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White

by ACLoughery


Dr Alistair Cullens was, to say the least, a sadistic man. He was a scientist, a neuropsychologist to be precise, however he was quite unlike any other in today's modern society. His life's sole ambition was to determine exactly how much physical and mental torture a human could endure without being permanently damaged or killed.

   He first attempted through the 'White Eyes Experimentation'. He along with his long-time friend James Johnson set out to successfully prove that the colour white alone could drive any person insane or at least get some enjoyment out of the results.

   No one knew who Mr White was or where he came from. They only knew that he had no memories of life before the experimentations started. Mr White (unoriginally named so by James) was kept in a completely white room, fed only rice, drank only water in a white cup and wore a completely white outfit. He looked to be a relatively young white man with grey eyes. He was of average height, build and was completely hairless. Mr White was kept in his chamber for every second of every day of every week. He never left. He couldn't leave.

   Mr White was given to Dr Cullens by Dr Regall Leroy, his former mentor and funder for the experiment. Dr Leroy was the CEO of CraNeo, a medical research company which specialised in studying the brain, developing treatments for mental illnesses and discovering new ways to increase the already vast capabilities of the human mind. While Dr Leroy didn't take part in such cruel investigations himself, he certainly didn't do anything to discourage Dr Cullens.

   It had been two weeks since the experimentation had started. So far nothing of interest had happened. Mr White just stay huddled in a corner, only occasionally moving. Dr Cullens and James were able to monitor all of this in a separate room with several hidden cameras looking in on Mr White. They would stay there from 5am to 12pm and record any behavioural abnormalities in a large diary. So far the only thing written in it was the hypothesis. That was until the 'Mirror Incident'.

   You see, James had the "brilliant idea" of giving Mr White some entertainment. Dr Cullens had refused the proposal but James ignored him and did it anyway. He, in the middle of the night while Mr White slept, snuck into his room, placed an unframed mirror on the wall and  left a small white book in the centre of the room. The book was a real novel originally but James had edited it so the cover was white, the back was white and all the words were changed to white, the same colour as the page.

   When Mr White woke up he cautiously crept towards the mirror before quickly glancing into it causing him to run away. After this Mr White would stay huddled in his corner turning the pages of his new book.

   It had been three days since the 'Mirror Incident'. Mr White hadn't gone near the mirror since. He had also seemed to finish the investigation of the book. He hadn't looked near it in a day, which was unusual as before he couldn't put it down.

   "This is a waste of time, Mr White's clearly just weird, we're learning nothing by doing this," James abruptly exclaimed.

   "Oh, please forgive me for prising you from your invigorating prior-life. What would you even be doing otherwise? You've been unemployed for the last two years," Dr Cullens snidely replied.

   "You make me sound completely useless."

   "That sounds like a fair description."

   "Hey, you had better show some more appreciation! I'm far from useless. I was able to help with your boring experiment wasn't I."

   "The saying 'Monkey see, monkey do' springs to mind."

Because of their infantile bickering the two men had failed to notice that Mr White had stood up and slinked towards the mirror. James eventually noticed this.

   "Alistair, shut up a second." He blurted out, directing his colleagues gaze towards one of the screens.

   Mr White just stood there, staring into the mirror, eventually turning to look over his shoulder, tremors running through him. He then turned back to the mirror and suddenly jolted back, a terrified look in his face.

   "Go away! Leave me Steerpike," Mr White uttered in a deep, alien monotone.

   "He can speak? How? No one taught him how to?" Dr Cullens bewilderedly trembled. 

   "No way. That's so cool!" James squealed jumping with excitement.

   "How is it cool?" Dr Cullens asked.

   "Steerpike was the name of the villain in the book I gave him. I'd changed the text colour so that it was about the same colour as the page, maybe only a slight shade darker. Any other person would have just seen it as a blank page. This is actually interesting." He looked over at Dr Cullens, "Something wrong Alistair?" 

   "All of this is," James tilted his head giving a perplexed look. "What have we done? We've traumatised him. We've been treating him like an animal, mocking his pain," Dr Cullens explained frantically.

   "It's okay Alistair, he had no memories. He's essentially nobody."

   "Haven't you got any morals?" Dr Cullens shouted. "Don't you see anything wrong with what we're doing. Please, leave me, I need to be alone." James reluctantly left.

   Dr Cullens sighed. He slowly moved his finger over to a button on his desk and pressed it. A wall panel in Mr White's room swung open. Mr White made no reaction. Dr Cullens then pushed another button and with a guilty tone said into a microphone, "Please, leave."

   Mr White stayed huddled in his corner for another half hour. Eventually he left. 

   No one knew who Mr White was or where he we after his release. Did he adapt to normal human life and live as if he were a normal person? Did he eventually return to his prison, his past, his home? No one knows. They only know that he left with the only thing that he had. His memories.

   The next day James returned to work rather disgruntled about the night before. Switching on the camera, he took a minute to make sure he was seeing right. Mr White was gone. James went as fast as he could to Dr Cullens' apartment and burst in.

   "Alistair! What have you done with Mr White!" he screamed furiously.

   He marched into his kitchen only to be taken aback by the sight which met him. Dr Cullens was there in the kitchen, hanging two feet off the ground.

   Dr Alistair Cullens was, to say the least, a sadistic man. His life's sole ambition was to determine exactly how much physical and mental torture a human could endure without being permanently damaged or killed. He set out to drive a man to insanity. And that's precisely what he did.

  

  

  


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Points: 471
Reviews: 4

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Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:20 am
heytherebassy wrote a review...



This was such a brilliant and terrifying piece of work!
From the first sentence to the last this piece of work captivated me, and kept me on the edge of my seat. I really liked how you wrote the story and created the characters personalities, every single character was odd, strange and even creepy to me (not saying that's a bad thing!)
This piece was so amazing and brilliant i really hope you make a second piece/chapter, perhaps it could explain why James was unemployed and how Dr. Collins was how he was.

Anyway, keep writing!




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Tue Jul 26, 2016 3:38 am
soundofmind says...



Hm!! This is really interesting! I haven't read anything like this before... I really only have one question (which is why it's not a review).

Was the ending supposed to be open ended, or was it supposed to directly imply that Mr. White killed Alistair? Or was it supposed to indicate that Alistair had killed himself? I was unsure which it was. But it could be because I'm dense.

Overall, though, it's a really cool idea. I especially found it interesting that Mr.White's eyes adjusted so much so that they could tell the difference between different shades of white.

There was a lot left unexplained though, but for a short story, I think that's ok!! (Like, how did they know he couldn't speak? Was it just that he couldn't or wouldn't?)

Great job, and keep writing!




ACLoughery says...


Thank you for your kind comment. In answer to your questions, it was supposed to imply that Alistair had killed himself and Mr White couldn't speak because of his lack of memories. He was supposed to have no memories of learning how to speak or read. Sorry for any confusion.



soundofmind says...


Ahh ok!! That makes a lot more sense! Thank you, and you're welcome! It really is a super creative story, and I like it a lot!



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Tue Jul 26, 2016 2:06 am
MayaM wrote a review...



First of all: Wow. That was really intriguing. I enjoyed it quite a lot and didn't see much to be changed, so this is probably going to be a rather short review. I loved that it started and ended with that one line, I felt like that ended it nicely. I was curious as to how they got the food and water into the room without providing some color? Minor detail, but something I wondered about. At one point you said that Dr Cullens shouted, but the next sentence was ended with a period. That makes me read it differently. Other than that, great job! Hope to see more in the future!





The last of the human freedoms is to choose one's attitudes.
— Viktor Frankl