation, but it will be milder than the shock treatments you’ve had in previous individual sessions,” the doctor answered. “I’m going to count to three and then turn on the current. One. Two. Three.”
There was a cracking sound and all three men started jerking violently. The man in the middle watched in horror as the man on his left fell to the ground, foam escaping from his mouth. Then he, too, slumped down, legs akimbo and his back against the padded wall. The man to his right was still standing, but seemed to be frozen. The last thing the man in the middle saw before everything went black was the man on his right fall like a stiff mannequin, face first onto the hard concrete floor.
In the adjacent room, on the other side of the two-way mirror, Dr. Bergson sighed and told one of his interns to turn off the current. “Back to the drawing board,” he said with a slight shoulder shrug. He then instructed a second intern, “Go take care of the bodies.”
Written for the Photo Challenge from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. Photo credit: LightPaintingPhotography.com.