We participated in yet another writing exercise this week. We had an opening sentence, and we had to let our minds - and pens - do the rest of the work. Here's what I churned out in the 10 minute gap we had allocated.
Exercise: "Oops!" As Last Words Go . . .
"Oops!" As last words go it's not inspirational, but it is apt as I've just pushed the wrong button.
I was only supposed to slap him. The torture device had been designed specifically to give different levels of torture. The basic was a slap. Push the right button and a synthetic hand appears and slaps the fellow inmate. This could be anything from the threat of a slap, one stinging blow, or an entire period of being slapped senseless.
Next to the slap button is the big red button that completely obliterates the fellow inmate.
I had never been left in control of this contraption before - had never even been left in the room on my own with it - but today was the day I was to take my first step towards that responsibility.
My commander had explained everything to me. He had explained about the slap button and all the levels in between, and he also told me about the big red button.
Now, when someone presents to you a `Big Red Button` and says to you that you mustn't - no matter what - push it, something in the mind triggers, and all you want to do is put your finger on it and press.
I had one job to do - to press the slap button and give my fellow inmate a single stinging blow. I didn't exactly do that. My fingers tricked me. Just millimetres from the slap button it changed direction and exerted its pressure on the big red button.
My fellow inmate was obliterated, and all I could do was stand back, look at the empty seat, and say "Oops . . ."