On the Second Day
You wake up with a start. You are drenched with sweat. A few deep breaths into wakefulness and you realise it is hard to tell the difference between the nightmare you’ve just escaped and the place you are in. There is darkness all around, and nothing to anchor you to your new reality. How, you wonder, could one manage to remove every hint of light from a room, leaving not even a single crack?
Groping around you find the edge of the mattress and stand up on the floor. Suddenly, the far wall of this room lights up and several ants of various sizes can be seen trotting on a huge screen. The wonder is the size of the microphone that captured their tiny legs hurtling in a flurry, sounding like a malicious animal chewing up your ears.
You can hardly look without screaming. The brown-coloured, slim-waisted, six-legged monsters are so intensely magnified on the screen, going up and down mounds, brandishing their pincers, hoisting high their antennae, cutting huge chunks of leaves, making intricate patterns and worst of all, grabbing up unwitting caterpillars and beetles.
And now they crawl all over the wall, to the floor where you stand, onto your bed and up your legs slowly. You are frantic and breathless, screaming hysterically, throwing your arms and feet about, sweeping your skin with your fingers.
“Get them off, please!” you shout, to no avail. It’s been only six minutes and yet it feels like forever. By and by the pincers grip your skin and tear in. You can feel chunks of meat being carried away and you decide to numb the pain away.
Slowly you walk to one end of the room and look up at the observation window. You feel naked now, almost boneless amongst the ants. On the other side of the window, the doctor quietly looks at his stopwatch as he notes in his book: The flooding approach. Day two of thirty.